Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Oh, it's not supposed to be this way

The most active bloggers on the left believe that there is some right wing conspiracy to "swift boat" or "bork" Louis Butler in the state Supreme Court race. The dyspeptic Mike Plaisted who regularly calls people he disagrees with "wing-nuts," "slugs," "deranged," "beasts," and "those without souls", is just mortified by the tone of the race. You'd think it'd be right up his alley.


But, it turns out, these right-wing "hatemongers" have been generally critical of the Gableman ad. Sykes "flew a flag" on it and I made clear that I thought it was unfair and that, if I were part of the Gableman campaign (sorry, Mike, call me a liar when you lack a shred of evidence, but I'm not), I would have strongly counselled against it. Earlier, I said that I did not like an ad critical of Butler ran by the Coalition For America's Families. I have tried to point out when I think the public discussion of cases by both sides is inaccurate.

Others have been critical as well.

I have not, not have others, fallen all overselves to call it "racist." I understand the frisson that arises from declaring someone else's moral deficiency (and claiming, by implication, your own superiority), but I gave it up for Lent.

In any event, I am hard pressed to find one commentator on the political left who has had one thing to say about ads critical of Gableman that even the WJCIC thinks crossed the line. You've got to admire the team discipline.

In a further irony, both of the lead-off ads from the campaigns themselves (as opposed to the nefarious third parties whose ads are somehow supposed to be "phony") are troubling. Gableman's ad suggests that there is something wrong with being a defense lawyer. Butler's ad suggests that it is the role of the courts to rule against businesses who he claims "poison" people (in the event, of course, the jury decided that the plaintiff wasn't poisoned) and for widows and children as a matter of "right vs. wrong."

One could, I suppose, say that the ads are just aggressive statements of defensible positions expressed in a vigorous (even Plaistedian) way. Judge Gableman wants to adopt a less expansive view of the rights of criminal defendants. Justice Butler wants to craft the common law or read statutes more stringently against businesses that he believes are engaged - or are likely to engage - in wrongdoing.

Or, less charitably, one could say that they misstate the role of the courts as an "ally" in the fight on crime or as a "watchdog" on business.

But, so far, its the "right wing noise machine" that has looked critically at both sides.

15 comments:

3rd Way said...

This lefty does appreciate your attempts at evenhandedness. You are right. We shouldn't call out the mendacity of one side and ignore it from the other. I have not seen any dissections of the Butler ads from the left, but I don't believe there has been any defense of them either.

I have an honest legal question. Would we as consumers of media have a case if we put together a class action lawsuit against the media outlets that accept money from the bad actors that are putting out blatantly false advertising?

Shouldn't the media outlets bear some responsibility for misinforming the public? A responsible corporate citizen would take a hard look at a what they are broadcasting to the electorate and make a judgement call about whether an ad is deliberately misleading or not.

I am not advocating for such an action, but I would be interested to know if such a lawsuit would have any merit.

If a case like that made it to the supreme court I would prefer not to have a judge that was put there by corporate interests issue the ruling.

Anonymous said...

You know, all this makes me want to rethink my position against public campaign funding, were I naive enough to believe that such a system would prevent the campaigns themselves from putting out all this garbage.

No, this is all taking place in a larger context of whether our judges should be elected or appointed. Though one has to acknowledge that in both systems the risk of political manipulation is manifest. At least here the shenanigans are out in the open for everyone to see.

Hopefully folks will take note of the commentators being fairly evenhanded on this and respond accordingly. Much of the hostility I see in the responses to Rick's posts here are uncalled for (yeah, he called you on it, Mike). I'm convinced that the more reasonable people will prevail in the long run.

illusory tenant said...

I don't know about this "team," but I haven't given much attention to any of the third-party ads at all. The significance of this one is that it issued directly from the Gableman campaign (such as it is) itself.

As in, "Hi, I'm Mike Gableman, and I approved of this ad." Since virtually nobody else approves of it -- albeit for varying reasons -- what does that tell you about Mike Gableman?

