During the debate last fall over “Hate Crimes” legislation, Representative Mike Pence of Indiana offered one of the most eloquent critiques of the bill on the House floor:
Hate crimes provisions in this legislation, as before, are antithetical to those First Amendment traditions and unnecessary. Violent attacks on people are already illegal regardless of the motive behind them, and there is no evidence that the underlying violent crimes at issue here are not being fully and aggressively prosecuted under current law. Therefore, in a practical sense, hate crimes laws serve no practical purpose and instead serve to penalize people for their thoughts, beliefs and attitudes, and send us down that very slippery slope Thomas Jefferson warned against.
Some of these thoughts, beliefs and attitudes, such as racism and sexism, and bias against people because of their sexual preferences, I find abhorrent. I disdain discrimination. I disdain bigotry. But these hate crimes provisions, including those that will be added to federal law today, are broad enough to encompass legitimate beliefs, and protecting the rights of freedom of speech and religion must be first and foremost and paramount on the floor of this chamber.
To put it quite simply, adding hate crimes provisions in this defense bill put us on a slippery slope of deeming particular groups more important than others under our system of justice. Singling out particular groups of victims erodes our long-standing legal principles of equal protection under the law.
Exactly. Now, that principled conservative is considering a bid for the Senate seat currently held by Obamacare supporter Evan Bayh.
It’s nice to have Republicans who can actually articulate conservative ideas without pandering to various interest groups as have certain members of Pence’s leadership team in the House. Now, I’ll be the first to say that the Indiana Republican is far from perfect, but at least he can articulate the small government ideas which ostensibly define our party.
If Scott Brown could win in Massachusetts (Obama by 26), Mike Pence can win in Indiana (Obama by 0.03).