Archive for January 12th, 2021

Rep. Jason Crow Has A Short Memory

Jason Crow has just begun his second term representing Colorado’s 6th Congressional district. In response to last week’s riot at the US Capitol building, he has been tweeting frequently, in disgust at what happened (a disgust I share).

But he has also sought to turn the events to partisan political advantage, looking to turn the actions of a few hundred people on a single day into a general assault on the Republican Party.

He has, for instance, used his campaign account to accuse any and all Republicans who objected to the electoral vote counts from a handful of states of effectively taking the side of the rioters. This is, of course, rubbish from beginning to end, but it’s rubbish that much of the press seems to take seriously, if the reporters I follow on Twitter are representative of their caste.

Having established that narrative, Crow used his campaign account to call for corporate PACs to defund any Republicans who objected to the vote:

And he has used his official House account to claim this:

That is, anyone who suggested that anyone might have used the gaping holes opened up in our electoral process – holes opened up by Democrats – to commit election fraud, is disqualified from complaining about the terms he and President-Elect Biden intent to impose on their version of “unity.”

If anyone should be disqualified from preaching about unity, it’s Crow, whose own version of “truth and accountability” applies to only one form of political violence.

At the end of May last year, BLM protesters did significant damage to the Colorado state capitol, breaking windows, spray painting, among other things, a hammer-and-sickle, and generally trashing the grounds.

The truck of Senate President Leroy Garcia suffered a smashed windshield, and legislators took a few days off from their covid-delayed session to get some security back in place.

Crow’s official press release is titled as a statement about the Denver protests, but it never mentions Denver at all, spending more time trashing President Trump for suggesting that National Guard troops might be needed to restore order.

Later that summer, a protest in Aurora over the police shooting from 2019 of Elijah McClain got out of hand. The protesters took over and started marching down I-225, one of the major routes to Denver International Airport. When a man driving a Jeep on the way to the airport unexpectedly found himself in the middle of this mess, he did the natural thing and floored it, trying to get the hell through the mob and out of danger as quickly as possible.

At that point, one of the protesters pulled a gun and started shooting at the Jeep, hitting two other protesters instead. Fortunately, nobody was killed, but he was eventually charged with attempted murder. The Jeep driver was not charged.

You wouldn’t know any of this from Crow’s official press release on the matter:

We are still learning exactly what happened on Saturday night, but what we do know is horrifying enough: a driver sped through a crowd of protesters causing chaos and harm, in yet another example of the violence that is inflicted on those fighting for justice and equality. 

He mentions the destruction at the Municipal Building as a “distraction,” but neither here nor in additional releases on the McClain shooting does he acknowledge that the Jeep driver was acting out of fear and common sense, or that one of the protesters pulled a gun and started shooting.

In another incident last year, protesters “visited” Aurora City Councilman Francoise Bergen at her home, and demonstrated on the street and sidewalk in front of her house. Crow had nothing to say about that, either.

The inescapable conclusion is that for Rep. Crow, all political violence is bad, but some political violence is more bad than others, especially when it comes to his team.

Yoram Hazony writes in his excellent book, God and Politics in Esther, that there are basically three types of subjects in a tyranny. One can oppose the tyrant. One can keep one’s head down and passively support the tyrant. Or one can actively and energetically support the tyrant in ways he finds useful. Only the last is likely to earn much support from the tyrant or advancement within the regime.

Rep. Crow is making a strong bid to be a subject of the third kind.

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Reliving the 1984 LA Olympics

Carl Lewis, Long Jump Gold Medalist | Neil Leifer | Carl lewis, Sports  photography, Long jump

Watching 16 Days Of Glory and reliving the 1984 Olympic Summer Games.

I came home from work every evening that summer, and plopped down in front of the TV to watch the Games for about 4 hours straight, and then stayed up until 1:00 for the late coverage. After they ended, I went through Olympics withdrawal. And some of the wins, like Joan Benoit in the women’s marathon, and the men’s gymnastics team, are still emotional.

Aside from the things I had forgotten, there are things that I hadn’t noticed before. For instance, before Zola Budd and Mary Decker collided, there was a moment where Decker looked down and frowned, clearly worried that Budd was crowding her. You only see that in slow-mo.

The movie was, I believe, Bud Greenspan’s first for the Olympics.
The cinematography is, of course, first-rate, and David Perry’s dead-pan, emotionless narration lets the athletes tell their own stories.

Given that the USA USA USA dominated the Games, in part because of the Soviet boycott, it could have been mostly about the US team. And he certainly doesn’t short the home team. But he makes room for plenty of foreign victory stories as well.

The photo above is not from the movie. It is, of course, Carl Lewis in the Long Jump, one of four gold medals he won that year. It by Neil Leifer, one of the greatest sports photographers of all time.

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