Marshawn Lynch, a.k.a. “Beast Mode,” starting running back for the Seattle Seahawks, is being fined $20,000 by the National Football League for grabbing his crotch during a touchdown celebration amid last week’s NFC championship game against the Green Bay Packers. Prior to the game, Lynch had planned to wear custom-made gold cleats -- footgear finished with a 24-karat gold-flake paint, featuring gold-chrome-plate soles; value: $1,100. For that, the NFL threatened to outright suspend him.Um, maybe as a result of the NFL's anality regarding flamboyance on the field? Maybe as a consequence of the fact that fining Lynch is very easy and has minimal impact, while nullifying a victory in a championship game is extremely disruptive for the league and generates awful publicity?
Perhaps those penalties are warranted. But it seems that the NFL has bigger problems to worry about.
Like, for instance, the New England Patriots, the other half of upcoming Super Bowl XLIX, who apparently deflated eleven of twelve footballs used in their AFC championship-game victory over the Indianapolis Colts....
[If] the above is true, it would be an example of what most people typically call “cheating.” But the same NFL that threatens to suspend Marshawn Lynch for flamboyant footwear could issue the proverbial slap on the wrist to the Pats....
The NFL has rules upon rules upon rules. Professional football in the United States might be the most painstakingly regulated sport in history -- and, increasingly, the rules most zealously enforced are those that don’t seem to matter.
How could such a thing have come to pass?
Nahhh. It's all about culture. (Sorry, we haven't quite gotten to liberalism or Obama yet. Hang tight -- we'll get there.)
Ask Marty Hahne, a.k.a. “Marty the Magician,” who, with his rabbit, Casey, performed astonishing feats of enchantment for school groups in the Springfield, Mo., area -- until, in July 2013, he was informed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that Casey would be confiscated if Hahne did not submit to the agency a “disaster” plan for his rabbit, detailing how he planned to protect his furry friend in the event of “flooding,” “earthquake,” “landslide/mudslide/avalanche,” “wildfire,” or “intentional attack.”Yeah, this seems excessive -- though I'm not sure how much of a commentary on contemporary values it is, given the fact that the decision to do this was based on a Nixon-era law intended primarily to protect circus animals, and given the fact that when Hahne's case got publicity, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack ordered an immediate review of the case and a reexamination of the policy.
Or ask Kenneth Wright, who was arrested in his boxer shorts when a dozen gun-wielding Department of Education agents -- “it was like a task force of a SWAT team,” said a neighbor -- raided his home in 2011. The DOE’s Inspector General’s Office executes search warrants on “bribery, fraud, and embezzlement of federal student-aid funds.” Problematic crimes, to be sure, but not ones that should lead to an active-shooter situation.Well, it was Attorney General John Ashcroft who authorized federal inspector generals' offices to engaged in armed searches of this kind; he signed a set of guidelines in 2003. This story initially went viral, on the left and the right, when news reports suggested that the search was conducted by an actual SWAT team, and the raid concerned nothing more than unpaid student loans. It was later revealed that no SWAT team was used, and that the principal target was Wright's estranged wife, who was accused of fraudulently obtaining multiple student loans, some using stolen IDs of severely handicapped students. This was in pursuit of real crime, though, yes, it was law-enforcement excess.
But you want to know what all this has to do with Obama and liberalism. Tuttle -- after a couple more examples of heavy-handed authoritarianism -- finally gets where he's headed:
... as the law’s minutiae are being fervently prosecuted by every badge-brandishing bureaucrat in every government agency from Sitka to St. Petersburg, the nation’s chief executive, constitutionally tasked with enforcing the law, has decided that the words of the law do not much matter. In 2011, the Obama administration announced that it would stop enforcing the Defense of Marriage Act. The next year, under the auspices of “prosecutorial discretion,” the administration stopped enforcing immigration laws against young illegal immigrants. Two years later, following a laughably disingenuous expansion of prosecutorial discretion to effectively amnesty half of the illegal-immigrant population currently in the country, the president plainly proclaimed to have “changed” the law -- in explicit violation of the constitution, of course, the supreme law of the land. And one need hardly the mention the multiple occasions on which the president has refused to enforce -- or ordered the non-enforcement of -- the provisions of the health care law that he signed.So there you have it -- Tuttle shows how "Deflate-gate" is inextricably linked to Obamaism and "our over-inflated regulatory state": this depraved culture will crack down on you only if you're doing something trivial, because liberalism.
The law, as Saint Paul suggested, was a matter of both letter and spirit. But our over-inflated regulatory state, with its bloated bureaucratic class, has all but forsaken the latter, while our puffed-up executive has utterly abandoned the former. At one and the same time, our land of laws, not men, grows impulsively legalistic and alarmingly lawless.
Is it any surprise, then, that in a country more concerned with crisis plans for bunnies than crises at its borders, a Michael Jackson move in the end zone is the real menace?
It takes Tuttle a while to get from Point A to Point B, but he gets there, and that's why Young Ian is "a William F. Buckley Jr. fellow at National Review and you're not.
(Story via Fox Nation, naturally.)