Sixteen months out from the midterm elections, Democrats are sweating already.
That’s the only conclusion to draw from a report on Thursday outlining the party’s nascent attempts to start shifting away from one of its defining positions of only a year ago and start trying to pin Republicans as the group in American politics most hostile to law and order.
It’s almost more laughable than it is outrageous, but if that’s the best the left can do, the conservative plan is clear for 2022.
According to The Hill report by staff writer Tal Axelrod, Democrats are looking for a way to go on the offensive on an issue of public safety.
Considering this is the party that identified with the rioters that swept through major American cities last year, the party of city councils across the country that have cut police funding to disastrous effect, and the party of a president who never tires of peddling the lie of “systemic racism” in law enforcement, that’s going to take a lot of denying.
And their initial attempts, like White House press secretary Jen Psaki’s lame attempt to defend the idea in late June by pointing to Republican opposition to the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan that just happened to include funding that could be used to pay for law enforcement at the local level, haven’t gone well.
Even the normally lickspittle Washington Post, which usually functions effectively as a propaganda arm of the Democratic Party, couldn’t put up with that. Its “Fact Checker” column gave Psaki and White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond a score of three “Pinocchios” on a scale where four “Pinocchios” is an outright lie. (The Post always has trouble calling Democrats outright liars.)
And Republicans aren’t likely to let Democrats — even with their massive support in the mainstream media — get away with it.
“Fact checkers have repeatedly debunked Democrat lies about defunding the police. It is an insult to American small businesses, families, and communities who are experiencing rising violent crime, the devastating effects of anti-police rhetoric, and police department budget cuts at the hands of Democrat politicians,” Republican National Committee spokeswoman Emma Vaughn told The Hill.
“The Republican Party has always prioritized public safety, and conservatives at the federal, state, and local levels are committed to keeping our communities safe and police departments funded.”
That’s common knowledge — so common that not even mainstream media collusion can spin it away.
Any sentient being who lived in the country over the past year knows which party excoriated law enforcement without a good reason. (The myth of rampant police shootings of unarmed black men is just that — a myth — as the invaluable research of Heather Mac Donald proved in a 2015 National Review report that’s just as relevant today.)
And as The Federalist’s Christopher Bedford noted in a piece published Tuesday, it’s cities that are firmly in Democratic control that have been the main laboratories for experiments in controlling crime by cutting police funding.
The results have been predictable — from Oakland, California, where murder has risen by 90 percent over last year, to Minneapolis, where crime soared after police cuts, to New York City, where budget cuts by a Democratic City Council and Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio have led to a crime wave that’s dominated the city’s political conversation.
That’s the same crime wave Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dismisses as “hysteria,” by the way. For context, and just to get an idea of how truthful Democrats are on issues like this, Ocasio-Cortez is the one who claimed her life was in danger during the Jan. 6 Capitol incursion when she was nowhere near the scene of the action.
If Democrats didn’t already know their position on police was hurting them with voters, the results of New York City’s Democratic primary for mayor in June make it undeniable. The winner was Eric Adams, a former NYPD captain who ran as the only Democrat championing law and order.
The fact that he won had to have been a wake-up call for the party. His top two challengers were the kind of candidate the party has been developing into — Kathryn Garcia, the kind of statist, leftist, progressive who gets endorsed by The New York Times, and Maya Wiley, an Ocasio-Cortez favorite and “defund the police” proponent who happens to have private security in her own neighborhood.
Those two — representing a combination of de Blasio’s brand of incompetent, overreaching government and the wing of the Democratic Party with personal wealth that makes it immune to the effects of the policies the party champions — are essentially the face of modern 2021 Democrats.
And the party is pinning its hopes for painting Republicans as anti-police in 2022 on arguments about what was in the weeds of a coronavirus relief bill?
Naturally, as The Hill reported, Democrats are also going to try to attack the GOP as anti-law enforcement because of the Jan. 6 incursion — (21 House Republicans voted against a measure to award Congressional Gold Medals to officers who served in the Capitol that day, according to a June report in The Hill, with a headline that emphasized the GOP dissenters, not the fact that the bill passed overwhelmingly.)
“The issue exposes one of those fatal character flaws for Republicans, which is that voters see them as phony, that they are more of a performative party, concerned about what looks good in right-wing media than what is right,” Democratic strategist Jesse Ferguson told The Hill.
“They claim to back the blue and have been hoping that voters wouldn’t notice when they vote against giving them the green.”
That won’t fly.
The reality is, Americans with even a cursory knowledge of political events understand good and well which party supported rioters over police officers. They know what party supported defunding policies that have made great American cities war zones.
And they know what party stands for the security of everyday Americans in their homes — security aided by the constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms. (They know what party is against that, too.)
Democrats, at least when they’re not deceiving themselves or trying to get messages out via a sympathetic media outlet, know that too.
In midterm elections where they’re defending a single-digit majority, and trying to maintain control of a tied Senate where only Vice President Kamala Harris gives Democrats the decisive advantage, the stakes are huge.
Weighted with a year’s worth of news about crime and their disregard for police, led by a doddering, almost certainly corrupt septuagenarian who has no hesitation about defaming his nation’s law enforcement officers, Democrats know that their best chance is to try to “flip the script,” as The Hill put it, and try to blame Republicans as the real anti-police and security party in the country before voters go back to the polls in November 2022.
Republicans and conservatives need to do everything necessary to make sure the country does not forget Democrats are the bane of law enforcement, the champions of policies that make living more dangerous in American communities — especially communities of the poor and minorities Democrats claim to champion.
Democrats have to know how hard it’s going to be to shake their chaotic, crime-ridden image — the product of a party platform that sane Americans should find repulsive.
No wonder they’re starting to sweat.
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