Quote of the Day:

No demonstrators will block traffic to protest the ambush of Police Officer Brian Moore in Queens Saturday evening — the fifth New York City cop struck by gunfire in the line of duty since December.

–New York Post story on the death of Officer Brian Moore, 25

Officer Brian Moore, who was ambushed Saturday in Queens, while serving in a detail  tasked with getting illegal guns off the streets, died yesterday. He had been in an induced coma after being shot twice in the face. Officer Moore, 25, was the fifth New York police officer to be hit by gunfire in the line of duty since December. He was a second generation policeman.

Demetrius Blackwell, 35, an ex-con with a CV that reportedly includes vicious acts, is being charged. Moore had in his brief, five-year career made more than 150 arrests and received two exceptional police service medals and two meritorious police service medals. “We don’t give them out easily,” said New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who showed up at the hospital carrying a pair of dress uniform shoes for Brian Moore to wear in his coffin.

The death of Officer Moore makes me so angry that I almost want city authorities to say, “Well, if you don’t like cops in your neighborhood, we’ll withdraw them. Bye-bye. And lots of luck.” But who would suffer most? Law-abiding poor people. It is time, however, to make it crystal clear that law-abiding poor people are not the people we see rioting in the streets. Law-abiding citizens don't say, heck, I think I'll take a day off for some looting and burning.

Officer Moore of course died in New York, but his death was just another casualty of the lawlessness that has sent a Baltimore neighborhood up in flames. When something like Baltimore happens, Heather Mac Donald points out, liberals “place blame everywhere but where it belongs: on criminality and on family breakdown.” I don’t think I have to go out on a limb to predict that Demetrius Blackwell will turn out to be somebody who grew up without the benefit of a nuclear family.

The ghettoes into which officers such as Brian Moore have to go into have been created by liberal policies. From Appalachia to the inner city, these policies have destroyed hope and ambition. As Bill McGurn writes today in the Wall Street Journal:

“The problem facing Appalachia today isn’t Third World poverty,” writes Mr. Cheves. “It’s dependence on government assistance.” Just one example: When Congress imposed work requirements and lifetime caps for welfare during the Clinton administration, claims of disability jumped.

Mr. Cheves quotes a former grade-school principal who says this of Martin County’s children: “Instead of talking about a future of work, or a profession, they talk about getting a check.”

Yes, Washington’s largess has done some good. Even the federal government can’t spend billions of dollars without building a decent road or bridge here or there. But it all came at a high human cost.

To put the war on poverty’s “gains” in perspective, moreover, it is worth comparing the progress in both inner-city Baltimore and rural Martin County over the past half-century with, say, South Korea over the same time. While the Great Society’s billions were creating a culture of dependency, South Korea—with its emphasis on trade and global competition—rose from the ashes of a terrible war to become the world’s 12th-largest economy.

Meanwhile, President Obama says the rioting in Baltimore means “we as a country have to do some soul-searching.” He’s right about that, even though what he means by this is that others need to come around to his view. If the president really wanted to launch some national soul-searching, he would invite, say, Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) for a chat about how to get cities such as Baltimore to start generating jobs again.

Because to look at urban black Baltimore and rural white Martin County and conclude that the answer is more cradle-to-grave, “Life of Julia” federal love isn’t soul searching. It’s denial.

The friction in places such as Baltimore’s inner city is not between cops and law-abiding citizens; it is between the police and who have become delinquent largely because of Great Society programs that have destroyed initiative and virtue and two-parent families.

Being a policeman is dangerous work, and I can’t imagine many people will continue sign up for the job in the future if we keep disparaging them. Police brutality is never to be condoned, but neither is painting as monsters men and women who risk their lives to serve honorably. Officers confront both old-fashioned lawlessness and a new kind of lawlessness born of the Great Society. Both New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and President Obama grudgingly praise fallen officers such as Brian Moore. It is not enough.

President Obama, it is time for you to do some soul-searching.

I hate to ruin the Age of Aquarius for you, Mr. President, but here's a news flash: the rioters aren't cool; they are thugs. Cops are not pigs, like the cool kids said in the 1960s; they're our last bulwark against crime. Yeah, I know–you thought they were corrupt protectors of the 1 percent.

Maybe you could start by attending some cops’ funerals.  Or maybe this vigil for Officer Moore.