WHAT A SPECTACLE
Monday, the US House was the site of one of Washington’s rare instances of the fabled “shameless pander/blatant blame shift/embarrassing cultural appropriation,” the political equivalent of pulling off Rodney Dangerfield’s Triple Lindy high dive from “Back To School.” Nancy Pelosi and her Democratic colleagues donned African-inspired kente cloths, kneeled for nine minutes in memory of George Floyd, then introduced a hastily-written bill called the “Justice in Policing Act,” which they claim will “hold law enforcement accountable in court, improve transparency through data collection, and reform police training and policies.”
That’s all well and good, and I’d certainly be willing to hear any suggestions for improving police practices and efficiency, and reducing racism, conflict, and distrust. But pardon me if I can't quite keep a straight face while sniffing so much election-year pandering and insincere opportunism in the air.
The subtext of all this is to signal to black voters that they must once again turn out and line up to put Democrats in charge because only they will take action to correct all this perceived police racism and corruption. But as the linked story points out, all the worst such problems are in blue-state cities – Minneapolis, Baltimore, New York City, etc. - that have been run entirely by Democrats for decades. If these places are hotbeds of systemic racism, then guess who built the systems.
Also worth mentioning: while they try to blame President Trump as if racism were invented during the three years he’s been in office, we had violent race riots stemming from the deaths of black people during police confrontations in Ferguson and Baltimore while Obama and Biden were in office. Biden now joins in with the critics of police in denouncing a 1994 tough-on-crime bill that until recently, he was bragging about having co-authored. So his campaign pitch is that we must elect Democrats to fix the terrible problems that arose and festered for years under Democratic rule, including his own.
And what if we did give them that much power? From 2009 to 2011, we had a black Democrat President, a Vice-President who’s now running for President on the urgent need for police reform, and solid Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress. What did they do about any issues related to police reform or race relations? Nothing whatsoever. It took Donald Trump to finally press for and sign the prison sentencing reform bill, the First Step Act.
Monday’s spectacle was an entertaining piece of political theater at a time when real theaters were shut down, so we couldn’t see “The Lion King,” that other example of African culture being appropriated for a cartoonish spectacle. And it didn’t go unnoticed by some African-Americans…
But if black voters really think that these are the people they can trust to keep their neighborhoods safe and clean up corruption in the very places where they’ve already been in charge longer than the Millennial protesters have been alive, then another cartoon analogy is more appropriate:
Lucy making big promises that this time will be different, then yanking away the football and leaving Charlie Brown flat on his back for the umpteenth time.
NOT EVEN JOE BIDEN AGREES
The idea of defunding and dismantling police departments, as approved by Minneapolis’s far-left city council, is so “stand-on-you-head-in-a-toilet” crazy that not even Joe Biden, who endorsed the Green New Deal and chose AOC as a “campaign adviser,” will get behind it. His spokesman said Biden does not support defunding the police, but he “supports the urgent need for reform,” which includes “funding for public schools, summer programs, and mental health and substance abuse treatment separate from funding for policing — so that officers can focus on the job of policing.” So funding for police and for everything else. That’s a pretty standard Democratic position.
And since Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Kamala Harris, and other Congressional Democrats are dodging the question like mad, I think we can safely assume they won’t back it, either, they’re just terrified to say so.
Not surprisingly, President Trump gives a firm “no” to the idea of defunding the police. In a meeting Monday with law enforcement leaders to discuss reforms, Trump said he believes there have been instances of racism, but that most cops are “good people.” He said what happened with George Floyd and other such incidents “should never have happened,” and we need to “talk about ideas, how we can do it better and how we can do (policing), if possible, in a much more gentle fashion” (that might require a summit meeting with America’s criminals to get their cooperation.) But he said there will be no defunding of the police on his watch.
And memo to the Minneapolis city council: your attempt to pander went so far overboard that even the president of the NAACP is signaling you to reel it back since he also won’t support defunding the police.
