What we’ll remember

It won’t be the protests – though Denver police somehow found it necessary to pepper-spray these dozens of clearly menacing protesters in downtown Denver tonight.

It won’t be Bill and Hillary Clinton’s speeches in coming nights — though regardless of who wins in November, I have every confidence we’ll be referring back to them along about 2011.

It certainly won’t be the staggering amount of corporate largesse that followed the Democrats to Denver — though we’d do well to remember it.

It won’t be Edward Kennedy’s appearance at the Pepsi Center tonight, even though his determination, and the crowd’s response, was enough to send chills down the spine of even a jaded old hack like me.

It won’t even be Michelle Obama’s speech tonight — though after that, the Republicans would be nuts to give Cindy McCain a speaking role in St. Paul.

Amidst all the usual (and not-so-usual) spectacles of a political convention, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture, and that’s especially true here in Denver. To get a reminder, it’s helpful to talk with folks.Specifically, to talk with African-Americans. (The Latina/Native American family I’m staying with is a helpful reminder, too, but it’s not quite the same.) While trudging along in the heat today, I made a point of chatting up African-Americans — from delegates to convention staff to street vendors selling buttons, and everyone in between. Young and old, affluent and hustling to get by, all of them spoke, looked, and acted with a vibe I’d put somewhere between euphoric and disbelieving.

I’d bet that some, even many, don’t agree with all of Barack Obama’s policies. (A few probably can’t even name any.) But they know all too well that we still live in a racist country. Pick any measure of health, infant mortality, education, income, or incarceration that you like: the barriers to individual achievement by non-whites in general, and African-Americans in particular, are still pretty steep in this country. (And note that we still routinely define mixed race folks by what they are not, namely, sufficiently white to pass.)

Ten, 20, 50, 100 years from now, Barack Obama’s nomination in Denver — and, should he win, his ascendency to the White House in November — are what we will remember. Even though it’s only one man, and most of our worst race problems in this country are institutional, it’s a moment whose symbolic importance cannot be overstated. It’s easy to ridicule Obama admirers (as both Clinton supporters and now McCain supporters have gleefully done) for the way in which Obama inspires many of his fans not by his policy pronouncements, but because of who he is — not just as a person of color, but as someone who (unlike either Hillary, the president’s wife, or McCain, the admiral’s son) got where he is solely on his own considerable merits.

That he has gotten so far is a legacy that will inspire kids — and not just African-American kids, but kids of all races — for generations to come. Sure, the haters and bigots (some more subtle than others) will color this election’s outcome. (Including the apparent plot, reported locally today, of four white supremacists to assassinate Obama Thursday night.) Others may not be racist themselves, but will attempt to use racist fears and stereotypes to cold political advantage. But Obama’s story simply makes them, and every other story coming out of Denver and St. Paul over the next two weeks, seem petty. Even though this country still has a long, long way to go on race, the distance we’ve come just in the last 50 years is phenomenal. There aren’t many clear markers of that progress: Montgomery, Selma, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, various cultural milestones. But this is one we’ll remember for many years to come. Enjoy the moment.

Comments

  1. 1

    michael spews:

    The Denver Post is saying:

    Riot police using pepper spray forced a couple of hundred protesters out of Civic Center and then blocked them before they could reach the 16th Street Mall.

    Police surrounded the protesters along 15th Street between Court Street and Cleveland Place and then moved up reinforcements, including at least two armored vehicles.

    But the accompanying photo looks like about two dozen surrounded folks to me and some of those look like journalist.

    Maybe these people were being processed afterwards?

  2. 3

    Dave spews:

    Don’t forget all the money John McCain has spent on comparing Barack Obama to Biblical heroes… And now he’s launched new ads praising Hillary Clinton as well (who is likely to be asked to a newly-created cabinet position in Obama’s administration). With both the Democrats and the Republican candidate singing praises for the new Obama presidency, let’s skip the RNC and advance directly to the Obama election.

  3. 4

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    Democrats can’t figure out why they are called unpatriotic.
      

    Just took a quick spin around the convention floor. We’re not saying the Democrats are unpatriotic or anything, but why do they need to have the Pledge of Allegiance on the Teleprompter?

      
      

    32 oz. lemonade is $5.50, and there’s not a beer for sale in the joint. Mayonnaise counts as a vegetable in the “Veggie wrap.”

      
    Mayonnaise is a vegetable… how raygunish of the democrats.

  4. 5

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    I thought obama was against corporations and the whole lobbyist thing, you know, CHANGE.
      
    Well there is nothing to change, obama is like the rest of them.
      

    While Obama’s campaign does not accept contributions from federal lobbyists and political action committees–and Obama bemoans on the campaign trail the influence corporations have over Congress– the Democratic convention here which will hand Obama the Democratic presidential nomination is being underwritten by a variety of corporate sponsors.
    The Illinois political community is immune to any example Obama is trying to set. Obama’s political warchests took donations from lobbyists and PACs until he launched his presidential bid and Obama’s change of heart had no ripple impact back home.

    Madigan invited all the Illinois delegates to the Obama reception; it is not known if Obama will attend. Even so, it would seem embarrassing for Obama to be feted at a party paid for by companies whose fortunes could depend on a government action.

    As at past Democratic conventions, Illinois corporate and labor interests pay for a variety of Illinois delegation events. Madigan set aside some hard to get hotel rooms from his allotment for his sponsors.

    The sponsors listed on the Madigan invitation specifically for Obama are State Farm Insurance; Pepsi; ComEd; Novartis and Midwest Generation. Gov. Blagojevich’s reception for Illinois Veterans Affairs Director Tammy Duckworth is underwritten by MillerCoors.

  5. 6

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    Clinton Advisers Skipping Obama Speech
    A number of Sen. Hillary Clinton’s top advisers will not be staying in Denver long enough to hear Barack Obama accept the nomination for president, according to sources familiar with their schedules.

      
    Like, what do they have to do that’s more pressing than the so-called biggest party of their year?
      
    The obvious lack of party unity is going to rip the party apart.

  6. 8

    jsa on beacon hill spews:

    Hey Marvin,

    I could pick on any of the trolls here, but you’re around, and are being pretty noxious, so you’re up.

    I know what you’re against, but what are you for, and for what reason?

    We’ve spent 7.5 years cutting taxes, cutting regulation, increasing Federal power, and developing a more muscular, more unilateral foreign policy.

    The reward for this is a declining dollar, locked up capital markets, rising deficits, and an anemic stock market.

    “Identity” conservatism is frankly starting to look a lot like Communism did, where diehard Marxists ran around saying “Oh, it’s a perfect system. It just hasn’t been implemented correctly!”

    Please explain to me the part where it starts getting really good. I’m sure four more years of this will set everything straight.

  7. 9

    spews:

    I’m not surprised he’s made it this far. I’ve always thought racism was overstated. Does it exist? Yeah. But not to the level blacks would have us believe. The fact is, racism isn’t holding blacks back, they’re holding themselves back, then blaming it on racism.

    Some think an Obama Presidency would greatly increase black crime, believing they have a get out of a jail free card with a brother in the highest office. I disagree. I do not think blacks will go on a four crime spree if Obama’s elected.

  8. 10

    spews:

    I’ve heard rumors that Obama’s first act as president will be to enact reparations. Some have discussed a yearly payment $350,000 for every living black person in America. I’ve also heard that he will grant citizenship to any and all undocumented immigrants, and – again – grant reparations to them for “the targeted and systematic racism they have endured in their quest to better their lives.” But I disagree. I don’t think we should give reparations to illegal aliens.

  9. 11

    K spews:

    I’ve heard rumors McCain was brainwashed as a POW and will make reparations to Vietnam. My rumors have as much basis as trolls.

  10. 12

    Me Steve too, Seattlejew spews:

    Geov

    Why be so dyspetic? Has any other nation moved this far? Obamism offers a new way forward, building on our suxxessed rather than bemoanng our failures.
    st.

  11. 13

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    Considering the right wing, bible-thumpin, KKK card carrying, Confederate-Flag wavin’, Nascar-lovin, inbred, right-wing, so-called Christian republicans are out to lynch blacks – it’s no surprise that the FBI is already rounding up idiots who want to get President Obama. Hopefully we’ll catch all of them in time. Just hang out at “GOP” headquarters and start arresting republicans. By their nature they are racists.

  12. 14

    csj spews:

    The three polls that have been taken SINCE the convention begin have Obama McCain in a dead heat:

    Rasmussen Tracking 3000 LV 46 46

    CNN 909 RV 47 47

    Gallup Tracking 2644 RV 45 45

    http://www.realclearpolitics.c.....a-225.html

    Writes Rasmussen:

    “Obama’s support has declined in each of the last three individual nights of polling. This may be either statistical noise or a reaction to the selection of Biden. If it’s the latter, it probably has less to do with Biden than Hillary Clinton. Forty-seven percent (47%) of Democratic women say Clinton should have been picked and 21% of them say they’ll vote for McCain.

    “McCain is viewed favorably by 57% of the nation’s voters, Obama by 53% (see trends). Clinton is viewed favorably by 47%.”

  13. 15

    kirk91 spews:

    If there was a plan to give every black person in American 350k, it would be far better for the economy than giving rich folks 350k off their taxes when they buy yachts, another house, or sell stock.

  14. 16

    spews:

    @14
    Since what convention? It started yesterday. The first polls since the convention won’t come out until tomorrow, and even then, any convention bump likely wouldn’t be seen until the weekend anyway.

