by Timothy Sandefur
The San Francisco Chronicle's attitude toward Prop. 90 and similar property rights initiatives is that it's all part of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy's attempt to take over the world. Check out their hilariously McCarthyite chart of the sneaky behind-the-scenes influence of Howie Rich, who is "at the center of a network of tax-exempt groups that has funneled millions of dollars to ballot initiatives…" As if this is some certain brand of evil.
What it really is is a confession by opponents of property rights that they don't have an intellectual side to their argument. As I was telling a reporter from Time magazine the other day (who was similarly insistent that we're all taking marching orders from some Dark Overlord) what made Hillary Clinton such a laughingstock for using the phrase "vast right-wing conspiracy" is that there is nothing conspiratorial about it. These people (and I suppose many believe PLF to be part of this conspiracy) simply believe that there is a better way to run things, and they're working overtly toward it. We do not disguise the fact that we believe the government is too big, takes too much from people who earn it, and gives too much to people who don't. We are a movement, not a conspiracy, and portraying wealthy donors to a cause as somehow being sneaky, string-pulling demons does nothing to alter that fact.
Those who can make strong arguments against ideas do so. Those who can't, whose arguments are empty, or silly, must descend to personalities, and content themselves with name-calling ad hominem. Frankly, it's no surprise at all to see the Chronicle adopt the latter tactic.
Hat tip: The Initiative Is A Good Thing, which has the right interpretation of such things.