Friday, December 05, 2014

Real Americans like "Pop-Off Petey" King are singing and dancing over the Staten Island grand jury's no-indictment verdict


Natalie Wood as Maria mimes (while Marni Nixon sings) "I Feel Pretty," from the film version of West Side Story. It will be interesting to see whether Rep. "Pop-Off Petey" King (R-NY) emerges from the little experiment I have in mind for him singing "I Feel Pretty."

by Ken

I'm sure you've heard about "Pop-Off Petey" King's deeply felt response to the grand jury decision not to indict Staten Island's killer cop, which is hooray for the grand jury, and it's victim Eric Garner's own damn fault for being fat and asthmatic. After all, when you're planning to be choked by a cop, it's important to be physically fit.

Once upon a time Pop-Off Petey expended a lot of energy pretending to be a "moderate." These days, not so much. Maybe it's the "mainstreaming" over the last decade or more of views that would once have shocked and nauseated decent folks, maybe it's advancing age, but in recent years the Long Island Representative King has gotten harder to distinguish from "the other white meat" Representative King, Iowa's certifiably loony, tin-foil-hatted Steve K.

Check out Sam Levine's HuffPost report on Petey's performance.

Pop-Off Petey's latest antics got me to thinking that possibly hey would be open to a little scientific experiment. Let's say we put him in a position -- it shouldn't be difficult to work out the particulars -- where he is obliged to say, truthfully, "I can't breathe. I can't breathe. I can't breathe. I can't breathe. I can't breathe. I can't breathe. I can't breathe. I can't breathe." For the sake of this experiment, we will assume that at this point whatever condition caused the Popsterman to voice these thoughts would be relieved, as was not the case in, you know, that other case. How do we think Poppy would come out of it?

My guess is that he would come out of it very much the same way as the fellow in that other case, the fat, asthmatic guy, Eric Garner did. But guesses are beside the point. This is science, so we need to perform the experiment.

We still wouldn't be replicating the conditions of that other case, and I don't mean the subject's weight or asthma condition. I'm not prepared to rule out the possibility that our Petey would burst into "I Feel Pretty." Okay, I admit I've got this malicious craving to hear the Popsterman warble one of my favorite lines ever set to music, "It's alarming how charming I feel." Could have been written to describe our boy, dontcha think?

So whaddaya say, Petey? Ready to stick your neck out?


I haven't had occasion to comment on either the Ferguson or the Staten Island case. But a response like Pop-Off Petey's, or like that of the fine Americans in Missouri who greeted the "Journey for Justice" marchers (as the Daily Kos headline put it) "with fried chicken, Confederate flags, and gunshots," thereby underscoring the disastrously legitimizing effect when our law-enforcement and criminal-justice systems fail to do their job.

Unless you take the view that there was no breakdown, at least in the minds of the people manning those systems -- that, as Ian Walsh puts it in a post today, "In Light of Eric Garner": "Understand this, if you understand nothing else: the system is working as intended."

The prosecutor in the Staten Island case, Ian says, "made the decision that the system wants: police are almost never prosecuted for assault or murder and on those rare occasions that they are, they almost always get off. Donovan did what the legal system wanted him to do. As for the police in question, well, they did what the legal system wants them to do, as well."

This isn't a new theme for Ian. "American oligarchical society rests on people not effectively resisting," he says here. And "any part of the population which is inclined to resist, must be taught that it cannot resist." The crucial points here are that there is a system at work here and that system is working just the way it's designed to.
The system will not change until those who want it to change have the raw power to force it to change, because it does serve the interests of its masters by destroying or marginalizing anyone who is actually a danger to oligarchical control of the system.
Ian goes into the particulars of this system in detail in the piece, which you should really read. Meanwhile I plan to talk about this subject some more with reference as well to a Daily Kos piece you should also read, Bob Johnson's "Conservative demonization of Obama allowed racists to crawl out from under their rocks," and with reference to more than just the race card as played by the oligarchs as tools for establishing and maintaining control -- perhaps tomorrow night.

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