Commentary

When It Comes to Supporting Police, Do Biden and Harris Think We Don't Have Memories?

By Jenny Beth Martin | September 21, 2020 | 10:29am EDT
Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris give a speech. (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris give a speech. (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

I am so angry I am fit to be tied.

Just who do Joe Biden and Kamala Harris think they are, anyway? Apparently, they think they’re people living in a world where no one else has a memory, where no one keeps records of things they say, where TiVo has not yet been invented. They must think they live in a world, in other words, where they can say things today that fly in the face of their records, without fear that they will be called out for it.

That makes me angry. Luckily for me, I have a TiVo, and I am here today to call them out.

The Democratic nominees for president and vice president issued statements Sept. 13 condemning the shooting of two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies.

“Acts of lawlessness against police are unacceptable, outrageous, and entirely counterproductive.…Those who perpetrate these crimes must be brought to justice and, if convicted, face the full brunt of the law,” said Biden’s official statement

“Doug and I are keeping the two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies in our hearts as they currently fight for their lives after a horrific attack last night. The perpetrator must be brought to justice,” said Harris.

Why, if I didn’t know any better, I might actually believe Biden and Harris really oppose anti-police violence. I might be convinced Biden and Harris believe law enforcement officers should have special protections for the fact that the job they do requires them to take risks every day that regular people simply do not. I might even think they hold the men and women in blue in particularly high regard.

Of course, if I thought all that, I would be wrong.

A review of previous statements and actions by Biden and Harris makes that clear.

Both of them have supported efforts to “defund” police. While Biden’s campaign insists that this is not so, and that the former vice president opposes such efforts, I have a simple guideline: When in doubt, look to what the candidate himself has said, not his campaign spokesman. And in this case, the candidate himself recently referred to police as “the enemy” and said “yes, absolutely” when asked by activist Ady Barkan “but do we agree that we can redirect some of the [police] funding?” 

Harris, not surprisingly, has gone even further, commending Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in early June for cutting $150 million from the Los Angeles Police Department budget, and saying on MSNBC, “the status quo has been to determine and create policy around the idea that more police equals more safety. And that’s just wrong."

"You know what creates greater safety? Funding our public schools.“

Forgive me. I’m all for making sure our public schools are properly funded (though I must say I’d likely be an even stronger supporter of ensuring public school funding if I thought the teachers’ unions were more concerned about ensuring their students’ educations), but I don’t accept that we have to engage in a trade-off between ensuring proper levels of police funding and ensuring proper levels of public school funding. What in the world leads Sen. Harris to believe we cannot do both simultaneously – or that, in the absence of the ability to do both simultaneously, school funding should trump police funding?

Perhaps more importantly, as I watch night after night of violence, looting, arson, and shootings in the downtown areas of some of our nation’s biggest cities, I don’t think to myself “darn. I’ll bet I wouldn’t be watching cities on fire tonight if we had just been thoughtful enough to send more money to our public schools.” In fact, I think exactly the opposite – “darn. We’re sending money to public schools, and they’re sitting empty. I’ll bet if schools and colleges and universities were open, I wouldn’t be watching cities on fire tonight.”

Do we need leaders who, on occasion, give nothing more than lip service to our law enforcement authorities? Do we need leaders who see police as “the enemy?" Do we need leaders who believe police forces should not be fully funded?

Jenny Beth Martin is Chairman of Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund. 

MRC Store