Ordinary Times alumna Elizabeth Stoker writes in condemnation of what she nicely labels “disavowal politics”. Friend-of-the-site Conor Friedersdorf powerfully disavows the murders of NYPD Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos. And while I basically agree with Elizabeth, Conor’s piece seems necessary because Rudy! and his ilk are going to bang the drum until there is a forceful enough disavowal.
Boalt Hall Professor David Schraub nicely explains why disavowal is quite beside the point: calls for institutional reform aren’t about individuals anyway.
The Rudy!s of the world would say Professor Schraub is trying to have it both ways, but I think he hits a critical difference between the political response to the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown on the one hand, and the response to the deaths of Officers Ramos and Liu on the other.
That all of this must be the subject of public rumination, a rumination which is sure to be largely ignored, is a product of the sorts of reduce-everything-to-a-slogan-and-repeat-ad-nauseum politics that is the quintessence of the Twitter Era of Hypermediaized Narrative Communication.
Burt Likko is the pseudonym of an attorney in Southern California. His interests include Constitutional law with a special interest in law relating to the concept of separation of church and state, cooking, good wine, and bad science fiction movies. Follow his sporadic Tweets at @burtlikko, and his Flipboard at Burt Likko.