I have been spending the better part of this evening reading Lee Stranahan's blog. It is, if I may quote the timeless Star Trek character Spock, fascinating.
If I am reading Stranahan correctly, the following sums up the majority of his posts.
Richard Mette was insufficiently punished for raping and beating foster children because Marty Jackley, either through an act of deliberate malice or witless incompetence, bungled the case. To cover this malfeasance, Jackley prosecuted Brandon Taliaferro, the attorney who began the Mette prosecution. Taliaferro was acquitted of all charges but remains too frightened of Jackley to defend Annette Bosworth on the perjury and fraud charges she faces.
Readers are seemingly asked to infer that Jackley's prosecution of Bosworth is somehow linked to the Mette case. The only person who can right all of these wrongs is Chad Haber, Bosworth's husband, who will run for attorney general despite not being an attorney. Once elected after a campaigning as a Libertarian, Haber will expose Jackley's corruption which has been abetted by a silent media including South Dakotas two most widely-read blogs. All of these outlets have spent the past six to eight months demeaning Bosworth to draw attention away from Jackley and Mette.
I will not belittle Stranahan by claiming that this is a plot for a Spanish television novela nor will I accuse him of aping Dan Brown. I won't accuse him of blatantly attempting to turn Haber into the protagonist Raymond Chandler believed realistic detective fiction demanded.
But all this (and Hammett too) is for me not quite enough. The realist in murder writes of a world in which gangsters can rule nations and almost rule cities, in which hotels and apartment houses and celebrated restaurants are owned by men who made their money out of brothels, in which a screen star can be the fingerman for a mob, and the nice man down the hall is a boss of the numbers racket; a world where a judge with a cellar full of bootleg liquor can send a man to jail for having a pint in his pocket, where the mayor of your town may have condoned murder as an instrument of moneymaking, where no man can walk down a dark street in safety because law and order are things we talk about but refrain from practising; a world where you may witness a hold-up in broad daylight and see who did it, but you will fade quickly back into the crowd rather than tell anyone, because the hold-up men may have friends with long guns, or the police may not like your testimony, and in any case the shyster for the defense will be allowed to abuse and vilify you in open court, before a jury of selected morons, without any but the most perfunctory interference from a political judge
It is not a very fragrant world, but it is the world you live in, and certain writers with tough minds and a cool spirit of detachment can make very interesting and even amusing patterns out of it. It is not funny that a man should be killed, but it is sometimes funny that he should be killed for so little, and that his death should be the coin of what we call civilization. All this still is not quite enough.
In everything that can be called art there is a quality of redemption. It may be pure tragedy, if it is high tragedy, and it may be pity and irony, and it may be the raucous laughter of the strong man. But down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. The detective in this kind of story must be such a man. He is the hero, he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world. I do not care much about his private life; he is neither a eunuch nor a satyr; I think he might seduce a duchess and I am quite sure he would not spoil a virgin; if he is a man of honor in one thing, he is that in all things. He is a relatively poor man, or he would not be a detective at all. He is a common man or he could not go among common people. He has a sense of character, or he would not know his job. He will take no man’s money dishonestly and no man’s insolence without a due and dispassionate revenge. He is a lonely man and his pride is that you will treat him as a proud man or be very sorry you ever saw him. He talks as the man of his age talks, that is, with rude wit, a lively sense of the grotesque, a disgust for sham, and a contempt for pettiness. The story is his adventure in search of a hidden truth, and it would be no adventure if it did not happen to a man fit for adventure. He has a range of awareness that startles you, but it belongs to him by right, because it belongs to the world he lives in.
If there were enough like him, I think the world would be a very safe place to live in, and yet not too dull to be worth living in.Reading Stranahan's blog does something more important than leaving a reader with the desire to compare the Bosworth/Haber story to fiction, It leaves one with a huge question that to the best of my knowledge has never been asked let alone satisfactorily answered. (I apologize if I missed this question or have forgotten reading it elsewhere.)
If Bosworth and Haber are people motivated to expose corruption and see justice finally done in the Mette case, why did Bosworth run for the United States Senate instead of South Dakota governor?
The campaign for U.S. Senate is a poor platform to discuss a single criminal case, no matter how horrific. In a campaign for governor, one could make administration of criminal justice a central element of the campaign.
More importantly, if Bosworth had won the Senate campaign, Washington DC is a terrible venue for investigating the office of South Dakota's attorney general. If she had won the gubernatorial race, she could have conducted the investigation from the the governor's office in Pierre. Win or lose, running for governor would have been allowed Bosworth and Haber to better expose their concerns about the Mette case. So why didn't she run for governor instead of the U.S. Senate?
Again, I apologize if others have asked this question and it's been answered. Just give me the link in the comments.