Monday, August 27, 2007

Not With A Bang, But A Whimper

Here’s a topic I use more frequently abroad than at my online home (see my immediately previous post): Progressives making wild legal accusations that turn out to be nothing. This happens frequently enough that I now just write them off as crying wolf – a bad habit for me to get into, but one that has proved remarkably efficient. Today’s news brings and interesting example. I will quote much the same snippets that Instapundit does from Attorney Beldar’s Blog.

Sen. Kerry permits last statute of limitations for defamation to lapse, forever barring any defamation claim against SwiftVet authors O'Neill and Corsi: But there's more: "You have a standing offer from me: Just sue me here in Houston for defamation. . . . I'll waive any statute of limitations defense. I'll waive service of process. Hell, I'll meet you at the federal courthouse doors for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division (you have diversity jurisdiction), and I'll even pay your filing fee!"

There is no proof that Kerry misrepresented his war record, but there is solid evidence for it. That key elements were removed from his campaign website, that he promised to release his full records to the public but hasn’t, and that he threatened a defamation lawsuit but did not follow through are all indicators. (Note: I am aware of counterarguments, but find the weight of evidence for the above statements).

It is my contention that progressives make a lot of accusations of gross illegality, but when the dust finally settles, it’s nothing like they said.

This is not to say that I think the Bush Administration has been right in its position on all controversial issues. But when there are good arguments on both sides of an issue, I fail to see where the “fascism,” “lawlessness,” and all the other overblown rhetoric comes in. Particularly when split decisions come back on appeal, or the administration is proved out on some parts, turned down on others, I have to wonder what all the air was beforehand. I thought at first it was the non-lawyers who were getting up steam, and that those trained in the law would be more circumspect in their comments. Then I remembered the lawyers I work with. Overblown rhetoric is stock-in-trade for some of them.

I can see good arguments why people might worry that data mining might overstep the bounds of legal wiretapping. I can also see good reasons why it doesn’t. I understand the argument that an opposition party worries that DOJ firings might be political. I also know that this doesn’t look very different than all other recent administrations. That’s why we have courts. The political posturing has irritated me to the point where I no longer accept any accusation by a Democrat at face value – a bad place for any citizen to be. They have simply cried wolf too often. There is something deeply irresponsible about the comments of Senators Reid, Schumer, and Kennedy regarding the Gonzales resignation today – and I say this as someone who isn’t a particular fan of Alberto’s.

Some attorneys like the aggressiveness of trying to expand rights (or oppositely, authorities) where the law is uncertain or conflicted. Other attorneys are protective, wanting to take no risks of anyone bringing them to court. Both have their place, and I imagine most attorneys are not uniform in their leanings on this, being aggressive in some areas, protective in others. Is it part of the contract that attorneys aren’t allowed to say that their client disagrees, but have to soapbox up and blather about gross violations of human rights?

I guess it works, or they wouldn’t do it.

1 comment:

Dubbahdee said...

Define "works."

You should know as well as anybody that many people do things that don't actually "work" but they do them because they align with their incorrect beliefs about certain realities. The stick with these behaviors even though the damage, destroy and kill themselves and others. I suspect much mental illness is a sort of ideology of the heart.

Or...much ideological politics is just shared and institutionalized mental illness.