The president jumps into the Trayvon Martin controversy without all the facts being known, essentially calling for the shooter to be arrested and convicted, and yet it is GOP cadidates criticizing the president who are “reprehensible” according to Obama advisor David Plouffe?
I think “essentially” is my very favorite weasel word. When I read it, my weasel-radar pings.
This is the second racial incident in which Obama has jumped the gun and either criticized “stupid” police as he did in the Gates controversy, or local authorities as he did last Friday in the Trayvon Martin tragedy. The former Constitutional law professor doesn’t get it. When the president weighs in on a flashpoint controversy like this, he colors everyone’s perception – including police, local courts, and his own DoJ.
Because all things involving black people are the same? Is that why what Obama said here is “like” what he said in Gates?
Because it’s not.
“Obviously this is a tragedy. I can only imagine what these parents are going through. When I think about this boy I think about my own kids and I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this and that everybody pulls together, federal, state and local to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened.
I’m glad that not only the Justice Department is looking into it, I understand now that the governor of the state of Florida has formed a task force to investigate what is taking place.
I think all of us have to do some soul searching to figure out how something like this happened. That means that we examine the laws and the context for what happened as well as the specifics of the incident.
But my main message is to the parents of Trayvon. If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon. I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves and we will get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”
Actually, the truth is, Republicans, panicked and running from their own law, went WAY too far on the merits of the case.
Here is former Governor Jeb Bush, making a legal determination without “the facts being known”:
“This law does not apply to this particular circumstance… Stand your ground means stand your ground. It doesn’t mean chase after somebody who’s turned their back.”
Wow. Does not apply. Thanks, Judge Bush. We’ll move right to sentencing.
“[The lack of arrest] doesn’t make sense to me… You’ve got to let the judicial process work. Hopefully it’s done at a pace that is respectful for people hurting.”
Less-than-great police work, apparently, in Jeb Bush’s opinion. The lack of arrest doesn’t “make sense”, even to a member of the Bush family, which is saying something.
The controversial Stand Your Ground law is also commonly referred to as the “castle doctrine.” It was sponsored by Republican lawmakers Rep. Dennis Baxley and then Sen. Durell Peaden and passed by the Florida state legislature in 2005.
Baxley wrote an op-ed article published by Fox News. In the op-ed Baxley wrote, “There is nothing in the castle doctrine as found in Florida statutes that authenticates or provides for the opportunity to pursue and confront individuals, it simply protects those who would be potential victims by allowing for force to be used in self-defense.”
Peaden reportedly told the Miami Herald that the law does not apply to shooter George Zimmerman because he followed the child. Peadon told the newspaper that the moment Zimmerman told the 911 dispatcher that he was following the boy that he lost any defense under the Stand Your Ground law.
The truth is exactly the opposite of the claim. President Obama said nothing on the legal merits, current and former GOP leaders in Florida, panicked and running away from their own law, did.
I await the right wing editorial condemning Jeb Bush.
I will acknowledge being guilty of hyperbole and exaggeration – something Washington Monthly engages in when calling me a liar. Writing that Obama was “essentially calling for the arrest and conviction” of the shooter, was, I freely admit, not a quote, but rather reflected my opinion of the consequences of the president’s actions and his ill-timed and ill-chosen remarks.
Only little children and liberals believe that bringing DoJ into this incendiary local matter doesn’t guarantee Zimmerman’s eventual arrest and conviction for…something. Manslaughter, violation of Martin’s civil rights – it only matters in the sense that the hysteria ginned up over this horrible incident will ensure that authorities will shape their investigation to satisfy the howling mob. When so much is unknown – and perhaps unknowable – about what actually happened, prosecutors will find some way to appease those who are emotionally unhinged and might respond to a call for “retaliation” or vigilante action. Like it’s never happened before? Just ask Sacco and Vanzetti.
Mr. Singal prefers to take a politicians words at face value. For myself, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a liberal or conservative, I tend to question the motives and intent of politicians – especially presidents – who inject themselves thoughtlessly into controversies like the Martin tragedy.
I still await the right wing editorial condemning Jeb Bush.