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Dec 28, 2006


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The CA

Under state law, if Nifong were to resign, the Governor would have to appoint a replacement from the Democrat Party because the office is partisan. Now that this consideration is out of the way, Democrats can feel free to advocate that Nifong resign without fear of losing any political power. We all know that political power is always the premier consideration for Democrats in such matters- well, all matters really. This should be an easy call.

Danny Wright

And political power is not the premier consideration for Republicans?

Why is it that political parties exist in the first place? I cannot recall.

Connie Mack Jr

the Governor would have to appoint a replacement from the Democrat Party*CA

Right! And get another Nifong evil twin again.

Why is it that political parties exist in the first place? I cannot recall.* Danny Wright

That was the thought that George Washington once said in his farewell speech when he left the office of the President. His recall was excellent as he claim that factions of political parties would simply destroy the Consititution and your rights.


I think Nifong is definitely due for some discussions with the Bar, but I'm disturbed about the timing of this action, with the cases still pending. Talk about prejudicing the administration of justice. Does anyone think the defense attorneys in these cases might have a *little* more influence with the legal establishment than Mike Nifong does? I don't know whether it is unheard of for the Bar to take this action with the cases pending, but I bet it's rare. Any of you bloggers feel like doing some reporting?

Connie Mack Jr

but I bet it's rare.*P
About as rare as Jesus coming back next week.

An Open Letter to Michael Nifong

by William L. Anderson


Hello, Mike. Had I written this open letter last summer, I doubt you would have heard of me, but my sources in Durham (and they are good sources, Mike) tell me that I pretty much am on your enemies list. I’m glad I could accomplish that feat, but from what I can tell, that list is getting longer while we speak.

However, in this letter, I come to you in peace. I’m offering you advice, good advice, I might add, and if I were you, I would take it. Don’t get me wrong. I really hope that you not only lose your law license and your job, but since you were trying to take away the lives of three young men who had committed no crimes, I do hope that you have the opportunity to do a stretch in prison, or at least have to face that horrifying prospect. After all, there are people in this country who belong behind bars, and you are one of them.

But even though I want you to go to prison, I am going to offer you advice that I think very well not only could keep you out of what Lew Rockwell calls the crowbar motel, but also could save your career. Think about that, Mike. I am trying to help you keep your law license, your freedom, and maybe even your job, so you need to listen to me.

The first and most important thing is that you need to drop the kidnapping and sexual assault charges against Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and David Evans. I mean drop the charges the way that Duke University receivers drop passes at crucial times during a close football game. Those charges need to disappear, and fast, for if you insist on pushing them forward, it only will get worse for you.

As I give you this advice, let me caution you not to listen to people like Wendy Murphy. She has been on television championing your cause, and wrote this abomination of an op-ed for USA Today that declared your dropping the rape charges, but keeping the others, to be a "brilliant move." Trust me, Mike; you don’t want Murphy being your only cheerleader, for I can give you a list of law-abiding and respectable people who would refuse to spit on her grave only because they hate standing in long lines.

No, listen to me. Dropping those charges leads to my second point. For the past nine months, you have been telling the world you had a great case. Last spring, while reading something by your political allies, I saw where you had a "mountain of physical evidence" that pointed toward those three men having committed what the black journalist Cash Michaels called a "brutal rape."

As you know, that mountain never was on your side; it was on the other side. My guess is that you had that figured out the minute you spoke to Brian Meehan of the DNA lab last April (before you secured the indictments against Reade and Collin), as he gave you the bad news that the only thing DNA was going to do would be to further discredit Crystal and, by definition, your case.

That is when you made your biggest mistake. You lied, and then tried to cover the lie, and when you were caught, you gave a litany of excuses that rivals anything John Belushi would have given in one of his movies. Despite Murphy’s contention that you simply were trying to protect the "privacy" of the unindicted lacrosse players, reason tells the rest of us that you were not too worried about protecting people whom you publicly had labeled "hooligans" and "rapists."

Mike, I can assure you that Judge W. Osmond Smith III was not taken in by your various excuses that range from "I didn’t know" to "the dog ate my homework" to "no harm, no foul." Maybe another judge might have looked the other way before this case became The Story nationally. When the Los Angeles Times is writing editorials calling for your head on a platter, you have to understand that this no longer is a Durham case. It is a national case, and you cannot stuff that thing back into your little jurisdiction.

