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Faithful readers know that I enjoy The Nation’s e-newsletters. While I don’t have the time to read all of them, it is useful to get an unfiltered look at the views of the Radical Left. One of last week’s newsletters had not one, not two, but three eye catching headlines. Let’s look at select excerpts from each – first up is the Chicago police shooting scandal that prompts the question:
Why Are Democrats Silent On Rahm Emanuel? If you care about police brutality, you care even when “your team” needs to be held accountable.
By George Zornick
The murder case against Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke is pretty straightforward, and contained almost wholly in the seven-minute dashcam video where he’s seen firing 16 shots at seventeen-year-old LaQuan McDonald despite anything resembling a threatening advance from the teenager. The shots continue as McDonald rests in a fetal position on the ground, with Van Dyke even stopping to reload before a colleague intervenes.
A political case (if not a criminal one) against the Chicago power structure, right up to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, is just as clear-cut. The police first lied about the incident, saying the victim was “going at one” of the officers with a knife. At a nearby Burger King, 86 minutes of potentially damning security camera footage “mysteriously” disappeared; Chicago police officers were seen at a security system terminal shortly after the killing.
Afterward, the city rushed through a pre-emptive $5 million settlement with McDonald’s family that included a clause to keep the video a secret. The deal was approved by the city only days after Emanuel secured a close re-election victory, and was done with no public comment nor debate in the city council. When journalists started asking questions about the shooting and went to court to force a release of the dashcam footage, Emanuel’s lawyers and the Cook County prosecutor fought to keep it secret. They were successful for 13 months until a judge finally ordered that the tape be made public, and only then was Van Dyke named publicly and charged.
Just the facts. So far, so good.
And yet, despite employing a police commissioner who engaged in a brazen cover-up, and despite going to court to keep a pretty obvious homicide a secret, Emanuel has enjoyed baffling immunity from criticism from just about every elected Democrat outside the city of Chicago.
First, that last sentence should have also included unelected Democrats in the media. Second, “Baffling?” If there is one standard that the left consistently applies is that there is no offense too egregious that it can bring down a leftist that is sufficiently powerful. Heck, your average leftist has no problem defending people guilty of crimes that the left claims to abhor! Don’t believe me? Look no further than Clinton (Treason), Kennedy (drunk driving, manslaughter) Clinton (the other one, rape & sexual harassment). Even worse, enablers on the left get angry when rational people point out these pesky facts about their idols. So I’m not sure where the surprise is. If I may engage in a bit of tin foil hat conspiracy theory, my guess is that Rahm is wired enough into the Clintons to have enough dirt to ensure his protection. No, I have no evidence to support it (hence my acknowledgement of conspiracy theory), but it seems to be the most plausible explanation until more facts come to light.
It’s hard to imagine this being the case if Emanuel were a Republican. Pretend that Florida Governor Rick Scott, a two-term conservative governor of a key swing state and a frequent Democratic punching bag, had similarly aided state troopers in covering up a police killing. Or imagine a presidential candidate like Chris Christie did it. While impossible to prove the hypothetical, it seems certain that leading national Democrats would have pilloried Christie relentlessly and demanded he resign.
Well I’ll be – an entire paragraph where I wholeheartedly agree with every word! Very simply, leftists can’t be shamed because they are ideologues, and their end justifies any means. Conservatives can be shamed because we have principles – give it a try some time, George! There is a lot more to say on this topic, but that warrants a post of its own that I’ll hopefully be able to publish in the not too distant future.
Republicans, and particularly conservative media figures, like to portray Democratic crusades against police brutality and their embrace of Black Lives Matter as a crude and insincere play for votes.
That’s because that’s exactly what they are. If #BlackLivesReallyMatteredToLeftists they would be looking at how someone who is black is most likely to be killed (hint: it isn’t by a cop).
That criticism is now in danger of being validated. If you want people to know you care about police brutality, you have to demonstrate that you care even when “your team” needs to be held accountable. Otherwise, everything else you say on the subject is rendered insincere.
In fairness to Zornick, this is an outstanding point, and I wish more on the left would start thinking on these lines. And I wish he’d start applying it to other powerful leftists. Next up is answering some reader questions on romance and unemployment!
Asking for a Friend: I’m in Love With a Republican—What Do I Do? Liza answers a reader in love, and another who wants to blow up the system that screwed him over.
By Liza Featherston
I’m in love with a staunch Republican, while I am very liberal. We’re living in Texas (frustrated sigh). I’m afraid our sometimes heated debates may ruin any chance for us. I hold back a lot….
I’ll state my bias up front: When in doubt, I err on the side of love. Margaret Martin, a licensed couples therapist in Austin, Texas, says that love between a liberal and a conservative can absolutely work. But, she adds, laughing, “I personally would not copulate—you can quote me on this—with someone who did not respect my reproductive rights.” At age 19, Lovesick, I drew the same line, losing my virginity to a Republican, but first making sure he was pro-choice.
Um, I don’t suppose it ever entered Liza’s thought process to respect a man who might object to his unborn child being torn limb from limb and being kept alive and suffering long enough to ensure that its organs are harvested for fun and profit?
What’s troubling, Lovesick, is not the arguments, but that you “hold back a lot.” I wonder if you’re avoiding discussing politics because you’re happier avoiding unproductive arguments, or if you’re burying an important part of yourself in an effort to appease your partner. If it’s the latter, you might consider whether your partner can love you the way you are—warts, framed Ann Richards photographs, and all. To do that, the beloved needs to actually know you.
