Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Cameras For Cops?


President Obama has responded to the Ferguson riots by convening another White House meeting that he hopes will begin another “national conversation” about race, which by my count will be the 16th such conversation since he's been in the White House. It seems that we have had a national conversation about little else during his Presidency. But this time he intends to do more than just talk. Yesterday he announced a 74 million dollar plan to outfit up to 50,000 cops with lapel pin-sized cameras to record their interactions with citizens. It is hoped that the knowledge that such interactions are being recorded will improve the behavior of the police and give people of color more confidence that they will be treated fairly. Ok. Fair enough.
I would like to suggest that the President take this program one step further. How about we spend a far smaller sum to equip all 535 members of Congress with cameras? Perhaps if Nancy Pelosi, Charlie Rangel, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell knew that their interactions were being recorded, it would improve their behavior. While he’s at it, how about slapping one of those babies on Eric Holder? I mean, it’s a well known fact that the American people hold a dim view of politicians in general and Washington DC in particular. The popularity of Congress is at historic lows. What better way to restore some trust than a little transparency? Lapel cameras for all politicians should do the trick.