The Lawyer Factor

Well, he did it after all. John McCain has my full and unqualified support for President of the United States, even with his weaselly treatment of conservatives, all because of one word: LAWYER.

Back in February, I got a speeding ticket, and because I did not agree with the ticket, I retained a lawyer to fight it. So began a course in how the courts and lawyers behave. Over the weeks between getting the ticket, hiring the lawyer and my court date, I asked my lawyer several times about what needed to be done, His staff assured me repeatedly that all I needed to do, was wait. Monday was my court date, a date where – according to my lawyer – I did not need to appear, since he would be there as my representative. The court agreed there, saying that either I or my lawyer needed to be there, but not both.

So I was more than a little unhappy to be contacted by the court Tuesday and told that I was now cited for “failure to appear”. When a court representative uses the phrase “warrant for your arrest”, it really grabs your attention and ratchets up the blood pressure. I called my lawyer’s office right away, and the staff assured me that the lawyer had been there, and that the court was wrong. So I called the court back and they reasserted their claim that no one had shown up.

I did not sleep very much last night, and this morning took time off from work to try to see what was going on. It took some digging and talks with several people who seem to be adamantly opposed to voluntarily helping a fellow human being, but what happened was this – the lawyer prepared a Letter of Representation, and he delivered it to the court last Friday. Short version of the story, the court has not yet processed that letter and so was unaware of its filing when Monday rolled around. Since the letter was date-and-time-stamped, I should be OK. Of course, until it’s entered into the system and the warrant rescinded, I still have to wonder what I would say if I should get stopped by a police officer in the next couple days. Not that I plan to do anything to get pulled over for, but since the one who stopped in February was not at all interested in conversation, I don’t trust my luck. What I am dealing with is that always charming combination of slow-moving bureaucracy and lawyers whose ‘Job One’ is getting paid. Yes, there are good lawyers out there and I hope mine is one of them, but as a group I can’t help but think that Lawyers are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

It then occurred to me to consider lawyers as politicians. Frankly, that combination seems to me likely to produce the worst of both worlds, especially when we are talking about the Presidency. Just consider these lists of recent Presidents:

Lawyer Presidents
Bill Clinton
Gerald Ford
Richard Nixon
Lyndon Johnson
Harry Truman

Non-Lawyer Presidents
George W. Bush
G.H.W. Bush
Ronald Reagan
Jimmy Carter
John Kennedy
Dwight Eisenhower

There are outliers in each group, but I’d say it looks like the non-lawyers did a better job as President than the lawyers did.

Apply that to the field, and what do we see?

Candidate and Work Experience Prior to Political Office

Barack Obama: Harvard Law School, civil rights and local political action work.
Hillary Clinton: Yale Law School, partner Rose Law firm, liberal activist work.
John McCain: U.S. Naval Academy, naval aviator

Apply what that tells us to how each of these candidates would likely address the responsibilities of the President, and the choice becomes crystal clear.

If you love America, support John McCain for President.

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