Tuesday, April 29, 2014
At the Republican District Attorney Forum Last Night
Springer is a very tall person. The two men in comparison seemed like small-breed dogs trying to bring down an elephant. They didn't make much headway.
The fiercest feist dog was Nathan Miller. He listed as his "seminal experience" in preparing for this race his last four years on the Watauga County Commission. During the last two years, he's been chair of the County Commission. He said he was distinguished in that role by making so many people mad at him, proving in his own mind that he's some kind of paragon of fixed values. Others might suggest that he's been a paragon of vindictiveness, prepared to take revenge, belittle people he considers beneath himself, mean to a fault, and assertive of a rank partisanship not prone to take prisoners.
A question, "Do you believe in capital punishment?" brought from Miller a "yes! but it's not carried out swiftly enough." Then he quickly added that he wasn't talking about hauling a prisoner from the courtroom outside and stringing him up, which made me think that was precisely what he was talking about. It fits his profile.
Miller also said he wasn't going to leave his conservative Christian beliefs outside the courtroom if he becomes District Attorney. He said that in response to a question, "What place does religion have in the courtroom?" What exactly Miller meant to imply by that was very unclear ... that a member of the Muslim religion better watch out?
Near the end of the forum the candidates were allowed to ask each other a question. Both Banks and Miller went after Springer with aggressive questions about her record as an assistant district attorney, questions which Springer struggled with a little in Banks's case and easily batted down in Miller's. When it came her turn to ask a question, Springer declined to do so, saying the exercise seemed to breed mainly hostility. Then she delivered the Line of the Evening: "I would just like to thank Seth Banks for running a clean campaign."
What that comment implied about Miller was left hanging, unaddressed. Perhaps others in that courtroom knew what was being referred to. Perhaps others were as much in the dark as I was. But I suspect Nathan Miller knew what she was referencing.