2007/07/23

Whatever It Takes

Impersonating a law enforcement officer is illegal everywhere and is usually a pretty serious offense. So when you find someone doing it, my guess is that it's often for monetary gain, and there is no question in the perp's mind that it's illegal. Not so Jay Garrity, the controversial ex-aide to Mitt Romney who apparently created bogus law enforcement badges so that he and other Romney staffers could intimidate reporters, avoid tolls, and gain early access to campaign venues.

So why does this seem so god-damned offensive? Perhaps because it's symptomatic of laissez faire attitude toward law that has a huge proponent in the current administration. I mean, why shouldn't Romney's staffers do what it takes to gain advantage over the other GOP hopefuls? They're not hurting anybody...not really. So what does it matter if they break a few laws in the process? Bush and his administration do it...all the time. Hell, in the name of national security, Bush has taken to creating law by executive fiat.

Of course, for those of us on the other side, this looks like imperial arrogance. "You want documents on how we politicized the Justice Department? F*ck you! We're the GOP and we do what we want." "Filibusters? F*ck you! We're the GOP, and we'll use any tactic that furthers our goals even ones we threatened to take away from you." "Impersonating an officer? Well...f*ck you! We do what we must to get our man elected. We're serving the greater good here."

Conservatives often argue that things are different now--that sometimes we need to go to extremes to protect our country. Well, I don't know about protecting the country, but on the former point I have to agree. Things certainly are different now. We know this because ordinary people have internalized the "whatever it takes" attitude. They're learning the lesson that Bu$hCo is teaching.

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27 Comments:

Which came first:

The laissez faire attitude toward law?

Or beating up other kids for lunch money?

Garrity is just another bully who thinks he can do whatever he wants, probably because he has always done whatever he wants.

I have known a number of these police-wannabe types. Disturbing.
Of course it is far easier with state and federal policing, ala Australia. All you need to do is politicize the top ranks and they do the job for you. Police impersonating politicians?
Mr_Blog... No...I can't agree. Sure Garrity may be exactly the sort of bully you describe but that doesn't necessarily explain why he would choose a tactic that most people consider particularly offensive to help out his man Romney. Dude's in some pretty deep yogurt over this.

Cartledge... We don't really have a Federal police force (FBI's not quite the same). So it couldn't work the same way here, but your point is well-taken. Just look at Mexico.
I think it makes perfect sense. What Garrity has done (and done before, if I correctly recall from when I first heard about this) betrays a supreme sense of arrogance, that he can do whatever he wants with impunity. That it was illegal indicates he ascribes that impunity to himself, not to his position with Romney, since any politico worth his salt would realize his actions reflect on his boss. No, Garrity gave himself license to act, and that is the psychology of a bully.
These Republican campaign guys, geez, cocaine, impersonating and officer, and blowjobs...the whole Nine!
i didn't like the answer i arrived at when i asked myself if i would do the same if i was in their shoes :(
Mr_Blog... I didn't realize that Garrity had tried this sort of stuff before. So do you feel that a sense of "being enabled" by Bu$hCo's example of lawlessness, plays no part in Garrity's situation.

Would sort of put the stake to my thesis. ;-)

Fred... Cocaine? What? Did I miss a memo? Whose campaign?

RAFFI... Tricky, isn't it? I myself often have flashes where I chide Democrats for not doing exactly what the Republicans seems so apt to do to them. "Do unto others, as they will surely do unto you."
Sounds like America needs a very large broom to sweep away all the rubbish that currently inhabits the halls of power.

Put the cleaners through and start again sound like a good option!
"Cartledge... We don't really have a Federal police force (FBI's not quite the same)..."

Couldn't the U.S. Marshall "Service" could be considered a federal police force? I know I'm OT, but that got me wondering. Anyone know?
Daniel... The problem with the US is--especially as polarized as we are--that our revolutions are never the "velvet" kind. Intransigent leaders, a well-armed. individualistic citizenry, many of whom would like to do away with the other half for the good of the nation, make sweeping change of the "revolutionary" kind pretty near unthinkable.

Chuck... I don't think any of the federal law enforcement agencies (including the Marshall service) can operate without assent and cooperation of state authorities. (I mean officially, at least). Thus, I don't think any of them really qualify as a "federal" police force--in other words a force whose authority trumps all others.
The laws were written for all people-not just a few select. When did we/or the law/ allow this sort of behavior in an American citizen. No one is above the law-no matter whatever crap they use to justify it.
Where's the Department of Homeland Insecurity in all this? Mike's gut off on vacation this week?
The family values party isn't. The law and order party it isn't either..

I sense a pattern here.
wtf? The comment above is yours truly.
No one is above the law-no matter whatever crap they use to justify it.

Robert... I couldn't agree more, but when you've got a cabal of judges that are willing to ignore the law in order to widen the boundaries of executive and corporate power, what can you do?

Fashiongirl... I think that Chertoff had some bad jambalaya last week and his gut has been "off" since then.

Dusty... No truer words!
What is it with the Republican candidates, are they all friends with people that have shady characteristics? We surely do not need any more criminals running in and out of the White House all times of night, doing who knows what.
Republican leaders seem to have so little respect for the law... it's really sad. When DeLay was asked to put out his cigar because it was against the law to smoke it where he was, his response was "I am the law." Bush, Cheney, and pals set a great behavioral example for other leaders. They see the administration getting away with law-breaking behaviors, and it becomes a monkey-see monkey-do thing.

I'll have to look up this Garrity fellow. Did Romney fire him? Did the guy get in trouble for impersonating a police officer? That kind of thing should land a person in jail.
...are they all friends with people that have shady characteristics?

Let's Talk... Perhaps this is an excellent example of, "Birds of a feather, flock together."

Snave... Garrity has not been fired but is on administrative leave, I think, and...he's in deep doggie doo-doo over this but hasn't been prosecuted yet. Two states are considering it, though.
Good God, this is reprehensible. I don't take this lightly at all. People have also impersonated cops to commit serious crimes.
Fred... Thanks for the head's up and the link. So what's that now... Giuliani, McCain, and Romney that now have staffers behaving badly. Gettin' pretty interesting out there.

Nvisiblewmn... Indeed it is. Mr_Blog pointed out that Garrity may have pulled this kind of sh*t before. Wonder of wonders.
Here is a post from when Badgegate first hit the news in June.

So do you feel that a sense of "being enabled" by Bu$hCo's example of lawlessness, plays no part in Garrity's situation.

Not enough information, but I'd guess No. Cop-wanabees have been around a long long time. They do like to gravitate toward power though, so Romney hooking up with Garrity is a correlation, not causal.
From a GOP perspective, only Democrats are bound to obey the law.
Some Garrity bio from comment thread at Brainster.
Couldn't the U.S. Marshall "Service" could be considered a federal police force?

There's also the Federal Protective Service, now part of ICE. There are 1200 officers. They're the ones you see patrolling federal facilities like courthouses and federal office buildings.
first I'd heard of this.
if a dem had done it, the reps would be screaming 'bloody murder!!!'
TomCat, Two Crows... The double standard is certainly blatant. Look at the Senate. 'Thuglicans are filibustering like crazy, exactly the tactic they wanted to deny to the Democrats. F*ckin' hypocrites.

Mr_Blog... I don't think the Protective Service has any investigative powers or authority over state officials. Could be wrong though.

Hey...and BTW...thanks for all the links.

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