For a moment at least, the biggest political beneficiary of the shootings in
If such political scorekeeping seems gauche, it's a fitting tribute to Emanuel, who may have participated in a political cover-up.
Last year, police officer
But that's not what happened. A police dash-cam video shows that although McDonald was carrying a knife, he was walking away from
Perhaps reasonable people -- or at least
The homicide occurred in
Thanks to stonewalling by the Emanuel administration and his handpicked chief of police, the video didn't surface for more than a year. The video might not have surfaced at all if it hadn't been for a court-ordered release at the request of a very persistent journalist. And murder charges came only after it became clear the journalist would get his way.
There is more evidence of a cover-up. Remember that five police officers reported events contradicted by the video. Presumably relevant security footage from a nearby
Normally, the rule in politics is that the cover-up is worse than the crime. It's hard to make that case here. But that doesn't mean the apparent conspiracy to hide the crime is trivial.
This scandal should be instructive. Conservatives, including me, have generally been dismissive or even contemptuous of the Black Lives Matter movement -- and the movement has done much to earn that scorn. Michael Brown was not murdered. The whole "Hands up, don't shoot" narrative was based on deliberate mythmaking. And the requirement that Democratic politicians be barred from uttering the phrase "All lives matter" is an absurdity out of a
The McDonald killing should also spur some reflection among liberals. There's no simple political pattern to where police abuses arise; they're certainly not confined to red states, or absent in blue states. But it is easier to predict where politicians will get away with covering them up: cities suffering from one-party rule.
You know the phrase "the best thing since sliced bread"? It's used to convey that something hasn't happened in a long time. Sliced bread went on the market in 1928. That was one year after
Monopolistic political machines breed contempt for voters, animosity toward policy innovation and even minimal notions of transparency. Ending one-party rule in