Why Words Matter
In criticizing Barack Obama today, Andy McCarthy makes the claim that Barack Obama wants to end prison sentences for violent offenders.
Not to be a broken record, but it’s worth recalling that Obama gave a rave review to former terrorist Bill Ayers’s polemic against the criminal justice system, A Kind and Just Parent. More radical than even the Warren Court, Ayers’s book called for an end to prisons and harsh sentences for violent offenders. Obama praised it as a “searing and timely account.”
That’s pretty damning. Damning, that is, until you do a five-second search on Amazon for a book description and realize that Ayers’ book is a criticism of the juvenile justice system that advocates an end to prison sentences for juveniles. I would contend that there’s a world of difference between wanting an end to harsh prison sentences for juveniles as opposed to adults.
McCarthy’s leaving the word “juvenile” out of the above sentence makes a world of difference in evaluating Obama’s policy towards the justice system. Frankly, it makes McCarthy look desperate. Why not just argue honestly about Obama’s policies, based on his campaign platform and voting record? Is it really so hard to engage reality as opposed to indulging in bizarre shadow conspiracy theories?