Friday, May 11, 2007

Smart, Smart, Smart

The State Bar of Georgia is running excellent television ads, and I saw one tonight. This is a public relations campaign that rivals what physicians did in the run up to passing "tort reform." Here's what the Bar says about the media campaign, in their minutes, minutes that in refreshing openness are posted on line:

Media Information Plan: Cliff Brashier provided a report on the Media Information Plan approved by the Executive Committee on February 15, which is designed to effect a response by the State Bar to criticism that is serious as well as inaccurate or unjustified about the legal system, the role of judges, lawyers, juries or the role of the State Bars.

I'm married to a lawyer and some of my closest friends are lawyers, so I say this with love- never has there been a group that had a greater need for a public relations campaign. It's sad, and maybe not fair, but when a candidate's top negative is the simple fact that they are an attorney, the profession has a problem. This, of course, is not an accident.

The profession isn't perfect. Neither is mine. Neither is yours, but lawyers and the courts have been the target of a two or three decade-long attack by radical right wingers who wish to take over (politicize) the courts and vest power in the executive and legislative branches of government. In Georgia, other than the campaigns of Sears and Hunstein, this is the first coordinated effort I have seen to punch back. Good for the State Bar. Good job.

1 comment:

Tina said...

I can't see where ANY of the professions gain much when right-wingers are in charge. Remember that the physicians have yet to get the reduction in insurance premiums that they hoped for after "tort reform." Educators (although we are at the lower financial end of the professional pole) have not gained when right-wingers (basically anti-intellectual although they talk big about Education) are in charge. Lawyers and judges have been consistently demonized. The military establishment has been used for corporate gain. To understand politics as it exists under right-wingers, all one has to ask is "qui bono?" Who gains and who loses? Just follow the dollar and see whose pocket it ends up. One thing the right-winders do NOT understand is that "cultural capital" is necessary to lure "financial capital." A state (city, county) with a large body of educated people doing the things that educated people do (create, invent, teach, set ethical standards, and lend a hand to those less fortunate) is going to attract financial capital. This is not an idea of my own invention, I must say. But it is true that states and municipalities which have a lot of the "stuff" that makes life citilized -- good schools, parks, museums, recreational attractions, churches, health care, indigent care, good housing etc., is the very stuff upon which draws financial capital like a magnet.
The right wing tends to ignore "cultural capital" except when it serves their purposes politically, and that is why it is so poisonous.