It was obvious for weeks that there would be riots in Ferguson as soon as the grand jury decision — whatever it turned out to be — was made public. Indictment or no, there would be riots. Residents armed up for weeks, as outsiders poured in and the likes of Al Sharpton egged on the rage and the media played its part all along. They had time and they got their “good TV,” as President Obama said.
Yet the decision was made public at night, which was tactically stupid if you want to keep the peace, and after that, Gov. Jay Nixon (D) decided not to send in the national guard that he had brought under his unified command.
Result: Dozens of businesses burned. Glenn Reynolds has a theory that might explain what’s going on.
[I]t’s not about swing voters. It’s about the base. And it’s not about the Democratic Party’s base, but about certain leaders’ base within the Democratic Party. This may be best understood as an intra-party struggle. Obama is the champion of the urban-black wing of the party, and because of him that wing has been on top. But his star is fading, black voters are beginning to realize that they haven’t benefited economically, and the next Dem nominee — whether it’s Hillary Clinton, Jim Webb, or Elizabeth Warren — will be from the white gentry-liberal wing of the Democratic Party. The riots, the marches, the traffic-blocking are a way of telling them that the Sharpton wing is still a force to be reckoned with, and to improve its bargaining power between now and 2016.
That would help explain why MSNBC can talk about practically nothing else. Well, that and the fact that at MSNBC every story is about race. Except the stories that are about the “war on women.”