  15. 18

    csj spews:

    Since what convention? It started yesterday. The first polls since the convention won’t come out until tomorrow

    ok, I overreached! True for Gallup, CNN, RAM is for day before (Monday), so less clear what’s being captured. We’ll revisit tomorrow after the speeches today, particularly Clinton’s.

  16. 19

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Our worst racism problems in this country are caused by individuals. And if Obama loses because of voters who won’t admit they’re racist, but vote against him because of his race, they will deserve what they get — more warmongering, more torture, more Nazism, more economic fascism, more corporation socialism, more anti-worker and anti-consumer policies, more dismantling of the middle class, more looting of the poor by the rich.

  17. 20

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    No Democratic convention is complete without a police riot. And if the cops can’t find any demonstrators to beat up, they’ll carry out their demonstration on innocent bystanders. Count on it.

  18. 21

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @4 I’ve never understood how folks who refuse to fight, but freely conjure up wars they make others fight in, manage to consider themselves — and nobody else — “patriotic.” Maybe you can explain that, Marvin? On seond thought, maybe you’d better not …

  19. 22

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    A Republican considering himself “patriotic” is like Ted Bundy organizing a Block Watch.

  20. 23

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @9 “I’ve always thought racism was overstated. Does it exist? Yeah. But not to the level blacks would have us believe.”

    You’re absolutely right, those WHITE SUPREMACISTS were gonna kill Obama because he wants them to have health care, not because of his race! Sheesh.

  21. 24

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone that November 4, 2008, we’ll still need a Republican Party to warehouse bigots, liars, fools, and felons in.

  22. 25

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    Rasmussen is a republican mouthpiece so his polls are utterly worthless. The rest of the polls being quoted here do not include any polling since the convention started.

    Oh yeah – the only poll that matters is the one where we get to vote for real.

  23. 26

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Judge Spearman Dismisses Charges Against Balogh

    Judge Mariane Spearman dismissed charges against Jane Balogh for registering her dog to vote yesterday after Balogh fulfilled the terms of her plea deal with prosecutors by paying $240 in fines and completing 10 hours of community service at a Tacoma rescue mission. Balogh’s scrape with the law also cost her $1,000 in attorney fees.

    It’s not enough. This woman committed election fraud in order to prove that it’s easy for a perjurer like her to commit election fraud. What a dufus.

    “I’m a nobody. I’m just a plain old lady who loves her country and nobody is responding,” Balogh said. “What does it take to get somebody to listen?”

    (quoted under fair use)

    What bullshit! People who love their country don’t intentionally break its laws to make a point about lawbreaking! You’re a fucking felon, lady! And a hypocrite! And a liar!

    You see, our election system is based on an honor system of people telling the truth when they register to vote. The reason it’s set up that way is because (a) it’s way more expensive to check up on everyone and (b) very few people cheat, so checking up on everyone isn’t really necessary.

    What Balogh did is equivalent to lobbying for more cops by going around shooting people and throwing bricks through windows.

    And this criminal wants sympathy for her actions? Not!!! She’s an idiot and a perjurer, but above all she’s a felon!!! Just because Republican Prosecutor Dan Satterberg* refused to prosecute a Republican election cheater doesn’t make her offense a misdemeanor. On our state’s law books, what she did is a felony!

    * And just because Satterberg wants to deceive voters into believing he’s non-partisan doesn’t make him anything other than a Republican who protects other Republicans who commit crimes!

  24. 27

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The “Minuteman Civil Defense Corps” has begun collecting signatures for Initiative 409 which would prohibit illegal immigrants from getting driver licenses, deny them public benefits, and require employers verify that every new hire is legally entitled to work in the U.S.

    I’ve got a question: If this thing passes, what do you think the odds are that our non-partisan prosecutor will actually throw any Republican employers in jail for hiring undocumented aliens?

    Maybe the best way to answer that is to count how many cheap labor conservatives Satterberg has prosecuted for paying immigrants less than the state’s legal minimum wage — or not paying them at all.

  25. 28

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    19. Roger Rabbit spews:
    Our worst racism problems in this country are caused by individuals. And if Obama loses because of voters who won’t admit they’re racist, but vote against him because of his race, they will deserve what they get

      
    Imagine if republican Michael Steele was running instead of mcsame and it was biden instead of obama.
      
    Would you vote for steele?
      
    Not a chance in hell you would. Of course us trolls would call you a racist, but the truth is you wouldn’t vote for him because of his political party identification.
      
    You insinuating that people that don’t vote for obama are racists is pure crap. He’s liberal, why would conservatives vote for him.

  26. 29

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    According to statements made by most of the right wing radio talk show hosts during the “GOP” primary, McSame is a liberal – why would conservatives vote for HIM?

  27. 30

    spews:

    @26…RR…

    “What b*******! People who love their country don’t intentionally break its laws to make a point about lawbreaking!”

    M.L. King, Jr. routinely broke laws to make a point about them.

    Again, Rabbit skews history and exposes his total unobjective bias. He stands condemned out of his own mouth as nothing more than a propogandist, ideological partisan, and complete fraud.

    Since he has now repudiated much of the Civil Rights Movement, can we then call him a Jim Crow reactionary?

    Of course, at a minimum we can dismiss his comments about The Minutemen since he criticizes them for calling for adherance to the law while at the same time criticizing Attorney General Rob McKenna for not vigorously prosecuting employers who hire illegals, something he fails to provide a statutory authority for McKenna being able to do.

    Typical of Rabbit to be so stridently one-sided.

    This does beg the question, however, as to his attitude towards those who are in the US as a result of their “intentionally breaking its laws.” Does he favor a wholesale rounding up of all illegals followed by mass deportation?

    Is he the one wanting to lead the charge for midnight raids and knocks on the door? After all, the law-abiding Rabbit – that paragon of jurisprudential virtue who decries all scofflaws and condemns them to perdition where there is everlasting pain and torment – must unquestionably be consistent in his demand for strict compliance with all the nation’s laws.

    Or is he simply a rhetorical turd in the punchbowl who blathers just to hear himself blather?

    You choose…

    The Piper

  28. 31

    Daddy Love spews:

    Here’s one for the books:

    “As a Republican, I stand before you with deep respect for the history and traditions of my political party. But it is clear to all Americans that something is out of kilter in our great republic…. Seldom has the case for an inspiring new political ethic been more compelling. And seldom has an emerging leader so matched the needs of the moment…. I stand before you proud of my party’s contributions to American history but, as a citizen, proud as well of the good judgment of good people in this good party, in nominating a transcending candidate, an individual whom I am convinced will recapture the American dream and be a truly great president: the senator from Abraham Lincoln’s state — Barack Obama…. This is not a time for politics as usual…. Obama will recapture the American dream and be a truly great president.”

    That was former Rep. Jim Leach of Iowa, a respected, long-time Republican lawmaker who not only endorsed Barack Obama, but appeared at the Democratic convention last night to urge others to follow his lead. He’s a credible, serious guy, who was part of the House Republican caucus for decades.

    So why won’t this be the talk of the news for days?

  29. 32

    YLB spews:

    Ooops, here’s something Captain America the Pooper will appreciate:

    Maggie’s gone potty.

    http://tinyurl.com/5jy9eu

    In 2000 (!), Thatcher was showing signs of dementia at 75.

    And these wingnuts want to vote for a 72 year old with a short fuse to follow in the footsteps of Ronnie Raygun and Maggie Thatcher?

    It’s too sick!

  30. 35

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @31 “So why won’t this be the talk of the news for days?”

    Because the rightwing-biased media doesn’t want swing voters to know that respected, serious Republican leaders are spurning their own afflicted party and endorsing Obama.

  31. 36

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The Question Republicans Don’t Want To Hear

    ARE YOU BETTER OFF THAN YOU WERE 8 YEARS AGO?!

  32. 37

    Daddy Love spews:

    14 csj

    NONE of those polls were taken since the beginning of the convention. Didn’t your mama teach you not to lie? Wouldn’t she be proud of you now…

  33. 38

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The Question Republicans Don’t Want To Hear

    ARE YOU BETTER OFF THAN YOU WERE 8 YEARS AGO?!!

  34. 39

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    Something I’m going to remember was when obama was on the screen and said he was in st louis. Being a little girl and not some “thrill up my leg” follower of obama asked her dad where he was. The second time he got it right that he was in kansas city.
      
    Priceless for the gop.
      
    A commercial of obama’s daughter having to correct dad.
      
    Is he ready to lead if even his daughter has to correct him.

  35. 40

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @34 “Name one person.”

    Well … Troll, of course. Which isn’t very surprising. He has a lot of other wacky ideas, too.

  36. 41

    Daddy Love spews:

    30 PS

    Actually, Piper, MLK did his time. He didn’t plea bargain down to a fine. That’s what civil disobedience is about, is paying the price for one’s disobedience, and gladly. Jane Balogh is a typical Republican coward.

  37. 42

    tpn spews:

    I see the red and black donuts were, as expected, stale. Maybe in St. Paul…

    Politically, we have a shot at being ten years behind South Africa.

  38. 44

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    @42 AGAIN not including any convention polling and whether or not it’s been discussed – I’ll continue to remind folks of the facts. Get used to it.

  39. 46

    Constitutionalist spews:

    @19 Roger Rabbit

    And if Obama loses because of voters who won’t admit they’re racist, but vote against him because of his race. . .

    How is this any different than people voting FOR Obama BECAUSE of his race???

    You don’t think 90% percent of a certain race voting for a candidate involves a great measure of this?

    If 90% of whites voted for McCain you’d call them racist. If 90% of blacks vote for Obama its because they want change.

    This is why you guys have zero credibility.