Thus, literally everything you bring into that courtroom on February 5 is going to undergo scrutiny from every news outlet and every legal analyst in the country, not to mention overseas. Believe me, that is not something you want to happen, as the outright dishonesty of your "evidence" is going to be hung out for the world to see. It is one thing for that to happen in the current arena dominated by writers and talking heads, where nothing official has happened.

However, once you put this dreck before a judge, and the court gets to see exactly what your "evidence" really is, you are going to be in much more trouble than you are now. At this moment, you still are guilty only of "bad judgment." If you walk into that courtroom with your witness in tow, your "investigators," and your "medical evidence" (or, better put, your medical non-evidence), at that point you are going to be seen as the D.A. who has perpetrated a fraud. At that point, Mike, you will have openly committed a crime for which will make you vulnerable to spending time in the crowbar motel. That is fraud, Mike, and I am using that term in the legal sense.

There is a way out. You can go to the courthouse today – right now, I urge you – and make the following declaration:

I am announcing today that I have dropped all charges against Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and David Evans. There will be no further charges, and no more investigations of the alleged events that occurred on March 13 and 14, 2006.

At the time the accuser made the charges, my conversations with police officers led me to believe there had been a rape and sexual assault of the woman in question. As a prosecutor, I was duty-bound to investigate and the information that police gave me was of the type that required me to pursue this case and seek the indictments.

However, after further examination of the charges, I no longer can conclude that they are credible, and if I am not sure myself of the credibility of the accusations, by law I cannot further pursue this matter in a court of law. From the start, I have made it clear that this office takes rape allegations seriously, and we will investigate those allegations.

I do regret any actions I took which might have appeared to be overzealous, but at no time did I act against the letter or spirit of the law. While I take responsibility for mistakes that I might have made during this episode, let me assure all of you that those mistakes were made in the pursuit of what I thought was a just course of action.

Granted, about everything I have written for you is a lie, but since you already have lied repeatedly as an officer of the court, one more lie won’t hurt you, especially since it will have been told in the course of your ending this legal fraud. After all, you did not make the initial rape allegations; it was a woman with a history of drug abuse, prostitution, and mental problems (she was hospitalized in 2005 for those). She was trying to keep from being involuntarily committed to a mental institution when she made the charges, and that hardly was your fault.

But if you drop the charges with the above declaration, you have something you can bring to the representatives of the North Carolina Bar Association, who already have summoned you to appear before an investigative body. You can claim you were trying to make sure that a possible rape victim who is black and poor would receive justice. You can claim you were overzealous, but sincere in your actions.

(You might even try to repeat some of the acting talent you showed when you demonstrated on national television the alleged choke hold that the accused put on the woman. You sure were convincing when the cameras were on you.)

If the members of the legal cartel – I mean, your fellow attorneys of this august body – act within their usual scope of things, you might just get off with a reprimand, provided you have not tried to bring a lying accuser, lying police officers, and anyone else who would be torn apart by defense attorney, into a court of law. If you go that far, you can bet that the authorities will have no choice but to throw you to the wolves.

Remember, there are prosecutors in North Carolina who tried to get someone executed, even though they had exculpatory evidence in their possession (which they failed to give to the defense of Alan Gell). They got off with bare reprimands, and both of them are gainfully employed in the law. You might want to speak to David Hoke and Debra Graves about how to grovel in front of the Bar Association investigative committee, so that you, too, can get your free get-out-of-jail card.

Above all, Mike the key is dropping these charges now. Take my advice, please. I may not like you, but I believe that it would be best for everyone involved if you were to punt, including you. If you refuse to take my advice and continue this fraud, then people who have some authority over you are going to dismiss the charges, and then they will deal with you. Mike, you have an opportunity to see that this humiliating experience does not happen, and I recommend that you take the proper course of action today.
December 29, 2006

William L. Anderson, Ph.D. [send him mail], teaches economics at Frostburg State University in Maryland, and is an adjunct scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

Ed Cone

Connie, please do not post full-length articles in the comments. Excerpts and links are the best way to respect copyright and share traffic. Thnx.

The CA

In response, sometimes you have to put principle above party.

Connie Mack Jr

Connie, please do not post full-length articles in the comments. Excerpts and links are the best way to respect copyright and share traffic. Thnx.*Ed Cone

Right! The next time some dude posts some 10 year old articles from the AJC about my alleged criminal past. Thnx...What time today do you think they will hang Suddam and Nifong?


DemocratIC party, Sam. Cut it out.

The CA

So are you a "Democrat" or a "Democratic" ?


Sam, in case you missed this in fith grade, a refresher:



Just because Rush sounds like an un-educated moron when he misuses words doesn't mean that you should lower yourself.

