Friday, November 6, 2015

Shouldn’t Gov. Walker, you know, apologize to the president?

Walker errantly blamed POTUS for anti-police rhetoric, but won't acknowledge evidence that shows he's wrong

During his ill-fated run for the Republican nomination for president, Gov. Scott Walker wrote a scathing op-ed piece that derided the number of police officers seemingly targeted by a growing number of anti-police criminals.

Walker blamed recent occurrences of these “assassinations” (as he called it) in part on the lack of support for law enforcement from President Barack Obama.

“In the last six years under President Obama, we’ve seen a rise in anti-police rhetoric,” Walker wrote. “Instead of hope and change, we’ve seen racial tensions worsen and a tendency to use law enforcement as a scapegoat.”

Those are very strong allegations for the governor to make against the sitting president. They’re especially strong because they stand against the reasonable evidence: Obama has expressed his support for law enforcement on numerous occasions, and in fact violence against police has been on the decline under his watch.

Police shooting deaths are down by 16 percent this year, a trend that has been largely ignored through the rhetoric of conservative politicians like Gov. Walker.

The governor really should have corrected himself when he first made the allegations. But now it turns out that one of the two examples found within his op-ed of police “assassinations” was actually a “carefully staged” police suicide.
Initially hailed as a hero after his death, Fox Lake, Illinois, police Lt. Joe Gliniewicz is now likely to be remembered by another label: a betrayer.

What once appeared to be the killing of an officer in the line of duty turned out to be “a carefully staged suicide,” George Filenko, Lake County Major Crimes Task Force commander, said Wednesday.
Walker used Gliniewicz’s original tale -- that he had been murdered by three suspicious characters -- as an example of Obama failing to calm down anti-police rhetoric, resulting in a hero’s death.

Instead, Gliniewicz was a criminal himself, and had staged his own death.

When questioned about the change of events, Gov. Walker responded as he typically does when he’s found to be wrong: by not acknowledging it at all.
Gov. Scott Walker is not commenting on news that a police death he called an “assassination” in a column bashing President Barack Obama and anti-police rhetoric was actually a suicide.
The problem is further confounded by additional problems: while violent crime has gone up under Walker’s watch, nationally there has been a decline in such crime. To put it a different way, Walker has done a worse job keeping his constituents safer while Obama has actually improved things in the country overall.

In light of this statistical evidence, and especially after it’s been revealed that one of the “assassinations” Walker blamed the president for was really a suicide by a disgraced cop, the governor really ought to have a statement on the issue. And that statement should be an emphatic apology.

But I guess being governor means never having to say your sorry.

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