RUSH: According to reports, the judge in the Zimmerman case is gonna recuse herself. The judge is Jessica Recksiedler. She announced last week that she had a possible conflict of interest in the case because her husband is a law partner of a legal analyst hired by CNN to comment on the Trayvon Martin shooting. I would think this judge would be happy to get out of this case. A lot of people are saying she’s not qualified, she’s too young, not experienced enough. Would you want to be the judge in this case? With the New Black Panthers running around with bounties and everything, and Jesse Jackson saying, (imitating Jackson) “This ain’t nothin’. This is just the first step. The arrest, that ain’t nothing. That shoulda happened long ago.” He’s making it clear that if the outcome isn’t what they want here, that we should look forward to other things.
Now, this is interesting to me. There’s a story here from a guy named Bob Owens at PJ Media, a blog. “Angela Corey’s filing against George Zimmerman bears the hallmarks of a career-ender.” This is yet another analysis of the charging document, the affidavit that she wrote and released that Dershowitz has commented on that said no judge is ever gonna let this see the life of day. This is not gonna get past any judge. Andy McCarthy, my buddy, who was at the US attorney’s office in Manhattan for all of those years charging and trying the blind sheik, he has weighed in. My buddy Mark Levin, Landmark Legal Foundation, everybody, every legal beagle whose commented on this charging document says it is rank amateurish, it is embarrassingly insufficient, it’s purely political, and it reeks of incompetence. And now we’ve got another guy weighing in, Bob Owens on this incredibly thin speculative Zimmerman affidavit.
Here’s a little bit of what he wrote. “Last week, Florida prosecutor Angela Corey stunned many within the legal establishment when she announced her office was filing a second-degree murder charge against George Zimmerman. The four-page affidavit of probable cause filed by CoreyÂ’s office shocked legal experts, ranging from liberal Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz and liberal law blogger Jeralyn Merritt to conservative former prosecutor Andrew McCarthy and talk show host Mark Levin, among others. The affidavit starts out typically, listing the names and qualifications of the two investigators used by the special prosecutor. It then begins to build a case against George Zimmerman.”
He goes through the affidavit and claims there are unsubstantiated assertions throughout the affidavit. Here’s one of the early paragraphs. “On Sunday 2/26/12, Trayvon Martin was temporarily living at the Retreat at Twin Lakes, a gated community in Sanford, Seminole County, Florida. That evening Martin walked to a nearby 7-11 Store where he purchased a can of iced tea and some Skittles. Martin then walked back to and entered the gated community and was on his way back to the townhouse where he was living when he was profiled by George Zimmerman. Martin was unarmed and was not committing a crime.”
Owens here points out, like a lot of other people have, “Not one paragraph into the ‘meat’ of the affidavit, CoreyÂ’s team already made two unsubstantiated claims. First: there is no publicly known evidence that supports the contention that Zimmerman ‘profiled’ Trayvon Martin. … The second unsubstantiated claim: They say Martin was not committing or preparing to commit a crime. Zimmerman became suspicious because he saw a figure who struck him as a person casing houses for burglary potential. Unbeknownst to Zimmerman at the time was the fact that Martin had been suspended from school for the possession of a ‘burglary tool.’ We donÂ’t know what Martin was thinking, but his actions were erratic enough to prompt George Zimmerman to want police to investigate.
“That represents a lot of unsubstantiated speculation by a prosecutor trying to build an affidavit to support a second-degree murder charge, and thatÂ’s just from the first substantive paragraph. The next troublesome claim is the lead sentence of the following paragraph: Zimmerman, who also lived in the gated community and was driving his vehicle, observed Martin and assumed he was a criminal. Perhaps it is hair-splitting, but there is no evidence to support CoreyÂ’s claim that Zimmerman assumed Martin was a criminal.”
