1. Bulletin for Gov. Walz: Derek Chauvin has civil rights too, you irresponsible fool. I have just watched Minnesota’s Governor repeatedly refer to George Floyd’s “murder.” An elected public official cannot and must not do that. If he wants to guarantee that a fair trial in the case becomes impossible, this is the way to do it. There has been no trial, and however horrible the video of Floyd’s death may be, Chauvin and the other officers have the right to the presumption of innocence. Now a St. Paul’s mayor is at the podium calling for Chauvin to be held “accountable.” Well, he’s under arrest and will face trial, and for now, that’s about it. All of this outrage porn and virtue-signaling now enables the rioters by pretending that there is anything productive to be done but to wait for the justice system to play out.
2. One more time, let me make the unpopular observation that show-boating signers for the deaf in public events are a distraction, and permit narcissistic would-be mimes pull focus from the speakers who need to be heard. The signer at the Minnesota officials public statement just completed was particularly self-indulgent: a non-binary, flamboyant signer who mugged, grimaced and generally made it difficult to pay attention to the speakers by employing unrestrained antics more appropriate to a circus act. Less than .4% of the public is deaf, yet that population is allowed to dictate the format of an important public announcement.
3. More unconscionable grandstanding: On HLN this morning, the designated female eye-candy the network employs as a news-reader on weekends showed a still photo from the video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck, and said, “I searched his face for any hint of empathy or humanity, and could find none.”
Fake news, psychic variety. Utter hackery.
4. Be proud, Democrats. Lori Lightfoot, Democratic Mayor of Chicago, yesterday: “I will code what I really want to say to Donald Trump. It’s two words. It begins with F and it ends with U.” Nice.
5. In a 5-4 ruling, SCOTUS rejected two Illinois churches and a California church’s claim that their states’ restrictions on religious gatherings is a First Amendment violation. Here is a portion of Justice Kavanaugh’s dissenting opinion :
To justify its discriminatory treatment of religious worship services, California must show that its rules are “justified by a compelling governmental interest” and “narrowly tailored to advance that interest.”… California undoubtedly has a compelling interest in combating the spread of COVID–19 and protecting the health of its citizens…. What California needs is a compelling justification for distinguishing between (i) religious worship services and (ii) the litany of other secular businesses that are not subject to an occupancy cap. California has not shown such a justification. The Church has agreed to abide by the State’s rules that apply to comparable secular businesses. That raises important questions: “Assuming all of the same precautions are taken, why can someone safely walk down a grocery store aisle but not a pew? And why can someone safely interact with a brave deliverywoman but not with a stoic minister?”…
Once again, the Chief Justice played the role of swing-man. In his majority opinion, he opined that the relief that the churches had asked for, an order blocking the state from enforcing the restrictions on gatherings, faces too high a bar for the churches to meet. He said that the current restrictions appear to be constitutional as they limit non-religious gatherings like plays, concerts and sporting events. The state treating activities like grocery stores and banks differently is justified, Roberts continued, because those activities are in fact different. They do not, Justice Roberts said, involve large groups of people coming together in close proximity for extended periods of time. “The precise question of when restrictions on particular social activities should be lifted during the pandemic,” Roberts concluded, “is a dynamic and fact-intensive matter subject to reasonable disagreement..while local officials are actively shaping their response to changing facts on the ground,” it is not sufficiently clear that the Supreme Court should step in.
6. Wait for it… Let’s see who the first pundit is to criticize President Trump for not using his “bully pulpit” to urge calm in the cities. This is one more crucial Presidential function that “the resistance” and the news media has removed from this President in contrast to all others. The critics who will attack the President for not speaking are the ones who have effectively prevented him from speaking: he is literally not allowed to represent the entire nation even in times of crisis. The nation is the weaker for it.
If the President condemns the rioters, he will be accused of siding with the forces of white supremacy and racist law enforcement. If he declines to criticize the rioters, he will be implying that “good people” are on “both sides.”
Let’s be clear: one party and one ideological movement is responsible for crippling the office of the President this way, and both should be held accountable.
7. So much for that “in sickness or in health” thingy…Chauvin’s wife chose this moment when her husband is most isolated and in need of support to file for divorce. She, of course, has no more knowledge about his actual guilt than anyone else. I am reminded of the counter-examples like Christina Ferrare, the celebrity actress and model who stood by her husband John DeLorean during his prosecution for drug-trafficking until his acquittal. Then she divorced him, after duly remaining by his side during the trial.