With few exceptions, there’s a general consensus that the far-left’s campaign this year to “defund the police” backfired on Democrats and cost the party more than a dozen seats in the House and missed opportunities to flip vulnerable Senate seats.
This has only further widened the gulf between the moderate and progressive wing of the Democratic Party, which now seek to abandon the politically-suicidal phrase. The far-left progressive wing, however, has absolved itself of any blame and fully intends to keep pressing its anti-police message, Yahoo News reported.
Democratic critics of the “defund the police” slogan have said it is both too confusing and confrontational for most voters and has made it more difficult to achieve policing reforms that have broad appeal across much of the political spectrum, according to Yahoo.
Defenders of the phrase, meanwhile, insist there is no evidence the “defund” message actually cost the Democratic Party congressional seats and argue their strident messaging rallied the party’s base of activists and reformists toward real progress.
Some Democrats are working to put as much distance between themselves and the anti-police sloganeering as possible, in some cases due to actual support for law enforcement and in others because of political expediency, the Washington Examiner reported.
The far-left’s push to “defund the police” has seen tangible results, specifically in cities where progressive activists were able to slash budgets and manpower for local police departments.
Minneapolis, Minnesota, ground-zero for the nationwide anti-police protests that arose following the death of George Floyd in police custody, as well as Los Angeles, California, are just two examples of municipalities that acceded to activists’ demands and are now reaping the predictable results of their actions.
Both cities have suffered massive spikes in property crime and violent crime. With fewer cops on the streets to make arrests and progressive prosecutors who refuse to press charges against those who are arrested, the wave of crime can only be expected to grow worse, both in its impact on law-abiding civilians as well as the damage to the political prospects of the Democratic Party.
Some Democrats ’emboldened’
According to The Intercept, another casualty of the Democratic infighting over the “defund the police” slogan is any sort of compromise on reasonable policing reforms such as limiting the legal doctrine of qualified immunity that shields law-breaking officers from civil accountability or additional funding for non-police responses to non-violent “criminal” activity.
The gulf between the centrists and progressives may not be narrowing any time soon, as many who support the call to defund police are doubling down on the message, such as progressive “squad”-member Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA).
“In terms of my approach, I feel more emboldened,” Pressley said of her goal to defund policing nationwide, according to the Intercept.
She continued, “We should not be taking the bait about this being something that is third-rail or polarizing. These are really just contrived narratives that are pushed as some sort of intimidation and scare tactic.”