Anyway, it goes through the whole affidavit and basically rips it to shreds. Now, here is my question. Dershowitz and practically every other accredited legal expert who has looked at this affidavit has said that it won’t get past the judge, whoever the judge is. They’re saying that there’s no judge that’s ever gonna let this thing ever see the light of day. And people are speculating that maybe Angela Corey wrote it this way to take the target off her back, to have it be so inept and incompetent it has to be thrown out and then the case has to go to the grand jury which will then indict and the target will be on them, and they’re anonymous, theoretically. You know what worries me about this? I’m just gonna assume here for a second that all of these legal experts are dead right just for the sake of telling you what concerns me here.
If these people who have analyzed this affidavit are dead right and if this is the product of abject incompetence — embarrassing incompetence on the part of the prosecutor, Angela Corey — given our culture, given our education system, might a judge look at this prosecutor as a teacher would and say, “Well, you know, she tried”? And go ahead and let it fly? That’s what happens in our schools. That’s what outcome-based education is. If a kid thinks 2 + 2 = 5, it is — with an A for effort — until they figure out that 2 + 2 = 4. And then they argue about that. But what if…? My point is that throughout our culture, excellence is not the objective. Not offending somebody is.
Not hurting somebody’s feelings. Not humiliating them. We are a culture that does this, particularly in our schools. Why, we teach self-esteem! Why, that is the most important thing that we can give our kids: Self-esteem. Now, I don’t know how old Angela Corey is but I’m gonna presume that she’s young enough to have gone through the American public education system in the formative years of her life with conflict resolution as a big course and self-esteem and outcome-based education. I’m just telling you, I won’t be surprised. All these are legal experts with the highest of standards. These are the best in the field. And they, of course, have impeccably high standards.
But we don’t have high standards in our education system. We don’t have high standards. In fact, the more accomplished you are, the more suspect you are. The more successful you are, the bigger target you are. We have been, in our culture, rewarding mediocrity because we feel sorry for it. We have been rewarding averageness, because for so many years the average and the mediocre have been taken advantage of. The average and the mediocre have been taken advantage of and they have been mistreated. They have been humiliated; they’ve been bullied. Their feelings have been hurt. Well, what if we get a judge who doesn’t want to hurt the prosecutor’s feelings?
What if we get a judge who’s not concerned with whether it makes any sense or not? What if we get a judge that basically says, “You know, it’s an affirmative action affidavit. She did the best she could. She did the best she could, and she really tried hard, and it’s a tough case,” and goes ahead and permits the affidavit to stand? The only reason that I say this is because all of the legal experts… See, having standards matters to me. Pursuing excellence matters. Being the best you can be — whatever that is, pursuing it, trying for it — that matters to me. Encouraging others to do the same of others and having high expectations of people.
We don’t have that anymore. As a rule, whenever you learn that a teacher has been particularly hard on a student or really high expectations were demanded somebody, that’s almost the exception to the rule. We now applaud people for not hurting the feelings of the average or the mediocre or the incompetent because life is tough enough for them. And look at how our institutions are crumbling all around us: The Secret Service business, the General Services Administration. The simple notion that’s being popularized by the American left today that achievement and success are to be suspected, and those people are to be targeted; that it isn’t fair that somebody should be demonstrably better than anybody else.
It’s not fair somebody should get better grades than anybody else. Well, in a lot of places they’re doing away with the valedictorian, salutatorian. We’re getting away from identifying people who are the best at what they do. And when we’re not wafting away from it, we’re pointing fingers at it and impugning it and we’re trying to find reasons to explain why somebody is better than somebody else. Not because they worked harder and not because they might be smarter and not because they might be more industrious. But because they cheated or they had an unfair advantage or their dad was rich or they had an advantage or whatever.
We are going out of our way not to reward excellence.
