It is fascinating how similar the “believe accusers!” people sound to the most reactionary “law and order” types in our society. How often have we heard some Joe Arpaio sort insist that, by insisting on robust due process and a broad presumption of innocence, the ACLU is “soft on crime,” or “insulting the victims,” or “hugging criminals.” How frequently have we watched the hang-’em-and-flog-’em brigade describe crucial parts of the justice system as “technicalities,” or instantly transmute “accused” into “guilty.” How often is appropriate skepticism treated as “denial.”
How far from this approach are Dick Durbin and co.? The answer is: Not far at all. How odd it has been to see these instincts take root in the Democratic party, replete with the same shoddy thinking, and an identical dose of obfuscatory righteous indignation. How disastrous it will be if they flower into our culture as a whole.