I guess we are going to just go full alter-reality as we approach November. That’s apparently Joe Biden’s plan to combat the charge that he wants to defund the police. And to be sure, Biden has proposed redirecting money (i.e. defunding) and “reimagining” how policing happens.
But when asked about his position, Biden mumbled his way through his talking points proclaiming that it’s actually Trump who wants to defund the police.
"I’m the one calling for $300M more for local police, for community policing … The only person calling to defund the police is Donald Trump. Look at his budget. He calls for cutting police funding for local — state and local help by $400 million. Once again, he’s pathological.”
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 8, 2020
You are gonna be shocked to learn that Biden’s contention is misleading nonsense. Trump has not called for, nor does he support “defunding the police.” What is actually being referred to is a budget issue regarding the COPS program, which is a grant initiative for “community policing.” To the extent that you think such programs are effective, they are not the direct funding for police departments.
Further, as the Trump campaign has pointed out, overall federal funding for police departments has risen during the Trump era. Meanwhile, it fell (including funding for COPS) precipitously under the Obama-Biden administration. Biden’s claim ignores his own history of cutting funding while trying to cherry-pick one program and ignoring the actual overall increase in funding under Trump.
In other words, he’s just straight-up lying about the reality of the situation here. Trump has not, nor does he support defunding the police. In fact, the opposite has played out under his tenure.
Let’s talk about Biden’s plan, though. He keeps making these generic promises to add more “social workers” because that’s the hot deflection of the day from Democrats. But what does that really mean? Where’s the local funding for that come from? How will these magical social workers be used when police interactions are often volatile and dangerous? What would a social worker have done in the Jacob Blake situation, for example? The answer is absolutely nothing. It’s a silly, nonsensical “solution” that is only used as a nicer way of saying they want to take money from officers and stick it in more social programs that have yielded little results.
Of course, every time I watch Biden, I always come back to how bad he looks. This is not a man who’s well and fully capable of leading a country. As dumb as his talking points in this case were, his physical condition still stands out. He’s stumbling over basic phrases, he seems unable to pace his emotions, and he just looks so old.
We’ll see how much that matters in November.
(Please follow me on Twitter! @bonchieredstate)