Nebraska gets rid of the death penalty

Nebraska just became the 19th state to get rid of the death penalty.

This is notable for two big reasons. First, Nebraska is not known as a hotbed of liberal views. Second: this was done by the legislature and not by one governor declaring that there would be no more death penalty in his state (like Pennsylvania’s new Governor Wolf did soon after taking office). And it wasn’t just a simple majority vote — The legislature passed this with enough votes to override a veto.death

More and more, people are realizing that it is time America joined the rest of the civilized world in getting rid of uncivilized punishment.

There is absolutely no doubt that innocent people have been killed by this penalty. Those who insist on keeping it are basically saying they don’t care — that it’s better to kill one innocent person than it is to imprison a guilty one for the rest of his life.

Our system of justice is not perfect. Until we have a system that is 100% free from error we should not have a penalty that is 100% irreversible.

Right now, America shares the death penalty with such great democracies as China, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, and Sudan. It’s time we distanced ourselves from the bad guys.

Wolf won the Governor’s Race by Being a Democrat

A murder of Tea Party governors was elected four years ago and they immediately went about destroying their states’ economies.  (I wasn’t sure what word to use to describe a group of Tea Party governors, and a “murder of crows” came to mind for some reason.)  In Maine, Michigan, Kansas and Pennsylvania, these governors went on to become the most unpopular governors in the country.

Governor Wolf (artist's approximation)

Governor Wolf (artist’s approximation)

“We will put our economic policies in place and the economy will boom!” they promised.  Of course, when they did, their states all suffered.  Pennsylvania dropped to 49th in job creation, for instance.

in the 2014 election, they were all vulnerable, with negative rankings higher than their positive ones.  Yet they were all re-elected, save for Governor Corbett here in Pennsylvania.  What made the difference?

Tom Wolf ran as a Democrat.  A real Democrat.

In every other state, political advisers told their candidates to tone down the talk about taxes, to distance themselves from Obama, and to appeal to a more conservative base.  They said to attack the other side relentlessly, and use negative campaign ads.

Not Wolf.  He emphasized his liberalism.  He stood for reasonable gun control, reproductive rights, marijuana decriminalization, Obamacare, and environmental protection. He invited Obama to travel the state and campaign with him.  And he immediately responded to every negative ad that came at him, without becoming negative himself.

Now there are other reasons those other Democrats lost as well — Voter turnout was the lowest it had been in 75 years, so that always hurts Democrats. But turnout was low in Pennsylvania, too.

I think there is a lesson here that Democrats should heed:  You need to give voters a reason to come out and vote for you. You have to stand for something.

As a wise man once said, if you give the people a choice between a Republican and a republican, they will chose the Republican every time.