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Ferguson and Our Benevolent Local Overlords

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Paul Waldman is making sense:

So the local government, the one that’s supposed to be in touch with the people, is not only out of touch, it’s making their lives miserable. The events in Ferguson have also shown us a case of inept local government that has made the situation worse at every turn. First the Ferguson police responded to protesting residents like they were retaking Fallujah. Then when state troopers succeeded in calming things down for a night — a higher level of government trying to correct the failures of a lower level — the Ferguson police released the surveillance video from that convenience store, as though trying to make the case that Michael Brown had it coming, which enraged local residents and started a new cycle of unrest.

It’ll be great if this situation leads to liberals and conservatives joining together to do something about the over-militarization of law enforcement. And yes, that over-militarization is something that the federal government and local governments cooperated to create. But the next time you hear someone say that power should be devolved as far as possible to the state and local level, remember that those lower levels of government are often where the worst problems are.

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