Monday, May 23, 2005

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and what she said, or didn't.

Last Friday I posted about a quote from Washington DC's representative. A quote that has gotten far less press play then I think it should.
"Every woman in the District of Columbia should have the ability to protect herself in her home, particularly if she is there alone most of the time," Mrs. Hutchison said yesterday.
But one lawmaker warned the result could be dire.
"They're trying to see to it that more children get killed," said D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat.
I called her office press Media Contact last Friday so she could confirm or deny the statement was made. As I posted she said she would get back to me. I had figured that such a inflammatory statement would result in a return call with a denial or a comment of it being taken out of context. But as of this morning I had no calls.

So I called her again. Her press rep informed me that she had not had a chance to ask her and would get back to me. So for now I wait, and will try back on Wednesday.

Now onto other blogs. I did a basic google to see what other blogs were saying about the quote and found this post showing that spin can be put on any statement. Chris over at the Law Dork took exception to Mr Kopel's use of the quote and tried to slant it as being misunderstood.
His post is wrong on a grammatical point, on legal grounds, and more broadly as a part of political debate.
Quite simply, Del. Norton's point was that she believes this legislation will result in more children being killed, she believes that the supporters of the legislation are aware of this, and she would like them to be held accountable in debate for all the consequences of their bill. Kopel may very well disagree with Del. Norton on the factual foundation for her statement, but that does not make it slanderous. (Whether it is "despicable," of course, is a matter of opinion.)
I of course worry when someone tries to make something say one thing when it obviously says exactly what it means.

Here is my take on the subject.
Original quote.
They're trying to see to it that more children get killed
My break down
They're trying to see to it that more (NOUN) get (ACTION)
They're trying to see to it that more cars get built
Thus they want to build cars.
They're trying to see to it that more houses get constructed
They want to construct more houses.
They're trying to see to it that more children get killed
They want to have more kids killed.

So Law Dork is saying that she did not say what she said. Sorry Law Dork but you're wrong. If I can get her office to confirm the quote it is obvious to all people that she said that they wanted children to die.

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