…in which Ty defends Hillary Clinton, child porn, and the rights of polygamists. Aren’t you glad you tuned in?
My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don’t understand it. —Hillary Clinton
An unfortunate set of remarks, clearly, the implication being roughly that “Hey, Obama might get what’s coming to him, too.” I’m not convinced this is what Clinton meant, though I’m also not convinced it’s not what she meant, if you follow what I’m saying. With Hillary, you never can quite tell.
But public speakers says stupid things. Of all Clinton’s faults this isn’t one I’m inclined to dwell upon. She’s apologized for her unseemly remark, and who knows? It may be just as she claims: Because of Sen. Ted Kennedy’s recent travails, the Kennedys have been on her mind and things came out wrong. Trust me, if you talk in public enough, you’ll eventually say something you regret. The amazing thing here is that she apologized for it–perhaps a Clinton first.
And let’s not forget: The bottom line is that Barak Obama will be the Democratic nominee. We can afford at this point to be magnanimous in victory.
Where we cannot be so forgiving is the recent 7-2 Supreme Court ruling regarding Child Pornography Protection Act. (My normal parenthetical on this topic applies: No one in their right mind is in favor of child pornography itself, and the exploiters of children who create this filth should be locked away in a dark dungeon.)
Back in 2002 the court struck down elements of the Child Pornography Protection Act, saying that the government could not ban images in which there were no real children, only adult actors who look like children or computer-simulated children. In others, if no kids were involved, there’s no child porn and it’s not illegal.
Congress very unhelpfully passed a new law to remedy this sensible ruling and provide us with the confusion we now face. The new law calls for punishments for anyone who “promotes” material in a way that is “intended to cause another to believe” it is child pornography. So fake child pornography can be legally created, but you can’t legally market it.
And this is what the court just upheld in a 7-2 ruling. As Justice Souter noted in his dissent, speech cannot be banned based on bad intent, only on a “realistic, factual assessment of harm.” As fake child porn harms no one, this is a tough case to make. All we’ve done is stick another knife into the First Amendment, and we are not the better for it.
Similarly, regardless of one’s feelings on polygamy–and I’m not terrifically opposed to it other than, you know, an adult bedding a 13 year-old is minimally statutory rape–it is hard to imagine a more grotesque government overreaching than the kidnapping of 400-some kids from their parents by the state of Texas.
Already the courts are in the process of returning children to families and one can only hope that a new understanding is forged in the Texas law enforcement community: Unless there is a threat of imminent harm, the government has no right to tear families apart. It sounds as if some of these kids needed to be brought into protective custody, but Texas will be hard pressed to prove that every child was in imminent danger, and that’s got lawsuit written all over it.