Skip the Beer


Thursday’s planned meeting between Professor Gates and Sgt. Crowley at the White House is a disgusting bit of presidential pandering.

First off, there’s the matter of the beer. Why are they having a beer at the White House.

President Obama’s offer to sit down… to hash out a touchstone racial conflict between his good friend, Henry Louis Gates Jr., and Sgt. James Crowley, the man who arrested Gates for disorderly conduct, is certainly one of the most unusual presidential overtures in modern history.

Beer is about condescending to the working man. As if the policeman isn’t worthy of a handshake and a photo in the Oval Office after a short chat. That would be too professional?

But the president’s picnic table diplomacy speaks to Mr. Obama’s ability to leave behind his often-professorial persona and connect with the American people, political experts say. He has already managed to ratchet down tensions with police officers that he himself stirred when he said Crowley acted “stupidly” in arresting Gates.

Last Friday, on the day when the president stepped in with a phone call to Crowley and a quick semi-apology in the media gaggle, why did Skip Gates also get a phone call? It was Crowley who was maligned in the press conference, it was Gates who had received unreasonable presidential support when all evidence indicates it was he whose bad behavior led to his own arrest.

Worst of all in this contrived photo-op – the beer summit is being held on the lawn at a picnic table!

The White House lawn session scheduled for Thursday is part political theater, of course. Critics say it’s a folksy way to brush away a topic that has become a political liability and has threatened to upstage the healthcare debate.

My hope is that the country is starting to understand, with help from this incident, the virus that liberals are spreading. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is doing his best to assist.

Gov. Deval Patrick yesterday refused to apologize for calling the arrest of Harvard University scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. “every black man’s nightmare,” saying he didn’t step out of line.

“I’m not sure what I’m being asked to apologize for,” Patrick said.

How about this, dopey. You can apologize for engaging in the same racial profiling that got the President into hot water!

Union officials from the Cambridge Police Department demanded an apology from the governor Friday after his publicized remarks regarding Sgt. James Crowley’s arrest of the Harvard professor.

Why? Because when it came time to show bias or show himself to be without prejudice, he dropped the ball.

“I’ve said from the beginning that I wasn’t there and I’ve acknowledged that from the beginning, and I’ve also acknowledged that as an individual and a friend of Professor Gates I’m upset by what I understood to be the case,” Patrick said.

Okay. So why did you engage in this bit of demagoguery – which totally ignores the storyline that led to the Gates arrest?

“I guess I would say you ought to be able to raise your voice in your own house without risk of arrest.”

Why is it that our mature, sophisticated political leaders are unable to put friendships aside in doing their jobs? Colin Powell is the first black leader I’ve seen who didn’t feel the need to pander to the Harvard crowd.

“When you’re faced with an officer trying to do his job and get to the bottom of something, this is not the time to get in an argument with him,” Powell told CNN’s “Larry King Live.”

“I was taught that as a child. You don’t argue with a police officer.”

Jeez – why is that so hard?

“I think he should have reflected on whether or not this was the time to make that big a deal,” Powell said.


“I’m saying that Skip, perhaps in this instance, might have waited a while, come outside, talked to the officer, and that might have been the end of it.


One Response to “Skip the Beer”

  1. 1 Brian

    The beer-and-brats picnic planned for the Wright House later today is political theatre of the absurd. This kooky kabuki has to be David Axelrod’s idea–he’s the architect of the flimsy conceit that the present President is a healing, transcendent figure. It should be some of the most entertaining nonsense ever seen at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

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