Ethics Hero: Mother Jones Pundit Kevin Drum


It is sad and yet somehow comforting to watch the members of the crypto-totalitarian left writhe like Vlad the Impaler’s staked victims (above) as they try to deny, accuse, spin and otherwise humiliate themselves arguing against the factual assertion that the  anti-gun “no-fly list” = no gun rights ploy is blatantly unconstitutional, a breach of due process, and “pre-crime” legislation. It is sad, because it shows how far liberal ideology has fallen from its traditional aspirations, and how hypocritical it has become, embracing the “by any means necessary” approach to political power rather than actually respecting the civil rights it claims to worship. It is comforting, because it is signature significance. I thought much of the progressive movement  had become this corrupt and intellectually dishonest; now I know I wasn’t being unfair. This single episode proves it.

There is an ethical response to be adopted by someone previously cheering on the foolish Senator Murphy, or the smugly ignorant Ashleigh Banfield, once they are forced to think a bit about what these secret list tactics really mean in Constitutional terms. They don’t have to attack the messenger, often me, or make non sequitur statements about the Second Amendment is about muskets and militias. That ethical response is, “Oh. You know, I was so upset, I never thought about it that way, but you’re right. Wow. Thank-you.”

Most of them just can’t do it. It may be a lack of character, it may be a case of emotion killing brain cells, it may just be that an individual isn’t very bright, or that he just doesn’t want to be educated. That is, however, the ethical response.

If my floundering, foundering progressive friends want some inspiration to get them over the hump, I may have it for them, ironically from, of all places, Mother Jones, whose due process -mocking headline I recently dissected. That far left publications’ most prominent journalist is Kevin Drum, a progressive to his core. He is, however, also well-informed, intelligent, and true to his principles, and thus, while reporting on the various anti-gun measures being proposed as part of the cynical Democratic “DO SOMETHING!” initiative regarding guns, Kevin Drum wrote,

“There are plenty of gun-control measures I’d support. Banning high-cap magazines, for one. But banning gun sales to anyone who’s ever caught the FBI’s attention? No thanks. Senate Democrats have finally put me in the position of agreeing with the NRA. Nice work, folks.”

And nice work, Kevin.

9 thoughts on “Ethics Hero: Mother Jones Pundit Kevin Drum

  1. There are a few left-leaning people out there who get the moral bankruptcy of the Democrat position on Gun Control. Jeralyn Merritt of TalkLeft also gets that, even though many, probably most, of her readers disagree. You’ll see all the same dumb arguments there with occasional intelligent rebuttal, but Merritt is a reasonably principled liberal whom I’ve interacted with back in the day.

    The unfortunate thing is how few and far between these sorts of rational opinions are on the left. I appreciate the fact you continue to robustly refute this sort of mass hysteria. The old saw, “Do something, even if it’s wrong” wasn’t intended to apply to abridging constitutional rights.

    Most of them just can’t do it. It may be a lack of character, it may be a case of emotion killing brain cells, it may just be that an individual isn’t very bright, or that he just doesn’t want to be educated.

    I have another thought — A sinister not-so-well-hidden motive to replace the U.S. Constitution with an authoritarian regime. I know this violates Hanlon’s razor, but as you said, signature significance.

  2. Apparently, on PBS’s News Hour, Dianne Feinstein said that ‘we need to “prove [our] innocence.”

    If you need me, I’ll be warming up the tar. Would someone mind getting the feathers?

  3. Jack,
    What really frightens me is that most of the time those who support such a ban don’t have to dance around the due process question by virtue of the fact that so few reporters even raise it.

    Who can look back at this country’s own botched history with domestic surveillance, cointelpro, suspension of habeus corpus, etc, and suddenly trust the Feds when they say “THIS time we’ll get it right”? Then again, I suppose being a narc means never having to say you’re sorry.

  4. I’m 35 and was recently talking with someone slightly younger. He had the standard call for ideas to check the “do something” box. After I did some jumping jacks to show that I did something, I buckled down and wrote some ideas.

    Now, I’m usually accustomed to reading some constitutional murky stuff, so I veered a different direction. Below is my list as I wrote it to him, perhaps there’s something in it that speaks to people. My 4 ideas for improvement (not solutions, because solutions don’t exist.):

    Idea #1

    I’ll tell you that the #1 thing I would like to see in this country (give me some slack here, I believe everything is connected), given the state of health care…

    I’d like to see a 3 tier system of medical insurance & payments. (Tier 3 will be the part that relates back.)

