This morning the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s most reliably liberal columnist, Doug Grow, weighed in on Governor Pawlenty’s call for reintroduction of the death penalty in the wake of the disappearance of Dru Sjodin, a Minnesota native. (See our post below.)
Grow begins, in typically inflammatory style, by likening Governor Pawlenty to the leader of a “lynch mob” who is “calling for rope.” “Even though Minnesota is far different from the progressive place we used to know,” Grow writes, “this was chilling.”
Of course, one could draw a subtle distinction between Pawlenty and the leader of a lynch mob. Pawlenty wasn’t actually suggesting that anyone should be lynched; he was advocating a change in Minnesota’s laws. Doug, however, has never been one for fine distinctions. He might have a point, of course, if Pawlenty had said that the suspect who was arrested yesterday should be executed, since the suspect, Alfonso Rodriguez, could very well prove to be innocent. But Pawlenty said no such thing; he merely said that current laws do not adequately protect innocent people like Dru Sjodin.
Grow, like the Democratic legislator we quoted in yesterday’s post, can’t bring himself to talk plainly about kidnapping, murder and rape. I suspect he fears that if he reminds readers of the crimes that were committed, they won’t follow his logic on capital punishment. So, instead of mentioning the actual crimes that outraged Pawlenty, he writes:
“Who isn’t angry when tragedy happens? (It should be noted that there are tragedies daily in Minnesota, though most get far less political or media attention than the apparent kidnapping of University of North Dakota student Dru Sjodin.)” But what happened to Dru Sjodin wasn’t just a “tragedy.” It was a crime. And I like Grow’s delicate reference to her “apparent kidnapping.” I guess he is holding out the possibility that she might have had a bad quarter in school and skipped out for Cancun. Somehow, I don’t think that will prove to be the case.
Grow quotes far-left state Senator Jane Ranum, who “was disgusted by the governor’s words.” He says that she “supports tough prison sentences but is a foe of capital punishment.” Nonsense. Minnesota has some of the weakest sentencing guidelines in the country. They are the fruit of years of mis-governance by liberal Democrats. What has Jane Ranum ever done to promote “tough prison sentences”? Nothing.
It is true, as Grow says, that “there are tragedies daily in Minnesota,” as in every other state. There are also crimes committed daily. Some of those crimes are preventable. Capital punishment is one way of making sure that some vicious criminals never have the opportunity to find another victim.
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