Unfortunately for White House staff, the rest of the country isn’t as amnesic as their bossman Joe Biden, which is why when press secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday tried to pretend it was actually Republicans, not Democrats, who attempted to defund the police, it was easy to call hogwash.
The pants-on-fire moment came in response to a question from Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy, who asked about Biden’s new “comprehensive strategy to combat violent crime and gun violence” that includes a “whole-of-government approach” to hamper the flow of firearms, provide federal support for local law enforcement, and expand summer programming and job opportunities for young people.
Is the idea that criminals are going to stop committing crimes if they have a summer job? Doocy wanted to know.
Psaki’s response gets a handful of Pinocchios:
Part of [Biden’s] announcement is also ensuring there’s specific guidance to communities across the countries to ensure that they have funding to get more community police around the country, something that was supported by the American Jobs Plan that was voted into law by Democrats just a couple of months ago. Some might say that the other party was for defunding the police — I’ll let others say that, but that’s a piece.
Here’s Jen Psaki suggesting REPUBLICANS were trying to defund police pic.twitter.com/m8pus7BS9O
— Kylee Zempel (@kyleezempel) June 23, 2021
The press secretary’s wink and nod with her “some might say” language was a clever attempt to put distance between herself and her own claims, but Psaki’s suggestion was clear: Republicans were “for defunding the police.”
In case anybody is having a Bidenesque brain fart and has lost track of which party was actually calling for police defunding, remember that while then-President Donald Trump was tweeting “LAW & ORDER,” Democrats were decrying the deployment of law enforcement officers to combat the left’s summer of rage.
While conservatives were calling for funding and defending understaffed and overwhelmed police departments, “defund the police” became a majority position among Democrats, with polling revealing 55 percent supporting defunding (not to be confused with diverting resources; that was a separate poll question).
Even Democrats acknowledged their errors, with Biden saying in a leaked December call with civil rights leaders that his party’s “defund the police” rhetoric was how Republicans “beat the living hell out of us across the country.”
“[If] we are going to run on Medicare for All, defund the police, socialized medicine, we’re not going to win,” House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, a Democrat from South Carolina, said on a different call in November, with Democrat Rep. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia adding that if their party couldn’t reevaluate the platforms they relied on for the 2020 election, they would lose in a landslide in the 2022 midterms.
“No one should say ‘defund the police’ ever again,” Spanberger said. “Nobody should be talking about socialism.”
These panicked PR campaigns by Democrats were a direct result of their radicalizing party falling out of favor with Americans who were boarding up their windows as Democratic leaders insisted “Policing in our country is inherently & intentionally racist,” “no more policing,” and that defunded police “looks like a suburb.”
“Some might say,” such as Psaki, that Republicans were “for defunding the police,” but those people are flat-out wrong.