    Tier 1: Primary Care / General Practitioners. No insurance. These doctors run their offices and clinics on a cash only basis. Drive the cost of common tests for strep and other infection down to an affordable amount.

    Tier 2: Injury Care / Specialists. Insurance based. Break an arm, need stitches. Xrays, MRIs, CT scans, cancer & diseases.

    Tier 3: Mental Health / Therapy Care. Government Based. Anyone at any time can seek counsel at no additional cost from mental health professionals.

    Idea #2

    Here’s the harder sell. I can’t organize my thoughts terribly well in a coherent way, but see if you can follow, 2 issue explanations, then 1 idea:

    Issue 1: There’s been a swing away from organized religion. (Full Disclosure: I’m quite agnostic/atheist) Say what you will about religion (it’s evil, stupid, corrupt) but it certainly helps people in crisis and teaches them respect for life. We have in the last 50 years finally accepted that people don’t want religion in their lives, but we haven’t given them anything as replacement.

    Issue 2: We’ve come up in quite the time, you and I. We can tell someone what a vinyl record is and we can work modern technology with easy. We’ve also seen how new technology disrupts. I’m willing to bet you’ve seen “the pattern”. With all of this new consumer technology, the pattern is essentially that we become so engrossed with it that we abuse it until a problem develops. A) Texting / Distracted B) Cable TV / TV always on C) Video Games / Detached D) Instant News Sites / Mindless, etc etc etc. Technology is supposed to enhance experiences not substitute them.

    We’re leading some pretty empty lives and it’s mostly because we haven’t figured out how to incorporate an appropriate amount of resources, leaving a good chunk of it behind and enriching our own lives. It leads to people living in an echo chamber and having a disassociation from reality.

    Idea: Education needs reform, and not the way a lot of people think. We put so much focus on high intelligence concepts with little focus on how to live. Practical education. We should revive Home Economics for financial planning, cooking, baking, woodworking, household repairs, how things work, how to solve problems, how insurance works, how renting and mortgages work, how retirement works, medical insurance, etc etc etc. We aren’t building functional members of society with our education system. We’re trying to figure out who is the smartest and advance them through different levels of attrition so that maybe one day, 1 person can make a difference.

    Here’s the rub with this idea. It needs to include some controversial modules. The value of life being one of them. It doesn’t have to be religious in nature, but we need to communicate how petty some things can be in relation to the grand scheme. A module on firearms would also be appropriate. I think every High School has a dedicated school resource officer. I think they should team up with a firearm instructor each semester to teach a week-long class to every junior about firearm safety, maintenance, handling. The worst that could happen is that we create a society of well informed individuals who can talk on even terms to discuss the best step forward.

    Idea #3

    I still come back to a strong desire for better statistics and reporting. It’s easily the #1 thing we can do now with no muss, no fuss. FBI doesn’t even track and categorize Officer Involved Shootings (OIS). There’s no reporting requirements at all.

    To date, this year, 526 people have been killed at the hands of trained law enforcement professionals and there’s no indication if any of those deaths were justified, if all of them were justified, or what percentage was justified.

    Every single person killed by firearm should be chronicled.
    1) Was it an accident?
    2) Did they shoot themselves? (suicide)
    3) Were they shot by LE? w/ Justified/Unjustified
    4) Were they shot by a civilian? w/ Justified/Unjustified
    5) Were they shot by someone they knew?
    6) Were they considered bystander?
    7) Were they indiscriminately targeted? <–True Mass Shooting

    The inability of our society to put pencil to paper to outline these easily identifiable criteria only suggests that there will be complete inaction to otherwise impact gun regulations.

    Idea #4

    I've talked about my ideas that are indirect to firearms. Well, here are my ideas that are closer to firearms. This time though, I'm not going to offer my deep thought explanations, I'm just going to place them here and see what others find intriguing.

    1) Legalize in every state and jurisdiction concealed carry w/o permit.

    2) Restrict open carry in every state and jurisdiction to permit holders (generally an application to local sheriff)

    3) Quit demonizing people for carrying and asking them to leave establishments. Cater to them, offer a gun check if necessary.

    4) Education Education Education

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