Why challenge the governor on health-care or general-assistance cuts or nonleadership on road and bridge repair and the growing public-pension crisis?
No. Let's focus on a case of successful prosecution, conviction and a life sentence.
That's what Democrats are doing.
They're pushing a meaningless, nonbinding House resolution calling on the U.S. attorney general to appoint special counsel to investigate Corbett's handling of the Sandusky case.
Let me repeat that: meaningless, nonbinding.
This, just before legislative elections as the Legislature winds up for the year and amid a race for attorney general in which Democratic candidate Kathleen Kane vows, if elected, to investigate Corbett's handling of the case because, she says, politics "probably" was involved.
You don't think there's a connection, do you?
Democrats tried to get this resolution to a vote last week, but GOP House Speaker Sam Smith shut the session down.
So, when the House returns Monday (because, you know, this week included the Columbus Day holiday, and anytime there's a one-day holiday the Legislature takes a whole week off), Democrats say that they'll push the resolution again.
It was introduced last December.
You don't think bringing it up now has anything to do with the political clock?
Or with a Franklin & Marshall College poll last month showing that 65 percent of voters think that Corbett did only a fair-to-poor job with the case?
Or with airing the issue to help Kane?
(Her GOP opponent, David Freed, also says that he'd review the case, but what's he going to say - that he won't?)
Look, I don't know if Corbett, as state attorney general, dragged his feet on Sandusky to (a) keep resources focused on his investigation of the Legislature to boost his campaign for governor or (b) to avoid stirring up Penn State passions while running for governor.
I know of no evidence that he did either of these things. I know of no proof, even if he did, that any children had been put at risk.
But I know this: Given that the entire journalistic world chased every aspect of the Sandusky story, any funny business related to it almost certainly would have been caught.
And I'd like to think (while I have zero confidence in the integrity of politicians) that professional career prosecutors would protect kids before covering up for any pol.
But, hey, for the sake of argument let's say something's there.
Is it believable that someone wouldn't already have contacted the Justice Department?
Is it believable that all the Justice Department is waiting for is an invitation from the Pennsylvania House?
In my mind, the answers are no and no.
I understand the impact of this case - what it did to the former coach's victims, their families and Penn State and the furor it caused among PSU faithful and anyone who cares about children.
And it is exactly the power and reach of the case that make it perfect political fodder - as well as a distraction from real work - for Democrats scratching for relevance.
This isn't a principled pursuit of the truth. It's plain old political pandering.
Contact John Baer at email@example.com. For his recent columns, go to philly.com/JohnBaer. Read his blog at philly.com/BaerGrowls.
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