Dumond, Huckabee, and Clinton Derangement Syndrome

The Dumond case had less to do with born-again Christianity than with undying hatred for Bill Clinton.

Saturday’s LA Times had a long front-page story on the Wayne Dumond case by Richard Serrano. It makes it clear that Huckabee is fibbing about his role in releasing the rapist and murderer, though it soft-pedals Dumond’s prior criminal history. (It mentions a prior rape case and a prior murder case, but simply says the chrarges “didn’t stick” without adding that the rape victim refused to testify &#8212 and Dumond, having confessed on tape, smartened up and refused to sign the confession &#8212 and that Dumond got off in the murder case, in which he admitted hitting the victim with a hammer, by fingering one of the other assailants as the “real” killer.)

But the bizarre aspect of Serrano’s story is that it ignores Huckabee’s political motivations altogether, laying stress on Dumond’s supposed conversion to Christianity and on the role of Jay Cole, described only as a “pastor” and a friend of Huckbees. Nowhere in the story is there a hint of the link between the Dumond case and the right wing’s obsessive hatred of Bill Clinton.

Jay Cole wasn’t just a “pastor”: he was a right-wing talk radio host with a severe case of Clinton Derangement Syndrome (still active). And Cole’s enthusiasm for Dumond was linked to the idea that Dumond was an innocent man railroaded into prison because his alleged victim was Clinton’s distant cousin. (No, of course it doesn’t make sense that Clinton hated Dumond for NOT raping and killing his cousin, but of course lots of the anti-Clinton stuff didn’t make much sense.) Steve Dunleavy of the New York Post was another Dumond enthusiast, for the same reason.

The victims of Dumond’s two subsequent rape-murders were sacrificed on the altar of Clinton-hatred. That’s worth remembering. I can’t figure out why Serrano omitted that crucial fact.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com