Showing a greater sense of political opportunism than grasp of the English language, Attorney General Eric Holder has announced the Justice Department will join in a federal probe of a police shooting of a Missouri teenager.
“The shooting incident in Ferguson, Missouri deserves a fulsome review,” Holder said in a statement.
In Saturday’s incident, 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed by a Ferguson police officer in what police say was a scuffle but witnesses say was an unprovoked officer shooting. A vigil for Brown on Sunday evening turned into a riot as the crowd took the opportunity to slake their thirst for justice by looting liquor stores, convenience stores and a Walmart, among other businesses.
Holder or the staffer who actually prepared the statement probably meant to say the shooting deserves a “full” or “thorough” or “complete” review, but that’s not even close to what “fulsome” actually means; check any dictionary. (For a hint, the AP Stylebook defines it as “disgustingly excessive.”)
This isn’t the first time this mistake has come from the administration. The late language maven William Safire pointed out similar overblown verbiage from the president himself back in 2009. It’s a problem with people who aren’t nearly as smart as they think they are, which is as good a working definition of “liberal” as you can ask for (particularly in the Obama White House.)
Liberal activists praised praised Holder’s decision to conduct a “fulsome” investigation, naturally (they probably don’t know what it means either). But the reception from saner parts of the Twitterverse was decidedly cold — and angry.
Here’s a sample of the reaction:
Holder Stoking Racial Fires In Ferguson shooting death: Orders To Investigate Case. Which Chicago case? weekend 11 killed and 60 wounded
— RussVet (@RussVet1) August 12, 2014
Ferguson, MO MOB torched convenience store with employees still inside. Will Holder’s DOJ monitor thugs’ abuse of employees’ rights?
— GretchenInOK (@GretchenInOK) August 12, 2014
Why isn’t Holder denouncing the violent attack on a St. Louis new photographer and videographer? #ferguson
— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) August 12, 2014
Looters at Ferguson Missouri …several dozen on @TeamCavuto clip…. All black. Holder and DOJ? Crickets. More violence expected tonight.
— TenNamesLater (@TenNamesLater) August 11, 2014
Now, obviously, murder and looting aren’t equivalent, and no one would expect the attorney general of the United States to get involved in a looting investigation.
But there was a time when we didn’t expect attorney generals and presidents to instinctively — and disastrously — inject the most destructive elements of race into every issue.
In the Obama years from the very beginning it’s been nothing but from relatively minor issues — the New Black Panther voter intimidation case, Professor Bill Gates and the Cambridge, Mass., police — to those the Trayvon Martin killing that roiled the nation. That’s been particularly true with Eric “my people” Holder.
Here’s how one Twitter user summed it up.
— Richard (@nowiknowmyabcs) August 11, 2014
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