In November, Democrats expected to expand their House majority by as many as 15 t0 20 seats. Instead, they lost 12, giving House Speaker Nancy Pelosi the slimmest majority of her congressional career. In the autopsy of the Democratic defeat, the party’s leftward embrace of “Defund Police” was in no small part to blame.
“No one should say ‘defund the police’ ever again,” Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger scolded House progressives the day after the election. The Richmond-area congresswoman barely survived the November contest.
Virginia Democrat Sen. Mark Warner agreed the left’s anti-police rhetoric doomed them in congressional races, setting Republicans up to reclaim the House and Senate in 2022, as the president’s party historically fares poorly in his first midterms.
“I think the ability, using terms like ‘defund the police’ have led to Democratic losses in this last year,” Warner said.
House Republicans in a 222-213 minority now only need to flip five seats to take back the lower chamber next year, provided they keep a reliably red district in central Ohio vacated by Rep. Steve Stivers, who announced his resignation for another job earlier this week. In the Senate, Republicans must only flip one seat in an evenly divided chamber ruled by Democrats through a Democrat vice president to cast the tie-breaking votes.
As Democrats prepare to protect their majorities in a historically hostile cycle, the progressives dominating their party appear to be ignoring the lessons of November by escalating their anti-police rhetoric from simply “defund police” to “let teenagers stab each other.” The latter is the outcome of the former, although Democrats only just began to say it out loud.
On Tuesday, leftist fury turned on a police officer in Columbus, Ohio who fatally shot black 16-year-old teenager Ma’Khia Bryant around the same time the jury in Minneapolis handed down a guilty verdict for Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd.
While leftists sought to capitalize on the Floyd verdict as an indictment of law enforcement nationwide rather than one officer or his department, the Columbus Police Department became the new center of controversy in the anti-police movement. The officer’s body camera footage revealed Tuesday night, however, that Bryant had been charging another black teen with a knife.
Body camera video released by Columbus Police in Ohio shows #MakiyahBryant attacking another female with a knife before she is shot by police. #BLM have been protesting, calling the shooting racist because Makiyah is black. pic.twitter.com/LY1HaJyI1F
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) April 21, 2021
All nuance is erased, however, by a political left increasingly enticed by anarchy in an attempt to subject all police to collective guilt, seek collective punishment, and achieve collective transformation. That transformation in reality has little to do with police. Yet police have become a focal point in the culture war. The left has gone from stripping funds from law enforcement to explicit demands to allow teenagers violently stab each other.
Valerie Jarrett, a prominent Democratic strategist and former Obama White House senior adviser, condemned the Columbus police officer Wednesday for defending the life of a young black girl attacked by an angry assailant armed with a deadly weapon.
A Black teenage girl named Ma’Khia Bryant was killed because a police officer immediately decided to shoot her multiple times in order to break up a knife fight. Demand accountability. Fight for justice. #BlackLivesMatter.
— Valerie Jarrett (@ValerieJarrett) April 21, 2021
Bree Newsome, a Black Lives Matter activist, described the confrontation caught on tape as teens being teens, where no police involvement was necessary.
“Teenagers have been having fights including fights involving knives for eons,” Newsome wrote on Twitter. “We do not need police.”
Basketball star LeBron James piled onto the leftist chorus to legalize knife attacks, demanding “ACCOUNTABILITY” in a since-deleted post featuring a picture of the officer who saved a young girl’s life to his nearly 50 million followers. “YOU’RE NEXT,” James wrote of the Columbus officer in the aftermath of Chauvin’s guilty verdict.
LeBron James deleted this tweet but only after it had 39,000+ likes. The man in the photo saved a young black girl from another young black girl who was going to stab her in the neck. He did his job. Now @KingJames put a target on his back. Is the @NBA okay with this??? pic.twitter.com/QegzyySnsI
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) April 21, 2021
These are not minor cherry-picked activists on a fringe online platform. Rather, these are some of the most prominent voices in the leftist movement whose viral posts racked up thousands of likes and retweets to illustrate approval of their ideas from their dedicated followers.
While Twitter is not real life, the platform can often indicate political and cultural currents, particularly among leftists, who have not been purged from the website like conservatives have. The radical messaging even drew support from those in the highest levels of American government at the White House, which claimed, without evidence, Wednesday that the Columbus officer’s shooting was motivated by race.
If Democrats want to escalate an already radical war on police, Republicans will be presented a political goldmine for 2022, and it’s an opportunity the GOP can’t let go to waste.
This article has been updated to clarify Republicans need five seats to reclaim the majority in the House, not nine.