While protests were growing following the police shooting of Daunte Wright in Minneapolis, the buzz on social media quickly began taking on a divisive tone. Joining in on the action was Representative Rashida Tlaib, who clearly was not pleased with the latest developments. But rather than calling for police reform or justice for the victim, Tlaib immediately turned the dials up to eleven and declared that there should be no more policing or incarceration of any sort, saying that the system “can not be reformed.” Yes, we’re back to the entire “abolish the police” theme.
It wasn't an accident. Policing in our country is inherently & intentionally racist.
Daunte Wright was met with aggression & violence. I am done with those who condone government funded murder.
No more policing, incarceration, and militarization. It can't be reformed.
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) April 12, 2021
"No more policing"?
Ok. All politicians who want to defund & eliminate the police should lead by example & start with their own security detail, personal neighborhoods, & gov't offices.
Give up your protection… https://t.co/Y94yDtJYjJ
— Bob Woodson (@BobWoodson) April 13, 2021
Even some nervous Democrats were immediately pointing out that Tlaib’s comments could wind up hurting their chances at holding onto their congressional majorities in the midterms. As Allahpundit wryly noted, “no more policing” should be a fine slogan for next year.
“no more policing” sounds like a fine slogan for 2022 https://t.co/3FOAsmaa1J
— Allahpundit (@allahpundit) April 13, 2021
Tlaib has nothing to fear since she’ll be running in an uncompetitive district. But the same can’t be said for many of the other members in her caucus. Quite a few of the seats that they captured during the anti-Trump wave of 2018 and 2020 were taken by the most slender of margins. They’ve already given some of them back, but more could fall if they give in to their worst influences. And as far as unpopular messages go, you don’t sink much further toward the bottom of the barrel than this one.
There isn’t even any support out there for defunding the police aside from the most radically fringe left-wing. But abolishing the police? The country has been feeding on a steady diet of what life looks like after reductions in police forces. Ironically, that’s what is now playing out in Minneapolis, along with Portland and several other cities. Frightened people can reliably be counted on to do a couple of things. One is that they will buy more guns. The other is that they will vote for the person who is not trying to dismantle law enforcement.
As for ending incarceration, that’s also a non-starter. There is definitely support for prison reform and probably even sentencing reform. But those measures have to be tackled in a cautious, measured manner. Simply “emptying the jails” in the name of dismantling an “incarceration nation” is just about as popular as abolishing the police. That is to say, not popular at all.
Tlaib is scoring an own goal for her party here, but I wouldn’t expect her to walk it back. We have roughly 18 months to wait to see how well all of this sits with the voters.