As the Rev. Ted Pike noted on Sunday in Conservatives Go After Holder the Attorney General's catastrophic performance before the Senate Judiciary committee on June 25 has stimulated a number of important new opponents of the Hate Crime Bill to emerge, including Rush Limbaugh.
(Pike also reported late yesterday that the Hate Bill may indeed be attached to the 2010 Defense authorization bill, apparently because the Democrats are not confident they can get it throught the Senate on its own.)
Californians, however, would be well advised to listen carefully to the soliloquy at the Hearing by their Senator Feinstein (here, on right) - Minutes 50:30 -54:00.
Feinstein did not bother to ask any questions about this very dubious legislation but instead listed why she demands it:
(...this bill presents the caution to States, to Counties, to look deeply to see if a crime of violence , in fact, is motivated by hate, not to dismiss it." Minute 51)
"This would give the Federal Government to look into this crime, to see if it is motivated by Hate"
In other words, raping a heterosexual woman would not be punished as severely as raping a lesbian, because there is a public policy interest in utilizing the latter situation to attack those hostile to homosexuals. (Otherwise, why bother? Rape is already a serious crime, even in California.)
"An Asian couple, on a beach at Tahoe gets beaten up. Why? Look deeply into that." (Minute 51:30) "I come from a State where the immigration debate has, some of it, has been a part of Hate, and people have been beaten up because they happen to be Hispanic, they happen to be standing on a street corner where somebody doesn't want them" (Minute 53:15).
Of course, if the transformation of a community is annoying the natives point to the degree that violence ensues, a more rational (and democratic) course might be to stop the transformation. But Feinstein sees it as a chance to repress.
Since Attorney General Holder's testimony, it has been on the record that this legislation is about privileging certain communities, and withholding its protection from others - such as soldiers or Christian Ministers. But carefully evaluating the comments of Senator Feinstein (and Cardin and Schumer as well) reveals that there is a group which also sees it as a chance to surreptitiously position the Federal power to opportunistically attack and differentially punish the holders of certain opinions.
With that in mind, and presuming that there is to some degree consensus amongst the state's Democratic leaders, Californians should be deeply alarmed by remarks by Karen Bass, Speaker of the state's Assembly. A recent interview produced this gem:
How do you think conservative talk radio has affected the Legislature's work?"The Republicans were essentially threatened and terrorized against voting for revenue. Now [some] are facing recalls. They operate under a terrorist threat: "You vote for revenue and your career is over." I don't know why we allow that kind of terrorism to exist. I guess it's about free speech, but it's extremely unfair"
Madam Speaker PATT MORRISON ASKS | KAREN BASS The Los Angeles Times June 27 2009
"I don't know why we allow that kind of terrorism to exist" !!! When one of a major state's senior office holders thinks like this, where can politicized judges and ambitious prosecutors be expected to take S.909 if passed?
A valuable account of what can happen is here.