Though they didn’t lose control of the U.S. House last year, Democratic House candidates took quite the drubbing at the ballot box in November, losing 14 seats in an election that the “experts” had predicted would actually increase the Democrat majority.
A major factor cited by Democrats, especially those in close races, was the party’s embrace of the “defund the police” movement. Some of them, as it turns out, found out a little too late that large majorities of all demographics actually support either maintaining or increasing police presence in local neighborhoods – especially in the aftermath of the George Floyd protests in Dem-run cities like Minneapolis, where the city council adopted a “hate the police” philosophy that caused officers to retire and criminals to become emboldened, resulting in double-digit increases in violent crime.
8 months later, Democrats apparently are now trying to shake their reputations as proponents of defunding the police off on Republicans. Over the weekend, Biden advisor Cedric Richmond told Fox News that lack of Republican support for bloated Democrat COVID “relief” bills was proof that it was the GOP and not Democrats who wanted to defund the police:
“Let’s talk about who defunded the police. When we were in Congress last year trying to pass an emergency rescue plan for cities that were cash-strapped and laying off police, it was the Republicans who objected to it. … They defunded the police. We funded crime intervention and a whole bunch of other things.”
It was an absolutely foolish comment to make, and Fox News reporter Peter Doocy and Jen Psaki sparred over it during today’s White House press briefing. Not surprisingly, Psaki seemed to agree with Richmond’s point and, also not surprisingly, Peter Doocy called her and the administration out on it.
Watch the exchange below:
Absolutely shameless. Under questioning from Fox's Peter Doocy, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki argues it's *Republicans* who have been defunding the police and not supporting law enforcement because they didn't vote for Biden's stimulus boondoggle the American Rescue Plan. pic.twitter.com/pIwfFkonu1
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) June 28, 2021
The attempt by the Biden administration to reframe this issue as one where Republicans don’t support the police because they oppose bloated spending bills jam-packed full of unrelated Democrat wish list items isn’t going to work. The “defund the police” movement was the core tenet of the Black Lives Matter marches last year, which Democrats wholly embraced even to the point – as noted above – some city councils took action to demonstrate their loyalty to the cause by denigrating law enforcement officers and laying the groundwork for social workers to take the place of police officers in certain instances.
Further, in some cities across the country, due to funding that was pulled/cut from local police departments by Democrat-run city councils (like in Austin, TX, for example) police are having to cut back on the type of 911 calls and criminal complaints that they follow up on because they simply don’t have the resources to do their jobs.
While the Biden administration’s sudden push to tie “defund the police” effort to Republicans is cute, it’s not going to work. And if they keep it up they are going to find this debate revived all over again heading into the 2022 midterms, where Republicans will be more than happy to bring the receipts on just which party it is that doesn’t support funding the men and women who help keep our communities safe.