Cheap Seats 2016
Here and Now - 07/13
By Rich Trzupek
We interrupt our dissertation on radical Islam because a couple of things happened last week that merit discussion.
The first was the killing of five Dallas police officers and the wounding of six others by a deranged sniper who believed that he was taking rightful vengeance against an institution – law enforcement – that unjustly victimizes and executes African Americans.
The people and organizations pushing that narrative like Black Lives Matter have been playing with fire and the Dallas shootings are proof of that. And it’s ironic that those people and organizations are now desperately trying to disclaim any responsibility for the tragedy using the very same logic that they reject when attacking law enforcement.
According to Black Lives Matter, et al, whenever there is an incident where a police officer takes the life of an African American in what was or appeared to be questionable circumstances, that incident serves as proof that the institution of law enforcement in America is corrupt and bigoted. They reject the alternative, and quite frankly factual, explanation: that when you have hundreds of thousands of police officers, millions of criminals and tens of millions of incidents that involve law enforcement it is inevitable that you’ll find the occasional incident where a particular police officer acted wrongly, or appeared to do so.
Blaming the entire institution of law enforcement for a few cherry picked incidents is not only deceitful, it’s dangerous as last week’s events in Texas demonstrated. Black Lives Matter and other law enforcement critics have distanced themselves from the event claiming that nothing about their message encouraged such behavior. Dallas was about one unhinged individual, not about their narrative.
So, you have the people blaming isolated incidents on institutional thinking simultaneously rejected the idea that their version of institutional thinking might have played a part in a tragic incident. Pick a fricking lane people.
Here’s the reality: todays cops are trained to be color-blind and, in practice, the overwhelming majority of them bend over backwards to do so. Black Lives Matter and the rest of the law enforcement bashers should be thanking the men and women in blue for all they do to save black lives, not damning them whenever the inevitable mistake occurs or appears to occur.
The second item of note from last week’s news was FBI Director James Comey’s decision not to seek an indictment of Hillary Clinton for jeopardizing national security by using a private, unsecure, e-mail server, deleting e-mails concerned with government business, mishandling classified material and lying about all of it.
Unlike many of my colleagues on the right, I’m OK with the way Comey handled the affair. Indeed, I think he did the right thing. The issue is not whether Hillary violated the letter of the law – clearly she did – but how the law she broke is practically enforced.
Comey said, and I believe him to be correct, that the security statutes Ms. Clinton violated are only practically enforced when there is clear intent. You can’t be a villain who knowingly sells state secrets to China, in other words, but you can be a clueless moron who handles material so carelessly that China is able to read your mail.
We try to avoid talking about it, but there are innumerable laws where there is a big difference between the law as written and the law as enforced. Take speed limits as an example. If you were given a ticket for going forty one miles per hour in a forty miles per hour zone you would be justifiably outraged, and any reasonable judge would dismiss the case in a heartbeat. Whenever some over-zealous police officer busts old ladies playing bingo or the like, we all roll our eyes in disgust, even though old lady bingo is usually a violation of gambling laws.
The same logic applies to dear Hillary here and now. Comey’s message, one that he didn’t have to deliver by the way, was: “Madam Clinton behaved foolishly, arrogantly and irresponsibly, but unfortunately the manner in which this particular statute is practically enforced does not allow me to seek prosecution of someone for behaving foolishly, arrogantly and irresponsibly.”
It was the right call, in my view, and I honor Mr. Comey for making it. He clearly detailed how unfit Ms. Clinton is to be President and if we ignore his message, we have only ourselves to blame.