Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Time Patrick Buchanan Punched Out a Cop

By William Norman Grigg

The officer who wrote the traffic citation probably didn’t expect the recipient – a tall, athletic college-age male – to respond by punching him in the face. The same was probably true of the second officer who arrived to assist. They managed to subdue the suspect and take him to jail without drawing their guns.
Although the pugnacious young man – who had been raised by a father who taught him how to fight — survived the encounter, there were consequences. No, he wasn’t sent to prison. He was, however, expelled from school for a year. Following that unexpected detour, he finished his degree at Georgetown and went on to become a very influential author and commendably iconoclastic newspaper columnist.
Among his recent output can be found several recent columns addressing the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson.In those essays the author insists that Wilson typifies the forces of order and decency – “the first responders and last line of defense” – and the physically intimidating Brown was a budding super-predator who assaulted a police officer because of his lack of respect “for the rule of law.”
Whatever can be said about the killing of Michael Brown last August, it is indisputable that Patrick Buchanan is alive today because the Washington, D.C. police of the 1950s practiced de-escalation, rather than reflexive overkill. The incident described above, which was recounted in his beautifully written memoir Right From the Beginning, would have turned out much differently if it had occurred in 2014.
Buchanan’s father “laced up his sons with boxing gloves and set them to pounding a punching bag in the basement,” recalls a recent sympathetic profile. “The lesson took. As a student at Georgetown University in 1959, Pat was still punching. And kicking and cursing at the police when they gave him a traffic ticket one night on O Street. The minor melee led to a fine and a misdemeanor. Georgetown suspended Pat `the Hothead’ for a year, the Jesuits graciously taking him back and hoping for the best after his graduation.”
In contemporary America, this act of resistance most likely would have resulted in a beating, a bout of taser-inflicted torture, or summary execution. If the suspect survived, he would be charged with aggravated assault on an officer, or even attempted murder. This episode would have been a life-defining event for the young man, who – irrespective of his ability or potential – almost certainly would not become a prominent commentator and three-time presidential contender.
Buchanan is entirely correct in saying that Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and the familiar cast of loathsome professional incendiaries are race-trolling over the events in Ferguson. It would be useful to remove racial consideration from the discussion and focus on the question of proportionality.
In his most recent column, Mr. Buchanan retailed the claim that “Wilson, face battered and eye socket smashed in a fight with the 290-pound, 6’4″ Brown, empty his gun in self-defense.” No evidence exists that Wilson was seriously injured during the “altercation” with Brown; the “orbital blow-out fracture” hoax was definitively discredited weeks ago.
A video recorded shortly after the shooting showed Wilson — who didn’t display any visible injuries — standing over Brown’s body.
Whatever injuries Wilson suffered during his encounter with Brown were probably less serious than those inflicted by the 6’2,” 18-year-old Patrick Buchanan on the officers who took him into custody without killing him.
If Wilson was right to use lethal force against an unarmed teenager who allegedly punched him in the face, wouldn’t Buchanan have to admit that the officers he assaulted would have been justified in putting him in the ground? Or might he be willing to consider the possibility that the apparent haste with which Wilson resorted to lethal force, and the readiness of his comrades to go full-Fallujah in the face of protests, illustrate that the “super-predators” are more likely to be found in police uniforms than in hip-hop attire?
The above originally appeared at

1 comment:

  1. When Pat is talking foreign policy, he's great. Anything else, not so much. Here he was pretty clearly pawned by Grigg. Not only that, but this story serves a great talking point for what our police force has become.