Tuesday, August 13, 2013
To: Friends & Supporters
From: Gary L. Bauer
Painstaking Research And A Ruthless Attitude
GOP Washington elites are still trying to figure out how Barack Obama, with the burden of a terrible economy, managed to win reelection against the establishments choice, Mitt Romney. A new book by Washington Post reporter Dan Balz entitled Collision 2012 contains some of the answers.
Conservative columnist Peggy Noonan reviewed the book in the weekend Wall Street Journal. Her column and the book should be required reading if the GOP is going to learn anything in time for 2014 and 2016.
The Obama campaign conducted focus groups in key swing states. The same themes came up over and over. One frustrated Iowa voter in his 50s summarized the mood best. He told Obama operatives, I cant send my kid to college next year
I havent had a raise in five years
I am sick and tired of giving bailouts to the folks at the top and handouts to the folks at the bottom. I am going to fire people (politicians) until my life gets better.
Obamas advisors decided very early that if they wanted to win a second term they had to win voters like that middle class Iowa man. From then on, every Obama speech emphasized saving the middle class. At the same time the Obama attack machine took Romneys business success and converted it to a liability by planting the idea that when men like Romney succeed, factories close and jobs are lost. They boxed him in as an out of touch elitist who couldnt possibly understand middle class angst. The Romney campaign floundered trying to respond.
Peggy Noonan was impressed by something else in Balzs book. Obama campaign manager Jim Messina told Balz, My favorite political philosopher is Mike Tyson. Mike Tyson once said everyone has a plan until you punch them in the face. Then they dont have a plan anymore.
To every Republican governor, senator and other presidential wannabes, dont run unless you believe you can give voice to Americas struggling middle class and its hopes and dreams. Secondly, be ready to get punched in the face by the left's machine and have your own plan to punch first.
Every day brings a new example of the liberal worldview at workand another example of how that worldview disproportionately hurts those it claims to protect. Todays example comes from U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin, who has ruled in a pair of decisions that the New York City Police Department targeted blacks and Hispanics for unlawful stop-question-and-frisks based on their skin color. Scheindlin has appointed a federal monitor to supervise the department and enact new policies to end the procedure.
Stop-question-and-frisk is a program whereby police officers stop and question people they have reason to believe have committed a crime or are about to commit a crime, then frisk them (i.e. search their clothing for weapons and other contraband) if they still have reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.
A result of this program is that while cities like Chicago are experiencing exploding crime rates, New York Citys crime rate has plummeted. As Mayor Bloomberg said at a press conference following the ruling, the policy has helped make New York City the safest big city in the country, with record lows in many categories of violent crime.
Race is not the only, or even the primary, criterion used by police in determining whom to stop. But for Scheindlin, a Clinton appointee, the constitutionality of the policy depended entirely on whether it led to blacks and Hispanics being stopped at rates disproportionate to their representation in the general population.
In the precinct under dispute in the case, blacks and Hispanics make up about 60 percent of the population. But they made up 96 percent of stop-question-and-frisks. Scheindlin focused on this disparity to argue that the policy is racist.
But she ignored the fact that those who commit crimes in that area are disproportionately minorities. In fact, 99 percent of violent crimes (and 93 percent of all crimes) in that precinct are committed by blacks and Hispanics.
As the Manhattan Institutes Heather MacDonald put it, Though whites and Asians commit less than 1 percent of violent crime in the 88th Precinct and less than 6 percent of all crime, according to Scheindlin 40 percent of all stops should be of whites and Asians, to match their representation in the local population.
The irony is that the vast majority of people whose lives are saved by stop-question-and-frisk are minorities, the vast majority of the police officers who employ it on their patrols are minorities and the vast majority of residents who are safer because of the policy are minorities.
Of course, it is a shame that stop-question-and-frisk had to be implemented at all in New York City. I am reminded of Benjamin Franklins admonition that only a virtuous people can remain free.
The fact remains that as families continue to disintegrate, and as reliable standards of right and wrong keep eroding, we will continue to have to make these kinds of trade-offs between freedom and security just to remain safe. But wouldnt it be easier to abandon moral relativism instead?