"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Notes on Obama's Remarks on the "Tragic Events" in Ferguson

The real problem with Obama's remarks on Ferguson last night was that he gave them at all. He
should have said, and should have long ago instructed his DOJ to say nothing more than "this is a local law enforcement matter and it would be inappropriate for us to comment."

But naturally, Obama being Obama, he had to thrust himself into the situation. That's what he does. Everything has to be about him; everything is an opportunity for him to descend from on high to tell us how reasonable he is.

A couple of notes, then -- rather than a full-scale fisking -- on Obama's remarks:
"There are Americans who agree with it, and there are Americans who are deeply disappointed, even angry. It’s an understandable reaction."
Why is it an understandable reaction, Mr. President?   What about the evidence suggests that the grand jury got its decision wrong?   And if they didn't get it wrong, why is an irrational reaction contrary to the evidence "understandable"?  
"I also appeal to the law enforcement officials in Ferguson and the region to show care and restraint in managing peaceful protests that may occur....  As they do their jobs in the coming days, they need to work with the community, not against the community."   
Very odd.   St. Louis is a Democratic city and always has been.   It has a Democratic mayor, a Democratic D.A., and Missouri has a Democratic governor.   Why would Obama slander them by assuming that they need his admonition to "show care and restraint" to not work "against the community"?  
"Finally, we need to recognize that the situation in Ferguson speaks to broader challenges that we still face as a nation. The fact is in too many parts of this country a deep distrust exists between law enforcement and communities of color. Some of this is the result of the legacy of racial discrimination in this country." 
Wrong.   There is no evidence, other than Officer Wilson's skin color (white) and Michael Brown's skin color (black), that racial discrimination or distrust between law enforcement and "communities of color" had anything to do with this incident.   If there is, Mr. President, tell us.   But the evidence I've heard suggests that this was a garden-variety encounter between a police officer who happened to be white and a criminal who happened to be black, the criminal resisted arrest and assaulted the police officer, and the police officer defended himself.   It has no meaning other than this... sometimes criminals get shot by policemen when they violently resist arrest.   To suggest otherwise is to slander Officer Wilson as a racist when there is no evidence to support that suggestion.

Obama's comments continued in the same vein... we need to talk, talk, talk, talk about the larger issue of racial discrimination in policing.   Again, it's strange that the communities where the issues seem to arise are all Democrat enclaves -- Detroit, New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, St. Louis, Baltimore.   One might suggest a "national conversation" on why Democratic governance in our major cities has been so horrible for poor black people.   But no matter.   The important thing is that Obama gets to sound concerned.  



Blogger Debra Heine is more succinct than I was.   She writes:
Obama punted last night. He could have told the mob that their rage wasn't justifiable - that justice had taken place and they should go home and focus on raising good kids who don't rob convenience stores and attack cops.

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