As predictably as the closing bell at the Stock Exchange, the Wall Street Journal weighed in on the topic of the day -- the Los Angeles police brutality scandal -- and, needless to say, weighed in on the side of the police.
Oh, to be sure, the Journal's editorial condemned the beating of a defenseless man by what amounted to a mob in uniform. The editorial was only 10 lines into its topic, however, before the newspaper introduced the word but. The essence of the editorial from that point forward was, yes, it was terrible what the police did, but policemen are just awfully frustrated these days. The reason: They are hamstrung by lazy prosecutors who cut plea bargains and mushy-headed judges who come up with crazy legal doctrines like "the exclusionary rule." Never mind that we presently have a record number of people behind bars. The subtle but clear point of the editorial was simply that, if judges don't do their jobs in the courtroom, then the police will do it for them in the streets. This is the essence of a police state.