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Morning Fix: Obama's Slipup (And Its Political Cost)



President Obama will meet with Prof. Henry Louis Gates Jr. and police officer James Crowley today at the White House. Photo by Haraz N. Ghanbari -- AP

President Barack Obama will sit down for a photo op, er, beer today with Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Cambridge police officer James Crowley in hopes of putting his comments -- and the firestorm they provoked -- about the incident between the two men last week in his political rear view mirror.

Even the staunchest defenders of the president acknowledge that his choice of words -- in response to a question at last week's press conference he said the Cambridge policed had "acted stupidly" in their arrest of Gates -- was an unforced error of the sort that the chief executive seemed immune to in his rapid rise through the political ranks.

But, what is the lasting political impact -- if any -- of the incident on Obama's presidency? Opinions varied widely.

John Weaver, a Republican strategist and former adviser to John McCain, compared the incident to a "summer beach novel" -- "it's interesting during the read, but doesn't stick with you."

Others -- including many Democrats -- were slightly more circumspect about dismissing the incident's potential political impact.

"It was unfortunate because it emphasized enduring and unfortunate racial divisions in our society, which is not helpful to our first black President who was elected in substantial part by pledging to promote unity and an end to racial, religious, and partisan divisions," said Doug Schoen, a Democratic pollster.

Tad Devine, a Democratic media consultant, said that "in the short term this may have cost the President some standing with voters" but added that it was impossible to know the long term impact just yet. "If he is able to achieve a 'teachable moment' here, it may well turn out to be as positive for him as the Reverend Wright episode," added Devine.

Devine's point is a good one. As with any story that is unfolding in front of our eyes, it's next-to-impossible to predict exactly how things will ultimately turn out. (Remember when we thought Mark Sanford was just "hiking the Appalachian Trail"?)

What we can assess is the short term impact of Obama's slip-up at last week's press conference. It essentially zeroed out the message the White House wanted to send at the press conference -- the danger of doing nothing/ the urgent need for action -- and forced the president and his advisers to divert their attention from health care to put out the fire it caused.

If the entire arc of this story is roughly a week -- from Obama's presser last Wednesday to today's beertente (eh?) event -- it's likely to amount to a blip (if that) on the broader political radar screen.

Of course, if, as one Democratic strategist suggested, the incident "chipped away
at the air of reasonableness and even infallibility that surrounds the President" then we could look back at this moment as a pivot point in Obama's first year in office.

Our bet is on the latter scenario. But, stranger things have happened.

Thursday's Fix Picks: Best Fix purchase in last two years: these.

1. A deal (sort of) on health care in House. (with Shailagh Murray pic!)
2. Obama: I'm not anti-business.
3. Dan Hynes to challenge Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn
4. Bill Jefferson's trial is almost over.
5. A texting-while-driving ban?

Is Rudy Ramping Up For Gov?: Following an address last week in Washington at the American Enterprise Institute, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani will speak at the Crain's Business Breakfast Forum today in New York. Giuliani will "discuss his ideas for fixing the nation's economy, and the economic and political problems in New York State," according to a release on the event. In case you forgot, the release notes, tantalizingly, that Giuliani, who is considering a run for governor, "will also be asked about his future plans." Giuliani has said previously he won't make a decision on a gubernatorial run until the fall and a source close to him insisted that no announcement will come today. Giuliani is almost certainly waiting to see whether Gov. David Paterson (D) seeks re-election and/or whether state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (D) primaries the incumbent. Former Rep. Rick Lazio is already in the Republican race.

Sessions Announces "Young Guns" Candidates: National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) unveiled a baker's dozen of GOP candidates that he believes to be stars in the making during a press conference Wednesday. The thirteen -- Martha Roby in Alabama's 2nd district, Van Tran in California's 47th, Cory Gardner in Colorado's 4th, Dennis Ross in Florida's 12th, Charles Djou in Hawaii's 1st, Vaughn Ward in Idaho's 1st, Adam Kenzinger in Illinois' 11th, Andy Harris in Maryland's 1st, Frank Guinta in New Hampshire's 1st, Jon Barela in New Mexico's 1st, Steve Pearce in New Mexico's 2nd, Steve Chabot in Ohio's 1st and Steve Stivers in Ohio's 15th -- comprise the leading edge of the NRCC's "Young Guns" program, an effort to identify credible candidate and help them organize their campaigns and fundraising operations early in the cycle. Sessions said that only two of the candidates -- Kenzinger and Ross -- were receiving the formal endorsement of the NRCC but it's hard not to see the "Young Guns" program as an attempt by the committee to put a thumb on the scale for a particular candidate without actually endorsing them.

Click It!: The Democratic National Committee is trying to hit Republican House and Senate leaders where it hurts -- in their home states and districts. The DNC is sponsoring radio ads against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.), House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio), House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) and House Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.) taking the leaders to task for ignoring the good the economic stimulus package has done in their states."After years of supporting George Bush's disastrous economic policies, it's no surprise Senator Mitch McConnell opposed the recovery act that's creating and preserving jobs in Kentucky," says the ad's narrator.

Johnson Joins Mack|Crounse: Paul Johnson, Democratic Senate campaign manager extraordinaire, is joining the direct mail firm run by Jim Crounse and Kevin Mack. "Paul has been a major figure in the electoral success of many Democratic Senators across the country," said Crounse, who added that he was "thrilled" to have Johnson on board. Johnnson is widely regarded as the pre-eminent campaign manager on the Democratic side, having overseen efforts by former Sens. Bob Kerrey (Neb.) and Tom Daschle (S.D.) as well as current Sens. Ben Nelson (Neb.), Mark Pryor (Ark.) and Jeff Merkley (Ore.)

Boxer Frets Over Fiorina: Sen. Barbara Boxer's re-election race against former Hewlett Packard executive Carly Fiorina (R) isn't on most political handicappers' radar but the California Democrat is clearly worried. In an e-mail fundraising appeal, Boxer campaign manager Rose Kapolcynski cites a Rasmussen poll showing the incumbent 45 percent to 41 percent over Fiorina and notes: "Boxer [is] one of the right wing's top targets every time she's up for re-election." While Fiorina's personal wealth makes her a potential threat to Boxer, California's strong Democratic tilt means that the incumbent starts the race with a clear edge. That said, Republicans could put together their most compelling ticket in recent memory in 2010 -- led by Fiorina and former eBay president Meg Whitman, who is running for governor.

Say What?: "Yes, that is an earring in my ear, yes." -- White House press secretary Robert Gibbs acknowledges that he was a child of the 1980s. But did he ever wear Zubaz pants and a starter jacket? (The Fix pleads guilty)

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 30, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Next: The Generic Ballot, 2010, and a Republican Resurgence?

Comments

For the record, I am not filled with anger and rage over the abolition of slavery. I would be picketing Prof. Gates even if he were white.

Posted by: JakeD | August 1, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

As a white man living in 21st century America, I must say I am surprised at how many whites are still filled with anger and rage over the abolition of slavery!

Posted by: matthewjblack | August 1, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

"Such residential picketing could be restricted by city ordinance, but in some cities it isn't; and even if focused residential picketing is banned by a city ordinance, parading through the targets' neighborhood in order to express your message of condemnation to the targets' neighbors is constitutionally protected. See Madsen v. Women’s Health Ctr., 512 U.S. 753, 775 (1994); Frisby v. Schultz, 487 U.S. 474, 480-81 (1988)."

Hat tip: http://www.volokh.com/posts/1248900796.shtml

Keep in mind that 17 Ware Street is NOT owned by Prof. Gates, but rather Harvard University. We could just as easily be protesting against the Regents. That sign would be: "ASHAMED OF GATES YET?" not hand-drawn swastikas.

Posted by: JakeD | July 31, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

PROTEST this Sunday August 2, 2009 at 12:00 noon on the public sidewalk in front of the Gates Residence; 17 Ware Street, Cambridge MA 02138

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl&q=17%20Ware%20Street%2C%20Cambridge%20MA

OBAMA and GATES: APOLOGIZE TO CROWLEY!

Posted by: JakeD | July 31, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | July 31, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

But CJ Roberts was TRYING to mess him up ; )

Did you see the latest poll 58% of GOP have doubts about Obama's birthplace (28% of Independents and 8% of Democrats)?

Posted by: JakeD | July 31, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

@Jake - Technically, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court couldn't even recite the oath correctly. Remember that repeat after me bit? BTW, putting Hoover in the middle name was kinda funny.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 31, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Barack HOOVER Obama.

Posted by: JakeD | July 31, 2009 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Wow this story is almost as riveting as a celebrity marriage. And almost as profoundly important. Yes by all means, draw some swastikas on a piece of cardboard and walk in a circle.

Someone needs to get a life.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 31, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Did you see what "beer" that Biden selected?

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Crowley screwed up, but he does seem to have the best taste in beer among the three. I didn't know I voted for a Bud Light drinker!

Posted by: DDAWD | July 30, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Do you think Gates will apologize because a few people hold up signs outside his house, when he wouldn't do it at the White House?

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 30, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Because Sgt. Crowley and the Cambridge Police Dept. DESERVE an apology.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

And just what is your point, Jake? Why do you want people to gather in front of Gates' house on Sunday?

Crowley is not demanding an apology--why are you?

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 30, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I am not inciting civil unrest.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse


Having heard Crowley's statement, and read both Gates' and Obama's written statement, one thing is clear. Every one of them is a lot classier than anyone who would use this incident to provoke civil unrest.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 30, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

PROTEST this Sunday August 2, 2009 at 12:00 noon on the public sidewalk in front of the Gates Residence; 17 Ware Street, Cambridge MA 02138

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl&q=17%20Ware%20Street%2C%20Cambridge%20MA

OBAMA and GATES: APOLOGIZE TO CROWLEY!

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2009/07/a_very_private.html

By Foon Rhee and Tracy Jan, Globe Staff

After sharing beers on the Rose Garden patio this evening , there was no final resolution to the confrontation between Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr., and Cambridge police Sergeant James Crowley that turned into a national racial issue.

But President Obama, Crowley, and Gates's lawyer, while declining to divulge details of the private talks, said there had been progress through a cordial, frank discussion [and agreement for Gates and Crowley to meet again] ...

Asked whether the meeting would be another beer at a bar, Crowley said that would send the wrong message, so perhaps they could have soft drinks instead.

Charles Ogletree, Gates’s friend and attorney, said, “They’ll be getting together to break some bread in a private session and talk about some community outreach efforts to improve relations between police and communities,” said Ogletree, who will be issuing a statement on behalf of Gates later this evening on how the nation should move forward. “There are important lessons to be learned from the July 16 incident.”

(Yeah, like you shouldn't talk smack about a policeman's mother ; )

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know who Angela Deleon is?

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

After the meeting, Obama said in a statement he was thankful to Gates and Crowley for joining him at for "a friendly, thoughtful conversation.

"Even before we sat down for the beer, I learned that the two gentlemen spent some time together listening to one another, which is a testament to them ... I have always believed that what brings us together is stronger than what pulls us apart. I am confident that has happened here tonight, and I am hopeful that all of us are able to draw this positive lesson from this episode."

Crowley said he "still really isn't sure this is happening" about a meeting with President Obama and Henry Louis Gates Jr., a Harvard professor he arrested several weeks ago after a call about a possible break-in at the professor's home. Crowley called the meeting "cordial" and "productive."

Crowley also said he would likely take time off work to dissect some of the information he gleaned from the meeting Thursday. He said he would also likely work with Gates on issues regarding race in the future. He would not elaborate on the work, or discuss specifics of his conversation with Gates and Obama. He did say that he and Gates did most of the talking, while Obama mostly listened.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA and GATES: APOLOGIZE TO CROWLEY!

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

By all means, Jake. You should apologize to Crowley for trying to stir up civil unrest in his town. He was proved himself to be entirely reasonable--I'm sure he would not advocate protests against Gates.

JAKED: APOLOGIZE TO CROWLEY.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 30, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

APOLOGIZE TO CROWLEY!

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Sgt. Crowley says it was a "productive" discussion -- too bad Prof. Gates refused to speak with the press -- PROTEST this Sunday August 2, 2009 at 12:00 noon on the public sidewalk in front of the Gates Residence; 17 Ware Street, Cambridge MA 02138

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl&q=17%20Ware%20Street%2C%20Cambridge%20MA

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Disorderly conduct was the charge, as you well know. And you also know that the charge was quickly dropped.

