Despite near-constant pleas for "bipartisanship" in the media, the worst offenses to liberty often occur when both parties agree. If both parties are stepping on each other to try to beat their chest hardest about an issue, it is time to duck and cover.
This week we have seen how most cities have laws and union contracts that stand in the way of even basic accountability for police. I fear that this is an unfixable problem, because both Republicans and Democrats conspire to block accountability of police, though for different reasons.
Republicans tend to fetishize police in the same way they do the military, and tend to blindly support the police position in any he-said-she-said confrontation (I know, I used to be one of them). While Conservatives bemoan the "women never lie about rape" meme on campus, they take the exact same position vis a vis police.
Democrats have generally been better allies of civil libertarians on these issues (though Democrat politicians will throw that all out if they need to buff up their "law and order" credentials for an election). However, Liberals have a huge blind spot in that they also feel the necessity to be fiercely loyal, even blindly loyal to public unions, which include powerful police unions. Taking on police accountability would require Democrats to take on a very visible public union, which they are loath to do. In the past, when faced with a choice of fixing schools or appeasing teachers unions, Democratic politicians have almost always chosen the latter and I don't think they will do anything differently with police.
If you think I am leading up to a silver lining and a proposal, you are wrong. I don't have one. Sure, after Baltimore, we may have a lot of talk about reform, but when the cameras turn their attention elsewhere, all the reform will die as quick as they did at the VA and any number of other failed government institutions.
Instead, I think I am going to go home and binge watch The Wire again. Seems timely. For fans of that show, everything that has happened this week is entirely familiar.