Will the Biden Administration’s claim that Republicans want to “defund the police” be the “lie of the year” for 2021? It’s too early to say, but it certainly should be in the running. It’s a laughable, ridiculous claim, but White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and Cedric Richmond, a senior advisor to Joe Biden, have been telling people it’s true.
Richmond said this during a Fox News interview:
“Let’s talk about who defunded the police. When we were in Congress last year trying to pass … an emergency relief plan for cities that were cash-strapped and laying off police and firefighters, it was the Republicans who objected to it. And in fact, they didn’t get funding until the American Rescue Plan, which, our plan allowed state and local governments to replenish their police departments and do the other things that are needed. So look, Republicans are very good at staying on talking points of who says ‘defund the police,’ but the truth is, they defunded the police.”
You can listen to Psaki’s tortured logic below. The short version is Republicans in DC opposed a bill stuffed with spending on liberal priorities that also had a miniscule amount of money in it that could have conceivably been used for the police. No Republicans opposed it for that reason.
Even the liberals at the Washington Post found this lie to be too big to swallow, which says something. According to the WAPO’s fact check of this lie:
“Democrats proposed $350 billion in emergency funds for state and local governments, and Republicans voted against those extra funds. That’s not a reduction. In this case, there’s not even a line item [in the bill] to attach to the White House’s claim that Republicans are trying to defund the police.”
The WAPO only gave them three Pinocchios for their lie, which isn’t even their highest rating, but it is still the WAPO admitting it’s a big lie. Doubly so, since Democrats across the country have been openly calling for defunding the police and many Democrat-run cities have done exactly that.
Of course, that’s exactly the problem. Democrats went all-in on defunding the police and it has been a disaster. Even worse, it has been the kind of disaster that has impacted the quality of people’s lives in a very obvious way. Politicians can get away with screwing up an awful lot of things, but when someone is scared to leave their house or afraid to let their kids play outside as a direct result of a policy you are identified with, you’re going to face a reckoning from the voters. The very fact that Democrats are trying to shift the blame for this policy tells you it has been a political disaster for them. Republicans running for office in 2022 should keep that in mind.
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