Don Siegelman, a Democrat who was governor of Alabama from 1999 to 2003, was sentenced to seven years in prison and $230,000 in fines for taking bribes during his governorship.

If I were so inclined, I could take a cue from Republican defenders of Lewis Libby and Tom DeLay and decry the “political motivation” behind Siegelman’s prosecution, given revelations of a potential Karl Rove connection, other Republican connections to his case, prosecution attempts to have his sentence calculated based on the charges on which he was acquitted, and the fact that a judge entirely threw out — with prejudice — the prosecution’s first attempt to charge Siegelman in 2004. Or that when a Republican governor, Guy Hunt, was convicted of pocketing $200,000 in 1992, the state (indeed, the same prosecutor) sought probation, not jail time.

But I won’t, because the motivation of the prosecution doesn’t matter as much as the facts of the case and the conviction that resulted. The man took bribes; he deserves to go down. The fact that someone else in a similar situation got off lightly is irrelevant.

Partisans might take a lesson from that.

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