Dem Senator: Look, I Don't Know Anyone in My Party Who Supports Defunding the Police

|
|
Posted: Dec 07, 2020 1:05 PM
Dem Senator: Look, I Don't Know Anyone in My Party Who Supports Defunding the Police

Source: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

I think Joe Manchin is referring to zeroing out funds for police departments, which only a relative handful of radicals are actually proposing. But "defund the police" as a slogan and a policy matter remains alive and well within his party, no matter what he wants to tell himself. Whether it's dramatically slashing law enforcement budgets, "redirecting" funds away from police departments, or other definitions of the term, it's not going away. This reads more like wishful thinking than anything else:


I'm not sure Manchin even believes this line himself. Republicans didn't invent "defund the police" out of whole cloth. Leftists chanted it and put it on placards -- and public officials, from city council members to congressional representatives, repeated it. It's toxic and unpopular, yes, but it's not the GOP's fault for noticing it and exploiting it. Democrats got "tagged with" it because significant elements of their party support it. The West Virginia senator is aware of this dynamic, which is why he recently felt compelled to tweet out his quote about "defunding his butt," or whatever. He's not pushing back against a phantom; he's pushing back against what he sees as harmful overreach within his partisan coalition. And he ended up hitting back at AOC (pretty personally) because of how she reacted to said push back, in a since-deleted tweet:

NY Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez clapped back at fellow Democratic lawmaker Rep. Joe Manchin of West Virginia after he said he did not support defunding the police — tweeting an image of her glowering at him at the State of the Union. The Bronx-born socialist expressed her displeasure on Thursday at an earlier tweet from Manchin, a centrist, who attacked the party’s noisy left flank as hand-wringing continues over the party’s poor 2020 showing...Ocasio-Cortez’s (D. Bronx) response to her colleague’s tweet notched more than 200,000 likes by Thursday afternoon and prompted progressive group the Sunrise Movement to start a petition to “Defund Joe Manchin’s butt.” The Democratic Party is in the throes of a full-blown civil war following last week’s presidential race which Joe Biden won but saw Democrats’ majority in the House eroded...

Manchin knows his "I don't know of any Democrat" schtick is spin. We've all seen this battle playing out in real-time. Just last week, former President Barack Obama ignited a war with "The Squad" by suggesting in an interview that "defund the police" is a "snappy slogan" that is a political loser due to turning people off. He's right, of course, but that didn't stop all five members of AOC's expanded brigade from jumping all over him publicly, doubling down on their commitment to the priority Manchin pretends doesn't really exist:


"I don't know of any Democrat" who really wants to defund the police, Manchin says -- days after "defund the police" was reaffirmed as a "mandate" and "demand" by elected Democratic officials. I'll leave you with GOP Senator Dr. Bill Cassidy sounding optimistic about the bipartisan COVID relief bill that Manchin was also defending on television Sunday morning: