Just when you find yourself doubting the legitimacy of capital punishment, a liberal comes along and erodes that doubt.
On his HBO program Sunday night, former Daily Show correspondent John Oliver mocked the efforts of Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts to acquire the drugs needed for the lethal-injection execution of an inmate after the solidly Republican state legislature voted to end capital punishment in Nebraska. The new law won't take effect for three months.
As invariably occurs when liberals opine about the death penalty, OIiver came across as more sympathetic to horribly misunderstood convicted killers awaiting execution than to their victims --
OLIVER: Nebraska has actually become the 19th state to outlaw the death penalty but it wasn't easy. They gave their governor and enormous human thumb Peter Ricketts (Oliver alluding to Ricketts' baldness) was staunchly opposed to the whole idea -- "My words cannot express (Ricketts quoted in news story) how appalled I am that we have lost a critical tool to protect law enforcement and Nebraska families."
'Words cannot express' -- why don't you try? It's a written public statement, you giant shaved owl!
A second gratuitous insult aimed at Ricketts before Oliver had time to blink after tossing out the first. What are the chances he'd be so cavalier in insulting the appearance of a), an African-American; b) a woman; or c) an African-American woman? The odds would range, progressively of course, from negligible to nil.
The worst was yet to come --
OLIVER: And incidentally, they picked the perfect photo there (Oliver pointing to news photo of a smiling Ricketts next to his quote about being appalled by the legislature outlawing capital punishment in Nebraska). Just look how happy he is at the idea of lethal injections!
Which is why "they" -- the news outlet that used the photo -- choose it in the first place, all the more likely for it to appear on HBO, Comedy Central, or MSNBC. Oliver is delusional if he believes it "incidental" that this particular photo was chosen for this particular story.
OLIVER: Interestingly, one of the reasons lawmakers voted to repeal the death penalty was purely practical as it's become increasingly difficult to obtain the necessary drugs for execution. And watch how Ricketts tried to overcome that objection --
UNNAMED NEWS ANCHOR FOR ABC AFFILIATE IN NEBRASKA: Yesterday, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts announced the state has successfully purchased drugs to administer the death penalty.
OLIVER: So he's essentially saying, hey guys, great news! I found the murder drugs that I've been looking for. How is that good news, you unpeeled hard-boiled egg with teeth?
At third gratuitous insult and counting, we can safely assume Ricketts isn't gay, since no liberal on television would dare spew such invective at him and expect to remain on the air after the boycotts, effigy burning and other forms of mock outrage that would surely follow.
It's here that Oliver's propulsive indignation jumps the tracks and wrecks his surrounding argument. That "murder" and "execution" are separate words did not come about by accident. They are similar -- a death results from each -- but dissimilar in a key respect. Execution, at least as currently undertaken in the United States, is scrupulously lawful while murder is inherently lawless. Police and members of our military, for example, are essentially licensed to kill as they deem necessary, but murder remains off-limits for both, as well it should be.
Any time a person is charged with murder in the United States, and cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for the defendant at public expense. In the case of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, it was a team of high-priced lawyers. His trial was held in Colorado, incidentally, not Oklahoma, ostensibly to provide a less emotionally-charged venue for a jury to mull McVeigh's fate.
A defendant charged with murder will have his guilt or innocence determined by a jury of peers, though not until after potential jurors are thoroughly vetted to weed out those those inclined to view criminals unkindly. If the defendant is found guilty, his sentence can be appealed, as mandated by state law, thereby extending the proceedings even longer. The actual execution invariably occurs several years after the horrendous crime that put the defendant on death row.
OLIVER: But it turned out anyway that his plan was a little flawed. First the drugs he found were located in India and cost nearly $55,000 in taxpayer money. And that's expensive. We are talking Adderall in the Yale library during finals' week expensive.
Cost of the bullets needed for a single firing squad? Less than $5. Any state spending $55,000 for fast, effective and relatively pain-free executions is doing it wrong.
OLIVER: And secondly there was this --
RACHEL MADDOW, EXCERPT FROM HER SHOW: The FDA tells us, "With very limited exceptions, which do not apply here, it is unlawful to import this drug to import this drug and FDA would refuse its admission into the United States."
Citing MSNBC's Rachel Maddow as a news source -- 'nuff said. Next up, Ed Schultz rails against misogyny in the GOP...
OLIVER: And that is pathetic -- because saying you've got access to high-quality drugs from India and then not being able to deliver is embarrassing enough when you're a high school junior trying to your prom date's pants.
Oliver clearly cognizant of the median emotional age of his audience.
OLIVER: It is downright humiliating when you are the adult governor of a state trying to desperately kill people, you dollar-store Lex Luthor!
Bingo! Well, close enough anyway. How clever -- repeated insults based on a person's appearance in lieu of a coherent argument. And go figure, Oliver is predictably pro-abortion. As so often the case when left wingers wring their hands over capital punishment, he's more unsettled by the infrequent execution of murderers than that of a million unborn babies every year in this country. Does the depravity of this ever occur to liberals?