Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Sheriff's plan to end the violence:

Wear uniforms to school and pray more

Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke got a Democratic opponent this week, in the person of Vince Bobot, former cop and former municipal judge. Presumably, that means a primary since Clarke refuses to admit that he's a Republican, even though he talks like one, acts like one, and hangs out with them. But at election time he will masquerade as a Dem, because that's the only way he could get elected in Milwaukee County.

Conservatives like to say that's not true, that Republican Scott Walker winning a non-partisan race for county exec proves a Republican can carry the county in a partisan race.

The sheriff's race would be a great chance to test that theory. Clarke's the incumbent and has huge advantages. Why doesn't he run as a Republican and help the ticket?

Speaking of the sheriff, he wrote an article the other day offering his solution to inner city violence. He called it a plan, but it sounded a lot more like a campaign platform.

"City of Milwaukee government lacks a take-charge person with courage and vision." he began. Hmmm, who would that be? Clarke ran for mayor in 2004, and the people said no thanks. He didn't make it through the primary. But it sounds like he's still running.

"Milwaukee is facing an overwhelming crisis that requires immediate action — a plan," says Clarke...The strategic plan must work toward eliminating the risk factors associated with crime, violence and urban decay. I don’t have all the answers but I do have some ideas that are worth pursuing.

Well, he got that part right. He certainly doesn't have the answers. Here are the basic elements of his so-called plan:

Fix fractured families. (This has led to inadequate parenting/absent fathers/dysfunctional children/teen pregnancy. This must be done by the individual as some things only the individual can do for themselves. Government can assist by enacting family-supporting policies such as lowering taxes.) [If individuals were capable of fixing the problem, we wouldn't need a plan. I'm sure that cutting taxes will reduce crime, though. -- Xoff.]

Reform public education in Milwaukee (MPS is a broken system. We’re spending $1 billion per year on a system that’s failing children. Structure and discipline must be the hallmark. School uniforms would be a good start. The plan must include more education choices for parents so that every child has an opportunity to reach their God-given potential. Incorporate “character development” courses as a requirement for graduation. This teaches students about virtues such as civility, trust, responsibility, honesty and citizenship.) [MPS is not the problem, although it needs improvement. For every gang banger and thug, there are 10 kids who attend the very same schools and are successful. The difference is that they go to school and want to learn.--Xoff.]

Reverse middle class flight by rebuilding neighborhoods from inside the city out (Give residents more say over the distribution and use of resources. Currently bureaucrats and politicians make too many of the decisions based on political considerations. Close the Community Development Block Grants office at city hall, which has done nothing more than create cottage industries and which enables people to get rich off the poor. Very little money actually reaches the poor with this formula anyway and it is really used for political patronage. Funnel money instead through community based organizations such as Sherman Park Community Association. Let involved neighborhood groups make funding decisions.) [Giving federal money right to the neighborhoods sounds great in theory. Would Clarke support that in New Orleans?]

Identify a significant role for the church in community life to deal with social ills. (There is no example of society maintaining moral order without religion. Our moral framework has to be rebuilt. This spiritual awakening can lead to social renewal.) [Right. Government should get the church more involved?]

So, once you strip away the posturing and rhetoric, what's left? Another right-winger who thinks the problem is that poor people don't have enough money . They don't go to church enough , their kids don't dress nicely, and their taxes are too high, so of course they turn to crime.

In David Clarke's mind, this is a plan? Give me a break.

UPDATE: Dan Cody of Left On The Lake didn't think much of it, either.


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