Joe Biden’s meandering, vapid anti-crime speech on Wednesday was skewered on the right for its ludicrous threats and anti-gun focus.
But if Biden was hoping for a better reaction from his friends on the left, he was disappointed. Biden’s empty, anti-gun rhetoric was seen for exactly what it was: an ineffective political effort to staunch the bleeding support that Biden and the Democrats have been seeing for the last year.
Indeed, even the sops that were thrown to the gun control crowd of universal background checks and tighter restrictions on the sale of guns got only a lukewarm response. His announcement that cities could tap unused Covid relief funds to hire more cops elicited angry words from activists who genuinely believed — but wrongly — that they were making progress in defunding the police and reducing police presence in high-crime neighborhoods.
One thing Washington does effectively is shovel money at a problem, a brute-force way to fight, for example, a pandemic-induced economic downturn. Crime doesn’t necessarily work the same way. What drives crime—both up, as is the case now, and down, as occured from the ’90s until recently—is not well understood. Money can be used to, for example, hire more police officers, but training cops takes time, and besides, many departments are already struggling to fill open, funded positions, according to a survey from the Police Executive Research Forum.
Writing checks to hire cops might be politically untenable for Biden. Although the president pointedly distanced himself from Democrats who have called for defunding the police, a huge increase in federal funding to departments would likely spark an insurrection on his left flank, at a moment when the president is already struggling to hold together his fragile coalition on voting rights and infrastructure—not to mention trying to nurture a bipartisan police-reform bill.
The cause of the spike in murders and shootings isn’t a mystery, despite what the writer believes. It’s largely due to what Rich Lowry says: Biden “leads a national party that is largely incapable of seriously grappling with a problem that requires resisting the yearslong intellectual and political campaign to delegitimize law enforcement and the criminal-justice system.”
The simplest answer for the rise in murder is that besieged police have been more cautious or defensive in their patrolling. This comes against the backdrop of a yearslong trend in major cities of limiting police stops and elevating progressive district attorneys devoted to keeping as many people as possible out of jail.
The Rudy Giuliani-Mike Bloomberg approach that proved so effective in Gotham — of backing police to the hilt and aggressively working to get illegal guns off the streets — came to be considered a terrible mistake. But it doesn’t look so bad if the alternative is young men routinely getting gunned down in neighborhoods beset by intolerable chaos.
In order for Biden to effectively deal with the spike in violent crime, he and his fellow radicals are going to have to admit they were dead wrong in their assumptions about crime and criminals. And that’s not going to happen.
Greg Gutfeld on The Five:
“Last night we saw an attack on a police station after drug dealers were arrested, I think it was in North Carolina, am I right? These are things that the Democrats ignore as they release looters and decide they are not going to charge people who are rioting, but the good news is we were able to get, we were able to sentence a grandmother … an Indiana grandmother for entering the Capitol on January 6. 120 hours of community service. She got 120 more hours than Hunter Biden did for violating a gun law.”
Eventually, things will get so bad that an adult will be elected mayor and the focus will change to fighting crime, not facilitating it. This looks like it’s happening in New York City with the law and order Democratic mayoral frontrunner, former cop Eric Adams.
We should wish him luck. He’s going to need it.