24 thoughts on “It’s Feet to the Fire Time, Mike – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Mike Huckabee is the reason there should be a division between church and state. Not only in this debacle but in all respects, because generally Huckabee promotes his Christian Zionist agenda to the detriment of a more even-handed policy when it comes to Israel. He trots along like a good little doggie behind the likes of Dov Hikind and never deviates from his agenda of making Israel ready for the end times.

    In this case, it appears that all Clemons had to do was profess a love for Jesus, and it was enough for Huckabee to throw caution to the wind (not to mention reason and prudence) and let the guy out of jail. There should be at least as much noise about this as what was made about Major Nidal Hasan being a Muslim.

  2. You would have released him too. For you he would have written a letter about how racism affected his life, about being convicted by a white jury, about how mean the police who arrested him were, how his constitutional rights were violated. You’d find some reason to decide he was insane. You’d buy his story hook, line and sinker. Give me a break.

    1. Thanks for that vote of confidence. Here’s right back at ya, kid.

      To start, if my predecessors issued 1/3 the number of pardons/commutations as governor I would be guided by precedent & wouldn’t up that number as significantly as Huckabee did. Second, I’d rely on a professional staff of lawyers to review the applications & tell them not to be guided by religion or anything except cold, hard evidence that someone released has a chance of succeeding. Clearly, Huckabee didn’t do that.

      I know it’s hard for you to believe, but there are some progressives who believe in realism & pragmatism (as opposed to ideology or partisanship) when dealing w. social policy. I’m one of them.

      1. I worked in a prison for several years, and in the courts for more than ten. It would take a lot more than Clemons’ skin color and love for Jesus to persuade me to let him out. About 80 percent of prison inmates are sociopaths, for one thing. And the last I heard, Jesus wasn’t curing personality disorders. Clemons’ history reads like an ongoing disaster, and I would be more concerned with the innocent people in the community than whether or not Jesus had entered his heart.

        Amir, you really have to stick to the issues and stop the personality attacks, ok? You don’t know anything about me, so stop making assumptions as to what I would do.

          1. Well, it’s uncalled for no matter who it is directed at. The issue here is not one’s political views (we’re entitled to them, whatever they are) but when political figures use their religious views to make dangerous decisions, especially when those religious views fly in the face of common sense.

            In any event, clemency is seldom decided on legal issues such fair trial, etc. Most clemency boards will not touch a case based on them, claiming rightly that those issues belong in a courtroom. They are not administering justice in the traditional sense.

            Huckabee screwed up big-time, and this is not the first instance of his choice to be Christ-like resulting in tragedy. I fervently hope this puts the brakes on his political career for good; we don’t need him in the White House.

  3. Mike Huckabee clearly made a biggg mistake here in granting this guy clemency, particularly since it seems fairly sure that Clemmons committed this heinous crime up in Washington. And I agree, Mary, that religious consideration is inappropriate and/or insufficient criteria(particularly if that’s all you’re going on) to release someone from prison, after all we’re supposed to have separation of church and state in this country.

    Having said that, I actually like the fact that Huckabee has had the predisposition to review criminal cases and show clemency (and again, he clearly commited a MASSIVE foul with this one). Compared to other advanced industrial nations we have an incredibly brutal and draconian criminal justice system. Bill Moyers recently talked about the penchant of the current governor of Texas to fry people willy nilly, very much following in the footsteps of his predeseccor George W.

    Yes, Huckabee is a rightwing moonbat and loon regarding American foreign policy, particularly when it comes to Israel. And Huckabee’s brand of very public religiosity makes me quite uncomfortable, I’d certainly never vote for him, and god forbid he should become President. But I kind of like his disposition toward granting clemency, even if he horrifically goofed this one. It’s a welcome contrast to the viscious hang ’em high ethos that pervades our justice system & crime and punishment.

    Particularly as progressives, I’m uncomfortable with us stepping into those ‘hang ’em high’ shoes just because the goofer in this case is a right-winger and a hypocrite. Yes, lampoon the hypocrisy and moon-batness, but don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. I mean, I see a difference between Huckabee and the cold-blooded neoconservative war criminals who run our foreign policy, to put it another way. Compassion is something we could use a little more of in this country.

    If it turns out after investigation that Huckabee’s string of clemencies really is based on overdue religious consideration (in this context Christian faith), then he should definitely be held accountable for the wrongness of that. And if Clemmons is convicted of this horrible crime, he should defintely be put away for life.

