This may be the dumbest thing I’ve heard yet from McCain. My God, it’s like he wants to turn the ‘Surge’ into a metaphor for everything, because he thinks it’s his strong suit. Does he have no idea how authoritarian this sounds? Or even nutty, and a little desperate?
Sheesh. The Obama team must be hoisting a cocktail or two over this one.
No, no, no, no, no! Martial Law is when OTHER nations do this. When it’s done here, it’s a Surge at Home. What part of this do you not get?
So to “Get off my lawn!” he’s now added “Affix bayonets!” Gotta admit, though, that’s more “results oriented” and “results assured” than “get off my lawn” alone.
Bad thing is that for several days we’ll probably see no shortage of people saying this is a great idea and giving anecdotes about being mugged.
I doubt that’s what he meant. He was probably talking about more cops, and a more Guliani-style of law enforcement. Which is bad enough. But then he had to put the ‘Surge’ label on it, which gives it militaristic overtones. They probably just thought using the ‘Surge’ metaphor was playing to his strengths, and didn’t think through the implications. Which makes them incompetent and shockingly bad at understanding the feelings of the American people on this subject.
And that’s the charitable explanation. The other is that McCain really means it, that he would impose curfews and place armed patrols on the streets and arrest people on sight for being outside or for suspicious behavior. In which case he’s not fit to be president.
If he’s talking about using local law enforcement, then where is he going to get the authority from to command all those municipal police forces, where’s he going to get all the extra cops from and what’s he going to pay them with?
What does he even mean by “clamp down?”
Boy, this is a great strategy to lure black votes away from Obama. Promise to send brown shirts into black neighborhoods to bust heads.
You just can’t satisfy some people. People have been complaining about how McCain has no plan to bring the troops home and now that he presents one, they want to complain about that. Really, what’s the point in bringing all those troops back to America if we’re not going to use them here?
And this is a really bad idea. A more mild and sensible policy that would have a lot of the same effects, but without flirting with martial law, would be to simply put more beat cops on foot on the streets in troubled neighborhoods. They would get to know the neighborhoods, get to know who the solid citizens, the drug dealers, the borderline cases were, and keep a lot of trouble from happening to begin with.
We tried this once, not long ago - in the Clinton Administration. He had a program to put an extra 100,000 beat cops on the streets. It’s disputed whether he actually managed to up the numbers by 100K, but there’s no question that he got at least most of the way toward that goal. And while it can’t be proven that the extra beat cops were part of the reason for the reduction in crime we saw in the mid to late 1990s, crime did drop during that period, especially in a lot of urban areas.
Of course, Bush cut that program from his budget. And local police departments were hard-hit by National Guard call-ups in advance of and during the Iraq war. And crime went up again in those inner cities.
Sure, more beat cops, or a ‘surge at home,’ costs money. But we’re already spending lots of money on homeland security, just not in ways that help with everyday crime. From the Annapolis Capital: