Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Staggering Contrast

I was going to say that, three days after Cori Bush was confronted on CBS about supporting defunding the police while enjoying private security, she had no answer on CNN's Reliable Sources. (Full transcript of this segment is below.)

Cori Bush was not confronted about being hypocritical Instead, Dana Bash merely diplomatically asked whether her comments the congresswoman made, the focus of attack ads against her fellow Democrats, might be harmful. A couple of minutes later, the congresswoman still had not addressed that concern.

Criticism against Democrats for being sanctimonious supporters of defunding the police (largely unjustified) are likely to be more effective, more determining, in swing districts than in Bush's own urban district in the St. Louis area.  Unconcerned with members of her own Party, she is selfish, hypocritical and consumed with herself.  "My job is to save lives," boasts Bush, equal parts police officer, firefighter, and heart surgeon.  

But then Andrew Cuomo resigned.   Immediately, his critics eased up, recognizing that, while investigations must continue, he is deserving at least of a little credit for realizing that it was in his own, and the state's, interests to go relatively promptly and quietly, maintaining a modicum of dignity.

Of course I'm kidding.  Within minutes, Cuomo was being castigated while denunciation of Cori Bush is abating.  She is still in the US Congress, grandstanding, with no Democrat willing to take her on for anything. Yet, Al Franken, Eliot Spritzer, Anthony Weiner, Katie Hill, and now Andrew Cuomo, all resigned, albeit the latter's transgressions clearly the worst. Their colleagues, some of them even supporters, fled like rats from a sinking ship.

Perhaps it's because those four committed sexual improprieties or (at least in the case of Franken) alleged sexual improprieties, while Cori Bush advocates leaving communities defenseless from violent crime. Still, it's stunning that they all fell on their sword and Cori Bush is unrepentant and openly defiant. There may be a lesson in that for Democrats.

BASH: Congresswoman, I want to ask about the criticism that you're facing about comments you made in an interview this past week.

I want our viewers to listen.


BUSH: I'm going to make sure I have security because I know I have had attempts on my life. And I have too much work to do, there are too many people that need help right now for me to allow that.

So, if I end up spending $200,000, if I spend 10 more dollars on it, you know what, I get to be here to do the work. So, suck it up. And defunding the police has to happen. We need to defund the police.


BASH: So, I know you have seen that Republicans are pointing to the fact that you said you have your own security, while, almost in the same breath, advocating for defunding the police.

Now, I do want to emphasize I understand you have security protection because you have received multiple death threats. But the clip that I displayed is being used in attack ads against not you, but -- not just you, but other Democrats.

So, could those comments end up being harmful to your fellow Democrats, politically speaking?

BUSH: I think what we have to look at is the fact that I made it to Congress in 2020, I was elected to Congress, and we are still fighting this same fight. We're still fighting to save black lives.

That was not -- that work was not done before I got here. This is the reason why I ran, was to save lives, to save my son's life. It was because Michael Brown, who we're fighting for, and still trying to get justice for. It's because he didn't get justice, and Vonderrit Myers didn't get justice, and Kajieme Powell didn't get justice, and so many others. That is why.

And because that was not -- that was not fixed before I got here, to then come at me and say you're the reason why we have these problems, no, the reason why we have these problems is because those that were in power and could have fixed this problem before now didn't and cost -- it cost lives.

And so now that I'm here, I -- we just -- we just introduced the People's Response Act to make sure that we are looking at the money that -- the money that should be going to social safety nets to make sure that our community members who are living with mental health issues are able to function and live in society... BASH: So...

BUSH: ... the way that anyone would ask to.

So, I don't believe -- as far as my -- as far as my colleagues, I absolutely empathize. I empathize. But you know what? The same thing that the Republicans will do, which is figure out how to work with this on the comms spaces, that's what we have to do.

My job is to save lives, the lives of my community, because, when we're when we're talking about every single year increasing the budget for police, and then the budget for, like, Health and Human Services continuing to shrink, and St. Louis being number one for police violence year after year after year, number one, number two for homicides year and year, after year...

BASH: Congresswoman...

BUSH: So, when we're adding more money to the police, but we're still dying.

BASH: Congresswoman, I...

BUSH: So, something has to change.

BASH: Congresswoman, I -- yes. And I hear what you're saying. But I also heard you say that you think it's a comms problem.

Is it that? Because...

BUSH: No, I'm saying that we can also -- that that's another way that you can tackle this.

You have to tackle it from more than one place. We have to work on what we want to say, what is our message, but then we also have to understand that we have to save lives too. St. Louis can't keep being put on the back burner. And I'm here to stand up for my community.


BASH: Congresswoman Cori Bush, thank you so much for joining me this morning.

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