Election 2016

Criminal Justice Reform: Which Ways the Winds Are Blowing

Democratic candidates are endorsing-or paying lip service to-reform. What will happen in the GOP?

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As Black Lives Matter unveils the group's specific demands for police reform, it's worth noting that all the Democratic presidential candidates have at the very least started to pay lip service to BLM's quiver of issues. Jim Webb, of course, was talking about this stuff before it was trendy. But now the candidates with the worst records on mass incarceration—Hillary Clinton and Martin O'Malley—have each made a big show of embracing reform. (When former Reasoner Radley Balko took a look at what the major candidates' websites say about criminal justice, O'Malley turned out to have the most detailed discussion.) Bernie Sanders is saying more too: After BLM protestors disrupted some of his campaign events, he added a bunch of planks about policing to his site.

You can question these people's sincerity. You can fault some of their proposals. You can observe that they sometimes simultaneously take positions, like O'Malley's push for stronger gun controls, that could make mass incarceration worse. I'm not endorsing anyone here; I'm just highlighting the rhetoric. Politicians are weather vanes, and this is where the wind near these candidates has been blowing.

Not so on the GOP side. Rand Paul stresses this set of issues, and there are other Republicans running—Rick Perry, Ted Cruz—who at least address it. Others ignore it or worse. Mike Huckabee, who had a relatively humane record in this area when he was governor of Arkansas, had the most authoritarian criminal-justice postures in Balko's roundup. And while Huckabee has his own reasons to try to look tough on crime, he's also running at a time when a post-Ferguson backlash has been bubbling in much of the right. So he isn't the only candidate who's trying to talk tough. His party's current frontunner, who leaped into the lead after announcing an alleged epidemic of Mexican assaults, has said that if Black Lives Matter activists try to disrupt one of his events, "I don't know if I'll do the fighting myself or if other people will…but believe me, that's not gonna happen to Trump."

Now BLM activists are starting to show up at Republican rallies. Good for them: Both parties deserve to be protested. But as that becomes more common, forcing the GOP's would-be presidents either to talk about cops and prisons or to be more conspicuously silent, what happens next? Will the alliance of libertarians, evangelicals, and bean-counters who've been making inroads for reform on the right be able to influence the candidates' responses? Or will criminal justice reform get branded as a Democratic issue: a collection of concerns that conservatives shrink away from because they associate it with the left? If it's the latter, it'll only be easier for the candidates on the Democratic side to get away with offering little more than lip service.

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  1. Hey, we just count the beans

  2. BLM would be more constructive if it were to acknowledge that the war on drugs and police militarization are fully bipartisan projects that have enjoyed the full support of the Congressional Black Caucus and most black civil rights leaders.

    1. Racist cops is so much simpler of a meme.

      1. And Tonio says it’s all about the fact that anyone who is against #BLM is wrong because once upon a time a cop was racist.

    2. “BLM would be more constructive if it were to acknowledge that the war on drugs and police militarization are fully bipartisan projects”

      I believe they do. They’ve been going after progressives, mostly, and much the substance of the rhetoric has been criticizing the political left, not the political right. Part of this, of course, is that it goes without saying that the political right is involved in the problem.

      1. The BLM doesn’t know shit and they certainly don’t care about broader issues.They don’t call for an audit of all the people murdered by police, they call for an audit seeking to find out only the number of blacks killed by cops.

        The don’t just call for a reduction in police spending, they call for a reduction in local police spending while those funds are then diverted to “black communities” to fund some socialist handouts.

        They don’t want justice, they want privileged status. Fuck them and their purported goals.

        1. from your list: “We will also demand, through the network, that the federal government discontinue its supply of military weaponry and equipment to local law enforcement. And though Congress seems to finally be considering measures in this regard, it remains essential to monitor the demilitarization processes and the corporate sectors that financially benefit from the sale of military tools to police.”

