Take a close look behind the headlines

Ripped from the headlines: Big Win for Romney in Florida: This is not great news for Team Obama. Newt Gingrich is clearly the Democratic Party’s preferred candidate. Gingrich is a huge hypocrite, claiming moral superiority and practicing the opposite. He is polarizing to the right, and that leaves the middle class to Barack Obama, assuming the president plays his cards right.

Mitt Romney should actually relish Newt calling him a “moderate.” The fact that the Florida win was so overwhelming for Romney suggests that the ultra-right foolishness advanced by the so-called tea party is poison. After all, you get a lot of people who love their Medicare and Social Security in Florida.

But one thing worth noticing is the relatively low voter turnout in the Sunshine State. That could suggest that the Republican voters didn’t like the choices they were being offered, and that could be good news for Obama. In fact, with all the attention being focused on the Republicans it is fascinating that President Obama continues to lead in most of the national polls that I have seen. Considering the state of the economy, the slow but steady improvement in the economic indicators and the jobs category, the public seems to prefer the current centrist president who gets along with bankers and oil companies to the namby-pamby Romney.

In fact, Gingrich has been reduced to suggesting that the president will become a raving socialist if he is elected to a second term. There are many Democrats who just wish that might be so.

Capeless Fights With Eagle Editorial Board: I have always liked David Capeless. He works hard with a relatively small budget and a huge crime problem in Pittsfield that doesn’t seem to go away. But now the handwriting is on the wall. Folks are scared. People are being shot on residential streets. Pittsfielders want results and if Capeless gets a law-and-order opponent, he just might have a fight on his hands.

The beautiful city of Pittsfield should not have the kind of random and very serious crime that it is experiencing. The thing that I like about the fictitious Jack McCoy on “Law and Order” is that he is always looking for novel ways to put away the bad guys, even if it will be tough to make the case.

If I were Capeless, I would be following the model of arrest, detention and no-nonsense. It’s time to let the drug dealers and other baddies know that this is not their home. I remember when Great Barrington got cleaned up with the help of David Capeless. When he got a perfectly nice opponent with a more liberal bent, I opined for Capeless. I feel for him, I really do. I would not want his job, but he’s just got to do something about crime in Pittsfield. I think it’s possible, but time is running out. As far as being thin skinned, he should just join the crowd. If you put yourself out there, there will always be those who’ll take a shot at you. No one knows that better than I do.

The Eagle editorial board is not such an arbitrary, trigger happy group. Capeless must harness the energy of the press in doing his job. They are not his enemy.

If anything, the people who set editorial policy for the Eagle seem to follow the “sociological model.” They know what causes crime and have always favored alleviating its root causes. But when they talk turkey to Capeless, the DA should listen. This really isn’t personal. In a recent case it turns out that those arrested had previously been in serious trouble and a murder might have been avoided had the DA’s office been a lot more aggressive.

Hey, that was then and this is now but it’s time for Capeless to get some blood in his eye for the criminals, not for The Eagle.

Originally published in the Berkshire Eagle, 2/4/12

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