Thursday, October 13, 2005

If Anybody Knows Demagoguery, These Guys Do

Today, the "Tim Kaine Cheerleading Squad", which masquerades as a newspaper in the Roanoke Valley, begins this editorial by demagoging a Kilgore ad that explains the truths behind Tim Kaine's death penalty opposition. The editorial purports to show that the Kilgore ad is misleading. In order to do so, the editorial staff ends up doing the misleading.
The editorial states;
If his television ads are to be trusted, Jerry Kilgore believes that serving as a court-appointed attorney to a death row inmate disqualifies someone from serving as governor of Virginia.
This line is a complete distortion of Jerry Kilgore’s statement. What Mr. Kilgore actually said was;
"Everyone is entitled to representation, but not every activist defense attorney is entitled to be governor of Virginia,"
And there can be no mistake made about it, Mr. Kaine is an activist attorney. As Mayor of Richmond He used City Taxpayer dollars to send busloads of people to the “Million Mom March” to protest in support of expanded gun control laws, (when caught in this blatant exercise, he did reimburse the City coffers) and, although “court appointed” he volunteered to defend the death row inmate cited in the editorial. (It is my understanding that only those attorneys who volunteer to do so are appointed to the appeals level of capital cases.)
[Note: I have since been informed that Mr. Kaine has stated that, while he did not voluteer to represent the three imates in their appeal, he could have turned the assignments down, but chose not to.]

Further, The Roanoke Times attempts to distort Tim Kaine’s statement that he would “uphold the law” as regards the death penalty by comparing it to Mr. Kilgore’s stance regarding abortion.
From the editorial;
Kilgore, if elected, would also be faced with following state laws he finds personally objectionable, such as those dealing with abortion. As Kaine has said, governors don't have the luxury of picking and choosing which laws they will follow.
What they don’t say is that on the subject of abortion, Mr. Kilgore is required by law to keep his administration neutral and to follow or veto the legislature. In Mr. Kaine’s case and subject, the law specifically allows the Governor to commute any death penalty, with no oversight required, and without appeal from the victim, the Courts, or the Legislature. In other words, as the law applies to these two subjects and these two candidates, the law binds Mr. Kilgore, while the law frees Mr. Kaine to do as he pleases.

Mr. Kaine has consistantly claimed he would "follow the law" in as it applies to the death penalty. What the Roanoke Times knows, but does not tell you, is that Mr. Kaine as Governor could commute all death penalties, regardless of public opinion, and still be in full compliance with the law.

This editorial further demagogues the issue by deliberately misstating the facts regarding Mr. Kaine’s statements to the Richmond Times Dispatch. When asked, "Your conviction is so deep that you cannot name one person in history, who because of his malefactions and criminal behavior, deserved the death penalty"?
From the editorial;
Kaine said, "They may deserve it. Of course they may, for doing something heinous. They don't deserve to live in civilized society. They deserve the death penalty."
The actual full quote was;
KAINE: No, I -- again, the way I answered your question is -- they may deserve -- yeah. They may deserve it. Of course they may, for doing something heinous. They don't deserve to live in civilized society. They deserve the death penalty. I just --you know, I look at the world. Most nations have decided not to have a death penalty. And -- and many are very safe. I don't think -- I don't think it's needed to be safe.
Now, read the two quotes above. Does the Roanoke Times accurately portray Mr. Kaine’s true statement?

As an aside, I bring up one further point, just to prove the first. Mr. Kaine claims this position to be based upon his deep religious conviction, and not his politics, therefore not subject to question. But, he makes this claim as a devout Catholic. His Church is adamantly opposed to abortion, yet he is on record as being extremely pro-choice. Do his religious convictions not apply to this subject? If not, why not?

Who is the real demagogue here? I nominate Tommy Denton and his crew.

Does anybody want to bet which losing Democrat the Roanoke Times chooses to endorse next?

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