INDIGNITY VOL. 3, NO. 31: Hijacking home rule.
THE WORST THING WE READ™
EASY LISTENING DEP'T.
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New York City, March 7, 2023
★★★ The depths of the night had been filled with the howls of a neighbor baby and the sloshing and dripping of a storm outside, but all that showed in the morning were a few bits of crusted slush clinging whitely to a few spots in the branches, or to some of the car roofs and mirrors. Fat droplets all up and down the branches in the courtyard caught pinpoints of sun, like dew in a spiderweb. Wisps of cirrus lay above scraps of altocumulus in the morning sky, and by midday it was blue overhead with abundant sun coming down; the interlude of slush seemed as unconnected to things before or after as a passing nightmare. There was a different-sounding birdsong in the chorus out back, short and metallic, and something small and dark darted among the branches, but the tree was too brightly lit to make out whether it was really something new. Dry leaves, finally released by the trees, flew around with crispness and buoyancy that belied their shabbiness. One of them, an oak missing more than half its lobes but with petiole and midrib still gracefully arched, had made it down into the subway, where the rising gust from an express train sent it lifting and moving across the uptown platform. Up around the corner on the way to the school, a furiously turning circle of dirt and litter threw grit at the eyes. All the clarity and brilliance balanced out the cold wind just enough that the walk back, with the sixth-grader reading a book the whole way, was not unpleasant. A tallboy of Budweiser blew over on a stoop, spilling a line of foam before its owner could set it upright again. Amid the growing shadows, the sun found the red blooms in the top of the block’s silver maple.
THE WORST THING WE READ™
The Washington Post Editorial Board Can't Be Serious About Crime
WHAT DOES IT mean to be serious about crime? On Thursday of last week, President Joe Biden announced that he would support a measure, created by the new Republican House majority, to throw out the District of Columbia's newly revised criminal code. On Friday, the editorial board of the Washington Post endorsed Biden's action, and seconded the congressional nullification of their own city's power to govern itself.
"Feeling forced to choose, the president picked public safety over home rule for the capital city," the board wrote.
The only honest word in the sentence was "feeling." The attack on the new criminal code—and the collateral demolition of Washington D.C.'s independence—was entirely about feelings, or feeling about feelings: an eruption of anxiety among the people who consider themselves rational arbiters of policy and public interest. Biden wasn't trying to protect the residents of the capital from crime; he was trying to protect himself and his party from the crime issue.
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