E.J. Dionne creates more jobs weekly than the entire Obama Administration has done over the past three years, simply as a result of how colossally wrong he is on every topic he takes up. This week, Mr. Dionne writes on the case of Humberto Leal, which ‘Puter wrote about previously here.
‘Puter would like to note an area of agreement with Mr. Dionne. Like Mr. Dionne, ‘Puter is an opponent of the death penalty. But that’s about the only thing in Mr. Dionne’s column that makes any sense.
Mr. Dionne begins, as all good columnists do, with his thesis statement:
The unseemly love affair some American politicians have with the death penalty is bad for justice and bad for our country’s standing in the world. It inflicts a wholly unnecessary moral stain on a nation that rightly preaches the rule of law to everyone else.
An interesting statement, though ‘Puter doubts Mr. Dionne could assemble any politicians who are in love with the idea of putting a criminal to death, no matter how heinous the crime. It’s more likely that the politicians have balanced evil of killing another human against the evil caused by the human being killed and have determined, on balance, there’s less evil in killing the wrongdoer in punishment. Further, Mr. Dionne’s equivalence between the execution of a death sentence and ignoring the rule of law is irresponsible pandering to his liberal cocktail party buddies. Carrying out a lawful order of a court of competent jurisdiction does not ignore the rule of law; doing so supports the rule of law.
Mr Dionne next moves on to arguing that because foreigners and the president really and truly think the State of Texas executing a convicted foreign national criminal* is a bad idea, that we should ignore our judicial process.
President Obama, the International Court of Justice and the Mexican government all wanted a stay of execution. But Perry’s press secretary was unapologetic. “Texas,” said Katherine Cesinger, “is not bound by a foreign court’s ruling.”
Ms. Cesinger is exactly correct. Texas is not bound by the ruling of a foreign court. We are a collection of states, bound by a Constitution. A Constitution of the United States of America, not some loose Euroweenie Mad-Libs style “constitution” whose sole purpose is to give the self-aggrandizing mandarin class more say over individual’s lives. Each state has a right to enforce its own laws, so long as the laws do not run afoul of the Constitution. The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that the death penalty is not violative of the Constitution. Texas, in accordance with its laws and those of the United States, had a trial, convicted a criminal and meted out a sentence: death. The fact that effete liberal sensitivities are offended is not a compelling legal argument.
What Mr. Dionne really wants to see is what most coastal liberal elites want: a United States bound to some vague notion of international will. In other words, a United States that surrenders its sovereignty to elites. This is the same sort of sensibility that leads to moral equivalence between Palestinians and Israelis. Or, better yet, that leads to inclusion of Libya and North Korea on the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Mr Dionne then gets to the crux of his argument, that in his estimation, the United States, in executing Mr. Leal, violated international law. Mr Dionne contends:
1. Because the International Court of Justice ruled 51 Mexican nationals were wrongly denied consular access, Mr. Leal should get a hearing as well. ‘Puter’s fairly certain Mr. Dionne would not feel similarly if the ICJ held Mr. Obama should stand trial for war crimes involved in the not-a-war in Libya. But not to worry. Mr. Dionne promptly proceeds to discredit his own argument, noting that the United States Supreme Court held the ICJ ruling non-binding on the United States. It’s easier to tear apart an argument when the proponent of the argument does your work for you.
2. Because Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has introduced legislation for the past seven years seeking to codify in United States law the provisions of the Vienna Conventions related to consular access for foreign nationals, Texas should be forbidden from executing a criminal tried and convicted in accordance with applicable law. Mr. Dionne is faced with the unenviable task of arguing that a person is entitled to the protections of a proposed piece of legislation that has died without action for the past six years. If this is the standard Mr. Dionne would like to use, fine. Then abolish the Fed because Ron Paul (Crazy-TX) continues to introduce legislation to ban it. It must be illegal! Ron Paul says so. Or ban abortions nationwide because pro-life lawmakers have introduced legislation to do so.
3. There is no harm in delaying the execution further because, uh, well because it supports getting to where Mr. Dionne wants to be. Mr. Dionne, to his credit, cites the Supreme Court’s majority decision. However, his article could have simply read: “Here’s the Supreme Court’s decision in this matter. I disagree with the finding of the majority for the reasons put forth by the minority. Love, E.J.” Each of Mr. Dionne’s prior arguments, addressed in ‘Puter’s points one and two above, is a variation of some topic touched on in the majority opinion, and Mr. Dionne’s counterpoints are raised in the minority opinion. Essentially, Mr. Dionne did a 1L style case briefing and called it a column. Nice work, if you can get it.
