After days of tumult and rioting and demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri, in the aftermath of the shooting death of Michael Brown, last night’s demonstrations were markedly calmer in tone. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (Democrat, who was getting rightfully excoriated for keeping quiet by those in his own party) finally stepped in and put the Missouri Highway Patrol – the state police – in charge of security in Ferguson. Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, a native of Ferguson himself, was appointed to take charge in the city.
Here is your new police leader, MHP Capt. Johnson, who was hugging and shaking hands with protesters as they passed. pic.twitter.com/PyaDkLleI9
— Matt Pearce (@mattdpearce) August 14, 2014
All reports out of Ferguson last night reflect a calmer and more measured atmosphere. Wesley Lowrey, one of the journalists arrested the night before by the Ferguson SWAT team, was amazed by the change.
Will stop waxing poetic long enough to note sun still up, night is young. But the change in tone on ground right now is stunning #ferguson
— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) August 14, 2014
This case still has a long way to go, but why, oh why, did it take Governor Nixon that long to get his head out of his desk? And he will get a pass on letting the situation escalate without providing any leadership – he has that magical letter “D” after his name. Was he waiting for his marching orders, and Dear Leader had to pull himself away from the golf course to make a phone call to give him those orders?
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 14, 2014
Everyone can calm down now! Obama found the phone in the vacation house!
This nation needs leaders. We don’t have very many of them. We certainly don’t have the time and attention of the person who was elected to lead. Obama sounds more and more as if he would prefer this country just run itself – as evidenced by his comments that Jay Nixon “is a good man and a fine governor” while patting himself on the back for helping the Yazidis out and telling everyone to calm down in Ferguson – so he can work on his swing.
Obama’s half-hearted and distant statements irked the executive director of the Fraternal Order of the Police, Jim Pasco, who was unimpressed with the president’s comments on police tactics, and pointed out a previous instance when the president made commentary on a police action.
Pasco harkened back to 2009, when Obama criticized a Massachusetts police officer for arresting Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, when he was attempting to break into his own home. Obama said the officer had “acted stupidly.”
“That is one where the president spoke precipitously without all the facts,” Pasco said, adding that the current situation “is a much larger and more tragic incident.”
Be that as it may, we could sure use a leader, and not a reactor, right now. Instead, we get a POLITICO column bemoaning how the poor president is having the “vacation from hell” because we expect him to be a leader 24/7 and he REALLY just needs some down time, because he DESERVES a vacation. But even the POLITICO article gets in a little snark at the end:
And he is managing to squeeze in quite a bit of leisure time. He’s dined out with close friends. He’s hung out on the beach with his family. He’s played three rounds of golf.
On Thursday, he went from the podium where he delivered the statement on Ferguson to the Vineyard Golf Club faster than a ball driven by a 3-wood.
Obama departed the Edgartown School at 1 p.m. Four minutes later, he had arrived at the course.
Well, good. I guess this vacation hasn’t been a TOTAL loss, then.
If only we mere mortals could manage our own affairs, and if only he had better underlings who could cope with emergency situations, THEN the president would REALLY be able to relax while the world burns.