Thursday, January 26, 2006

Under New Ownership

Today's front page story in every paper across the civilized world is the news that Palestinians have overwhelmingly elected a terrorist organization to lead their country's government. Tomorrow will surely bring a slew of editorials from writers better suited to commenting on matters of foreign policy; but since law school is about hypotheticals and analogies, permit me a short exercise.

Let's go back to 1991. Jeffrey Dahmer is still alive, and has just been arrested and charged with 15 counts of murder, following acts including kidnapping, sexual assault, and cannibalism. For the sake of this hypothetical, let's say that a mistake by police has rendered the prosecution's entire case inadmissible. Dahmer is set free.

Three months later, Wisconsin voters elect Jeffrey Dahmer to serve as US senator.

How do we react? Should his Senate colleagues agree to work with him? Should the president? If not, what do we do? Evict Wisconsin from the Union?

It's not a perfect analogy, but it's a lot closer than we'd like. The Middle East just took a big step, either toward reconciliation or nuclear war.


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