Democrats Need To Get Their Act Together

Defund: to prevent from continuing to receive funds.

A recent CNN poll showed Trump’s approval rating at 38 percent; down seven points from a month ago. In another poll in The Wall Street Journal, 80 percent of respondents believe the country is out of control. Not since 2008 – the last year of the Bush Administration – have that many people felt this way.

In cities across the nation and, yes, even across the world, countless people are taking to the streets in solidarity for George Floyd. Not even a global pandemic can deter them. The last time the stars were aligned like this, three wise men were making their way to a little town called Bethlehem.

The political headwinds are clearly with Democrats as they head into the summer and fall. That’s why I was dismayed to learn that nine out of thirteen members of the Minneapolis City Council – a veto proof majority – voted to defund and disband the city’s police department, and that many progressives throughout the country are calling for similar steps to be taken with their cities’ police departments. Leave it to Democrats to screw up a sunset.

Thankfully, both the Biden campaign and Democratic House leadership put the kibosh on such talk. The bill making its way through the lower chamber that was cobbled together by the Congressional Black Caucus and Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, if passed, would “ban chokeholds, create a National Police Misconduct Registry, incentivize state and local governments to conduct racial bias training for officers, and set restrictions on the transfer of military-grade equipment to local law enforcement entities.” Its fate in the Senate remains uncertain.

But that didn’t stop Bunker Boy from taking to Twitter and tweeting out the following: “LAW & ORDER, NOT DEFUND AND ABOLISH THE POLICE. The Radical Left Democrats have gone Crazy!”

Trump then zeroed in on Biden by tweeting, “Not only will Sleepy Joe Biden DEFUND THE POLICE, but he will DEFUND OUR MILITARY! He has no choice, the Dems are controlled by the Radical Left.”

There’s nothing like a self-inflicted wound to give a moribund campaign a life line. And make no mistake about it, Trump desperately needed a life line. His reelection prospects were sinking lower than that bunker under the White House. The stunt he pulled last week, in which he gassed peaceful protesters in Lafayette Park just so he could stage a photo-op in front of a church holding a Bible backfired on him big time. The old “thug” narrative isn’t working because, as it was painfully obvious to all who saw the media coverage, the vast majority of the protesters were and continue to be non-violent, Bill Barr’s lyin’ ass performance on Face the Nation notwithstanding.

God, I really hate it when Democrats do this to themselves. It drives me up the wall. Now they’re scrambling to come up with a nuanced definition for a word that any six year old with access to the internet and five fingers can verify in a few seconds. Apparently, when they said “defund,” they didn’t really mean defund. What they really meant to say is they want to divert funding away from the police and redirect it towards other programs that are more beneficial to the community. The Washington Post had an op-ed, explaining it thusly:

Defunding and abolition probably mean something different from what you are thinking. For most proponents, “defunding the police” does not mean zeroing out budgets for public safety, and police abolition does not mean that police will disappear overnight — or perhaps ever. Defunding the police means shrinking the scope of police responsibilities and shifting most of what government does to keep us safe to entities that are better equipped to meet that need. It means investing more in mental-health care and housing, and expanding the use of community mediation and violence interruption programs.

Well, don’t I feel silly. And to think, all this time I was relying on my what my eyes were telling me, when all the while I should’ve been engaging in a Vulcan mind meld with the editorial “geniuses” at The Washington Post, the city council of Minneapolis and a majority of progressives, the latter of which I’m guessing was smoking some kind of weird shit to pull that definition out of their asses.

Look, I get it. Terms like “police reform” have become a cruel joke to the African American community. They’ve been here before. It’s like an abusive husband saying “I’m sorry” to his wife for putting her in the hospital for the umpteenth time. After a while, apologies are worthless. And as John Oliver correctly pointed out on his show last Sunday, police unions have a tremendous amount of power to basically block any reform that gets passed. Blacks are well within their rights to say, “What the fuck?”

But in my neck of the woods – the suburbs – the mere suggestion of defunding the police, nuanced or not, is a non-starter. You might as well run up the white flag of surrender so far as the 2020 election is concerned. There is no path to the White House for Biden, not to mention a Senate majority for Democrats, without suburban voters. Period!

Words matter and defining a narrative matter even more. Democrats and, especially, progressives need to realize this and stop placing themselves in precarious positions where they are forced to do damage control over an issue that by all rights they should have broad support for. The entire world saw Derek Chauvin murder George Floyd, and they were properly outraged. The political capital that resulted from such a heinous act cannot not be squandered chasing rainbows.

The family of George Floyd deserves justice, not cheap political stunts.

Author: Peter Fegan

Progressive but pragmatic. Lover of music, die-hard Giants' fan and reluctant Mets' fan. My favorite motto? I'd rather be ruled by a smart Turk than a dumb Christian.

What say you, the people?