Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America react to a new Fox News report showing another link between the Justice Department and Fusion GPS, the firm that compiled the campaign dossier on Donald Trump. They also react to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand insisting President Trump resign, Trump blasting Gillibrand on Twitter, and many on the left accusing Trump’s tweet of being sexual harassment. Jim says the whole spectacle shows that Trump and Gillibrand deserve each other. And they have little sympathy for the family of the Port Authority bomber, as they gripe about the aggressiveness of the investigation into the attempted terrorist attack.
On Sunday, a large group of Antifa activists descended upon a small number of people the group surmised were supporters of President Trump and assaulted them viciously while Berkeley, California, police largely stood by, and policing expert Heather Mac Donald says the passivity from the cops is a result of withering demonization from politicians and the media.
The Washington Post headline described the violence as an Antifa “attack” against “peaceful right-wing protesters.” This is not the first time Berkeley police have let the violence play out. Earlier this year, extensive property damage ensued from riots connected with a scheduled University of California speech by Milo Yiannopoulos.
Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and the author of the best-selling “The War Against Cops: How the New attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe.” She says the seeds for police reticence to intervene were planted in yet another episode of Berkeley unrest in December 2014, as part of a four-day protest against the police by Black Lives Matter.
“The first day of the anti-police, Black Lives Matter riot, the police actually used conventional riot tactics of skirmish lines, of not allowing protesters to get dangerously close,” said Mac Donald.
“The left-wing Berkeley council and mayor, the next day, blamed the police for the violence, rather than the people who were using Molotov cocktails and attacking businesses and police officers and other people,” added Mac Donald.
She says the police could draw only one logical conclusion from that political response.
“The Berkeley police learned their lesson and said, ‘OK, our policy is going to be to allow certainly the destruction of property and if there’s collateral damage to people, so be it. We are not going to risk again the claim that we are an occupying, fascist force,'” said Mac Donald.
“They’re so worried about a lawful act of force being captured on video and the inevitable press reaction that it was the police’s fault, that they have simply moved into a hunkered down, passive position that, given our current levels of civil hatred in this country, I think is extremely dangerous,” said Mac Donald.
She says despite the political slings and arrows, the police still have a responsibility to their communities.
“I hope…they will realize that they really owe it to the law-abiding people of this country to maintain order,” said Mac Donald. “Police use of force is never a pretty sight, but there are times – whether you are subduing a resisting suspect or trying to keep order in a public anarchy situation like we had again this weekend – where it is necessary.”
She says the tone and extent of police intervention in these situations will ultimately be up to the voters in each community.
“It’s really up to the public to decide how much policing it wants. If the public decides we would rather have crime, we’d rather have anarchy than have the police use their lawful authority, well that’s their decision to make,” said Mac Donald.
If the police continue to hold back, what will we see?
“I fear real civil violence, whether it’s race war of left-right war. Both sides at the extremes are becoming more emboldened,” said Mac Donald.
Mac Donald makes clear that the most heinous act we’ve seen to date in this escalating violence is the murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville earlier this month. She says that carnage is squarely on the hands of the white supremacists.
However, she also points out that many of the instances of non-lethal are instigated by the likes of Antifa.
“The left certainly has the bit in its teeth at this point. I hope that Trump still has the moral authority to say this is simply not acceptable. He ran rightly as a law and order president. He alone among the candidates saw what was going on with the demonization of the police, with the rising crime levels, with the resistance to cops, with the 53 percent increase in gun murders of officers last year,” said Mac Donald.
So how do we get to what most Americans expect in terms of law and order? Mac Donald says it is going to be tough so long as the media casts such a negative eye on police.
“The media has just been soaked, it’s been saturated in anti-cop hostility for the last 20 years but it has certainly gotten much worse with the Black Lives Matter surge that began in August of 2014,” said Mac Donald.
She says the tragic irony is that the media are hypocrites when it comes to caring about minority deaths.
“The overwhelming victims in the rising crime increase are black. Nine hundred more black males were killed in 2015, thanks to the Black Lives Matter de-policing, than the previous year. Even though the media think of itself as so Social Justice Warrior-like, it actually doesn’t give a damn about black lives unless they’re taken by a cop,” said Mac Donald.
David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America close the week with three crazy martinis. They unload on CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Jim Sciutto for speculating on air that the radical Muslim terrorist in Barcelona got the idea for a van attack from watching the events in Charlottesville. They also hammer Antifa’s argument that it engages in violence to protect nonviolence and only against white supremacists, pointing out that Antifa viciously attacks anyone it doesn’t agree with and that it is the job of police to protect nonviolence. And they sigh as liberals start calling for the removal of statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, just as their critics predicted earlier in the week.
