I’ve been following the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. I did not watch every minute of the coverage. But I watched a good portion of the prosecution’s case. I caught only parts of the defense’s case because I was on call last week and had to try to fit it in with work. Once the on call was over, I kept falling asleep trying to catch up.
I think the defense could have done a better job. Their job one was to impeach the evidence, not to necessarily to prove their client’s motive. Yet they kept the self-defense motive in focus, and not doing that great of a job at either.
I kept looking for the defense to ask their video expert about how Huber was shot, and it didn’t happen. The video showed Huber hitting a prone Rittenhouse with a skateboard he was holding in his right hand and leaning over to grab the gun with his left hand as he was running by, in sort of hit and grab in motion maneuver. As Huber was flying over Rittenhouse and grabbing the gun, he dropped the skateboard and was holding onto the gun, with the end of the barrel somewhat tucked into his chest area. It shows the tension created on Rittenhouse’s rifle strap from Huber pulling on the gun, barrel up. It’s difficult to tell if it was Huber’s momentum against the rifle strap that caused him to let go of the gun, or if the gun went off and then he let go. But it appears in the video evidence to be possible that Huber caused the discharge that killed him from pulling on the gun that Rittenhouse was determined to keep under his control, held tightly with his finger on the trigger. It does not appear to be possible that Rittenhouse aimed with precision. If Rittenhouse did consciously pull the trigger, he did it while the gun was in Huber’s hand and pointed at his upper torso – which is utter disregard for human life.
With that said, I think if there is any conviction, it will be for the death of Huber because the defense didn’t address this encounter to attempt to cast a reasonable doubt on whether Rittenhouse made a conscious decision to pull the trigger, while Huber was shot as he was flying over Rittenhouse, on his way out of range, not persisting in beating him with the skateboard. Huber no longer had the skateboard in his hand when he was shot. Trying to disarm Rittenhouse, who, according to testimony, Huber believed to be an active shooter, is not grounds for self-defense. Having a tense moment isn’t a defense either.
As for the other two who were shot, Rosenbaum and Grooskrutz, I do not believe there will be a conviction. But I am only guessing here. Especially Rosenbaum. Rittenhouse gave him three opportunities to stop pursuing him, turning and presenting his rifle horizontally, across his body, and Rosenbaum kept charging at him, shouting obscenities and threats. I believe any so armed reasonable person in that situation would have done the same. Ditto for Grooskrutz, who appeared to surrender to Rittenhouse who lowered his rifle at that moment, only to then sidestep him and point his pistol at his head from probably what he thought was out of sight. Rule #1 is don’t point a gun at someone unless you’re going to use it, especially if they are holding an AR-15. Shoot him or flee. That moment of indecision in attempted trickery cost him his arm and turned this case into what it is.
I did not intend to write so much about this case. It just started flowing off my fingers as I sat down to write about other things.
I’ve decided to part ways with the Lincoln Project. Though it isn’t a huge step because my support for it has been passive. It’s not turning out to be what I hoped it would become – a place for principled yet disenchanted and politically homeless Republicans to bomb what the Party has become from the outside. Instead, the Lincoln Project has morphed into an arm of the Democratic Party. It campaigned for Terry McAuliffe in the Virginia governor race; and this guy is every bit as smug and self-serving as Donald Trump and comes complete with party line Koolaid that is tough to choke down. The thought that whatever economic or other debacles those of his ilk create are better for everyone than Trumpian autocracy is little comfort. Hell will come either way.
Politics is (or should be) about getting the wrong people to do the right thing. Not placating them as they do the wrong things. Standing up and saying you don’t mind the wrong things, or believe in the wrong things, things that in other times would be ridiculed and/or protested, is the wrong thing because these were the wrong things in other times because of the damage they do, and they are the wrong things now. I am not at that place where I can listen to race baiting, and talking up of corrupt limo libs and whatever economic narcissism they have planned for us on the off hours. The limo libs are part of the problem. The race and class baiting they use as both a political weapon and an intellectual prison breeds incivility – just like Trump’s deceptions – and are part of the problem. They created the atmosphere for Trump to thrive with all of these.
If you want to save democracy, standing up for the things that contributed to the metamorphosis of discontent into malcontent isn’t going to do it. Trump version two is out there waiting for his bite at the apple. The only way to stop him is to at least recognize that there are legitimate pains out in the wild and figure out how address them and peel the support away that would put that person in position to succeed where Trump failed with effective policy. Actual problem solving and appropriate policy choices can only be done while sober and rational, not while under the influence of Kool-Aid.
The Lincoln Project is not helping by becoming the problem. I can’t waste my resources on it.