Monday, November 30, 2009
I'll make this really quick.
The left needs to be very careful about making too much of the fact that Mike Huckabee once commuted the prison sentence of the man who allegedly killed four cops in a Washington diner yesterday morning. It's not that there isn't a story there -- particularly if it's true that Huckabee, during his time as governor of Arkansas, may have been overly lenient with dozens of violent criminals who eventually wound up back in prison -- but it's photo composites like the one above, from the Huffington Post, that deserve to cause concern. Some could easily argue that juxtaposing images of suspect Maurice Clemmons, sporting a full-on "dangerous black man" scowl, diminutive Mike Huckabee and the four white cops that Clemmons supposedly gunned down in cold blood, makes the left as guilty of race-baiting as the cynical Republican operatives who put together the infamous Willie Horton ad against Mike Dukakis.
I'm obviously not suggesting that the reality of the situation be ignored or adjusted: Clemmons is black and apparently very, very dangerous; his alleged victims are white, as is Huckabee. Facts are facts, and they're unavoidable -- hope for convenient political correctness be damned. I'm also not saying that the left shouldn't at least make sure questions about Huckabee's record when it comes to violent criminals are asked, because we are actually talking about a man who comes from the party that consistently promotes itself as being the one that's "tough on crime" (as opposed to those pussy liberals across the aisle). But in exposing what could be the right's hypocrisy, the usual suspects on the left need to make sure not to engage in their own equally condemnable brand of hypocrisy.
There's a right way and a wrong way to go about this, no pun or irony intended. I'll be curious to see which way the left chooses.