AL Attorney General Steve Marshall Dead Wrong, Again

Clete Wetli | January 24, 2020 | Opinion Article
Wooden letters spelling Epic fail on brown background

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall is one more example of how hyper-partisanship mixed with unfettered personal political ambition seems to be a debilitating disease of the brain that destroys a person’s ability to recognize facts, acknowledge research, or use one’s head for anything more than, in this case, a MAGA hat rack. It’s easy for folks to forget that Marshall was a Democrat until 2011 when he suddenly had a change of heart and became a Republican. At the time Marshall gave a stilted, scripted (albeit dispassionate) statement about why he suddenly wanted to be a Republican, but the truth is that he felt the wind shift and, like other elected officials at the time, he had no problem putting politics over principle.

In keeping with a legacy of backing wrong-headed policies and zealously embracing his own confirmation bias, Marshall recently released a letter announcing his steadfast opposition to medical marijuana. Interestingly, he declined an invitation from fellow Republican, AL State Senator Tim Melson, to participate in the Alabama Medical Cannabis Study Commission. Ironically, Melson had Marshall pegged when he said, “I reached out to him numerous times to talk about it and never heard back,” Melson said, according to Al.com, “I invited him to the meetings or to meet with me to discuss any headaches. I wanted to minimize the headaches on the AG just like I would on the DAs and law enforcement.” Melson went on to say, “He’s worried about it conflicting federal law. But it didn’t seem to bother him we passed an abortion bill last year that conflicted with federal law. We haven’t gotten a letter about that one.”

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Let’s be clear- Marshall didn’t care because he had already made up his mind. Not based on facts or evidence, but based solely on political expediency and based on his preconceived prejudices and election-oriented talking point ideas. He certainly wasn’t looking to be a fair arbiter – he was looking only at information that supported a decision he had made long ago because he knew that what was what his red-meat gnawing base expected of him.

Even conservative Republican AL Rep. Mike Ball was astounded, saying, “The thing that was so disappointing to me about Attorney General Marshall, and I don’t think — and I’ve always thought of him as a compassionate man — I think he has turned a deaf ear to the number of people that can be helped by it.”

Then, Marshall did it again. This time to show how he’s the Trumpiest Trumpster that ever Trumped a Trump. He was quoted in Yellowhammer News saying, “I also find it remarkable, as somebody who has stood before juries and judges, whose brought charging instruments against defendants, to now hear the House say that they are not prepared. And that they are not ready. What that simply shows is not that they are not prepared but that they have no case.”

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NO! Wrong, again. Steve Marshall. The second article of impeachment, if you care, or have them in your, oh, so busy schedule, to read it, outlines how the Trump Administration deliberately failed to honor subpoenas and turn over lawfully required documents to the U.S. House of Representatives. It was OBSTRUCTION by President Donald John Trump, not a lack of preparation. Your painfully partisan and delusional argument strikes at the very core of why you, AG Marshall, are demonstrably wrong and why zealous allegiance to Trumpism is a dangerous scourge to our democracy.

So, Attorney General Steve Marshall continues to show that he is all about pandering to his base, rather than putting real effort into fixing the problems that face Alabama. You’d think that his unwavering focus would be on fixing Alabama’s untenable, third-world prison situation or on viable, evidence-based criminal justice reform.

Nope.

Marshall is the poster child for what is wrong with the Republican party and why Alabama desperately needs a strong Democratic party. It’s time for folks like Marshall to open their eyes and see the truth that’s plainly before them. It’s long past time to put people and principle over personal political aspirations.

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Clete Wetli is former Chair of the Madison County Democrats and a liberal political activist.

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