Friday, December 20, 2002

Senator Murray, When Will You Resign?

Now that we have finally rid ourselves of Trent Lott, when will Patty Murray announce her resignation?

    "We've got to ask, why is this man (Osama bin Laden) so popular around the world?," said Murray, who faces re-election in 2004. "Why are people so supportive of him in many countries … that are riddled with poverty?

    "He's been out in these countries for decades, building schools, building roads, building infrastructure, building day care facilities, building health care facilities, and the people are extremely grateful. We haven't done that.

    "How would they look at us today if we had been there helping them with some of that rather than just being the people who are going to bomb in Iraq and go to Afghanistan?"

Monday, December 16, 2002

Boston Globe Declares Clarence Thomas' Diversity of Opinion Unnerving

In any other circumstance, the Boston Globe would hail a black judge for bringing a diversity of opinion and experience. But since it is Judge Thomas...

    JUSTICE CLARENCE Thomas's uncharacteristic outburst in Supreme Court arguments on the constitutionality of cross burnings last week unnerved many supporters of free speech, including his colleagues on the bench. Thomas made a strong case that cross burnings, while clearly a form of expression, can be uniquely considered a physical threat, which the Constitution does not protect. The particular historic lineage of this symbolic act, Thomas suggested, is powerful enough to blur the line between speech and action.

    But it is hard to see how the court, in the Virginia case before it, can write a decision that narrowly focuses on a shared understanding of cross burnings as preludes to violence without also trammeling the beliefs behind them. And that would damage the fundamental right of Americans to express their views, no matter how odious.