Wednesday, May 06, 2009


OK, I'm pretty sure that's not a word. But if it was a word, it would mean "the act of being disingenuous".

One of the things that bugged me during the Clinton years was the Democrat's defense that we should "Move on. This is a private matter." Well--of course a sexual act, in the workplace, with a subordinate is not "just a private matter". That the act involved a subordinate, and took place in the workplace made it very much more than just a private matter.

Moreover, when Clinton lied about this while under oath, these same defenders would say "Everybody lies about sex." Again--No. Everybody does not lie when confronted with their infidelity. And given that these lies took place while under oath, and given that the liar was an attorney (not to mention the Chief Executive), these lies came with a more foul stench.

Those who were offering these defenses were simply being disingenuous. They were intentionally arguing something that was not being argued to avoid having to defend the indefensable.

So, what brought me to this point?

Today, the conservatives are all up in arms about an amendment to a Hate Crimes bill that would include pedophiles as a protected class. Stop the ACLU. Gateway Pundit. Hannity. JD Hayworth was covering the topic ad infinitum today on his radio show.

Hate crimes laws are stupid on their face. They require an underlying crime and then we have to delve into the thoughts of the accused to see if hate was present or not, and if so, that would warrant further punishment. We are punishing people on something as intangible as their thoughts.

Also at issue is the question of pedophiles. I've got no problem with the legal system punishing someone for sexually abusing children. However, once they have served their sentence, we cannot continue to punish them as pedophiles. If we are convinced that a pedophile can never be reformed, then their sentences ought to be life. If we let them out of prison, they become ex-offenders.

We also have to ask why these crimes need to become federal crimes. Why are state laws insufficient to deal with hate crime?

Moreover, these same Hate Crimes laws set up protected classes, which was at issue today. That issue--should pedophiles be protected from hate crimes--should be obvious.

Yes they should. I disagree with hate crimes laws for any protected class, but if we're going to have these laws, we have to fundamentally believe that no one deserves to be attacked for a perceived identity. This is the essence of hate crimes legislation.

Let's say that a pedophile gets out of prison and moves into your neighborhood. If this were my neighborhood, I wouldn't be too happy about this, but the right answer is to be careful with your kids. You simply cannot justify preemptively beating him up because he used to be a pedophile and he now lives in your neighborhood.

And this is what makes this a hate crime.

The Republicans and conservatives are being just as disingenuous about this point as the Democrats were when they defended Clinton's lies.

No comments: