Columns
Premium

Leading Democrat James Carville Says They Are the Party of Law and Order - Americans Disagree

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Democratic consultant James Carville decided to write an absurd opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal titled, “Democrats Are the Anticrime Party.” The featured image in the article shows President Bill Clinton in 1993 with his Attorney General Janet Reno. Based on the political positions these two took and the policies they implemented at the time, both would likely be considered far-right today. Clinton famously once said, “The era of big government is over,” and ran the campaign of a center-right Republican at the time. The party he led bears almost no resemblance to the Democrat Party that exists today.

Carville’s entire premise is that the crime rate declined from 1993 to 2019 and blames the increase we have seen over the last 15 months squarely on President Trump:

From 1993 to 2019, crime steadily decreased in the U.S. Every president since Bill Clinton inherited a declining crime rate and left office with a further decline in crime rate, until Donald J. Trump came along. During Mr. Trump’s final year in office, violent crimes and homicides spiked. Yet if you tuned into Fox News, you’d draw the conclusion that the Democratic Party is opposed to law and order.

Crime is going to be an issue up and down the ballot in 2022, and many local politicians are already feeling the heat. Now that violent crime is on the rise, we Democrats can no longer afford to sit by passively while Republicans trumpet bellicose law-and-order talking points. If we don’t aggressively begin to own the crime issue and make Republicans respond to their own failures, we risk losing our slim majorities in Congress.

The modern Democratic Party is flat-out better on crime than Republicans. Mr. Trump presided over the greatest crime rise in modern American history. Now it’s time for the Democratic consultant class to stop its bed-wetting on this issue and take this case to the American people: A lawless president created the perfect storm for the crime crisis America now faces.

modern Democratic Party is flat-out better on crime than Republicans. Mr. Trump presided over the greatest crime rise in modern American history. Now it’s time for the Democratic consultant class to stop its bed-wetting on this issue and take this case to the American people: A lawless president created the perfect storm for the crime crisis America now faces.

Try to stop laughing. Reading the article, it is as much about trying to shake Democrats out of their woke “Defund the Police” rhetoric as it is trying to paint Republicans as responsible for the chaos in our cities. Carville is rightly very concerned about the Squad and their radical talking points. In a recent interview with Vox, he slammed wokeness, saying these ideas do not resonate with the majority of Americans. He referred to the problem as “faculty lounge politics” that would limit the ability of Democrats to grow their coalition that would cost them seats in 2022.

Clearly, that is what Carville is trying to prevent by screaming from the Journal’s editorial section. By completely ignoring the radical left riots that Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, a Democrat, called “The Summer of Love,” he attempts to make the case that Republicans sat idly by during that period. This assertion is hardly the case:

  • President Trump offered National Guard troops to several Democrat mayors and governors to quell the street violence, many refused.
  • Republican Governor Brian Kemp ordered National Guard troops to Atlanta when it was clear after the senseless murder of an eight-year-old girl and repeated Atlanta PD sickouts that Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms had lost control.
  • Department of Homeland Security officers went to harden the federal courthouse in Portland, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi referred to them as President Trump’s “stormtroopers.” At the same time, they were assaulted nightly by antifa radicals.
  • Democrat mayors from New York City to Los Angeles cut police funding, eliminated cash bail, and made commitments to reimagine policing. These cities also released inmates back onto the street due to COVID-19 and have district attorneys funded by George Soros that refuse to prosecute many crimes.
  • The persistent rioting and destruction are occurring in progressive-led cities like Portland, Minneapolis, and Seattle. Riots in these failing cities have become a dog-bites-man story that even conservative media largely ignore.
  • Florida, Tennessee, and Texas see an influx of residents relocating from California, New York, and other blue states to escape lockdowns and rising crime rates.
  • Red states are the ones passing anti-riot laws to the howls of Democrats crying about the right to protest peacefully.

In short, Carville’s premise is ridiculous. Black Lives Matter has been ramping up the anti-police rhetoric since the Obama administration, and what Heather McDonald coined as “The Ferguson Effect” has been well documented. When there are rhetorical attacks on law enforcement and local and national leaders do not support them, officers become less proactive for self-preservation. This rhetoric is not coming from Republicans or conservatives. It is coming from the very top of the Democrat ticket. Look at this campaign ad:

Luckily, Americans are more intelligent than Carville thinks they are. According to a new Rasmussen poll, Americans see that crime is getting worse under the Biden administration and 50% are not confident in Biden’s ability to deal with it. Why would they be when he nominates anti-police lawyers like Kristen Clarke to top spots in the DOJ? Majorities of voters across the political spectrum note the increase in violent crime since the death of George Floyd last year.

Majorities of Republican and unaffiliated voters question Biden’s ability to address the problem, and as Carville well knows, it is the unaffiliated voters that matter. Nearly two-thirds of all voters say violent crime is getting worse. That view is consistent across racial categories; of those that hold that opinion, 62% question Biden’s ability to address it.

Carville closes his screed with this:

All too often, our consultant class and political operatives are insecure in confronting tough issues—and are scared to pursue the winning strategy. Those who are rightly intent on police reform shouldn’t shy away from holding Republicans accountable for the crime wave they created.

Democrats, don’t pivot on crime. Own the issue or the issue will own you.

Carville will have to drag a whole lot of $100 bills through a lot of different places to sell this narrative. His own party doesn’t want it. Republicans need to have them on record saying so for endless loops going into 2022. The Democrat old guard doesn’t know they are old school because their reportedly moderate contemporary is in the White House. It’s like Carville hasn’t gotten the memo that the moderate wing is nearly gone, and they are no longer running the show.