I believe this is a clear example of Barack displaying intellectual density. A smart person does not say “I don’t know the facts”, and then go on to assert a conclusion. If Barack had worked his way up in the world - had succeeded at running various enterprises, had to refereed disputes between employees, had to tiptoed through an EEOC minefield, and through potential exposures to legal actions arising from race or gender - would Barack EVER have said “I dont’ know the facts” yet here is my conclusion. Never.
Even w/o having worked his way up via concrete accomplishment, it’s still amazing Barack would embrace such flawed reasoning; would act upon such assumption. Barack is dense. Barack is arrogant. It ain’t what he don’t know that’s hurting us so badly, but rather what he does know that ain’t so.
I think the Gates Assumption is a demarcation point. It will be remembered by the public. It shows Barack leaps to assumptions in rash fashion. If Barack makes this assumption about the police officer, what rash assumptions has Barack embraced about Iran? Israel? Honduras? Tax policy? Spending? Health Care?
The average voter can understand the Gates vs. police dynamic. We all know s/o, or know of s/o, who has been arrested for mouthing off in an incident which had nothing to do w/race. I’m the whitest guy ever. The one time I began to speak angrily to a police officer, I never completed my first sentence before being certainly informed that, if more words came from my mouth, I would shortly be residing in jail. It was infuriating. And I immediately shut the heck up.
B/c police interaction resonates with the average voter, therefore Barack’s Gates Assumption will resonate. Someday, we will look back on this as a turning point.
One more thing: someday, we may even look back on this as a turning point in our dainty and fearful handling of any accusation of racism against any white person.
Ricci resonated with a the voting public which instinctively understands the injustice of racial quotas. The public noticed the selection of Sotomayor, and the defense of Sotomayor, and the refusal of either Sotomayor or Dem Senators to come clean over Ricci.
The racial Gates Assumption, coming on the heels of the racial Ricci discussion, and on the heels of the unforthright Sotomayor defense, will resonate.
Second more thing: between the Sotomayor defense and the Gates Assumption, Barack may have ceded his Oprah-esque status as a bargainer who is beyond race. The Gates Assumption is as blatantly racial as it gets. And people understand interaction with police. This won’t be easy for Barack to shrug off. As it concerns race, and in the eyes of the public and of voters, I don’t think it can be shrugged off.
It would take a Joe Kennedy type full court press to rebuild Barack as being beyond race. Maybe a buyoff or a threat which induces an onsite witness to tell a tale. Maybe a world victimization tour by Gates, telling a fully sympathetic story.
Worst case, in my mind, would be an attack upon character of the police officer: James Crowley, in the style of the attacks upon Clarence Thomas, Gen Petraeus, Joe the Plumber, Frank Ricci.
This just shows how poor a politician Obama actually is.
He’s nailed his colors to the mast when he himself admits he doesn’t know what happened. He looks bad now, for jumping in with his size 13s when he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He could look even worse if his position is later proven to be rubbish. Then he’d either have to apologize or stonewall when he was clearly in the wrong.
Suppose this had been the Duke lacrosse “rape” case, or the Tawana Brawley fiasco. How ridiculous could he look, if, as in those cases, proof later emerges that he’s on the wrong side?
The smart thing to do was…nothing. But failing that, issue some anodyne statement about the necessity of upholding law and civil rights, and how he’s sure that justice will be done. But no. He’s got to insert his foot in his mouth.
Obama: You’re the President, as you keep reminding us. ACT LIKE IT. Think before you speak. If nothing comes up on the teleprompter, shut up until you receive your instructions.