But what is the deal with Josh Marshall’s picture of himself on his site?
Radley Balko has an interesting story about a difficult night with some neighbors and some police officers.
My advice to Radley, which he didn’t ask for:
2) Cut the cops a break. From your perspective, the officer shouldn’t have burst into your house with his gun drawn. But try looking at it from his point of view. He probably thought you were really beating your girlfriend. What would you do in that situation as the cop?
(That ought to get you interested in his post.)
UPDATE 11-25-06: Reading this post years later, I have two reactions. First, I should note (as I did at the time) that my comment that Balko should “move” was too flip. As I explained in comments at the time, it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek; it sounded like he was living in a bad place. But, of course, as other people noted, moving is not always an option. Second, while I understand the cop’s thinking that this was a domestic violence situation happening right in front of his eyes, bursting into the house with his gun drawn was probably not the most appropriate tactic.
I can see how going through an experience like that would have a formative effect on one’s outlook, and it certainly seems to have had one on Balko’s.
Yesterday, I took the editors of the L.A. Times to task for opposing temporary racial segregation in prison. The editors claimed:
Clearly, the state cannot classify people solely on that basis in the year 2005, and it would be preposterous for state prison officials to continue arguing that there is a compelling reason to do so.
Preposterous, you say!
I argued in response that prisoners are not as racially sensitive as the rest of us, and often engage in violence due to race.
Who was right? L.A. Times editors? Or yours truly?
Here’s a hint:
Today the L.A. Times runs a long editorial about William Rehnquist’s legacy. You don’t have to be psychic to predict that such an editorial is going to get a few things wrong. Nor does it take a genius to predict what topics the editors will misrepresent: Bush v. Gore and abortion.
Let’s start with Bush v. Gore:
Rehnquist’s most memorable accomplishment will probably be his most ignominious, and one of the most “activist” rulings in the court’s history: essentially installing George W. Bush as president in the fatuously reasoned Bush vs. Gore.
Ah, the old weasel word “essentially.” That’s the word you use when the thing you’re saying isn’t quite true. Using this word, the editors essentially cover up the fact that the Supreme Court did not even come close to “installing” Bush. No action taken by the Supreme Court changed who was going to become President, since media recounts all showed that Bush would have won any recount that Gore was willing to agree to.
So the editors’ characterization of Bush v. Gore (note to editors: that’s “v.” not “vs.”) is essentially a lie.
But the most annoying part of the editorial is its obeisance to the talking points of the abortion lobby. (Readers of this blog already know that Times editors take their talking points on abortion straight from NARAL.) Only pro-abortion fanatics have the nerve to argue that Roe v. Wade hangs by a single vote, as Times editors claim today:
The selection of Rehnquist’s successor, whenever it happens, will be a high-stakes battle. Both sides believe that important precedents, Roe among them, now hang on one vote.
That is flatly false. Roe was within one vote of being overturned in 1992, when the Court decided Planned Parenthood v. Casey. In that case, Roe was reaffirmed by a 5-4 vote. The four Justices voting to reverse Roe were Justices White, Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas. White is gone, and to this day, Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas remain the only three votes to overturn Roe.
That is a fact, and “both sides” know it. Any argument that Roe hangs by one vote is as cynical and disingenuous as anything ever devised by Karl Rove. For the editors of the L.A. Times to sign on to this ridiculous argument reveals either woeful ignorance or willful deception — I don’t know which for sure.
No “Outside the Tent” piece this week. But there is a correction of last week’s Outside the Tent piece by Jack Dunphy. The correction, while not entirely unmerited, is a little weaselly, as it implies a thoroughness in The Times‘s coverage that didn’t really exist.