July 23, 2008

"Morally speaking, what [Bob] Novak was doing here is no better than walking down a crowded street with his handgun, firing off .22 rounds at random."

Says Matt Yglesias — about Novak's hit and run accident today.

ADDED: Above the Law's "Lawyer of the Day" award goes to David Bono, the law firm partner who bicycled after Novak and blocked his escape. You can see him on video here. He must have been agile on his bike, and I like his verbal agility as he says — responding to Novak's claim not to have seen the struck pedestrian — "There was a pedestrian splayed on his windshield. I don't think there's any way you could miss that." A perfectly upstanding, observant, and articulate witness. Tough luck for Novak.

IN THE COMMENTS: Seven Machos:
The important thing here is that an evil person did an evil thing and that a good person (on a bicycle! which is quasi-sainthood) stopped it.

We can't let common sense get in the way of the narrative.

AJ Lynch:
Yeah he was splayed on the windshield then he just slid off like one of those mishaps you see in a cartoon on TV.

64 comments:

Revenant said...

That's a pretty stupid metaphor, yeah.

vbspurs said...

There's no excuse, none, for a hit-and-drive accident. It's cowardly and immoral.

That Novak will get slaughtered for this unlike Halle Berry when she did something similar, shouldn't take away from the opprobium Novak deserves.

The Drill SGT said...

what Victoria said

Jeremy said...

See, if the DC handgun ban had been upheld, none of this would have happened.

rhhardin said...

Hit and run is just doubling up your bets.

John Lynch said...

Blogging makes otherwise intelligent people look stupid. If you type enough short posts, you say stupid things.

rhhardin said...

Basically, it's a consequence of out-of-control legal processes, that makes it worth risking an additional penalty for evading the initial one.

P. Rich said...

Maybe we should call it bump-and-run, and then the perp could throw himself on the mercy of a judicial NFL fan who, in a moment of nostalgic passion, could enact new law. Or not.

vbspurs said...

Just saw the video. This is going to get a lot of play in the Netroots.

Look at the details:

- Hated "Conservative columnist" Robert Novak

- Repeat lousy driving offender

- Hits-and-runs

- 66 year-old pedestrian

- Gas-guzzling Corvette

- Bicycle-riding hero intervened

Take a look at David Bono's politics via Newsmeat. Sure, he was a witness, but one who knew exactly who Novak was.

Bono, David
Washington , DC 20006

OBAMA, BARACK (D)
President
OBAMA FOR AMERICA $-1,000
primary 05/20/08


If I were Kos, I'd try to make this into another Perfect Storm.

Cheers,
Victoria

veni vidi vici said...

Novak was probably still smarting from being used by McCain's peeps in the VP-rumor caper a couple of days ago, and wasn't thinking straight.

You know, those media folks... they can't fathom being used to spread spin by the politicians they work for - I mean, "report about".

AJ Lynch said...

Don't screw with the Prince of Darkness especially when he is in his black Corvette!

Scrutineer said...

link to Above the Law's "Lawyer of the Day" post:

http://abovethelaw.com/2008/07/lawyer_of_the_day_david_bono.php

The Drill SGT said...

1. Victoria? where did you get this one?

- Repeat lousy driving offender

I heard he "cursed at a j-walker"

2. I was surprised that he ws only cited for "failure to yield to a pedestrian". You could be cited for that by entering a crosswalk that contained a walker, much less striking a person, or "leaving the scene"

Roost on the Moon said...

Shoot. I usually like Yglesias.

Skyler said...

"Tough luck" is not the term I would use. I would prefer "just desserts."

Novak is really no different than those people who write gossip columns. Making the subject of his gossip politicians instead of celebrities doesn't make his writing more acceptable.

Randy said...

There's no excuse, none, for a hit-and-drive accident. It's cowardly and immoral.

I agree.

Seven Machos said...

Celebrity gossip columns are unacceptable? They're some of the most common and popular writing in the country.

What else is unacceptable to you, Skyler? Grocery stores?

Quixotic said...

I'd like to know at what point the lawyer/cyclist knew that the driver was Novak, and whether such knowledge shaped his recollection or description of the accident. D.C. is a political town, and most lawyers are Democrats.

It's an avenue to explore, because the "splayed" pedestrian had only minor injuries. But I'm not suggesting I have any evidence supporting the above speculation.

Skyler said...

Machos, I should have said "respectable" and not "acceptable." My intent was to point out that he may act all pompous, but he is little more than a rumor monger for the hoi polloi of DC.

rcocean said...

Sorry but Bono is a liberal democrat and a K street lawyer. So, was the man really "splayed" on Novak's windshield? doubtful.

And the 66 year old man was -at first report - "Uninjured". Pretty lucky for being "splayed" on a windshield.

