The nasty underbelly of politics is when a politician assumes power and then utilizes it to the degree that his political opponents are not just wrong but become criminals. Such a politician then uses anything in his considerable power to criminalize politics and lock up his enemies.

No, this is not a blog about the Chinese, who recently imprisoned people who had the audacity to protest the carefully staged Olympics of the communist regime. And we're not talking about Russian leader Vladimir Putin, who had tanks rolling into Georgia, slaughtering innocents along the way.

Instead, I'm focused on a two-bit Democrat county district attorney in Texas by the name of Ronnie Earle. Safe in the bastion of liberalism in Travis County, Texas (Austin), Ronnie Earle has lived a professional lifetime on the government dime, freely attacking those in his way and not afraid to use the law (or his interpretation of it) to criminalize his opponents. His record of personal puffery is pretty sad, but enough to inflict damage on those he despises or whom he needs to step on to obtain his own version of glory.

Earle once indicted and perversely pursued Lacresha Murray, an 11-year-old girl, whom he charged with capital murder. Once the national media turned the spotlight on his questionable — at best — tactics, Earle finally gave up on the so-called case. As is typical of his style, "months before her trial, against juvenile law and State Bar rules, D.A. Ronnie Earle announced her identity and pronounced her guilty in a televised news conference," according to the People of the Heart website, which has tracked the case in intimate detail. Despicable behavior.

Earle also famously indicted Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), dragging his feet for months and months until the trial judge forced him to proceed with the trial. Earle refused to move forward with a prosecution and the judge ultimately threw it out. Disgusting behavior by the prosecutor.

A few years ago Earle once again chose to criminalize politics and indicted then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas). One of the charges related to the election code was a law that didn't even exist. A judge threw it out. The other two substantial charges were just obliterated by a panel of judges this weekend in a separate but related case. DeLay's lawyer, Dick DeGuerin — who also served the same role for Hutchison — summed it up with this simple statement: "We win."

For the man, Ronnie Earle, who was once referred to as the Elmer Fudd of politics, this should end another sad saga of a sorry career. Earle is retiring in November.