in his recent piece on what he dubs the “Bloomberg Syndrome,” Victor Davis Hanson, the Clio of punditry, faults a number of local politicians like Pima County sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik for neglecting the task they were elected to perform in order to grandstand on issues of global import:
Just as disturbing as the incoherence of Dupnik’s demagoguery was his apparent professional incompetence. As the sheriff’s nationally televised blame narrative imploded, it was also disclosed that Loughner had a long record of aberrant behavior and substance abuse in Pima County — known to local law enforcement, including Dupnik’s own department.
More disturbing still, if Dupnik were right that a pre-existing climate of conservative-engendered hate was not only pervasive in Tucson, but might also prompt an unstable person to kill, why had he not dispatched at least one of his 500 officers to patrol the open-air public event sponsored by Democratic congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords?
Dupnik is a good example of the increasingly common bad habit of local politicians to resort to cosmic sermonizing when more mundane challenges go unaddressed. In Dupnik’s case, it is hard to monitor all the nuts like Loughner in the sheriff’s department files to ensure they don’t get guns and bullets and pop up at political events, but apparently far easier to deflect subsequent responsibility by sounding off on political issues.
This sage scholar does show some sympathy for Dupnik et al: “It is a human trait to focus on cheap and lofty rhetoric rather than costly, earthy reality.” Read the whole thing as he also offers a nice synopsis of the problems plaguing California under once and current Governor Jerry Brown.
NB: Changed the title since I initially posted this.