24 July 2009

Who Is The Stupid One?

In a press conference this week, President Obama said the Cambridge, Mass. police department "acted stupidly" in their arrest of Harvard Professor Louis Gates. After his comments erupted in a firestorm of criticism from various law-enforcement interests across the Nation, Obama did an interview with ABC to try and qualify his statement. In that interview, Obama said:

"I think it was a pretty straightforward commentary that you probably don't need to handcuff a guy, a middle-aged man who uses a cane, who's in his own home."

That is an ignorant and stupid statement. It is proper protocol and procedure, and follows nationalized standards in law-enforcement, that whenever a person becomes combative and/or is placed under arrest (as was the case with Gates), he/she is to be handcuffed. Period, end of story. This is done for safety reasons to protect both the accused and law-enforcement officers. Handcuffing Gates was the proper thing to do - his age, use of a cane, or where he was located is irrelevant. Obama is supposed to be a brilliant lawyer so he should know that. Maybe he's not so brilliant. Maybe he thinks cops should treat persons differently based on who they are.

The President also made another ignorant and stupid statement recently in his infomercial about healthcare. In his "healthcare press conference" earlier this week, Dr. Obama made this comment:

"Right now, doctors a lot of times are forced to make decisions based on the fee payment schedule that's out there. So if they're looking and you come in and you've got a bad sore throat or your child has a bad sore throat or has repeated sore throats, the doctor may look at the reimbursement system and say to himself, "You know what? I make a lot more money if I take this kid's tonsils out."

You would think the man who claims to be the architect and genius on socializing our healthcare would know that pediatricians have not been taking tonsils out for about 50 years now. Kids who may need that surgery are most often referred to an ear, nose, and throat specialist.

The President is talking and acting stupidly. Perhaps he needs some time away from Joe Biden. Perhaps he needs an education.

**Update: I just heard part of an interview with Officer Crowley. If his account is accurate and the 911 tapes confirm that, Professor Gates and President Obama have a huge public relations nightmare on their hands.

**Update 2: Things are heating up. Police demand apology. This is not going to go away any time soon.

Back to some history and Civil War blogging soon, I promise. Some upcoming posts:

* The Dominance of Southern Culture

* Grading the Professors


Jubilo said...

Dear Old Dom.,
Good for you ! I knew you would not be able to ignore Gates -ha-ha !!!!!
David Corbett

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...


I wanted to wait a bit for some more information to come out. I worked very closely with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies for 12 years. And as I noted in a previous post, they do make mistakes and there are bad apples who like to think of themselves as a hybrid of John Wayne, Dirty Harry, and Rambo.

But it is becoming more and more apparent, based on what has come out thus far, that Officer Crowley acted properly and is a very reputable cop. There is some discussion of releasing the 911 tapes which could prove damning to Gates - and Obama's ill-informed comment.

Pam Walter said...

I think this is just one more example of Obama's love of the cameras; he can never seem to resist making a speech/statement, even when he doesn't have all of the facts. www.satisfiedsole.com

Jacksonian Lawyer said...

I hope this does not go away either and I completely agree with both the officers' actions and their sentiments following the debacle created by Obama. Glad you posted this here. We've also been discussing this over at Southern Appeal.


Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thanks JL. I just heard on the news at the top of the hour that the President had called Officer Crowley to "explain" his comments. I did not hear him use the word "apologize" or "apology" or "sorry."

It seemed, based on what I heard, to be a purely political call. Obama said he thought BOTH parties "overreacted." We'll see.

Jacksonian Lawyer said...

RW - Glad to see you over at Southern Appeal. Just read the following article on this whole travesty:


Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thanks JL. I visit and comment there often.

James F. Epperson said...

In your example about tonsils, the president didn't say the doctor in question was a pediatrician. The example is a good one, even if it has some imperfections.

As for the main topic, you may be interested to know that Obama called Sgt. Crowley today, and also made some comments (very constructive ones, IMO) in the daily press briefing today.

Anonymous said...

It's about time you commented on this:) The Obamacare plan is being pushed hard so as to deflect criticism from closer inspection. It's losing support, and the Dems have already tried to redefine wealthy from $350K to $1Million to pay for it.

Too bad there is no video footage of Gates' agitation. Would be interesting to watch since it's basically a public event at this point.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...


Obama was referring to the Dr. the child normally sees in diagnosis. Everyone (except you) knew to whom he was referring. Funny how Obama never once mentions the defensive medicine being practiced in order for Dr.s to protect themselves from the thug trial lawyers.

Obama's call to Crowley was due to the fact he was facing a tsunami of negative public opinion, not because he thought it was the right thing to do.

James F. Epperson said...

Actually, the President has mentioned defensive medicine quite a bit. As I said, the example is valid even if it had imperfections.

Your contention about Obama's call to Crowley is based entirely on your antipathy to the President; I'm disinclined to share your view. I'm sure the political fallout played its part, but I'm also sure he thought, on sober reflection, that it was the right thing to do.

ddadmin said...

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Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...


I've not heard him mention it once. Can you cite an example? Did he put the blame where it belongs, on his buddies the trial lawyers?

Actually, my contention about Obama is based on Obama's track record and the chain of events. And his call was not an apology. He chose his words carefully. "The One" can't make mistakes.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...


Thanks for the sources.

James F. Epperson said...

There was a "town hall" kind of thing after he went to the Cleveland Clinic on Thursday, and I believe he mentioned "defensive medicine" there. It wasn't a "blame" kind of comment, just bewailing that it leads to too many expensive tests.

