Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita must find it hard to walk.
The state’s lawyer doesn’t just put his foot in his mouth. He shoves it all the way down his throat and into his digestive track, which leaves him hopping clumsily around and falling frequently.
(Clearly, Rokita’s duties as attorney general do not give him enough work to keep him occupied. He seems to have endless amounts of time to engage in foolish and unnecessary controversies and fights that have nothing to do with his job.)
Ye tweeted a rant in which he made an implied anti-Semitic death threat. (He said, “when I wake up I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE.”) It was so offensive that Twitter locked his account and booted him off the social media platform.
Enter our attorney general.
When Rokita posted in defense of Ye, he ignored the rapper’s implied anti-Semitic death threat. He also overlooked the fact that Twitter is a private enterprise, which means it can provide or deny a platform to whomever it chooses. Arguing otherwise is to contend, say, that Fox News is obligated to give Bernie Sanders, Michael Moore or Jane Fonda an hour of airtime any time they want it.
But, at this point, it really isn’t a surprise that our attorney general has limited or no understanding of important legal principles. He must have used his constitutional law classes to catch up on his sleep.
When it comes to pandering to the worst impulses of a certain segment of the electorate, Rokita is a devoted, even zealous student.
That’s why, without mentioning—much less condemning—Ye’s death threat, Rokita attacked Twitter and Hollywood elites for not embracing the rapper:
“The constant hypocrisy from the media is at an all-time high. They have now gone after Kanye for his new fashion line, his independent thinking, & for having opposing thoughts from the norm of Hollywood.”
An uproar followed.
Many people—including some who otherwise might support Rokita and his fellow Republicans—took issue with the attorney general’s post. They accused him, at best, of being insensitive to threats of violence himself and, at worst, of being a bigot himself.
This hurt Rokita’s feelings. He went back onto Twitter to clean up the mess he’d made for himself and declare that he’d been horribly, horribly, horribly misunderstood:
“My post was specifically and clearly aimed at the hypocrisy of the media and Hollywood elites, not anything to do with other comments. I have an obvious, clear and substantial Congressional record of being 100% supportive of the Jewish community and Israel.”
It was an interesting argument.
His foot now working its way almost all the way to his stomach, Rokita contended that ignoring death threats or even seeming to implicitly condone them was okay as he long as he votes every now and then to send money to Israel.
Somehow, I doubt even the Israelis agree with him on that one.
But that’s our attorney general.
In Todd Rokita’s world, the problem never is that he said something ill-considered, wacky, mean or just plain stupid. No, the problem always is that others noticed that he said something ill-considered, wacky, mean or just plain stupid—and called him on it.
Holding him accountable for what he says and does isn’t just nasty.
Rokita insists he’s not a bigot.
Let’s take him at his word on that. If he’s not, then any lawyer or law-enforcement official who blows past a death threat against a group of human beings without mentioning it or even seeming to take notice can’t be paying close attention to anything but his own ravenous hunger for political advancement.
That’s why, no matter how offensive or hurtful his words or actions are to others, Rokita always sees himself as the victim. He seems to have an endless capacity for self-pity.
There may be a reason for that.
Swallowing his own foot and hopping everywhere he goes on one leg doubtless grows old after a time.