  40. 47

    cjs spews:

    @42 AGAIN not including any convention polling and whether or not it’s been discussed – I’ll continue to remind folks of the facts. Get used to it.

    Actually, like the RAM poll, that’s not clear. It includes Monday. In any event, I agree (again!), these need a few days.

  41. 48

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @30 Piper, there is no parallel between Martin Luther King Jr. and Jane Balogh. She is not in his league. Trust me on this. Really.

  42. 49

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @30 (continued) It appears that Piper has finally figured out that I’m a Democratic party hack and liberal propagandist.

  43. 50

    Daddy Love spews:

    45 C

    The numbers of Latinos polling for each candidate break down to about 85% for Obama and 12% for McCain. That’s clearly not because they think Obama is Latino, but because they realize that McCain and the Republicans pursue political policies that are antithetical to their interests. Personally, I give black people credit for possessing the same amount of intelligence. You apparently do not.

    However, many black people feel pretty damn good about the first black man in history who is a major-party candidate for president. If they want to vote for him JUST to put a black man into the presidency, I can surely understand why some might feel that way.

    But white folks have had ALL of the presidents thus far. If they vote for McCain because of his race, it won’t be to put a white man in office, it will be to keep a black man OUT.

    That’s why it’s racist. Get it yet?

  44. 51

    Blue John spews:

    But white folks have had ALL of the presidents thus far. If they vote for McCain because of his race, it won’t be to put a white man in office, it will be to keep a black man OUT.

    Daddy Love, Nice summation.

  45. 52

    Daddy Love spews:

    42 cjs

    Dude, Obama annnounced his VP pick on Saturday morning at 3 am ET. Are you silly enough to expect a “Biden bounce” right now?

  46. 53

    rhp6033 spews:

    Piper @ 30: Your comparison of Jane Blaouh illegally registering her dog to vote with Marting Luther King practicing civil disobedience lacks an essential element: an unjust law.

    Jane Blaugh intentionally violated a just law just to prove that she could do it (even if she didn’t get away with it). The law itself wasn’t unjust, and the law itself went to the heart of our democracy: the exercise of the right to vote. I think she got off too early, I know people who were convicted and imprisoned for felonies who committed lesser crimes.

    Martin Luther King advocated and practiced civil disobedience to unjust laws. He led the fight against the unjust segregation laws in the South, and in the process also ignored the unjust application of the parade permit laws which were applied in a manner to deny black citizens their right to protest and petition their government for change.

    Civil disobedience in a society which recognizes the rule of law is something which needs to be applied rarely and only with overwhelming justification. The wrong to be remedied must be considerably greater than the crime being committed. Jane Balough (and her dog) don’t qualify.

    Finally, note that Martin Luther King was prepared to pay the consequences for civil disobedience, and he did pay it by spending time in jail. That is a pretty fair measure of the importance of the wrong to be remedied when compared with the impact of the violation of the law. Jane Balough, on the other hand, wanted to avoid any consequences for her actions.

  47. 54

    cjs spews:

    Dude, Obama annnounced his VP pick on Saturday morning at 3 am ET. Are you silly enough to expect a “Biden bounce” right now?

    ————

    I think that question should go to Gallup:

    “It’s official: Barack Obama has received no bounce in voter support out of his selection of Sen. Joe Biden to be his vice presidential running mate.”

    I simply passed the data on. My personal view is the impact of Biden requires much more time.

  48. 55

    rhp6033 spews:

    “Kenzie said she wanted to leave but police had surrounded the group and there was no way out.”

    Sounds like the Denver Police had their shiny new riot shields, and wanted to try out their tear gas and pepper spray while they had an opportunity to do so. They might have been afraid that this would be their only opportunity, as the protests appeared to be pretty insignificant.

  49. 56

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @45 “How is this any different than people voting FOR Obama BECAUSE of his race???”

    For one thing, because those people’s interests are aligned with Obama’s policies, and they have no reason to vote for Obama’s opponent, nor would doing so make any sense for them.

    “You don’t think 90% percent of a certain race voting for a candidate involves a great measure of this?”

    No, because 90% of that “certain race” has consistently voted for Democratic white male candidates, which indicates it’s the policies, not skin color, that determines how they vote.

    I mean, really, why would voters of that “certain race” vote for the party that has consistently been against civil rights, affirmative action, and programs that help the poor? If you’re forced to feed your kids with food stamps because you can’t get a good education or a good job because of racial discrimination, why would you vote for the party that’s against food stamps?

    “If 90% of whites voted for McCain you’d call them racist. If 90% of blacks vote for Obama its because they want change.”

    If 90% of whites voted for McCain, racism would be the only possible explanation, because McCain’s policies will benefit only 1% of the population.

    “This is why you guys have zero credibility.”

    I agree that our credibility is zero with wingnuts, constitutionalists, white supremacists, Nazis, and rich white guys who enjoy freeloading at the public trough. But why should we give a shit what that bunch thinks of us?

  50. 57

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @49 “But white folks have had ALL of the presidents thus far.”

    Not exactly. It would be more accurate to say that “white males” have had ALL of the presidents thus far, and rich white male elitists have had most of them.

  51. 58

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @52 Did you really expect anything different from a guy who runs around in a skirt playing bagpipes? I’ll bet he doesn’t wear anything underneath the skirt, too! Not that anyone would want to look at what he’s got! The moles puke when he goes by.

  52. 59

    Constitutionalist spews:

    @49
    Democrats are promising programs (handouts) to the Latinos, who do you think the Latinos are going to vote for? This is how socialism works.

    The racism in your post is astounding. You see nothing wrong with blacks voting for Obama, but you call whites voting in large percentage for McCain racist.

    This is apalling.

  53. 60

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    48. Roger Rabbit spews:
    @30 (continued) It appears that Piper has finally figured out that I’m a Democratic party hack and liberal propagandist.

      
    They say the first step to getting help is admitting you have a problem.
      
    Kudos for taking the step.

  54. 61

    Constitutionalist spews:

    @55 Roger Rabbit

    “people’s interests aligned with Obama’s policies”

    No, don’t avoid the question. The question has to do with people voting for Obama BECAUSE of his race, not his policies. There are plenty of people (even black Republicans) who are considering voting for Obama purely on the basis that we would have a “black president.”

    Re: affirmative action

    This is a blatant case of racism. This program, in many cases, will not hire persons UNLESS they are of a certain color. This program says that if you do not get good enough grades we will give you a boost. If you’re white, and you miss entry into university by a few points, too bad. What good is AA if the person is not qualified to do the work? This encouranges the problems that we have today.

    Re: programs for the poor

    You mean welfare? You mean stealing from one individual in order to give to another who did not earn it? What is it about legal plunder that excites you? It is not the responsibility of the government to institute programs for poor people, rich people, or any other people. What is the responsibility of our government RR?

    I’m glad you at least affirm disdain for the Constitution, of course most Conservatives realizes that many Dems had no use for it.

  55. 62

    Blue John spews:

    Why should’nt blacks vote for the black guy who is a Democrat?
    As a gay man, I wouldn’t vote for a hard core log cabin gay republican for prez, just to say I had helped put a gay man into office. It wouldn’t be in my economic or social self interest to vote republican.
    Republicans only help the top 2% and want to force the moral standards of the christian Taliban on everyone.
    I’m not voting for John “Noun, Verb, I was a POW” McCain.
    I’m voting for Obama.

  56. 63

    Daddy Love spews:

    56 RR

    It’s not less accurate to note that they have all been white. It is less specific.

  57. 64

    Constitutionalist spews:

    @61
    “Republicans only help the top 2%. . .”

    Kinda hard to believe given how MANY people vote Republican. . .

    So far as the idea that Republicans want to “force the moral standards of the christian Taliban on everyone,” Republicans are trying to UPHOLD moral standards that we have had for a long time. It is the policies of the progressive Democrats that have led to the moral failures in our society. A society without moral standards is doomed to failure.

  58. 65

    Blue John spews:

    High moral standards are working so well in Afghanistan and Iran. Please move there.
    I think you are confusing moral standards, tied a region, to ethical standards, tied to every one treats everyone fairly.
    It seems, the more morally tolerant, while still having high ethical standards, the country, the better off it is for the entire populace. Not just the top 2%, everyone.
    Name me a couple of christian countries with a high set of moral standards?

  59. 66

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    Republican morals?

    Larry Craig
    Ted Haggard
    Mark Foley

    PLEEEEEASE!

    The moral majority is neither!

  60. 67

    spews:

    @47…RR…

    I didn’t compare Jane Balogh to M.L. King, Jr.

    What I did was ask you whether your strident, lynch-mob-like condemnation of Jane Balogh held equal application to the civil disobedience tactic of Dr. King, a question to which you have yet to provide an answer.

    As to your acknowledgment that you are a hack – you’ve said it many times, that’s true – it’s simply proof is in the pudding testimony that to you ideology trumps truth every time.

    Yours is a POV that cannot, by definition, be considered credible since you confess to being essentially willing to say anything without regard to its truthfulness or its falsity just so long as it toes the party line.

    In other words, you’re a rodent equivalent of Pravda.

    That’s all…

    The Piper

  61. 69

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    Right wingers love welfare as long as it is corporate welfare.

    Bear Sterns
    Fanny Mac
    etc

    You gotta love those right wing hypocrites!

  62. 70

    W. Klingon Skousen spews:

    re 63: Which Democrat in a high legal position referred to the Constitution as a ‘quaint document’?

  63. 71

    W. Klingon Skousen spews:

    re 68: Corporations should plead for help from their churches. It’s not the governments responsibility to prop up failing legal person/businesses.

