John Krull

There’s a joke making the rounds.

It goes like this: If President Joe Biden said human beings needed to breathe to live, half the people in Texas would suffocate themselves just to spite him.

Because owning the libs is what it’s all about.

Here in Indiana, if something like that happened, almost all the voters Attorney General Todd Rokita is determinedly, zealously, fanatically pursuing would expire. (So, for that matter, would the reactionary know-nothing caucus in the Indiana House of Representatives.)

Rokita is something special.

I’m about to admit to a misjudgment. I had thought it was impossible to find an attorney general more ethically challenged and intellectually dishonest than Rokita’s predecessor, Curtis Hill.

Hill, you will remember, was sanctioned by the disciplinary commission and the state Supreme Court for groping a series of women without their consent at a party marking the end of a legislative session. He then compounded the problem by telling untruths and misusing the powers of his office to target the women and their champions.

For these offenses, Hill was stripped of his license to practice law for a month.

Despite this, he insisted he still was qualified to serve as attorney general and refused to resign.

When it comes to turpitude, Hill set the bar high.

I didn’t think there was any way Rokita could clear it.

I was wrong. I underestimated Rokita’s ravenous hunger for higher office.

The latest flap involving the ever-ambitious attorney general started with an interview he did with a TV station in South Bend.

WSBT’s Todd Connor asked Rokita how he could speak out against COVID-19 vaccinations when the numbers were soaring again.

“Well, you know, first of all, I don’t believe any numbers anymore,” Rokita responded. “And I’m sorry about that, but this has been politicized … This has been politicized since day one.”

He’s right about that.

The response to the coronavirus pandemic has been politicized from the very beginning.

By people such as Todd Rokita.

Their position has been that the laws of science somehow are subject to the democratic process. In effect, Rokita and others who think as he does argue that if we all go to the polls and enough of us vote that gravity doesn’t exist, we’ll all be able to fly without using airplanes or helicopters.

Actually, that’s not quite fair.

Rokita’s real position is that we don’t need to take a vote. Each individual gets to decide for himself or herself whether gravity exists and then impose that choice on everyone else.

So often, freedom, as they define it, comes at others’ expense.

But that’s the way it is when one is more interested in striking poses than blows. Because Rokita and his followers live in fact-free worlds, they never have to assume responsibility for their words or actions.

No matter how high the body count is.

The folks who actually do assume responsibility for governing, caring for people and honoring the oaths they have taken don’t have the luxury of ignoring reality.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb — like the attorney general, a Republican — hit back at Rokita hard.

“I will say that I was stunned and somewhat blindsided by the attorney general when he said he didn’t trust any information because that to me hit home,” the governor said during a press conference. “It’s quite serious when you accuse or insinuate anyone of inflating numbers. In my book, that’s called fraud.”

The leaders of the state’s overwhelmed hospitals also responded. Perhaps the most pointed rejoinder came from Dr. Daniel McCormick, president of Franciscan Health Crown Point.

“I can speak to our numbers and verify with PCR testing, and I welcome the attorney general, come and count them,” McCormick said. “They’re all here and we’re not making them up.”

Both Gov. Holcomb and the state’s hospital chiefs were saying the same thing to Rokita.

Put up or shut up.

Doubtless, Holcomb and Indiana’s overworked healthcare professionals are frustrated to the point of exhaustion, but they’re making a mistake with the attorney general similar to the one I made.

They’re assuming he can be shamed into behaving like a decent human being.

It can’t be done.

Todd Rokita has shown us that.

Again and again and again.

John Krull is director of Franklin College’s Pulliam School of Journalism and publisher of TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

Trending Video