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Friday, June 24, 2005

Grab yer gun Jed, they's comin' to take our home!

Posted by: Jambo / 3:50 PM

The Strib had a bunch of breathless letters (astroturf perhaps?) from conservatives about the dern Supreme Court takin' folk's homes. Guess most of them stop reading when they get to the second amendment or they'd see the principle spelled out for them 3 amendments later. No doubt the right will have another avenue of attack against activist judges. Or maybe not. TBOGG had this:
Why Jonah isn't a political consultant

Oh. This is good advice:


I fall somewhere between Ramesh and Rod on this. But I don't see any downside whatsoever in George W. Bush going before the cameras and delivering a sober but stern denunciation of this ruling. The principles are obvious. On the political front, it sets the stage for nomination battles to come in a new and helpful way. Home-owners hitch many of their political views to the set of interests revolving around their homes, and for good reason. Moreover, home-ownership is at an all time high, including black home ownership, which means there are large numbers of middle and lower-middle income voters who are in a moment of political transition where they see their interests in a new light. Why shouldn't Bush go out there and say we need judges who appreciate that property rights are just as valuable as any other right, that the state shouldn't be able to seize your home to reward political contributors? He already has a lot of talking points about how owning a home is the ticket to the American dream.

Well there is that little problem with Arlington Stadium on which George Bush's fortune lies:

In 1993, while walking through the stadium, Bush told the Houston Chronicle, "When all those people in Austin say, 'He ain't never done anything,' well, this is it." But Bush would have never gotten the stadium deal off the ground if the city of Arlington had not agreed to use its power of eminent domain to seize the property that belonged to the Mathes family. And evidence presented in the Mathes lawsuit suggests that the Rangers' owners -- remember that Bush was the managing general partner -- were conspiring to use the city's condemnation powers to obtain the thirteen-acre tract a full six months before the ASFDA was even created.

For what it is worth I am not entirely unsympathetic to the concerns of the dissenters in the case, ie just what does constitute public vs private use. It's just that the fact that the government pays fair market value for the property involved seems to be totally missed by the wingers who want you to believe granny is being thrown out on the street by Big Brother.

Update: As I read more on this topic I see that wingers all over the place are up in arms that the court didn't step in and to tell an elected body what policy they could or couldn't pursue. Wait a second, I thought the right wing was all about keeping the courts out of our lives? Actually this does in a way fit with their M.O. When the issue is personal--who you sleep with, who you marry, what you read, or when to end your medical treatment--they're all for government legislating to its heart's content. But if it is about economics, oh my, we must keep the government as far away as possible. Your body and mind are fair game, but money? Now that's something important.


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