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Sunday, December 11, 2005

Senator Allen Comes to his Senses

The Cybercast News Service is reporting that Sen. George Allen is dropping his support for 'hate crimes' legislation that includes sexual orientation as a protected class. Allen voted for similar legislation back in 2004.

Allen's staff gives two rationales for this change:
The first is, he feels that those changes to hate crimes laws could have a chilling effect on First Amendment rights...

Secondly - even though he doesn't feel that the legislation that was voted on in 2004 in and of itself, would elevate 'sexual orientation' to civil rights status - it's becoming clear that there are some courts that would use that as a building block towards civil rights status, which he is opposed to.
Of course, we all know what is really going on here. Allen is no dummy, and he recognizes that he will be battling a number of other ambitious souls for the conservative mantle in the 2008 primaries. Allen is smartly seeking to short-circuit any strikes that others might raise against him with the GOP base.

As I've said before, Allen is most comfortable and most convincing when he's talking about economic, not social, conservatism. Still, GFA is savvy enough not to give his opponents too much rope with which to hang him.

4 Comments:

Anonymous The Jaded JD said...

Except that noose he had hanging in his law office.

11:03 AM

 
Anonymous eng said...

Speaking of slippery slope, isn't GFA also the chief sponsor of the resolution apologizing to blacks for slavery? I guarantee you if that resolution passes, we are well on our way to financial reparations.

2:50 PM

 
Blogger Madisonian said...

Perhaps the better question is why is Sen. Allen sponsoring hate crimes legislation in the first place? When did conservatives become okay with the government punishing you for what you thought? In the vast majority of cases, hate crimes legislation is a sentence add-on to the crime you committed with "hateful intent".
The problem I have with those laws is that it isn't based on conduct -- assault by one person against another is a crime no matter what you were thinking. It's the government punishing someone for what they were thinking as they did it. Is this really a path we want to start down?

3:28 PM

 
Blogger Old Zach said...

JD, every opponent Allen has ever had has tried to use the noose thing against him and it has never worked.

Eng, actually he cosponsored with Mary Landrieu a resolution apologizing to blacks for Congress' failure to act to stop lynchings. Not a whole lot different, but a little.

Madisonian, I'm in agreement with you on this one, but at least it is a step in the right direction for Sen. Allen. Maybe I should have said "comes to his senses (sorta)"

1:23 AM

 

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