It was not an illegal arrest. It may not have even been an improper arrest. But it was a stupid thing to do. It was a waste of police resources, as was calling all that back-up.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 30, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

REALLY? "Wolfin' at the police" was the charge? I thought that you said you read the police reports?

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

If Bush's Golden boy, Roberts, hadn't screwed it up, Obama wouldn't have had to correct him.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 30, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Yes, that was the charge. It was quickly dropped, because the facts did not merit prosecution.

Arresting people on charges you know will not stick is not smart. It clogs the system unnecessarily.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 30, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

BHO, a former law professor, per usual, couldn't even recite the Oath of Office correctly.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Prof. Gates, of course, was not arrested for "Wolfin' at the police" but rather for "DISORDERLY CONDUCT" outside the house as set forth in the statute and caselaw provided below.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

"Even the staunchest defenders of the president acknowledge that his choice of words...was an unforced error...."
_____________
That is so untrue.

Many of the President's supporters were glad BHO drew attention to the persistent problem of racial profiling (see your Post colleague Gene Robinson, Prof. Michael Dyson, ex-trial judge Joe Brown, Prof. Stanley Fish, etc.). The point completely lost on the post-Cronkite media was: after Gates showed ID there were no legal grounds to arrest him. Wolfin' at the police is not a crime.

The Gates arrest was a false arrest and that is why the prosecutor's office dropped the charges. And few believe that the police would have arrested Henry Kissinger or Larry Summers under the circumstances.

BHO, a former law professor, per usual, had it right from the beginning.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | July 30, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Obama's openly showing that he is a card carrying member of the Harvard Elite who automatically mistrusts and despises the police, and clearly all working Americans. However, it will probably will only be a temporary blip. Anybody paying any attention didn't need any further proof of Obama's radical Elite nature after the Rev Wright affair, or his remarks about working people being bitter, gun toting, bible thumping bigots! Its just another sad day for the police in Obama's neighborhood!

Posted by: valwayne | July 30, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

BREAKING ... [Acting] President Biden had a non-alcoholic beer Bucklers.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

The news networks really need to hire lip readers!!!

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse


I don't believe Crowley is a bad cop, either. I don't think he is particularly racist. I have no reason to believe he was "profiling" Gates--he was called to that address on a burglary and questioned the person he found there. I also believe that the arrest did not violate any law or protocol, or Gates' rights.

I do think that Crowley acted stupidly when he arrested Gates. And perhaps Obama made a gaffe (told the truth at an inconvenient moment), but he was correct in his assessment.

I hope that they can all agree that it was an unfortunate incident and put it behind them.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 30, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Just my wife, a family friend, and I (all came in the same car). And, I never said that we were there that long -- it was more of a symbolic protest -- I'm hoping that Prof. Gates speaks to the media after the BEER SUMMIT to rile up attendance this Sunday.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/slideshow/ALeqM5gTq-KrHBuspERkQdOuS3w613M5AQD99P0KPG0?index=0&ned=us

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse


Oh, my. Three people. Would I be correct in assuming that the other two people came with you in the same car? That they were friends or relatives?

Gee. You're willing to get arrested in protest, but parking your car a few blocks away and walking to the protest sight is too much hassle? Not exactly a Freedom March.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 30, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

As I've said, I served on the local Citizen's Board reviewing police misconduct allegations, so I know there are a few bad cops out. Sgt. Crowley, however, is NOT a bad cop (as Obama has even admitted). I am also color-blind, just like Stephen Colbert. People tell me I am white, and I believe them.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Assuming jaked went took the bizarrely extreme step of traveling from san diego to cambridge to protest in front of Gates' house, do you really think it was because of his deep and abiding concern for the proper treatment of police officers? If so, I have this bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. If not, consider the other possible motives.

Posted by: nodebris | July 30, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Unknown which beer [Acting] President Biden selected ...

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

President Obama has made far more slip ups than the Gates controversy! His first slip was ever allowing himself to be nominated for the Presidency! Tellling voters he'd give them change and then short changing the American citizens on their God given constitutional rights and still endeavouring to take even more away from them! Allowing the Elitist Federal Reserve to steal the taxpayers money then lend it back to them at interest charges! Giving them a high taxing envinromental Bill known as Cap and Trade that will tax up to 95% of citizens' income and take away property rights from land owners ranchers and farmers by writing in clauses that allows the Government to take land that has water on it, or under it from the land owner, which could be a mud puddle, stream, spring and by the way which land in America doesn't have water under it somewhere? Where in God's name would he even ever imagine that American people could respect his Marxist, Fascist Political style and habit, his continual habit of making promises that are never adhered to eg; Bringing troops home from Iraq not done, transfering them to Afghanistan, sympathizer with Off-Shore Elitist Foreign Bankers - giving them even further powers in the Fed, to fleece the American people! Obama has a dropping approval rating, but is it any wonder? With his regard for the scurge to mankind known as the "New World Order," I expect to see his approval rating drop right to the pit! In God We Trust!

Posted by: PaulRevere4 | July 30, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

BEER SUMMIT Update: three of them are seated at a white (not brown redwood) table outside. BREAKING ...

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

mikeinmidland:

I am not traveling to Cambridge again, but that doesn't mean I can't organize another protest (there were three of us there, until someone from the parking enforcement came by) for SUNDAY when no permits are required for parking. Any more questions?

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Since I've never posted a "lie" no explanation would be needed -- specifically, I've never called interracial dating "deviant" nor have I ever defended slaveholders or urged the repeal of the 13th Amendment -- I also served in the Army during the Korean War and supported Truman's desegregation order. If anyone, who is CIVIL and answers my questions in return, has a question about any of that, please let me know.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Whatever, Jake.

You claim you were in the Boston area for another reason last weekend. Perhaps you were. Perhaps you found the street, and took a picture, stood on the sidewalk and waved a sign for a few minutes. If you want to call that a "protest" go ahead. But there was no gathering of protesters large enough to be noticed. If it's a Googlenope, did it really happen?

You also claim to be from California, so I highly doubt that you would be travelling to Boston again this week. You have continued to advocate that others protest there on Sunday, but have yet to actually say that you will be there.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 30, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

jaked wrote: "I have never posted a racist thing, so if you have any questions about prior posts, just let me know."

He'll also gladly explain the truth about his lies.

Posted by: nodebris | July 30, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Let me start by saying that I am a STAUNCH supporter of the Commander-In-Chief. I am not however, a blind follower, there are a few issues with which I do not agree with him on. Having said that, it appears that for some, nothing the President does or fails to do, will please them. If the President was white and made the same remarks, he would have been applauded. I for one, never expected him to be perfect, and those that had those un-realistic expectations have no one but themselves to blame. If the President had not spoken he would have been condemmed. What really bothers me is that many people try to force their own views upon the President, and then get angry when he acts in a way that is not to their liking. I believe in him, and regret bitterly that I am too old to serve under him. All the ugly, vile words that are used towards him, makes me wonder just what agenda the perpetrators are pursuing. I, stand behind his remarks, and applaud him for the courage to state the truth, as he saw it. And to accuse him of hating white people is patently absurd. If that were true, how do you explain the FACT that the majority of his administration that were chosen by him are white? I am half-caucasian and half-african american and have a very similar background being raised predominately by caucasians, attended schools made up of the same, have degrees awarded by colleges administered by predominately caucasians and I do not hate anyone, nor do I believe that the President hates anyone either. This is foolish in the extreme. And if those remarks are enough to hurt his political clout, that is sad indeed.

Posted by: MarineCorpsVeteranforPresidentObama | July 30, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin:

It is clear that the front porch of the Gates Residence meets the "public" criteria, as it is less than 10 feet from the sidewalk -- see, e.g. LOPIANO, COMMONWEALTH vs., 60 Mass. App. Ct. 723 (2004) suspect was in his own automobile in a motel parking lot "right off the highway," twenty to twenty-five feet from "the front lobby office area" of a "crowded" and "busy" motel, "near a "Denny's type restaurant," shopping mall, and movie theater -- more than sufficient "to establish that people could have seen or heard the defendant from any place of public access, such as a nearby sidewalk, publicly used path or road, shopping area or other neighborhood facility." [citing your case Commonwealth v. Mulvey, 57 Mass. App. Ct. at 584].

Back of topic: the BEER SUMMIT is about to begin. I can't wait for the "Breaking News" logo on CNN ...

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Bcamp55:

If I was Sgt. Crowley, I would have listened to what they had to say, drink my beer, and then make a statement to the entire White House press corp detailing how it was a lawful arrest and that I would never apologize for that.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I suppose they're going to have this "we're all getting along as best friend's fest" at the White House.

You don't see too many teleprompters at the local pubs anymore and Obozzo's staff is having a hard time getting his shoe out of his mouth as it is.

BTW - If I was Crowley, I would have told Obozzo to take the apparently diminutive Gates and shove his up his @ss.

Posted by: Bcamp55 | July 30, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

PROTEST this Sunday August 2, 2009 at 12:00 noon on the public sidewalk in front of the Gates Residence; 17 Ware Street, Cambridge MA 02138

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl&q=17%20Ware%20Street%2C%20Cambridge%20MA

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

"You might imagine that enterprising Cambridge burglars are now well aware that people in Gates’ neighborhood are going to be terrified to call the police and report crimes for fear of being branded “racist,” but that’s an issue for Gates’ neighbors to take up with the professor when he gets back to his home that hopefully still has all his stuff in it.

Enjoy your beers, fellas — and I sincerely hope that Officer Crowley invites Gates and Obama to his police station for coffee with his fellow officers. The offer probably wouldn’t be accepted (in the progressive ideology, there’s such a thing as “too much healing”), but it would be a nice gesture nonetheless.

Conan O’Brien put it best: “If this works out, the president is going to have Netanyahu and Ahmadinejad over for Jägerbombs.”

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/07/30/beerestroika-drinking-to-distraction/

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

A new poll by Pew Research Center found that 41 percent disapproved of Obama's handling of the Gates arrest, compared with 29 percent who approved. The poll also found that nearly 80 percent of Americans said they are now aware of Obama's comments on the matter.

Obama's approval ratings also fell, especially among working class whites, as the focus of the Gates story shifted from details about the incident to Obama's remarks, the poll said. Among whites in general, more disapprove than approve of his comments by a 2-1 margin.

The poll of 1,506 adults was conducted Wednesday to Sunday last week. Among those interviewed on Wednesday and Thursday, 53 percent of whites approved of Obama's job performance. This slipped to 46 percent among whites interviewed Friday through Sunday as the Gates story played out. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1:

It does apply if the cane was just inside the door, within an arms-length "wingspan" -- I never said that Prof. Gates did, in fact, swing the cane but used that as a hypothetical scenario using mikeinmidland's "logic" -- had you wanted to debate any of that, I would have gladly cited the Supreme Court case on point. See you around, then.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Will Mr. Cillizza be live-blogging the "Beer Summit" this evening? At least posting on Twitter, right?

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

"Since you joined in, however, read up on the "Wingspan Rule" and then get back to me."

Why? You don't know if it applies to this case. Before mikeinmidland referenced the police report that noted the cane was inside the home & Gates was outside, you had concocted some fantasy out of thin air that he'd swung the cane at the officers.

In short, it is pointless to debate someone who is willing to fabricate whatever story supports their view even when it is baseless, factless and wholly a product of their own imagination.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 30, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

In other news:

A Boston police officer who sent a mass e-mail referring to Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. as a "banana-eating jungle monkey" has apologized, saying he's not a racist.

"I regret that I used such words," Barrett told CNN affiliate WCVB-TV. "I have so many friends of every type of culture and race you can name."

Barrett was placed on administrative leave after the e-mail surfaced, and he might lose his job as a result.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/07/30/gates.police.apology/index.html

Earlier this week the White House indicated each man would drink the beer of their choice this evening — Bud Light for pResident Obama, Blue Moon for Sgt. Crowley, and perhaps Red Stripe or Beck's for Prof. Gates.

But, now, one Massachusetts congressman thinks another beer entirely should be served: Boston's own Sam Adams.

In a letter to Obama dated Wednesday, Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) strongly urged Obama not to drink Budweiser, now owned by a Belgian company. Nor should the White House consider serving Miller or Coors, Neal writes, both owned by a United Kingdom conglomerate.

Instead, the White House should serve the three men — all with ties to Massachusetts — the local favorite, not only because of its popularity in the region but also because it remains the largest American-owned and brewed beer, Neal says.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

mtcooley:

I am not "comparing" myself to Martin Luther King, Jr. except for the fact that we were both willing to be arrested to make our points.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I meant the civility of discussion here on this blog.

