I just don't get it. I am a Democrat and liberal in my sensibilities, and this seems to be a Democratic baby, but I am completely uncertain as to WHY we need a federal law setting hate crimes into a special category. My understanding is that this arose from the Matthew Shepard case, as sad and horrific a case as any I have followed here at WS. All murder is a terrible. Why is it important to focus on motive? Why must a distinction be made when someone is murdered because of their sexual identity or race or religion as opposed to other "reasons?" I would love to hear from all sides, but particularly from supporters. In all actuality, this "official" nonsensical response to Matt Shepard's murder reminds me of all the "official" nonsensical responses to 9/11 - bureaucratic fiddling in the name of just doing something.