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Obama as Victims' Advocate?


Jonathan Martin has this story at Politico.

Barack Obama's campaign earlier this month sought to find a rape victim to appear in a campaign commercial, according to an e-mail obtained by Politico.
Kiersten Steward, director of public policy at the Family Violence Prevention Fund, served as a conduit between the campaign and victims and women's advocates.

The notion of Barack Obama as victims' advocate borders on ludicrous. Violent crime is mostly a state and local matter, not one the President deals with directly. There is, however, one presidential function that has more impact on violent crime than all others put together. That is the appointment of federal judges. From what they have said about appointments so far, along with their political philosophies generally, there is not a shadow of a doubt that President Obama's appointments would be more criminal-friendly and President McCain's would be more victim-friendly. We have seen the pattern repeatedly throughout the years. The further left an executive is, the more his judicial appointees tend to side with predators against their victims. The correlation is not perfect, but it is very strong. And Barack Obama is the farthest left presidential candidate of a major party in living memory.

If the Obama campaign actually has the chutzpah to make such a pitch, let us hope that the commentators will instantly recognize it for the tripe that it would be.

(Hat tip: James Taranto at WSJ Best of the Web)


All you need to know about Barack Obama's worldview when it comes to crime is his euphemization of the vicious six-on-one attack in Jena, Louisiana as a "schoolyard fight". There may have been a case to be made that the miscreants were overcharged, but Obama's sympathy for the perpetrators of a savage attack tells you all you need to know.

Funny how you mention the lack of input the President has in these matters, and then you opine with no evidence whatsoever (what in the world *is* McCain's crime platform?) that Obama is "criminal friendly" and McCain is "victim friendly."

So do they matter or not? You can't have it both ways.

Moreover, with the crystal clear failures of the CJ system the past three decades plus (unless you consider 67% recidivism rates a gold standard of success), perhaps "get tough" policies are a bit antiquated?

Then again, you'd have to know the research literature to understand that. And, to read the literature, you'd have to dispose of those absurdly large paintbrushes you're using to color the candidates. And, for cryin' out loud, you're using the wrong colors.

The post distinguishes quite clearly -- for anyone who cares to read it fairly -- between (1) the substantive law of violent crimes, which is mostly state law and on which the president has little authority, and (2) federal judicial appointments on which the president has enormous authority.

The evidence that Obama would appoint more criminal-friendly judges than McCain can be seen in their own statements on appointments, which we have noted on this blog before and need not repeat in every post on the subject. It is also evident in the strong correlation between ideology of the appointing authority and the votes of judges in criminal matters, a correlation so well known among people knowledgeable in the area as to be beyond dispute and not needing citation.

The rate of violent crime, according to the latest available FBI index figures, is down nearly 40% from the peak. Getting tough on crime was a major factor in that drop. In the 1990s alone -- using the other side's expert's estimate of the portion attributable to tough sentencing policies -- that meant 340,000 people not robbed, 27,000 not raped, and 12,000 not murdered. Call that a "crystal clear failure" if you like, but I will call it a success.

People who commit crimes, with some degree of frequency, are recidivists. And that's supposed to be an argument that we don't have longer sentences?

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