Was Obama's phone call an apology? Probably not, for the simple reason that arresting a 68 yr old man for being "disorderly" in his own home is kind of, shall we say, strange.

I heard something on one of the morning shows Friday, that this was less about race, and more about testosterone---two men, used to getting their way, colliding, and neither one willing to back down.

I also saw a police academy instructor offer the opinion that Sgt. Crowley should have just said "good-bye" and walked away (once he determined that it was Gates's home)

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Yeah, why the unnecessary tests? Protection from the Malpractice Mafia. Obama demonizes the insurance industry, the drug companies, the Dr.s' all because of their so-called "evil" profit motives (anti-capitalist). Yet he gives his parasitic trial lawyer constituency a pass. Gee, what's wrong with this picture?

Why is that strange? He wasn't in his own home when he was arrested. He followed the officer outside with his rantings. Nothing strange about that. As a Magistrate for Virginia, I've issued scores of warrants for very similar circumstances. There was another African-American office on the scene with Crowley and his assessment of Gates's conduct was, and I quote:

"a little bit stranger than it should have been."

So who acted strange James?

The fact is that this is a PR nightmare for Obama and Gates. The Officers involved have acted professionally while Gates and Obama have both acted most unprofessionally and everyone but die-hard Obama supporters are acknowledging it.

Wrong again James.

See more here:

James F. Epperson said...

"He wasn't in his own home when he was arrested. He followed the officer outside with his rantings. Nothing strange about that." --- Well, the officer told him to come outside because the acoustics in the kitchen were such that he (Crowley) could not understand what Gates was saying. Once he was outside, he arrested him. That's what is, IMO, strange. Why call him outside unless you want to be able to arrest him? (This is all in the police report, which is online.)

James F. Epperson said...

"Yeah, why the unnecessary tests? Protection from the Malpractice Mafia. Obama demonizes the insurance industry, the drug companies, the Dr.s' all because of their so-called "evil" profit motives (anti-capitalist). Yet he gives his parasitic trial lawyer constituency a pass. Gee, what's wrong with this picture?" --- The main problem is the lack of accuracy. Obama has consistently lauded the doctors and nurses. He has criticized the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, true, but surely such criticism is allowed. And, there is a NYTimes article from June suggesting Obama is willing to impose some kind of limits on malpractice awards.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

"Obama has consistently lauded the doctors and nurses."

Phony crap. He's constantly criticizing the profit motive as he did with the misleading tonsil example.

"Such criticism is allowed." James, if you're going to start obfuscating and erecting straw men, then please don't waste my time. I never said anything about it not being allowed. Your response only proves you have nothing to refute the fact that Obama is an anti-capitalist who thinks the Federal government should regulate what everyone is allowed to make and profit, which is why he put his Union buddies in control of GM and Chrysler.

The House bill specifically broadens lawyers ability to sue. Employees can sue their employers for NOT enrolling in the public plan if they think their private plan is inferior. You're grossly misinformed.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

The eye-witness African-American officer with Crowley said Crowley acted properly and he supported the arrest "100%." A neighbor who witnessed what was taking place also said that Gates was the offender and was belligerent. Gates has only his word against 2 other witnesses. The 911 tapes will likely prove very damning to Gates. I wish they would release them.

James F. Epperson said...

There is no doubt Gates was upset and being abusive. But the correct play, IMO, would have been for Crowley to simply wish Gates a good day, and leave. No public safety interest was served by calling Gates outside and then arresting him. None.

James F. Epperson said...

"I never said anything about it not being allowed." --- I never said you did, I was just anticipating a possible objection.

Given your (IMO) ridiculous claims about the President, there is no point in discussing this issue with you. Everything he tries is wrong and evil because he is (in your mistaken opinion) some kind of socialist. He is not. He's more liberal than you like, that's all.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

James - I don't necessarily disagree with you that Crowley could have handled it that way. However, there is a discrepancy as to whether Gates was "called" outside or whether he "followed" Crowley outside.

Hindsight is 20/20 - it may have been a judgment call and no clear "right" answer. That being said, Gates was way out of line when he immediately started calling Crowley a racist and hurling insults at his mother. Very childish and unprofessional in my opinion. Gates' reputation is the big loser in all of this.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...


Its not my opinion. It's fact. Obama's voting record in the Senate pegged him as the MOST liberal member of the Senate - even to the left of the self-proclaimed socialist Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders. If it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, and looks like a duck . . .

James F. Epperson said...

"However, there is a discrepancy as to whether Gates was "called" outside or whether he "followed" Crowley outside." --- The police report (online at Smoking Gun) says Crowley called him outside. And the report was written by Crowley.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

No James, that is not what the police report at Smoking Gun says. I invite readers to go and read the report for themselves.

Crowley very plainly says Gates "followed me outside the residence." Why do you continue to defend the indefensible? Besides the fact you misstated the facts, the balance of the report, with two other officers corroborating, is very damning to Gates.

James F. Epperson said...

Well, I'm not sure which is worse: acting like a jerk, or arresting a 68 yr-old man who walks w/ a cane. As for the content of the report, my memory from a first read some days ago simply played me false, although Crowley did tell Gates "if he had any other questions ... I would speak with him outside." I continue to think Crowley should have simply said good-bye and left.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...


Gates' age and the fact he uses a cane is irrelevant. Those factors don't determine whether or not someone should be arrested. The question is, did he break the law? Did the officer have probable cause to make the arrest? According to the other officers present, the answer is yes to both questions. According to your logic, the old guy who recently shot up the holocaust museum should not have been arrested because he was "old."