Sunday, March 28, 2004

Politics on the Blog! Mary's blog generated some political commenting, including my own. Let all who read this be aware that this is a free-speech blog and that people can say whatever they like. There will be no hurt feelings.

In the law we recognize a zone of contention where "reasonable men can differ". In a trial, where there is a crucial fact at issue and the evidence is such that "reasonable men can differ" on whether the fact is established by that evidence, then the case goes to the jury, and the jury decides. If, on the other hand, the evidence is so clear that reasonable men would not differ on whether the fact isestablished, then the judge rules and the case (or at least the issue of whether that fact is established) does not go to the jury.

The judge is the person who decides whether the evidence is such that reasonable men can differ as to what it means. That's what make judges so powerful and important in the intense, little world of the jury trial.

I propose that we be very broad in defining the zone of contention. There is no judge here anyway, just our own consciences.

On the matter of whether Bush "lied" or not, I am not sure whether I would want to characterize his manipulation of public opinion quite that way, if he did really know better about WMD. But if I were so to characterize it, then I should be ready to hang that stark label on his adversaries. Kerry is a particularly vulnerable figure if we are going to do that. I am not ready to use the label on either figure, because I don't want to cut myself off from a full understanding of who Bush and Kerry are and what each has to say.

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