Dave Simpson: Clowns To The Left, Jokers To The Right

Columnis Dave Simpson writes: "Let's tie up some loose ends as last year disappears over the horizon, and the new year lumbers ominously into place"

Dave Simpson

January 12, 20224 min read

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Let’s tie up some loose ends as last year disappears over the horizon, and the new year lumbers ominously into place:

– Our liberal friends in the news media were positively ga-ga over President Joe Biden’s speech marking the first anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, riot by hooligans, rampaging stump-jumpers, idiots, and horn-wearing face painters at the U.S. Capitol, some of whom have been charged with crimes as serious as trespassing and obstruction of an official proceeding. (No treason or insurrection charges filed yet, even though Biden’s VP dubbed the riot as serious as the attack on Pearl Harbor and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Liberals insist the riot was an “insurrection,” but in a recent article, independent journalist Matt Taibbi likened it more to a European soccer match riot.)

NBC powerhouse Andrea Mitchell called Biden’s angry speech “powerful and consequential.” Her NBC sidekick Chuck Todd said the speech was “easily the best speech” of Biden’s presidency.

Which brings to mind a wonderful quote from William F. Buckley Jr., regarding the awarding of a questionable honor.

A Biden speech dubbed his best is “like being the tallest building in Topeka.”

Not much competition.

– The news from New York City last week was that newly-elected Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg won’t prosecute those cited for marijuana offenses, prostitution, and turnstile jumping. And he has little interest in pursuing resisting arrest, low-level burglaries, and store robberies, even those in which a weapon is displayed but does not “create a genuine risk of physical harm.”

This is the opposite of the “broken windows” policy employed during the Rudy Giuliani administration, when pursuing lower level crimes proved remarkably effective in curbing the overall crime rate in New York City.

Meanwhile, officials in San Francisco consider shoplifting less than $950 in merchandise a misdemeanor that will probably not even be pursued. As a result, Walgreens has closed 17 stores in San Francisco. Similar crazy, soft-on-crime attitudes are on display in Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and other liberal strongholds.

Out here in deepest Flyover Country, the situation on both coasts brings to mind lines from the Stealer’s Wheel song “Stuck In the Middle With You,” written by Gerry Rafferty:

“Clowns to the left of me. Jokers to the right…” 

And, “I got the feeling something ain’t right.”

– Chronic Readers may recall that I predicted here that candidates in coming elections will not be touting their years as a prosecuting attorney. That used to be campaign catnip. No more.

The last people any candidate for office in coming elections will want to be associated with are prosecutors, at a time when some high-profile prosecutors choose to not, well, prosecute.

Former prosecutor on a resume has become a buzz kill.

– When my kids were little, they learned the difference between “good touch” and “bad touch.”

The news media seems to make a similar distinction in their coverage of riots.

I was watching television on the night of May 31, 2020, when rioters gathered at the White House tore down 15 temporary barricades, then used them as battering rams in an attempt to gain access to the White House grounds. Sixty uniformed Secret Service officers were injured in the melee, hit by rocks, fireworks, bottles, fists and (yuck) bodily fluids.

President Trump and his family were moved briefly to a secure bunker below the White House for their safety. Trump was later ridiculed by some for cowardice.

All of that, however, was apparently a Good Riot, dubbed by many in the media as mostly peaceful people exercising their free speech and right to assemble. Same with riots all over the country – almost nightly in Portland, Ore. – portrayed as “mostly peaceful,” even as people died and buildings burned. Rioters cemented door locks in Seattle before setting two buildings afire, hoping to kill people inside. In Portland, half of the charges filed against rioters were ultimately dismissed. 

Nevertheless, all Good Riots. No “threats to democracy.” No investigative committees.

Absolutely UNLIKE the January 6 riot at the Capitol, a Bad Riot that no thinking person defends.

They all looked like Bad Riots to me.

Just another case of “clowns to the left,” “Jokers to the right.”

And “something ain’t right.”

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Dave Simpson

Political, Wyoming Life Columnist

Dave has written a weekly column about a wide variety of topics for 39 years, winning top columnist awards in Wyoming, Colorado, Illinois and Nebraska.