The Other McCain

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In Praise Of Maxine Waters

Posted on | November 17, 2011 | 17 Comments

by Smitty

There seems to be some dismay at good ol’ Maxine over her hyper-pragmatic, realpolitik view of the #Occupy movement:

When asked to comment Wednesday about the deaths and crimes that have occurred around Occupy protests being held across the country, Rep. Maxine Waters said “that’s life and it happens.”

Now, I call that a refreshing burst of pure honesty.

We have truly soulless politicians by the bushel on Capitol Hill; ones who swap masks like thespians in some ancient Greek play that is tragedy one moment, comedy the next. Is it not refreshing to have a politician drop the mask, and say it like it is? To paraphrase, “You could stuff me full of chittum bark, and I still wouldn’t give a chit.” You call that soullessness, I call it telling it like it is.

Now, kn@ppster may calibrate me on the point, but I daresay that Maxine has a proper, Constitutional outlook on display here. The federal government is in no way chartered to care fig #1 about individuals as such. By this I mean that the “general welfare” is not the “Smitty welfare”. My heart will one day beat its last. “That’s life and it happens,” to quote Maxine of Headroom. As inevitable as taxes, this demise.

And yet, our government has made a mostly failing business this last century out of mis-interpreting this “general welfare” clause into an occasion for chronic wealth distribution. Note the word chronic. I am by no means arguing against equipping an outfit like a FEMA to handle acute issues that happen at low frequency to non-specific clumps of folks.

You go, Maxine. This #Occupy comment marks what I sincerely hope is a Road to Damascus moment. I’m Syria-s. Say hello to Bashar al-Assad when you arrive. It’s OK if you stay.

Update: linked at WyBlog.


17 Responses to “In Praise Of Maxine Waters”

  1. Bob Belvedere
    November 17th, 2011 @ 8:15 am


  2. logos
    November 17th, 2011 @ 8:20 am

    I clicked the ‘chittum bark’ link and got a real belly laugh.  That explains the bumper sticker seen in Tennessee:  “O Chit” – with the One’s logo colors in the ‘O’.  

  3. Anonymous
    November 17th, 2011 @ 9:03 am

    Any connection between Chit for Brains Waters and reality is purely coincidental.

  4. Anonymous
    November 17th, 2011 @ 9:04 am

    Thanks for the link love.

    Question: Have the noted crime rates at Occupy encampments matched or exceeded the area background average?

  5. #OWS Protester Discovers Free Speech Doesn’t Cover Firebombing Macy’s : The Other McCain
    November 17th, 2011 @ 9:20 am

    […] be at their parents’ homes, sitting in their rooms, talking to themselves? Or perhaps sitting in Congress, talking to the media.Category: CrimeComments /* BETSY NEWMARK: Why this shouldn't be Newt's moment MICHAEL BRENDAN […]

  6. smitty
    November 17th, 2011 @ 9:33 am

    Haven’t the foggiest on background average, but #Occupy is a hopefully unique occurrence, and really doesn’t merit comparison with traditional crime, much less Tea Parties, in my opinion.

  7. Edward
    November 17th, 2011 @ 9:49 am

    With Maxine Waters the Road to Damascus isn’t a metaphor.

  8. Anonymous
    November 17th, 2011 @ 9:50 am


    Sorry, but the comparison has already been implied in many places, including this very blog — the Occupy encampments are alleged as cesspools of crime ranging from the petty to murder. 

    Therefore it is relevant: If there was one rape, two assaults, three muggings per week or whatever in Zuccotti Park during the Occupy presence, how many rapes, assaults and muggings are there per week when the Occupiers aren’t there? Or in surrounding areas of similar population density to the suddenly increased density of the encampment.

    Anecdote isn’t good enough on this, any more than it’s acceptable to single out one asshole with a “Hitler was Right” sign and assert that that demonstrates the character of the Tea Party.

  9. Anonymous
    November 17th, 2011 @ 11:15 am

    Here’s someone purporting to keep a nationwide running total. I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the whole thing, but at least the “big ticket” totals match with my expectations:

    But, to address your point about crime rates versus totals, here’s an NYT article published on 11/8. The precinct that contains Zuccotti Park recorded about a 25% increase in criminal complaints and arrests versus last year, but issued about 30% fewer summonses:

    I did a quick demographic estimate, and it appears that the precinct contains about 48,000 residents and 275,000 employees. So, even if we assume that park pulls in 1,000 protestors, the population of the precinct only increases by .003% during the day and .02% at night.

  10. Anonymous
    November 17th, 2011 @ 11:27 am


    Thanks for taking that first run at some real statistics! Unless there’s something missing, that’s indeed disturbing.

    I’m hoping to see a great deal of … I guess the best word is epidemiological, although I hate applying that to a non-disease phenomenon … analysis on this over time.

    Here in St. Louis, I haven’t heard any reports of rampant crime at the Occupy encampment, even though it is located in an already high-crime area (the street where this allegedly happened passes right by Kiener Plaza, where the encampment is located), and even though the encampment apparently drew a number of homeless campers in from other areas known for crime problems.

