FauxPolitik

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

AKA Easterbrook: On weekdays, he's a serious contributor to the Atlantic, TNR, and Beliefnet. On weekends, he watches all the games as TMQ. (It's a dirty job, but . . .) And now? He blogs. This guy must warp space-time to make 48-hour days.

That said, he's still riding the Governor Riley issue, which he highlighted in his TMQ column last week. Here he is today:

[I]t's an outrage that the civil-rights movement has not gotten behind the campaign of Republican Governor Bob Riley to overhaul Alabama's state tax laws . . . Not many Republican leaders lay it on the line for a tax increase--the Alabama proposal would raise taxes on the affluent in order to cover the funds lost by exempting the poor and working poor, black or white. Why isn't this effort being lavished with praise by the national media? Because the reason Riley is pushing the initiative is that his Christian faith compels him to do so. Riley has openly promoted the tax reform to Alabamans as justified by religion, saying, "According to our Christian ethics, we're supposed to love God, love each other and help take care of the poor." . . . In the same state, Alabama, the national media have given nonstop coverage to the crackpot judge with the Ten Commandments statue . . . Why does the crackpot judge get 24-7 coverage when the noble governor gets almost none?
As I said previously, if Christianity shouldn't take precedence in the decorating of courthouses, it certainly shouldn't drive tax policy. In addition, most practicing Christians also tithe, so this appeal might be lost on them. Finally, who is Easterbrook to peer into Gov. Riley's heart (the way Bush, say, peered into Putin's -- and drew chuckles from the left)? Riley, like everyone else in politics, is selling something, mainly himself.

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