President Joe Biden is returning to his tough-on-crime roots.
After repudiating his past law-and-order stances to appease far-left progressives, the embattled president appears to be reversing his stance and embracing a nascent movement to refund the police in crime-plagued Democratic cities.
Biden backs the blue
At a White House briefing, Biden deputy spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said that Biden approved of a whiplash decision by San Francisco Mayor London Breed (D) to increase policing a year after she pushed to slash law enforcement funding.
“We applaud the mayor making sure that there is more police presence in the city to protect Americans,” Jean-Pierre said, according to the New York Post.
San Francisco has been the site of increasingly common “smash and grab” looting incidents and ordinary outright retail theft that first became common during riots in the summer of 2020.
The crime wave, which has affected major Democratic cities, appears to have many Democrats rethinking their commitment to the “defund the police” movement that came out of that summer’s unrest, especially as polling data shows the party heading for devastating losses in next year’s elections.
No less than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) made a rare rebuke of criminals terrorizing her hometown, the Post notes, drawing snickers for claiming she didn’t know “where this attitude of lawlessness” comes from.
Returning to law and order roots?
The Democratic Party’s new tone may win back some moderates, but it appears certain to anger leftist progressives who expected Biden to be a tougher advocate for criminal justice reform. Biden’s recent statements are a return to form, however.
Before his rise to the presidency, the former Delaware senator counted among his signature achievements the 1994 crime bill, which was credited with bringing crime down before it became politically radioactive and Biden, under the pressure from the left, repudiated it during his 2020 campaign.
Biden was also criticized, from the right, for being slow to condemn the widespread rioting that was minimized in the biased press as “mostly peaceful.” And while he denied supporting the defund the police movement, he made it clear to activists aligned with groups including Black Lives Matter that he was on their side.
So much for that. While clearly wary of seeming soft on crime, Biden is also being careful not to alienate his leftist supporters, either. In a speech Friday, he sought to reassure his base that he will push for police reform, even as he called for more policing.
“We don’t have to spend less money, we have to spend more money and police to give them the kind of help they genuinely need, he said, according to the Post.