More to the point, what does it say about Gableman's suitability for the State's highest court?

Hell, we have to pass a character and fitness evaluation just to get admitted to the bar. There's a similar evaluation for the position Gableman is seeking, and he's falling short of it according to just about every measure.

Dad29 said...

Yah, well, IT, it's also clear that Louis Butler "falls short" of being qualified for SCOWI, whatever that actually means.

But Brennan didn't run, nor did Neubauer, nor Griesbach.

So it's either a 'living document' guy or one who seems to be a cipher on the REAL issues typically coming before SCOWI.

Frankly, I've had enough of the "living document" types--the asinine CCW decisions of Shirley and Louis are examples of their oeurve.

Feh.

Anonymous said...

Here's what you wrote:

Finally, there is the Gableman ad. I am very disappointed that the campaign ran that ad. If the point of the ad is that criminal defense lawyers are "unsafe" as judges, it works against one of the presuppositions of our adversarial system of justice (albeit a presupposition that the general public tends to be uncomfortable with). There are criminal defense lawyers who come to have a certain type of guerrilla complex and see themselves as called to throw monkey wrenches into an unfair system. They shouldn't become judges. But that's a far cry from making an argument for a client.

Here's what you didn't write:

THE AD IS NOT TRUE.

You might call Plaisted dyspeptic because you went to Harvard, but could one call you kind of a pussy "Golly, I questioned the point of the ad-- and my pants are wet for that".

Well obviously, yes. You are kind of a pussy for claiming some sort of neutrality (again)-- when in fact the most important error is not what Plaisted says but that the ad is a straight up lie.

Are you disappointed? Who cares.
Dahmer's dad was disappointed. The man is running for Supreme Court, his ad is a lie. And you're "disappointed".

Harvard is for pussies.

Matt

Anonymous said...

Matt, thanks for helping to prove Rick's point.

Anonymous said...

It's been a while for me but didn't Lincoln propose the idea that Douglas was part of a conspiracy to expand slavery in the U.S.? Isn't Lincoln now regarded as one of our greatest Presidents?

Butler supporters appear to be whining that there candidate is getting unfair treatment. But I have not seen that on the blogs this year.

I think Butlers problem is that he doesn't give supporters anything to support. The peter-principal was at work when he was appointed to the Supreme Court.

Put the blame where it belongs and lets try someone new on the high court.

Terrence Berres said...

"The dyspeptic Mike Plaisted..."

Maybe he just needs more brownies.

Anonymous said...

The left is not concerned about fairness, just playing the race card.

I saw the Gableman ad for the first time last night, it is NOT a racist ad.

It showed lots of faces, one black.

This is the nature of the lies spread from the left they see racism where it does not exist as a point to nail home only when it is convienient to the cause.

A joke.

joe stalin said...

Illusory Tenant can I answer your question about Gabelman??
I guess him running ads that you disagree with makes him a c*nt.

illusory tenant said...

A can't? Let's hope so. But it's too early to tell whether he's a won't. His name is Gableman, not Gabelman, by the way.

joe stalin said...

C'mon Illusory Tenant, just use the word on someone one more time for posterity!!
As for can't vs won't.
Didn't it go like....We SHOULD NOT, we MUST NOT, I WILL NOT, raise taxes?
Shouldn't.
Mustn't.
Won't.
DID.
Thanks for the spelling correction. That always makes me smile. A hater like you trying to prove superiority through spelling!!

illusory tenant said...

I never used it the first time. Nevertheless, Ms. McBride graciously accepted my apology, which was an act of considerable generosity on her part, and everybody has long since moved on.

Apart from, of course, the occasional moronic troll such as yourself.

*plonk*

Anonymous said...

Give me a break...I think J. Butler has done far more damage on the Court then this one controversail ad could ever do.

Anonymous said...

You guys shouldn't drink and post; you would think lawyers would know better.