OK, so unsurprisingly, the tazer kid is a total ass hole.

He was an ass hole in the video. He was asking Kerry assholish questions. In fact, reading some of his work reminds me of a deluded ass hole I know who lives in Washington. He may have some psychological issues—a touch of Asperberg’s, perhaps.

But even if I thought of the person in this country whom I think most deserves a taze (that could be any number of Republicans, despite the fact that some of them might enjoy it), that doesn’t mean he gets tazed.

What you have in that YouTube video is Exhibit A in the end of the era (if it ever really existed) of a country of laws, not of men. Lady Justice’s blindfold has been removed, and she’s on the rag. Judgment is as swift as a text message spread from teenager to teenager. “He’s an asshole” means that he has no rights.

I wrote long ago on this blog, and have been saying for longer than that the aspirational conceit that we are such a country is dead. We are a country of men, not laws. When Chief Justice Marshall said the opposite, he was affirming the idea that no man was above the law, and that, especially since we didn’t have a king, it would be the law that would decide.

And by “the law” I don’t mean Freudian picnic cops. I mean the written words.

Now, a person’s fate is not judged by the laws, apparently, but whether he is an asshole. In our time, I think, people have lost patience for deliberation. They have lost patience because there is so much out there that makes people pissed—but it ain’t this guy. It’s the devil people don’t believe in anymore, the leadership that is really creating this environment.

It’s quite likely that this kid will get his 15 minutes and then a hefty settlement in court, but the impulse to taze him, because he was an asshole, is what disturbs me.

Invade first. Recriminations later.
Fire inconvenient US attorneys. Resign later.
Swiftboat him now. Suffer the FEC investigation later.
Taze now. Lose lawsuit later.

The punishments in these instances are never enough to deter the behavior. We are allowing people to pay cheaply for their weregild. And no one in that crowd would stop him, because they knew at first blush he was an ass hole.

In the Internet age, by the time lady justice has put her blindfold back on, there have been 1000 intervening ADHD inducing events, and we’ve forgotten.

So, the message is, take and strike first, you may get away with it. Welcome to the land of men, not laws.