Minnesota Police State: A reason to be glad it wasn’t Pawlenty?

I mean not at all to suggest even that Pawlenty had anything to do with this, or even that he approves of it (although, as far as I know, he’s not condemned it), but it happened under his nose, so to speak. Palin isn’t without (seeming) scandal, but, as far as I know, police in Alaska have not swooped into homes to arrest would-be protestors because they plan to protest.

Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets. Last night, members of the St. Paul police department and the Ramsey County sheriff’s department handcuffed, photographed and detained dozens of people meeting at a public venue to plan a demonstration, charging them with no crime other than “fire code violations,” and early this morning, the Sheriff’s department sent teams of officers into at least four Minneapolis area homes where suspected protesters were staying.

Glenn Greenwald has it here. Scares me to death, what the police do these days.

Thanks to Kelly Vlahos at @TAC for alerting me to this.

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Do Democrats think before speaking?

I know that Republicans rarely do; the Democrats seem to follow suit. In today’s Washington Post, in “Assessing Sarah Palin”, Democratic pollster Douglas E. Schoen offers the following brilliance (Read the whole piece for his complete thoughts and the opinions of others, including a couple of grade-A morons.):

By passing up obviously qualified candidates such as Joe Lieberman and former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge, who offered at least the possibility of bipartisanship and a broader range of experience and background than Palin, McCain has missed a critical opportunity to expand the reach of a party whose base has been narrowing steadily since 2004.

Time for some amateur deconstruction.

1. How, precisely, define we “qualified” here? Being anathema to the party’s socially conservative base, McCain’s relationship wherewith has been quite shaky at times? Unrepentantly and shamelessly promoting endless war in the Middle East and a one-sided policy respecting that volatile region? Having served as Secretary of a Cabinet department that should not exist and serves little more than further to expand the Leviathan and to embarrass our nation? (Eww, Ridge also sits on the board of Home Depot!)

2. Yes, Ridge is socially moderate-to-liberal, but he hardly offers “bipartisanship”; well, anyway, I’m not sure that anyone from the Bush administration really can. I could be mistaken.

3. The Democrats, of course, care much more about preventing their base from narrowing. Also, as I, and others, have argued, Palin does help to expand the party’s — or at least McCain’s — reach: She may be too conservative to make serious inroads with the Hillarycrats, but she certainly offers some appeal; she has a pretty moderate record on gay rights; she’s an undeniable outsider (for better as much as for worse); and, apparently, she has some Buchanan/Paul sympathies. She probably will fail to draw many from that wing, but considering that neither Baldwin nor Barr is perfect enough, she might shore up a bit of support from the Old Right/traditionalist wing, if she can prove that she still holds these positions. I almost should not be surprised if Buchanan eventually caves and throws his support behind the “bellicose, red-faced, angry guy”. Almost.

As John notes, I have expressed enthusiasm for the McCain-Palin ticket; not enough to sway my vote to them, but enough for me less to fear a McCain presidency. I wish not to go over-board on the matter, so, at least for now, until something major would happen, expect only one more post from me on the matter — if I remember what final point I wanted to make as I lay in bed last night, drifting into the realm of dreams.