Wednesday, October 05, 2016

The water he swims in

It is said that a fish is unaware of the water it swims in; it knows of, and can imagine, nothing else.  I attribute a similar lack of awareness to Idaho Supreme Court candidate Curt McKenzie.

In the October 4, 2016 edition of the Idaho Statesman, McKenzie has a column carping about the Statesman's editorial board's choice of Robyn Brody for the court opening. It's a fairly typical article extolling a candidate's qualifications for the position, but two points jumped out at me.

First, McKenzie refers to Brody's term as president of the Idaho Trial Lawyers Association, "a close tie indeed."  What's the point of this, you might wonder?  McKenzie and his winger ilk view ITLA as part and parcel of the "liberal trial lawyers" who support Democrats.  By linking Brody and ITLA, McKenzie is winking to readers who dislike "liberal trial lawyers" and is attempting to tar her with that brush.  Okay, fine.  I'm sure that's a reasonably widely held position among Idaho's right-wing voters.  But it's still just a guilt by association argument, irrelevant to Brody's, or McKenzie's, actual qualifications.

Even worse is this quote:
They did not mention the organizations supporting me in the race, including the Idaho Farm Bureau, the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, the National Rifle Association, Idaho Chooses Life, the Association of General Contractors, the Idaho Association of Realtors, and the Professional Firefighters of Idaho. I am proud of such broad support from organizations rooted in Idaho agriculture, commerce, values and communities.
Here's the rub.  Every one of those organizations is staunchly right wing and always support Republicans over Democrats.  Okay, fine.  To believe that this is broad support, though, you have to be oblivious to the existence, to the values and communities, of non-winger Idaho organizations.  McKenzie thinks he's mainstream when he's so far right that he can't even see the mainstream from where he's at.  He's a fish that doesn't know it's swimming in water.

McKenzie hints that he'll "serve admirably and independently," and pledges to "fairly and impartially apply the Constitution and statues as written."  But what if a non-fish case comes before him?  I submit that he's not capable of being fair to non-fish, because he has no understanding of their existence, and therefore no empathy or perception of their circumstances.  Their values are not Idaho values, to McKenzie.

McKenzie would not be a Supreme Court justice for all Idahoans.


dburwell said...

Good to see you back blogging!

dburwell said...
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Alan said...

Thanks. Good to be back. Hope I can keep it up.