    This awful mistake on Huckabee’s part does not mean his overall disposition is necessarily wrong. I’ll take it over the gleeful killing sprees of W and Rick Perry.

    Also, Mary, the fact that the media made totally overblown fuss over Hassan’s Islamic faith doesn’t mean we should turn around and do the same with Clemmons’ alleged Christian faith. It is totally wrong and demonizing in Hassan’s case and would be the same in the latter. Two wrongs don’t make a right. (and I also realize you were maybe joking or being sarcastic with that comparison…)

    1. Ouch, I wrote and posted the above comment rather hastily. That should be ‘predecessor’ instead of ‘predeseccor’, I actually can spell reasonably well (normally). I also don’t want there to be any ambiguity in regards to me thinking Mike Huckabee needs to be held accountable for this ghastly unfolding of events.

      1. The problem with Huckabee’s compassion is that it is directed only at Christians and at Zionist Jews. This is why they should put the brakes on this guy. He seems to think those who find Jesus should be unilaterally pardoned, but while he’s in Israel he speaks clearly in favor of the continuation of Palestinian land theft.

        1. Agree that partial, selective compassion based on the selective criteria of creed, ethnicity or whatever is unacceptable. The disposition toward compassion, empathy, soberly revisiting/re-considering criminal cases, etc., if one is so inclined, must be universal and applied universally.

          Otherwise it’s just another form of bigotry, and I’m suspicious that the Huckabee brand of ‘compassion’ could very well fall into that selective/partial category, though I don’t know enough yet to definitively say that.

          1. I’ve watched Huckabee enough to have an idea of what motivates him. He’s just your garden variety Christian Zionist whose motives involve furthering his own particular religious beliefs via political office, which is flagrantly violating the separation of church and state. He is indeed a moonbat, but moonbats have been quite popular in American politics lately – Sarah Palin is a good example.

            I was being both sarcastic and ironic in my comment comparing Clemmons to Major Nidal Hassan. But it’s worth thinking about, for sure.

  4. What is the difference between Maurice Clemmons and Marwan Barghouti? Marwan has killed more that Maurice has, but since Marwan has killed Jews, it is ok because that is a culturally sanctioned way of expressing strong statements. Richard, pls be consistent- support the release of both Marwan and Maurice

    1. Clemmons is dead, so it wouldn’t make much sense to support his release.

      Barghouti on the other hand will probably become leader of the PA just as former terrorists like Yitzchak Shamir and Menachem Begin did. The label “former terrorist” seems to suit one for national leadership for some reason.

      1. Indeed. There was no political motive in Clemmons’ crimes.

        Barghouti was accused of participating and supporting acts of resistance against occupation, some of which include terrorism. Has he ever been charged with murder?

          1. I don’t believe in suicide bombings, they’re nothing more than mass murder, but it was part of the Palestinian arsenal at the time. I also question just how much “planning” goes into a suicide bombing other than finding a chump to do it, strapping explosives on him and sending him to his target. Barghouti’s conviction was as much political as criminal.

            On the other hand, Clemmons allegedly raped a child, among other things. Barghouti, as repugnant as suicide bombing is, was fighting for the people of Palestine. On the other hand, what cause was Clemons fighting for?

  5. I believe that Barghouti has been charged with 5 counts of murder and that is why he is serving life in an Israeli prison. How do you know that there was no political motive in Clemmons killing the police officers

    1. Because I’ve read virtually every article written on the subject over the past 3 days. This guy was a psychotic lunatic, not a political activist. The night before the killings he told friends essentially: “I’m gonna get me some cops tomorrow. Watch it on the news.” Does that sound like someone w. a political motive? Due to the child rape charge & 3 strikes provision he was facing life in prison. He had plenty of reason to want to go out in a blaze of alleged glory which is what he did–but not for political reasons.

  6. Liberalism and religion are two sides of the same coin. Dukakis’ support for a furlough program for rehabilitating convicted murderers is more irrational than thinking that violent criminals will repent after finding Jesus.

    1. Thanks. I always appreciate your baseless speculations on American politics which continue to show you haven’t a clue what you’re talking about & are hopelessly out of touch. You’re not much better talking about Israeli politics closer to home. But at least you vote there & presumably are in closer contact w. Israeli political developments.

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