Bob Ehrlich: Biden, Defunding Cops and a Few Other Thoughts on America's Summer of Discontent


Today’s chameleon-like Joe Biden would not recognize his 35-year voting record in the Senate, and not just because Joe has a difficult time remembering anything these days.

That Biden was the reflexively left-leaning “Amtrak Joe” — a Northeastern liberal operating squarely within the Teddy Kennedy wing of the party. Today’s knockoff takes his cues from the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie, and Beto — placing him squarely within the neo-socialist wing of his party.

Biden’s sudden left turn recalls the similar journey of Hillary Clinton at this point in her campaign. It may be difficult to believe now, but for most of her political life Hillary also operated on the Democrats’ traditional labor-left island — that is until she decided to drink the progressive Kool-Aid during her fall campaign.

The next sound we heard was that supposedly impregnable Midwestern blue wall tumbling down on the evening of Nov. 8, 2016.

Is anyone really surprised the mob has now made its destructive way to our places of worship and religious statues?

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The rioters are not your run-of-the mill protesters (one wonders if they even know the George Floyd story). Rather, these are the relatively small in number but truly committed anarchist- and Marxist-influenced young people seeking the elimination of our Judeo-Christian heritage.

Their criminality is real, open and unapologetic.

The statistics from the “defund the police” era are startling: at least one police officer death, property damage into the billions ($400 – $500 million in the Twin Cities alone) and well over 10,000 (and counting) arrests.

One has to believe that the remaining moderates within the Democratic Party will soon begin walking back some of the more insane “defund” advocacy. Waiting to do so until after the election is a catch-22: If Biden wins, defunding police agencies will have become normalized; if he loses, the rational middle will have again rejected a more ludicrous inclination of the far left.

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The two best lines I have heard in opposition to the defund madness: (1.) “Wonder how many social workers would have run up those Tower stairwells on 9/11?”; and (2.) “Why not have all defund proponents register on a “No-911” app so the police will know where their presence is not welcome?”

Not so long ago, the most dramatic split within the Democratic Party pitted traditional New Deal Democrats against more liberal environmentalists. With the rapid ascendancy of the party’s progressive wing, that war has now been won.

Today, the most obvious intramural fight is the one-sided affair between national teachers’ unions and those (predominately minority) advocates of school choice. How ironic that a wildly successful, grassroots movement of African-American women begun in Wisconsin would evolve into a rallying cry for conservatives attempting to break the union stranglehold on public education.

Speaking of which, the next big (post-Trump election) showdown in our nation’s Capitol will be over control of federal dollars on campus.

The academy’s recent campaign to limit speech while promoting newly popular socialist and Marxist thought will collide head-on with a re-elected administration aiming to even the First Amendment playing field.

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The nation’s colleges and universities have had it their way for a long time — until Mr. Trump came along with his Title IX (due process) reforms and now a free speech fight for which the American right has been itching for years.

A bright spot on an otherwise nondescript weekday afternoon occurred recently when New York Times writer and editor Bari Weiss resigned because she just couldn’t take progressive persecution anymore.

The angle is that Ms. Weiss was hired (after the Trump election) to be the diverse voice The Times has lacked. But the newsroom mob would not countenance such diversity, all that high-sounding free exchange of ideas stuff from our “paper of record” notwithstanding. The only real surprise here is that it took so long for all those supposedly woke defenders of diversity to eliminate diversity within their workplace. What a farce.

Remember the old days when national Democrats ran campaign ads castigating GOP control of big business and Wall Street and when right-wing CEOs were seen as nothing more than cheerleaders for the Republican agenda? Neither do I.

Truth be told, many of our nation’s distressingly progressive, anti-police mayors and prosecutors are safe bets to win re-election. (This despite their fecklessness in the face of organized rebellion.)

Their cities are overwhelmingly left; there is no fear of a silent majority response come next election day. Moreover, many of these failed executives are beneficiaries of uber-wealthy sponsors, including the ever-present George Soros. Of course, there may be some movement from those who simply can’t take city life anymore — similar to the thousands of businesses that have exited California over the last ten years.

But overall, our deteriorating big cities are in for many more years of dysfunction and malfeasance. It’s the unsurprising result of ultra-left one-party rule.

As New York City continues to descend into anarchy reminiscent of the David Dinkins era, I keep wondering how Rudy Giuliani got it done, how a legitimate right-of-center, law-and-order former prosecutor made so many decisions that turned the city around — and got himself re-elected in the process.

Students of history will recall that Giuliani cut taxes, drastically reduced crime, cleaned up corruption (and Times Square) and took on New York’s most powerful unions in balancing his budget. The cops loved him. As Joe Biden might conclude after examining Bill de Blasio’s rapidly deteriorating city: “C’mon, man!”

Rays of light: Goya Food’s pro-Trump CEO Bob Unanue’s courageously standing strong in the face of the Twitter mob’s attacks — and sales exploding as a result; a coalition of large and important police unions (the National Association of Police Organizations) that had endorsed Obama/Biden twice overwhelmingly endorsing Trump for re-election; the shocked look on the face of MSNBC host Craig Melvin when all five physicians interviewed for his back-to-school story said they would happily send their own kids back to school this fall; and the RNC’s national grassroots operation announcement that it has registered more voters to date than it did during the entirety of the 2016 campaign.

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Robert Ehrlich is a former governor of Maryland as well as a former U.S. congressman and state legislator. He is the author of “Bet You Didn’t See That One Coming: Obama, Trump, and the End of Washington’s Regular Order,” in addition to “Turn This Car Around,” “America: Hope for Change" and “Turning Point.” Ehrlich is currently a counsel at the firm of King & Spalding in Washington, D.C.