Much to the chagrin of her Democratic colleagues, Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) will continue to say “defund the police” as part of her campaign and governing strategy.
The phrase became synonymous with high crime and violence after Democratic politicians across the country embraced the slogan and actually put it into practice by slashing hundreds of millions from police forces. The result was that lawlessness skyrocketed and many of those progressives in recent months have been forced to “refund the police” to offer protection throughout the inner cities. On the rhetorical side, Democrats have been backpedaling far away from that phrase, but Bush told Axios that she will not be following their lead.
“‘Defund the police’ is not the problem,” Bush said to the D.C.-based media outlet, referring to the potential shellacking Democrats will take in the 2022 midterms.
The real problem, Bush asserted, is that the Democrats in power have not passed any legislation to accurately reform police and tackle crime.
“We dangled the carrot in front of people’s faces and said we can get it done and that Democrats deliver, when we haven’t totally delivered,” she continued. “If [Republicans] take the majority, it’s just done as far as trying to get the legislation across.”
According to Axios, Bush admitted that she has even had colleagues tell her to her face to drop the anti-police slogan:
“Oh, absolutely,” Bush said when asked by Axios whether she feels pressure from others in her party to change her rhetoric.
“I’ve had colleagues walk up to me” and say that “defund the police” doesn’t help in their districts. Bush didn’t name to whom she was referring.
“Defund the police” has been blasted as one of the the “dumbest slogans” ever. In late 2021, Fox News’ Pete Hegseth detailed why that saying was so moronic, The Daily Wire reported:
“What do you expect when you let criminals out of jail with no consequence, almost no consequence?” Hegseth asked, noting that a failure to address crime left police officers demoralized, which in turn led to police departments being under-staffed because no one wanted to stay on the job.
“I saw it in the military context — if you don’t believe your politicians or military leaders have your back, there is a limit to the risks and proactiveness you’re going to take,” Hegseth, continued. “That’s the calculation law enforcement offices are making. Now many of them are short staffed, there are dispatchers coming out and reporting on the fact we don’t have enough police in certain areas of Chicago and elsewhere to even cover down and basic assignments. All of this creates a culture of lawlessness. Regular people, especially the most downtrodden and especially people hurt the most by crime, are affected even more while the politicians who yell about defund the police — the dumbest slogan of 2021, may we bury it, okay, understanding what good work our police do. Those who spout that have their own law enforcement ultimately often, or a nice gated community.”
Even in Minneapolis, where the killing of George Floyd by police sparked the nationwide defund the police movement, Democratic politicians have abandoned the slashing of law enforcement budgets both in rhetoric and in practice.
The Daily Wire previously reported that in December 2021, the city had increased spending to $192 million after more than 300 police officers had left the force, many due thanks to low morale, which critics blamed for the city’s rising crime rate.