The Adult in the Room

Obama popped in front of the WH press corps just now, prior to the usual Gibbs-run briefing, to try and defuse the Gates thing.

He spoke calmly about how Sgt. Crowley seemed like a very good man, and a very good police officer, and how he regrets that his initial response to the Gates question at his health care reform press conference contributed to stirring the pot on the media coverage of the incident. He even related how he and Crowley, in their phone conversation, joked about Crowley asking the president for help getting the press off his lawn.

It was a necessary, and smart, and mature move. But here's the thing.

What Obama said at the press conference was absolutely correct.

Crowley arresting Gates on his porch, after being satisfied that Gates belonged in the home and that nothing much was going on, was utterly stupid.

That's not a statement on Crowley's motives (although for the record I think he was motivated by the desire not to be shown up by a civilian in front of his fellow officers.) It's simply a statement of fact. There was no good reason for the arrest. The public interest was not served by the arrest.

It was just plain dumb.

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