As the Philadelphia Eagles near qualification for the playoffs, and as the possibility of Michael Vick being named the league's MVP heightens, the blogosphere is abuzz.
I cruise Huffington Post a couple of times a day and the pheromones are flying. The consensus - unscientifically arrived at, I admit - seems to be that THE GUY KILLED DOGS, FER CHRISSAKES. There are those who nitpick at bits of the content of blogs that support Vick's apparent journey to redemption without seeming to be too judgmental. There are even those who seem supportive of Vick. But for most folks commenting about Vick on the quintessential internet meeting place for progressive thinkers, the prevailing emotion seems to be THE GUY KILLED DOGS, FER CHRISSAKES.
I have to believe that most of those folks are Progressives. Well, not Progressives, really. I call them PINOs - Progressives In Name Only. You either believe in redemption through rehabilitation or you don't. Yes, I know. Animal mutilation is a theme that runs through the childhoods of serial killers. But there's no indication that Vick was drawn to dog fighting until he became famous, got paid an obscene amount of money, and fell in with what was definitely the wrong crowd. It was a learned behavior. And like any learned behavior, it can be unlearned.
So those who can't or won't believe that Michael Vick can be redeemed, and I'll go along with those who say that the jury is still out, aren't really Progressives at all. They have to rethink the basis for some of the most important tenets of Progressive thought. Not the least requiring their re-examination is opposition to capital punishment. If there is no redemption, is it ethical to cage a serial killer for life and place the lives of those who we pay to protect us from them in constant danger?