Dr. Mary Johnson

Jesus could come back anytime. But yes, this is about as rare as rare gets

Late to this conversation (busy with personal and animal medical issues all morning), but after considerable ponderment last night, I woke up this morning wondering if the move by the State Bar is intended to head off a move by the State Legislature to provide the NC Attorney General with more power to police errant/evil DA's (a power the office currently does not have).

The idea was gaining some grass-roots steam immediately prior to the Bar's announcement, and the AG's office issued a statement that it would more or less welcome the additional duty. My own recent conversation with an associate attorney there gave me the impression that they are just as frustrated by having their hands tied in egregious cases as WeThePeople are.

Wendell Sawyer brought up the interesting possibility of ordinary citizens filing affidavits (and initiating hearings to remove Nifong from office) over on Sam's blog . . . ala NC General Statute 7A-66.

As I mused last night, why wait on the Bar?


"Just because Rush sounds like an un-educated moron when he misuses words doesn't mean that you should lower yourself."

Lower himself to the level of an educated moron who doesn't understand that "Democrat", as is the case of any noun, can also be used as an adjective?

As in "Roch's post was such a Democrat thing to write"?


"Democrat", as is the case of any noun, can also be used as an adjective?

Yes, Bubba, and when used as an adjective, Democrat(noun) becomes Democratic(adj.).

Using Democrat as an adjective is as dumb-sounding as saying: "Bubba's post was very poet." But do what you want, just realize is sounds moron.


My all-time favorite entry in the Republicanistic Party's Democrat/Democratic mind game is the President's recent advocacy for "democrat values" in Iraq. Mental wars shouldn't be fought by those without weapons.


"Yes, Bubba, and when used as an adjective, Democrat(noun) becomes Democratic(adj.).

Using Democrat as an adjective is as dumb-sounding as saying: "Bubba's post was very poet." But do what you want, just realize is sounds moron."

No it doesn't....and no, it isn't, respectively.

It's the Party of Democrats, not Democratics.

It's just you and people that think like you do who feel that the use of "Democrat" in front of "Party" is some sort of slur.

Virtually every style book I've ever encountered says it's acceptable usage. And don't give me the anal-retentive "proper noun" argument.....it won't fly.


"Mental wars shouldn't be fought by those without weapons."

Sounds like that particular piece of wisdom came from first hand experience.

The CA

So Republican becomes Republicanic when used as an adjective? Funny I haven't heard that one yet. By the same token, I thought that the "Democratic Party" was a proper noun, not an adjective. If it is an adjective as Roch describes, it should never be capitalized unless it is the first word of a sentence because it is merely descriptive and does not reference a proper noun.

E.g., "American values" references the proper noun "American" or "America" therefore should always be capitalized. There is no "Democrat" party so the basis for capitalization of the term does not exist. Similarly, if "Democratic" is merely descriptive as opposed to a proper noun, it should also not be capitalized. So is it a party of "Democratics" (proper noun) or a party that is "democratic" (adjective)? It can't be a party of "Democrats" with a capital "D" because there is no such thing as the "Democrat party" therefore, no basis to capitalize the D.

Have fun.

Ed Cone

Origin, intent, and grammar of the phrase "Democrat Party" discussed here.


"Virtually every style book I've ever encountered says it's acceptable usage."

Can you cite one?


Nouns are used as adjectives all the time, Roch.

Here's an example: Potato Stew.

That fact that "Democrat" is a proper noun makes no difference.





Excerpt from the last:

"Some people just cannot buy it. My fellow author of the Grammar Land series is one of them. He persists in calling a noun that modifies another noun an adjective. Well, old ideas die hard. It is not easy to give up something that you have learned in favor of something new; however, just because that is the way you have always done it does not make it the best way to continue doing it. If that were the case, none of us would have been born again, but the new life is infinitely better than the old one."

My Chicago and Strunk style books are packed away, but I don't recall them prohibiting the use of nouns modifying other nouns, even though they tend to be old school and as nit-picky as you.

"Democrat" is a noun (just like "Republican") used to modify "Party". It's perfectly legitimate.

"Democratic" is clearly an adjective, and used in the true meaning of the word it is hardly an accurate description of the "Party" with which you would like it be associated.


One final point:

We don't refer to the "Libertarianism Party", the "Socialistic Party", the "Communistic Party", or the "Constitutional Party", do we?

Kirk D.

