I don’t know much about the Mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. Her Wikipedia entry indicates a pretty conventional political career for a Democrat – you know: went to college, got out of college and got into government and has never left it. Some say her “space to destroy” remark is being taken out of context and I’ll go ahead and buy that – maybe she was trying to put out an idea and it got mangled in transition from mind to mouth…it does happen to us all. But, on the other hand, she’s the Mayor, not some small-time blogger, like me. Within the city limits of Baltimore, she’s the Commander in Chief in an emergency…it is to her that the law must refer when riots erupt. Within the city, she – and no one else – is ultimately responsible for the lives and property of the citizens of Baltimore. Do understand this – when the chips are down, it is to the top person everyone looks. Not the city council, not the chief of police – to the Mayor. Regardless of whether her destroy remark was out of context, the city clearly fell apart on her watch.
This reminds me a bit of Hurricane Katrina – while the MSM and the Democrats (but, I repeat myself) managed to fix in the public mind that President Bush (who bore zero legal responsibility) was at fault for the failed response, the reality was that the Mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana failed. The two leaders were both also rather conventional Democrat politicians who had spent most of their lives in politics – and were the kindly, public faces of the party to the electorate. But, they failed miserably. I think this is because our Democrats are rather clever in most instances – they know they need a kind face in front and so they find one. One who will do as they are told, not rock the boat and allow the nauseating sea of Democrat corruption to continue unhindered by reality. I don’t know for certain if Ms. Rawlings-Blake is as much of a zero as the Mayor and Governor were in Louisiana, but my guess is that she was elevated to the Mayor’s office by the Democrat powers-that-be not because of a sterling record of accomplishment but, rather, because of her loyalty and pliability (she signed off on a plan to fix Baltimore’s disastrous fiscal problems – and it promises to reduce a shortfall over ten years from $750 million to $400 million…which means it fixes precisely nothing and, I’ll bet, even the $300 million saved is probably due to fiscal hocus-pocus; a real leader doesn’t sign off on a solution which doesn’t solve; the difference is in what Walker did in Wisconsin – he really fixed Wisconsin’s fiscal woes).
The main thing to keep in mind outside of the particular merits of the current leaders of Baltimore is that the last time a Republican ran the city was from 1963 to 1967, and Republicans have held the Mayor’s office only 16 out of the last 100 years. Baltimore is the Democrat’s city. They own it. If there is anything wrong with Baltimore, it is 100% the fault of the Democrats. And very liberal Democrats, at that (as an aside, Nancy Pelosi’s dad and brother both served as Mayor – her brother botching the 1968 riots so badly that he was booted out of office after one term; another oddity is that at that time, as well, a Democrat mayor botched the response and a Republican Governor, Spiro T. Agnew, called out the National Guard – and, eventually, federal troops courtesy of the President – to restore order). Bottom line is that if the Baltimore Police Department is a racist oppressor, then it is made up of and run by liberal racist oppressors. I fully expect at the next election the people rioting in the streets will vote for the same people running the show today.
Astonishingly, President Obama actually used the word “thugs” to describe the rioters. Per many liberals, this actually makes President Obama a racist as the word “thug” is code for “N word”. President Obama, more true to form, did manage to place some of the blame on the GOP for the riots, claiming that GOP failure to pass his agenda has meant less money for programs to alleviate the problems which led to the riots. This in service of the ideal that only vast sums of federal cash funneled to bureaucrats can fix our problems. I actually figure the use of the word “thug” was because someone did some polling and found out that riots don’t play well for the 2016 narrative – after all, it has been a couple days and Obama is only speaking just today.
Lost in all this is the man who’s death in police custody sparked the riots (or, at any rate, provided an excuse for criminal elements to go on a rampage). Freddy Gray was no exemplar of good citizenship – but what caused his arrest is that he took off running when the police approached him. He was found with a switchblade and arrested. To be sure, running from the police is not a good idea – but I don’t find in the available information any underlying crime being committed…and arresting someone for having a knife seems a bit extreme (and you can probably thank the good liberals who run Baltimore for making sure that knife possession is illegal). Irritatingly, some on the right are pointing out Gray’s long rap sheet as some sort of justification for his death. Sorry, folks, but being a petty criminal doesn’t in any way, shape or form justify death. Unless the police can come up with credible evidence that Gray attacked them, then the police did wrong (to be sure, in the Ferguson case, the evidence ended up being open and shut – the dead man did attack the officer…and maybe over time some evidence of this will come out in the Gray case: so far, it hasn’t). Most of Gray’s arrests seem to be over drugs, so I guess we can count this as another victory in the War on Drugs? And may we please surrender in that war?
The MSM covered itself in it’s usual glory here – first ignoring the riots when they started because that might have made Obama’s appearance at the White House Correspondents Dinner look bad. Next by trying to some how justify the riots based upon American racism without even once noting that the city is run by liberals (and has a black Mayor, black Chief of Police and is, indeed, 63% black). Interspersed among this has been the sensationalist showing of videos of burning buildings and lack of police presence – coverage assured to get everyone off the couch and off to the looting (except for one young man who has the best mother, ever).
In all of this, I don’t think I’ve seen any intelligent commentary or suggestions. The thing to be done is, of course, a national campaign to reform police practices and for the GOP to start getting into these deep blue cities and start campaigning. Offer the people there a choice, for crying out loud. Do you really think that most people in Baltimore want to live like that? Of course they don’t – but all they get is, at best, a choice between the liberal Democrat who is favored by the party bosses and the odd liberal Democrat who thinks he or she should have been favored by the party bosses. Nothing will change in places like Baltimore until there is something to change to.
It is all really rather sad and enraging – I pray for the people of Baltimore, and of our poor nation, so badly served by politicians and media.
UPDATE: If this is true, then it is a complete game-changer in the Freddy Gray story.