Thursday, March 08, 2007

The difference between and idiot and a jackass: The politics of Kate O'Beirne.

Huffington Post
Michael Seitzman
The difference between and idiot and a jackass: The politics of Kate O'Beirne.

Innocent until proven guilty is no longer good enough for Kate O'Beirne. It's now, innocent until you confess. On Hardball last night, Chris Matthews was as incredulous as the rest of us who watched the same conservatives pounding their fists about perjury and obstruction of justice during their attacks on Bill Clinton, only now it's not a real offense.

Now it's "the criminalization of politics" as Kate-O described it last night. When Chris correctly asked her what the difference is between the Clinton situation and the Libby one, Kate-O's response (numerous times) was that the difference is "Clinton admitted his guilt and Libby maintains his innocence."

Really? Is that how it works now? You're only guilty if you admit it? Chris pointed out to her that the prisons are full of convicted felons who maintain their innocence, so she naturally responded that some of them really are innocent. What's her point, you ask? She has none - at least none outside of the notion that Libby should be pardoned because he's a nice guy and sits on her side of the political spectrum.

And therein lies the essential problem - there is no longer a shared truth in our culture. There are two truths and they have nothing to do with facts and everything to do with ideology and politics. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why we have an independent judiciary, so that decisions about "truth" can be made by people who don't have a political stake in the outcome.

Kate O'Beirne is not an idiot. She knows the difference between right and wrong, she just can't say it out loud. Why? Because she's a jackass. What's the difference between an idiot and a jackass? An idiot might admit to their own stupidity. A jackass can't.