Reuters: "As Murders Surge, Democrats Find A New Message: Fund The Police"
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Earlier by Patrick J. Buchanan: Has The Backlash Arrived For Police-Bashing?

From Reuters:

As murders surge, Democrats find a new message: Fund the police

James Oliphant and Nathan Layne
Tue, August 17, 2021, 4:09 AM 7 min read

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Last summer, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser played a high-profile role in the protests sweeping America over police killings of Black suspects. She renamed a street Black Lives Matter Plaza and joined thousands of demonstrators there, many shouting what had become the movement’s slogan: “Defund the police!”

Earlier this year, the mayor, a Democrat, proposed cutting the police budget and redirecting money to social services.

Now, however, Bowser and many other Democratic city leaders are scrambling to boost police budgets and hire more officers amid the deadliest crime wave in two decades. Local and national Democrats are distancing themselves from “defund” politics and policies, a reflection of how deeply unpopular the concept has become among most voters – and how effective a weapon it can be for Republican candidates.

… Bowser, who declined to comment for this story, has defended her reversal on police funding by saying she is responding to a crime wave and pleas for money from the city’s police chief. …

Violence nationally has upended the dynamics in key mayoral races. Centrist Democrats campaigning on their support for police have won or emerged as favorites in party primary elections. In New York, former police officer Eric Adams captured the Democratic nomination for mayor in June, defeating more progressive candidates by vowing to hire more officers and support aggressive tactics.

In advance of next year’s midterm Congressional elections, Republican party officials are making crime a central issue – and casting all Democrats as enemies of law enforcement.

… Voters reject cutting police budgets by large margins, polls show. A USA Today/Ipsos survey last month found that about two-thirds of respondents believe crime is worsening and that 7 in 10 support bigger police budgets. Only 22% said they support defunding police.

… Atlanta has since become one of America’s deadliest cities. Murders are up 58% so far this year, compared to the same period in 2019. Talk of reinventing the police department has quieted, and the council added 7%, or about $15 million, to this year’s police budget. Last month, Bottoms said she wanted to hire 250 more officers.

Bottoms is not seeking re-election. Two leading candidates to replace her have both vowed to add more cops….

In Minneapolis – where George Floyd was killed – the movement to overhaul policing retains momentum despite a murder rate this year that could break a record.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, a member of the city’s dominant Democratic-Farmer-Labor party (DFL), has opposed cutting police budgets. Fewer officers, he told Reuters, is “not a realistic solution given the circumstances our city is facing – all cities are facing.”

Frey, however, has lost support among the party’s progressive base in the mayoral race to candidate Sheila Nezhad, a community activist who backs a radical overhaul of policing. A recent caucus of party voters showed Nezhad with a solid lead.

When voters choose a mayor on Nov. 2, they will also vote on a citizen-led referendum that would abolish the police department and replace it with a “department of public safety” employing “peace officers” and taking a “comprehensive public health approach.” Nezhad backs the measure; Frey opposes it.

On the pro-Nezhad website Victory Fund, the pitch for her begins by recounting her Pokemon Points:

Sheila Nezhad is a community organizer, renter, and mixed-race queer woman running for mayor of Minneapolis. Sheila came into community organizing while fighting for LGBTQ rights, and in the decade since has been organizing for racial, social, and economic justice. Sheila currently works as a policy analyst for Reclaim the Block and at Ricardo Levins Morales Art Studio. Sheila was born in Fargo, ND, was raised in Minnesota and has called Minneapolis her home for the past 12 years.

Born to a Persian immigrant father and Anishinaabe-Norwegian-Swedish mother, Sheila got an early start in cross-cultural movement building.

Anyway, my theory 14 months ago was that the Defund the Police mania was driven not just by the usual All Cops Are Bastards crazies and criminals, but in part by other local civil servants who expected, not unreasonably, the pandemic downturn to severely cut government revenue, so they were trying, like Russian peasants in a sleigh pursued by a wolf pack, to throw the cops to the wolves to preserve funds for their own jobs.

A year ago, many Democratic politicians responded to the anti-police crazies as if the Defund The Police idea was also appealing to mainstream Democratic voting blocs, such as teachers and social workers. Maybe it was for purely emotional or ideological reasons, but I like to look for self-interest as well: in the 2nd quarter of 2020, it looked like a lot of civil servants were going to get laid off, so there was a financial incentive to shout: “Defund the Police (not me)!”

But then it turned out that we could just have money-printer-go-brrrrrrrrrr (at least for a while), so many local government agencies are now flush with cash. So now the conventional wisdom is that “Defund the Police” was just some insane Republican hallucination that nobody was ever for.

iSteve commenter JimDandy adds:

This isn’t bad news, but… Not sure how Refund The Police is going to work in cities where Soros DAs/mayors have decriminalized crime. What will the bolstered police forces do with this impotent size-increase? Drive around and scold criminals from their squad cars? “Stop doing that! No, I can’t chase you, but… You know what? I’m not even going to dignify that with a response. Just remember, karma is real! BYE!”

The only thing a sane citizenry can do in response to this news is invest in Dunkin’ Donuts.

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