A common thread in Waukesha tragedy, Kenosha shootings: Government failure

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When is a racial hate crime not a racial hate crime? When it doesn’t advance the left’s, and the Democrats’, narrative.

When white teenager Kyle Rittenhouse shot three white men who were violently assaulting him, it somehow got treated by the press and politicians as a racial hate crime. President Joe Biden (falsely) called Rittenhouse a white supremacist, and the discussion of his case was so focused on racial issues that many Americans mistakenly thought that the three men Rittenhouse shot were black.

But when a black man, Darrell Brooks, with a long history of posting hateful anti-white rhetoric on social media drove a car into a mostly white Christmas parade, killing six people and injuring dozens, the press was eager to wish the story away. (The New York Times buried it on page A22.) Even when a Black Lives Matter activist connected it to the Rittenhouse verdict, observing “it sounds like the revolution has started,” the media generally downplayed it.

Were the races reversed, of course, we all know that the press would be turning its coverage up to 11, with deep dives into Darrell Brooks’ associations, beliefs, friends and family and more. But doing that here wouldn’t fit the narrative.

In fact, though, there is a thread connecting the Rittenhouse shootings and the Waukesha mass murder. But the thread isn’t so much racism as awful Democratic politicians.

After police shot Jacob Blake in Kenosha, sparking unrest, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) didn’t call up the National Guard and secure the streets. Instead, he sent out an inflammatory tweet, saying, “What we know for certain is that he is not the first Black man or person to have been shot or injured or mercilessly killed at the hands of individuals in law enforcement in our state or our country.”

What followed was a night of arson and rioting. Evers nonetheless sent only a trickle of National Guard over the next two days and declined federal assistance. The result was a huge amount of violence and property destruction (largely affecting the city’s working-class and poor neighborhoods) and a background of unrest that led Kyle Rittenhouse to try to guard businesses and help the injured — a teenager setting out to do what the government refused to do.

Likewise, the Waukesha mass murder was the result of government failure. Darrell Brooks had already been charged with deliberately running over his girlfriend at a gas station and, incredibly, had been released on a mere $1,000 bail. All told, Brooks had been charged with three felonies, plus resistance to arrest and bail jumping.

All that and only $1,000 bail?

But an opposition to cash bail is a cornerstone of Democrats’ criminal-justice policies. They’re not always wrong — there’s a real problem of poor people who can’t raise bail being held in jail for often trivial offenses. But Brooks wasn’t charged with trivial offenses. He was charged with violent, potentially murderous crime.

Then they let him go, and he committed a violent, actually murderous crime.

John Chisholm, the district attorney, has since admitted that the bail required was “inappropriately low.” Well, yes.

Chisholm, though, is a pioneer of the Democrats’ war on cash bail and a champion of what can only be called “inappropriately low” bail as a matter of policy. He’s been a leader among “progressive prosecutors” who have taken a lax approach to law enforcement in cities like San Francisco and New York. In a 2019 paper, he wrote, “When we pay too little attention to the underlying causes and characteristics of individuals in the criminal justice system, we make significant errors, which can lead to greater problems.”

Prosecutors, infected with progressive politics, paid too little attention to Brooks’ characteristics, an error that left six people dead and many more injured. Now Brooks is being held on $5 million bail.

Incredibly, however, just one day after the Waukesha mass murder, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Bx-Queens) demanded federal intervention against what she called “excessive bail.” Excessive bail can be a problem. But so is a revolving-door justice system that leaves the public at risk.

Both the Kenosha shootings and the Waukesha mass murder happened because the government failed to do its job. Those are the wages of progressive politics. For the likes of Evers, Chisholm and AOC, the wages are good. But the rest of us pay.

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