The “hold back a lot” comment caught my eye as well. Here is how I would respond:
What’s troubling, Lovesick, is not the arguments, but that you “hold back a lot.” You obviously don’t want to expose your crazier beliefs that will lead him to see that you’re a couple of cans short of a six-pack. Don’t hold back – let him know that Climate Change causes terrorism, that you support gun laws that will make the rest of America as safe as the streets of Chicago, that inviting in foreigners who want to murder you both is enlightenment, etc. At some point this will all come out anyway so do both of yourselves a favor and don’t hold back so you can get on with your lives. Besides, who would want to date someone crazy enough to turn to The Nation for advice on their love life?
I have no job, no money, and no home. For the past six years I have struggled, but to no avail. My career has been destroyed by offshoring and the importation of H1B and L1B replacement workers. I can’t pass the California Basic Educational Skills Test due to disabilities in abstract functions and quantitative reasoning (i.e., math), and therefore cannot switch to teaching. My age and the length of my unemployment, not to mention my professional past, precludes me from working as a burger-flipper or salesperson. In fact, I can’t even get a job scrubbing toilets, because it’s “too likely you’d leave.” My question is this: Why in the hell shouldn’t I work to destroy the system that has done this to me by working to make a violent revolution?
—Molotov Cocktail, Anyone?
Dear Molotov, The first letter writer asks if she can love her political enemy; you wonder if you should kill yours. Both questions are profound and urgent.
I applaud you for understanding that capitalism is the problem rather than you. We are all so steeped in neoliberal individualism these days that it’s easy to get confused on this point. I also love that after all you’ve been through, you still have the will to fight.
Actually, there are a number of other professions outside of burger flipper and teaching. If you don’t grasp this then the problem is definitely not capitalism – it is you.
You absolutely should work to destroy this system. While organizing against capitalism isn’t as mainstream as it was during Occupy Wall Street, you can still find groups with this orientation, and you may wish to join one. Socialist Alternative elects politicians to local office and even shapes mainstream politics, pushing demands like the $15 minimum wage to the forefront of public consciousness. Other groups, like Solidarity and Young Democratic Socialists, help activists engaged in a range of labor and social-justice struggles to bring more radical ideas into those movements. Locally, many unaffiliated anarchists and socialists are producing radical publications, finding ways to organize on climate change, joining Black Lives Matter in the streets, and working to elect Bernie Sanders president.
First off, what are you still doing in California if you want to work? Between their hostile regulatory climate and government that wants to flood the state with foreign workers, whether legal or illegal, their goal is to be a state of tech and entertainment oligarchs, unrealistically compensated government employees, and a working underclass. Then again, if you’re asking The Nation for advice you probably voted for the nimrods who created this hostile climate in the first place. But if you want to destroy any chances of ever achieving gainful employment, be sure to enlist in one of these various causes that Ms. Featherstone suggested. When any prospective employer googles yo9u name and sees that you’re probably going to start calling for strikes and lawsuits on day one you won’t even get a whiff of a job interview.
Or perhaps you can ask Liza to put you in touch with Lovesick Liberal? I’m sure she’d be happy supporting someone who will sit on her couch and watch porn all day but to whom she can spout all of her bat-dung crazy views.
But let’s get back to that mass movement. There are only two proven ways to build it: political organizing and democratic persuasion. Tactics, whether violent or peaceful, will emerge from that movement, not from angry Nation readers or advice columnists, no matter how smart each of us may be. If we do build a mass movement big enough to take on the 1 percent, imagine what else we could do. We just don’t know what that will look like yet.
Actually, we do know what it will look like – pick up a history book on countries called “The Soviet Union” or “Cuba”. Once the wealth gets seized by the people with the competence and discipline to create it, incompetent leftists whose only skill is envy quickly destroy it. Of course, this is assuming you’re lucky enough to be among the one percenters who seize power. My guess is that you will be, to take a line from the great Douglas Adams, “among the first ones to go to the wall when the revolution comes.” If you’re wondering why the conservatives won’t be first, they’ll be the ones who die fighting to defend your right to live.
The Second Amendment Was Never Meant to Protect an Individual’s Right to a Gun How the Supreme Court upended the well-established meaning of the Second Amendment.
By Dorothy Samuels
To grasp the audacity of what Scalia & Co. pulled off, turn to the Second Amendment’s text: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” To find in that wording an individual right to possess a firearm untethered to any militia purpose, the majority performed an epic feat of jurisprudential magic: It made the pesky initial clause about the necessity of a “well regulated Militia” disappear.
I’ve got news for you sweetheart – what exactly do you think that a militia is comprised of, if not a nation’s citizens? Remember, in evil Texas a couple of Islamic Fundamentalists (let’s stop using the word extremists) tried to kill someone over a cartoon. They died, and no civilians did. In the enlightened state of California, well, we saw what just happened.
The idea that the founders wanted to protect a right to have a Glock loaded and stored in your nightstand so you could blow away an intruder is just crazy,” says Saul Cornell, a leading Second Amendment scholar cited by the dissenters in both Heller and McDonald v. Chicago
First off, who are you to decide that I do not have the right to defend myself, my home, and my family from an intruder? Please show me the part of the Constitution that gives you this power over me.
Even worse, this line of thinking might be the most disturbing element of the leftist mindset. When there is an intruder coming for you in the middle of the night it’s highly unlikely they’re coming to offer tips on reducing your carbon footprint in a manner that will promote cis-gender income inequality reduction while bending down the cost curve for health care (and I have no idea what I just wrote might mean). They have come to hurt you. And a leftist would rather see you suffer as the victim of a violent crime than to take away the monopoly on violence that must belong exclusively to the state. That’s a larger point for another separate post, also hopefully coming soon.
Like any good roundup from The Nation it was chock full o’ crazy, but at least on the subject of corruption, where there is life there is hope.
Cross posted from Brother Bob’s Blog