From John Micek over at the
Morning Call, Patriot (oops!),which is “Penn Live” on the internet.
I can’t keep saying this enough times, since Kane became bad news in the Democratic Party, that the fault lies with her legal education down in Philadelphia, and the times that she went to law school. More than anything else.
Temple Law School in the early 1990s is where Kathleen Granahan (Kane) learned to become a lawyer. It was a place where this overboard political correctness, in its late ’80s – early ’90s version was rampant, and where petty pressure groups would go after people who were on the outs. It was bullying in its age-old sort, and it didn’t take much to be “it”.
Fast forward to the 21st century, and most of Kane’s political career met the mold of a PC bully and whiner of the 1990s. She first won a primary by complaining about the so-called old boys’ network. True or no, as to whether there is an old boys’ network in Pennsylvania (I would say “yes”), the fact that one exists doesn’t mean you get to write your own rules once you get up into a position of authority.
Worse, it doesn’t mean you get to break the rules, (i.e. the laws), when you decide that you are now, with deference to the rock group Who, the new boss. This is also very much the thinking of a PC brat or asshole of the early 1990s. They seldom were seeking world of fairness or justice, but instead one where it was their jackboot, of sorts, on the top.
So, Granahan-Kane gets in, and the first thing she does is have these bickering fights with the longtime career prosecutors within the AGs. Politically inspired, and not well thought through, as to why she was going down that avenue to begin with.
As a kind of a smoke screen for her own transgressions regarding due process in criminal proceedings, Kane then was happy to kick over the various rocks in the Pennsylvania political field, to see what crawled out of them. One was the pornographic/off color e-mail scandal. She caught two Supreme Court Justices in PC (personal computer or politically correct) snares. Were the Justices “wrong”? Yes. But their wrong didn’t really vindicate what Kane was doing. She just felt that smearing the Justices in low-bar Pennsylvania was a fitting zap to the so-called old boys’ network that wasn’t playing by Kane’s playbook.
The second smoke screen move, that was generally (but not entirely) ignored in Pennsylvania media, but picked up by New York, was the 1-800 hotline for priest/minister abuse. This came after Kane’s legal troubles had multiplied to the point where she was obviously no longer going to be AG, and in fact, was strategizing to stay out of the pokey. Kane knew that the Pennsylvania religious community is a rich source of sexual abuse and scandal, because of the state’s extreme deference to religious figures and to the corruption that is engendered whenever you let unchallenged, local strongmen write the rules. (See Joe Paterno.) This is Pennsylvania’s hands-off approach to local matters in its most twisted extreme. But Kathleen Kane knew that soft spot exactly.
So more negative headlines. But not enough to get the dogs off the scent of Kane herself.
Now, this week, she is done. At least, on the axis of the law-abiding as opposed to the criminally convicted.
It used to be, in America, that the mere taint of wrongdoing, especially in better run jurisdictions of the North, was enough to elicit a resignation, and the accused wrongdoer just, well, disappearing back in the anonymity of ordinary citizenship (or being issued a prisoner number). No, but Kathleen Kane is writing her own rules. No doubt, she is going to appeal, and try to stay in office all the way until the Republicans have someone victorious to be sworn in next January–five months from now.
The things I wonder are whether the Democratic establishment, the old boys, saw her as a PC nut back when she was the only individual to stop Tom Corbett with his own, Southern-inspired, Tea Party nuttiness? When did they see that she was “an issue”? They were all high praise for the woman; and Rendell, and the Clintons, and Chris Matthews on Hardball, all thought she was so great.
The other thing I wonder is why they don’t have the pull right now to, as it were, “pull” her out of the AG role and at least give Shapiro a chance that he could win, without her shadow casting a smell over everything like it is? Why the insistence on always dragging other people down with her, be they perhaps logical “enemies” or just people who happen to have been on the sidewalk, so to speak, as she passed by?
If anyone is Temple Law from those days, and remembers the fits that Robert Reinstein had about law student Lincoln Herbert (third Circuit opinion here), the Kane conviction is particularly salient. How did Reinstein miss the character flaws of Kathleen Kane?