  11. Anonymous
    November 17th, 2011 @ 11:54 am

    I don’t speak for this blog, but many of the comparisons have been with Tea Party rallies, and it seems that the #OWS rates are much higher than that for Tea Parties.

    I might buy that the Oakland rate has not gone up appreciably, though the port shutting down incidence probably has.  I would be surprised if as much assault and whatnot has gone on around Zuccotti Park without the new arrivals.

    But you’re right, it’s easy to be wrong without hard data.

  12. Anonymous
    November 17th, 2011 @ 12:33 pm


    I certainly agree that Occupy encampments have higher crime rates than Tea Party rallies.

    I don’t necessarily have any problem with concluding that ideological differences partially explain that.

    However, I don’t think they completely explain it.

    Tea Party events have typically been one-day affairs. Occupy has been up to two months of semi-permanent encampments.

    Not only does a two-month, as opposed to 12-hour, event tend to bring out the worst in people as tempers fray, etc., but also the semi-permanent nature of the encampments is more likely to attract people who may have no ideological inclinations at all, but rather who have no place to go “home” to and are just looking for  a crowd to hang with. And that population demographically tends to have a higher percentage of the mentally ill, the drug-addicted and the crime-prone.

  13. Anonymous
    November 17th, 2011 @ 12:47 pm

    Yep, I’m with you there on pretty much every point.

    I’d even argue that there’s not really an ideological component of OWS.  Certainly nothing consistent or coherent.

    Most of the comparisons I’ve seen from the right have been interested in comparing the pretty well behaved Tea Partiers and their being likened to terrorists, or the like against the much more sympathetic treatment that the Occupiers generally get.

    I think a lot of it is also demographics.  Most Tea Partiers seem to be employed or retired, and generally have more to lose (in case of something like arrest or just being absent from work) than the apparent masses of unemployed Occupiers.

  14. Anonymous
    November 17th, 2011 @ 1:01 pm

    “I’d even argue that there’s not really an ideological component of OWS.  Certainly nothing consistent or coherent.”

    Very true. There’s everything from anarchists (including some friends of mine) to Stalinists down there.The Democrat astroturf machines tried to impose an agenda — they wanted to co-opt OWS and turn it into a national rally for Obama’s “jobs” bill — but despite busing in union rank-and-filers, etc., they failed.Which makes me kind of proud of Occupy, and which is why the encampments are now being dispersed. If Occupy had fallen into the demanded formation, they’d still be happy campers.

    I think you’re also right on the demographics.  That’s an old saw. PJ O’Rourke mentioned it back in the 80s in Parliament of Whores. He drove by some lefty demonstration in front of the White House, called one of his friends up and asked “why don’t we ever to that kind of stuff?” To which his friend replied “we have jobs.”

    Any large “mass rally” political activity that lasts for more than a day is going to get many, maybe most, of its warm bodies from various groups of people who CAN go somewhere and stay there — the unemployed, students, and to a lesser degree labor unions that are big and powerful enough to strong-arm paid days off for it. And that means that any activity like that is probably going to tilt left.

    The center-right, on the other hand, is capable of bringing out much larger numbers of people for an afternoon or evening periodically, and using that to keep those people energized in between such events, and stoked to go to the polls.

    The latter is probably a more effective strategy, unless we’re talking revolution.

  15. Adjoran
    November 17th, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

    Maxine can say whatever pops into her foul and corrupt brain.  Her district is the epicenter of the L.A. riots, she has one of the safest seats in the country, an electorate of poor and indolent people on government assistance who don’t even care how rich she and her husband get off of them, or how they go about doing it.

    One more reason we need Republicans to take firm control of the Senate and win the White House:  with Democrats firmly in the minority in Washington, we can afford to treat Maxine as comic relief.

    When Democrats held the House majority and Pelosi was in charge, Maxine was one of those driving policy decisions.  If that doesn’t scare the chit out of you, you must be in a coma.

  16. Anonymous
    November 17th, 2011 @ 6:06 pm

    I believe the term for that is an attractive nuisance. One element is whether or not the encampment is in and of itself a crime. There is an encampment in Asheville NC where it is legal to camp in the city park as long as certain rules such as not blocking sidewalks are adhered to. While much smaller than the NY encampment it is even more Boring. The local paper has two stories on OWS, one is taking issue with Sen. Burr’s negative opinion of the movement the other is a report clearing the NY park. My brief goggle search found no other news since the early days of the encampment.

    In Raleigh they are only allowed to occupy the side walk around the statehouse and are not allowed to use chairs or sit on the side walk itself. Violating this rule results in arrests.

    In Durham those “occupying” CCB park are not allowed “tents or structures” of any kind and there have been few arrests for any reason.

    In the “College Town” of Chapel Hill were there is an encampment, but I don’t know if is being tolerated in spite of local laws. “Anarchists” associated with the local occupy movement broke into an empty car dealership and “occupied” it. The local police took them almost as seriously as they took them selves and sent in a SWAT team to clear them out.

  17. Anonymous
    November 17th, 2011 @ 6:25 pm

    “I believe the term for that is an attractive nuisance.”

    Ah, Knapp’s Law at work: “As any discussion proceeds in comments on The Other McCain, the probability that Sarah Palin will be mentioned approaches 1.”