The PJ Tatler

Perpetually Petulant President Personalizes Prisons, Police

And we still have more than a year to go for Barack Obama to work out all his issues before leaving office:

As President Barack Obama has toured the country in a recent push for a criminal justice overhaul, he’s worried publicly about the possibility of his daughters’ teenage rebellion. He’s mused about his own drug use as a wayward youth. He’s told stories of being pulled over for speeding – and not always deserving the ticket. In the national conversation about crime and punishment, Obama hasn’t been afraid to identify with the people being policed, as well as with the police.

It’s a remarkable shift in tone after decades of politicians worrying more about being labeled soft on crime than too hard on criminals. Previous presidents have talked tough on the topic and heaped praise on police. They’ve rarely woven in personal encounters with the law.

Obama, speaking to police chiefs in Chicago last week, praised police for their work but also called for “serious and robust debate over fairness in law enforcement.” He used himself as an example.

Of course he did.

“There were times when I was younger and maybe even as I got a little older, but before I had a motorcade – where I got pulled over,” Obama told the crowd. “Most of the time I got a ticket, I deserved it. I knew why I was pulled over. But there were times where I didn’t.”

Such comments stand out from the history of presidential rhetoric in part because of Obama’s place in that presidential history. Questions of racial bias in the criminal justice system are not merely academic for him, noted Marc Mauer, executive director of the Sentencing Project, a group that advocates for sentencing reform.

“He’s the first African-American president and his life experiences are different than others. He’s lived it – directly or indirectly – more than other presidents have. The empathy is there,” Mauer said.

Watch for the new Leftist meme, which we just now see aborning: that calling out criminals is judgmental and that laws themselves are arbitrary and racist. That way lies anarchy, but that’s just the point.