Democrats Begin 2022 Cycle with Infighting over Defunding Police

Activists, local politicians and families of those killed by the police hold a rally in front of City Hall to demand that the New York City Council vote against a budget that doesn't make enough cuts to the police department on June 29, 2021 in New York City. New York …
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Democrat House Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) has endorsed Shontel Brown in an Ohio congressional race instead of defunding-police candidate Nina Turner, who previously worked for and is endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

In an open-seat race, due to Marcia L. Fudge’s appointment to housing secretary, Clyburn is opposing Sanders’ longtime spokesperson for the seat due to “how we are to proceed as a party,” which apparently for Clyburn does not include defunding police.

“What I try to do is demonstrate by precept and example how we are to proceed as a party,” Clyburn told the New York Times. “When I spoke out against sloganeering, like ‘Burn, baby, burn’ in the 1960s and ‘defund the police,’ which I think is cutting the throats of the party, I know exactly where my constituents are. They are against that, and I’m against that.”

But defending police is more than just a slogan for the far left. “Ultimately,” the Times said, “ideology, not style, is the biggest issue confronting the Democratic Party.”

Turner, on the other hand, “has the endorsements of much of the House Progressive Caucus, including the so-called squad,” which is made up of Reps Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).

“I do think that Nina is a beloved leader in the progressive movement, and the degree of excitement that she’s generated and grass-roots energy and organizing in her direction is a real testament to the asset that the base of our party can provide,” Ocasio-Cortez told the Times.

“These generational shifts are absolutely a theme throughout the caucus across a lot of different issues,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “That’s why I think Nina’s groundswell is exciting, because it’s not any one person’s endorsement. It’s really the sum of everything that we’ve seen.”

It is unknown if the squad or Clyburn’s endorsement will carry more weight going into the 2022 midterms. But the infighting within the Democrat Party over far-left ideas has establishment Democrats concerned they could lose the House by fully embracing far-left policies such as defunding police.

  • President Joe Biden said he supported reallocating police resources during his campaign.
  • Vice President Kamala Harris said “I applaud Eric Garcetti” for defunding the Los Angeles police, and said “we have to reimagine public safety” while discussing lowering the police presence in communities.
  • Biden’s Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta said officials must heed calls to “decrease police budgets and the scope, role, and responsibility of police in our lives.”
  • As Boston Mayor, Biden’s Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh proposed a budget to divert funding from law enforcement.
  • Biden’s Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke wrote an op-ed for Newsweek in 2020 supporting efforts to “defund the police.”
  • Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) called the Minneapolis City Council “very thoughtful” for voting to dismantle the police.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and fellow House Democrats refused to criticize the Minneapolis City Council for defunding the police.
  • Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) told protestors to “get more confrontational” with police.
  • Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) called for dismantling the Minneapolis Police Department.
  • Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) called for defunding police as a congresswoman-elect.
  • A Democratic National Convention panelist advocated for defunding the police.
  • A Minneapolis City Council member defended defunding the police, but said she didn’t “have all the answers” on who would respond to violent crime.
  • House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) compared federal law enforcement to the Nazi Gestapo. He later ignored looting and arson in D.C., claiming the only violence he saw in D.C. was from police.
  • Democrat Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said he doesn’t want police officers to respond to rape.

Also, former Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) said he supported Maxine Waters’ call to confront the police.


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