This links to the CNN story in which Kaine states his opposition to the death penalty. I think saying that Kaine did not handle this well by mentioning some of the worst human monsters in history is a huge understatement. Also, though I’m glad to see Kaine strike back against Kilgore on the Medicare fraud charge, the author of the Kos post is right; Dems lose when they get into dueling ad wars with the Repugs, and when Kaine gave Jerry Kilgore, Virginia’s attorney general and the Republican gubernatorial candidate, this kind of ammunition, he did what any politician would do, especially a Repug; he beat Kaine senseless with it.
The reason why I’m mentioning this, though, is because Kaine is a Roman Catholic politician who is advocating a position or belief that is in strict accordance with his religion, and he’s getting clubbed for it. In case anyone hadn’t noticed, the Roman Catholic Church opposes the death penalty. Personally, I think it is justified in some circumstances (certainly not the way Texas uses it, however), and though I’m at odds with my church over this issue, I will have to find some way to reconcile that.
As far as I’m concerned, this is a gutsier position by Kaine than any Repug who automatically opposes a woman’s right to choose as though they are pre-programmed from the Bushco factory in Crawford, TX at the behest of Ralph Reed, Pat Robertson, and James Dobson (Kaine also states that he’s opposed to “partial birth abortion,” which is not a medical term after all, but a political catchphrase…since he’s running in a highly red state, he has to curry the favor of the evangelical hypocrites or else he won’t pull out a win).
Also, if you’re going to automatically oppose a political candidate for their position on capital punishment, I would ask that you consider the campaign for governor of New York between incumbent Mario Cuomo and George Pataki in 1994. The following was reported by Answers.com:
Cuomo is notable for his liberal political views, particularly his steadfast opposition to the death penalty (while governor, he vetoed several bills that would have re-established capital punishment in New York State; the death penalty was in fact reinstated by Pataki the year after he defeated Cuomo in the 1994 election).Given the fact that an individual of Mario Cuomo’s intellect, fairness and judgment was voted out of office over this issue, think about what this country has lost without him in government service since that time (he’s doing well otherwise, of course).
I hope and pray that there are enough voters in this red state to understand how important it is not to vote for a candidate of any political party based on their position on a single issue. This was a lesson learned from the Cuomo/Pataki campaign as far as I’m concerned, and I hope it doesn’t emerge as a lesson learned from the very close Kaine/Kilgore campaign also.
Update 10/24: Here's more from E.J. Dionne.