Patterico's Pontifications

4/5/2005

Is Sam Sampson Really John Cornyn?

Filed under: General,Morons — Christopher Cross @ 3:44 pm

I said that no conservative would be as stupid as the mysterious Sam Sampson. Perhaps I was wrong.

WaPo–Senator Links Violence To ‘Political’ Decisions

“It causes a lot of people, including me, great distress to see judges use the authority that they have been given to make raw political or ideological decisions,” he said. Sometimes, he said, “the Supreme Court has taken on this role as a policymaker rather than an enforcer of political decisions made by elected representatives of the people.” Cornyn continued: “I don’t know if there is a cause-and-effect connection, but we have seen some recent episodes of courthouse violence in this country. . . . And I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters, on some occasions, where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in, engage in violence. Certainly without any justification, but a concern that I have.”

If this is an accurate portrayal of what Cornyn said, this does not speak well of Cornyn to make such a mind-numbingly foolish statement. It does a disservice to legitimate criticisms of an unaccountable judiciary to suggest that courthouse shootings borne out of individual vileness are AT ALL related.

Cornyn’s a dick for even suggesting such.

UPDATE FROM PATTERICO: I agree with a commenter that Beldar has worthwhile thoughts on this subject. Personally, I wouldn’t call Sen. Cornyn a “dick” for these comments.

But, having read Cornyn’s speech, I have to say that I find silly (at least) his suggestion that any recent violence against judges is related to judicial activism. I think it’s related to, you know, criminal activity.

UPDATE FROM CHRIS: Having read Cornyn’s whole speech (linked from Beldar)–I stand by my original “dick” claim. Cornyn’s speech was fine as it was–but nothing in its fuller context changes the reading of his statement regarding the “correlation” of violence to perceived judicial activism. That’s what he was a dick for, and that’s why I’m calling him a dick. The other 95% of the speech, I like. I don’t think Beldar’s post (or the text of the speech itself) changed Cornyn’s fundamental point on that matter (I realize that wasn’t the fundamental point of his speech). I wasn’t accusing Cornyn of endorsing or even encouraging violence against judges (as Beldar seemed to be taking issue with others who had accused Cornyn of doing). I was taking issue with his attempts to draw a correlative relationship between judicial activism and recent courthouse violence.

19 Responses to “Is Sam Sampson Really John Cornyn?”

  1. Thanks for that. And it’s really scary to see the recklessness of elected representatives who stoop to these expressions of sympathy with violence. No amount of disagreement with anyone should prompt a supposedly responsible person to make allusions that anyone but the violent perpetrator of a crime should be blamed for the crime. (Not even the twinkies.)

    Ruth (3fbd0a)

  2. Ruth, I couldn’t agree more. As for Beldar’s thoughts, Roofer, no matter the background or intelligence of any given public figure they’re all going to say something incredibly stupid from time to time. It was apparently Senator Cornyn’s turn this week.

    I’m trying to imagine that the accused/convicted rapist in Atlanta who recently overpowered a deputy, took her gun, then killed her, the judge and others, just snapped at the thought of the “out of control judiciary” before going on his killing spree. That honestly doesn’t pass my common sense test.

    This comment was roughly equivalent in stupidity to the comments on 9/11 that either we caused ourselves to be attacked, that Israel did it or that somehow God was responsible because of some court decision He disagreed with.

    It’s always risky to suggest that you know and understand the internal motivations of others.

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  3. Christopher Cross,

    I think you should address Mr. Beldar’s comments – and the original transcript of Cornyn’s remarks – in a post as soon as possible, given the depth of emotion that you have already expressed and the prominence you have given it.

    On review, it does indeed appear to be a case of WAPO cutting and pasting select bits of a speech, and removing or underplaying the cautions and modifiers that the Senator included in an attempt to ensure that his message not sound the incorrect way that WAPO appears to have deliberately re-shaped it.

    ras (f9de13)

  4. Let me see if I have this right. You say If this is an accurate portrayal of what Cornyn said,”

    Then you go on to say, “this does not speak well of Cornyn to make such a mind-numbingly foolish statement. It does a disservice to legitimate criticisms of an unaccountable judiciary to suggest that courthouse shootings borne out of individual vileness are AT ALL related.

    Cornyn’s a dick for even suggesting such.”

    Sounds to me like you’ve already ruled on the case without even bothering to look at the evidence.

