Couldn't agree with Radley more. The Gates incident has little to do with race, and much to do with a police officer feeling entitled to arrest someone because they annoyed him and showed him up in front of his fellow officers.

Balko's further point about conservative genuflection to power is also spot-on:

This deference to police at the expense of the policed is misplaced. Put a government worker behind a desk and give him the power to regulate, and conservatives will wax at length about public choice theory, bureaucratic pettiness, and the trappings of power. And rightly so. But put a government worker behind a badge, strap a gun to his waist, and give him the power to detain, use force, and kill, and those lessons somehow no longer apply.
Again, take another look at that ridiculous anti-health care reform ad I put up below. The weedy little bow-tied bureaucrat is an arch-villain, menacing innocent doctors and patients with his clipboard.

Give that same weedy little man a gun and a badge from the FBH (Federal Bureau of Health) and suddenly he'd become Elliot Ness, hunting down insurance cheats and cleaning up the dark underbelly of the health care system.

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