  64. 72

    W. Klingon Skousen spews:

    re 66: Jane Balogh’s actions were a mere stunt meant to put media attention on a voting problem that doesn’t exist. MLK’s actions were meant to highlight real human abuses, not the imaginary BS Ms. Balogh’s actions were meant to highlight.

    Give me some statistics.

  65. 73

    Blue John spews:

    Republicans are trying to UPHOLD moral standards that we have had for a long time.

    Which moral standards are those? No gay marriage. That’s a given. How about going back to banning interracial marriages? How about going back to banning inter faith marriages? the moral standards that a women’s only job is to stay home and raise the kids? The moral standards that want to make birth control illegal? The moral standards where you have the right and duty to drive out non believers from your community? The moral standards that lead to Poor Houses?

    Who’s Moral standards?
    Christian Moral Standards?
    Islamic Moral Standards?
    Scientology Moral Standards?

    But back to the election. I’m voting for Obama over McCain. I’m white. Am I being a traitor to my race? How stupid is the question. I’m voting for him, cause I think he’s best for myself and best for the nation, even the conservatives in the nation.

  66. 75

    W. Klingon Skousen spews:

    re 66: Republicans are concerned about voter registration not because of a devotion to the law, but because Republicans are LOSING registered voters everywhere. If the majority of new voters were registering Republican, would Jane Balogh and her ilk be pulling their tawdry publicity stunts?

    I think not.

    http://www.bluegrassreport.org.....bers-.html

  67. 76

    W. Klingon Skousen spews:

    re 66: Republicans are concerned about voter registration not because of a devotion to the law, but because Republicans are LOSING registered voters everywhere. If the majority of new voters were registering Republican, would Jane Balogh and her ilk be pulling their tawdry publicity stunts?

    I think not….

  68. 79

    SeattleJew spews:

    @60 Constitutionalist

    Constitutionalist spews:

    @55 Roger Rabbit

    No, don’t avoid the question. The question has to do with people voting for Obama BECAUSE of his race, not his policies. There are plenty of people (even black Republicans) who are considering voting for Obama purely on the basis that we would have a “black president.”

    so? How many evangelicals voted for (evangelical) Bush? Don’t you think McC wants folks to vote for him because he is a vet?

    (affirmative action) is a blatant case of racism. This program, in many cases, will not hire persons UNLESS they are of a certain color. This program says that if you do not get good enough grades we will give you a boost. If you’re white, and you miss entry into university by a few points, too bad. What good is AA if the person is not qualified to do the work? This encouranges the problems that we have today.

    I do not support the kind of AA you you describe , nor does BHO. What you are describing is a quota system and by and large those are either illegal or discouraged now.

    welfare? You mean stealing from one individual in order to give to another who did not earn it? What is it about legal plunder that excites you? It is not the responsibility of the government to institute programs for poor people, rich people, or any other people. What is the responsibility of our government RR?

    Hmmmm. Since when is our system based on “to each according to how hard they work?” and “inheritance determines opportunity?”

    The central tenet of Jefferson was that all Americans should have equal opportunity for success. He was especially opposed ot hereditary wealth and privildge.

    Furthermore, who benefits the most from the American tax system? To the best of my knowledge the largest parts of our taxes go to things that protect wealth … the police, the prisons, the military. Isn’t it kind of fair for thems what has the most to protect to pay the most for this protection?

    Do you really think we should bias our system towards earned wealth? Does that you also want to abolish inheritance and abolish subsidies that provide differential advantages to rich folks’ children?

    I’m glad you at least affirm disdain for the Constitution, of course most Conservatives realizes that many Dems had no use for it.

    Really ?????

    Lets see …. the Civil Rights Movement was led by which party?

    Which party want to overturn the freedom form religion?

    Which party supports sus[pension of habeus corpus?

    ..should I create a quiz for you?

  69. 80

    Don Joe spews:

    Piper @ 30

    “What b*******! People who love their country don’t intentionally break its laws to make a point about lawbreaking!”

    M.L. King, Jr. routinely broke laws to make a point about them.

    Well, Dr. King used civil disobedience to protest laws that he believed were unjust. Are you saying that Jane Balogh registered her dog to vote because she believes it unjust for the government to require people to register in order to vote?

  70. 81

    Daddy Love spews:

    77 SJ

    My best guess is that Constitutionalist believes that if you obtain a position through affrimative action then you are BY DEFINITION not qualified.

  71. 82

    Daddy Love spews:

    60 C

    What is the responsibility of our government?

    To “…form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…”

  72. 83

    Don Joe spews:

    Piper @ 66

    I didn’t compare Jane Balogh to M.L. King, Jr.

    What I did was ask you whether your strident, lynch-mob-like condemnation of Jane Balogh held equal application to the civil disobedience tactic of Dr. King, a question to which you have yet to provide an answer.

    Except that your question is meaningless unless you can find a way to equate Jane Belogh’s behavior with Dr. King’s behavior. If you can’t equate the two, then stridently condemning the former while praising the latter is a logically consistent stance.

    You can’t use your own incoherent question as a means of claiming that someone else has an incoherent stance. All you’re doing is revealing your own incoherent thinking.

  73. 84

    Daddy Love spews:

    A majority of Americans

    – Want universal health care.
    – Want to expand environmental protections.
    – Support increasing the minimum wage.
    – Want abortion to remain safe and legal.
    – Want federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.
    – Want to raise taxes on the wealthy to pay for national priorities.
    – Want same-sex couples to be legally recognized.
    – Oppose the Iraq war.

    The ones who don’t arew called Republicans, a vanishing minority.

  74. 85

    Bdit spews:

    Except that your question is meaningless unless you can find a way to equate Jane Belogh’s behavior with Dr. King’s behavior. If you can’t equate the two, then stridently condemning the former while praising the latter is a logically consistent stance.

    You can’t use your own incoherent question as a means of claiming that someone else has an incoherent stance. All you’re doing is revealing your own incoherent thinking.

    ok, thanks for clarifying . . . .

  75. 86

    Blue John spews:

    What Jane Balogh did was the equivalent to spitting into the 2% at Starbucks as a way drawing attention to the fact that the milk was not protected from spitters.

    It was not even civil disobedience, dogs are not a repressed part of human society.

    Now if has been 1810 and Miss Balogh had registered her slave to vote as a form of civil disobedience, then we got something. Come to think of it, it’s 1810, what was she doing, not staying home? Why wasn’t she under the bidding of her husband? No wonder the conservatives long for those times again.

  76. 87

    I-Burn spews:

    @82

    You do understand that what “the majority of Americans want” is largely irrelevant?

    The Constitution is in place to protect everyone against a tyranny of the majority. So even if you and the majority, want all of those things, they aren’t going to happen if they infringe on the rights of the minority that are opposed.

  77. 88

    Steve spews:

    @63 “Republicans are trying to UPHOLD moral standards that we have had for a long time.”

    Good Lord. I guess Republicans must have been fucking goats for a very long time. I had no idea.

  78. 89

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    Hey the bitch iBurn shows up – great. Now about protecting the people – how about how the acts of a fiew cowards on the right invading Iraq using other people’s kids to fight a war for oil? Shouldn’t we protect against that? Of course as someone who didn’t serve his country you wouldn’t know about that would you bitch?

    Come on I am not done with you. Jump through my hoop and respond. Do it. Jump!

  79. 90

    Blue John spews:

    @85 Closer to home….

    The Constitution is in place to protect everyone against a tyranny of the majority.

    Ok. So you are in favor of using the protection spirit of constitution to grant same-sex couples to be legally recognized, cause the majority should not be a tyranny on a minority.

  80. 92

    Steve spews:

    @26 Good grief! That woman is loony beyond words. No wonder her posts here are so pathetic.

  81. 93

    I-Burn spews:

    @87

    As someone who didn’t serve their country, what would you know about it?

    The Constitution is what it is. If you don’t like it, try to get it changed. Good luck with that.

    In the meantime, go play soccer on I-5.

  82. 94

    spews:

    @85
    I-Burn, how exactly are any of the things listed by Daddy Love “tyranny of the majority”?

    Of all the things mentioned, only “Want to expand environmental protections” is even a potential concern for leading to such a situation.

    Let’s take universal health care. Our health care system is a system of doctors, nurses, hospitals, research centers, specialized clinics, health insurance companies, pharmacies, and the pharmaceutical industry that people depend on for their health. Much of it run by private corporations. The rest of it is run by government assistance. But in the modern age, there has to be a system to coordinate such a massive public need, even if private corporations remain the administrators within the system.

    There are numerous laws that govern how the system should run. Recently, however, the system has started to get much more expensive to health care consumers (very much so in the past 15 years). There are some people who believe that the system should be changed so that individuals are not frozen out of health care because of the cost of treating them. There are other people who believe that the system will function better if left alone to market forces.

    That’s a very loose description of the debate, but I think you agree that it falls along those lines. Where your logic breaks down is that you believe the if the former side (those who want some form of universal health care) wins, that that will be an imposition of morality on those who want the free market to dictate cost and availability of health care. But that’s no more an imposition of morality than if those who want the free market to dictate cost and availability win.

    When you’re dealing with systems and how they should function, there are always going to be a variety of opinions on how those systems should function. Whatever is decided should be decided democratically. For you to say that universal health care is tyranny of the majority is no different than someone who wants universal health care saying that the current system is one. There’s no one opinion on how a system should function that’s decreed by the Constitution to be the one that protects people’s rights in the way there is for basic human freedoms like freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Those things are where the “tyranny of the majority” is relevant, not in health care.

