Monday, July 16, 2018

Romano: A fairy tale goes wrong for Pam Bondi and Donald Trump

Once upon a time, there was an attorney who was a hero to many.

Bright, beautiful and beloved, she was. To the honest folks in a town known as Tampa, she was the deliverer of justice. The prosecutor unafraid to look killers in the eye.

Go then, the people told her, and climb higher up the legal mountain. Seize your destiny, and protect our interests.

And this she did.

She became Attorney General, and all was good for a time. The people were able to go about their chores without worry or reflection. And they hardly noticed that their hero had slowly begun to change.

Instead of fighting for the defenseless, she dined with the powerful. Her actions never seemed to match her words. She turned haughty and unavailable. Almost unrecognizable to those who once adored her.

Soon, word came of a Rich Man who had been selling promises in the territory. He collected bundles of coin, and yet all of his promises turned out to be empty.

Help us, the people shouted to the Attorney General! Pursue this Rich Man and force him to return the hard-earned gold he has taken from us.

The Attorney General would later say that she did not hear the people shouting. That their complaints were intercepted by her servants who saw no reason to inform her of the accusations.

Instead, the Attorney General called on the Rich Man and asked if he would be her patron. To bestow upon her some of his riches so that she may remain atop the legal mountain.

And this he did.

Days later, it was soon revealed, the hero's servants decided there would be no investigation of the Rich Man. And months after that, the Rich Man threw a party for the Attorney General, where there were many of his wealthy friends ready to give the Attorney General even more money.

Shame on you, the townsfolk cried. How can you claim to be the highest legal authority in the land, and yet pursue payments and favors from a man accused of being an exploiter of your people?

To this, the hero remained steadfast and silent. She had done nothing that could be proved as a violation of the law, and so she would talk of this no more. Not even in defense of her once good name.

Days and months would pass, and the Attorney General rarely came down from her legal mountain. The aggrieved townsfolk were forced to seek recompense from attorneys far away.

And then came word that the Rich Man had returned. Only now, his promises had grown grander. He had become the Rich Man Who Would Be King.

All around the territory, he attracted the disillusioned eager to believe in his promises. His power and popularity grew. The crown was there, just beyond his grasp, and so it was time to collect on past favors.

The Attorney General rode down from her mountain to speak of his good name. To implore the same townsfolk she had once forsaken to rise up together and support this Rich Man Who Would Be King.

Only this time, many were disappointed by their erstwhile hero. Many were still waiting for her to justify the auction of her integrity. If you are so beholden to him, they reasoned, why not just sell your soul?

And this she did.

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