What happens when a progressive-reform DA meets a crime wave? In city after city, they have largely surrendered to the criminals while embracing wokery, and Philadelphia has been no exception to that experience. Earlier this month, as John noted, Philly DA Larry Krasner tried to jolly voters by claiming that there was no significant crime wave, which caused former Philly mayor Michael Nutter — no conservative — to erupt over his denial of the damage being done in primarily black neighborhoods.
The Washington Post reported last night on the rift within the Left in Philly, pointedly noting Nutter’s blast at white-progressive “bulls*** … paternalism” eclipsing Krasner’s duties for public safety. NBC’s Philadelphia affiliate covered the eruption when it occurred three weeks ago:
When Larry Krasner, Philadelphia’s liberal district attorney, was asked this month about the city’s crime surge that includes an unprecedented 550 homicides this year, he appeared to play it down. “We don’t have a crisis of lawlessness,” Krasner said. “We don’t have a crisis of crime. We don’t have a crisis of violence.”
Krasner, who is White, has been an ally of Black leaders pushing for changes to the criminal justice system, but Michael Nutter, a former Philadelphia mayor who is African American, erupted at Krasner, accusing him of dismissing the pain of Black residents who suffer from the violence while purporting to support them.
“It all goes back to supremacy, paternalism. ‘I’m woke. I’m paying attention. I spend a lot of time with Black people. Some of my best friends … ’ All that bulls—,” Nutter said in an interview. “And so you get a guy like Larry Krasner who is the great White hope and ‘I’m gonna ride in on a white horse with a white hat.’ ”
It was a jarring rebuke of one Democrat by another. But it also laid bare a broader turbulence within the party and the progressive movement, as those pushing a message of racial equity sometimes do so with a zeal or tone that fails to resonate with portions of the Black or Latino communities. The dynamic is even more fraught when those ideas are championed by White leaders.
Krasner offered a half-baked apology for being “inarticulate,” but Nutter wasn’t having any of that. The problem wasn’t articulation, Nutter told CNN’s Michael Smerconish at the time, but Krasner’s white-knighting and refusal to prioritize safety over social engineering, accusing Krasner of essentially seeking higher office over the bodies of minority crime victims:
He accused the district attorney of following the trend, positioning himself as a reformer with the aim of getting elected to a higher political office.
“I think he really just wants to tear the system down and tear it apart with seemingly no idea as to how to build it back up,” Nutter said. “Larry’s got that paternalistic mind-set of: ‘I’m going to take care of you and I’m going to right all the wrongs that have historically been going on.’ And there certainly are challenges in the law enforcement community, no question about it. But good people still want to be safe.”
Why cover this now, a few weeks after the explosion? As the Post notes, it speaks to a big problem on the Left, one that has accelerated after the George Floyd riots and the political rise of Black Lives Matter. On one hand, Democrats feel bound to pursue this “bulls*** paternalism” not just based on the passions of the electorate but also because of their paternalistic progressive deep-pocket donors. The entire progressive-DA project banked by George Soros and others explicitly aimed at this kind of social engineering via refusals to prosecute and efforts to free prisoners on the basis of unjust outcomes.
Unfortunately for Democrats, the actual injustice from these outcomes have been placed on law-abiding people, primarily in lower-income, high-density urban areas. These progressive social-justice agendas have rendered urban areas unlivable on a scale not seen since the early 1990s, and perhaps not since the 1970s. It’s gotten so bad that it may be triggering a new round of urban flight, only this time it’s everyone with the means who are packing up to go … even those who support this agenda, in theory:
This is not a “fuck SF” post. This is a saddened recap of what could have been. I’ve had a tremendous time here, which had nothing to do with “tech” or “startups”. It had to do with my family, the people, the food, the culture, the debates, the nature.
— Hari Raghavan (@haridigresses) December 28, 2021
This is such a cliché, but we’re moving to Miami.
I know there’s plenty to be apprehensive about. Worse politics (from our perspective), its own superficiality, weather issues, critters, guns… but lots to love about food, warmth, service industry, vibrancy.
— Hari Raghavan (@haridigresses) December 28, 2021
“Worse politics” than those listed in this person’s litany of political failures in San Francisco, and California generally? I don’t mean to pick on this Twitter user specifically, because he’s hardly the only person leaving cities employing what he thinks are better politics because public order has collapsed to go where public order is maintained by “worse politics.” The choice of Florida in particular makes this point clearer, as do the relative population losses and gains over the past year between red states and blue states.
As this chart from Greg Abbott demonstrates, it’s not just the weather:
Texas leads America in population growth.
We are also number one in business relocations.
It's simple — people are choosing the Lone Star State because we believe in less government and more freedom. pic.twitter.com/KZ0HZG6sSl
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) December 22, 2021
People don’t leave California for the weather. They leave California because living there means dealing with miserable and largely unnecessary problems: energy unreliability, skyrocketing cost of living, and crime spikes that make it flat-out dangerous to live in its cities.
And this is a yuuuge problem for Democrats, who have run America’s urban areas almost entirely exclusively for decades. Their policy agendas have utterly failed, especially their progressive social-engineering-via-prosecutors project, and the people who notice it most are the voters it was supposed to impress. Instead, those voters are getting an unvarnished look at the paternalism and condescension that make up the warp and woof of wokery. And as Nutter makes clear, they’re getting tired of it, especially as other progressives flee the worlds that these policies create.