Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings isn’t exactly known for being on the side of the law. He’s been the chief antagonist of Trey Gowdy on the House Select Committee on Benghazi and has also been implicated in the IRS targeting scandal.
He kept that stellar record going on Sunday, when he appeared on CBS’ “Face the Nation” to excuse the behavior of the rioters taking to the streets of his district by saying, “(I)t could have been worse.”
Cummings was at the demonstrations held for Freddie Gray, the man who died in the custody of the Baltimore Police Department. He talked to CBS’ Bob Schieffer about the violence, without even really acknowledging there was any violence of which to speak.
“I’ve gotta give it to the citizens of Baltimore,” Rep. Cummings told Schieffer. “I was there all day. It was very peaceful, all day, thousands of people.
“And then at the end there were a few who said, ‘We’re gonna tear this city down. We’re gonna close it down.’ And the next thing you know we had a few people mainly from out of town to come and to start beating up on police cars and throwing all kinds of projectiles.
“But the fact is that for the most part it could have been worse.”
I suppose, in a relativist way, most things could be worse. The Titanic could have lost all of its lifeboats, the Nepalese earthquake could have claimed more lives, and the entire city of Baltimore could have been burned to the ground.
However, we should make one thing clear: The images coming to us from Baltimore, while they do not represent anything near the majority of the residents of that city, are not just a few lone actors from out of town smashing windows and cutting tires.
This is some of the most grotesque mob violence we’ve seen since the Los Angeles riots in 1992, and it seems to only be getting worse. To flippantly excuse it by saying “it could have been worse” isn’t only insulting to our intelligence, it’s insulting to the people in Rep. Cummings’ district, who have to listen to their elected official deny the violence and terror they’re facing even exists.
Rep. Cummings also praised anti-police protesters as “the civil rights cause of this generation” and said that he’s happy the federal government is intervening.
“They’ve agreed to do a civil rights investigation and we feel good about that,” Cummings said. “But we’ve got to take this (Baltimore police) department apart and try to figure out what is wrong and what is right.” (H/T BizPac Review)
Something tells me that a man who isn’t ideologically equipped to call widespread rioting what it is probably isn’t the right person to figure out what’s wrong and what’s right about the police department combating it, Mr. Cummings.
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