Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
March 24, 2005
POLITICS: Not This Again!

The Powerline guys are hot on the trail - maybe too hot, because this doesn't look like a slam dunk just yet, but they may have a point - of showing that a memo purportedly circulated by Senate Republicans touting the political advantages of the emergency legislation on the Terry Schiavo case is actually a hoax, maybe perpetrated by Democratic staffers. Of course, we shouldn't get carried away with the need to show this is a hoax. To any mature adult, after a little reflection, the memo's not that damaging - what, you think politicians don't care if something's a political issue? Grow up. (We elect people with known convictions so the convictions will act as a check on political opportunism, but we don't expect poiliticians to act in a vacuum as to the electoral consequences of their acts; precisely the contrary).

That said, it's certainly worth figuring out if the WaPo and other news outlets got hoaxed here, and by whom.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 12:31 AM | Politics 2005 | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

"I know there's a felt need for the Right to exercise the same determination to save the innocent as the Left does to save the guilty."

That would be the Left that based a huge part of its case against the war in Iraq on the presumption that many innocent Iraqis would die - as indeed many did. The Right - or pro-war Right anyway - countered that even more innocents would have died had Saddam been allowed to remain in power.

The point is not to say which side was correct - I happen to be of the Left - but rather to suggest we all get off our moral high horse.

You may say that the Left EFFECTIVELY saves the guilty, perhaps adding that this is done at the expense of the innocent - but that is very different from saying their core determination is to save those they perceive as guilty.

And it's not a very subtle distinction. At best, you have made a gross misreading of the opposition's motivation. Such an elemental error will likely not aid conservatism (or win converts to your side).

Still, it seems a great human failing to assume misanthropy of the other side. I think this applies greatly to the case of Terri Schiavo. It seems plain to me that both sides in this dispute - both at the actual family level and on the national debate level - believe their opinion on the matter is in the woman's best interests.

This isn't to say that one side or the other isn't actually wrong to hold their opinion, just that it's absurd to me to hear the "culture of death" label affixed to one side, or the other called cruel fetishists who can't let go of a loved one past the point of recovery or her probable wishes.

That said, I agree wholeheartedly with your take on "fair weather federalists." I would hope that if a case like Schiavo's appeared that had me (from the opposite point of view) contemplating an unconstitutional "DeLayus ex Machina" ... that I would be as true to my belief in the principle of the process as you, Baseball Crank, show yourself to be.

Posted by: Demogenes Aristophnes at March 24, 2005 8:35 AM

Well, I was talking specifically about the death penalty, not Iraq, although a related point could be made about international affairs.

Posted by: The Crank at March 24, 2005 10:27 AM

Well, with regards to the death penalty, many if not most opponents base their opposition on the protection of the innocent who are wrongly convicted.

Posted by: Demogenes Aristphnes at March 24, 2005 4:35 PM

"...innocent who are wrongly convicted"

Yup, and Bush showed no tendancy to "err on the side of life" in those cases.

I am a liberal who actually has no problem at all with the death penalty as a practice -- if I could be certain the person was guilty. Some of the cases Bush callously signed off on with Gonzales' Cliff Notes seem to have been textbook cases of unfair trials, incompetent public defenders, etc. If the state is going to go after the death penalty, in my opinion, the state has a responsibility to ensure the most complete and exhaustive trial possible. And there should be no doubt about the result. It would also cut down the appeals (theoretically?). Executing an innocent man should be looked upon as, as great a crime as the murder itself.

Posted by: Mr Furious at March 25, 2005 9:29 AM

Oh, and as far as the memo goes, just like the Rathergate memo, that someone feels the need the need to concoct evidence for what is plainly obvious is unfortunate.

The contents of the memo track closely with the speeches and statements by DeLay and others on the same day so it is certainly possible they are genuine. Even if not, the fact that someone could leak a false memo that is in fact accurate in its content speaks volumes about the position taken by (put themselves in?) the Republicans. Everything in the memo is accurate, the question is which desk it came from. Who cares?

DeLay says that if anyone on his staff wrote such a memo they'd be fired. My opinion? DeLay would fire them. Not for the content of the memo, but the fact that they put it in writing. Not to mention, he'd need to throw someone under the bus.

And after the lies that have passed his lips this week, nothing he says can be believed anyway.

Posted by: Mr Furious at March 25, 2005 9:41 AM
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