BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
With so many political leaders rushing to virtue-signal and genuflect to the most radical mobs in ever-more-embarrassing ways (the Minnesota city council voting to defund the police because wanting burglars kept out of your house is an example of "privilege," or Nancy Pelosi and her wealthy white colleagues all dressing in African garb like a Beverly Hills community theater Kwanzaa pageant), Americans might be forgiven for thinking that the leadership class of one of the major parties has gone stark raving nuts. But I’d like to assure you that, at least in some instances, that’s not true. They aren’t all insane. Some of them are just insanely cynical hypocrites who know that what they’re saying in public is nuts, but they’re just afraid to admit it publicly.
To quote Charlie Rich, “But when they get behind closed doors…” (Warning: Bad language at the link.)
Audio has leaked of a private conference call between Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and all the city’s Alderman in which she and Ald. Raymond Lopez went at each other in a profane exchange over Lightfoot’s dangerously weak response to rioting and looting. Lopez was concerned that the violence and lawlessness would spread from urban into residential areas.
Lopez said, “I’ve got gang bangers with AK-47s walking around right now, just waiting to settle some scores. What are we going to do and what do we tell our residents other than ‘good faith people stand up’? It’s not going to be enough.”
Lightfoot tried to ignore Lopez’s question, then attacked him personally for asking it, but it’s obvious from the results in the streets that he was right, and I assume she knew it. May 31 was later revealed to be the deadliest day in Chicago in 60 years, with 18 people killed in 24 hours (by comparison, in Chicago’s notorious St. Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1929, only seven men were murdered.) The 18 black lives that were lost, including dads, college students and a high school girl, mattered a great deal to their loved ones, and they should matter to civic leaders whose #1 priority is to ensure public safety.
In the interest of full disclosure, I will note that the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre did take place under a Republican Mayor. He was, in fact, the last Republican Mayor of Chicago. He left office in 1931, and the city has been run entirely by Democrats ever since. But Chicago's violence, corruption and racism are, of course, all Trump’s fault.
BACK IN THE NEWS
Speaking of Chicago, did you really think that Jussie Smollett wouldn’t try to use the current war on cops to wiggle out of his six felony charges for lying to authorities and faking a hate crime?
Some more primary elections were held around the nation Tuesday, in Georgia, West Virginia, Nevada and North and South Dakota. You can find some of the top results at this link.
But the biggest news is an election that still isn’t settled: in the Georgia Democratic Senate primary, Jon Ossoff is still just below the 50% needed to avoid a runoff, as a long count (and potential recount) drag on at this writing. Ossoff lost a 2017 special election, despite spending a huge amount of money, much of it flooding in from outside the state.
Tuesday’s vote is being examined as a possible harbinger of the November election. It could mean that with massive turnout on both sides and voting by mail, the results could be too close to call, leading to a long period of uncertainty that could make angry partisan divisions even worse (personally, I think Trump will win pretty decisively, but you never know.) Not mentioned here is that it may be bad for Democrats even if Ossoff does win the primary by a whisker. Have they ever considered the possibility that no matter how much money they spend, if he can't even crack 50% in his own primary, maybe not that many Georgians want to vote for him?
While some Democrats are calling for defunding police departments, most of the top names are doing some NFL-level broken field running to try to dodge that question. And no wonder: figures from Open Secrets reveal that Congressional Democrats are among the biggest recipients of campaign donations from police unions:
The top two recipients in the House are Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.,) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland; and in the Senate, Sens. Patrick Leahy and Amy Klobuchar. Sen. Klobuchar was also the county attorney in Minneapolis when the cops arrested in George Floyd’s murder were not fired or prosecuted for previous brutality complaints. I imagine she’s already been struck off of Joe Biden’s Veep list, but this should add a couple of extra strikes with a Magic Marker.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
BLACK LIVES MATTER
An arrest has been made in the murder of retired St. Louis police captain David Dorn, who was shot in cold blood while attempting to provide security for a pawn shop during last week’s rioting. The suspect was allegedly caught on surveillance video brandishing a gun and robbing the shop. He’s facing multiple charges, including first degree murder. Good.
CHANGE AT THE NFL I CAN GET BEHIND
Last week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell joined in the rush to take a knee by declaring that "we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier” when they enraged many fans by kneeling during the National Anthem. He said he would be "reaching out" to players who have "raised their voices," and the NFL will "encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest...Without black players, there would be no National Football League and the protests around the country are emblematic of the centuries of silence, inequality and oppression of black players, coaches, fans and staff."
Predictably, that was not good enough for the Rev. Al Sharpton, who is turning his funeral eulogies for George Floyd into political attacks on President Trump, and in Houston, into a demand that the NFL rehire quarterback Colin Kaepernick. This conveniently overlooks the fact that Kaepernick has had multiple opportunities to play and blown them with his own behavior. Last year, he was given an unprecedented private tryout for all 32 NFL teams, on a Saturday when the teams are normally busy preparing for games. But after the scouts showed up, Kaepernick moved it to another venue on 30 minutes’ notice. He also spoke to the XFL and AAF, but demanded a guaranteed paycheck 80 times larger than their normal salaries.
I’d be interested to hear if Goodell is equally apologetic about the league’s oppression of players who wanted to express their deep feelings about other issues, like the ban on the Cowboys wearing stickers honoring five Dallas Police officers who were murdered by a sniper during a protest of the treatment of blacks by police in Louisiana and (again) Minneapolis. Five Dallas cops died and nine others were injured as they heroically tried to protect the lives of the people who came to denounce them. But that doesn’t fit the current media narrative, so I’ll note that the NFL has also banned expressions of support for a number of other causes, including religion, mental health, and fighting domestic violence and breast cancer. That’s because they all violate the league’s ban on using uniforms to convey any unapproved messages on game day:
This stems from the original concept that’s gotten lost in all the fury and finger-pointing: when players are in the stadium, they’re in their workplace, representing their employers. Contrary to claims, Kaepernick never had his First Amendment rights taken away. That only prevents the government from censoring you. He was free to speak out on any subject on his own time, on radio, TV or a soapbox in the park. But he wasn’t allowed to stage divisive political protests that alienated customers while he was at work.
If the NFL is forced to take back Kaepernick, then does that rule apply everywhere now? Say you work at a car dealership, and you have some controversial opinions on social issues that you’re so passionate about, you feel you must force customers to listen to them before they can test drive a car, or make your colleagues sit through them every time they come in to work. So now, you no longer have to worry about being sent to HR or fired with cause, you can just keep on doing it? How long do you think that dealership will remain in business?
Allowing these divisive protests in a place where fans traditionally came to escape from politics, put aside differences and root for their teams cratered NFL TV ratings. In the past few seasons, ratings have crept up again, largely because of the divisive politics finally receding. Goodell now wants to bring it all back with a vengeance.
This brings up another question, asked countless times by former NFL fans: How has Roger Goodell kept his job? He normally makes about $40 million a year; although during the pandemic shutdown, he agreed to reduce his salary to zero, and many of us think he’s finally being paid what he’s worth. His admitted wrong decisions (which he’s now been on both sides of) have cost the league billions, driven away fans and seriously harmed its reputation. He even admits he was in charge during years of “oppression of black players, coaches, fans and staff." If you did that to your employer’s business, would you still be employed?
Several prominent business leaders, such as the CEO of the Second City comedy troupe, have found themselves so wracked with white guilt that they’ve resigned their own jobs so they can be replaced by a black applicant. In that spirit, Goodell should step down to be replaced by a black former NFL player.
I nominate Burgess Owens.
BERNIE SANDERS: A VOICE OF REASON?
Just how bowlful-of-Froot-Loops crazy are the demands to defund and dismantle police departments? They’re so beyond the fringe that even Bernie Sanders thinks they’re too far out there.
When asked about it by the New Yorker, Sen. Sanders replied, “Do I think we should not have police departments in America? No, I don’t. There’s no city in the world that does not have police departments.” He said that instead of defunding police, we need “well-trained, well-educated, and well-paid professionals in police departments.” So mark it down in the history books: this is the day when Bernie Sanders and Mike Huckabee agree on something!
Whoever would have imagined that the radical extremists who’ve commandeered the steering wheel at the Democratic Party and most major media outlets would drive so far into the ditch that they’d make Bernie Sanders sound like a sober voice of reason? You know what this means: Bernie had better brace for being declared a Nazi and a white supremacist and “disappeared” as a non-person.