Thursday, August 29, 2013

Lest You Think NYC Is Immune to the Derp...

Here’s an excerpt from last night’s Republican primary debate for the candidates seeking to be the next mayor (because, THANK GOD!, Bloomberg has to leave.) [video at the link]

Asked at the start how they'd react to one of their children getting questioned by police, none of the candidates -- whose families are white -- said they'd necessarily have a problem with it.

A federal judge ruled this summer that New York's stop-and-frisk policy was unconstitutional.

"I'd say to him, 'What did you do to provoke it?'" billionaire businessman John Catsimatidis said of his son, John Jr.

Joseph Lhota, the former MTA chairman and Giuliani administration official, said he'd remind his daughter, Kathryn, of the legal history that allowed police to interrogate suspects, and try to determine whether the officers crossed the line.

Doe Fund founder George McDonald stumbled over the question, but gathered his thoughts and said his child didn't live in a high-crime neighborhood. "My son, John, isn't going to get stopped — and that's the whole point."

I do want to point out that McDonald’s answer, while superficially smacking of elitism, is actually on point (the video cuts off the last part of his statement, so it sounds even worse than it reads). McDonald is the founder of the Doe Fund, a charity that gets jobs for the homeless. His answer actually starts along the lines of “My son isn’t going to be stopped because I live in an affluent neighborhood.”

Yea. As I said, it sounded much worse than it reads.

The other two make McDonald’s answer sound practically progressive and in a city where Republicans almost always have to run as moderates to win (Giuliani, believe it or not, ran as a moderate, and Bloomberg switched from Democrat to Republican to run the first time), it’s actually skin-crawly to hear a couple of actual candidates lecture from a position of patriarchical demeanor.

Lhota’s answer gets downright creepy, something the quote I pulled doesn’t do justice to (again, watch the vid.) Here’s what he actually said:

Front-runner Joe Lhota said one of his first moves would be to read his daughter the Supreme Court decision that legalizes the practice.

"I (would) give her Terry v. Ohio which was given by Chief Justice (Earl) Warren in 1968 that gives officers the opportunity, based on certain levels of suspicion, to stop someone," Lhota said. He added that he would become upset only if the officer did not follow procedure.

Hey, um, Joe? I know a judge in Montana with whom you should get acquainted.