Jun 20, 2003

LIFE AND DEATH for Conservatives

Richard Cohen raised an interesting question today. Why do "political conservatives, who don't think the government can do anything right, trust it to take a life?" Only when it comes to capital punishment does the system operate perfectly. Such is the thinking, if it can be called that, of George Bush himself. No one has presided over as many executions as he did as governor of Texas -- and with as little doubt about guilt and as much faith in his own righteousness.

Prosecutors as a rule are politicians. Their aim is conviction and strong sentences to make their record shine as tough on crime. Can no one see the conflict of interest in this? Using the power of the police and the money of the State they promote their careers (often to the detriment of justice). This is part of the Conservative Paradox. They love less government at a smaller cost except for courts, police, and prisons. This is the opposite end of their "The State has the right to Choose" support of "life" from conception to birth - but not beyond.

There is little reason to suspect that conservatives are rational when they mistrust government in everything but the two most important decisions - life and death.
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