August 14, 2014

SOME ARE LIARS, SOME ARE IGNORANT, MANY ARE BOTH: The left professes ignorance about conservative, libertarian concerns over police militarization.

It is shocking to learn today that so many on the left appear utterly unaware of the vigorous debate conservatives have been engaging in over the increasing militarization and heavy-handedness of the police. The conservative columnist S.E. Cupp has compiled a fairly comprehensive list of voices on the right who have sounded the alarm over police forces exceeding their authority.

“Historians looking back at this period in America’s development will consider it to be profoundly odd that at the exact moment when violent crime hit a 50-year low, the nation’s police departments began to gear up as if the country were expecting invasion — and, on occasion, to behave as if one were underway,” The National Review’s Charles C. W. Cooke wrote in June.

“If cops continue to take a warlike us-versus-them approach to policing the population, they just might bring the left and right together,” Fox host John Stossel noted that same month. “Government is reckless, whether it is intruding into our lives with byzantine regulations that destroy a fledgling business or with a flash-bang grenade like the one that critically wounded a child in a recent SWAT raid in Janesville, Georgia.”

“So you combine the cops overstepping the Constitution and their bounds …. some of them just starting to go dark inside, and the militarization of our police force and you have a very bad combination,” Glenn Beck observed in February. “How does that end?”

Washington Post commentator Radley Balko’s best-selling book, The Rise of the Warrior Cop, might be the definitive work on the subject of police militarization. Balko would hardly describe himself as left-leaning. . . . The fact that some center-left commentators believe there is total silence on the right when it comes to issues relating to excessive police force and semi-military posture is a shocking admission of ignorance. It is a display of obliviousness

To be fair, they don’t actually have to know things, because they have David Brock and Ezra Klein to tell them what to think and say. But apparently, they don’t even read Popular Mechanics.