While the debate rages on about the violence and ideology on display in Charlottesville on Saturday, a prominent black conservative is fuming over the lack of an appropriate police presence to prevent the clashes and says whether or not we see a replay in other American cities probably depends upon the politics of the political leaders there.
The Charlottesville police admit they should have done more to separate the different protesters, but that’s not good enough for former constitutional law professor Horace Cooper. Cooper is now co-chair of the Project 21 National National Advisory Board. Project 21 is a leadership network of black conservatives. He says law enforcement has an obligation to plan for the worse.
“In the event that we are apprehensive that a particular public expression could lead to heightened tensions between communities, you don’t send your officers home for the weekend. You, in fact, call some of those who are taking off and say, ‘I want you on standby,'” said Cooper.
And he Cooper is dumbfounded that police were not at least ready to intervene as the likelihood of violence increased.
“The second that you get concerned that something is happening that’s going to be very aggressive and dangerous, you bring those people in. Our Constitution allows for peaceable expression. Freedom of expression does not include burglary, does not include theft, does not include rape, does not include mayhem,” said Cooper.
But while Cooper says the police could have prevented at least one death and many injuries by keeping order more aggressively, he says this is just the latest incident where he believes politics trumped public safety.
“We’ve seen it in Ferguson. We’ve seen it in Baltimore. We’ve seen it in Berkeley. In all too many instances, the voices of condemnation call off the responsible authorities to see to it that all parties stay in their lanes, and instead allow private mayhem to occur,” said Cooper.
“It looks like it’s precisely to let the private mayhem have its way over the so-called injustice that the media and the political leaders that are doing this have identified,” said Cooper.
So will the revolting images we witnessed from Charlottesville play out in other American cities? Cooper says that largely depends upon who is in charge in those places.
“If these things happen in jurisdictions where people are willing to allow the space for mayhem to occur, it will occur and it will not be good. If they happen in jurisdictions where leaders are willing to hold individuals accountable, we can stop this. I am hopeful that the latter is true,” said Cooper.
He says leaders can set a proper tone long before tensions and passions rise, noting stark differences in how protesters responded to the George Zimmerman verdict in Florida verus the rioters in Ferguson, Missouri.
“[Florida Gov. Rick Scott] insisted that they were going to hold all people who rioted and committed mayhem criminally liable and it killed off almost all aspects of the over-the-top rhetoric. The governor of Missouri (Jay Nixon) did exactly the opposite and we saw nights and nights of criminal activity,” said Cooper.
As for his personal thoughts on Charlottesville, Cooper says he urges everyone to always wait for the facts before leaping into outrage mode. He says an online mob mentality almost devoured the wrong person for the deadly vehicle attack.
“The prior owner of the 2010 Dodge Challenger had been identified all across social media and threats were being made to his family and his household even though this was a car he had already sold years ago,” said Cooper.
Cooper clearly finds the views of the white supremacists “repugnant” but takes solace in the fact that their views are representative of just a tiny fraction of the American people.
“That is not a significant number of the American polity. It is not a major influence in our country today, and when the attention is given to them, it is my hope that the little attention that they get helps to remind people this isn’t your next door neighbor. This isn’t the person you work with. These are very, very marginal individuals,” said Cooper.
A policeman was stabbing in a Michigan airport Wednesday, and authorities are investigating the assault as a possible terrorist attack. According to NBC News, the officer was stabbed in the neck at the Bishop International Airport in Flint by an assailant who reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” during the attack. Police neutralized the attacker who was then taken away in handcuffs. The officer is now in stable condition at a local hospital. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder reacted to the stabbing in a tweet, saying “As we wait to learn more about the incident at Bishop Airport, please keep the attacked officer in your thoughts and prayers.” The airport reported that all other passengers were evacuated safely and that the building is currently closed until further notice. This is the second incident to trigger an evacuation at the Flint airport this month.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America react to the horrific terrorist attack that killed at least 22 people and was aimed at young concertgoers in Manchester, England. They also discuss President Trump’s characterization of terrorists as “evil losers” and some of the social media reaction to the deadly blast. And they point out how difficult it is to stop an attack like this and why the instinct to turn every public gathering place into a fortress is not the right answer.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss Republicans forcing a runoff in Georgia’s sixth congressional district and recall the many highly-touted red state Democrats that never panned out. They’re also stunned that Fresno police do not consider a person who murdered people because of their race and shouted “Allahu Akbar” to be suspected of terrorism. And they react to reports that Bill O’Reilly is likely on his way out at Fox News.
