by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
A good way to look at the Obama era is as a giant experiment in misdirection—the Age of Missing the Point. When a huge majority of Americans told pollsters that they were happy with their health care, the administration decided to remake the entire system of delivering health care. When vast, undreamed-of reserves of natural gas were discovered, the administration set about creating an entire industry of wind and solar power through government subsidy. As the hardware that supports the country’s military was falling into a scandalous state of disrepair, the administration turned its attention to making sure the Marines sent women into combat.
Now comes another example of cluelessness, when on Friday the Justice Department release[d] a “major report” about policing in Chicago. Anyone unfamiliar with the Obama administration would assume such a report would address the gruesome question of how police can stop the ongoing slaughter of Chicagoans on the city’s South and West sides. Last year an average of ten Chicagoans were shot and wounded every day, most of them young men, most of them concentrated in a handful of neighborhoods. Homicides averaged two a day.
So of course the Justice Department has spent countless dollars and man hours to study…civil rights violations by the Chicago Police Department. First things first!
An almost comical case of point-missing arose again this week in Chicago, when the city awarded a $1.1 million preliminary planning contract to an engineering firm for a project in Woodlawn, one of the South Side neighborhoods that has become a killing field. Of course the neighborhood is starved for capital investment, private employers, good jobs, and safe schools that empower children with a useful education. So Mayor Rahm Emanuel had an idea. He wants to raise tens of millions of dollars to…watch out…build a luxury golf course in Woodlawn’s Jackson Park.
Emanuel, of course, is President Obama’s former chief of staff and the man credited with bringing the Obama presidential library to the South Side. Indeed the library and the golf course will be adjacent to one another. So the project is being presented as a kind of two-fer: the library will bring tourists to the South Side and the golf course will give them something to do once they get there, besides pay tribute to Obama and dodge gunfire.