Monday 3 October 2005

Moderate is the ideal

This is in response to comments I posted on the nomination of Harriet Miers for the position of Associate Justice in the US Supreme Court, and comments and the response appear here.
Moderation is a standard
I would like to see it the way you have expressed your views, so succinctly without a hint of prejudice in terms of Justice O'Connor.
However, the standard of objectivity I am asking for is simple and summarised in the fundamental of letting everything be done in moderation - which is to lessen in intensity or extremeness according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. [1]
That virtue I cannot argue against, a judge should be level-headed, able to balance opinion and again objectively provide guidance and interpretation. You can call that both liberal and conservative depending on what angle you view that from.
If a judge then passes the test of Philippians 4:8
"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things." [2] They have excelled.
I see no ideology or slant of either conservativeness or liberality in those virtues, rather, it is more of moderation, truth being first, followed by being noble and then just.
This is looking more like a question of good character than anything else.
Hypothetical after the fact
On the issue of Bennett, his choice of words whatever preceded them would not pass test of the moderation I have inferred in any sense, the intensity and extremeness are off the scale. [3]
He only came up with the hypothetical defence after the uproar, [4] that did not occur in the talk-show.
The transcripts I have obtained suggest that it was hardly hypothetical when he started with "But I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime", that set the context of what he said afterwards and everything else.
Just because he said it would be morally reprehensible does not absolve him from the fact that his poor use of expression left his comments ambiguous and subject to varied interpretation.
The simple reason why everyone can get a part to take away from his comments, from praise to outright condemnation. I think I covered that in my blog yesterday.
Basically, we do need to explore the facts ourselves regardless of what the media offers us. In this case, the facts speak for themselves in context and intent any other slant is disingenuous as best and plain dishonest at worst.

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