Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Dean comment on Kelo is inexcusable

Posted by Craig Westover | 11:43 AM |  

(Funny hat tip to the KAR)

Okay, political rants that spin the truth are one thing. Lying to cover your butt is at least understandable. Running with an unsubstantiated fact might just be laziness. But to concoct a statement that is obviously outrageous and false with no intent but to deceive the uninformed is inexcusable. Case in point is Howard Dean’s latest rip of President Bush.
He [Dean] also said the president was partly responsible for a recent Supreme Court decision involving eminent domain.

"The president and his right-wing Supreme Court think it is 'okay' to have the government take your house if they feel like putting a hotel where your house is," Dean said, not mentioning that until he nominated John Roberts to the Supreme Court this week, Bush had not appointed anyone to the high court.

Dean's reference to the "right-wing" court was also erroneous. The four justices who dissented in the Kelo vs. New London case included the three most conservative members of the court - Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Associate Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was the fourth dissenter.

The court's liberal coalition of Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer combined with Justice Anthony Kennedy to form the majority opinion, allowing the city of New London, Conn., to use eminent domain to seize private properties for commercial development.

"We think that eminent domain does not belong in the private sector. It is for public use only," Dean said.
Dean’s comment, no matter how you slice it, is just plain inexcusable. Best case, the head of the DNC doesn’t know which judges on the Supreme Court are considered conservative and liberal; worst case, he doesn’t care and he’s going to blame anything perceived as bad on George Bush even if it’s blatantly false. I put these comments right up there on the list of crimes with sitting across from a little old lady and conning her out of her life savings.

However, lest we get too irate over Dean’s rant, there is a hidden danger disguised in his comment "We think that eminent domain does not belong in the private sector. It is for public use only." Despite feeble attempts by the left to spin Kelo as a big business decision, eminent domain coupled with tax increment financing is a major tool of new urbanists. In fact, the New London project that spawned Kelo was an urban redevelopment project that Pfizer agreed join late in the process. Pfizer did not initiate it.

It’s just as wrong to take a person’s property to build high density housing as it is to take a person’s property and build a corporate campus.