In a moment of broad national consensus over the need for some police reforms, Washington politicians are predictably failing. The House of Representatives passed a partisan bill that has no chance of becoming law, shutting Republicans out of floor amendments. Senate Democrats mounted a filibuster against even starting the process of debating and amending Sen. Tim Scott's entirely reasonable legislation, which was at the very least a consensus starting point, as the House Speaker accused Scott and his colleagues of complicity in George Floyd's murder. Now, members of "the Squad" have entered the fray, introducing a wildly radical proposal:
Two congressional "squad" members unveiled a wide-ranging proposal Tuesday to defund police departments and establish a reparations program for African Americans and people harmed by the police and the criminal justice system. Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, both Democrats, announced the BREATHE Act via a virtual conference call...Under the bill, federal funds to local police and federal agencies would be slashed and diverted to pay for health care, education, environmental housing programs. It would eliminate federal programs and agencies used to finance Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the controversial Department of Defense 1033 program, which transfers excess military equipment to civilian law enforcement agencies.
Other provisions include abolishing surveillance tactics disproportionately used to target minority communities, electronic monitoring -- including ankle monitors, smartphone apps and other tools -- ending civil asset forfeiture, ending the "three strikes" law and repealing laws that criminalize illegal immigration. In addition, it would offer a 50 percent match of savings for states to close down detention facilities and prisons, the elimination of gang databases and the forgiving of all fees and surcharges within the justice system.
Forbes reports the BREATHE Act would abolish ICE and the Drug Enforcement Agency, in addition to providing taxpayer-funded "reparations" to black people and others "harmed" by law enforcement. It's quite something to watch hardcore progressives seizing on the current situation to push the same radical agenda they've been championing for some time. With police being undermined and demonized by many politicians, violent crime is spiking in multiple major US cities. And some politicians want to gut the police further, while eliminating anti-gang databases and decriminalizing illegal border crossings. Meanwhile, left-wing "protesters" in DC were arrested earlier in the week after blocking traffic and forcing motorists to turn around, tactics that have resulted in violent confrontations and deaths in places like Washington State, Utah, and Atlanta. One assaulted a police officer. To the mob, soaring crime and ugly clashes are features, not bugs. Another man was arrested after attempting to burn down a police station.
One might be inclined to dismiss such behavior as fringe and wave off the BREATHE Act as a dead-end nonstarter. But one must also recall that Senate Democrats, while obstructing even official consideration of a compromise reform bill, blocked a simple resolution condemning mob violence, rioting and looting just last week. And Joe Biden appears to be a bit hazy about his position on defunding the police. The party's left flank firmly supports the idea, while Biden has said he opposes it -- but now he sounds open to at least one of the myriad definitions of "defunding the police":
?? ????— Trump War Room - Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) July 8, 2020
Joe Biden says police have "BECOME THE ENEMY" and calls for CUTTING police funding: "Yes, absolutely!" pic.twitter.com/hV9KyuqhiX
Ladies and gentlemen,— Greg Price (@greg_price11) July 8, 2020
Senator Tammy Duckworth pic.twitter.com/hUQhRzPZco
What might an unrestrained Democratic-run unified federal government seek to accomplish if they win sweeping victories in November? Recall that they've been making quite clear that they aren't interested in allowing institutions or traditions to stand in their way. I'll leave you with this:
Rep. Ilhan Omar calls for "dismantling" of the U.S. "economy and political systems," which she calls a "system of oppression." pic.twitter.com/AP072GsmzW— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) July 7, 2020