(RightWing.org) – During two interviews this week, former President Barack Obama slammed the Defund the Police movement. He cautioned against taking action that could hurt communities and suggested far-left activists should take a different approach. It didn’t take long for the progressives to fire back at the former two-term Democrat who created police controversy right out of the gate in his first term.
Republicans ran against the defund the police issue in 2020. Instead of losing upwards of 20 seats in the House as projected, the GOP picked up seats and gave Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) the slimmest majority in a century. The Democratic Party’s moderate wing lambasted the defund the police movement after the November 3 election. Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) said it nearly cost her re-election. She warned the movement would tear the Democrats apart in 2022 if they continue to take radical positions.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) agreed with Spanberger’s comments and recently said defund the police and socialism is a lightning rod that will not spare many Democrats who live in moderate or conservative districts.
Obama Calls “Defund the Police” a “Snappy” Catchphrase
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Obama said the defund the police movement was a “snappy slogan” that alienated a big audience that was otherwise receptive to Democrats. He warned that the threat to public safety makes it harder to get “the changes you want done.”
Obama went on to say that some Democrats have to decide if they “want to get things done, or do you want to feel good among the people you already agree with?” He suggested that in a large country like the US with a diverse point of view, it’s better to work with people to solve their problems than castigate them.
He should know. He has first-hand experience.
Obama Recalls His Police Controversy
In 2009, Obama made disparaging remarks about the Cambridge, MA, police after a black Harvard law professor was arrested. He said the police “acted stupidly.” Almost immediately, his approval ratings dropped dramatically. From that experience, the former president said he learned that police issues are a hot topic in both black and white communities, but for different reasons.
Progressives Fire Back
Obama’s comments didn’t take long to get a response. Instead of considering his point of view, several far-left Democrats rebuked the former president.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) tweeted:
We lose people in the hands of police. It’s not a slogan but a policy demand. And centering the demand for equitable investments and budgets for communities across the country gets us progress and safety. https://t.co/Vu6inw4ms7
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) December 2, 2020
Representative-elect Cori Bush (D-MO) tweeted that it’s not a slogan. It’s a mandate to keep black people alive. That sentiment was echoed by Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).
If far-left Democrats continue to push the movement, which appears they are by following through with their threats in Seattle and Minneapolis, it could help Republicans in two Senate runoff elections in Georgia on January 5. Democrats could also gift Republicans the House in 2022 if Americans feel they are too radical.
As one party falters, the other gains. Obama can’t say he didn’t warn them.
Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst
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