DeflateGate: a few quick thoughts for the no harm/no foul crowd
I’ve spent the past couple of days listening to pundits, casual fans and Patriot-backers emphasize, in the strongest terms possible, that it didn’t change the outcome. Some go a tad further, suggesting that it doesn’t matter if Belichick tried to cheat, so long as the outcome wasn’t unaffected.
This line of “reasoning” is at once mind-boggling and completely predictable here in post-sportsmanship America. So let’s take the principle and test it by applying it to other situations.
Understand, we should get rid of all conspiracy laws. It’s not a crime to try and commit a crime.
- A guy shoots at you and misses. No harm, no foul.
- A masked man tries to rob a bank but is foiled by the security guard. Set him free, because no money was actually taken.
- An undergrad punk drugs a coed’s drink so he can rape her, but her friends drag her out of the party before anything can happen. It’s cool – he never got near her panties.
On the morning of September 5, 1975, Fromme went to Sacramento’sCapitol Park (reportedly to plead with President Gerald Ford about the plight of the California redwoods) dressed in a nun-like red robe and armed with a Colt M1911.45semi-automatic pistol that she pointed at Ford. The pistol’s magazine was loaded with four rounds, but there was no cartridge in the chamber. She was immediately restrained by Larry Buendorf, a Secret Service agent. While being further restrained and handcuffed, Fromme managed to say a few sentences to the on-scene cameras, emphasizing that the gun “didn’t go off.” [emphasis added]
They locked her up for 34 years. What’s up with that?
I could go on. And on. And on. But I won’t. Because I don’t need to.
And before you get all righteous and point out that murder and football are different things, sit down and shut up. We’re testing the logical and ethical structure of your principles. You can explain how that’s different later if you like. I look forward to walking you situation by situation through a wonderland of examples to see if you can articulate exactly where the lines are drawn.