The story today of Obama and the Prof. Gates story is that Obama is looking to ease back on the rhetoric, for fear that the small incident will overtake his domestic agenda and health care. With his health care plan already imploding, it is probably a smart move.
Of course, the smart move would have been to not get involved in the first place. Obama's reaction to the arrest of Prof. Gates is symbolic of a larger problem--the federalization of what should be local matters.
I frankly could give a toss about Prof. Gates arrest. From what I have read Prof. Gates should have called a locksmith--surely he can afford it on his salary. The cop should have been a bit less belligerent and understanding. It sounds that all parties didn't handle the incident well.
But this was a local problem, small, and in the grand scheme of things, not worth the attention it has received. The incident, in which no one was hurt, is not something that the President of the United States should be involved in, comment on or even dedicate someone from the White House to monitor. It simply is beneath the office of the President and even beneath consideration by any agency of the federal government. But that didn't stop the Obama Administration from jumping in with both feet without even thinking about what the blowback would be.
The federal government has no business getting involved in this matter. But the mindset of the Administration that there is no problem too small or too local in which the federal government should not get invovled should bring us in to greater understanding that this Administration wants to micromanage every aspect of American society--federalism be damned.
Betsy has a slightly different take.