Sunday, September 25, 2011

A 12-Year-Old Simpleton


Writes the worst column I have read in a month

This was printed in the "New York Times" by Ross Douthat:

...
Simply throwing up our hands and eliminating executions entirely, by contrast, could prove to be a form of moral evasion — a way to console ourselves with the knowledge that no innocents are ever executed, even as more pervasive abuses go unchecked.
...

Abolishing capital punishment in a kind of despair over its fallibility would send a very different message. It would tell the public that our laws and courts and juries are fundamentally incapable of delivering what most Americans consider genuine justice. It could encourage a more cynical and utilitarian view of why police forces and prisons exist, and what moral standards we should hold them to. And while it would put an end to wrongful executions, it might well lead to more overall injustice.
...

Young Master Douthat's conclusion?

That the ongoing execution of innocent people is justified because:
A) It sustains the necessary illusion among the masses that the American criminal justice system is not fundamentally brutal, broken and unfair, and;

B) It might one day somehow cause the same masses Young Master Douthat feels the need to lie to, to rise up and demand that we fix the fundamental brutality, brokenness and unfairness of the American criminal justice system.

Or something.

Honestly, I've heard more coherent rhetoric being grabbed as last-ditch Hail Marys by novice high school debaters desperate to throw any-damned-thing into the air to fill up their allotted minutes with noises that sound vaguely topical.

Once again, Young Master Douthat's argument positively oozes that special, bloodless infantilism of milk-fed conservative veal dimwits trotting out yet another lazy, cruel dissertation on the need for little people to suffer from within yet another Wingnut Welfare Ivory Tower.

There is, in the end, nothing whatsoever to be learned from Young Master Douthat's malignant and spectacularly malinformed column that you do not already know:

There is a Club.

We are not in it.


Or, as commenter Dean Booth summarizes:
"The exports of Libya are numerous in amount. One thing they export is corn, or as the Indians call it, "maize". Another famous Indian was "Crazy Horse." In conclusion, Libya is a land of contrast. Thank you."

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is Master Douthat aware that we have real life evidence of what happens when the death penalty is banned?
That his might -lead-to's are therefore bullshit?

Dean Booth said...

"The exports of Libya are numerous in amount. One thing they export is corn, or as the Indians call it, "maize". Another famous Indian was "Crazy Horse." In conclusion, Libya is a land of contrast. Thank you."

Anonymous said...

gad, I cant stand that pansy. The conservative view seems to be that if you are not doing anything wrong you do not have to worry. The US justice system contradicts even that trope.

Anonymous said...

To another Anonymous:
"The conservative view seems to be that if you are not doing anything wrong you do not have to worry."

I had many conservatives throw that at me defensively when the Patriot Act came up, and they all believed it. The underlying theme seemed to always be, "I'm not one of *those* bad people, so why shouldn't I support it?".

Mike.K.

snabby said...

So according to Mr. Douchehat, you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet. I guess as long as they're brown eggs, he's cool with it.

Monster from the Id said...

Snabby wins 10,000 Internetz for that one! ^_^

Anonymous said...

Of course, Master Douthat's Commentary of Deep Thought (circa 1910) evades that fact that just about every other civilized nation has abolished the death penalty (and THEY don't seem to be falling into moral decay,etc), and that we are left in the august company of such paragons of human rights as Russia, China, and Iran.....

But again, what would you expect from someone with a mindset from the Taft Administration? Imagine how shocked he'll be when he realizes that nig-ras have the VERY SAME CIVIL RIGHTS as white men!

Sophist said...

"Simply throwing up our hands and eliminating executions entirely, by contrast, could prove to be a form of moral evasion — a way to console ourselves with the knowledge that no innocents are ever executed, even as more pervasive abuses go unchecked."

So Douchehat wants to heighten the contradictions? Since when is he a Marxist?

Wayne Dickson said...

If you try to make the intelligence fit the predetermined policy, you're going to get fragmentary, inconsistent, flawed intelligence.

If you try to make the argument fit the predetermined conclusion, you're going to get fragmentary, inconsistent, flawed logic and rhetoric.

Do they get any points for consistency?

Mr.Wonderful said...

Abolishing capital punishment in a kind of despair over its fallibility would send a very different message. It would tell the public that our laws and courts and juries are fundamentally incapable of delivering what most Americans consider genuine justice.

This is, as the physicists say, not even wrong. It would tell the public something that non-morons already know: that juries make mistakes, mis-trials are allowed to stand, people lie, witnesses are coerced, cops lie on the stand, "experts" can be incompetent or simply wrong, and innocent people are executed by the state unjustly. Not "all the time," but enough.

Is no one at the Op-Ed page of the Times empowered to say, "Nope. Sorry, Ross. This is such utter bullshit, we simply can't run it. It fails to meet our most basic criteria of run-worthiness"? I'm asking sincerely.

DeistPaladin said...

QUOTE: "It would tell the public that our laws and courts and juries are fundamentally incapable of delivering what most Americans consider genuine justice."

So what does it tell the public when conservatives successfully and fearfully blocked the lawful prosecution of terrorists in our criminal justice system and instead insisted on a military system of justice?

Oh, sorry, I was expecting consistency from today's right wing.

wizbing said...

To Dean Booth ""The exports of Libya are numerous in amount...." My favourite comment EVER. Thank you.

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