Support Denmark, Defend Freedom

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

"My comparison is not of this world"

The bad Andrew Sullivan comparing incarceration rates around the globe:
There's no country on the planet - no dictatorship on earth - as comfortable with locking people up as the state of Texas. The detention policies of the current administration may be more understandable in this context.
I know a lot of conservatives will disagree with me for saying this, but this sort of invective is beneath Sullivan.

Pop quiz, Andy: Would you rather live in Texas or North Korea? Texas or Cuba? Texas or Libya? Unless one or more of your answers wasn't Texas, what's the point of going out of your way to unfavorably compare that state to every dictatorship on earth?

Give me a prison break.

Anonymous Jess in DC said...

Agreed. What Mr. Sullivan fails to balance is: whereas we imprison certain people, places like North Korea kill them without all that messy court business.

Perhaps a more accurate study would be to analyze occurences of state-sanctioned murder. Sure, we'd still be ranked higher than, say, France, but I'm okay with that.

Blogger Jon said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Blogger Jon said...

I fail to see the flaw in Sullivan's comment. Jess in dc's obvious point observing an obvious contrast between a constitutional republic, such as ours, and a prison state such as North Korea, is a non sequitur. The fact that Person X from Dallas is girded by due process rights, while Person Y from Pyongyang has no legal rights whatsoever, has nothing to do with the fact that the government in Dallas is more "comfortable with" imprisoning its own citizens than is the government of Pyongyang. It seems to me, given the above distinction, that this ought to be the case, as Sullivan would surely agree. But it is also incredibly troubling, as Sullivan obviously believes. All Sullivan seems to be saying is that a free country ought not to betray such an easy comfort with the fact of incarceration. Seems pretty obvious and mathematical to me.


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