(Editor's note: The Lieberman Award is given annually to the worst example of a human being over a twelve month period. Click the tag at the end of the post to review past winners.)
Gin and Tacos and its parent company, Nordyne Defense Dynamics, hold very high standards with respect to the final product you see published here four or five times per week. When we say someone is an asshole, we want you the reader to know that we have done our homework and vetted the subject thoroughly. We aren't going to give you people who are just kind of an asshole. You can rest assured that when we look back at a year and say "This person was an asshole of such magnitude that he defined 2014 with how rotten he is at being human," the honor is richly deserved and well earned.
St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch is everything wrong with America today, far more so than any cigar stealing Thug or even any trigger happy police officer could ever be. He is old, dying, white America incarnate, struggling mightily to control a country it is no longer capable of understanding and not even willing to try. Bob McCulloch is every gun-hoarding authoritarian personality type who sees a threat in everything and everyone that does not look and behave like himself. Bob McCulloch is the America that is on its way being demographically irrelevant and is attempting to maintain a position of superiority by dominating the institutions of state power to such an extent that their privileges can never be taken away. You know, like white people did in Apartheid-era South Africa.
Bob McCulloch is your uncle who bitches constantly about big government and taxes while every paycheck he has collected in his life has been from the public teat. He is the public's mental caricature of an incompetent, corrupt civil servant, so protected and insulated from the repercussions of his professional actions that he is unwilling even to fake giving a shit if you can see how corrupt he is. Bob McCulloch is the old, bitter white people that dot major cities throughout the Rust Belt; everyone young and financially able has left and now he reigns over a poor, crumbling, crime-ridden corpse of a city and it makes him so bitter and angry, despite his job security and material comfort, that all he can do to make himself feel a little better is lash out at people he considers a rung (or two) beneath him on the social ladder.
McCulloch's press conference on the night that what everyone already knew was announced – that no prosecution of the officer who shot Michael Brown would be forthcoming – was one of the most amazing things I've ever witnessed. It redefined concepts like "brazen" for me and despite watching it at home alone I found myself uttering "Jesus! The balls on this guy!" in sincere wonderment more than once. From his petulant blame-shifting to The Twitters (which, incidentally, I highly doubt he even "gets") and the media to his blatantly dishonest effort to take advantage of the fact that 95% of Americans neither know what a grand jury is nor understand how it works, this was a masterful whitewashing performance by a man who very clearly knows a thing or two about whitewashings. He openly admits that he – actually his underlings, as he never bothered to attend the grand jury proceedings himself – merely threw a sampling of evidence and witness testimony (including testimony he admitted to knowing was false) at the grand jurors and waited until they came to the desired conclusion. That is exactly how the prosecutor's role in no grand jury ever works. But he got up there in front of the cameras as said that anyway because he assumes you don't know that, or if you do he simply doesn't give a shit that you see through the farce. He's untouchable and he knows it, wearing the perpetual smirk of the idiot son put in charge of the family business; everyone knows he's a moron, including him, as surely as everyone knows he's not going anywhere, ever.
The real problem is not Bob McCulloch, at least not beyond the borders of his limited jurisdiction. The problem is that there are hundreds of thousands of Bob McCullochs across this country, each one every bit as incompetent and lousy with prejudices. They have burrowed into every level and every part of the criminal justice system like ticks, from police to the courts to parole offices to administrative departments of every size and color. They probably run your police department, your local district attorney's office, your circuit courts, your state legislature, and anything else that offers a paycheck from the public coffers and a grandfathered-in pension. They all know one thing for certain, that they can tell good people (anyone who looks and thinks like them) from bad people (everyone else). Some part of them understands that this isn't really "Their" country anymore, but they're holding onto the institutions of power until their cold, dead hands are pried off and not a second sooner.
Congratulations to Bob McCulloch and all the Bob McCullochs around the United States. You've earned this award, hiding behind a wall of silence and collusion in homes bought with tax dollars watching a favorite Charles Bronson white revenge fantasy movie on VHS. You wield the instruments of state power like a sculptor does a hammer and chisel, the primary difference being that a sculptor must on occasion be subtle about the application of physical force.