Friday, January 28, 2022

McEnany: "We Broke It, You Fix It"

Kayleigh McEnany, President Trump's last press secretary, has been spinning her disinformation as a commentator for Fox News for the last eleven months. In a recent segment, she and four other conservatives offered opinions in response to a report that Black Lives Matter had complained, in the wake of the shooting of a New York City police officer, that such individuals should not automatically be deemed "heroes."  Veering off topic to the increase in violent crime the past couple of years, McEnanay maintained (beginning at 3:20 of the video below)

When did crime start going up? It started going up in 2020. President Trump was president then. Yes, but why did crime start going up? Why are we seeing homicides at this rate?

It dovetailed exactly with the defund the police movement. It dovetailed with candidate Joe Biden being very wishy washy on defund the police at one point saying, yes, I support redirecting funds.

It did not dovetail with the "defund the police" movement nor with Joe Biden's remarks responding to the protests that summer.. Rather, as The New York Times reported, "murders were already elevated in the first few months of 2020, then increased significantly in June and stayed high through the remainder of the year." Moreover,

..... 2020 appeared to be a year of racial reckoning in the United States. The fight against systemic racism reverberated throughout the country with protests, boycotts and calls to “defund the police.” But, a year after slashing police budgets in response to the growing defund movement, many cities have restored the funding — seeming to confirm activists’ suspicions that city leaders weren’t serious about the change in the first place.

At least a dozen cities cut their police funding or decreased officer numbers during last summer’s protests against police violence following the killing of George Floyd in May 2020. But one by one, city governments began to bolster their police budgets in 2021, with an additional $200 million allocated to the New York City Police Department and the Los Angeles Police Department seeing a 3 percent increase in the year after the city council approved a $150 million cut.

The "defund the police" movement is limping along, mostly with the urging of Black Lives Matter, the support of Representatives Cori Bush of Missouri and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and virtually no one else. It has been largely a dud, except in the imagination of Republicans using it as a cudgel to blast Democrats and Democrats (including kingmaker James Clyburn) insisting on saying Democrats should not be using the phrase.

Unfortunately, McEnany continued, claiming

So to get elected he flirted with the defund the police movement. Now it's his responsibility to call out defund the police movement. Give national addresses on crime. Do listening sessions with these families. You are part of the reason we are here. Now, go fix it.

The vast majority of policing in this country is done on the local (municipal or county) or state level, and a President has little direct authority over federal law enforcement. (If McEnany would enjoy a more active Department of Justice currently, she's welcome to say so.) There are approximately 15,400 local police departments and approximately 89,000 local governments in the USA.  In none of the police departments is Joe Biden called "chief" and in none of the municipalities is he called "mayor."

If speeches or "listening sessions" were effective, those local officials would be busy giving or doing them. However, they are often merely performative and would do little to nothing to stem violent crime, with the odds heavily against "little."

Joe Biden is not the reason we are here. The pandemic President Trump encouraged is very likely far more instrumental in promoting violent crime than anything President Biden has said or done or not said or done. Joe Biden is President Biden because of the mounting death toll President Trump was pleased with and because Trump mishandled other problems, and because many Americans (especially black voters) were fed up with the hatred and violence he spewed, encouraged, and has come to represent.

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