Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Perp Walks: Michael Bloomberg Flips Like A Pancake...

...well, a low-sodium, no trans-fat pancake, preferably flipped by an illegal immigrant.

When randy French IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was perp-walked past the media on his way to booking, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg voraciously defended the action to inquisitive journalists:

"You know, if you don't want to do the perp walk, don't do the crime," Bloomberg said May 17.
"I don't have a lot of sympathy for that. Our judicial system works when the public can see the alleged perpetrators."

And now that is appears as if Manhattan DA Cy Vance jumped the gun and bungled another one, humiliating a (possibly) innocent man and costing him his job, what does Bloomberg have to say about his beloved perp walks?

"I've always thought the perp walks were outrageous. That's only my view. Nobody's asked me and I have no say in it. Whatever.

"It does if somebody is innocent -- and even if they're guilty they're not guilty until they're convicted -- and yet we villify them for the benefit of theater, for the circus. You know they did it in Roman times, too. This is nothing new."

Of course, he was asked about "the walk" some six-plus weeks ago, and he defended it as important to the system. So perhaps Bloomberg is not just flipping positions here - a flip would require an acknowledgement of a prior, differing position, and an explanation of why said position had changed. Which would have been easy, and forgivable, in this case.

Instead, Bloomberg blatantly lied about his prior perp walk position. Is his pathetic ego so fragile that he cannot admit to error, or even confessing that circumstances have caused him to reverse a previously held belief? Is he so keen on being seen as infallible, the Xerxes of New York, that he must engage in feeble attempts to change history, Orwellian-style?

A disturbing characteristic to see within a person holding such high office and possessing such outsized responsibilities. Unfortunately, it's a characteristic that has manifested itself more and more frequently in the political sphere lately, from big city mayors to petty, small-time presidents...

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