  83. 95

    I-Burn spews:

    @88

    Frankly, who you want to marry isn’t mine, or anyone else’s business. I don’t believe in using the government to enforce anyone’s morality. Conversely, I also don’t believe that you should have “special protections” just because you’re a sexual minority.

  84. 97

    Blue John spews:

    What special protections are you talking about? Sounds like a code word/hot button issue.

  85. 98

    I-Burn spews:

    @92

    Lee, I totally understand what you’re saying. It gets tough with issues like that, because is it the states business to provide healthcare for individuals? That’s simplistic, I know. My name isn’t Solomon, so I have no idea on how to resolve the dilemma. I just know that no matter how it is resolved, someone is going to be unhappy.

  86. 99

    I-Burn spews:

    @95

    I think you know what I’m talking about. But, okay, explicitly I’m referring to so-called “hate crimes” legislation. If everyone is equal in the eyes of the law, then enacting laws of that nature is discriminatory.

  87. 100

    W. Klingon Skousen spews:

    re 96: All I want is the same plan congress provides to itself. I don’t see any conservative Republicans refusing the coverage on grounds of principle.

    You should demand of them that they do. After all, it’s you they represent, and I know you would not favor Republican hypocrisy when it comes time to take a principled stand.

  88. 101

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    It was funny when obama led in all the polls, now that he’s slipping are the ha hooligans laughing?
      

    Gallup Daily: No Bounce for Obama in Post-Biden Tracking
    McCain creeps ahead, 46% to 44%

    recent presidential campaigns have enjoyed a small (though short-lived) bounce from the running mate announcement. This includes a four percentage point bounce for John Kerry in 2004 after selecting John Edwards, a 5-point bounce for Al Gore in 2000 with his announcement of Joe Lieberman, and a 3-point bounce for George W. Bush in 2000 upon choosing Dick Cheney.

      
    Damn, even cheney was good for a 3 point bounce.
      
    Of course, as the country gets to know obma better his numbers will keep dropping. Mcsame has been around for years, people already know what he stands for.
      
    All people know about obama is he’s for change and hope. Kinda reminds me of that book “to serve man” from that old twilight zone episode. As people are seeing the pages of the obama “change & hope) book they are rejecting the change he wants.
      
    So, besides the old favorite excuses of racism and mcsame stole the election, are there going to any new excuses to explain why obama lost?

  89. 102

    Blue John spews:

    “special protections”.
    Hate Crimes may have had a tiny bit of a good idea, but it’s all distorted. I’d be in favor of getting rid of them. You kill someone, doesn’t matter what color/creed either of you are, you should be punished equally and be offered the opportunity to reform.
    I thought you might have been trying to claim that access to equal housing and so on, was “special protections”. I think that is needed.

  90. 103

    Blue John spews:

    “special protections”.
    Hate Crimes may have had a tiny bit of a good idea, but it’s all distorted. I’d be in favor of getting rid of them. You kill someone, doesn’t matter what color/creed either of you are, you should be punished equally and be offered the opportunity to reform.
    I thought you might have been trying to claim that access to equal housing and so on, was “special protections”. I think that is needed.

  91. 104

    W. Klingon Skousen spews:

    I-Burn is concerned that the Aryan Brotherhood is not protected by ‘hate crime’ legislation.

    You see, it’s discriminatory to pick on the actual purveyors of hate crimes. In I-Burns Bizzarro World, all should be punished equally. We shouldn’t just pick on the haters.

    THAT’S DISCRIMINATION!

  92. 105

    I-Burn spews:

    @101

    Glad you feel free to state what I believe. Must be really handy knowing what everyone really wants, or needs, or means.

    However do you stand the monotony of living with mere mortals?

  93. 106

    Blue John spews:

    I disagree, Hate crimes are too close to Thought crimes. The perp should be punished more because of what he was thinking when he killed someone? Heck no. Let’s judge people equally by their actions, not by their thoughts.

  94. 107

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    Being a baby raper iBurner/AKA HMS don’t you want protection for your boy love?

    You talk about the Constitution like you care about it. You obviously don’t.

    Anyone on the right only likes the Constitution or laws or rules or statutes when it suits them.

    Like when you and the rest of your chickenshit – chickenhawk buddies talk about war – wars you won’t fight.

  95. 109

    spews:

    @96
    Lee, I totally understand what you’re saying. It gets tough with issues like that, because is it the states business to provide healthcare for individuals?

    One of the big problems that exists with health care right now is that whenever a state decides to impose rules to protect consumers, the private enterprises (especially the insurance companies) within the system often have the means to retaliate against that state. The idea rooted in the Constitution of the states being laboratories for finding the most effective systems becomes easily undermined.

    These are issues that the framers of the Constitution could not have been expected to envision at a time when people travelled by horse and buggy and doctors still used whiskey as an anesthetic. That’s why I don’t buy the argument that the Constitution prohibits universal health care. The people who wrote the Constitution really did not understand a world where a person can be in San Francisco one day, New York the next, and could potentially have heart surgery in either place.

  96. 110

    spews:

    Not to plant seeds of doubt in anyone’s minds, but what if Obama does become president (which I truly hope he does), but he’s assassinated, or his plane goes down, or something like that. Won’t black Americans go absolutely apeshit against any and all white people? It will be the L.A. riots times one thousand, and lasting for months, if not years! Maybe it’s better for American if he isn’t president, just in case something happens to him. I’m just sayin.’

  97. 111

    Blue John spews:

    (sigh) when we start this kind of talk, it doesn’t advance the discussion. Attack the ideas or the groups, but not the poster. It’s so easy to do and I’m guilty of casting slurs too, when I’m mad, but it just descends into name calling.

  98. 113

    spews:

    @96
    I just know that no matter how it is resolved, someone is going to be unhappy.

    Well, I encourage you to find people in countries with universal health care who
    a) aren’t happy about their care
    - and -
    b) want our system

    You’ll certainly find people in category a) but very few in category b)

    Having a system that guarantees that you’ll have access to care is the minimum in most of the developed world. Many people in Europe (I briefly lived in Scandinavia) can’t fathom not having it.

  99. 115

    spews:

    @107
    Won’t black Americans go absolutely apeshit against any and all white people?

    No.

    Do you have any concept of how racist your comments are?

  100. 119

    W. Klingon Skousen spews:

    re 102: Thanks for crediting me with explaining your own ‘thoughts’ more cogently than you can.

    Even a blind pig like yourself will occasionally find an acorn.

  101. 120

    spews:

    @112

    I don’t think the word racism applies. I think I’m being realistic. Lee, let me ask you a question. Let’s say you’re driving through the 23rd and Cherry intersection and you hit and kill a 5 year old black girl. There are dozens of black men loitering about. You stop the car and get out. Do you think unrelenting violence that’s about to be visited upon you would be greater than if a black man hit a 5 year old white girl in front of the QFC on Mercer Island?

    One more question. Did the MLK assassination cause riots in cities across America? Yes, in over 100 cities.

    Another question. Did white people riot against Palestinians when RFK was killed by a Palestinian? No.

  102. 121

    I-Burn spews:

    @115

    Don’t flatter yourself. Your original contention was nothing more than a thinly veiled justification for ideological suppression. Whether you recognize it or not.

  103. 122

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    106. Lee spews:
    The people who wrote the Constitution really did not understand a world where a person can be in San Francisco one day, New York the next, and could potentially have heart surgery in either place.

      
    Isn’t that what some were saying about listening in on phone calls, emails, etc. That the framers never considered people talking across the globe via a satellite?

  104. 123

    spews:

    @112
    Do you think unrelenting violence that’s about to be visited upon you would be greater than if a black man hit a 5 year old white girl in front of the QFC on Mercer Island?

    No, I don’t.

    One more question. Did the MLK assassination cause riots in cities across America? Yes, in over 100 cities.

    Of course it did. If George W. Bush was shot by a Muslim, you don’t think there’d be violence by whites against Middle Easterners and Muslims around the country?

    Not to mention that you were talking about something like a plane crash. Why would a plane crash cause rioting unless you think that black Americans can’t tell the difference between an accident and a deliberate act of violence?

    Another question. Did white people riot against Palestinians when RFK was killed by a Palestinian? No.

    The RFK assassination wasn’t emblematic of any larger racial struggle in this country. You’re trying to compare apples and oranges here.

  105. 124

    spews:

    @118
    Isn’t that what some were saying about listening in on phone calls, emails, etc. That the framers never considered people talking across the globe via a satellite?

    Yes, I agree. We need to keep up with technology. But that certainly does not negate something that was already well-known in the 1700s, that giving those in power the ability to search our homes and spy on us without warrants is always dangerous.

  106. 125

    spews:

    @119

    Wow! Thank you for answering those questions. I didn’t think you would. I actually thought my comment was going to be deleted.

    BTW, the Rwanda genocide, which caused the deaths of over 800,000 people, was triggered by a simple plane crash in which the president of Rwanda was killed.

  107. 128

    spews:

    @122

    My point is is that … wait, can I have to is’s together? I’m pretty sure I can, but I’m not 100% sure. Is there a grammarian here? I don’t want to proceed with my point until I know for sure.

  108. 129

    Don Joe spews:

    I-Burn @ 97

    I think you know what I’m talking about. But, okay, explicitly I’m referring to so-called “hate crimes” legislation.

    First of all, I dislike the term “hate crimes,” because the legislation in question doesn’t create new categories of crimes. What the laws do is specify additional punishment for particular crimes when those crimes are motivated by hatred toward members of specific religious, racial, ethnic or gender (i.e. “protected categories”) groups.

