Hard Truths: Political Truth

HardTruths_3_12_152On Legacies
Senator Hillary Clinton and Governor Jeb Bush are the presidential contenders from the two first families of politics… that everyone loves to hate. And they’re both toting giant duffels of baggage. One of the less substantive criticisms one often hears about either of these two is, “I’m so sick of Clintons and Bushes.” While I, too, am sick of these two families, that’s not a good reason to vote for or against someone. That Jeb Bush’s brother and dad were both spectacularly underwhelming presidents doesn’t mean anything for him. And that Hillary Clinton’s husband is the slipperiest slimeball to hold the office since Nixon also shouldn’t reflect on her (other than the fact that she married him and has stood by him through no less than five adulteries, one of which was reported as non-consensual).

But don’t worry, they’re both still terribly ill-equipped to lead, so just don’t vote for them for that reason instead. Hillary’s current email scandal (which no matter what James Carville or any other professional Clinton apologist says is indeed a very big deal) would be enough to sink most candidates, and may still prove to sink her. Jeb on the other hand has not only a similar (if much less egregious) email problem of his own, but also an immigration problem (by which I mean, he’s not hard enough on it to succeed in his party). Which is to say nothing of the fact that he represents maybe the least popular political ideology one can back in the year 2015: compassionate conservatism (aka big government republicanism).

But again, to be clear, the reason you shouldn’t vote for either of these hacks has nothing to do with their names, and everything to do with their shared track record of mediocrity and occasional mischief.

On Foot in Mouth Disease
Dr. Ben Carson was last seen riding a Perot-like wave of grass roots support in his quixotic bid to be the Republican presidential nominee. Then last week in an interview with CNN he bizarrely asserted that homosexuality was a choice, and backed up his statement by saying, “…a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight—and when they come out, they’re gay.” And I wasn’t actually watching, but it is to be presumed at that point that there was a loud noise of three million viewers and everyone in the studio face-palming in unison. Among the throngs of people lining up for a chance to make sure they weren’t lumped in with Carson was Glenn Beck. Beck, of all people, didn’t just criticize the remark for its political stupidity, but he flatly described it as “the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”

As a Republican candidate who has enjoyed support from the Tea Party, you know Carson is in trouble when he’s lost Glenn Beck. The only way this could get worse for Carson is if his statement gets endorsed by Bill Cosby.

On Ferguson
How damning was the Department of Justice (DOJ) report, released last week, on the Ferguson Police Department’s conduct? Let me put it to you this way: the DOJ also released a report last week that not only exonerates Officer Darren Wilson of wrongdoing in the shooting of unarmed teen Mike Brown (the incident that explains why you’ve even heard of Ferguson in the first place) but more or less backs up every single explanation he gave and shreds all the testimony against him. And still all anyone cared about was the report on Ferguson PD.

The long and short of it is that the report basically confirms the worst nightmares of the black community in Ferguson, and makes clear that the problem goes way beyond one officer. In fact, right now, Darren Wilson is the only officer in Ferguson that the DOJ doesn’t think is a racist. There were terrifying statistics on arrests and use of force, not to mention disgusting emails sent between officers, and that was just in the abstract. It was an unmitigated disaster for Ferguson PD, and suggests larger problems for the whole state.

Fortunately once systemic racism is discovered in a police force, it’s usually pretty easy to excise. I mean, look how far the NYPD has—oh crap…

By Sidney Reilly