The Pantheon Of Defense Strategies

There have been many storied tactical defenses in history, to which a new member will be added this week.  Let us review them.

The Nuremburg Defense. Best summarized by the now-cliched “I was only following orders.”  Level of success: Not so good.  After this was first used, stock in Amalgamated Rope & Trap Door Co. (NYSE: CYA) hit a two-year high.

The Twinkie Defense. Did you know that eating junk food renders you helpless against the urge to engage in multiple political assassinations?  It’s true!  Level of success: Suprisingly high.

The Idiot Defense. The crown jewel of commercial magnates whose companies go toes-up — “I have no clue” as a managerial style.  Level of success: low.  One guy in the last few years — Richard Scrushy of HealthSouth, apparently got off.  Everybody else didn’t.

The Nadjorf-Sicilian Defense.  Popularlized and mastered by Bobby Fischer.  Level of success: High, in Fischer’s hands.  But, of course, Fischer went spectacularly mad.  So: use with caution, and do not combine with anti-Semitism.

The Best Defense.  In short: a good offense.  Level of success: Unreliable.  Presumes an actual defense that is worth a damn.

The Chewbacca Defense. Look at the monkey!  Level of success: despite counterintuitive underpinnings, the best strategy EVER.

So: where does the Blagojevich Defense — “they don’t have anything on me, they just want to RAISE YOUR TAXES” — rank among these giants of theory?


Highly delusional.

I can’t wait till he blames his hair.

I’m good with Prommies’s identification on Friday. It’s the Otter Defense. Soon to be an elective course at Harvard Law School.

This “raise your taxes” defense sounds suspiciously like a Wookie Defense only with YOUR TAXES instead of the monkey.

Still, I submit that fucking batshit insane also merits some consideration.

@Hose Manikin:
Isn’t Blago running around in his silky warm-up sweatsuit during ass-cold Chicago weather kind of like the millennial version of the ’80s/’90s mafioso “I’m wearing my bathrobe on the street so I must be wackadoodle” defense?

My secret AUSA boyfriend Fitzy should confiscate Blago’s hairbrush. Or promise Blago he could keep the brush in pokey. Then he’d finally admit all.

@SanFranLefty: I have to say this, hate me if you will. I think that the things Blago said in those phone calls, they were not corruption, they were not “selling the office.” You will notice, he did not limit it, in most of the “money quotes,” he also said things like “I’m not giving it away unless I get something for me, and something for Illinois.” He was just using brutal, hyperbolic language, to describe the decision making process in any such situation. I think Fitzy is applying a prosevutor’s ethical standard to a political decision. I think Fitzy, and the press for going with it, is more insane than Blago, and yes, I think Blago is probably justifiably wondering “shit, so the words don’t sound so good, but how fucking naive are people?”

I have heard “fuck him, he won’t do anything for us” a hundred times in political situations. I am sure Obama and his people are using exactly the same words right now in their discussions about political appointments, they just aren’t saying it on tapped phones. Limbaugh is pounding the drum about how Obama dissed the medal of honor winners constantly, because Obama didn’t go to the unoffical American Legion ball; and I am sure someone at some point when that decision was made, said, “fuck them, they went whole-hog for McCain, and they said nasty things about us.”

Your boyfriend? For reals? I’d be his boyfriend and I’m not on that team. I think he’s great. But then I thought Spitzer was great – so WTF do I know.

You are right, but that’s what makes this a great story. I expect he is guilty of every single fucking thing they’ve said he’s done. It’s the Chicago way (and a few thousand other places). But if Fitz does not have one hell of a lot more on him than what we’ve seen so far – Blago really should walk. There is nothing there. In particular now that he has appointed a Senator that has been accepted by Reid and is generally acknowledged to be a solid clean choice. What exactly did he do besides talk?

Not to mention – Fitz is not without potential conflict of interest. He’s been bandied about as a Gubernatorial or Senatorial candidate

The Ill Repubs are delighted to make Blago a campaign issue but are also happy to see this thing stretch out forever. The Local Dems just want him to go away, but he won’t go away. Even his lawyer dumped him. He could yet turn into a sympathetic character (even if he is batshit insane).

Sure, he is clown and an embarrassment to the state, but then they elected him. Is embarrassing the electorate a reasonable justification for impeachment and removal from office?

Yeah, probably.

A buddy of mine who does criminal defense work says he sometimes uses the “SODDI” defense. It stands for: some other dude did it.

I think they called that “Plan B” on Boston Legal. A tough one for Blago to use. Who’s he going to blame? Rahm?

@Hose Manikin:

OMFG, Fitzy is SO my secret AUSA boyfriend. Though I don’t think that foul-mouthed liberal pro-baby killing nearly-6-foot feminist self is up his river, so to speak, but I’d totally hit it if he’d walk by with indictment papers.

@Dodgerblue: Here in New Mexico you can knock a murder charge down to the lesser included defense of manslaughter at trial when the defendant testifies that the victim came on to him. Jurors buy it almost every time. I don’t offer that in an attempt to be funny in any way, but just to tell you all how it is.

Looks like the party is winding down. Perhaps a recitation is in order. Before I turn off the lights and slip out of the bar, I’ll leave this threadjack under the glass as a tip for the bartender.

Just two fingers more of my favorite single malt (which, out of respect for the sensitivity of the feelings of another patron of this fine establishment, will not deign to mention yet again the great deal I got at costco). But – otoh – since it was such a great deal – make it three fingers.

It seems to me that the night should not pass without at least noting that today is the 250th anniversary of the birth of another Scottish export – Robert Burns.

In the ealy 70’s, in a smoke filled college dorm room with towels under the door, I recall listening to Traffic’s “John Barleycorn must die” – vinyl of course. In my breathtaking ignorance of English literature, I never realized until – well… today – that it was a Robert Burns poem. At that, Traffic managed to leave off the last four (and best) stanza.

And they hae taen his very heart’s blood,
And drank it round and round;
And still the more and more they drank,
Their joy did more abound.

John Barleycorn was a hero bold,
Of noble enterprise;
For if you do but taste his blood,
‘Twill make your courage rise.

‘Twill make a man forget his woe;
‘Twill heighten all his joy;
‘Twill make the widow’s heart to sing,
Tho’ the tear were in her eye.

Then let us toast John Barleycorn,
Each man a glass in hand;
And may his great posterity
Ne’er fail in old Scotland!

@Hose Manikin: Died drunk and penniless in a gutter.

But, wait, is Blago talking about cowboy movies? Is that like a well-known legal gambit?

@redmanlaw: Thanks for the tip. I’ll remember that next time I’m facing a murder rap in NM.

@Benedick: As did Poe. Seems to be the mark of a good man.


“Died drunk and penniless in a gutter.”

You say that like its a bad thing.

@redmanlaw: That’s been used in Cal also. I think of it as “heat of passion, except not that kind of passion, if you know what I mean.” One variant that was tried here without success is the “I freaked when I found out she was a he” defense:

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