And if Novak "sped" away from the scene, how did a man on a Bicycle catch him? He most have "sped away" very slowly.

Too bad it wasn't Joe Wilson.

Seven Machos said...

I agree, Skyler, except now you've got a problem with the word hoi polloi. That means common people.

Your credibility is seriously diminished when you persistently use the wrong words.

Seven Machos said...

RC -- The important thing here is that an evil person did an evil thing and that a good person (on a bicycle! which is quasi-sainthood) stopped it.

We can't let common sense get in the way of the narrative.

AJ Lynch said...

Yeah he was splayed on the windshield then he just slid off like one of those mishaps you see in a cartoon on TV.

Or perhaps Novak added a option that ejects pedestrians after they have been splayed on his windshield.

section9 said...

Oh, shoot. I thought Novak ran into Mitt Romney.

vbspurs said...

Yeah he was splayed on the windshield then he just slid off like one of those mishaps you see in a cartoon on TV.

LOL!

Regardless, most people except the very partisan would've forgiven Novak if he had hit a pedestrian, unless he was gunning for him.

What makes it immoral and cowardly, to echo my sentence above, is that he tried to leave the scene of the crime.

It's not the hit. It's the run.

(Similarly, in Washingtonian terms, it's not the lie. It's the cover-up)

Novak didn't only exhibit bad judgement and heartlessness in running away, but in a town like so highly politicised like Washington DC, in which he's a major player, he should've realised he's got a big bulls' eye on his back.

That's just stupid.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

/"hit a pedestrian"

...except the pedestrian! What I mean is, sometimes pedestrians come out of no where. Having to suddenly avoid an oncoming pedestrian I'm sure has happened to all of us.

@Drill SGT: Yeah, I overinflated the "lousiness" of Novak's driving. That's the incident I meant. Argie-bargie with a jay-walker.

OldGrouchy said...

What Victoria and others said!

Maybe Novak will be hung, drawn, and quartered, which should hurt a lot; either in print or real life!

Skyler said...

Machos, thanks for correcting a common error.

But you might be interested in addressing my point and not being a pedant.

rcocean said...

Everyone's ignoring the fact that Novak may be telling the truth. He's 77 years old, maybe he's hard of hearing. Maybe he "bumped" the pedo instead of "running him over". Maybe he was distracted.

Hard to Hit and Run in the middle of K:street. Lets not "Rush to Judgment". BTW, his corvette doesn't seem to have good all round vision. It look cool, but the drivers vision seems limited.

MadisonMan said...

I echo Victoria's thoughts. It's not criminal to be a bad driver. It's the worst possible judgement to hit someone and then drive away. I don't care how badly the pedestrian is injured, and I don't care that the person who stopped him is a Democrat.

When you as a driver hit a pedestrian, you stop.

MadisonMan said...

skyler, if he didn't I would have. I note that the hoi polloi is a pleonasm. Hoi polloi is sufficient.

MadisonMan said...

..and I'll add -- old white guy, souped up car. You just know he's not gettin' any. And sized below average.

Skyler said...

You know, one of the things about comments on blogs is that most people never change their minds or adjust their opinions no matter the onslaught of facts or logic.

Here I am, posting quickly, typing with a squirming toddler on my lap and I used the word "acceptable" instead of "respectable." It was pointed out, snarkily, but I agreed and corrected myself. Yet, the snarks continue.

I'd like to ignore the peanut gallery and repeat my point.

"Tough luck" is a choice of words that I wouldn't use. "Just desserts" is more appropriate. This is because Novak is not unlucky to get caught, he deserved to get caught. The only reason any sympathy would be sent his way is because he is a popular gossip mongerer.

If this hit and run were done by some unknown person, there'd be no sympathy whatsoever, no matter who the witnesses were.

vbspurs said...

..and I'll add -- old white guy, souped up car. You just know he's not gettin' any. And sized below average.

Well, if we're lobbing stereotypes around, I'm just happy Geraldo Rivera didn't spray paint Novak's car, and Obama steal his hubcaps.

Cheers,
Victoria

rcocean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rcocean said...

When you as a driver hit a pedestrian, you stop.

Even for Alan Dershowitz? Let's not expect the impossible. And technically, Novak did stop - eventually.

LonewackoDotCom said...

Shockingly, out of all the others, this is the post that leaves me most surprised that Althouse is a law professor. And, that's saying something.

MattY accused Novak of being a criminal, something that hasn't been proven. It might be worthwhile for her to point that out. It also might be worthwhile for her to point out that people shouldn't convict him based on witness statements written in the newspaper.

And, it also might be worthwhile for her to point out that there are some alternative explanations for what happened; let's see if she can come up with any of those.

Seven Machos said...

You! A law professor! Not pointing things out!

Beth said...

