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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