Let’s talk about teachable moments.
A few years ago, I lamented the possibility that we could elect Doogie Howser President.
Not because of his ideology, not because of his race but because of his age and complete lack of the requisite experience we expect from the elected leader of the most powerful nation in the world.
Well, it has happened and my concerns have proven valid.
Obama’s ideology has not been helpful. America—no matter what the hard left says for public consumption—mostly regards itself as a right of center nation. So, when you have a President and a Congress which leans heavily towards a left of center agenda, the cracks in the coalition which elected them will come to the surface pretty quickly.
We lived with both Bill Clinton on the left and Ronald Reagan on the right because they understood the Clint Eastwood doctrine: “A man’s got to know his limitations.”
Obama has the absolute arrogance of youth and worse, he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.
And his own worst enemies are a Democratic leadership who know what they don’t know but also don’t care.
All of that is painfully obvious in the case of the President, the Professor and the Cambridge, MA Police Sergeant.
The Professor is Henry Louis Gates. Gates happens to be a friend of the President, a scholar of sorts at Harvard if you think that African-American studies is a legitimate academic field and a man who is willing to yell “racist” at the top of his lungs at the slightest provocation.
The provocation came when the Professor came back from an overseas trip without the key to his house and enlisted his limo driver in an attempt to break into his own house. A neighbor saw that two men were trying to jimmy the door and called the police.
Enter Sergeant James Crowley—by all descriptions one of America’s finest police officers—who caught the call. Crowley came to the house, asked the professor for some ID and got the kind of lip you would expect from a street urchin in South Central LA.
At some point, he arrested the Professor for disorderly conduct. A charge which was dropped the next day, well after the situation was defused.
The President, who held a prime-time news conference last Wednesday, was asked about the incident. Here is his partial reply:
“Now, I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that, but I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge Police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home; and number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there is a long history in this country of African Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That’s just a fact.”
First of all, they did NOT act “stupidly”. Professor Gates did.
Secondly, Doogie Howser couldn’t resist shooting off his mouth and caused a situation which then caused him to have to come back to the daily press briefing and walk the situation back because America will not stand for its president—however immature—badmouthing a hard working cop.
Third, it is not inappropriate to point out to both Obama and Professor Gates that this incident happened to a black Harvard Professor who lives in a town with a black, female mayor in a state with a black governor in a nation with a black President. Under those circumstances, the politics of race should be over. Gates himself is essentially no longer relevant. I don’t want to hear Gates’ pathetic yammering.
And I certainly hope that Obama will learn to stop shooting off his mouth before he does something more than insult someone.
How’s that for a “teachable moment”?