  3. Slightly OT:

    So Rand Paul is a “cuckservative”? (A fairly new term for Peanuts)

    http://tinyurl.com/nrh4eq2

    1. That nickname is solid gold!

      1. Awesome. I love when the price goes down.

      2. Don’t be too hard on him. I think he’s got some…. Golden opportunities!

      3. A little speed bump. That’s all.

        1. Just like your room temperature (in Celcius) IQ, nothing to keep you from jumping into the intellectual fray.

    2. Apparently they link the “cuck” to cuckold. I thought it was from cuck/cock as in duty.

  4. Now BLM activists are starting to show up at Republican rallies.

    The tougher most GOP candidates are pushing back against those protesters, the better they’re going to look to their likely primary voters. I can’t see any Republican candidate changing his tune. If they’re already trying to gin up support for reform, they’ll continue. If they’re tough on crime assholes, they’ll double down.

    1. Yeah, I don’t really see the benefit for a Republican candidate to pander to these folks. It isn’t like having the endorsement of #BLM is going to garner them a single vote in the republican primary.

      And as far as the general election goes….. GW Bush had far and away the most colorblind administration in history…. how’d that go for him at he polls? Did he pull away 40% of the black vote? Or did they call him a racist and gin up the black vote against him anyway?

      As far as I can tell there is no upside for a candidate to do anything more than pretend these folks don’t even exist.

  5. Or will criminal justice reform get branded as a Democratic issue: a collection of concerns that conservatives shrink away from because they associate it with the left? If it’s the latter, it’ll only be easier for the candidates on the Democratic side to get away with offering little more than lip service.

    This is exactly what will happen; it is the nature of partisanship. Since the TEAMs define themselves primarily by *not* being the other TEAM, if the other TEAM takes a visible stance on something, it’s almost impossible for the other TEAM not to take an opposing, or at least uninterested, stance. Because they will be attacked from within their own TEAM if they are not clearly opposed to the other TEAM sufficiently.

    This is why you see less and less of both TEAMs coming together over something simple and moral that should be a no-brainer; because they literally *can’t* because of how they have set themselves up as opposites. And it’s a real shame. Partisanship makes you retarded.

    1. Yeah, it’s pretty easy to predict how these things play out. Whoever first says reform the other side calls anti-cop and soft on crime. Whoever first defends the status quo the other side calls mean and uncaring and racist.

      1. Yup. And their followers will take up whichever mantle, even if it is the opposite of the one they were wearing a few years ago or have constantly said they are for/against. Regular as clockwork.

  6. I think Democratic candidates are only interested in reform to the extent that it placates activists, gets black votes, extends federal control, and creates government jobs.

    1. Because only TEAM RED! has truly altruistic motives!

      1. Another lonely weekend coming up, Tulpy-Poo? So sad.

        1. Epi is a cuckservative. What a dipshit!

    2. “I think Democratic candidates are only interested in reform to the extent that it placates activists, gets black votes, extends federal control, and creates government jobs.”

      Which, oddly enough, is exactly what the BLM activists have been saying . . .

      1. As they continue en mass to vote for Democrats.

        #BLMs aren’t saying anything of the kind.

        They are simply saying cops are white racists.

        That is their entire message to date.

        1. “As they continue en mass to vote for Democrats.”

          And libertarians keep voting for Republicans. That doesn’t mean libertarians *like* Republicans. They just don’t see Democrats as an option. Same for the BLM crowd, but more so, and it really shouldn’t be hard to see why. Republicans won’t even pay lip service.

          “#BLMs aren’t saying anything of the kind. They are simply saying cops are white racists. That is their entire message to date.”

          This just shows that you’re not listening to them. Try doing so, and you’ll actually find some common ground, if you’re a libertarian and not just a Republican troll. Why slam the door in their face? Why not engage them?

          1. “And libertarians keep voting for Republicans. ”

            You’re gonna have to provide some links to support that in order for me to believe it.

            “Why slam the door in their face? Why not engage them?”

            Because they are Al Sharpton style hypocrits that why. It’s not hard to determine if one is intellectually honest.

            No mention of a little girl who is shot dead doing her homework in her bedroom while a thug who was shooting at police with a stolen gun is imortalized ?

            Have you lost your fucking mind ?

  7. But now the candidates with the worst records on mass incarceration?Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley?have each made a big show of embracing reform.

    As long as they get the standard Dem photo op: White candidate surrounded by Urban children, it’s all good.

