October 30, 2008

Frivolous lawsuit of the week

According to this New York Times blog, Democratic candidate for the United States Senate Kay Hagan has filed a lawsuit against her rival, incumbent Republican Elizabeth Dole, because Dole ran an ad designed to suggest that Hagan doesn't believe in a God (which god or gods, the ad doesn't specify).

Which is funny, because I thought that to prevail in a libel action, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant had diminished — not enhanced — her reputation. If I were Kay Hagan, my response would have been along the lines of, "And your point is? This is America."

Instead, Kagan asserts angrily, for Dole to imply that she's an atheist is "despicable" and indeed, "the lowest of the low." Well!

It's exactly what the Framers envisioned: a contest over a federal public office has become a holy war between a pair of pious frauds.


Anonymous said...

Despicable? Lowest of the low? Didn't a bunch of atheists send money for Hagen's campaign recently?

Brett said...

The intersection of religion and politics is probably reason numero uno a number of very bright individuals chose to refrain from political office. Why crucify yourself (pun?). It's a shame. The mantra "we're a nation founded on Christian values" oversimplifies our Founders and overlooks our non-theocratic democratic republic. There's a reason our nation was not established as a Christian nation.

Jay Bullock said...

I dunno. Did you see Norm Coleman's suit against Franken? I think that was at least as frivolous--and ironic, because those Republicans just hate frivolous lawsuits.

I also think Hagan has a point, as Dole hired a voice actor to impersonate Hagan in the commercial, which, it seems to me, crosses a line or two.

illusory tenant said...

I'm guessing that that is Ellen Johnson's voice. And I'm joking that the suit is frivolous based on Hagan's reaction to having been called an atheist, that it's "the lowest of the low."

She certainly has a point that Dole's ad is sleazy and misleading, but I hope there are worse things than being a non-believer.