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Ron Paul slams Boston police. Has he gone too far?

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Yikes. This isn’t going to go down well in Watertown, is it? Citizens there applauded when police finally carted off Tsarnaev alive. The Boston police commissioner told his troops over the radio that “it’s a proud day to be a Boston police officer.” In the wake of the suspect’s capture the media have generally portrayed law enforcement officers as heroes.

But Paul’s contrarian take perhaps should not be surprising. After all, he’s a committed libertarian who at one point in the GOP presidential debates said that the border fence with Mexico might at some point be used to keep US citizens penned in.

And while Paul’s position here is, um, not in the majority, there are other public figures who charge that the Boston response was overkill. In some ways this is one of those points in the circle of American politics were conservative libertarianism and liberal progressivism meet.

The generally left-leaning Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald, for instance, told PBS host Bill Moyers over the weekend that the public lionization of police in the wake of the Boston bombing isn’t necessarily a good thing.

“The way in which Americans now related to their government, the way in which they get nationalistic pride is through the assertion of this massive military or police force, and very few other things produce that kind of pride,” Greenwald said. “I think [this] shows a lot about our value systems and what the government is failing to do. And that’s the way in which this culture becomes coarsened.”

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