Jim covered Congress and The White House during the George W. Bush administration for The Washington Times, and worked as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. He has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, and many local and national talk radio shows to talk politics and policy.
Latest posts by Jim Lakely (see all)
- Yes, New York Times Commenter Maggie Mae, ‘The Heartland’ Matters - January 9, 2017
- The Year in Climate Realism: A Review of 2016 - January 6, 2017
- Dear President-elect Trump: Don’t Listen to Ben Santer - December 28, 2016
The great Angelo Codevilla recently wrote about a subject keenly on the minds of many Heartlanders — especially Research Fellow Steve Stanek. (If you’re not familiar with Codevilla’s peerless prose, do some Googling.)
In Codevilla’s piece for the Library of Law & Liberty blog, he notes with alarm that too many American police forces — from federal SWAT team of the (yes) U.S. Department of Education, to your local black-and-whites taking down 107-year-old men in a shootout — “operate militarily and are trained to treat ordinary citizens as enemies.”
This is a very troubling development, because it seems that the government at all levels considers citizens who refuse to comply (even peacefully) as enemies of the state — subject at a whim to the full, lethal force of government. As Codevilla writes:
The people from whom the government personnel take their cues routinely describe those who differ from them socially and politically as illegitimate, criminal, even terrorists.
Do you remember that incident from earlier this month when a lady rammed her car into the barricades a block from the White House, injuring a police officer (not seriously), then fled and rammed the barricades several blocks from the “important people” in the Capitol? You don’t?
Miriam Carey had no beef with the government — and God knows we’d never hear the end of it if she ever attended a Tea Party rally or drove past one on her way to Wendy’s. Carey was apparently the most-unfortunate sufferer of post-partum depression in history. The woman died in a hail of bullets, and it’s nothing short of a miracle that her child in the back seat was not also killed as she rammed a second barricades. Was lethal force really necessary. Obviously, in hindsight, no.
Our government buildings in DC are locked down in permanent “war footing,” and we all know why. Terrorists who would load a bomb with massive explosive devices are itching to take out government officials. That’s a legitimate threat and we must always be vigilant. I’m loath to ever Monday-Morning-Quarterback the actions of DC’s finest, but did Miriam Carey — driving a sedan, not a truck — deserve the instant death penalty for running into a barricade designed to stop her? Terrorist masterminds who have executed far worse intentional attacks sit in comfort at Club Gitmo, awaiting trial.
Codevilla puts this scene in a way we all must see:
This month in Washington DC, Federal police riddled with bullets a woman suffering from post-partum depression who, had she been allowed to live, might have been convicted of reckless driving, at most. She had careened too close to the White House and Capitol, but had harmed no one and her car had stopped. In the same month, California sheriffs’ deputies killed a 13 year-old boy who was carrying a plastic toy rifle. It is not illegal to carry a rifle, never mind a toy one. America did not blink.
That last line is the nut: “America did not blink.”
Shouldn’t we at least blink?