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