Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Moms: The Ultimate Weapons of Justice
By Jake Novak

*(Background: The newly-elected D.A. of Nassau County, NY has caused a firestorm by trying to eliminate the part-time prosecutor positions in her office... most of which are held by working moms)

Top scientists are currently working on a life-like robot with eyes in the back of its head. My sister and I actually grew up with something just like that in our house; we called it “mom.” (Jake Novak, Punchlines 2003)

For those of us who grew up with a vigilant mother, (and who didn’t?), the above quip isn’t just a joke, it’s a way of life. And it also should serve as a powerful lesson to Nassau D.A. Kathleen Rice.

There’s no other way to say it; in our society good moms are the best maintainers of law and order we’re ever going to see. And that’s why I’m so confused by Ms. Rice’s decision to eliminate the part-time positions in her office mostly filled by women with children. Rice herself is one of ten children, so she really should know how a sharp working parent today would have made J. Edgar Hoover look like an amateur.

We all know the drill. Sure, dad often played the tough guy in the house. But he was just the muscle. For me, my mom was always the chief prosecutor. She knew all my old tricks, anticipated my new tricks, and was always ready to dole out the worst possible punishment for me based on what I most wanted to do at the time.

And she was unrelentingly tough. She once even yanked a pair of World Series tickets out of my hand because I had a test the next day at school she knew I hadn’t studied for. And they say Rudy Giuliani was tough on sentencing.

These days, there are basically three kinds of active moms in the workforce, all of whom can do a better job prosecuting Nassau’s criminals than anyone else. The first kind is the mother of a newborn. There’s nothing tougher than this woman. She is sleep deprived, always on-call, and never takes her responsibilities for granted. You want to speed up the pace of our criminal trials? Try putting the biggest cases in the hands of a new mom who needs to be home in time to breastfeed her kid and get him down for a nap every day at noon. Put more moms like that on the case and I’d say most trials would be over in about 2-3 hours.

The second kind of mom is the one with a toddler at home. This is the woman who’s going to know how to deal with cranky judges, whining defense attorneys, and tantrum-throwing suspects better than anyone. I’d like to see even the worst criminal in Nassau County outdo a three-year-old who wants an ice cream cone before finishing her dinner. I’ll take a mom who knows how to deal with that situation over a couple of cops with a Taser any day. And defense attorneys shouldn’t even try to file for another continuance when “prosecutor mom” is in danger of being late to pick up junior from soccer practice. Turn out the lights Clarence Darrow, the party’s over.

Finally, we have the mom with teenagers. This is truly the wisest of all women. She has the strength and patience of the other kinds of moms, but she also is able to keep up with the latest technology, lingo, and other new gimmicks utilized by the modern criminal… I mean teenager. Corrupt politicians, drunk drivers, home invaders, and other scammers don’t stand much of a chance against moms who routinely have to keep up with the potentially nefarious activity connected with Internet chat boards, text messaging, and high-pitched cell phone rings supposedly inaudible to adults.

So Ms. Rice, as you can see this is not an appeal to your kind-hearted nature. Nor is it a statement about sending a “family-friendly” message to Long Island. Forget that. This is about unleashing Nassau’s toughest, meanest, and most indefatigable weapons on the criminal element in this county. And I suggest you do it now before you get grounded just before you head out the door on the way to your next fundraiser.


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