Friday, July 24, 2009

Please Save Us from the Liberals

Some of the commentary around the Skip Gates arrest regarding how much benefit of the doubt to give the police officer has been pretty absurd. But Bob Somerby's hints towards police apologia are positively risible:
Gates is wealthy, affluent—famous, influential. Officer Crowley quite plainly is not—which forms part of a famous old American story.
As if Gates had demanded "do you know who I am?" of a surly counter clerk at Au Bon Pain, rather than the armed officer of the law standing in his foyer.

Teasing his upcoming Friday post, Somerby opts for verbal irony:
Guess what, kids? Upper-class people, of whatever race, often have trouble respecting working-class people.
And cops "often have trouble" acknowledging the rights of (let alone respecting) anybody without a badge. And I will grant in a heartbeat that we wouldn't have heard word one about this injustice had the victim not been a Harvard professor, but that's an argument for more scrutiny of law enforcement, not less.

And then this:
(Persistently, this has harmed progressive interests.)
Again, this is part of the teaser for Somerby's Friday post, so I can't really say exactly how his argument for this point will go. But from the content of this post, it sure looks like it might be along the lines of clueless limousine liberals who don't have time for the concerns of the working class. Which is normally the kind of nonsense that Somerby is so good at taking apart, so it's especially annoying to see inklings of it here.

A reminder: Democrats, and liberals, do great with the working class. It's those of the suburban middle class who like to defend their Republican voting habits by claiming that progressives are out-of-touch elitist snobs; the voters who seek out "safe neighborhoods" with "good schools" and worry about "personal responsibility," and vote Republican because John Kerry looks French. Those people are out of Democrats' reach, for what should be obvious reasons.

One set of people that liberals could do better with are those on the left who see things like Democrats turning a blind eye towards police thuggery as a reason to vote third-party or stay home. Somerby is an all likelihood correct that "progressive interests" don't have anything to do with resisting abuse of authority; to which I say, to hell with progressive interests, and to hell with liberals who side with the bullying cop over the rich professor because it will play in Peoria.

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