    1. The worst is when Hillary throws out that southern black accent. It’s so sad.

      1. I don’t feel no ways tarrrrrrrrrred!

        Which was worse – that or Biden’s “They wanna put Y’AWWWWL back in chains!”

        1. Equally embarrassing

          1. What’s most embarrasing is that black voters go for it .

  8. Hey, reason people, a question from a McArdle thread today: are you guys pro or anti-abortion, in general?

    1. Uh, there is no “in general” here regarding abortion and many other subjects. At all. People are all over the spectrum on that.

      1. oh..”in general” I missed that, can I change my answer to “Sure, why not?”

        1. Sure, why not?

      2. Oh, come on, there must be a 50.1%

        1. Well, many “libertarians” are anti-aborto and anti-pill but they avoid the topic because it would take a total police state to enforce their feti-centric barbarism.

          I’m pro-choice on everything, btw.

        2. You see, the 1% of libertarians in the USA are sharply divided betwixt your Paleo and Cosmo branches.

          It is holy hell!

    2. I like killing fetuses, but also like to stop other people from doing so.

      1. Just as fast zombies reinvigorated the flagging genre, so too will “personally-for-but-politically-against” stances breathe new life into the abortion debate.

    3. I agree with the Hype… a strong yes on that question.

    4. It’s a matter of conscience, not policy.

    5. Not a fan of abortion but lesser evil than government prohibition would be.

    6. are you guys pro or anti-abortion, in general?

      That’s the kind of question asked by people who don’t understand libertarians. To us it’s really two questions:
      1. Do I favor killing babies?
      2. Do I want the government sending people with guns to stop people from performing abortions?

      Personally my answers are, 1. No. 2. No. The cure is worse than the disease. Other libertarians disagree, particularly with the latter.

      Progressives and conservatives can’t understand the process because too many of them think there should be a law against everything they don’t like.

  9. The Drug War, which is supported by the democrat elite, is at it’s core, not only anti-freedom, but deeply racist.
    So, all democrats who support the Drug War, including Obama, Biden, Clinton, Diane Feinstein, and Liz Warren, are racists

    1. You must listen to Rush (King of the Rednecks) Limbaugh for your “news”.

      Praise be unto him!

      1. Poor Tulpy-Poo. So lonely. So none of the escort agencies will send people over any more, huh. You should have thought about that before you bit them.

        1. You keep sniffing my ass.

          Does the smell ever change?

  10. Not clicking on it.

  11. There’s now a web site where you can join and provide input to the BLM cause:

    joincampaignzero.org

  12. Here’s a great rant from a black women, complaining about how the black lives matter movement protested the death of a guy with a gun killed by police, but completely ignored the death of a 9 year old girl (killed by another black)

    http://fox2now.com/2015/08/21/…..oes-viral/

    “Last night, who do you think they protested for? The thug, the criminal, because they’re howling, ‘police brutality.’ Are you kidding me? Police brutality? How about black brutality.

    A little girl is dead. You say black lives matter? Her life mattered. Her dreams mattered. Her future mattered. Her promises mattered. It mattered.

    You are out there tearing up the neighborhood I grew up in. I was born and raised there by a single mother with eight kids. She raised eight kids by herself and lost one, one. That boy did not listen and died by the gun.

    You want to be upset about black lives? You want to be upset about police brutality? There is police brutality out there. I will give you that. But night, after night, after night on Channel 4, Channel 2, Channel 5, Channel 30, Channel 11 and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: murder, murder, murder, murder. Black on black murder.

    Yet you tear up other people’s (stuff) for a criminal, a thug. Bailing out criminals and thugs.

  13. Hillary: Dammit, my Force Lightning’s on the fritz again!

  14. “Trump opponents, you aren’t going to beat him by pointing out he isn’t “conservative.” I’m not sure he ever said he was, and his fans don’t care about that, because he is going to win and he’ll make sure America wins and the losers are going to lose, and who wants to be a loser?”

    Trump’s kinda like Bill O’Reilly, and if those two don’t like each other, that doesn’t surprise me.

    He’s also like Putin or Berlusconi, in that his politics aren’t exactly centrist but they aren’t exactly conservative either.

