Says UW polisci prof Barry Burden, quoted in a Christian Science Monitor article inquiring into whether law enforcement at the Capitol here in Madison, Wisconsin permitted or facilitated a descent into mob rule. This is a very serious question whether it's in the political interests of the Republicans to ask it or not! Obviously, the Democrats don't want to ask the question. Indeed, some Democrats are implicated in the chaos.
We, the people, should demand to know what happened, how it was that thousands of protesters were able to occupy the state Capitol building day and night for weeks and, especially, to storm and retake the building after police had cleared them out pursuant to a court order. It's not that the police did nothing, but they had some kind of policy, and it was quite accommodating to the protesters.
The Christian Science Monitor says:
The protests were peaceful, on the whole – with only 18 arrests during more than three weeks of steady protests in Madison – but critics question whether Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney, too, was taking sides.Anyone can look at the pictures and video and see crimes being committed. The low number of arrests is evidence that the police chose not to enforce the law. Meade, outnumbered in the center of an angry mob, was physically assaulted by a very large man, and all the while a police officer looked on and did nothing. Should Meade have said "Arrest this man!" — under those circumstances? Think about it! The police seemed to be on the other side, and he was surrounded by people who'd decided he was a "Walker plant." How, exactly, was he supposed to extricate himself from the situation if the police didn't respond to his accusation? What do you do when you can't count on the police? You're on your own.
The CSM article is also about whether the federal government can come to the rescue under the Guarantee Clause of the Constitution. Article IV, § 4. You mean, when the state can no longer fend off domestic unrest, the feds have a duty to help us? Pardon me if I laugh. The Obama administration might send in forces to do what the local police here won't do?
Sorry. I'm a constitutional law professor, and I'm especially interested in all the federalism stuff, but I live in the real world, here in Madison, Wisconsin. I want real police, enforcing the law, equally and with a high sense of duty — not self-interested union enthusiasm.
Now, what we really want to know is: Who handcuffed the Capitol doorknobs from the inside on the night the mob retook the building?
Meade has been trying to get an authoritative interview from the police. He was over at the Capitol on March 11th and got as far as a police escort into the office of Wisconsin Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs. Tubbs was there, but talking on the phone. He shunted Meade to a secretary, to take Meade's name and number. A phone call was promised. We're still waiting for the phone call.I want to know more about Tubbs. The Wisconsin State Journal — which caters to the political tastes of Madisonians — just adores the man:
Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs has earned himself a new nickname.Don't hold your breath waiting for investigation from the "mainstream" press here in Madison! (Don't you just love how the linked article has, instead of a picture of Tubbs, a picture of the young reporters posing cutely back to back?) Hey, children, there were Hitler signs all over. Hitler, Stalin, swastikas — the nastiest stuff you can imagine. And if there were a Tea Party rally with 1% of the nasty signs we saw and photographed here, those reporters and the liberals they represent would get all righteous about the terrible violence infecting the Tea Party.
From here on out, we're just going to start calling him the "Protester Whisperer."...
Most people would agree the crowds around the Capitol the past four weeks have been some of the nicest angry protesters ever to assemble.
There has been the occasional Hitler sign (knuckleheads), and some Republicans have received death threats. But for the most part, the crowds at the Capitol acquitted themselves nicely.
And what's a little death threat to "some Republicans"? It was a death threat to all the Republican Senators and their families, and it said:
So, this is how it's going to happen: I as well as many others know where you and your family live, it's a matter of public records. We have all planned to assult you by arriving at your house and putting a nice little bullet in your head. However, we decided that we wouldn't leave it there.... So we have also built several bombs that we have placed in various locations around the areas in which we know that you frequent. This includes, your house, your car, the state capitol, and well I won't tell you all of them because that's just no fun.Full text here. The hopelessly biased State Journal reporters — Clay Barbour and Mary Spicuzza — committed to their "crowds... acquitted themselves nicely" theme go on to trash Fox News for making things look "a lot scarier." They then conclude with a cloying cutesiness you have to live in Madison to fathom:
Some of us in the Capitol press corps were shocked when the Wisconsin 14 fled to Illinois. But after listening to hours upon hours of bickering, accusations and all-out shouting matches at the Capitol, we are considering fleeing to Rockford, Ill., too. Beers at the Tilted Kilt and some CoCo Key Water Resort water slides sound pretty good right now. We get dibs on Sen. Chris Larson's air mattress if he's finally done with it.Yeah, please go, why don't you? You are useless reporters. But you won't lose your jobs for this abject lack of interest in investigating anything. You're there at the Wisconsin State Journal to dish out ice cream news for liberals in Madison's protest playground, where no one can possibly get hurt, and the policeman is your friend.
UPDATE: Tubbs called Meade at 2:15 this afternoon (Saturday) to say they are looking into the handcuffs matter.