'Defund Your Butts'

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson File)

Missouri’s newest addition to their Congressional delegation is sure to be a big hit — with those who adore The Squad. Cori Bush (D-Mo) pulled off a bit of an upset in the Democratic primary earlier this year when she picked off Lacy Clay, who’s held the 1st Congressional District seat since 1991. Clay’s father, Bill, preceded him and held the office beginning in 1969.

As my colleague Jeff Charles noted last week:

Bush became involved with the Black Lives Matter movement in 2014 after Michael Brown, a black teenager, was killed by a white police officer in Ferguson. His killing ignited an outpouring of outrage despite the fact that progressive operatives spread a false narrative about the details of the shooting. She participated in the protests against the shooting and led demonstrations in her district.

More recently, Bush has participated in protests against the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. She supports the usual socialist policies that have been championed by the Squad, including Medicare for All, “free” college education, open borders, and the Green New Deal.

For those keeping score, Bush was also involved in the march past the McCloskey manse in June and subsequently sparred with them after they called her out during their appearance at the Republican National Convention.

Bush caused a bit of a stir in October after she tweeted her goal of defunding not just the police but the Pentagon:

That drew a good deal of fire (from Missouri politicos and some on the national front), but Bush stood by her statement.

Not surprisingly, Bush won the seat handily last week, securing almost 79% of the vote.

Yesterday, she was a guest on Joy Reid’s show and responded to some of the criticism the progressive/defund-the-police wing of the party has been receiving from the more moderate Democrats:

This is not breaking up the caucus. Let me just say, we are fine. I have a relationship with all of the people on the caucus — a lot of them that are saying that this was hurtful. But what’s hurtful for me is the people in my community dying. What’s hurtful is St. Louis being number one for police killings since 2013 for six years straight, according to some research. We keep having this happen. We have this super aggressive police department and they don’t get to continue to just kill black folks in my community and I not say anything. So yes, defund your butts. Defund you.

Take that money that we’re using for MRAPS, the money that we’re using for tear gas and stockpiling SWAT gear. We’re going to take that money and put it into substance-use programs. We’re going to put it into education and mental health resources. We’re going to take it and use it for our unhoused population. We are reallocating funds, you know. I’m not trying to hurt anybody’s district or anybody from keeping their seat. I’m not looking at feelings, though. I’m looking at life. I’m trying to save lives.

The entire video can be seen in her tweet, below.

I expect Bush will be front-and-center with her progressive cohort as the new Congress is ushered in. Obviously, she’ll be sticking with the “defund the” mantra. No word yet on how many lives we can expect to save once we defund our butts. Stay tuned!