Monday, June 1, 2015

Obama: Not Cloward-Piven but Jerry Lundegaard

Some people think that the Obamis are executing on a brilliant Cloward-Piven strategy to make the country ungovernable. That's why the president and his minions are "angrying up" African Americans against white cops killing young blacks.

All part of the plan, according to John Nolte.
Keep ‘em down. Keep ‘em angry. Pretend you are their savior not their oppressor, and keep ‘em voting for the very thing destroying them: big government and the Democrats who control it.

This sinister plot is no secret. It’s openly called the Cloward-Piven Strategy.
But I think that the Cloward-Piven Strategy, named after two lefty professors predicting revolution, is not a strategy. It is a tactic. Sure, it can angry up the proles so that radical leaders can enlist them into a political street army. Then the police hold back from vigorous policing and the violence gets worse. But then what?

I suspect the same goes for Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals. It's all about mobilizing the urban working or underclass against The Man, making him follow his rules. But like Gandhi's non-violence, it only works against a "Man" that operates according to bourgeois law and a "Man" that has compassion for the struggling masses.

But the question is, with Cloward-Piven and Alinsky, what next? When you've got your urban army set up and organized, what do you do with it? Can you look around a corner and see where your lefty activism is going to take you?

There, in my opinion, is where things start to go wrong.

It's like the set-up in the movie Fargo. Car dealer Jerry Lundegaard sets up a cunning plan to have a couple of low-lifes kidnap his wife so his rich father-in-law can pay the ransom and Jerry can get his hands on his father-in-law's money. What could go wrong? As Instapundit Glenn Reynolds would say.

Everything, that's what.

Think of the Obama presidency. After the biggest financial crash since 1929, the Obamis say Hey, let's nationalize the health care system, let's drench the energy sector in stupid green subsidies and drive coal plants out of business. Oh and let's make sure we get out of the slump with a quick $1 trillion stimulus to keep state and local government employees on the job. What could go wrong?

Everything, that's what, from a failed Obamacare built on lies and a fracking revolution that makes nonsense out of green energy. And an excruciatingly slow recovery because of all the new costs that the Obamis have thrown over the economy.

Now the Obamis think it's a brilliant idea to end the "broken windows" and "stop and frisk" policing of the last 20 years. Because Black Lives Matter. Because liberals hate the unjust "stop and frisk" policing policy that unjustly targets young men of color. What could go wrong?

Everything, that's what, from murder to mayhem. Here's Leah Barkoukis in "Families of Shooting Victims to de Blasio: 'We Need Stop-and-Frisk'." You mean that urban residents actually want unjust and racist "stop and frisk?" Golly. Who could have seen that coming? In Baltimore:
Gun violence is up more than 60% compared with this time last year, according to Baltimore police, with 32 shootings over Memorial Day weekend.
And now in Baltimore "the people who not too long ago decried the presence of police in their communities are now are wishing they’d come back."

There are two narratives about urban policing. There is the Robert Peel narrative, that in the modern big city policemen are needed to control young lower-class single men. Robert Peel was the guy that created the Metropolitan Police in Britain in 1829. Then there is the progressive narrative that the "gentle giants" are victims of the system. Because racism, or inequality.

The "broken windows/stop and frisk" policy belongs in the Peel tradition and was developed in response to the urban riots of the 1960s and the explosion in crime thereafter. The combination of riots and crime created the "law-and-order" politics that elected Richard Nixon to the presidency.

The idea of "stop and frisk" is that you go after minor street crimes on the theory that the guys creating street disturbances are the same as the guys doing the murders.  Says Wiki:
The theory was introduced in a 1982 article by social scientists James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling. Since then it has been subject to great debate both within the social sciences and the public sphere. The theory has been used as a motivation for several reforms in criminal policy, including the controversial mass use of "stop, question, and frisk" by the New York City Police Department.
When Wiki writes "great debate" and "controversial" they mean that liberals hate it.

But there is a bigger issue that "stop and frisk" solves. The problem is that people in the inner city won't testify about gang murders; they are too afraid. Of course the inner-city folks blame the po-lice for their failure to arrest and convict the killers. But "everybody knows" who done the killings, including the police. So the police get their own back by arresting the known thugs for minor crimes whenever they catch them. The young thugs and their liberal activist mentors hate this.

And so when Bill de Blasio became Mayor of New York City he pushed back on "stop and frisk".  Of course he did; he's a progressive and progressives hate "stop and frisk." And in the wake of Trayvon Martin and Ferguson and Staten Island and Baltimore police all over the nation have eased back on "stop and frisk." Hey, why risk your freedom and your family and your career because you didn't dot the 'i's and cross the 't's in your last arrest? But coincident with the backoff in "stop and frisk" has been a startling rise in urban killing. Who could have see this coming? As always Heather Mac Donald is the go-to person on this in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed.

What we are getting is almost a scientifically controlled experiment to measure the effectiveness of "stop and frisk." We all know, because we all understand scientific method, that "correlation is not causation." That goes back to Hume. In the last 20 years the crime rate has come down dramatically. And also police forces across the nation have been implementing "stop and frisk." But hey, that's just correlation.

But now, courtesy of Barack Obama and Bill de Blasio and the lefty rioters in Ferguson and Baltimore, we have a suspension of "stop and frisk." And low and behold, urban killings are up sharply.

I'd say that this is just about as close as we get in this world to "causation."

What is the explanation for the dumb-as-posts policies of our liberal friends, who just cannot seem to learn? Why in the world have liberals insisted that "stop and frisk" was mere racism and oppression, and are now seeing their opposition to effective policing blow up in their faces?

Here is my evaluation, gleaned from a commenter at National Review. The answer to the question is that liberalism is not a governing philosophy. It is a secular religion. "The Z Man" is commenting on the inability of the progressive ruling class to curb the Clintons:
The central issue is that Progressives lack the ability to police their ranks, other than the hunting of heretics. They are good at chasing off a guy like Juan Williams for apostacy, but they can't figure out how to police common criminals like the Clintons.
See what he is saying? He is saying that the only thing the Progressives know how to do is to police orthodoxy, and hunt the heretics. But that is a tactic of a church or a religion. It does not try to look around the corner and think about what the hunting of heretics might do in the larger world. It does not think about a code of honor for the governing class, either from a moral or a strategic perspective.

And here is The Z Man's big point. "A political class with a moral grounding would have cut off [the Clintons] long before they made it to national politics." But in 1992 the Dems were desperate.

But now we have the "Fargo Presidency." Hey, let's angry up the African Americans and drive them to the polls in 2016. What could go wrong?

Well, everything, that's what. Let's just start with the vital Republican "war on women." If everything is quiet at home and abroad then it's a fine idea to terrify women into believing that evil white Republican men want to take their contraception away from them. But suppose the news is full of urban rioting and the sudden rise in crime?

Then America's biddable women, that once were soccer moms and then security moms and then hands-off-my-uterus moms, would now become law-and-order moms. It's visceral. A woman cannot begin to function as the bringer of life until she is safe. As Jack London opines in The Sea Wolf, when the ship starts sinking the women start shrieking. They expect the men to make them safe. Of course Jack London was a jerk and an alcoholic and a drug addict. But he did believe in socialism.

The number one question women have is "Mr. President, Is it Safe?" And it looks like "safe spaces" will be front and center in 2016.

Thanks to the Fargo Presidency.

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