For the last 20 years Republicans have been beating their chests over law order. Like they beat their chests over a lot of things, all of it phony and hypocritical designed to sucker some weak minded voters into thinking if they vote Republican they are for law and order too. Or patriotism. Or supporting the troops. All of which has all proved to be a lie.
The latest example of Republican law and order came courtesy of former conservative Republican Mississippi governor Haley Barbour and his pardoning of a bunch of murderers and felons before he left office. One of the felons he pardoned was a drunk driver with multiple drunk driving convictions.
The man is Harry Botswick. Bostwick was out driving drunk after three previous drunkin driving convictions, only this time his drunk driving resulted in the killing of 18 year old Charity Smith.
But what is just as outrageous as Bostwick being out on the street is that Haley Barbour gave Bostwick a full pardon after Bostwick Charity Smith in a DUI accident. So thanks to Barbour, Bostwick was off the hook for killing of Charity Smith while driving drunk.
At first, when confronted with what he did, this righteous conservative guardian of public morality and former chairman of the Republican National Committee, lied and said he didn't know about the DUI accident that killed Charity Smith when he pardoned Bostwick. Even if that were true, by what yardstick of law and order did Barbour think that a man with multiple drunk driving felony convictions wasn't a threat to public safety? But that aside, documents proved Barbour was lying and that he did know about Bostwick's DUI accident that killed Charity Smith. And pardoned him anyway.
So what did conservative Republicans and the extreme right, those so called religious guardians of public morality have to say? Nothing. Not so much as a murmer of outrage from conservatives, you know, the people with the bumper stickers that say "Right to Life" who obviously only believe in a right to life as long as you stay in the womb.
In 1988 during the presidential campaign, Republicans hammered Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis for setting free in a prison release program, a felon named Willie Smith while he was governor of Massachusetts. Smith committed a murder while free on the release program and Republicans battered Dukakis over his decision to release Smith as an example of Democratic weakness on law and order.
Given the history and the reality, what did Democratic strategists do with a conservative Republican governor's pardon of convicted murders and who pardoned a drunk driver who killed an 18 year old girl while driving drunk? How did Democrats frame this in terms of true American values, law and order, justice and public safety and batter conservatives for their hypocrisy? They didn't. Instead they did what Democratic political strategists seem to know how to do best. They did nothing on an issue that mattered. Instead they let Haley Barbour go as scott free as Harry Bostwick and attacked Mitt Romney for a bullying incident when he was back in high school. Which makes Democratic political strategists look guilty of SUI - strategizing under the influence. Though what is influencing them, no one can figure out.