    At least you’re not alone.

    antimedia (a1acdf)

  5. I think powerline’s got ya on this one, Patterico. [Not my post, dude. Gotta read the byline! But I agree with Chris Cross to a certain extent. See my update. -- Patterico.] (http://powerlineblog.com/archives/2005_04.php#010074)

    CliveStaples (26c947)

  6. Ras,

    I thought my “if” was pretty prominent–but I’m more than happy to retract if it’s not an accurate reflection of Cornyn’s remarks.

    Would it have made you happy had I said “Cornyn’s a dick for SEEMINGLY suggesting such”?

    I suppose that would have made some difference, but it seems redundant in light of the condition I had already placed on the post. (See: “If”)

    Christopher Cross (ca1109)

  7. Is Sam Sampson Really John Cornyn?
    I said that no conservative would be as stupid as the mysterious “Sam Sampson”. Perhaps I was wrong.

    Legal XXX (59ce3a)

  8. I may be old fashioned, but just what do you mean by the calling him a “dick”. Is that some new acronym that I am not up on? Or do you just object to the male genitalia in general and use the word as a disparaging description for those with whom you disagree?

    john (26c947)

  9. P.S. If we’re going to use body parts to disparage others shouldn’t we try to include both genders in our postings and call them “tits” once in a while. And for that matter how about gender neutral names like armpits or butts(hairy or otherwise). On the other hand wouldn’t it be more productive to discuss the issues themselves without the name calling? Paint me unimpressed by the conclusion that the Senator and former State Supreme Court Judge is a “dick”.

    john (26c947)

  10. Chris, John has a point. Perhaps we’re from different generations? In your defense, though, thanks for staying away from some of the more colorful four letter words I’ve seen, and been called, recently. :-)

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  11. Chris and Patterico, as well as fellow readers:

    This is the crux of what you criticized in Sen. Cornyn’s speech: “And I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters, on some occasions, where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in, engage in violence.”

    That is sympathetic with the violence, and is contemptible. I believe others have tried to put weight on the rest of the speech and ignore that regrettable part of it, but that doesn’t erase what Sen. Cornyn actuallly said.

    Also, I would differ with him on blanket references such as ‘making political decisions’. No judge, who knows he is liable to be overturned on appeal, is about to make a decision other than the one he/she is called on to make from the bench. There may be remarks in the printed decisions that explain further what lies behind his/her judgment, as in the SC’s stating that ending execution for minors partook of a change in public opinion. In other proceedings, these remarks may be questioned. However, it is the decision, not explanation, that becomes a pattern for other courts.

    I do agree that it would be nicer not to call people names like ‘dick’, I prefer the more formal ‘richard’ myself. (Sorry, had to put in a little humor.)

    [Patterico responds: I totally disagree that Cornyn's remarks were sympathetic to violence, especially when read in context. Also, the notion that judges do not make political decisions strikes me as hopelessly naive, at a minimum. Of course, it's easier to be blind to such matters when the judge's politics agree with yours..]

    Ruth (77536a)

  12. John,

    What issue would you like to be discussed? The possible correlative relationship between judicial activism and the courthouse shootings in Atlanta? Or the murder of a district judge’s family?

    Such a statement is akin to the “Why do they hate us?” mentality that was subject to such derision following 9/11.

    If you wanna discuss that “issue”–go ahead. Knock yourself out. As for the meaning of “dick”–it might mean “Dude, Is Cornyn Kidding?”

    Or it might not.

    Christopher Cross (d68b28)

  13. Ruth writes:

    This is the crux of what you criticized in Sen. Cornyn’s speech: “And I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters, on some occasions, where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in, engage in violence.”

    That is sympathetic with the violence, and is contemptible.

    It’s also dishonest on your part. You conveniently clipped the very next sentence, which would have made it crystal clear Cornyn’s statement was is not sympathetic with the violence:

    “Certainly without any justification, but a concern that I have.”

    If you want to attack Cornyn for drawing a strained connection between unrelated events, that’s a fair criticism. But to accuse him of expressing sympathy for violent behavior is nothing short of dishonest.

    Xrlq (ffb240)

  14. Xrlq: I used only one sentence, excluding Cornyn’s following his own statement, which was uncalled for, by a cheap disclaimer. His statement that the urge ‘builds up and builds up’ etc. is nothing short of dramatization of and sympathy for the reaction he imputes to the violent. The dishonesty is in Cornyn’s then following his own little dramatization with an immediate disclaimer. If he didn’t mean it, why say it? and why ask for the reader/listener’s attention to the delineated compulsion, if he didn’t really mean it?

