Buttigieg, Policing, and Getting Rolled

There’s a pretty devastating article about the racism in South Bend, Indiana’s police department–for those not paying much attention to the primary, Democratic presidential hopeful and wunderkind Pete Buttigieg is the mayor of South Bend. The details are excruciating, but the problem for Buttigieg is that South Bend is not unusual, even if the discrimination is rather obvious.

The problem is that, like in many municipalities, the police governed themselves, unchecked. What could possibly go wrong?

I have no idea what is in Buttigieg’s heart, but if we take his claim that he opposed the police department’s racism at face value, that means he got rolled by the local constabulary. In a sense, I don’t blame him: very little in a short tour in the military, working at McKinsey, or an elite education would prepare you to combat a corrupt power structure in a local town (though McKinsey might if it’s the teachers unions BOOGA! BOOGA!).

The best case scenario for Buttigieg is that he couldn’t stop a bunch of corrupt cops in the town of which he was mayor. This does not speak to being pragmatic, among other things.

If nothing else, if he couldn’t stop some corrupt local officials–and “can’t stop” includes being unwilling to take a political risk–then how can he protect our interests? What chance does he stand against Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell?

The word I might be searching for is callow. Like I said, the best case is that he’s incompetent. The worst case…

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