Faced with a baldfaced hit and run by a conservative, some of the usual suspects start harping:

"What, the guy was hardly injured! (He's in surgery, but what the hell)

The witness? He's a LIBERAL! He's LYING!

Hollywood LIBERALS can hit and run all they want. Only CONSERVATIVES get piled on for it!"

This has been another episode of my weekly reminder as to why, not with a gun to my head, would I ever identify as a conservative. Thanks. It's not necessary, but it bolsters my liberal spirits.

Seven Machos said...

Beth -- Should he be drawn and quartered or merely tried as an enemy of the People?

Trooper York said...

Have that guy with the gun to your head stick around so you can root for Jeremy Schocky. Hee hee.

Randy said...

Beth, some of those comments were clearly in jest, but I agree that a few probably weren't. They are no better or worse, however, than the thing's I've read over the years by equally partisan liberals, so I wouldn't be so quick to mount your high horse and ride off into the sunset of smug self-satisfaction if I were you.

Beth said...

Is "pedo" really short for pedestrian? I don't think so.

Beth said...

randy and seven, you're both lacking a sense of jest. Thanks; this gift just keeps giving.

Trooper, meanwhile, gets it. Who dat! Who dat!

Beth said...

Trooper, you spelled that wrong. It's "Schlockey" isn't it?

Trooper York said...

The dude with the gat!

Trooper York said...

Actaully as ricpic can tell you, in Yiddish its Smucky.

Seven Machos said...

Beth -- I really do miss the jest in your post. I'm sorry, because I do like jest.

Randy said...

As for myself, I did not perceive the hint of jest in your original comment.

Beth said...

Well, it's funny to me. And as fun as throwing a line out and watching the bobber pop right under.

Beth said...

Trooper: Schmucky! Now you've really ruined me; I won't be able to resist yelling that one out at a game.

I predict he won't present histrionics for awhile. He's missed out on all the preseason conditioning so our oppressive heat and humidity will keep him in docile submission for awhile. But once he realizes Marques Colsten is the go-to guy, I expect he's going to start up with the offended "Hey, I was open!" gestures at Drew Brees. Brees will smack him down pretty quickly, though.

Trooper York said...

I already told my friend Jackyln to tell all the drag queens that shop in her store to get their game face one....there's a real drama gueen in town and he ready to rock.

Seven Machos said...

Brees can intimidate Shockey with that birthmark.

Beth said...

Seven, I haven't been up close, but I'm pretty sure his birthmark doesn't read 666. If it did, we wouldn't care as long as he keeps throwing well and thinking fast in the pocket. It's football, and comprises have to be made.

Beth said...

good lord - compromises.

vbspurs said...

Is "pedo" really short for pedestrian? I don't think so.

I was waiting for someone to say that.

And also for "oh, he ran over a Catholic priest?" type shot.

But then I forgot this is Althouse not Kos.

Cheers,
Victoria

Beth said...


And also for "oh, he ran over a Catholic priest?" type shot.

But then I forgot this is Althouse not Kos.


Victoria, I like how to make the joke and condemn the joke all at once. Masterful stroke! I agree - it's a cheap shot, and a rim shot.

Trooper York said...

Run away, Seven Machos is right behind you!

Christy said...

Gee, can't we just extrapolate and say that this demonstrates the modern journalists' sense of entitlement and that the rules don't apply to them? I'm comfortable tarring all journalists with that brush.

vbspurs said...

And a rim job.

Oops. Time for bed. Night. ;)

OldGrouchy said...

Please, what's this talk about SEX? I always thought you're British, eh! Apparently not the dowager kind however!

Beth said...

'Night, Victoria.

Right, Trooper. I'll run. I gotta study up on the history of the world and everything so I can posting comments on a blog.

Roger J. said...

Victoria won the thread very early--no matter who does it--and it isnt the hit; its the run. Almost like Edwards trying to hide out in the crapper imitating Larry Craig with a wide stance (that part didn't make the National Inquirer but some have said....)

Paul said...

Well, well, well...

Today's news that Robert Novak has been hospitalized with a brain tumor diagnosis certainly puts his difficulty seeing a pedestrian in perspective, doesn't it?

(For those unfamiliar with brain tumor symptoms, it is common for victims to suffer visual impairment early on without realizing it. My father died from the type of cancer that has Ted Kennedy in its grip; dad's earliest symptom was progressive loss of vision on one side. We first noticed it when he kept getting lost while driving -- he was someone who was always a consummate driver, good with details, an innate sense of direction, and a map of where he was going in his head. Yet he began missing highway signs, exits, and other visual cues without being consciously aware of what was going on. It made him confused, upset, and argumentative with my mom until they figured out what was wrong.)

So here's a suggestion for those of you who are so quick with the put-downs and the assumed moral superiority: think twice the next time your'e tempted to spew such wretched nonsense.