4. Mr. Dionne moves on to straw men, and putting words (or holdings) in the majority’s mouth.
But the five-justice conservative majority let the execution go forward on Thursday. They dismissed the president’s worries about the impact of the execution abroad as “free-ranging assertions of foreign policy consequences” that were “unaccompanied by a persuasive legal claim.” It’s disconcerting that a majority of our Supreme Court seems positively impatient to just get on with these executions.
What the court actually stated was that the government did not make its case. It cited no precedent or statute in support of its position. It argued simply that the President doesn’t like the law, and Europe won’t like us any more. That’s not legal argument. That’s substituting feelings and emotions for law, and that’s embarrassing.
Also, ‘Puter was unable to find the portion of the opinion where Justice Scalia, writing for the majority said, “Yeehaw! I am batshit crazy and want to ignore applicable law so’s we can execute ourselves some foreigners. I just cain’t wait any more! Mah lethal injection trigger finger is getting itchy!1!! MY BLOODLUST MUST BE SATISFIED!!1!!!onety-eleven!”
5. In the final paragraphs, we get to Mr. Dionne’s real point.
Those who oppose the death penalty or think it’s imposed too frequently don’t disagree that terrible crimes deserve severe punishment. But this is not about absolving criminals. It’s about our nation’s core values and how the rest of the world sees us. In this instance, it’s also about protecting the rights of Americans overseas.
See, this isn’t about advancing grand and broad principals of law. It’s about being accepted by the global in-crowd. You know the ones. The Euroweenies and other fellow travelers who lied about global warming, who can’t fight a war with a tin-pot dictator less than 150 miles from their shores, who are broke fiscally and morally and who hate America for being what they can not be.
And that’s the problem. Mr. Dionne believes America should be subservient to the wishes of others, in our laws and in our politics. His words show he does not believe in the importance of our sovereignty. ‘Puter’s betting Mr. Dionne doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism, either.
Mr. Dionne speaks what many liberals think, and that’s why ‘Puter keeps coming back to expose Mr. Dionne’s intellectual and rhetorical vacuity time and time again. It is important to expose the truth behind the liberal agenda for all to see. Mr. Dionne like many liberals couches his ideas in grand sounding ideas with which many already agree. The death penalty is bad. We shouldn’t abuse the Earth. We should never engage in war. But when we look at what he’s actually saying, it becomes clear. Mr. Dionne and others use these issues as opportunities to weaken American, and to increase elite power over your life.
‘Puter believes Mr. Dionne is probably a fine and nice gentleman. To be certain, a gentleman with whom ‘Puter would disagree. But it’s his ideas, whether sincerely or maliciously held, that are worthy of contempt.
*Keep in mind that the recently deceased Mr. Leal, while in the United States illegally, brutally raped and murdered a sixteen year old girl, going so far as to insert a stick with a screw on it into one of her orifices and leaving it there. That, after (or perhaps before or during) bludgeoning her to death with a 30-40 pound hunk of asphalt.
Always right, unless he isn’t, the infallible Ghettoputer F. X. Gormogons claims to be an in-law of the Volgi, although no one really believes this.
’Puter carefully follows economic and financial trends, legal affairs, and serves as the Gormogons’ financial and legal advisor. He successfully defended us against a lawsuit from a liquor distributor worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid deliveries of bootleg shandies.
The Geep has an IQ so high it is untestable and attempts to measure it have resulted in dangerously unstable results as well as injuries to researchers. Coincidentally, he publishes intelligence tests as a side gig.
His sarcasm is so highly developed it borders on the psychic, and he is often able to insult a person even before meeting them. ’Puter enjoys hunting small game with 000 slugs and punt guns, correcting homilies in real time at Mass, and undermining unions. ’Puter likes to wear a hockey mask and carry an axe into public campgrounds, where he bursts into people’s tents and screams. As you might expect, he has been shot several times but remains completely undeterred.
He assures us that his obsessive fawning over news stories involving women teachers sleeping with young students is not Freudian in any way, although he admits something similar once happened to him. Uniquely, ’Puter is unable to speak, read, or write Russian, but he is able to sing it fluently.
Geep joined the order in the mid-1980s. He arrived at the Castle door with dozens of steamer trunks and an inarticulate hissing creature of astonishingly low intelligence he calls “Sleestak.” Ghettoputer appears to make his wishes known to Sleestak, although no one is sure whether this is the result of complex sign language, expert body posture reading, or simply beating Sleestak with a rubber mallet.
‘Puter suggests the Czar suck it.