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What Is Going on Here?

I've been 'watching' events unfold on Twitter tonight and in various livefeeds. I don't have access to TV where I am. But I'm not sure that gives me less information.

For all the pyrotechnics, literal and figurative, and all the various outrages, large and small, what I see more than anything else is no one in control. And that's been the dominant theme for days. That might strike some as a sort of exoneration. But that is not how I mean it.

A few people have told me, "Wrong. The police chief is in charge. This is by design."

But that doesn't cut it. This is a major civil disturbance that has been going on, escalating, for days. There's a county government, a Governor, a federal government. Whatever police chief is in charge answers to them - mainly to the governor, at the end of the day. There are ways, even heavy-handed ways to quell protests and riots. But this seems like a repeated use of the same heavy-handed tactics that have proven counter-productive night after night.

The police seem like they're on autopilot, following the same script. Again, step back and it just doesn't seem like anyone is in charge.

About The Author

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.