Stand Your Ground and the Democrats

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 19 2012 9:37 AM

Stand Your Ground and the Democrats

106970927
WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 19: U.S. Rep.-elect Frederica Wilson (D-FL) (C) listens to an aide during an office selection lottery for new House of Representatives members November 19, 2010 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. New members of the House of Representatives have been in Washington for their orientation this week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

I don't know about this one, Free Beacon. The story is that Rep. Frederica Wilson of Florida "voted for the self-defense law [Stand Your Ground] when she was a state senator in 2005." What a hypocrite? Except when we read on, we learn that she's not shredding the law at all.

Wilson has made several appearances on MSNBC and other news shows denouncing the shooting; however, she has tiptoed around the statute in question.
“That particular bill needs to be tweaked,” she told MSNBC’s Chris Jansing. “It is being misused in this case. This is racial profiling; this is murder. This has nothing to do with ‘Stand Your Ground.’”
Advertisement

That's right: She voted for the bill and now wants to tweak it. That's... not very hypocritical! The static here is between Democrats who actually have to win elections in Florida and activist groups that want to channel the anger over the Martin case. In an earlier piece about post-Trayvon politics, I noticed that the Democrats with constituencies close to Sanford were not actually calling for Stand Your Ground to be pulled down. The candidates for state's attorney, a partisan elected office, basically agreed that the original law went too far and it needed to be looked at, but that it answered a real legal problem.

Widen the gyre, and you get to liberal activists who finally have a gun issue they can co-opt. Last week I sat in on a post-game strategy session held by Color of Change, Change.org, and Mayors Against Illegal Guns. One theme: In the Martin case, as in the Gabrielle Giffords situation, local politicos were not on board with a discussion of gun laws. (Giffords's staff was adamantly against this.)

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

Why Are Lighter-Skinned Latinos and Asians More Likely to Vote Republican?

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 12:29 PM A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

Subprime Loans Are Back

And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 22 2014 6:30 PM What Does It Mean to Be an American? Ted Cruz and Scott Brown think it’s about ideology. It’s really about culture.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 22 2014 5:38 PM Apple Won't Shut Down Beats Music After All (But Will Probably Rename It)
  Life
Outward
Sept. 22 2014 4:45 PM Why Can’t the Census Count Gay Couples Accurately?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 7:43 PM Emma Watson Threatened With Nude Photo Leak for Speaking Out About Women's Equality
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 9:17 PM Trent Reznor’s Gone Girl Soundtrack Sounds Like an Eerie, Innovative Success
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 6:27 PM Should We All Be Learning How to Type in Virtual Reality?
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 22 2014 4:34 PM Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.