Breaking news alert: National Democrats are suddenly worried about the rise of violent crime. We know this because they’re blaming the bloodshed on Republicans.
The previous strategy, meaning before Monday, was a mix of denial and excuse-making, but it wasn’t working. How could it when thousands of people are getting shot and murdered, mostly in cities run by Democrats?
Something had to give, and White House press secretary Jen Psaki tipped the new strategy when she concocted the notion that it’s Republicans who actually support defunding the police. Her fatuous attempt to flip reality on its head relied on GOP resistance to another multitrillion-dollar Biden administration boondoggle. A boondoggle, by the way, that has nothing to do with police or crime.
Nonetheless, desperate times call for desperate measures and so Psaki was making like Lady Macbeth in trying to wipe the blood off Dems’ hands.
The effort won’t wash, but the attempt is telling. Polling everywhere reflects growing public angst, but my guess is the lightning-bolt moment came with the first-place finish of Eric Adams in the first round of New York’s Democratic mayoral primary.
Adams, a retired NYPD captain and the Brooklyn borough president, was the lone candidate to make combating crime his top issue, as did voters. It’s a beautiful thing when politics works like it’s supposed to.
The other seven Dems acted like the Seven Dwarfs in not pivoting to the issue even as the body count climbed, with children and tourists among the casualties. The others continued to parrot the left’s talking points about climate change, systemic racism and free everything for everybody except the wealthy, who must finally pay their fair share. Blah, blah, blah.
We can only imagine the way Adams’ victory was received in Dems’ back rooms: Holy s–t, did you see what just happened in New York? Quick, say something!
So the party that featured police haters and people who see racism behind every badge last year is suddenly sweating bullets. That’s how fast the momentum is shifting.
Give Adams credit – he understood immediately what was happening. On election night, he crowed that “I am the face of the Democratic Party” and warned that if leaders fail “to recognize what we did here in New York City, they’re going to have a problem in the midterm elections and they’re going to have a problem in the presidential election.”
His argument cuts to the core of voting blocs. Blue cities and states are blue primarily because blacks and Latinos vote overwhelmingly for Dems.
Yet here, those same voters chose Adams in big numbers and cited growing crime in their neighborhoods as the reason. They don’t want less policing – they want more and better policing.
As with all bad ideas from the left, the propaganda media trumpets the nonsense.
Brima Sylla, a teacher and general secretary of the African Community Alliance of Staten Island, gave The Post her view of Adams: “He’s not there to defund the police. He’s there because he was part of the police system … He knows how to structure it in a better way.”
Psaki’s boss, President Biden, hinted at some understanding of the shift by saying soon after Adams’ showing that cities could use leftover COVID money to hire more cops. It’s more of a sop than a solution, but it’s probably the first time in two years Biden didn’t mention racism or Jim Crow when talking about cops.
Predictably, the party’s far left is not on board with even that modest change. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez revealed herself to be a crime denier by decrying public “hysteria” over the fear.
Her idea, if she had one, was that murder statistics are just statistics. She’s lucky her lead balloon didn’t fall on her head.
Going forward, the party’s divide, and especially the power of the AOC wing to dominate public debate, will make it hard for Dems to portray themselves as crime fighters, let alone actually take serious actions to support law enforcement and tougher penalties.
In fact, they’re the ones who changed laws to eliminate or take the sting out of punishment. Lefty prosecutors across the country have been elected in recent years on a platform of decriminalizing quality-of-life offenses and property crimes. And blue-state legislators and city councils have added to the problem by handcuffing cops, emptying prisons and freeing even suspects arrested for some violent crimes.
That pattern explains why you see reports of repeat offenders who are free to commit new crimes despite dozens of arrests over just a few years. Imagine how demoralizing it is for cops who risk their lives to make an arrest despite knowing the perp will be home before they are.
As with all bad ideas from the left, the propaganda media trumpets the nonsense. A recent Washington Post article declared that, despite the nationwide surge in murders, there was “a sober recognition from city leaders that they don’t have many options left.”
It then quoted the mayor of Savannah, Georgia, as saying, “We have done almost all we can do.”
Naturally, the only hope remaining, according to this view, is for more federal restrictions on guns even though the vast majority of crimes are committed by people illegally carrying handguns.
Consider that the number of murders in New York in recent years committed by legal gun owners is effectively zero.
If past is prologue, the surrender to crime will also include chin-stroking academic laments that New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and other large cities are simply ungovernable.
That, too, is wrong, as New York proved for the 20 years between the reigns of David Dinkins and Bill de Blasio. Nobody said Gotham was ungovernable when Rudy Giuliani or Mike Bloomberg sat in City Hall.
Instead, they marveled at the policing revolution that made the city safe and turned it into a global magnet for living, visiting and investing.
In truth, the problem with cities isn’t guns, racism or climate change. The problem is the policies of left-wing Democrats – and the people who elect them.