Just so much bullshit from Bubba once again. Now he's a grammer expert and should be teaching English. All of the above Bubba cited is culled from the right's attempt to slur the left with the miss-use of the proper noun for the Democratic Party. Pure and simple.

From the NY Article:

"The American Heritage College Dictionary defines the noun “Democratic Party” as “One of the two major US political parties, owing its origin to a split in the Democratic-Republican Party under Andrew Jackson in 1828.” (It defines “Democrat n” as “A Democratic Party member” and “Democratic adj” as “Of, relating to, or characteristic of the Democratic Party,” but gives no definition for—indeed, makes no mention of—“Democrat Party n” or “Democrat adj”.)"

The CA

Okay, it is the "Democratic Party". Their website says so. So they must be Democratics.


"Just so much bullshit from Bubba once again. Now he's a grammer expert and should be teaching English. All of the above Bubba cited is culled from the right's attempt to slur the left with the miss-use of the proper noun for the Democratic Party."


"Oh, boo hoo hoo! Bubba's so mean!"

This is too easy. I really ought to be ashamed of taking advantage of such a poor, pitiful, helpless soul like Kirk, our "Democratic" little buddy.



We were never in disagreement that nouns can be used as adjectives, so your last couple of posts are diversions. Some nouns are modified when used as adjectives. Poet becomes poetic, moron becomes moronic and Democrat becomes Democratic. I offered links to Merriam Webster that define democrat as a noun (only) and democratic as an adjective.

You then replied that virtually "every" style book you've read says that it's acceptable to use Democrat as an adjective. Yet when asked which one, you fail to cite one and, instead, link to sites that discuss the use of nouns as adjectives in general, none addressing the use of democrat/democratic.

So, I'm still waiting to see some authoritative source that says "democrat" can be used as an adjective.

Kirk D.

And you'll wait alot longer Roch, because democrat is not an adjective as everyone knows. That is except some who don't (or refuse) to know better.


Blah blah, woof woof.

Obsess all you want, folks. It won't change the usage.

I refuse to go into my storage just to get the material out just to prove you two wrong.

Neither of you is worth the time, effort, or intellectual energy required.

It's "Democrat Party", as is the usage by many local Democrats themselves across the country and will be used as such whether you like it or not.


Well, I'm convinced. (Don't ask, of what.)

Kirk D.

Yeah, me too. Totally. Really. I mean it.

John Burns

I am equally convinced that Bubba has too much time on his hands, a narcisitic personality disorder, and a fourth grade education made dangerous by too much time on them internets.

Joe Killian

I almost hate to step into this mud slinging match, but I was intrigued by the debate and just consulted every dictionary, reference volume and stylebook to which I have access and, as noted in the link provided by Ed, they're universal in declaring "Democratic" correct.

American Heritage, Webster's and the Oxford American Dictionary of Current English all agree, as do AP and my copy of The Chicago Manual of Style.

There may be stylebooks out there that advise the use of "Democrat" but I don't know which they are and they would appear to be wrong.

Joe Killian

Sorry - I meant to say that AP, The Columbia Guide to Standard American English and The Chicago Manual of Style agree. Have had a few professors who wouldn't want me to leave that one out.

The CA

That would make them "Democratics" then wouldn't it if it is in fact a proper noun, which it is. "Democrat" with a big D would be slang.

Joe Killian

It would seem not. Asked a friend who's now a college linguistics professor about this and he says no. I can't find any reference materials that would support that view. He tells me there are, for most gramatical rules (in English and the romance languages, anyway), words that are exceptions. This seems to be one of them - probably because it's used in this specific way.

I was curious myself, but having looked into it I think it's sort of ridiculous to argue that because a missuse of a word has begun to be used commonly the structure and use of the word must now change. Particularly when the people in the actual party who are using the word correctly oppose that change and their opponents seem (for whatever rhetorical reason) to want it. I'm sure there are Democrats who say "Democrat party." But they're clearly wrong. Call me an uppity, college-educated boy but in an argument of language between a stack of the best and most accurate reference materials assembled by linguists and historians of the English language and people who just passionately insist that their usage is correct I go with the books.


Joe, what's a college professor to know of faith based grammar?


I guess the Republicanists will just have to deal with the fact that Democrats like to use an inaccurate description as the official name of their party, won't they?

Ed Cone

"Democrat Party" is an incorrect usage with a clearly-documented history as a political jibe.

Defending the grammar is silly.

Protesting the jibe is as futile as asking a middle-school bully to stop using a hated nickname.