    This has the nature of a ‘well, I’m not the one who’ll say he killed his wife, but I heard ….’ nature.

    [Excuse my practice of commenting by editing others' comments. I am on a Treo and can't leave a stand-alone comment.

    I think it would have been more forthcoming to leave the sentence in, and then make the argument you just made, rather than omitting the disclaimer and then asserting that Cornyn said the opposite. I don't know if you did the snipping, or whether you took it from a biased source, but I agree with Xrlq: it feels dishonest.

    Patterico.]

    Ruth (d3f05d)

  15. http://astuteblogger.blogspot.com/2005/04/inciting-violence-cornyn-versus-kerry.html

    INCITING VIOLENCE: CORNYN VERSUS KERRY

    The Left and the MSM they dominate was very quick to criticize – NAY EXPRESS OUTRAGE – in regard to an ill-phrased comment made by GOP Senator Cornyn which they misinterpreted as threatening violence to members of the judiciary.

    I do not recall ANY similar outrage – or even mild rebuke – when Senator John Kerry actually brandished a shotgun from the podium, and gleefully announced that he would have liked to take it to the Presidential debates.

    The HYPOCRISY of the Left and the MSM they dominate knows no bounds.

    (YUP: Kerry was encouraging violence against the president by brandishing a gun, and the MSM said nary a word. Not even BOO. Sheesh! CAN YOU IMAGINE IF BUSH HAD DONE THIS!? OR TOM DELAY!?!? THE LEFT AND THE MSM THEY DOMINATE WOULD’VE NEVER STOPPED BLATHERING ABOUT IT!)

    reliapundit (e5e0fb)

  16. A few years ago in Fort Worth, Texas, a man entered the court house and proceeded to shoot a judge and several other people. He had repeatedly expressed outrage at the way the courts had treated him in his divorce and custody battle.

    Would you claim this was “just criminal activity”? Or would you find a connection between his violence and his contempt for a court that he felt had repeatedly robbed him of his rights?

    I guess one man’s “criminal activity” is another man’s “activisim”, huh?

    antimedia (a1acdf)

  17. to all– My objection to this post is four fold: 1. The conclusion that Senator Cornyn is a “dick” demeans the writer, the subject matter and the reader. The writer because the inelegant/gracelessness of the statement leaves the implication that the writer has either not thought through the issues, is so limited in education, intelligence or understanding that he cannot communicate his opinions effectively; or is so contemptious of his readers that he believes that mere emotionalism/ attitude will persuade them to concur with his visceral dislike of Cronyns statement. The subject matter is demeaned by the low level of The intellectual content. Obviously no serious subject matter is discussed by means of this type of communication. Finally the reader is demeaned by this type of argument for it presupposes that the reader has an inability to spot the lack of content and that the readers’ emotions will override any intellectual capacity he/she might have. 2. Eloquence is at least half the battle in presenting ideas. The best idea in the world cannot survive a profane emotion laden communication. The emotion can survive and thrive, but the unreasoned argument cannot. To give up the sturdy base of reason and elegance of communication is selfdefeating. 3. I am embarrassed to be caught reading such drivel by my children-a medical school student and a law school student. 4. The real objection to Senator Cronyn is that he implies that some of those of us on the right will be willing to assault/kill judges with whom we disagree.He has insulted everyone of us who have reservations about the current judiciary.Obviously one could also argue that he is a quasi-terrorist in that he attempted to intimidate sitting judges so as to have courts refuse to hear politically charged cases. I CAN SEE NO “DICK” IN ANY OF THIS.

    john (26c947)

  18. john:

    Sound thinking, thanks.

    Harry A:

    Forgot, I earlier meant to mention that your high level of discourse is as usual appreciated.

    antimedia:

    Yesterday on C-Span I watched as Sen Lautenberg read and inserted into yesterday’s Congressional Record a letter DeLay wrote inviting people for a Christian perspective tour of the Capital to be conducted by Dan Barton. In the letter DeLay says that ‘the separation of church and state is a myth’, also that the nation was meant to be Christian and ‘only voting Republican will save it’. None of this will be picked up by press. If you want a copy of the letter, I am sure Sen. Lautenberg’s office will be glad to provide you with one.

    Equitable treatment? When it takes being invited by those in power to be able to cover the news? Hmmmm.

    Ruth (40b222)


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