Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Butler Ad

The Wisconsin blogosphere is in a turmoil over an ad put out by (not certain if it was the Gableman campaign or another interested party).

The ad's controversy is two-fold. Clearly, a battling attorney would be justified in objecting over leading the witness (or in this case the voter). However, looking at the ad it is not as blatant as the left is making it out to be. The ad notes Butler defended mugs and thugs while Gableman sentenced them, that is it made a statement that Justice Butler was acting in a capacity other than judge. The impression many on the left leave me with is they think the ad is leading others to think a decision by Butler from the bench sprung the criminal. Just prior to 26 seconds into the video (below) the ad makes a claim that while on its face is true is a set of loosely unconnected facts. If I wrote in this style I would have to use ellipses.

Butler defended a certain child molester. Mr. Butler managed to defend his client somewhat successfully, but in the end the client was convicted, sentenced, and served the sentence. When released the molester struck again. The ad in question snips out pieces of the story and does not include ellipses. The ad leads one to believe the child molester immediately struck again after Butler sprung him from prison on a technicality.

So, I am not going to defend the Gableman ad on that one. Even Owen at Boots and Sabers thinks the ad is misleading.

However, some on the left are also attacking the ad calling it racist. Yawn, they see racism in a dog taking a dump in their flower garden. Such claims are crying wolf.

In recent years I have noticed quite a number of State Supreme Court races being barraged with law and order style advertising. It works too, the left has to figure out a way to deal with this and they can not seem to. Crying wolf errr, I mean racism works real well. Ask Michael Dukakis about that.

James Wigderson comes up with some interesting insight:
I think it's fair to remind the voters that Butler was a public defender. Here's an ugly little secret. People don't like defense lawyers unless they need one. Then they're thanking whatever deity is at hand. Now, I like defense lawyers. I like all lawyers unless they're sitting on committees trying to control an election or, even worse, sitting on an election board. But I'm the exception. Most people root for the prosecution. Why do you think Law and Order is so popular? Do you think it would still be so popular if the public defenders ran circles around Arthur Branch?

If being a public defender was popular with the public, there would be more of them on the public payroll and they would be paid more.
Source: Wigderson Library and Pub – Since you asked
I think James makes a good point Justice Butler's experience as a public defender makes him easy to paint as defending the indefensible. As the old saying goes, it is a dirty (call Mike Rowe) and thankless job but someone has to do it. Justice Butler did that and he, his campaign, and his supporters have to come up with a better way of dealing with that fact than crying wolf, errr racism.

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