    He’s a real live populist. Trump didn’t have to try hard either. The neoconservative right has spent 14 years trying to convince the American people that we should be making sacrifices of American lives and treasure for the benefit of other people in Iraq, Syria, or wherever, and the progressives have been doing everything in their power to try to convince the American people that anything pro-American is inherently selfish, evil, etc.

    If all Trump had to do to stand out from the crowd was make the radical suggestion that being unequivocally pro-American is a good quality in an American President, then what does that say about the pathetic state of affairs not only among the parties’ leadership but also in the media?

    Yeah, Trump is wrong on the issues, but I don’t think it’s his stand on the issues that resonates with people. What comes across to people is that Trump is unapologetically pro-American.

    1. A fat slice of the American people are just starving for want of a President that they feel in their bones is on their side. No, Barack Obama wasn’t that President. He’d sell us all down the river for climate change or any one of a dozen of his other pet issues if he could. George W. Bush wasn’t that President either. You’d have thought he ran his White House for the benefit of the Iraqi people.

      That’s the way Putin originally came to power. Putin convinced a critical mass of the Russian people that he was pro-Russian–at a time when that seemed unusual.

      1. Incidentally, this may have been posted to the wrong thread.

        I’m just sayin’.

      2. Ken I respect your opinion about a lot of things but you are wrong about Putin.

        Putin came to power by being in a position to ensure that Boris Yeltsin and his cronies would not be hounded by the regime that preceded them. He remained in power by blowing up a series of Russian apartment buildings and blaming it on Chechnya.

        Since that time the pretext of democracy in Russia has slipped away and the opinion of the “Russian people” has not mattered very much as it relates to Putins continued hold on the country.

        1. “Putin came to power by being in a position to ensure that Boris Yeltsin and his cronies would not be hounded by the regime that preceded them. He remained in power by blowing up a series of Russian apartment buildings and blaming it on Chechnya.”

          Regardless, Putin sold himself as the tough guy that wouldn’t give the oligarchs any more play. In other words, the story at the time was that Yeltsin (intentionally or otherwise) sold Russia out from underneath the Russians–and then Putin came along to put an end to that.

          Whether Putin actually did any of that is a different question from whether that’s the way he sold himself. Unlike Yeltsin, did you know that Putin doesn’t drink?

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zk_VszbZa_s

          Putin put an oligarch or two in prison for not towing the Putin line, too, but it wasn’t sold to the public that way. It was just sold as if the oligarchs were now under Putin’s thumb–and looking out for average Russians.

          Same thing with his position on Chechnya. He was all about showing himself as caring about Russia, Russians, and Russian pride. Again, it’s all about Putin selling himself as being unapologetically pro-Russian. He sold himself as the tough guy that’s not going to stand by idly while pro-American interests or any other interests are walking away with territory that Russia worked so hard to make part of their own sphere of influence.

          1. I’m not saying Donald Trump is trying to do the same thing, but I am saying that he’s profiting from the same kind of dynamic. When the American people don’t think the American government is pro-American, we’re susceptible to some candidate that is unapologetically pro-American–just like the Russians were susceptible to Putin selling himself as pro-Russian. I don’t think Trump has the understanding or the smarts to recognize that or exploit it properly, but I think this explains why he’s doing so well. People think Trump is pro-American, and they don’t think the other candidates really are.

  15. This Republican state rep candidate in Georgia is serious about real criminal justice system reform. For example, I have a proposed bill ready to go on day one that will ban no-knock search warrants completely. Anyone interested in getting a copy, email me at danieljalmond2004@gmail.com. As a former corrections officer and Iraq War combat veteran, I can speak to this issue with more credibility than say, a defense attorney or rookie legislator with a purely civilian background. The so-called reforms debated in the last session, some of which passed, were really Nanny State-style expansions of state power, especially concentrating power in the hands of Governor Deal who has received large donations from the private prison industry. Please don’t let the Big Government establishment Republicans in Georgia fool anyone into thinking they’re serious about reform. Governor Deal is corrupt as they come, and he and his ilk are bought and paid for by Corrections Corporation of America.

  16. Dude that sounds kinda crazy to me man.

    http://www.Total-Privacy.tk

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