For some reason, Mitt Romney responded to Hillary Clinton's recent speech on mass incarceration and criminal justice reform on Fox & Friends this morning.
In a very familiar Mitt Romney fashion, he flatly denied that empirical reality exists.
"I was concerned that her comments smacked of politicization of the terrible tragedies that are going on there. When she said we’re not going to have mass incarcerations in the future, what is she referring to? We don’t have mass incarcerations in America. Individuals are brought before tribunals, and they have counsel. They’re given certain rights. Are we not going to lock people up who commit crimes?”
I can't imagine why this guy was handily defeated by the president's diverse coalition of voters.
No one is actually suggesting that we forgo locking people up for serious crimes, just that we should decriminalize substance abuse and stop imprisoning people for minor, non-violent offenses. But Mitt Romney's job is "not to worry about those people," or at least it wouldn't have been had he won.
In case you missed it, Clinton's speech on the subject was actually quite good.
"There is something profoundly wrong when African American men are still far more likely to be stopped and searched by police, charged with crimes, and sentenced to longer prison terms than are meted out to their white counterparts. There is something wrong when a third of all black men face the prospect of prison at some point during their lifetimes."
No Republican presidential candidate will ever speak these words unless it is to further blame the victims of systemic racism. Systemic racism and our unequal justice system is the realest example of government oppression that we have in this country. And while conservatives may endlessly bemoan big government and big brother, the truth is they heartily approve of the status quo and the level of privilege it affords them.
We certainly can't expect anything similar from Jeb Bush who, as we now know, is a big fan of the works of Charles Murray.
"I like Charles Murray books to be honest with you, which means I'm a total nerd I guess," Bush said.