Don’t get discouraged. Get pissed off.
This column is free to all. Please think about becoming a subscriber. Three columns a week for $5 a month. Price of a pint.
The verdict is in and the kid got away with it.
I suspected he would. Letter of the law and all that. A bit like climbing into the bear's den at the zoo, doing the Macarena to get their attention, and then shooting them when they come for a closer look. Clearly self-defense from a purely legal standpoint. But....well.....a tad inflammatory, no?
One might wish to criminalize the hate and ignorance that led you into the bear pit itself, but it's hard to criminalize being dumb. If we could do that the last 4 years might not have happened. Whatever. And so here we are. This kid is the latest in a long line of MAGA heroes, free to enjoy his 15 minutes of fame with Hannity and Tucker. Matt Gaetz, who knows a thing or two about 17 year olds, was already offering him an internship in his office. Rittenhouse is free to pose for Newsmax and Breitbart centerfolds, and to record robo-calls trashing Big Bird for Ted Cruz. Front row seats for the Big & Rich tour. You name it. He's the big dick on the MAGA campus tonight, the dorky kicker who made the game winning field goal.....and the drinks are free even though he's technically not old enough to enjoy the Proud Boy’s tab.
For the first time I got a close up look at this kid. Sharp focus. Truly a KID. Baby fat and acne and the fleeting histrionics....able to break out in heaving sobs at the drop of a dime. And then compared this to the pics from last year, this 17 year old kid strutting down wild streets, AR-15 strapped to his chest, like he stepped right out of a violent video game....deep down knowing that the only armor he really needed was the color of his skin. What must he have been thinking that night? What must he have wished for? Here was Captain America, chauffeured by his Mom to “stop looting” and to "provide first aid", and ending up the only person with confirmed kills to his credit. That's a tough one to spin for sure, unless you live in ‘Murica...in which case it's like watching re-runs on TV.
I think of his Mom. I don't know her obviously. But she's a grown-ass woman, and the night her young son came to her and said "will you give me and my AR-15 a ride to Wisconsin I'd like the actively participate in the civil unrest there?" she said "ok dear" and off they went. It was the summer......so maybe if it was a school night she might have said no? I give myself a hard time as a parent, but this lady is the reason judges toss out the high and low scores.
And then there was the courtroom judge.....a sort of half-brother to Vasily Ulrikh and Julius Hoffman, with the PR flair of Lance Ito. This is the guy who walks into a near empty movie theater by himself and sits right next to you. The kind of guy who crashes band gigs with his case of harmonicas......and eventually forces the entire scene to tune a half a step down to discourage him. A crotchety old coot with a no-trade clause in his contract who made the nation groan every time he opened his mouth. The guy who preaches courtroom decorum but neglects to turn his own cell phone ringer off. Even without the verdict, this has not been our legal system's finest hour.
And a prosecution that made Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden look like members of Mensa.
So now what?
It's 2021 so I tend to take a pretty dim view on everything, but it's not hard to spin this into possible open season on left wing protestors. We're dealing with the same cadre of numbskulls who thought Trump was gonna pardon them after they busted up the Capitol, so it's not a far stretch to think they'll react to this as anything other than giving them carte blanch to own the libs by, you know, killing them and saying they were being attacked by skateboards.
Here's hoping Kenosha stays peaceful tonight. There's no telling how many Moms are currently on the way there, with their own little Kyle wannabees riding shotgun, eager to "deliver first aid"…..and become another brick in the MAGA wall.
And so it goes.
Don’t get discouraged. Get pissed off.
In a bit..