Patterico's Pontifications


OTLM Tops 500,000 Served

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 10:54 pm

Stefan Sharkansky’s Oh, That Liberal Media, to which I contribute, has surpassed half a million visits, in less than 8 months. Good stuff.

Willie Horton and Mary Cheney

Filed under: 2004 Election — Patterico @ 5:44 pm

Can someone explain to me, please, just why it is that the left considered the Willie Horton commercials to be dirty pool, but has a different opinion of the Kerry campaign’s gratuitous references to Mary Cheney’s homosexuality?

I see one difference between the two, but it cuts against Kerry. The Willie Horton commercials made a valid point about the record of a presidential candidate. A woman was raped because of a furlough of a murderer that occurred on Michael Dukakis’s watch. The clear legitimacy of the issue refutes any accusations that the Bush campaign was simply exploiting latent racist sentiments on the part of people otherwise inclined to vote for Dukakis.

By contrast, there is absolutely no legitimate purpose for John Kerry to have brought up Mary Cheney’s sexual preference, other than to exploit what the Kerry campaign believes to be latent homophobia on the part of conservatives otherwise inclined to vote for Bush. The fact that John Edwards also made this gratuitous reference shows that it was calculated. The obviously embarrassed manner in which Kerry delivered the line shows that he knew what he was doing was wrong. But he did it anyway — and for no conceivable legitimate purpose.

Oh, you think I’m wrong? Ok, then — tell me: What could the possible purpose of the reference have been? To show hypocrisy on the part of President Bush? Nope. It’s not his daughter. To show hypocrisy on the part of Vice-President Cheney? Nope. He opposes the amendment against gay marriage (as do I).

So what was the purpose? You know damn well what it was. John Kerry and John Edwards have calculated that there are Christian conservatives out there who are not aware that Dick Cheney has a gay daughter. They know that Karl Rove considers the mobilization of the Christian conservative vote to be the single most important factor in this election. So they have cynically decided to exploit what they believe to be the homophobia of some of those Christian conservatives. There is no other possible explanation.

Nothing could make this clearer than Kerry’s incredibly lame attempt at an explanation: “I was trying to say something positive about the way strong families deal with this issue.” That’s the best you can do, Senator?

Last night’s remark by Kerry is despicable in a way that the Willie Horton commercial never was. It is not “fair game,” as Kerry spokeswoman Mary Beth Cahill claimed last night on Fox News. Rather, it’s what Mort Kondracke said it was: dirty pool. It was the quintessence of cold and calculating politics, and revealed more about John Kerry’s character than any other event in quite some time.

UPDATE: Scrappleface says that Kerry has apologized:

“There’s nothing wrong with being one of God’s homosexual children,” said Mr. Kerry, an openly-heterosexual veteran of foreign war who is also a U.S. Senator, “And far be it from me to pry into the private life of Mr. Cheney’s lesbian child, who is gay and a homosexual. People can’t choose whom they will love, and so I should not have mentioned that his daughter is a lesbian person, and not a heterosexual, but in fact a gay homosexual woman who is a lesbian with the last name Cheney.”

Glad that’s over. Now I think we should all move on.

Monty Python Does John Kerry

Filed under: Humor — Patterico @ 5:26 pm

Kevin Murphy has a very funny Monty Python take-off about John Kerry’s “new plan.” One is tempted to call his plan a dinosaur.

Fatal Ambiguity in Proposition 66

Filed under: No on 66 — Patterico @ 6:25 am

The Sacramento Bee is waking up to a problem with Proposition 66 — a problem that I told you about a month and a half ago: an ambiguity in the initiative that may result in 26,000 prisoners being released.

As I have explained, the initiative will release about 4000 “third-strikers” — people with two or more previous serious or violent felony convictions. Due to an ambiguity, it also could release almost 22,000 “second-strikers” — people with one previous serious or violent felony conviction. I also explained that initiative proponents have argued that it is a “lie” to say that the language of the initiative applies to second-strikers. Yet, as I told you, it was a certainty that defense attorneys would be preparing their briefs to argue just that.

Turns out I was right:

California’s largest group of defense attorneys – the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office – is quietly planning to argue in court that the change also applies to second-strike convictions.

Big shock there. What may surprise you is that liberal Legal Experts such as Erwin Chemerinsky are admitting — before the law passes — that the law is indeed potentially ambiguous.

Maybe the folks at the Sacramento Bee should have a talk with the editorial writers at the San Francisco Chronicle, who claimed that the 26,000 number

involves a highly imaginative reading of the initiative as well as the law. Even if such cases might actually arise, it is hard to see how they would push the number of inmates eligible for release to anywhere near 26,000.

Well, San Francisco Chronicle editorial writers, it appears that the public defenders and Erwin Chemerinsky are not having the same trouble seeing how the law might have this result. Apparently they share this “highly imaginative reading.”

Let us hope, for all our sakes, that the imagination of the judges who rule on this issue is not as developed as that of the defense bar in this state.

(Thanks to SoCalLawBlog for alerting me to this.)

Dean’s World Interviews Swift Vets

Filed under: 2004 Election — Patterico @ 6:15 am

Wow. I’ve missed a lot of fantastic stuff over the last week or two. I am just now catching up to Dean Esmay’s interviews with Swift Vets Van Odell and George Elliott. Just fascinating. I was especially struck by this comment from George Elliott:

[T]here’s one thing that concerns me very greatly, and that is the approach taken by what’s currently known as the mainstream media. And I am not saying this to bash the mainstream media, but I think that if they continue to act in such a partisan way that it’s not good for this country.

A free and unfettered press is an absolute necessity for this country to survive in the manner that was intended by the forefathers. But if the mainstream press continues acting in such a partisan way that they lose the support of a major part of the population, who is going to get us the real truth?

. . . .

I have very grave concerns about the American people being able to trust what the mainstream media says unless something changes. Maybe our swift boat guys, maybe this will be a greater legacy, will be what we’ve exposed about the mainstream media than anything we’ve said about Senator Kerry.

I think that’s right. And I don’t think it’s a bad thing, either. John Kerry will disappear from the national radar one day, I believe sooner rather than later. But the media lives on. We all need to be aware of how it truly functions, and I believe the Swift Vets have done much to expose this ugly situation.

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