Because, and I was trying to be nice and not get accusatory, the only reason I see to protest is that he's not being punished and the charges were dropped. I have a hard time swallowing you're protesting a person so feverently for just an apology no one is ever guarenteed in human interaction. Do you hound children who don't say 'thank you?' I mean I understand if you feel that way but taking it to action is unnecessary because it will never work.

If you are doing so I suggest you get assistance because comparing yourself to Dr. King while doing that makes you fairly unhinged.

Posted by: mtcooley | July 30, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, yeah, mikeinmidland, you didn't think I protested there last weekend either. Do you want me to e-mail pictures I took of the house?

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse


mtcooley: Jake has no intention of being anywhere near Cambridge this Sunday. His repeated calls for a protest are to make people angry on both sides. If he can do it in this forum, great. If he manages to spread it to Ware St., so much the better in his mind.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 30, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Maybe that was some other "mtcooley" then who posted about NOT protesting "for the sake of civility". Honestly, I'm beginning to understand what scrivener50 must feel like all of the time.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

>>First of all, we can protest peacefully anywhere on public property, and we were not screaming obscenities, so we were being "civil". Second, if I repeatedly ignored police warnings nonetheless (and they had the handcuffs out), I would expect to be arrested as well. Martin Luther King, Jr. didn't mind being arrested to make his point.

Please don't compare yourself to him. You're not fighting to end segregation, nor are you doing anything for the betterment of society. Growing up in Atlanta my family actually got to meet Mr. King. My mother said he had the most profound influence on her life which she has passed on to me. Mr. Gates may not be a saint but he's not the devil people want him to be. You're doing it because you feel he's wrong and want to stick it in his face. Do not imply you are doing this for some lofty goal to end oppression. You're doing this to sate your own ego. I'm just calling you out on it.

And calling what you are doing stupid is not saying you can't do it. People do stupid things all the time. They're just not great ideas. I think you going to protest this man is stupid and tantamount to harassment. Not that you don't have the right to free assembly and nor did I say you were being ugly and uncivil. I just think it's a stupid thing and completely uncalled for.

Posted by: mtcooley | July 30, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

PROTEST this Sunday August 2, 2009 at 12:00 noon on the public sidewalk in front of the Gates Residence; 17 Ware Street, Cambridge MA 02138

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl&q=17%20Ware%20Street%2C%20Cambridge%20MA

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

P.S. to "bsimon1" maybe someone else claimed that Prof. Gates was "completely unarmed". Since you joined in, however, read up on the "Wingspan Rule" and then get back to me.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

First of all, we can protest peacefully anywhere on public property, and we were not screaming obscenities, so we were being "civil". Second, if I repeatedly ignored police warnings nonetheless (and they had the handcuffs out), I would expect to be arrested as well. Martin Luther King, Jr. didn't mind being arrested to make his point.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

" was responding to "bsimon1" claiming that Prof. Gates was "unarmed". "


Actually, I haven't yet made that point. But may as well have, as Professor Gates was unarmed. mikeinmidland posted references subsequent to your mistaken claim (which I quoted, above; not to mention the mistaken claim that Gates was aremd with a cane).

So. If aresting Gates on the front porch of his home for exercising his right to free speech is acceptable within the context of 'disorderly conduct', I wonder whether protestors on the sidewalk should be concerned of succumbing to similar treatment. I imagine Cambridge frowns on such disorderliness. Perhaps a well-placed call at noon on Sunday will put that theory to the test.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 30, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Maybe that was some other "mikeinmidland" who said he does not automatically give the police reports any more credence than Gates version. As for "mtcooley" I couldn't care less if you think it was intentional or not. I am telling you I didn't regardless.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Jake, for the sake of civility please stop advocating to go out and protest at this man's home. You may not like him, but in the end he has not done anything wrong and does not have to give an apology if he does not wish so. I'm sure Crowley isn't losing any sleep over the lack of one either. But what you are doing is completely uncalled for and in my opinion harassment. What do you hope to even accomplish? Other than to basically harass a person outside their place of residence because you don't like them. Does that make you happy or feel important? Because to the rest of the world it makes you look intolerant and completely uncaring.

If you wish to throw your solidarity in with the policeman, why you choose sides is beyond me, donate to their police force and any charities they fund. Don't go out there and pervert protesting to harassment.

Posted by: mtcooley | July 30, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

>>I never said that you said it was not a legal arrest.

Yes you did. You implied that with the line addressing that this fact is clear to you. You are acting like you are the only person to see this. You either intentionally or unintentionally, I don't really care to speculate which because it doesn't matter, did so with your wording. Many of us also are well aware that the arrest is legal, but we feel that it wasn't the only option they had at their disposal. And that's one of the many problems officers face when having to make quick decisions. I have a lot of sympathy for them and for Crowley because I don't think he did anything maliciously.

Posted by: mtcooley | July 30, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I never said, nor do I believe, that Crowley lied in his police report. He may have stated his name and badge number. Gates may or may not have heard or understood him. I do believe that Crowley's main purpose in leaving the house was not to improve radio communications. That doesn't mean he lied about the acoustics in the kitchen being bad.

Only a fool would believe that Crowley would not mention being swung at with a cane in his report, if it happened. You are not a fool, Jake. So you do not believe that Gates threatened anyone with his cane. But you like to argue such nonsense in hopes of stirring up unrest.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 30, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone want to protest at the Gates Residence, 17 Ware Street, Cambridge MA this Sunday around 12 noon?

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

mtcooley:

I never said that you said it was not a legal arrest. We will have to agree to disagree on all the areas we disagree about. That's all.

mikeinmidland:

Per your logic, Sgt. Crowley LIED about everything in the police report including the location of the cane. Therefore, the truth might be that Prof. Gates had it with him the entire time and even took a swing at someone with it.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else want to discuss Obama's slip-up, its political cost, or even disagree with Mr. Cillizza and me about this being Obama's "pivot point" downward?

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

>>Actually hitting the officer is a different crime -- from the police report, and Ogletree's statement on Gates's behalf, it is clear to me that this was a legal arrest -- we'll have to agree to disagree.


No. Not once did I say this was not a legal arrest. Do not put words in my mouth ever. The arrest was legal and as expected the charges were dropped because the problem with disorderly conduct is that it is subjective. It's easy to arrest on but can be harder to press charges on if it is not a physical or especially violent ordeal. This was neither. It was only harsh words. That doesn't however make it less stupid to me. That is not the option I feel best served the situation, but I'm not going to criticize it further than calling it a stupid thing to happen. Because it is due to the fact people are picking sides like this sort of event needs or warrants it.

Nor does it excuse the fact people are demonizing either Gates, Crowley, or the lady that called 911. It's not a white vs. black or a good vs. evil social issue. It happened. That's it.

Posted by: mtcooley | July 30, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

The only reference to a cane in the POLICE REPORT is that, after telling another officer to cuff Gates, Crowley "secured a cane for Gates from within the residence." This means that, as he stood on the porch, inciting a riot among the seven bystanders, Gates was not armed.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 30, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Three more hours until the White House "beer" fest. Hopefully, the press will catch Gates or Crowley before (or at least afterwards).

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

"armed with a cane"

ROLLOL. God, it just doesn't get any stupider than this.

Posted by: drindl | July 30, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

mikeinmidland:

I was responding to "bsimon1" claiming that Prof. Gates was "unarmed". The cane was, if not in his hand, within his wingspan. I thought you weren't giving EITHER account automatic credence?

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

>>Prof. Gates was armed with a cane

I don't think armed covers that since he does apparently use it for its intended purpose. Don't twist things. He had it but it doesn't have the sole use of being a weapon nor do I think he owns it solely as the use of one.

Or are all people that have canes, walkers, wheelchairs armed because they could be used against another person? That's a childish argument like the one kids use in grade school to complain that pencils can be weapons too.

Posted by: mtcooley | July 30, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

mtcooley:

Actually hitting the officer is a different crime -- from the police report, and Ogletree's statement on Gates's behalf, it is clear to me that this was a legal arrest -- we'll have to agree to disagree.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Another policeman had to retrieve the cane for Gates after he had been handcuffed. Nothing about the cane but that in the all-important police report. He wasn't threatening anyone with it.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 30, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

>>Is there ANY "disorderly conduct" you think would have justified this arrest?

He'd have to have struck him, caused damage to property, been drunk, or begun harassing the bystanders. Yelling at a policeman, while completely uncalled for, isn't completely disorderly or unmanagable. It's annoying and uncalled for and shows more that yes he was being a jerk but you don't exactly arrest people for that or the majority of us would be locked away for life.

He should have diffused the situation in a different manner and tried to have the crowd disperse. There are many ways you can handle this, and a few onlookers is not a crowd, especially not in a little suburb area like that.

Posted by: mtcooley | July 30, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

sverigegrabb:

Prof. Gates was armed with a cane.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

mtcooley:

Is there ANY "disorderly conduct" you think would have justified this arrest?

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse


700 *people,* armed or unarmed, could be considered a "powder keg." It makes no difference what their color is.

I am white, and if this were a more serious abuse of police power, I might protest myself. Such as the shooting deaths of unarmed teenagers. --Speaking of which, those incidents often result in *real* crowds, but those people don't get arrested for disorderly conduct.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 30, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

This actual story is about race. However, what if we took race (and the President's remarks) out of it entirely?

You run across a story in your morning newspaper or online. It simply read:

'A Harvard University professor returned home in the middle of the day after a long flight from China. He couldn't get his front door open, so he went in a rear window. Shortly afterwards, 3 policemen arrived. The professor first showed his Harvard ID. Then, because there was no photo, was asked to show his driving license.

Finally, the professor "blew a fuse" and began yelling at the cops to get out of his house. He was completely unarmed, and had no weapons to hand. Then, the head cop slapped handcuffs on him and arrested him for the equivalent of "disorderly conduct". The charges were later dropped after the professor had his mug shot taken'.

If you read that story in a local paper, WHO would you think had overreacted? It is NOT a crime to 'break into' one's own house. It is NOT a crime (although bad manners, certainly) to verbally abuse a cop, or to order him out of one's house. Yet the (unarmed) professor was arrested, even AFTER 'proving' he was in his own house.

To my way of thinking, this is dangerously exceeding the police's mandate, in keeping with the recent cavalier attitude towards individual rights.

Yes, the professor behaved rudely. Yes, both the professor and the policeman behaved 'stupidly', but to arrest a man in his own home for yelling at a cop is excessive force--or at best EXTREMELY POOR judgment. Cops are trained to LOWER the tension in tense situations, not escalate it. Even it the cop could technically rationalise the arrest, which a friend tells me is extremely unlikely, common sense tells us that the sensible thing to have done would have been to say, 'Sorry to have disturbed you, sir'.

The police, just as the military, have somehow developed a near-holy standing in US society so that if anyone dares criticise them, that in itself is a kind of crime, a sort of 'lèse-majesté'. Whatever happened to FREE SPEECH?

Posted by: sverigegrabb | July 30, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

>>Gates by his actions"do you know who you messing with" and other displays of arrogance indicated Crowley may have not known who he was but Gates knew he had position.

No it just shows he was arrogant. People say that all the time especially when they're TO'd. I get that ranging from construction contractors to people living in run down trailors when I go out in the field. It's more they think they are entitled as many people here seem to think they are and they are entitled by whatever virtues they deem make it so in their minds. That does not make it fact however.

At that point it's words coming out of someone obviously angry and you should always take such things with a grain of salt.

Posted by: mtcooley | July 30, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Yes.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 30, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Benjamin, you missed The Racist's previous comments defending slaveholders.

Posted by: drindl | July 30, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1:

My best guess is that the charge was dropped because Prof. Gates knows the Mayor (according to the police report, he got on the phone trying to reach the Chief of Police instead of giving Sgt. Crowley his ID). As I understand it, Prof. Gates does NOT own this home, but that's probably not a factor as to the charge. As long as he was OUTSIDE screaming, that's enough for "disorderly conduct". I know at least one case held that sitting in your own car in a public parking lot is sufficient too.

mikeinmidland:

Would it be "racist" if there were 700 African-Americans, armed with guns, upset about this "false" arrest?

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse


Benajmin -- th R party has become a projection cult. They accuse everyone else of doing what they themselves are doing and they're so delusional they don't even see the perversity of it.

Posted by: drindl | July 30, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse


Perhaps it is the fact that Mrs. Gates is a white woman that is really bothering some people on this blog.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 30, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse


"there were AT LEAST seven civilians, maybe all African-American. I can imagine it was a powder keg with Prof. Gates refusing to stop screaming."

Believing that the race of the bystanders makes the situation a "powder keg" is a racist statement.

Whether Crowley gave his name and badge number is not important; Gates claims not to have heard it, and that is why he followed Crowley onto the porch.

Crowley was not in fear of this man, and he was not in fear of any civil unrest from the bystanders. It was a legal arrest. It was clever of Crowley to get Gates outside, but it still wasn't smart.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 30, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

"benjaminanderson, you never saw jaked's famous watermelon/raccoon post, eh? He's been pretty careful to avoid overtly racist comments since that one."

Ok, I'm curious. What was this one about?

Although I wouldn't say he's avoided overt racism. Referring to interracial dating as deviant behavior certainly qualifies, doesn't it?

Posted by: DDAWD | July 30, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

No wonder McCain lost the election! John Weaver liking Obama's slip of the tongue to a "summer read" is not only ignorant but shows a non-grasp of the situation. Way to go Weaver!

Posted by: sly311 | July 30, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Yes I have noticed that, nodebris. It's a variation of the old "some of my best friends are..." defense. Of course the whole claim that persons of color in America are the "real" racists is a lie so bold-faced that it almost deserves Freudian analysis.

Posted by: benjaminanderson | July 30, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"And no, it wasn't a stupid arrest either."


Then why were the charges dropped?


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 30, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

"which one is it guys: Prof. Gates was arrested in the home or outside?"


Is the porch part of the home, or not? Does it matter whether its screened or not? Or is it more of a foundation question?

How do the Supremes define the home? Professor Gates was certainly on his own property. It appears he was under a roof, but outside the door. In the home, or not in the home? Does it matter?


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 30, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

benjaminanderson:

I have never posted a racist thing, so if you have any questions about prior posts, just let me know.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"drindl, my boss would say I've been around too much, lol. I disagree about almost everything with JakeD, and he can be obnoxious and too cute by half, BUT to say he is a racist beyond a certain vague discomfort with people of color debases the coinage too much."

It's not so much what he has said on this thread that makes him a racist. It's more the stuff from previous threads that have already led to the establishment of fact.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 30, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

benjaminanderson, you never saw jaked's famous watermelon/raccoon post, eh? He's been pretty careful to avoid overtly racist comments since that one.

Ever notice how conservatives claim racists voted for Obama, even that Obama himself is racist, but voting for Alan Keyes or Clarence Thomas somehow proves one cannot be racist? Interesting logic at work there.

Posted by: nodebris | July 30, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

If it was a lawful arrest, why are you discounting the reports that Sgt. Crowley did give his name and badge number? At the very least, arresting Prof. Gates provided him with WRITTEN VERIFICATION of his name and badge number. And no, it wasn't a stupid arrest either. For those of you who have not been to 17 Ware Street, Cambridge MA. It is a tight, one-way street with no parking except via permit -- I have pictures if anyone besides "drindl" or "chrisfox8" want to see them -- there were AT LEAST seven civilians, maybe all African-American. I can imagine it was a powder keg with Prof. Gates refusing to stop screaming.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse


I read the reports. I do not automatically give them any more credence than Gates version. Both Gates and Crowley are stating events in a way that justify their actions.

I never said that what Crowley did was illegal or a violation of Gates' rights. I said it was stupid. Obama was correct. Whether he was "right" to say it is a purely political calculation. It was at worst a gaffe, which is speaking the plain truth at an inconvenient time.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 30, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

So, which one is it guys: Prof. Gates was arrested in the home or outside?

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse


There were "about seven" non-police on the street, according to the reports, which makes it different from the precedent. Those persons were theoretically incitable. Gates statement "this is what happens to a black man in America" was not sufficient to incite his neighbors.

Crowley knew that. He knew the charge wouldn't stick. But he also knew he could get away with the arrest. He told the cars to keep coming not because he was afraid of Gates or any intruder, but because he wanted uniformed witnesses and a supporting police report.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 30, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

drindl, my boss would say I've been around too much, lol. I disagree about almost everything with JakeD, and he can be obnoxious and too cute by half, BUT to say he is a racist beyond a certain vague discomfort with people of color debases the coinage too much. He is not colorblind as he (jokingly?) claims, few are, but that doesn't make him the type of racist your indignation suggests. I say that as someone who has angrily slagged him on these boards for his posting style. JakeD's alleged protest in front of Gates' house is a bit creepy, but is not in tone or context remotely comparable to the KKK burning a cross on someone's lawn. If we only treat racism as an individual disorder associated with tropes like the KKK and lynchings, I believe we obscure the more profound discussion of racism which involves group access to resources and the disproportionate impacts of "colorblind" laws. Slinging "racist" around too much helps keep that real conversation from taking place and sometimes costs us the attention span of people who might otherwise be open to that discussion. Most people are racist, our culture is racist, but it is what people do with that that defines them.

As to the topic at hand, cops treat everyone like crap but their frequency of interractions with persons of color is seemingly more frequent, and that would be a more substantive discussion. To give you an example, a few weeks ago we had a case in Austin where a constable (a local version of the sheriff) tasered a white grandmother he'd pulled over for being obnoxious; I was surprised at how the local comment boards were filled with excoriation of the woman. Some people really just support the cops for personal authoritarian reasons regardless of racial animosity.

Posted by: benjaminanderson | July 30, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

mikeinmidland:

It is obvious that you haven't read the police reports. This is the last time I will try to reason with you.

For anyone else who thinks that Sgt. Crowley refused to give his name and badge number to Prof. Gates, the report makes it clear that he gave his name repeatedly and warned him twice to stop yelling -- you may think that all of the police there that day are lying, but I don't -- Prof. Gates wouldn't have any of that as he continued screaming about the "racist cops in America!"

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2009/0723092gates2.html

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

It's pretty funny, actually, watching conservatives argue why it's ok to arrest someone for being in their own home.

Posted by: nodebris | July 30, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Figueroa's report was substantially the same as the end of Crowley's. However, Figueroa states that Gates refused to give ID, but at this point in Crowley's statement he had already given ID.

Crowley makes the excuse that he stepped outside because he couldn't hear his radio. That's bunk. He knew he couldn't arrest Gates in his own home so he baited him into going outside where he could be legally arrested.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 30, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

mikeinmidland

This was posted by Mark_in_Austin earlier in this thread. It's the most definitive explanation as to why Crowley was wrong.

"Commonwealth v. Mulvey
57 Mass. App. Ct. 579 (March 14, 2003)

Police presence in and of itself does not by itself turn an otherwise purely private outburst into disorderly conduct.

The defendant was charged with disorderly conduct for yelling and pacing on private property that was set back from the road in a secluded area. There was no one around at the time except police officers. While the statute requires that the disturbance be such that it had or was likely to have an impact upon people in an area accessible to the public, the presence of police officers alone will not suffice to prove the public element.

In reaching its decision, the Court noted that the rationale behind criminalizing disorderly conduct rests on the belief that a disorderly person can provoke violence in others. Given that an inherent part of police work involves being in the presence of distraught individuals, and given that police officers are trained to maintain order, the Court concluded that police should be the least likely to be provoked. Therefore, police presence alone does not satisfy the public element."

Posted by: DDAWD | July 30, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

The Gates affair distracted from the President's push for health care reform, but there is a silver lining: the stereotyping of the Republican party.

Brands are not built with a few commercials and a catchy slogan. Brands are built day after day, month after month, year after year by doing the same thing over and over again. You don't get a reputation on one act, you get it by being consistent over time. The Republicans, through their TV and radio surrogates, are building themselves a brand of opportunism while standing for nothing. For weeks, it seems like weeks, the Republican talking heads have been supporting Crowley and abusing Gates. What happened to the Republicans who complained about government jackbooted thugs breaking down the doors of innocent Americans? Gates broke into his own house and was arrested for it. Does anyone doubt if Gates was the white CEO of a Fortune 500 company the old Republicans would have had Crowley fired by now? Especially since it would have meant taking on a public employee union. It's pretty obvious the limited government, I can do what I want with my own land party, only cares about scoring political points. They do this on issue, after issue, after issue. Do it long enough and they will build themselves quite the brand. The President's gaffe added one more piece of straw to the camel's back.

Posted by: caribis | July 30, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

A few notes:
It was stupid to arrest someone when the officer clearly knew it was his own home. He admitted that he knew this. If you were locked out of your house and went in thru a window and the police showed up and did not immediately leave after finding it was your house you might be annoyed also. It did not matter the race of the individuals.
I doubt this is a pivot point. Those whowould condemn Obama for this have already made up their minds against him. Those with open minds have more important issues to think about. And how is his statement "having a foul mouth" ? Talk about biased and closed minds.
Saying that the Iraq war has only cost 669Bill thus far and comparing to 1 trillion for Healthcare(which has yet to be enacted, let alone spent)and using this to call Obama a liar is pure nonsense. Do you really think the war is going to cost less than a Trillion ? It has been estimated with future care for the vets to cost as much as 3 trillion. So the point is, which would you rather pay for, a war based on lies, or universal health care ? Again biased thinking.
Everyone may not agree with this, but try to use clear thinking not just preexisting talking points of the various parties. And Chris, your article is not very well done.

Posted by: Falmouth1 | July 30, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Our Presidents "Slip-up" is actually good for the country. It exposes the hypocracy in our society where political correctness shields some in America from their irresponsible behavior. It puts the spotlight on the unjust treatment that honorable citizens recieve at the alter of reverse discrimination. And it makes one marvel that our country is blessed with citizens of good intent who would still attempt to protect their fellow citizens, even as some would offer no more appreciation than bitter words and racist behavior.

Posted by: donchew1 | July 30, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

"Disorderly conduct" does not require time for a crowd to gather -- other officers on the scene wrote reports too -- have you read those?

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Public figure makes a comment about a person of a different race without thinking it through, immediately gets accused by multiple sources of being a terrible racist. Isn't it usually the Al Sharptons of the world clamoring about racism and the angry conservative pundits defending the person who made the comment? Ah, it's going to be an entertaining four to eight years.

Posted by: GJonahJameson | July 30, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse


I did read what Sgt. Crowley wrote in his police report. That is his version of the story and nothing more.

I maintain that to the extent a crowd gathered outside, it was more to do with the number of police cars (Crowley: "Keep the cars coming") than the level of Gates' voice.

Gates was arrested only a few seconds after stepping on the porch. His speech did not have time to "cause a crowd to gather."

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 30, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Two African-American officers on the Cambridge force have stood solidly by their comrade.

Sgt. Leon Lashley was outside Gates' house when the professor was arrested. He has no problems with the way Crowley handled the situation.

"It happened to be a white officer on a black man, and the common call a lot of times is to call it a racist situation," said Lashley. "This situation right here was not a racial-motivated situation. ... There's nothing rogue about him. He was doing his job."

Kelly King, another African-American Cambridge officer, said she has known Crowley for more than a decade and that he's "a good police officer, a good man with character."

"I think Professor Gates has done a very good job of throwing up a very effective smokescreen, calling race into this. It had nothing to do with it," she told CNN's Don Lemon with Crowley at her side.

She said people who have turned against Crowley need to "keep their minds open and realize that we would not support someone that we felt wronged someone else. ... We would not support anyone in blue doing the wrong thing."

(I guess they are just "racists" too ; )

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

mikeinmidland:

Yes, that was AFTER Gates showed ID, but that's not the only reason Gates went outside the house -- he wanted to continue his diatribe IN PUBLIC on the porch -- have you even read the police reports?

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse


The president never said unemployment would not go above 8%. That's the whopper.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 30, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Crowley should be disciplined for bad behavior, obviously.

Posted by: drindl | July 30, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse


Crowley refused to give his name and badge number to Gates inside the house. He told him he would only continue the conversation outside. That's the only reason Gates went out on the porch, and that was AFTER Gates showed ID.

If Gates wasn't tired from the trip and exasperated about the door still not having been repaired, perhaps he would have thought better of stepping onto the porch.

But hey, it's a win-win. They both get a trip to the White House and a beer. All better now?

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 30, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

benjaminanderson:

After I retired from law, I served on the local Citizen's Board reviewing police misconduct, so I know there are a few bad cops out. Sgt. Crowley is NOT a bad cop (as Obama even admitted).

I am also color-blind, just like Stephen Colbert. People tell me I am white, and I believe them.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Benjamin, you probably have not been around much.

Posted by: drindl | July 30, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I predict that President Obama will see a permanent drop in support, primarily with white supporters. It is already happening. A new Pew poll was released that showed that as more voters learned about this incident, the president's support among non Hispanic whites went down each day this story was in the news. I think I have an explanation. One of the reasons the president was elected was the hope among many that race relations would improve. Apparently, these same people were willing to suspend their disbelief about the reasons why Obama listened to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright for twenty years. By automatically jumping to the defense of Professor Gates and seeming to have a reflexive belief that the cops acted "stupidly" and implying that Gates was arrested as a result of racial profiling, the President confirmed that indeed he did listen to the left's victimization mantra and absorbed it into himself. I really do believe that the perception of him in America has changed, and he will need more than just himself to sell his policies. Time will tell.

Posted by: HillaryClintonSuppoter | July 30, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

It is interesting to me that there is so much concern from "conservatives" for the welfare and happiness of Sargent Crowley, an Obama supporter. I agree with the poster below who mentions the ambiguous relationship right wingers have with police authority. A number of policemen have been slain this year by fringe militia types, but the "conservatives" take little notice beyond preemptively declaring these slayings to be no reason for gun control. Here a cop might have had his feelings hurt, and suddenly this is the issue of the millenium. It's a bit incongruous, isn't it? There seems implied a distinction between the normal policework of suppressing the underclass (good) and the new police work of "oppressing" patriots (bad).

JakeD is no Klan type. He is prejudiced, like most people, but he's mostly a normal product of his generation -- he just posts more. He dances around the edge of the truly scurrilous more than he should, but he's not joing about voting for Alan Keyes, which is evidence of some ability to look past color. I think he's more uncomfortable about color than an active hater.

Posted by: benjaminanderson | July 30, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

If anyone other than "drivl" or "chrisuxcox" wants to discuss the topic, please let me know.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

that's a good one. Pretending that having a discussion with a bunch of moonbats is possible.

Look for a slew of insults and emotional invective.

BTW, if you don't like Obimbo, you're a racist, in case you forgot.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 30, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

"As regular readers know, we have long struggled with ways to make the comments more a) on topic and b) civil.

That has been met with some success but there are still a few people who insist on repeatedly posting off topic and hijacking the conversation on a given post -- keeping out other voices that may want to chime in.

Since we think of the Fix as a community, we don't want a few bad neighbors to ruin the experience for everyone. But, at the same time, we tend to avoid outright banning people unless they are repeatedly offensive to other posters on the blog.

We continue to work through ways to make the comments section smarter and more worthwhile to the average Fixista.

One intriguing thing that we will put into place some time in the near future is a widget at the bottom of every post that pulls in comments being made on the topic on the Fix's Twitter and Facebook page. (If you haven't signed up for either or both, do it now!) Hopefully, that will raise the level of conversation across the variety of platforms through which people consume this blog.

But, in the end, the best way to ensure civility on the Fix -- or anywhere else on or off line -- is to, well, be civil to one another. So, let's give peace a chance."

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/fix-notes/a-comment-on-comments-1.html

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

"Thanks, nodebris, for your opinion."

I was commenting generally, not responding to you. Yuck, I feel dirty now.

Posted by: nodebris | July 30, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

"Jake, your 1224 post is a perfect example of what I said in my 1219 post.

I'm glad you are convinced that you know right from wrong; the rest of us aren't convinced."

Hence his ability to slam the smartest poster on the board as being cursory, but having no sense of cognitive dissonance to provide a shred of casework to defend his own views.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 30, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

margaretmeyers:

I was disagreeing with the part of your post that implied I think "we ALL agree on what they are" (right and worng). That's all. And, I am not the one claiming anyone is "racist". In case you missed it, Mr. Cillizza has asked us to be civil and not insult each other.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, nodebris, for your opinion. Does anyone else agree with Mr. Cillizza and me about this being Obama's "pivot point" downward?

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Jake, your 1224 post is a perfect example of what I said in my 1219 post.

I'm glad you are convinced that you know right from wrong; the rest of us aren't convinced.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | July 30, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

If anyone other than "drindl" or "chrisfox8" wants to discuss the topic, please let me know.

Since it was not a wrongful arrest, no apology is needed from the Cambridge police -- read the "disorderly conduct" statute (and all applicable case law) despite mark_in_austin's admittedly cursory opinion -- now, that Boston police officer who sent the vile e-mail about Prof. Gates should apologize.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

In support of my earlier post, I would point to the comments of known entities here. Is anyone surprised by any commenter's take on the incident? They are all totally predictable. Everyone is merely confirmed in what they already believe. Hardly a "pivot point."

Posted by: nodebris | July 30, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Do you know who I am? I don't have to answer to you. I went to an Ivy. It is beneath me to have to deal with this. You must hate me because I am so far superior to you.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 30, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

When will Officer Crowly apologize to Gates for wrongful arrest?

Posted by: drindl | July 30, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

kenhyde (sorry I missed your post earlier):

Prof. Gates was arrested OUTSIDE the house.

bsimon1:

This is not an apology either:

“I have to tell you that, as I said yesterday, my impression of [Sgt Crowley] was that he was a outstanding police officer and a good man, and that was confirmed in the phone conversation. And I told him that.”

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

margaretmeyers:

I don't think that everyone knows right from wrong.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Jacked thinks there's a right and wrong in every situation and we ALL agree on what they are. This is the way children think -- what's in my head right, and it's in everyone's head.

I wish we'd all shut up about who is racist and what is racist. The more you talk about it the dumber you look.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | July 30, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

you hit the nail on the head, Merril.

Posted by: drindl | July 30, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

A pack of Liberal lies:

There should be little debate that the steps we took, taken together, helped stop the economic free fall. That's the story of the first six months," Mr. Obama said.

However, a National Public Radio poll released Wednesday showed that 48 percent of 850 likely voters surveyed think that the president's policies have run up the deficit without slowing the recession or job losses, with 45 percent saying they thought Mr. Obama had averted a worse crisis.
Mr. Obama also defended the $787 billion stimulus bill passed in February to jump-start the economy.

"This money is not being wasted," he said, countering the perception created by comments such as those made by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who said last month that "we know some of this money is going to be wasted."

Mr. Obama also stated that if health care costs $1 trillion, that is "a lot less than we spent on the war in Iraq."

But the government so far has spent $669 billion on the Iraq war, according to the National Priorities Project.


Nobody is talking about some government takeover of health care. I'm tired of hearing that. I have been as clear as I can be," the president said. "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor."

"These folks need to stop scaring everybody," he said, admitting at the end of his remarks that he was getting "fired up."

But independent estimates from the Congressional Budget Office and the Lewin Group have found that millions of Americans -- anywhere from 23 million under one version in the Senate to 114 million under the plan in the House -- would be forced out of their current insurance plans if some of the reform ideas are adopted.

and the whopper - unemployment will not go above 8%.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 30, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I think the Gates episode is the sort that just acts to confirm people's pre-existing biases. It's not really a big mind-changer.

Posted by: nodebris | July 30, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Blarg:

We were there (17 Ware Street, Cambridge MA) and have pictures -- there is nothing illegal about holding up a sign that said: "APOLOGIZE TO CROWLEY" on the public sidewalk -- I couldn't care less if you believe me or not.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

The same folks (Rush et. al)who spent a better part of the 1990's chanting the mantra Ruby Ridge, Waco, Elian Gonzalez with visions of "Jack Booted thugs" and black helicopters in their heads are now all of a sudden law enforcements best buds when it comes to a misunderstanding at a esteemed college professors home.

Posted by: MerrillFrank | July 30, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Proving once again how desperately he needs a teleprompter to avoid inserting his size 12 oxfords into his mouth, President Barack Obama couldn't resist commenting on what should have remained a local issue, and, in so doing, proved himself every bit as arrogant as the overpaid, tenured twit he was defending.

I refer, of course, to the case of the president's good friend, elitist Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., who turned a routine police call to his home into an ugly racial incident. This was followed by a totally inappropriate comment from the president when he told the press that the police had "acted stupidly."

Since then, it has become obvious that is was Obama who "acted stupidly."

Regardless of the color of your skin, what is the appropriate response when your neighbor calls 911 after seeing someone trying to break into your home and it turns out to be you? Embarrassment? An apology to the officers for wasting their valuable time? Perhaps a feeling of gratitude and a desire to thank the neighbor for being so vigilant? Professor Gates apparently felt none of these emotions. Instead, he went straight for the race card because, you see, he is black and the police officer who confronted him is white. Ergo, there must be discrimination involved.

There was, indeed, discrimination involved, but it had to do with class, not race. A wealthy Harvard professor was belligerent, insulting and unruly because a working class cop dared to confront him in the line of duty. Then, after admitting he really didn't know all the facts in the case, the president told the press and the nation that the police "acted stupidly."

The year is 2009, not 1959. Do Gates and the president realize how ridiculous it sounds when a man is asked by a police officer to do something and he replies with the question, "Why, because I'm a black man in America?"

North Korea is threatening to nuke us the moment they can figure out how to shoot a missile straight. Iran also wants to destroy us. Osama bin Laden is still on the loose. Unemployment is in double digits or soon will be. Tax dollars are being squandered that our grandchildren haven't even earned yet. And Obama is going to have a beer with a cop and a college professor at the White House. Does this man even understand his job? He seems to think he was elected to be our moralizer-in-chief.

After a mere six months in office, the American people are seeing the real Barack Obama. The huckster who sold us a line of socialist snake oil disguised as magic elixir is starting to show his true colors. What we witnessed at the president's press conference is the community organizer who spent most of his adult life sitting under the tutelage of an America-hating bigot masquerading as a Christian minister. Look for him to continue "acting stupidly."

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 30, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Sure, chris. I just am disgusted by someone who's proud of harassing black people.

Posted by: drindl | July 30, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

This race baiting by the Obama administration is the same, old & tired politics as usual that Obama claimed to run against. Where is the action to back up Obama's words?

The discussion about JakeD and him saying he voted for an african american for President. My guess is that he likely did, but it wasn't Obama. JakeD likely voted for Alan Keyes, an ultra conservative Republican. Keyes has a history of running for political office & losing various races in Maryland, Illinois & President.

If Guiliani runs for governor of NY, he has a real shot to win. Fariona & Whitman/Poizner will be extremely formidable in California in 2010. 2010 could be the biggest Republican year in California in a long, long time! What's up with the "Young Guns" candidates, and why are many of them old former candidates? Doesn't make sense to me. Democratic attacks on Republican leaders will fall flat on their faces.

Posted by: reason5 | July 30, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

"I wonder if the white house chef has any warm Colt 45 on hand?"

I wonder if Obama has ever broken a shopping cart buying up all the malt liquor at a store.

I've um...heard...this can happen.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 30, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

drindl, give it a rest. He's a stupid jerk and we all know it. You're just giving him what he comes here for, which is attention, just like a four-year-old. Can we please work to enable real conversation here?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 30, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

mtcooley, Gates by his actions"do you know who you messing with" and other displays of arrogance indicated Crowley may have not known who he was but Gates knew he had position. I can fully understand coming back from a long flight with a cold and just wanting to get too bed. That he became agitated and lost his cool, happens to all of us, what concerned me about Gates, is after several days and time to cool down, he was still calling Crowly a rogue cop and racist. Not good.

Posted by: vbhoomes | July 30, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"Why does this stupid troll get to dominate these boards? He's less interesting than drying paint."

Again, it's the people responding to him that's the real problem. Drindl is repeating the same thing over and over and over again. Then more people are responding to her. We all know jaked is a racist. She doesn't need to spam us with the fact. Yeah, she might not be a racist, but in terms of bringing down the level of discourse on the board, drindl and jaked are basically the same.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 30, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if the white house chef has any warm Colt 45 on hand?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 30, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

The only 'bitterness and anger' I feel is toward the racists. Your anger over a black man as president is quite obvious in every comment you make.

Posted by: drindl | July 30, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Drindl you are out of line calling JakeD a racist, you do not know his heart

==

Quit it with the epistomology dodge. We've all read hundreds and hundreds of JakeD posts and the evidence that he's a racist a**hole is as pretty conclusive. What more do you need, a notarized copy of his KKK membership? If Jake isn't a racist then who is?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 30, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I see drivl has managed to drag this blog down into its sewer as usual.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 30, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

"But who had the power here, a beat cop or a Harvard Professor who is good friends with the most powerful man in the world."

I'd guess it's whoever has the gun, the cuffs, and the backup.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 30, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

vbhoomes asks
"But who had the power here, a beat cop or a Harvard Professor who is good friends with the most powerful man in the world."

On the day of the arrest, its pretty clear that the cops had the power. If you or I had been arrested for yelling at the cops on our front porch, the media would never have covered the story. But, like happened with Prof Gates, the charges would be dropped, because they are ridiculous.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 30, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Wow. I just scrolled through this mornings posts. Is there anyone more hateful and incapable of rationale discussion on this board than 'drindl'? You can almost feel the bitterness and anger toward anyone who disagrees with them oozing through the posts.

"Drindl", I didn't vote for Obama last fall either, so I look forward to having you call me a racist and kkk sympathizer for not supporting Obama's radical left-wing politics.

Posted by: dbw1 | July 30, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

>>But who had the power here, a beat cop or a Harvard Professor who is good friends with the most powerful man in the world.

That's an increadibly loaded and irresponsible question.

Logic would dictate as the cop has no idea who this man was, and I certainly do not think the President is going to pull any strings for this that the cop, as usual in a case where the suspect is one person, has the power.

Granted the crowd is a concern as any policeman would assure you but Mr. Gates doesn't really have any power in that situation other than in how he controlled his temper.

Posted by: mtcooley | July 30, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else a racist like you, Joked? That what you're saying?

How dare you harrass a black family. You should be ashamed -if you were capable of shame or decency. But you're not.

Posted by: drindl | July 30, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

mikeinmidland: He didn't protest on Saturday. Neither did anyone else. That protest isn't mentioned in any news report or blog that I've seen. On Google News, try to find any reference to protests on Saturday. All you'll find is JakeD.

Posted by: Blarg | July 30, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Funny how any post about race ends up having its comments filled up with posts about our local racist swine and the topic changes to that racist swine and remains there, yet another showcase for his drearily limited mind.

Why does this stupid troll get to dominate these boards? He's less interesting than drying paint.

The fact that Obama has shown introspection and humanity is I think more important than an imprudent remark. Imagine if this were Bush ... OK, he would have sided with the cop and put out some dog-whistle about Gates, but he never EVER would have admitted he'd gone over the line. We now have an adult in the White House.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 30, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse


CC, I am not at all sure that Obama's use of the words "acted stupidly" were a slip-up at all. Sometimes it is useful to overstep just a bit, then pull back and show your heart is in the right place. The beer summit shows his commitment to improving race relations better than anything he could have said at that press conference.

Sure, this distracted a bit from the health-care debate, but given the current state of that debate, it does give the media something else to talk about other than congress missing Obama's deadline.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 30, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

>>Many blog posts attacked Ms. Whalen assuming she had provoked this...it shows that Ivy League people look down on working people.

Actually it just shows that people fly off the handle with accusations and unfounded things. And that people want to make this into both a class and racial issue to further their own egos.

Because to be honest I don't really see it as a race related thing. I see it as people got angry/lost their cool and things escalated. It happens to everyone. I don't see a need for anyone involved to apologize and other to again feed your own bias in the matter.

But then I have learned when you work in the public sector you do not expect apologizes nor do you need them when you're doing your job. People get angry, chalk it up to a temper problem, and let it go. Working for the public it is very easy to have people angry at you for solely just doing your job without any personality or other conflicts. If you go around asking or expecting apologies you need a new line of work.

Posted by: mtcooley | July 30, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I hope the good Professor remembered to take his house key to D.C.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Drindl you are out of line calling JakeD a racist, you do not know his heart, you are just prejudging based on your concept of what a conservative is. I can see both sides of the Gates arrest. Gates played the race card when he have shouldn't. He acted poorly but the cops should had been a little more thick skin and let it pass without arresting him for disorderly conduct. But who had the power here, a beat cop or a Harvard Professor who is good friends with the most powerful man in the world.

Posted by: vbhoomes | July 30, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else?

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

fairfaxvoter-
I agree, the tone is inconsistent in the article. I'd like Cillizza to clarify what he meant.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 30, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

You stop making racist comments Joked, and threatening black people, and I will stop insulting you, Joked.

But the very fact that you proudly proclaim that you were outside the house of a black family, harrassing and threatening them, makes me physically ill.

You jerk, how dare you?

Posted by: drindl | July 30, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse


Jake did not say he voted for Obama. He asked a question. "Am I such a racist..."

He thinks he is very clever, to imply things which he knows are not true.

He also claims to have been on Ware St. And that he had a sign. I wonder how big that sign was, and how long he held it up, and how long he stood on the sidewalk.

If he was in the area, it might have amused him to swing by the address to see if his postings here caused any dimwit to actually show up to protest. Perhaps one did.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 30, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I'm not the one accusing anyone of being racist. Perhaps you missed the last thread wherein Mr. Cillizza asked that we be "civil" and not repeatedly insult other posters.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Just curious about what Chris meant to say here. He says, of the Gates incident, "Our bet is on the latter scenario" -- reading the preceding text to determine which was the "latter" of the options, it was that this is pivot point in Obama's presidency, a huge big deal.

But Chris's tone throughout sounds like, in his particular opinion, just the reverse is true. He thinks it won't amount to much, is my impression. In that case, the correct phrase would be "Our bet is on the former scenario."

I am not arguing either way here on the underlying issue, just baffled as to what Chris meant! Clarification would be appreciated, Chris.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | July 30, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"You want the uppity n*gger to apologize for exactly what,JokD?

This is so transparent it's disgusting.

JAKE IS A RACIST.

Posted by: drindl"


We all know. Please stop spamming.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 30, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I think Obama messed up. He's messed up before and will mess up again. However, he is remarkably sure-footed for a public figure, so it grabs the headlines when he does say something stupid. I don't think it will hurt him in the long run, because the next dumb thing he says will take the public's notice away from this. I do like that he tries to correct his mistakes, and does it in a grown up way.

Posted by: Cyclopsina | July 30, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

"Imagine, if everytime you went into a department store,you were viewed as a shoplifter just because of your race. My guess, it would affect your world view."

Yeah, this incident may not have been a duck, but it quacks, waddles, and is covered in down feathers. I'm not going to fault anyone for making the confusion.

And while Gates acted like a jackasz, acting like a jackazs isn't against the law. I skimmed through something about first amendment rights which I think even protects pompous professors. Gates might have acted like an idiot, but Crowley was in a position of power and authority and abused it.

Perhaps we can look back to Obama's Philadelphia speech on race from back in ancient times. What we have now is a society where blacks feel the sting of both past and present racism, but we also have a society of white people who are not at all part of the problem. Does Crowley fall in this group? Hard to say for sure, but he did (does?) teach a course on racial profiling and seems to be on great terms with his black co-workers. I'm pretty certain that in his heart, he never felt like he was part of the race problem. However, if I were to write a textbook for little kids on the manifestations of racism, the Gates example would fit perfectly in there. I'm talking about the events that transpired, not the cast of characters. Elderly black man on a cane arrested in his home even after presenting ID? Sure seems like racism to me.

But the major theme from that Philadelphia speech is that while racism still exists in our society, things have changed a lot and we need to look at events through a different lens than we would have thirty or forty years ago. This lesson seems to have been forgotten by Gates' boosters who jumped on Crowley, by reactionary right wingers who are still screaming about reverse racism, but worst of all, by Obama himself. He said the cop acted stupidly and I don't think there's any doubt that he did, but he tied it into a larger context of racism which may or may not have been in play for this particular incident.

-continued-

Posted by: DDAWD | July 30, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

But for making this mistake, Obama seems to be one of the few people who actually seemed to have any introspection. Hence the inviting the two guys for beers. This is the teachable moment and I think one of the lessons we can learn is that we are all capable of falling back into our old psychological habits, especially when it comes to people we don't know. Gates spends much of his time with white academics, white students, and a white neighborhood. He's got a lot of white people who look upon him very admirably. Yet, he quickly saw racism in a white guy he didn't know. Crowley works with black cops, teaches a course on racial profiling, but still saw it fit to arrest this uppity black person that he didn't know. We all can succumb to our worst demons. That's an important lesson to learn.

The other important lesson is that we can repair mistakes and that is the next step. Not everyone who gets into a racial scuffle will end up a guest of the President, but we can all try to temporarily inter the feelings of anger and outrage, think with a level head, and at least try see where that gets us.

Sorry for the long post.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 30, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse


Oh, I think a fair case can be made that if you arrest someone in their own house, *after* they have produced legal id that shows they live there, it's kind of a stupid act.

Perhaps the President made a poor choice of words, but there's no doubt it was a poor choice of an arrest.

Posted by: kenhyde | July 30, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

It's all just an excuse for the racists who have been simmering in rage since the election. How dare a black man claim to be president of the United States?

He can't be, it's a mistake. It was a trick, a ruse. He's not really a citizen.

And then, when that fails, oh -- he's a racist. He hates white people.

Puleeze. Give me a break. Stop your f*cking whining and get a job.

Posted by: drindl | July 30, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

C'mon, JokeD. Post a picture for us of you with your hood and burning cross.

Posted by: drindl | July 30, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Is it my imagination, or has there been a more pronounced angry response to President Obama's rash comment about the Cambridge police officer than to anything else he's done in the last month or so? I mean, sure, I've been seeing a lot of dissenting opinions on health care, but for the most part, those have been well reasoned arguments based on viable statistics and personal experience, whereas the attacks over the "acted stupidly" comment just seem to come from a mindset that anything Obama ever does that addresses race in any way must make him some sort of frothing racist.

Also, most of those posts on this board seem to be coming from people who've not commented before, which makes me wonder, but I'll not jump to any conclusions.

I'm inclined to agree with DDAWD that an over-the-top response to Obama's comment may hurt the case against him in the future. Let's face it: The audience most predisposed to believe he's harboring serious racist undertones was never going to vote for him or anyone like him in the first place. But it may galvanize those who view those accusations of racism as attacks on the president to work harder in his defense. Indeed, it could even be picked up more by the pro-Obama group than the anti-Obama group in the future, with arguments along the lines of, "Listen to how desperate the right-wingers are to find something that will hurt Obama, since they know they can't come up with anything substantive!" That argument worked pretty well for people defending George W. Bush's grapples with the English language, after all.

Posted by: GJonahJameson | July 30, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

President Obama said
“I have to tell you that, as I said yesterday, my impression of [Sgt Crowley] was that he was a outstanding police officer and a good man, and that was confirmed in the phone conversation. And I told him that.”

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 30, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

You want the uppity n*gger to apologize for exactly what,JokD?

This is so transparent it's disgusting.

JAKE IS A RACIST.

Posted by: drindl | July 30, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

bsimon1:

"Unfortunately" does not equate to an apology either.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Accomplished people do tend to look down on those who are lazy, functionally illiterate and hopelessly ignorant like you, Grace, it's true.

Posted by: drindl | July 30, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

You're a liar, Jake. You were a McCain supporter. You said so many times on this blog.

Racist stinking liar.

Posted by: drindl | July 30, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

It was sad. It showed how much there is dislike of the working class by Ivy League grads like Mr. Obama and Dr. Gates. They think working people are stupid.
Many blog posts attacked Ms. Whalen assuming she had provoked this...it shows that Ivy League people look down on working people.

Posted by: Grace6 | July 30, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Here's what ABC reported about the call from the President to Sgt Crowley. We don't know the exact words of the call, but it seems to me like they were able to have a rational, adult conversation which may be beyond the capabilities of some people posting here:

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/07/obama-calls-cambridge-police-officer-invites-him-for-a-beer-with-gates-at-the-white-house-.html


At about 2:15 pm [July 24] the President spoke on the phone with Sergeant Jim Crowley.

“I have to tell you that, as I said yesterday, my impression of him was that he was a outstanding police officer and a good man, and that was confirmed in the phone conversation. And I told him that.”

Obama took partial blame for the media frenzy over the story, saying that he “helped to continue ratcheting it up” by saying that the Cambridge police “acted stupidly” comments at Wednesday night’s primetime press conference.

“I want to make clear that in my choice of words, I think, I unfortunately, I think, gave an impression that I was maligning the Cambridge police department or Sergeant Crowley specifically. And I could have calibrated those words differently. And I told this to Sergeant Crowley.”

Mr. Obama did not say if he offered Crowley a direct apology and held fast to the notion that there was an overreaction in Professor Gate’s arrest – but admitted that Gates had to take some of the responsibility for the overreaction.

“I continue to believe, based on what I have heard, that there was an overreaction in pulling Professor Gates out of his home to the station. I also continue to believe, based on what I heard, that Professor Gates probably overreacted as well.”


Posted by: bsimon1 | July 30, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

drindl:

I am such a "racist" that I voted an AFRICAN AMERICAN for President. Next canard?

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

And what is that people were protesting about outside Gates' house?

That he was uppity to a white man?

Posted by: drindl | July 30, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Did you wear your hood, Joked? Did you burn a cross in Gates' front yard?

Maybe you want to round up a mob and lynch him for being uppity.

Posted by: drindl | July 30, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

mikeinmidland:

We were indeed at 17 Ware Street last Saturday. My sign read: "APOLOGIZE TO CROWLEY".

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I hate to double post but I have to say picketing a private citizen, which won't change anything about the race relations in this country, is a fruitless endevor. You would be better off picketing the President because he actually has an influence on something.

All you are doing with picketing with Gates is being intolerant and missing the point. Protest is meant to bring awareness of a problem to light to people that actually can do something about it. Not be a form of harassment for a private citizen which this would be. I mean if people started picketing Crowley's home, or the 911 caller, they're not making a statement against anything. They're just being jerks and it's fairly tantamount to harassement of these people. You're there to try to make them feel ashamed, or bad.

Frankly you should go picket the President and leave these people alone. In the end, I don't feel any of them deserve the scorn heaped on them here and in other blogs.

Posted by: mtcooley | July 30, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Obama is engaging in race-based grievance mongering. His handling of this incident will definitely hurt him. People won't forget and we can say 'so long' to any pretense of Obama being post racial or post partisan (re: his handling of major legislative initiatives).

Posted by: alto1215 | July 30, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

In case anyone wondered, JokeD is a KKK sympathizer -- a huge racist. But you probably figured that out by now.

Posted by: drindl | July 30, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse


"Keep the cars coming." "Request Harvard University police."

If a crowd gathered on Ware Street that day, it had more to do with the number of police cars on the street than Gates yelling.

Perhaps Crowley should have arrested himself for "disorderly conduct" if crowd formation is the standard.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 30, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

>>You waste more time posting here than we did "picking" on the PUBLIC sidewalk. Who are you to decide where and when someone exercises their First Amendment rights?

Oh no I made a typo! Picketing is what I meant but you should know that. And I find it highly ironic, not to mention disrespectful, that you insinuate I'm wasting my time any more than you are. You post here far more often than I do. So are you saying you didn't go? Or that you were there in the 60 seconds it took to write my post.

I'm not saying it's wrong to picket but I'm well within my own rights to say I think it's a waste of time, energy, and good sense to picket a private citizen who ultimately is not charged with a serious offense because you think he's some kind of monster. He's a person and and didn't commit anything worth picketing against. Unless any person that gets arrested deserves that now.

Posted by: mtcooley | July 30, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Come on JakeD, what's the point of excerbating racial relations, nothing good can come of it, just further devides. We should all make an effort to try to see race relations from the perspective of those we disagree with. Imagine, if everytime you went into a department store,you were viewed as a shoplifter just because of your race. My guess, it would affect your world view.

Posted by: vbhoomes | July 30, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse


There was no protest whatsoever in front of Gates' house. Nor will there be today. Since no one *spent* any time protesting there, no time was wasted.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 30, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Do you think you could stop trashing Obama and Dems for 5 minutes, Cilizza?

This is the most ridiculous "controversy' the rightwing MSM has come up with yet.

Posted by: drindl | July 30, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse


Perhaps Obama shouldn't have commented. But what "facts" came to light AFTER Obama's comment that would change what he said?

The release of the 911 tape, which did NOT back up Crowley's statement that "2 black men" were the suspected intruders, reinforces Obama's opinion.

Maybe Obama shouldn't have used that word, but Crowley DID act stupidly.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 30, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

For those of you who want to protest Obama / Gates today: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington D.C. On Sunday, you can protest in front of Prof. Gates's at 17 Ware Street, Cambridge MA.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

auntmo9990:

Great points! The Obamaniacs probably think he already apologized to her.

mtcooley:

You waste more time posting here than we did "picking" on the PUBLIC sidewalk. Who are you to decide where and when someone exercises their First Amendment rights?

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

bsimon1:

"I miscalibrated my words" is hardly an apology -- I do not think that Mr. Cillizza meant "former" -- you are the one having problems with interpretation. If I can be a "racist" voting an African-American for President, then so can Prof. Gates marrying a white woman.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Clearly, it's a pivot point.

Obama and Jesse Jackson have nothing teach, in this "moment."

The LESSON is that if the president wants to continue being considered a "Constitutional scholar," he'll have to reinforce for the public that he knows NOT to comment until he has all the facts.

Oh, and a public apology to Ms. Whalen for the way his comments contributed to her being trashed as a "racist" would be nice, too.

But he won't do it. He doesn't have the guts.

Posted by: auntmo9990 | July 30, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Saying the Cambridge PD acted stupidly is a teachable moment for Barck Obama, my guess he will think twice in the future before jumping into racial politics. Its unfortunate some on the extreme right like that silly moron Glen Beck has called Obama racist. I am sure he see's things through his own life experiences and has a certain bias, but he is not a hater, just misguided because he has never lived in the real world.

Posted by: vbhoomes | July 30, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I don't think it chipped away at anything. He spoke off the cuff and honestly and when you do so you're going to say things that many don't agree with. And I agree it was a stupid thing to happen and it never should have happened.

And Jake you really should be ashamed to be picking in front of that man's home if you actually did so. That is just immensely beyond stupid and not to mention a waste of time and energy better spent on something that actually matters.I wouldn't brag on it because it makes you look just as intolerant as people try to paint these two people as. And that does nothing for trying to foster civility in this country. Which seems to be a dying ideal.

Posted by: mtcooley | July 30, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

"immediately jumped to the conclusion that the white officer must have 'acted stupidly'. If that's not racial profiling, I would love for someone to explain what is...."

How in the world is calling someone stupid racial profiling?

I think what may end up helping Obama in this whole episode is the over-the-top response of the right-wing to what Obama said. If they used more measured tones like Obama was wrong say something like this before knowing all the facts and stuff like that, the response would have gained more traction. And I'm sure many right wingers did give such a measured response.

However, when those voices are drowned out by people screaming that Obama is a racist and that Obama hates white people, that just kills the whole message. They try to paint Obama as an angry black thug who grew up in the projects. But when the reality is that Obama had a middle class upbringing from his white mother and his white grandparents, the racism charge just isn't going to stick. People can believe that Obama is wrong or that his judgment is unsound, but people aren't going to believe that Obama is a frothing racist.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 30, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

"From Gates' previous comments over the years, it appears to me he is a pure racist."


Did you know that, in addition to having white ancestors of his own, his wife is white?

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 30, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

A waste of time caused by the big mouth with an attitude,Gates; and made worse by the big mouth without a brain, Obozzo

Posted by: Bcamp55 | July 30, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

The Fix writes
"If the entire arc of this story is roughly a week ... it's likely to amount to a blip (if that) on the broader political radar screen.

Of course, if... the incident "chipped away
at the air of reasonableness and even infallibility that surrounds the President" then we could look back at this moment as a pivot point in Obama's first year in office.

Our bet is on the latter scenario. But, stranger things have happened."


That statement doesn't parse well, unless the Fix mistakenly typed 'latter' where he meant 'former'. If he were arguing for the stupid comment being a pivotal turning point in the Obama admin, I'd expect an argument for why that's the case, not the cop-out that stranger things have happened.

On the comment itself, the president spoke stupidly; he was right that the outcome was stupid, but he was stupid to say it. The way the WH is handling it, it will blow over for the people who's minds aren't already made up to criticize everything associated with the Obama administration. That group is ignoring that the President has already apologized for his comments, for instance; apparently they pride themselves in deliberately maintaining their own ignorance.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 30, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin:

Prof. Gates was OUTSIDE the house when arrested -- which is NOT set back on private property -- there was a crowd growing too.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I thought Bill Clinton was the first black president? That's what we were told! And technically, even though he rejects his white heritage, Obama is BIRACIAL.

From Gates' previous comments over the years, it appears to me he is a pure racist. I guess he thought he'd get by with fueling the fire by saying the 911 caller was "white" said "2 black men" where breaking into the house. This is pure race-mongering. Next time he should remember his KEY!

Posted by: izntthatspecial | July 30, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

dbw1 wrote:

"I could do without hearing the phrase 'teachable moment' for the rest of today."

Because I do not believe this to have been racially motivated [for reasons that come from my experience with police officers] but I do believe it was a "bad" arrest [for reasons that have to do with the law itself], I think the event should not have the freight that is being placed upon it by the press and by many persons in the public.

Thus I do not want the Prez to do anything but get past this. Gates is someone he considered a friend and the Prez could not resist commenting - imagine if Truman were in that seat! If the Prez tries to make more of this; tries to make of it the phrase dbw1 does not want to hear again, I think he will be overreaching.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | July 30, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Poor Barry. Sinking like a rock in the polls. Down another 7 points just this week. Reality bites

poor drivl. Right back at it.
.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 30, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Raising The Level Of Conversation:

Good morning everyone! I brought donuts and coffee for everyone. Just serve yourself while I put these flowers in a vase. My, everyone looks so nice. Oh, drinl, that broom is very nice, dear, but you may have the new one I brought when I am done cleaning. And Jake, your new hat is so shiny! Your's too, Mr. scrivener. Did you buy them at the same store? My dear? Oh that's a flask and it's empty. No, no. It's m-e-d-i-c-i-n-e . Please excuse me, I have an appointment with the nice man at the bar for a refill. My condition requires constant medication. Bye now.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | July 30, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Chris,

Please stop saying "presser".

Thank you.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 30, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

dbw1:

I completely agree.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

JakeD - I think Gates was arrested under Ch. 272 Sec 53.
Is that your understanding?

I cited one of many Mass cases that make the point that the DOC statute is not one that justifies an arrest for "contempt of cop". When we had this discussion the other day, you stated that you thought the positioning on the front stoop made a distinction with a difference.

In TX it would not, and I have looked through the website of the MA D.A.'s Assoc. for a quick reference to the cases and seen none that limit curtilage to within the home. Cursory research is bad research, of course, but the use of breach of peace offenses to justify arrests is always limited by the case law and the First A.

I have read the purported police report of the incident and it gives no comfort to your view, IMO.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | July 30, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I could do without hearing the phrase "teachable moment" for the rest of today.

All this needs to be is a 'learnable moment' for the President, in that the only 'racial profiling' going on last week in this Gates incident was on the part of Obama. He saw a dust-up between a white cop and a black Harvard professor, and even admitting he didn't know the facts, immediately jumped to the conclusion that the white officer must have 'acted stupidly'. If that's not racial profiling, I would love for someone to explain what is....

In jumping to the defense of a fellow radical leftist, Obama did a big disservice to those minorities who really do face unfair treatment from time to time. Going forward, it will just make what might be legitimate charges of unjust profiling be met with even more eyerolls and shoulder shrugs as people start becoming jaded by these hollow cries of racism by political elites over every perceived slight.

Posted by: dbw1 | July 30, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

The truth about Carly. I used to live in Fort Collins, Colorado very much an HP town. I like most of the residents were excited when HP went with a female CEO and wanted her to succeed. The fact was she was a disaster. She made mistake after mistake in running the company and finally the board fired her. But in America these days a failed chief executive is given a golden parachute and made a multi-millionaire. The truth is that Carly is a poster child for everything that is wrong with the CEO.... rewarded for failure. She failed as CEO and would be a failure in the Senate.

Posted by: bradcpa | July 30, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone else agree with Mr. Cillizza and me about this being Obama's "pivot point" downward?

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Re:Register Independent and unenroll. Heaven knows how to price its goods. There's a fix.

Posted by: Dermitt | July 30, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

getsix1:

Do not feed the troll (this thread is not about Obama's birth certificate).

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin:

So, you've read one "headnote" about the statute, but you didn't answer my question.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

http://www.angelfire.com/biz/hankramey/The%20New%20Pearl%20Harbor.pdf

Click on the link, "patriot": the book is now free, a patriotic donation by the author, a venerable scholar of proven integrity, and publisher, after having sold millions at $15 a copy.

Bush and Cheney committed 9/11. Only "Stupidly" says otherwise.

Posted by: iamerican | July 30, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

iamerican:

Just because you and I would instantly recognize Prof. Gates, does not mean that Sgt. Crowley did. Once the police identified him, they were willing to leave, but Prof. Gates CONTINUED with his disorderly conduct. Is there anything Gates could have done that day to get you to agree the arrest was legitimate? What if he started swinging his cane at officers?

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

iamerican:

Just because you and I would instantly recognize Prof. Gates, does not mean that Sgt. Crowley did. Once the police identified him, they were willing to leave, but Prof. Gates CONTINUED with his disorderly conduct. Is there anything Gates could have done that day to get you to agree the arrest was legitimate? What if he started swinging his cane at officers?

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

and this thin about all republicans believing that obma isn't a natural born is horse hockey i know a lot of conservatives non all of them believe he was born here in the USA, not like the liberal kooks with the bush is not the president crap for 8 years every arm chair lawyer in the county was throwing out there drool bush bombed the world trade centers. that was a good one steal doesn't melt get a life face it obma is going to be around for 4 years and be remembered as the only president worse then jimmy the peanut farmer

Posted by: getsix1 | July 30, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

JakeD -

Commonwealth v. Mulvey
57 Mass. App. Ct. 579 (March 14, 2003)

Police presence in and of itself does not by itself turn an otherwise purely private outburst into disorderly conduct.

The defendant was charged with disorderly conduct for yelling and pacing on private property that was set back from the road in a secluded area. There was no one around at the time except police officers. While the statute requires that the disturbance be such that it had or was likely to have an impact upon people in an area accessible to the public, the presence of police officers alone will not suffice to prove the public element.

In reaching its decision, the Court noted that the rationale behind criminalizing disorderly conduct rests on the belief that a disorderly person can provoke violence in others. Given that an inherent part of police work involves being in the presence of distraught individuals, and given that police officers are trained to maintain order, the Court concluded that police should be the least likely to be provoked. Therefore, police presence alone does not satisfy the public element.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | July 30, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Molsonwich, I'm with you. The GOP and her press outlets have presented the ultimatum that if Obama isn't perfect and doesn't fix everything they mucked up by the August break then his entire administration is a failure.

Typical GOP offgassing. Someone open a window!

Posted by: margaretmeyers | July 30, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Obama's response to the "Cambridge Question" at the WH press conference was honest and exactly correct.

While Gates needed to be knocked off his Harvardian, affected, false-elite high horse, the 911 police operator was told at least twice, by the distant witness, that the potential "burglar," "might be the gentleman who lives there."

For Crowley to come on "tough," to the highly recognizable if not over-exposed "celebrity scholar" on the other side of the window of his elite Harvard Campus Housing rental's front door, and to carry an air of inviolable, almost "other worldly," job security (catch "The Departed" the other night?), suggests "stupidly" was gentle use of the language, by Our President, to describe the Cambridge Townie Cop's conduct and that of his dispatcher and supervisor.

Posted by: iamerican | July 30, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

TO: JakeD @ 8:43 a.m.

A reading of my comment will reveal that I did not advise POTUS to "reiterate" that remark.

But a reading of your posting does reiterate a tactic often used by disinformation agents -- distort the words of the "enemy" in such as way as to impeach his credibility.

Have a nice day.

http://nowpublic.com/world/govt-fusion-center-spying-pretext-harass-and-censor


Posted by: scrivener50 | July 30, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

getsix1:

Which is why we protested in front of Gates's house on Saturday. My sign said "APOLOGIZE TO CROWLEY".

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin:

Have you even read the "disorderly conduct" statute at issue?

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

its all misdirection this was a attempt to get the public outrage up, so they would linch the Cambridge police officer that picked on his friend. just like obma has used the media to sick the public on aig, the health care insurance, the doctors, and the car company bond holders. anyone who steps in his way gets the full weight of the obma media and his rabid followers it would of taken a week or rev al and a few thousand obma zombies and the Cambridge town would have fired the cop or force him to quit and when it back fired, on obma now he has to save face at the taxpayers expense .

Posted by: getsix1 | July 30, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

P.S. to scrivener50: great advice for him to reiterate his "acted stupidly" comment. Too bad he won't do that ( short of some massive TelePrompTer failure ; )

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Nikos Retsos, retired professor -

Were you raised in a nation where "contempt of cop" was an actual offense? Recently I testified as a witness for the defense of a 20-something rich white man who was arrested for calmly suggesting to two officers that he could talk down his drunken friend's belligerence. I watched the whole incident play out and the arrest of the drunk was justified, but the arrest of the "designated driver" for supposedly "interfering with a lawful arrest" was not. These occurrences of bad arrests are not unusual in America, but they remain bad arrests.

When you refer to "black misbehavior" in this context, you characterize Gates' status improperly - the charge against him was dropped because it could not stand, any more than it could against you, who I assume to be not black. We look the other way on police overreaching of this nature for practical reasons - we need our police to be able to react. The charges against the civilian are dropped but none will be filed against the police, and where no one was seriously injured that is probably how it should be in an imperfect system.

Make no mistake here: the rule of law in America includes a First Amendment that cannot make mere "unruliness of speech" without physical threats in one own's home [even to a police officer in a uniform] a crime.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | July 30, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Back on topic: I'm hoping "pivot point" (especially if pResident Obama doesn't apologize).

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

BEER BASH TO BACKFIRE ON OBAMA -- UNLESS HE STICKS TO PRINCIPLE

• Bottom line: Good policing would avoided arrest and controversy

Already the word is out: Sgt. Crowley will NOT apologize in any way, shape or manner, and that the parties have "agreed to disagree."

If what began as an unnecessary and avoidable confrontation ends in stalemate, there will be no "lessons learned" other than the conclusion that a POTUS should never inject himself into a routine local policing issue.

But -- what if this were no "routine" incident, but part of a contrived set-up intended to cast aspersions on the character and reputation of Professor Gates? What if the professor had been "targeted" by so-called "community stalkers" for a campaign of continuous harassment?

What Gates' front door had been purposely sealed shut, leading him to force his way into his home, setting in motion the events that led to his eventual -- perhaps, preordained -- arrest?

President Obama was wrong to use the word "stupidly" in the same sentence as the word "police." But he was NOT wrong in noting that the outcome of the incident did not constitute good policing. A skilled, trained officer should be able to "handle" a 58-year-old college professor who walks with a cane. That did not happen.

This was not just a "failure to communicate." There was no moral equivalency between the actions of Professor Gates, distressed at the police intrusion and the matter in which he was treated, and Sgt. Crowley, a supposedly trained officer who should have been able to do his job without resorting to the arrest and shackling of an understandably distressed older man.

If President Obama does not underscore the unacceptability of the outcome, he will have demonstrated a disturbing tendency to equivocate when under pressure.

On the contrary, if President Obama reiterates the main point -- that good policing would have defused a stand-off that never should have occurred in the first place -- he will ensure that this "teachable moment" enhances his reputation as healer-in-chief.

***

WAS PROF. GATES AN IDEOLOGICAL TARGET OF OFFICIALLY-CONNECTED 'COMMUNITY STALKERS'?

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 30, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

I don't want to keep looking backward, but in President Bush's pre 9/11 first year, there was a hunger for him to prove himself simply capable, even competent. President Obama whom we've pinned so much hopes to has to prove himself infallible.

Anything less than perfection from President Obaba would effectively dash his supporters' (ridiculous to the point of fantastic) hopes; while conversely, anything less than perfection would reaffirm to the President's detractors that he is all-to-human (and therefore, I suppose, typically Demoratic and unfit for office).

Posted by: molsonmich | July 30, 2009 8:19 AM | Report abuse

This "slipup" is as big a deal as the anti-Obama press makes it...

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | July 30, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

All the polls show a least a softening of Obama's national numbers. But you may have seen right wing sites pushing the new Rasmussen index showing Obama deep into negative territory, with a dozen or so deficit in terms of approval vs. disapproval.

Look a little deeper though and you'll see that Rasmussen is using a way of slicing the numbers he never used until quite recently, and one that no other pollster seems to use as his top-line measurement.

Eric Kleefeld phoned up Rasmussen and asked him what was up.

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/07/the-rasmussen-presidential-approval-index-is-this-newer-measurement-worth-anything.php?ref=fpblg


Hint: It's all bogus. Rasmussen is a rightwing operative.

Posted by: drindl | July 30, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Nice racism, you hateful bigot nikos.

Posted by: drindl | July 30, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

First of all -- rightwing heavies knock down the Birthers... getting to embarrassing....

'
It's now looking like a lot of prominent Republicans, ranging from party leaders to big-name pundits that we usually expect to make outrageous partisan attacks, are doing something they'd been previously neglecting: Definitively cracking down on the Birthers, rather than playing to the conspiracy theorists allowing this stuff to continue festering among their activist base.

O'Reilly said to a letter-writer who declared himself not convinced that Obama is an American: "That is because you don't want to be convinced, Larry." That's as good a summary of the Birthers' motivations as any other.

• Even Ann Coulter, who normally can't resist the opportunity to attack Democrats as evil and un-American, calls the Birthers "cranks."

• After Birther leader Orly Taitz made the peculiar claim that the GOP leadership was on board, claiming as evidence that multiple high-ranking GOPers had accepted her Facebook requests, they all prominently said no way.

• Greg Sargent asked RNC chairman Michael Steele's office about his views of Birtherism -- and they unambiguously shot it down:

"Chairman Steele believes that this is an unnecessary distraction and believes that the president is a U.S. citizen. Chairman Steele wants to move beyond this conversation and continue discussing the real and immediate concerns that face American families like the economy and health care. Americans are concerned with President Obama's health care plan, a failed stimulus package and a ballooning deficit. Chairman Steele has many other issues to take up with the president that have to do with policy, not a birth certificate."
Until recently, this wasn't the situation at all. Indeed, prominent Congressional Republicans were openly entertaining this stuff. A bill to require birth certificates from presidential candidates has picked up 11 total co-sponsors; Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) declared that the Birthers "have a point," and that he doesn't discourage it. Even House GOP Vice-Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), a member of the leadership, was saying she wanted to see the documents.

But now there's a pattern from on high -- in both the punditocracy and from the party leadership -- of Republicans backing away from this:

• Of course, all House Republicans who were present voted Monday night in favor of the resolution to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hawaii's statehood, which included language recognizing the state has Obama's birthplace. This included Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), the lead sponsor of a bill to require presidential candidates to present birth certificates, and House GOP Vice-Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). Only 20 GOPers missed the vote, which can happen for any number of reasons on a non-binding resolution.

• Last night on his TV show, Bill O'Reilly comprehensively debunked the Birthers:

Posted by: drindl | July 30, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

By calling the Cambridge Police Department "Stupid," Obama became part of the "racial bigotry" that brought the incident into the headlines. Now he tries to launder it with beer in the White House, and then spread it in the ropes of the media headlines as sparking clean! But
America already knows that the beer at the White House is a "whitewash" event of the
president's foul mouth, not the end of "racial bigotry" vanishing in gulps of beer.

Obama's "stupid" label on the Cambridge Police for arresting an unruly black was
detrimental to black and white "race relations" because it encouraged blacks to
run again into the [racial] "hole." And that is quite detrimental and damaging to the campaign of Bill Cosby and other black scholars who have been telling African Americans to get out from there!

Will Obama's inciting support of black misbehavior have a lasting effect on his
public standing? That's an unknown factor at this stage. But in the space of politics, Obama is now like a "Space Shuttle" that has lost a "heat shield tile." And if other heated issues in the future cause more tiles to fall off, he may not land safely on his 2012 re-election runway. Nikos Retsos, retired professor

Posted by: Nikos_Retsos | July 30, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

I commend Obama for being honest about the situation. I've lived in urban areas most of my life and have seen 'non-whites' treated differently re the police. I've also seen this happen at airports where non-whites get pulled out of line for additional security checks or get hassled at passport control. Unfortunately, racial profiling exists. (I'm white, btw.)

I don't think this will harm Obama (particularly given the news this morning from Boston about the disgusting email one of the police officers sent....)

Re Giuliani: his ship sailed long ago...

Re Boxer: I wouldn't worry about Rasmussen polls. It's a Republican based polling firm that does weird things with weighting. Their numbers are always off.

Posted by: RickJ | July 30, 2009 6:42 AM | Report abuse

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