Someone needs to tell Sen. Elizabeth Warren that unctuous moneybags Michael Bloomberg isn’t an existential threat to her campaign.
Don’t get me wrong, it was entertaining to see the Massachusetts Democrat essentially stop the former New York mayor’s path to the presidency before it even really began at the Nevada debate this week.
However, she should have been done at that point.
Do the “Waiting to Exhale” thing and walk away from misogynist idiot’s BMW after you’ve set it aflame. Don’t keep kicking the doors and then cursing because your feet are getting burned.
Instead of going after, oh, I don’t know, that guy who shares the same beliefs you do who’s in the lead and who’s also hated by the party establishment — which gives you an opening, Sen. Warren — you’re going to try and resuscitate your near-moribund campaign by going after a) Michael Bloomberg and b) police officers. Good work.
Warren spent Thursday and Friday hitting Bloomberg on pretty much everything, including the stop-and-frisk policy the New York City Police Department had in place during Bloomberg’s time as mayor.
Stop-and-frisk, described in a desultory manner, involves police temporarily detaining a person if they deem their behavior suspicious, questioning them and then searching them if they have reasonable suspicion the suspect may be armed.
A 2013 court ruling found the city’s application of the policy to be unconstitutional, in part because it said the stops were racially discriminatory.
Bloomberg now disavows the policy, because he’s a Democrat running for president so of course he does.
This is a pretty easy target which Warren managed to bomb with such frightening intensity during a campaign stop in Nevada — where, by the way, Bloomberg isn’t even on the ballot — that she managed to inflict a whole lot of collateral damage that I don’t think she even noticed.
She began by noting Bloomberg’s shift on the issue: “So to suddenly, years later, days before he announces that he wants to be president of the whole United States, he suddenly comes up with, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry that I had a plan that inadvertently hurt people,’” Warren said Thursday on “The View,” according to Politico. “No, that is just simply not good enough.”
And then she decided it was time to go after police officers — although, again, I’m not sure she noticed
“It reveals his character. It reveals his understanding of race in America,” she said,
“Look, I am not a person of color. I have not lived with that. I have not been thrown across the hood of a car in my own neighborhood, but I try to learn from the people who have, and it is clear that what Mayor Bloomberg has learned so far is that he can hire enough ads, have enough money that he can insulate himself from any recognition of what his actions did to other human beings. And it was wrong and he has not accounted for it.”
She said virtually the same thing while campaigning in Las Vegas that day: “I am not a woman of color. I never got thrown across a hood. I have the privilege of never having been slammed into the wall by a police officer. But I tell you this, I listen to people who have.”
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) February 20, 2020
So the NYPD’s policy was to stop black women and just throw them across the hood of a car for no good reason?
This is a new one.
And she’s “try[ing] to learn from the people who have” had that happen to them, because apparently this is just what police do. If you’re a black woman, apparently you’ve been thrown across the hood of a car.
That’s the takeaway from this ill-constructed thought which she just decided to throw out there.
Again, I’ve given a short description of stop-and-frisk. If you want a longer, more detailed version of of what this entails, Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute has a more thorough writeup on the legal niceties of the practice.
In New York City’s case, the court ruled that the way stop-and-frisk was being applied violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. The court did not rule that cops were just taking random people and throwing them across the hood of their cruiser for possession of melanin.
This is such a reflexive liberal talking point that nobody seems to grab the subtext: The men and women of law enforcement are mindless attack animals with an eye for people of color who are kept on the leash of local, state and federal politicians.
If police do something illiberal, it’s because calculating politicians let the hyenas off the chain to feast upon innocent prey.
There’s never, it seems, a Democrat who describes how police act in quotidian terms.
Warren didn’t say, for example, “I have not been stopped and temporarily detained for questioning in my own neighborhood” because she’s white. (It is, by the way, endlessly refreshing to see her have to admit she isn’t a person of color.) Rather, she would just be thrown over a hood, no questions asked.
And then there’s the amazing part: You get the feeling the offensive part didn’t even register with Warren.
She didn’t even bother prefacing this with the boilerplate “I know most police officers are good people who do their jobs without prejudice, but…” to cover herself.
Warren went straight for the progressive cliché that police are racist automatons looking to harm people of color at any opportunity, physically if possible.
Feeding into anti-cop prejudice isn’t going to help in the general election if, by some incredible chance, Warren’s campaign is able to throw a Hail Mary pass and get the nomination by beating up on Michael Bloomberg and law enforcement.
It’s not going to help the Democratic Party even if she doesn’t.
Beyond that, it doesn’t help our society.
Police put their lives on the line to help keep communities safe.
Where there are abuses, they should be dealt with, but that doesn’t obviate the overwhelming majority of police officers who conduct themselves with nothing but the purest intentions.
I understand that admitting this on the left is political suicide, but feeding into an anti-cop narrative that’s been festering on the left for the better part of a decade is only going to divide us further.
It’s not going to heal communities that feel stop-and-frisk targeted them. On the contrary, it merely deepens the wound in the hope that the wounded cling to the left for political succor.
From the past few days, it’s clear Elizabeth Warren’s campaign is going to be remembered for everyone she’s torn down.
In fact, judging by this week’s debate and the aftermath, that includes everyone but Bernie Sanders. (Apparently, she’s forgotten all about that whole Bernie allegedly telling her a woman can’t win the presidency angle, much to the detriment of whatever possible chance she has left.)
If she wants to tear down Michael Bloomberg over stop-and-frisk, fine. I have no love for the man or his shifting positions. Taking cops down with him is a step too far and one that Elizabeth Warren ought to be called out on.
Don’t count on her fellow Democrats to do that, however.
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