Credit where credit is due, President Joe Biden just handled Washington, D.C.’s soft-on-crime bill in a politically shrewd manner that both neutralizes the far-left in his party and somewhat blocks future GOP criticism.
On Thursday, Biden tweeted that he would support the U.S. Senate if they voted to overturn the D.C. city council’s bill to lower punishments for things such as carjackings and other lawlessness in the district. Democratic D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser had already vetoed that legislation, but the city council overruled her decision. The House of Representatives, however, voted to strike it down — as is their right under the U.S. Constitution — and now it moves to the Senate.
“I support D.C. Statehood and home-rule – but I don’t support some of the changes D.C. Council put forward over the Mayor’s objections – such as lowering penalties for carjackings,” he tweeted. “If the Senate votes to overturn what D.C. Council did – I’ll sign it.”
I support D.C. Statehood and home-rule – but I don’t support some of the changes D.C. Council put forward over the Mayor’s objections – such as lowering penalties for carjackings.
If the Senate votes to overturn what D.C. Council did – I’ll sign it.
— President Biden (@POTUS) March 2, 2023
The move outraged the most extreme parts of his party. An anonymous House member vented to The Hill that Democrats were betrayed by Biden.
“So a lot of us who are allies voted no in order to support what the White House wanted,” the lawmaker said via text. “And now we are being hung out to dry … F****** AMATEUR HOUR. HEADS SHOULD ROLL OVER AT THE WHITE HOUSE OVER THIS.”
Indeed, that same person added, “The White House f***** this up royally.”
Well, the move might have screwed over the anti-police members of his party, but it bolsters Biden’s resume and talking points heading into the 2024 campaign,
Republicans have long claimed that the Democratic Party — and therefore Biden — is responsible for the crime wave facing America’s cities. In the wake of the George Floyd riots and BLM movement in 2020, numerous liberal cities moved to effectively defund their police departments. Rogue prosecutors, often backed by George Soros, won elections across the country while ushering in lenient policies that allow repeat offenders to plague the streets.
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Biden, who essentially renounced his tough-on-crime policies of the 90s during his 2020 presidential campaign, has spent the last two years trying to separate himself from those who want to continue defunding police and instituting weak punishments in the name of social justice.
In turn, the GOP has been eager to label the chaos as the “Biden crime wave.”
Now, Biden has a tangible example he can point to as evidence that he supports the police, wants to crack down on thugs, and isn’t afraid to buck his political party in the name of public safety.
His team is already running with that message.
“One thing that the president believes in is making sure that the streets in America and communities across the country are safe, that includes in D.C. That does not change,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday.
“When it comes to what this proposal brings forth, which is really lowering penalties for car-jacking, he doesn’t believe that’s going to keep our communities safe,” she added.
Whether or not you actually buy KJP’s claims and the president’s sincerity on the issue is a different story. There are plenty of other examples the GOP can point to as evidence that Biden is making our nation more dangerous — his porous open border allowing fentanyl and potential criminals in, for example — but, assuming he actually does sign the override if it is passed, he can negate the rhetoric with evidence.
As Biden’s good friend Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Forbes, “It’s smart politics. He was running into a buzzsaw. You don’t want to get left of the D.C. mayor.”
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.