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A Liberal Who Has Been Mugged


"A conservative is a liberal who has been mugged," goes the old joke. Like many jokes, there is a grain of truth in it. It is easier to be blasé about crime when it hasn't touched you personally. It is not universally true, though.

One of California's many criminals carjacked one of its most criminal-friendly politicians Saturday. Don Perata, leader of the Democrats in the State Senate, has long insured that the Public Safety Committee of that body is a graveyard for tough crime legislation. He has kept it stacked with a soft-on-crime majority and chair at all times. Saturday night in Oakland, a man with a gun told Perata to get out of the 2006 red Dodge Charger he was driving and took off with it. The car didn't belong to Perata, though. It belongs to the people of California. Laura Kurtzman of AP reports here.

So, will Perata see the light? Don't count on it.

"This is a punctuation mark on what I've been doing for 20 years. There are too many guns out there," he said. "Anyone who would do that in broad daylight with hundreds of people around must be pretty desperate."

Same old stuff from a true believer. Guns magically cause otherwise law-abiding people to suddenly commit crimes, right? And people who commit crimes aren't morally deficient. They don't rob or steal because it's easier than working or because they think working is for chumps. They "must be desperate." Cue Elvis singing "In the Ghetto."

They found the car later, Henry Lee reports in the SF Chron. The car was apparently targeted for its 22-inch rims. Lee refers to Sen. Perata as someone who "has campaigned against assault weapons and crime ..." Not in my book.

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