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Morals With Dianne Feinstein

By Matthew Yglesias  

"Morals With Dianne Feinstein"

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Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean shot an unarmed man who was running away from them. That’s a crime. Indeed, it’s a serious crime. And, no, the fact that Ramos and Compean were Border Patrol agents and the unarmed man they shot in the back was a drug dealer doesn’t magically make it okay. But apparently George W. Bush thought they deserve clemency and Dianne Feinstein thinks two wrongs make a right:

Nor did the furor over the case break along neat liberal-conservative lines, as demonstrated by statements made in 2007 by Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat of California who is considered moderate to liberal. “It is true that the bullet left Aldrete-Davila permanently injured and that what the agents did was wrong,” the senator said. “But it is also true that Aldrete-Davila was not likely a low-level wrongdoer who got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

I don’t really understand what the relevance of these considerations are supposed to be. I take it that the federal maximum security prisons are filled with people who aren’t “low-level wrongdoer[s] who got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.” But still if you were to wade into such a prison and go on a killing spree, that wouldn’t be okay. It would be a big deal! Mass-murder! There’s no special rule where it’s okay to shoot at people as long as they’re “bad guys.”

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