Sheriff David Clarke says Black Lives Matter is nothing more than another liberal activist group that doesn’t actually care about black lives, and he says his black constituents know bad schools and rampant poverty are their biggest problems, and not the police.
Clarke is sheriff in heavily-Democratic Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. He is a prominent voice on police and national security issues and the author of “Cop Under Fire: Moving Beyond Hashtags of Race, Crime and Politics for a Better America.”
One of Clarke’s greatest frustrations centers on Black Lives Matter, the activist group that rose up in the wake of the police-involved shooting in Ferguson, Missouri. He says the group is hurting efforts by police and communities to forge cooperative relationships and doesn’t actually care about what happens to black people.
“If they truly believed that black lives matter, they’d be protesting in front of every Planned Parenthood clinic in America. (It’s) an organization that kills more black babies than every other demographic. But I thought black lives mattered,” said Clarke.
“If they truly believed that black lives mattered, they’d be protesting in every American ghetto, and not against the police, but especially in cities like Chicago where over 4,000 people were shot last year. Over 750 were murdered. Most of them were black. Most of the perpetrators were black. But they don’t want to talk about that issue,” said Clarke.
He says Black Lives Matter is turning into just another liberal interest group, spending time on things that seem to have no connection with their stated mission.
“Right now, Black Lives Matter is out in North Dakota protesting at the Dakota Access Pipeline. What does that have to do about black lives?” asked Clarke.
He says black families know exactly what the biggest problems are.
“Here’s what black people care about: they want better schools for their kids, they want crime-free neighborhoods or safer communities at the very least, and they want meaningful work. That’s what they care about,” said Clarke, noting Milwaukee, under longtime Democratic leadership, has the third worst schools in the U.S. and is among the highest poverty rates among U.S. cities.
Nonetheless, Clarke says Black Lives Matter focuses it’s attention on unrelated issues.
“If you look at their manifesto they put out not too long ago, none of that stuff is mentioned. Stuff like climate change is mentioned, more money for research for climate change, and also statehood for the Palestinians. What do the black people living in the American ghetto care about statehood for the Palestinians or about climate change. They don’t,” said Clarke.
“This is a political construct that has nothing to do with the quality of life for black people,” said Clarke.
In the book, Clarke explains how his father instilled his respect for his parents and anyone else his parents told him to respect, including police.
“My dad mattered in my life. Dads matter. My dad was my first role model. My dad was my first hero. He was my first authority figure. My dad demanded respect. When I respected him, that extended to the teachers at school, the adults in the neighborhood and anybody else in a position of authority,” said Clarke.
“Had my dad not been there for me, things might have gone in a totally different direction. You look at some of the things going on today like Freddie Gray (Baltimore) and like Mike Brown (Ferguson), no father to guide and develop them,” said Clarke.
Instead of working to push responsible fatherhood and other avenues to reduce poverty and improve education, Clarke says activists like Black Lives Matter and Al Sharpton only want to find someone else to blame.
“It’s easier to deflect away from that and say, ‘Hey, look at the police. Let’s pick on the police. Let’s blame the police for all of our problems. Let’s just hammer on the police all the time. Let’s just yell racism and discrimination, so we don’t have to deal with the ugliness of the pathologies I’ve mentioned,” said Clarke.
As a result of what he sees as demonizing police, Clarke says police are getting more hesitant and that makes their work more dangerous.
“We need them to be more assertive and aggressive and they’re afraid to because if something goes tragically wrong sometimes, through no fault of their own, they don’t want to be the next Darren Wilson. They don’t want to be the next Baltimore Six, the police officers that were maliciously slandered and charged with felonies they did not commit. Fortunately, the justice system got it right,” said Clarke.
Clarke says police morale is slowly on the upswing as the Trump administration takes over for the Obama administration. Clarke says the difference between the two presidents in treating the police is like “night and day.”
Clarke was a strong supporter of Trump in 2016, and has been rumored as a possible U.S. Senate candidate in Wisconsin in 2018. However, the sheriff says we shouldn’t expect him to jump into politics anytime soon.
“I’m flattered by the energy and enthusiasm for it, but I’m a lifelong cop. It’s in my blood. I’m in a position of leadership. Right now, I have platforms available to me to get a message out. That’s more important than focusing on myself. I tell myself all the time, ‘David, this isn’t about you. It’s about what you can do for other people,'” said Clarke.