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Tipsheet

Squadster: Hell Yes, I'm Going to Keep Saying 'Defund the Police,' Even if it Costs My Party

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

She wants to defund the police, which is probably pretty easy for her to say, given that her campaign pays six figures for her own private security detail.   When her parked car is hit by gunfire, she might feel 'shaken,' but she can lean on her paid personal protectors to help keep her safe.  Under her plans, other citizens would be out of luck.  National Democrats, already staring down the barrel of a brutal midterm election cycle, are eager to rid themselves of the self-inflicted 'defund the police' headache, which dragged them down in 2020.  Fortunately for Republicans, one of the loudest advocates of the radical, unpopular policy is doubling down:

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Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., is refusing to back away from the "defund the police" slogan, despite pushback from members of her own party who fear political consequences from its use. "I always tell [fellow Democrats], 'If you all had fixed this before I got here, I wouldn’t have to say these things,'" Bush told Axios Tuesday.  The progressive "Squad" member's commitment to defunding the police comes amid growing concern about the 2022 midterm election among members of the Democratic Party, who fear "defund the police" rhetoric may have led to disappointing results in the 2020 election. But Bush said that the party needs to do a better job of explaining to voters what it means by "defund the police," arguing that some funding could be better spent on preemptive social services. The Missouri Democrat also dismissed concerns about Democrats losing this year's election, saying a defeat should be blamed on the party's inability to pass sweeping reforms such as President Biden's Build Back Better legislation.

Oh, what fun. She's insisting on sticking with one of the most alienating mottos in modern political memory, expressing the delusional need to "explain" it better. The problem for its adherents, of course, is that it explains itself. Another little bit of delusion is her preemptive excuse for Democrats' expected losses. It's not that leftism is deeply off-putting to voters, you see; the real problem is that Democrats couldn't pass trillions in insane spending amid painful inflation. Also, is she...not aware that 'Build Back Better' is not popular with voters? Probably not.  The Squadverse bubble is nearly impenetrable.   Democrats are bitterly griping that it would be unfair for Republicans to use 'defund the police' as an attack on their opponents across the board -- though that's how politics works, as they well know.  They play the same game when it benefits them:

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Lefties complained...insisting that it’d be unfair for Republicans to try to make Bush the face of the party on this issue when most Democrats disagree with her. But since when has that ever been a rule of fair play in hardnosed politics? Tom Nichols reminded them that Democrats made Todd Akin the face of their “war on women” campaign in 2012 by seizing on his infamous comment about “legitimate rape” in the Missouri Senate race even though the Republican establishment distanced themselves from it. Comments like Akin’s and Bush’s don’t resonate with the opposing party because they expose what the political class wants. They resonate because they appear to confirm one’s worst suspicions about what the other side’s base believes. After all, when a party wins an election, it’s not just their leaders who gain power. It’s their voters. Do Americans want to empower a faction that includes a “defund the police” wing?

And it's not a powerless, non-influential wing, either. That's a key point. Democrats in the bluest cities have engaged in various forms of 'defund the police' experimentation, with disastrous results. Another prong of this mentality is soft-on-crime, or arguably even pro-crime, left-wing prosecutors coddling criminals in the name of "progress" and "equity" in cities ranging from LA to San Francisco, to Philadelphia, to New York. The violent crime spike in cities, and widespread looting, aren't figments of the public's imagination. And no mind-numbingly lame White House talking point blaming Republicans for these things is going to resonate with voters.  As I noted on Special Report this week, the Biden administration may bristle at accusations that they're on board with defunding the police, despite their many protestations to the contrary.  It's true that the president authored a draconian crime bill in the 1990's, and that the Vice President was an infamously harsh prosecutor in California.  But they abandoned those positions during the campaign, when their immediate political interest was to pander to the anti-law enforcement voices in their coalition:

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Biden "absolutely" endorsed redirecting funds away from police departments, which is one of the defunders' definitions of their cause.  He may have flip-flopped away from that stance, but he embraced it when the winds were blowing that direction and he was trying to impress Leftists (which has been how he's governed).  And the 'bail out rioters' tweet is still active on Harris' account:


A partial snapshot of the predictable results:

A bail fund promoted by Vice President Kamala Harris helped lead to the release of an alleged Minneapolis domestic abuser — who has been charged with murder in a road-rage slaying. George Howard, 48, was charged with two counts of second-degree murder for allegedly shooting Luis Damian Martinez Ortiz, 38, during a road-rage incident on Interstate 94 in Minneapolis on Aug. 29, KSTP reported. Surveillance video reportedly showed Ortiz getting out of his blue BMW and approaching Howard’s white Volvo before Howard shot the other man and fled. Ortiz died from a gunshot wound to the chest, officials said. Just weeks earlier, Howard, a Minneapolis man barred from having a firearm due to previous convictions, was released on Aug. 11 on $1,500 bond in a domestic assault case after being jailed on Aug. 5, Hennepin County records show. He was bailed out by the Minnesota Freedom Fund — which was touted last year by Harris.

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I'll also remind you that even as Democrats try to minimize Cori Bush as a gadfly back-bencher who doesn't speak for the party, one of her stunts managed to force the President of the United States to take politically-motivated action that he himself had asserted was unconstitutional:

“In light of the Supreme Court’s ruling,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last week, “the president calls on Congress to extend the eviction moratorium.” Then, a funny thing happened: nothing. According to news reports, roughly a dozen of House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s own colleagues opposed an extension. So, a majority of the people’s representatives were against it — democracy had spoken. That should have been the end of it, especially given that the White House said it had searched for a legal justification for an exemption and found none. When Biden reversed course and had the CDC issue another extension, he was, incredibly enough, explicit that “the bulk of the constitutional scholars say it’s not likely to pass constitutional muster.” It’s not often a president of the United States admits he’s affirmatively violating his sworn duty to uphold the Constitution, but Biden did it — and got fulsome praise from congressional leaders of his own party.

He did this in response to demands from...Rep. Cori Bush:

Freshman Representative Cori Bush (D., Mo.) played a leading role in this saga. When it seemed that the Biden administration was going to allow the eviction moratorium to lapse without replacement, she began what the Wall Street Journal’s Siobhan Hughes described as a “nearly round-the-clock sit-in” on the steps of the U.S. Capitol lasting five days. “I’m an organizer. I’m an activist. That is what I do. I fell back on what I know to do, which was be visible, put your body on the line, use whatever you have,” Bush said. Her efforts, which drew on her own experience of having been evicted, received widespread press coverage. Eventually the Biden administration responded with a new moratorium. Her action has instantly been hailed as an example of how one representative can truly make a difference — including by the Senate majority leader, Senator Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) and the speaker of the House, Representative Nancy Pelosi (D., Ca.).
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It's impossible to paint her as a minor backbencher when her agitation caused the president to explicitly violate the constitution in order to placate her and the base she represents. 'Defund the police' is a threat to public safety and a threat to Democratic power. Democrats themselves are responsible for those threats, and they should be held accountable.

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