    Secondly, given that these laws focus on punishment, what, exactly, is wrong with that idea? The concept of mitigating circumstances has long been a factor in deciding punishments for various crimes. Why not have aggravating circumstances as well?

  109. 130

    spews:

    Steve, if you want to earn my respect, you will GROW A PAIR AND CONDEMN SOMEONE IN YOUR OWN PARTY, LIKE THAT SLEAZEBAG RICHARD MCIVER! I AM THE ONLY ONE HERE WITH THE COURAGE AND ETHICS TO STAND UP AND CONDEMN SOMEONE IN MY OWN PARTY!

  110. 131

    SeattleJew spews:

    @92 Lee

    Tyranny of the Majority

    It seems to me the equality of opportunity is a dialectic opposite for tyranny of the majority. NOT having health care for all, by some mechanism, means that there is inequitable opportunity .. just as Jefferson supported universal free education, I am sure today he would support universal free health care as being the greater good.

    Free Market Medicine

    The Reprican Right has the same absurd, religious attachment to the word “free market” as they do to “tyranny of the majority.” A private market is not necessarily free and a government system can be a free market. Anybody thing that US medicine today is a free market shold go re-read ec 101. There is nothing free about the healthcare market. Costs are not determined by competition for customers but by oligopolistic machinations.

    The government actually can run free markets. The best example I know of is the American scientific establishment that is heavily competitive and efficient. I think we should try government free markets for other things .. esp. education. Obama’s ideas about charter schools fit the model and his healthcare proposal also depend heavily on a government created free market.

  111. 132

    spews:

    @121
    BTW, the Rwanda genocide, which caused the deaths of over 800,000 people, was triggered by a simple plane crash in which the president of Rwanda was killed.

    The plane was shot down, you dummy. I think that’s different than an accidental plane crash. Wow.

    @126
    Steve, if you want to earn my respect,

    Again, let me stop you right there because you continue to be under some pretty powerful delusions.

    No one here cares about earning your respect.

    I hope that was clear and easy to understand.

  112. 133

    I-Burn spews:

    @125

    Why is a crime somehow “worse” if done when motivated by racial hate? It’s still a crime, and still merits punishment. People are free to hate whomever they want, with which I think you would agree.

    Are you not saying that crimes committed by X group, against Y group, are somehow more heinous that that same crime would be if committed by X against X? By extension is that not stating that “you may not hate this group”?

    As Blue John said, it comes awfully close to “thought crimes” for me to be comfortable.

  113. 134

    SeattleJew spews:

    @110 Lee

    Sadly there are a lot folks in other countries who not only wnat but get a system like ours. Many of the newly affluent .. China, Brazil, much of Africa … have systems that look socialist but ar not.

    In Brazil, for example, hospitals are built in pairs .. a public hospital next to a private one. To work at the private hospital, a doc must be on the public hospital’s faculty BUT the doc’s salary depends on the private hospital. If you tried to close the private hospitals, their healthcare system would collapse. I am told that the new system in China looks like this too.

    That is why I like Obamacare. The pan is to create a competive environment where private care can only exist of it is more efficient than gov’t care. If free market theory is correct, the private system will drive the gov’t system out of business! (not really, the gov’t system muts persist for the whole thing to work.)

    The mKenyan-Americans are GD smarties.

  114. 135

    SeattleJew spews:

    @104 Troll

    Won’t black Americans go absolutely apeshit against any and all white people if BHO is assasinated?

    That could happen, but it is also possible that if a muslim flew an airplane into the pentagon, we would retaliate by invading an irrlevant muslim country!

    NYAHHH!!!!

  115. 136

    SeattleJew spews:

    @116 Troll

    One more question. Did the MLK assassination cause riots in cities across America? Yes, in over 100 cities.

    Another question. Did white people riot against Palestinians when RFK was killed by a Palestinian? No.

    Troll, I agree with you that your original comment was not racist, but this comment is. What sort of twisted logic makes a Palestinians any less white than a Jew. FWIW Jews and Palestinians are almost indistinguishable at a genetic level so you must know something science can not find.

    OTOH there have been lots of examples of “white people” going on pogroms against Jews.

    I also think you have somehow not gotten the message, BHO is NOT running as a Blackman. He is running as an American! Isn’t that a novel idea!

  116. 137

    spews:

    All I’m saying is I am worried what would happen if not even a President Obama, but a candidate Obama, were assassinated. I don’t think a Rwanda could happen here, not even remotely, but I do think riots on a scale we have never seen before would occur across the nation. And I don’t think there is anything racist about me saying that.

  117. 138

    Steve spews:

    @126 “Steve, if you want to earn my respect”

    @127 “No one here cares about earning your respect.”

    @130 “NYAHHH!!!!”

    Well said, @127 and 130. I have nothing to add.

  118. 139

    spews:

    @127

    I never said the plane was not shot down. I said the Rwandan genocide was triggered by a plane crash. I never said the word accident. I know it was shot down and never inferred it was an accident.

  119. 140

    spews:

    @132
    And I don’t think there is anything racist about me saying that.

    I do. The reason that I find it to be racist is because it makes the assumption that most African Americans are unable to see whites as distinct people. At the time of the Martin Luther King assassination, this country was just coming out of a system of institutional segregation. It was seen as a direct attack on black America and their desire to be treated fairly and equally.

    Obama, on the other hand, does not solely represent the black community. He represents millions of Americans of all races. There would certainly be anger among African-Americans if he’s ever assassinated, but there’d be anger among whites, Hispanics, Asian, and everyone else too. Catholics didn’t riot against Protestants here when Kennedy was shot, and there’s no reason to believe that African-Americans would riot against whites if Obama was shot. African-Americans understand that the actions of a crazy white person is not representative of all white people. To me, believing otherwise strikes me as racist.

  120. 141

    spews:

    @134
    In the original comment, you just say “his plane goes down”. Without clarification, I did not assume that this meant shot down.

  121. 142

    Don Joe spews:

    I-Burn @ 128

    Why is a crime somehow “worse” if done when motivated by racial hate?

    You’ve avoided answering my questions, and I didn’t ask those questions merely for rhetorical purposes. You keep talking in terms of crimes when, in fact, what the laws do is change punishments. By talking in terms of “greater” or “lesser” crimes, you’re starting from a premise that has no basis in fact.

    To rephrase your question in these terms, we should ask, why should you get a different punishment for beating the shit out of someone because that person is black and you hate black people than for beating the shit out of someone because he broke your favorite windup toy?

    And, the answer to that question has to do with the fact that the black person is a member of a socially protected category and your favorite windup toy is not.

    Should a rich teenager who steals a loaf of bread from the grocery store because he thought it would be cool to steal a loaf of bread not receive a greater punishment than the poor father who steals a loaf of bread from the grocery store because his kids needed food? After all, the rich teenager’s theft is motivated by nothing but a thought.

  122. 143

    Steve spews:

    @135 “The reason that I find it to be racist is because it makes the assumption that most African Americans are unable to see whites as distinct people.”

    It would seem that Troll has the greatest difficulty in seeing blacks as distinct people. Probably not all that unusual for the racist mindset.

  123. 144

    I-Burn spews:

    @137

    To rephrase your question in these terms, we should ask, why should you get a different punishment for beating the shit out of someone because that person is black and you hate black people than for beating the shit out of someone because he broke your favorite windup toy?

    And, the answer to that question has to do with the fact that the black person is a member of a socially protected category and your favorite windup toy is not.

    I’m not intentionally evading your question.

    In your first example, why is the black person a member of a socially protected category? If I beat that black person up, why does it matter that he broke my toy, or because I hate him for being black? Either way I’ve still committed a crime.

    Protected category implies preferential treatment. And in truth, how could it be otherwise? If the law is applied equally, as it should be, there is no need for protected classes.

    With your last example, I would hope that justice would be tempered with mercy. Obviously, legality cannot be an absolute, any more than can morality.

  124. 145

    Bdit spews:

    @134
    In the original comment, you just say “his plane goes down”. Without clarification, I did not assume that this meant shot down.

    What does it have to do with the original comment?????????? He’s talking about this later comment of his:

    BTW, the Rwanda genocide, which caused the deaths of over 800,000 people, was triggered by a simple plane crash in which the president of Rwanda was killed.

    You responded with this:

    The plane was shot down, you dummy. I think that’s different than an accidental plane crash. Wow.

    And he responded with this:

    I never said the plane was not shot down. I said the Rwandan genocide was triggered by a plane crash. I never said the word accident. I know it was shot down and never inferred it was an accident.

    Pretty straightforward objection.

  125. 146

    spews:

    I know this is where I’m supposed to get all defensive and try to convince you I’m not a racist. Fuck that. I don’t care what any of you think because I know that racism isn’t what’s holding black people back. They’re holding themselves back. And racism is just an excuse. It’s an insignificant problem in terms of what really ails the black community.

    Black people are fucking up their own lives, then blaming it on racism.

  126. 147

    Steve spews:

    @139 “Protected category implies preferential treatment. And in truth, how could it be otherwise? If the law is applied equally, as it should be, there is no need to protected classes.”

    Agreed.

  127. 148

    Don Joe spews:

    I-Burn @ 139

    In your first example, why is the black person a member of a socially protected category?

    Because “African-American” is a minority in this country–an historically repressed minority at that.

    If I beat that black person up, why does it matter that he broke my toy, or because I hate him for being black?

    If you act out of hatred for a particular group, then your actions have an adverse affect on other members of that group.

    Protected category implies preferential treatment.

    Why? I always thought that a protected category grew out of particular vulnerabilities that are not shared by everyone.

    Why should individuals need some protection from the tyranny of the majority if vulnerability isn’t the most significant factor?

  128. 149

    Steve spews:

    @141 “what really ails the black community”

    The racist undercurrents of your posts in this thread and others seems to have led you to wander towards a topic somewhat worth discussing. However, you’re too fucking racist and stupid to converse with.

  129. 150

    Steve spews:

    @143 “Because “African-American” is a minority in this country–an historically repressed minority at that.”

    Help me here. What group other than straight white males isn’t?

  130. 151

    spews:

    @141
    They’re holding themselves back. And racism is just an excuse. It’s an insignificant problem in terms of what really ails the black community.

    No, there are alarming disparities in how blacks and whites are treated in this country, particularly with respect to the criminal justice system, that “holds them back”. I can load you up with information on this if you care.

    @140
    Read through the comments again. In his first comment, he just talks about his plane going down. Whether or not there would be anger in the black community would certainly depend on whether or not the plane crash was an accident or a deliberate attack. He didn’t clarify in the original comment. Maybe that’s what he meant, but he didn’t say it.

  131. 152

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 145

    Help me here. What group other than straight white males isn’t [a minority]?

    Actually, there are more women than men, but I think you want to know why certain categories are “protected categories”. For African-Americans, it happens to be because they are a minority, but that’s not the sole factor (or even a required factor) for other groups.

    The short answer is that Congress decides what constitutes a “protected category,” and Congress makes that decision for a variety of reasons. The vast majority of those reasons are based on Supreme Court decisions in cases involving Constitutional Law.

    If you want to digress into the question of what ought and ought not be “protected categories,” then this discussion is going to get way longer than either of us wants to go. If you want to understand the issues, however, I can suggest some web sites. If, on the other hand, you’re merely looking for some snide side-track, then, well, go piss up a rope.

    Addendum: I should probably point out that the protected category here is “race” not “black” or “African-American,” which means that beating the shit out of a caucasian because you hate caucasians is subject to the same treatment in terms of punishment as is beating the shit out of a black person because you hate blacks.

  132. 153

    Steve spews:

    @148 “If, on the other hand, you’re merely looking for some snide side-track, then, well, go piss up a rope.”

    I merely commented in response to your statement. I do disagree with you on this subject. That is OK with you, isn’t it?

  133. 154

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 148

    I merely commented in response to your statement and reiterate here that nearly everybody in America other than straight white males is in minority.

    Except that your comment didn’t actually add anything to the discussion, and I’m surprised you find reiterating it worthwhile given that you acknowledge the issue to be nuanced enough to warrant a lengthy discussion.

    And you can go away from this understanding that I do disagree with you on this subject.

    Again, why tell me something I already know?

    Further, I consider I-Burn to be making far more sense on this subject than yourself.

    I think you’re confusing the difference between agreement and coherence.

  134. 155

    SeattleJew spews:

    @146 Lee and Troll

    For once I will almost side with the Troll. If it is “racist” to say that AA are holding themselves back, then Obama, Jackson, Farrakhan, Michelle, etc ARE racists.

    There are some disturbing facts .. perception of people as “black” is not an immense barrier. We know this because Caribbean origin folks do rather well in the US and, I am told, the emerging data for African-AA (including Obama) are that they do well, as well as Koreans!

    Obama, his minister, etc. all advocate the view that the black problem ultimately can only be solved within the black community.

    OTOH, one would have to be the equivalent of a holocaust denier to deny the impact of Euro racism on the AA community. I ;ike te way Bill Clinton put it several years ago ..we, all of us Americans, have an obligation to repair the damage done by slavery!

    Where Obama and Clinton come together is in agreeing that the obligation to repair the damage is on all Americans share .. including AA.

    OTOH, and here I suspect Troll and Puddy would agree with me, it is not and can not be the place of the Euro community to tell the AA community what ot must do to solve the problem. OUR job .. Jews, Euroes, Asians, and successful AA is to seek to repair the damage we did to this part of our greater body!

  135. 156

    Steve spews:

    @150 “Except that your comment didn’t actually add anything to the discussion”

    Oh, and yours did? This is your statement I commented on.

    @143 “Because “African-American” is a minority in this country–an historically repressed minority at that.”

    Deep insight there, Don. Thanks for enlightening us.

    “I’m surprised you find reiterating it worthwhile”

    No, I didn’t find it worthwhile in itself. However, please continue to assume whatever you want.

    “Again, why tell me something I already know?”

    I was just making sure you understood. Is that an issue for you?

    “I think you’re confusing the difference between agreement and coherence.”

    Was that really necessary?

  136. 158

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 151

    @143 “Because “African-American” is a minority in this country–an historically repressed minority at that.”

    Deep insight there, Don. Thanks for enlightening us.

    Christ on a crutch. I answered a question, and the answer was both accurate and reasonably complete. If you think the answer didn’t add all that much to the discussion, then why not take I-Burn to task for asking a question that had a ridiculously obvious answer?

    “I think you’re confusing the difference between agreement and coherence.”

    Was that really necessary?

    Given your participation in this thread so far, yes. It was quite necessary.

  137. 159

    Steve spews:

    @145 “Christ on a crutch.”

    Please continue to answer ridiculously obvious questions with ridiculously obvious answers to your heart’s content, Don. I take no issue with that. But please try to realize that I only questioned your ridiculously obvious answer.

    @150 “your comment didn’t actually add anything to the discussion.”

    Perhaps you have a point. Hell, I’ll even go so far as to concede that your ridiculously obvious answer to a ridiculously obvious question contributed greatly to the disussion whereas my questioning of your ridiculously obvious response completely failed to add anything of merit. Hey, congratulations, Don. You win.

    “It was quite necessary.”

    You might consider for yourself the difference between “agreement and coherence”. You might also think about whether or not your introduction of that “snide” crap of yours contributed to the tone of our last few posts. We are both capable of reasonable discussion. Try remembering that next time.

  138. 160

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 154

    Please continue to answer ridiculously obvious questions with ridiculously obvious answers to your heart’s content, Don.

    So, you think you’re going to improve this discussion by ratchetting up the snide? Are you trying to prove that your snot knob goes all the way up to 11?

  139. 161

    Steve spews:

    @155 Sure, I can go to 11. I can also have reasonable and considerate discussion with people with whom I disagree. Which do you prefer?

    We could try apologizing. Here, I’ll apologize. I’m sorry for my part in the deterioration of might have been an interesting discussion.

  140. 163

    spews:

    @150
    If it is “racist” to say that AA are holding themselves back, then Obama, Jackson, Farrakhan, Michelle, etc ARE racists.

    It’s not racist at all to say that African-Americans are holding themselves back, but it is a dangerous misreading of what’s happening in black America.

    Obama, his minister, etc. all advocate the view that the black problem ultimately can only be solved within the black community.

    I’m not necessarily sure that they all advocate that, but I think they’re wrong if they do. The black community alone cannot fix the larger problems within the criminal justice system that are devastating many of their communities. They can all pledge to be more responsible and make better decisions, but that’s just not realistic from a human perspective. It’s a way of giving false hope.

    The problems facing the black community are largely institutional, systemic failures that allow the prejudice and fear that many people outside the black community have of that community manifest itself in law enforcement tactics that single out blacks for crimes that whites regularly get away with.

    OUR job .. Jews, Euroes, Asians, and successful AA is to seek to repair the damage we did to this part of our greater body!

    Ending the goddamn drug war is step 1. Black communities in this country will never escape the cycle of violence, fatherlessness, and dependency unless this policy that empowers the criminals in their communities is sent to the trashbin of history.

  141. 164

    spews:

    @150
    For what it’s worth, SJ, my disagreement with Troll was centered around this part of comment #107:

    or his plane goes down

    I didn’t take this to mean the plane was brought down deliberately, just that it crashed. If Troll meant to say that it was deliberately brought down, his conclusion is nowhere near as outright racist (although Troll has obviously left some outright racist comments in the past).

  142. 165

    Steve spews:

    Is it appropriate for law to have a bias against the values of hate crime and yet not somehow not be appropriate to have a bias against same-sex marriage values? Now, I’m not against same sex marriage. And I’m certainly against hate crimes. But those are only my values. I understand that a lot of people hold the opposite views. I’m just wondering now about United States law, the 1st Ammendment, consideration of bias and values, hate-crimes, and just what it all means. I thought I’d start with bias and values.

    Just kidding. Marvin fucks goats.

  143. 166

    Steve spews:

    Is it morally wrong to morally judge the moral judgement of a law that considers the moral value of a criminal’s thoughts?

    Is it right that a law should elevate the values of a hate crime offender above the criminal values of others?

  144. 167

    I-Burn spews:

    @143 DJ

    In your first example, why is the black person a member of a socially protected category?

    Because “African-American” is a minority in this country–an historically repressed minority at that.

    I see. So to correct a historical wrong, we should enact a present day wrong? How does that help? I already mentioned that laws should be applied equally. Why is that not sufficient?

    If I beat that black person up, why does it matter that he broke my toy, or because I hate him for being black?

    If you act out of hatred for a particular group, then your actions have an adverse affect on other members of that group.

    I afraid that I don’t follow you here. If I commit a crime against a black person, and I do it because I hate black people, it impacts more people than if I do it just because they are conveniently there for me to commit the crime against? How so? The individual against whom the crime was commited isn’t any worse off, either way, as far as I can tell.

    Protected category implies preferential treatment.

    Why? I always thought that a protected category grew out of particular vulnerabilities that are not shared by everyone.

