John Hinderacker of Powerline asks the crucial question: is Dick Durbin (D. Ill) the dumbest Democrat?:
The competition is intense, but Durbin is definitely a contender. Here is the latest evidence:
In preparation for a previously announced hearing on controversial “stand your ground” laws announced after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., sent letters to more than 300 possible corporate backers of the American Legislative Exchange Council, requesting their position on such policies in states across the country.
This is Durbin’s press release announcing the “stand your ground” hearing in his Senate Judiciary subcommittee:
Around 30 states currently have some form of “stand your ground” laws on the books. September’s hearing will examine the gun lobby’s and the American Legislative Exchange Council’s influence in creating and promoting these laws; the way in which the laws have changed the legal definition of self-defense; the extent to which the laws have encouraged unnecessary shooting confrontations; and the civil rights implications when racial profiling and “stand your ground” laws mix, along with other issues.
There are multiple layers of stupidity here, so let’s try to itemize at least some of them:
1) Self-defense is a matter of state, not federal, law. Why is Durbin’s Judiciary Subcommittee holding a hearing on a topic that cannot, and will not, result in federal legislation?
2) “Stand your ground” had nothing to do with the Trayvon Martin case, as both prosecutors and defense lawyers said, and as we and many others have explained countless times. Is Dick Durbin really one of the few who don’t get this?
3) As Durbin’s own press release states, around 30 states have some some sort of stand your ground legislation. That is a clear majority. There is a reason for this. Most people think such laws are a good idea, as shown by, for example, a strong 45%-32% plurality in this Rasmussen survey. It is not necessary to investigate the influence of some nefarious “lobby” to explain why popular legislation is enacted in 30 states.
4) Durbin’s attack on the American Legislative Exchange Council is a sad page in the current left-wing playbook. A previously little-known good government group (albeit one with broad support and participation among both corporations and legislators), ALEC found itself in the left-wing crosshairs a year or so ago, and has remained there. Why? Roll Call’s blog offers a clue: Continue reading
One of the worst senators in the nation, Dick Durbin (D.Ill.), wonders whether the First Amendment covers bloggers in the above video. I can understand why Durbin brings this up. First, because Durbin is a Democrat hack. Originally elected to Congress from the congressional district including Springfield, Illinois, Durbin ran as a pro-lifer, defeating pro-abort Republican Congressman Paul Findley. Realizing that a pro-life Democrat was going nowhere in Congress, he switched to being a pro-abort and now has a 100% rating from NARAL and a 0% rating from National Right to Life. That he is a Catholic is of course of no consequence to him in regard to his politically expedient choice of embracing abortion uber alles. Durbin is a down the line liberal and most contemporary liberals and Democrats hate and fear the new media that does not give them lock step subservience as does most of the mainstream media.
Second, Durbin, a graduate of Georgetown Law School, must obviously be a rotten attorney as the issue of the extent of First Amendment Freedom of the Press was long ago decided by the Supreme Court in Lovell v. City of Griffin (1938). In that case, for a unanimous court, except for Benjamin Cardozo who recused himself, Chief Justice Hughes wrote: Continue reading
Father Roger J. Landry concludes here that the strategy of the Church to privately persuade Catholic pro-abort pols of the errors of their ways has been a flat failure.
“Let us take an honest look at the numbers. When we survey the long list of pro-choice Catholic politicians from both parties — Kennedy, Kerry, Giuliani, Schwarzenegger, Daschle, Dodd, Durbin, Leahy, Mikulski, Pelosi, Delahunt, Capuano, Markey, McGovern, Meehan, Granholm, Sebelius, Pataki, Richardson, Cellucci, Cuomo, and Biden to name just a handful — is it possible to say that the strategy has worked with any of them? Over the last three and a half decades, can we point to even one success story?
Another way to assess the results of the education-alone strategy is to measure the direction that pro-choice Catholic politicians have moved over the years. Even if they haven’t experienced a total conversion, have they moved closer toward limiting abortions or toward making abortions easier to access? The facts show that the vast majority of personally opposed, publicly pro-choice Catholic legislators have become far less personally opposed and far more publicly in favor over the duration of the strategy.
In the initial years after Roe versus Wade, publicly pro-choice Catholic legislators generally whispered their support for abortion. They displayed a palpable sense of shame, letting their abortion position out just enough so that it wouldn’t cost them the votes of abortion supporters. That discomfort began to dissipate after Governor Mario Cuomo’s 1984 pro-choice defense at Notre Dame. We’ve now come to a situation when pro-choice Catholic legislators vigorously curry the favor of Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America and Emily’s List; scores of Catholics in Congress have the chutzpah to co-sponsor the Freedom of Choice Act, which would eliminate almost every abortion restriction ever passed at the federal or state level; and 16 out of 25 Catholic Senators vote against conscience protections to prevent their fellow Catholics in the medical field from being forced to participate in abortions and sterilizations.”
Father Landry ends by suggesting a new approach, perhaps we might call it the “more than hot air” approach:
“Jesus spoke of a different way in the Gospel (Mt 18:15-18). It involves not merely general educational statements that we hope offenders will apply to themselves in conscience, but the type of one-on-one instruction traditionally called fraternal correction. If that fails, and fails repeatedly, Jesus enjoined us to regard the offender as someone who no longer belongs to the community, who is no longer a member in good standing. This may seem harsh, but we should remember that Jesus always seeks nothing but the best for his Church and for individual sinners, even obstinate sinners. Implied in Jesus’ strategy is that education involves not just information, but formation, and that you can’t form disciples without discipline. This is a lesson that, after four decades of the undeniable failure of another approach, we need to consider anew.”
Hattip to my friend the ever vigilant Jay Anderson at Pro Ecclesia, and please go here to read his comments on Father Landry’s argument.