The CA

But this was a fun little diversion, now wasn't it? Joe, did your professor say that calling a person a "Democratic" was grammatically incorrect or simply that the usage of the term "Democrat" was acceptable as well?


Sam Spagnola, did you switch to CA so that people wouldn't know who you are when you exhibit public stupidity?

Incorrect: "He is a Democractic."
Incorrect: "She is a member of the Democrat party."
Incorrect: "We are bringing democrat values to Iraq."

Correct: "He is a Democrat."
Correct: "She is a member of the Democratic party."
Correct: "We are bringing democratic values to Iraq."


"Parts of speech" arguments seem irrelevant to me. The party named itself the "Democratic Party" a long time ago, and has been referred to that way for a long time. Calling it something else is simply wrong. It would be like insisting on calling the Republican Party "The Big Stupid Party". Whether or not it can be "justified" on other grounds, it's simply not the correct name.


"...it's simply not the correct name."

Too bad.

"Protesting the jibe is as futile as asking a middle-school bully to stop using a hated nickname."

I agree. Protesting such things never works with you.

The CA

"Sam Spagnola, did you switch to CA so that people wouldn't know who you are when you exhibit public stupidity?"

Roch, aren't you one of the people who accused me of personal attacks and being nasty? A fine example of the double standard that so many around here deny.

Pushkin was a noted Russian poet from the Romantic period. One could refer to him as a "Romantic" or should he be called a "Romancer" or "Romantcrat"? What about he along with his contemporaries, are they not considered "Romantics"?

What about one considered a "Charismatic" such as a particular brand of theology?

What rule of English exempts the "Democrats" from being called "Democratics".


"What rule of English exempts the "Democrats" from being called 'Democratics'."

None really, but but doing so would invite a complaint to the FTC for false and deceptive trade practices.


You're right, Sam. I'm sorry. That wasn't very diplomat of me. I guess I need to work on being more of a diplomatic.

The CA

You didn't answer the question. What rule of English exempts the "Democrats" from being called "Democratics"? The Democratic Party uses "Democratic" as a proper noun, hence the capitalization. Quite different from your diplomatic turn.


"The Democratic Party uses "Democratic" as a proper noun"

They do? Where?

Joe Killian

I am absolutely not an expert on this. I never even took a linquistics class.

But it occurs to me that maybe "Democratic" describes the party because they consider it to be a party dedicated to democracy. Therefore "Democratic" is being used to modify the term "Democracy" and not "Democrat." This would be normal usage and we see it in other places. But the political usage is a proper noun and its correct usage has been established.

"Republicans" are also - linguistically speaking - signifying that they are dedicated to the idea of a Republic. Which, from a political science perspective, anyway, is more accurate description of the nation. But we don't call them "The Republics." We call them the Republicans.

It could be that my ears have been dulled through usage or I'm simply willing to accept the linguistic pronouncements of people who know much more than I do about this type of thing and reference volumes to which I'm willing to defer on all other questions of language...but "Democratic" is fine with me.

The CA

Their website lists them as The Democratic Party, not the democratic party. Thus, it is a label, a proper noun. The capitalization should be a clue. Kind of like the Red Hot Chili Peppers aren't the red, hot chili peppers. A member of the Communist Party is a Communist. A member of the Republican Party is a Republican. A member of the Libertarian Party is a Libertarian. A member of the Socialist Party is a Socialist. So now what rule do you have that allows the Democratic Party an exception?

Joe Killian

I hear where you're coming from. I get the argument. It just seems to be wrong. That's not me being stubborn or ignorant. That's my trusting experts on the English language to know what they're talking about, as spelled out in all of the reference materials I'd trust to know this sort of thing.

Again, you'd have to talk to an actual linguist. But I think the fact that so many reference sources and experts agree that it is "Democratic" and not "Democrat" tends to suggest that it's the English language and not a political conspiracy. I don't think Oxford, Webster's, Columbia, et al. have been duped.

When you sit down and think about it, you could make a pretty impressive list of words and phrases that don't seem to make grammatical or practical sense in the English language but for which there is either a some arcane explanation we haven't bothered to research because no one's paying us to or for which we have to accept "that's the way it works. That's English for you."

I know this one has a political edge to it and so everyone has their feathers up over it, but the only way this one seems to be different than any other is that the argument is being made that it doesn't matter what linguists, reference volumes, style books or dictionaries say...one side of the political fight is right about the English language because they are.

This argument is beginning to remind me of the Colbert line at the Washington Press Corps dinner where he said he was no fan of reference books with their fact based agendas...he, the common man, could FEEL the truth.

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