Wednesday, September 24, 2008

David Kernell: Not A College Democrat

A Chattanooga federal grand Jury yesterday took no action in the case of David Kernell, the University of Tennessee student who stands accused of hacking into Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin's personal e-mail. Some media outlets and even a few bloggers seem to be making the mistake of thinking that "no action" is tantamount to this young man being taken off the hook.

Kernell hasn't "walked" because the grand jury did not dismiss the charges against him. They also did not indict David Kernell either, and that places this case in a sort of judicial limbo. Kernell is in a position to be charged at a later date by this or another federal grand jury.

Meanwhile, the University of Tennessee College Democrats want us to know that David Kernell is not a member of their organization:

It's the year we will elect a new president. So, you'd think the president of the University of Tennessee College Democrats would be hot on the campaign trail.

This week, he is addressing another issue.

"I want everyone to know that the College Democrats were in no way connected to the hacking of Sarah Palin's email," said Zak Kelley, president of the political group.

"At this time we cannot find any evidence that he is an active member of this organization..or ever a member," Kelley added.

For those of you not familiar with how the collegiate arms of our two major political parties work and who might be thinking that it is in Mr. Kelly's interest to cover up any involvement David Kernell may have had in the group, membership in either the College Democrats or the College Republicans is very difficult to hide. As a former active College Republican, I can tell you that this kind of situation is every campus party chairman's worst nightmare. In a university environment, anything bad that happens with a political connection gets pushed on to the campus presence of both parties whether they are responsible or not.

I can also speak from experience when I say that while we College Republicans were responsible for some outrageous political stunts when I was in school that were aimed at the College Democrats and their liberal campus allies (The Lambda Union, the Black Student Union, Students for "Choice," etc.), we maintained a good relationship with the College Democrats. No one was afraid to sit down and break bread together. We also had a lot of fun, and some of my fondest memories of those years were the parties and the bars and the laughs I enjoyed with my College Republican friends-I made friendships which have endured to this day.

The UT Democrats' rush to distance themselves from this situation begs the question: Why wasn't David Kernell, the son of a Democratic State Representative, involved in the College Democrats at the University of Tennessee? If this young man is as interested in politics as this kind of activity would seem to indicate, he should have actively sought out the College Democrats. Because his father is a State Representative, Kernell very likely would have been placed on a leadership track in the organization very quickly. He had a wonderful opportunity to really become a "Big Man On Campus." Yet he apparently chose instead to hack into Sarah Palin's e-mail.

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At Wednesday, September 24, 2008 7:06:00 PM, Blogger Eric Dondero said...

He's in College. He's a Democrat.

That makes him a "College Democrat" by definition.

If this was a Republican, that's how he/she would be described. The media would say: He's in College. He's a Republican. That makes him a College Republican.

What's good for the goose, or in this case the elephant...

At Wednesday, September 24, 2008 7:55:00 PM, Anonymous joe lance said...

You raise some good questions, and I wonder if it might be a generational thing. Is it possible that "the young people" are inclined toward politics but not so much toward traditional organizations? I don't know.

My colleges didn't have chapters of either. The History department where I finished my undergrad had a good mix of liberals, libertarians, and conservatives (including Woody White, who went on to be a state senator in NC), so that was fun. But mostly I was in the Music department, and, know how those artsy types are. ;-)

At Saturday, September 27, 2008 3:45:00 PM, Anonymous Aakash said...

David, this is a very good point. Thank you for posting this.


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