It has bothered me for the longest time, and we’re right smack-dab in the middle of it here. Throughout our culture. Everybody’s so afraid to hurt somebody’s feelings. Everybody’s so afraid to offend somebody. If we get a judge that comes from this way of thinking, he might get this affidavit and look at it and say, “Ah, this poor, poor lawyer! Oh, she really tried. But is it really her fault? I wonder where she went to school. Maybe she shouldn’t have been hired in the first place. Maybe she’s really not qualified but they had to hire her because of some quota.” Who knows? I mean, these are the kinds of things that people look for to excuse less-than-excellent work, less-than-acceptable work. It’s called “defining achievement down,” just like Daniel Patrick Moynihan talked of “defining deviancy down.”
I’m not predicting it’s gonna happen. I just wouldn’t be surprised. Let me give you another analogy. It’s gonna be tough for me to come up with. A lot of people will look at a political gaffe, I don’t care what it is. They make a political gaffe, and people say, “Well, that’s it! That’s the end of the line. So-and-so just cooked their goose.” I always say, “No, they didn’t. No, they didn’t. Twenty, 30 years ago, yeah. Maybe. But not today. Mediocrity triumphs. Stupidity on parade!” The president of the United States is seeking reelection by pandering to the stupid. Snerdley, you know what I mean here. You all know what I’m talking about here, and you all, now that I brought it up, think, “You know, Rush may have a point here.” You know I do.
RUSH: So, as I always do, I check the e-mail in the break, and a fair question from a couple of people: “How do you know that this lawyer, the prosecutor, Angela Corey, is ‘incompetent.’ You kept using the word ‘incompetent.’ How do you know she’s incompetent?” That’s a good point. She might have done this on purpose to have it thrown out so that she’s no longer on the firing line, so to speak. And, of course, that could be wrong and this affidavit could be what the experts say it is: An absolute disaster. (interruption) But even… (interruption) There’s no… (interruption) Well, no, that’s not entirely truly. Somebody just said, “You don’t find anybody defending it.”
The Seminole County judge… This is my point here: The Seminole County judge, Mark Herr, H-e-r-r (he might pronounce it “hair;” I’m not sure) found the affidavit “legally sufficient to establish probable cause,” which is why he ordered Zimmerman to appear for his arraignment on March 29th. Wait! It can’t be March 29th. He didn’t appear that long ago. Whenever it was. The point is that a judge… Not the trial judge. I don’t think it’s the trial judge. A judge found it legally sufficient. It’s okay. Every legal expert that you would respect has lampooned this thing, has made it sound like somebody who didn’t even go to law school put it together.
They made it sound like somebody totally immersed in politics put this thing together. And yet a judge said: Hey, good enough for me. (That’s my whole point.) Declining standards: Good enough for me. So who are we to believe here? We’ve got experts, as Obama loves to say, “from across the ideological spectrum” on this. I mean, Dershowitz is a big liberal. My buddies, of course, are huge conservatives. But like H.R. says: In the legal community, you don’t have anybody defending the thing. But that’s not the point. The e-mailers were correct: She may not be incompetent, but the affidavit is, according to all these experts. The judge says: It’s sufficient, it’ll fly.
So I take it back about her being incompetent; I don’t know. But the affidavit is. And that’s the point. (interruption) Oh, is that right? Zimmerman has not…? So his official arraignment will be May 29th, 2012. He has not been officially arraigned yet. That was just an arraignment hearing. So May 29th is when he’ll be officially arraigned, because of this affidavit. It wasn’t thrown out. Now, the trial judge… I don’t know if it even applies anymore. So every legal expert that’s weighed in on this thing has just effectively been proven wrong. Won’t get past a judge? It did. And therefore we, as citizens, are left to ask: Well, who’s right?
And you know my fear.
My fear is that standards everywhere are just plummeting and that there is an attack — there’s an assault — on excellence. It all boils down to, “You must treat people well! You must be nice. And that’s your problem, Mr. Limbaugh. You’re very, very mean to people. But we get ahead in America by treating people well,” even if they’re incompetent at what they do. This is the point: Standards on the decline.