Thomas Sowell

But nearly three-quarters of the writers polled say that they will not vote for him, even though nothing was proved against him. Nothing was proved in court against the players accused of throwing the 1919 World Series but they were all banned from baseball for life anyway.

The fact that everyone is presumed to be innocent in a court of law until proven guilty does not mean that those of us who are not in a court of law have to make that same presumption. It is part of the mindless repetition of words in our time that so many people cannot make that basic distinction.

Congressman Alcee L. Hastings was not convicted in a court of law of taking bribes when he was a federal judge back in the 1980s. But his fellow judges raised that suspicion, his fellow Democrats in the House of Representatives impeached him and Democrats who controlled the Senate removed him from the federal bench.

What Members of Congress were voting on was not whether to send Alcee L. Hastings to jail but whether he was too big a risk to be left with all the powers of a federal judge.

Apparently future House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was willing to risk putting this man with his checkered past in charge of the intelligence committee in the House of Representatives. But outrage among the public, including some in the liberal media, showed that the "non-judgmental" attitude has not yet eliminated common sense and common decency.

There are still flickering signs of hope.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate