Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A Different Take on the Hergert Trial

by Kyle Michaelis
The Lincoln Journal-Star's Nate Jenkins actually did a very nice job of blogging on most of the important moments during David Hergert's impeachment trial at the Journal-Star's "Around the Rotunda."

Of course, I disagree with Jenkins on a few points - especially the value to Hergert's defense of former Regent Don Blank's admission of his own campaign violations. Blank's conduct was so different by degree and kind that I can hardly see the relevance. That mistakes are made, that they are made quite frequently, was never in question. But, Hergert's "mistakes" were nothing of the sort. He stood to gain too much after too many warnings for his misconduct to have been anything but intentional. Therein, lies all the difference in the world.

Still, Jenkins did some commendable work - certainly one of the more interesting contributions yet to Nebraska's online political discourse. For those of you who weren't able to watch the trial for yourselves, I suggest you give it a read. I was only able to attend the first day of trial, when Hergert's demeanor was totally opposite the relaxed and confident picture painted by Jenkins. Reading body language is always going to be fairly subjective, though, and it does seem reasonable that Hergert should have grown more comfortable as the trial progressed, whether guilty or not.

All-in-all, Jenkins puts too much emphasis on humanizing Hergert and pays too much deference to the defense's oftentimes specious arguments. But, perspective is good and I personally appreciate the effort (and the hours) that went into making these reports. I just regret that I wasn't able to attend the trial more myself, so I could offer a more substantive and effective counterpoint.


Blogger Knightn said...

I know, what trial was he watching????!!! Jenkins is usually better than that.


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