    Why should individuals need some protection from the tyranny of the majority if vulnerability isn’t the most significant factor?

    Again, I don’t understand how you redress an historical wrong, by conferring de facto special privledges on the previously persecuted group. I wouldn’t think you’d actually accomplish anything but creating a sense of entitlement in the one group, and resentment in the other(s).

    The Constitution is there to be applied equally for all. If suddenly everyone decided that all left-handed redheads should be killed, well, guess what? Even though everyone wants that to happen, it won’t.

    Look, I know this is overly simplistic. I’m not trying to be patronizing. I honestly don’t understand your reasoning here.

  145. 168

    Don Joe spews:

    I-Burn @ 162

    I see. So to correct a historical wrong, we should enact a present day wrong?

    No. First, you’re assuming that the notion of adding punishment for acts based on hate is a moral wrong, but that’s the very substance of our debate. You’re begging the question.

    Second, I also talked about vulnerability. The historical oppression is a strong indicator of vulnerability, and it’s one of a number of possible ways we might decide that a particular group should be a protected category. But the question of whether or not any particular group ought to be a protected category isn’t germane to what we’re discussing.

    As a matter of law, protected categories exist. I suppose you could argue that there shouldn’t be protected categories, but that leads to all manner of difficulties (e.g. how do we deal with discrimination?) and requires that we simply toss years of Constitutional case law out the window. It’s also not what you’ve argued. Moreover, I would argue that the concept of the tyranny of the majority has no practical meaning without the application of protected categories.

    It seems more, to me at least, that you’re saying protected categories shouldn’t be applied to punishments for violent crimes based on hate–that, in ways that you haven’t clearly articulated, doing so creates some category of thought crime that didn’t exist before. That’s not what the law does.

    I wrote:

    If you act out of hatred for a particular group, then your actions have an adverse affect on other members of that group.

    To which you replied:

    I afraid that I don’t follow you here.

    I’m not sure there’s a way to state the fact more clearly. Violent crimes based on hate instill fear in members of the hated group. That fact, alone, provides a sufficient basis for a government interest in providing additional disincentives to people who might be inclined to commit violent acts based on their hatred.

    The Constitution is there to be applied equally for all.

    Well, the specific phrase from our Constitution states that citizens are entitled to “equal protection under the law.” I suppose there are two ways to understand what “equal protection under the law” means.

    One way is to simply say that the law should have the same effect on everyone regardless of circumstances. The other is to note that, merely as a matter of demographics, some groups have power that others do not, and that “equal protection” requires the law to compensate for these demographic imbalances in power–that the result of the law should be equal protection. For the sake of brevity, let’s call these the “effects” and “results” views respectively.

    From the standpoint of textual interpretation, either view is equally valid, though, historically, the U.S. Supreme Court has adopted a stance more akin to the results view. I’m not familiar enough with Washington State constitutional law to discuss whether or not we can find additional insights into the concept.

    Personally, I prefer the “results” interpretation over the “effects” interpretation, because the “effects” interpretation, for all practical purposes, consigns us to a society in which some groups have permanent status as second-class citizens. As I said above, if we completely eliminate the concept of protected categories, then the notion of the tyranny of the majority has no practical meaning, or, rather, it has a subjective meaning that exists solely within the mind of the person who invokes the phrase.

  146. 169

    Don Joe spews:

    Steve @ 154

    You might consider for yourself the difference between “agreement and coherence”.

    So, now you accuse me of using words the meaning of which I don’t understand?

    If you’re going to assert that I-Burn’s argument makes more sense than mine, then you really do have an obligation to point out where my argument is incoherent. Anything less is, well, sophomoric.

    It seems to me that both I-Burn’s view and mine are coherent, and that our differences go down to some very basic assumptions. I suspect that, at some point, he and I will simply agree to disagree, which is usually the case when people who disagree have a well-reasoned discussion.

    So, yes, I think you’ve confused the difference between agreement and coherence, and you’ve given me absolutely no reason to believe otherwise.

    And you might want to think about that before you start questioning other people’s desire to have a well-reasoned discussion with people with whom they disagree. I-Burn and I were having just such a discussion before you chose to stick your snotty nose into it. Indeed, we’ve continued that discussion despite your side-tracking it.

    Spend less time talking about fucking goats, and more time thinking things through. Besides, Luke Esser is a pig fucker, not a goat fucker.

  147. 170

    Steve spews:

    @164 Apparently my sincere and unconditional apology @156 meant very little to you.

    What exactly is incoherent about raising the issues of bias, morality and values as they relate to hate crime law? I raise the question of whether or not hate crimes express a value that is more morally wrong than the values expressed by other violent crime. Instead of engaging in that discussion, you chose to continue with the acrimony that you started, now accusing me of a having snotty nose, being sophomoric, of sidetracking the discussion and not thinking things through. I apologized and tried to steer us back to the discussion. Who’s doing the sidetracking now, Don Joe?

    So I’ll try again. How is it appropriate to punish values as opposed to the harm of the crime? I acknowledge that a bias motivated assault may well be received by the targeted group as an assault on that group. That aside, what responsibility do targeted group members have for their own reaction to this biased assault?

    I see answers to these questions that would lend support to hate crime law. Do you?

  148. 171

    Bdit spews:

    Spend less time talking about fucking goats, and **more time thinking things through.**

    Great advice . . . for everyone.

  149. 172

    Steve spews:

    Why shouldn’t it be perceived that the proponents of hate crime laws simply want to use the power of the state to punish those who have values with which they disapprove or find abhorent? Is this the end of it or are there other values, morals or biases soon to be targeted? Why should a majority be allowed to decide which values, morals and biases will be elevated to the level of punishable crime? Is it possible that this leads us to a future where a person’s thoughts alone could be considered a criminal act?

  150. 174

    Don Joe spews:

    Steve @ 165

    @164 Apparently my sincere and unconditional apology @156 meant very little to you.

    Sorry. It struck me as insincere coming on the heals of your first paragraph at 156.

    You ask:

    What exactly is incoherent about raising the issues of bias, morality and values as they relate to hate crime law?

    I don’t recall saying that the stance was incoherent. In fact, I seem to recall saying exactly the opposite.

    @ 167, you asked:

    Why shouldn’t it be perceived that the proponents of hate crime laws simply want to use the power of the state to punish those who have values with which they disapprove or find abhorent?

    Because that’s not what the laws do. The laws don’t create a new category of crime. The laws only specify additional punishment for actions that are already crimes. As long as you continue to elide that distinction, your argument assumes facts not in evidence.

    Is it possible that this leads us to a future where a person’s thoughts alone could be considered a criminal act?

    How do laws that specify additional punishments for existing crimes open the way to this in a way that’s not already open? Are you saying that the Supreme Court would, somehow, find it impossible to declare your hypothetical laws as unconstitutional if we allow the existing laws about violent hatred to stand?

    If you’re going to raise this ominous spectre of some possibly horrible outcome, you have an obligation to show how we might get there from here.

  151. 175

    Steve spews:

    Doesn’t it seem plausable that hate crime laws could contribute to an institutionalization of societal or cultural differences? Can anyone offer up a pro-hate-crime argument against this?

  152. 176

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 170

    Doesn’t it seem plausable that hate crime laws could contribute to an institutionalization of societal or cultural differences?

    Frankly, no. At least not based on the facts we have before us so far. If you’re aware of some facts not yet raised, then, by all means, bring them out.

    It might be worth noting that so-called “hate crime” laws do not define protected categories. They merely refer to protected categories that have been defined largely through a long history of constitutional case law.

    So-called “hate crimes” target one thing: violent crimes motivated by hate and directed toward members of protected categories as defined through other law. They don’t target specific biases or moral views. They don’t make mere thoughts into a new category of crime. Please don’t try to craft an argument that assumes that hate crime laws do anything else.

  153. 177

    Steve spews:

    @169 If a person commits a crime such as murder there is a level of appropriate punishment. Hate crime law adds to this – hate+crime is elevated above the crime alone. Therefore, I do see a new category of crime.

    Thanks for your thoughtful response. My apology was indeed sincere and I accept yours as being equally sincere. I’m off to work and only have time to respond to the one point. When I take a break at work I’ll try to address the others you raise.

    I have not yet taken a position for myself on this issue of hate crime law. Playing the Devil’s advocate here helps me to grasp the issues surrounding the hate crime debate. I say this hoping you’ll understand why I might seem to disagree with you on this topic.

  154. 178

    Don Joe spews:

    Steve @ 172

    If a person commits a crime such as murder there is a level of appropriate punishment. Hate crime law adds to this – hate+crime is elevated above the crime alone. Therefore, I do see a new category of crime.

    First, you’re interpreting facts, not stating facts. The interpretation of fact is an opinion, not a fact in and of itself. I’m not saying you’re trying to be disingenuous. I’m just making sure that we’re clear on this.

    Second, you’re certainly entitled to whatever opinion you want to have, but I don’t see how your opinion has any substantive basis in fact. The crime of murder already has an array of punishments available, and, during the penalty phase of a trial for capital murder, juries are already required to consider both mitigating and aggravating factors in determining what the punishment ought to be.

    So-called “hate crime” laws do nothing except codify a particular aggravating factor, hatred, and specify a stronger punishment for an already existing crime when that aggravating factor is present. There is nothing legally innovative about this concept. It doesn’t open the doors to anything that doesn’t already exist.

    So, how, exactly, do we get to this formulation that, by codifying a specific aggravating factor, “hate crime” laws create a new category of crime when, in other cases, aggravating factors do not create a new category of crime?