The NRCC (National Republican Congressional Committee) has just sent out a press release to media in each Massachusetts district, demanding the local Democratic Congressman's position on Barack Obama taking a position on the Skip Gates arrest.
The release is headlined (with the local congressman replacing Capuano as appropriate): "Does Michael Capuano Think Cambridge Cops 'Acted Stupidly?' -- Obama Passed Judgment Without 'All the Facts;' Will Capuano Follow Suit?"
From the release: "Does Michael Capuano believe President Obama’s comments were becoming of someone
who holds the highest office in the land?... Is it really presidential for [Obama] to cast harsh judgment of a law enforcement
official without all the facts? These questions warrant an answer from Michael
I'm not sure what I, as a reporter, am meant to do with this. It seems that the NRCC is suggesting that it is inappropriate for a public figure to comment on GatesGate (as some are now calling it), but that it is imperative for public figures to comment on whether it is appropriate to comment on GatesGate. So, should I be taking their lack of comment as praiseworthy or damning, or both? Should I call them up to ask for comment on whether it is appropriate to comment on GatesGate -- and if they say "no comment," what do I take that to mean?
The NRCC spokesperson, Ken Spain, is also quoted in the release drawing a curious analogy: "The president was slow to point out any wrongdoing in the wake of the Iranian
election... This is certainly a questionable
rush to judgment coming from a president who hasn’t exactly been quick to call
out unconscionable behavior by a merciless foreign dictator."
I guess Spain is insinuating that Obama is tougher on Cambridge cops than on Iranian dictators, perhaps because the President thinks arresting a black law professor is worse than suppressing democracy. (Or perhaps because the CPD doesn't have long-range missiles. Or do they?)
Meanwhile, Obama's spokesperson clarified today that the President does not think that the CPD officer is stupid. But can he say the same about president Ahmadinejad?