I’d point out this article contains an assertion (“the ‘defund the police’ movement that has gained momentum in recent days”) that I refute. It’s gained publicity, but not momentum. This has been a goal of the radical Antifa crowd for years. They’d love to be able to set fires, smash property and assault, threaten and intimidate people with no consequences, so of course, their goal is to demonize and eliminate the police. They don’t care about George Floyd or racism any more than they care about the black people harmed by their rioting and looting; they just saw this as a convenient trigger to launch their long-planned revolution. But most Americans are smart enough to know “crazy” when they hear it.
I’ll bet if you asked most of the people in the neighborhoods where the rioting took place, they wouldn’t want to do away with the police, either. Who would protect them the next time the rioters turn out to “help” them?
THEY HURT THEMSELVES
As always happens after a bender, the leaders of blue cities who allowed rioters and looters to “vent” are waking up with a big headache and realizing just how much longterm damage has been inflicted – in this case, on the very people the protesters claimed to be championing.
After previous riots in cities like Watts and Detroit, the damage to the economy and quality of life lingered on for years, even decades. Once again, the victims taking the brunt of it are the law-abiding black residents of the neighborhoods that were trashed, burned, and looted. They lost friends and family members killed and injured while trying to defend the businesses they’d spent their lives building, lost their homes, and lost jobs they needed in order to take care of their families.
And now comes the secondary pain: the stores that were burned and looted closed, many possibly for good. The residents depended on those stores for food, medicine, clothing, and other necessities. Now, they’ll have to travel long distances for basic needs. Liberals used to decry what they called “food deserts.” President Trump promoted tax breaks and other incentives to get businesses into these neighborhoods to provide goods, jobs, and services. Now, liberals, in the name of “helping” those communities, are driving the businesses out, leaving the mayors to plead with them not to leave for good.
It’s going to take a lot of convincing to get businesses to stay after this. It will require a leader who knows how to talk to business people, who understands their needs and has experience negotiating deals that will entice reluctant investors to sign. If only someone like that were running for President in 2020!
LISTEN TO THE "EXPERTS" UPDATE
The WHO has now reversed its most recent reversal of its guidelines on wearing face masks in public. Click the link for details. And please note that if you were planning to harangue someone for not following expert advice, make sure it’s the current expert advice, which is what people might have been doing when you harangued them last week.
CONGRATULATIONS TO LARRY ELDER
Congratulations to Larry Elder for joining the elite club of conservatives who get branded by Politifact as saying something that’s “Mostly False,” even though it’s 100% accurate.
I had that honor once. It’s been so long, I don’t even remember that the story was, but I do seem to recall that the facts I quoted were not only accurate, they also came out of the Washington Post. I don’t remember Politifact’s reasoning, but I recall thinking at the time that it amounted to, “What he said is true, but if the facts were different, it would be false.” I think my missing “context” was that I failed to include hypothetical situations in which things were different from what they actually were.
More recently (like in the past three days), we’ve had several web pages at mikehuckabee.com be flagged and blocked by Google. These pages contained no commentary whatsoever: they were just reposts of news videos of comments by people such as the White House press secretary and the Minnesota attorney general. We had to appeal to get them reinstated. Is posting video of prominent people’s own words a thought crime now?
Anyway, when I put quotation marks around the phrase “fact-checker,” these are just a few of the many, many reasons why.
The OUTRAGE Machine has been fired up again over a story about Buffalo police violently shoving an innocent elderly protester to the ground and leaving him lying injured, with nobody to help him. That would be horrible, except it isn’t true.
As Jack Dunphy at PJMedia (and the video) reveal, the “elderly protester” had a history of profane anti-police online posts. He deliberately tried to block the police as they were moving forward to clear an area after the curfew passed (the curfew was imposed after violent protests and looting left two people shot and three officers injured, one seriously). The man also appears in the video to be trying to use his cell phone to capture Bluetooth and wifi data from the cops’ devices, in violation of state and federal laws. He wasn’t shoved roughly to the ground; he ignored warnings to move and was pushed back in the correct procedural manner. When he fell over backward and appeared to be hurt, the police did step around him, but other cops trained as EMTs immediately rushed up and began giving him aid.
Aside from that, the story was correct. Nevertheless, because of our hypersensitive times, the two officers who made contact with him were suspended without pay and charged with felony assault, to which they’ve pleaded not guilty. Good luck getting a fair trial.