They are out for blood.
Despite opposition from other Democratic members, Democratic Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri has refused to reverse her stance on the “defund the police” slogan.
Speaking to Axios on Tuesday, Bush said, “I always tell [fellow Democrats], ‘If you all had fixed this before I got here, I wouldn’t have to say these things.’”
She continued saying that it was up to Democrats to do a better job at explaining to voters what the “defund the police” stance meant, stating that some of the funds would be better spent on preventive social services.
The progressive Missouri Democrat also rejected the idea that “defund the police” would be responsible for an election loss for Democrats, saying the movement was “not the problem,” rather, the blame would be on the party’s inability to implement promises made during the election campaigns.
“We dangled the carrot in front of people’s faces and said we can get it done and that Democrats deliver when we haven’t totally delivered,” Bush said.
Bush’s remarks come as the midterms approach, with more Democrats showing concern that the “defund the police” rhetoric could lead to disappointing results, similar to what the party experienced in the 2020 election.
The rhetoric surrounding defunding the police –– that gained popularity after the George Floyd protests –– has also lost significant support within the party as numerous Democrats distance themselves from the movement.
The stance is also less popular given that violent crime has increased significantly, as a Council on Criminal Justice Study revealed that murders rose 5% last year and are up 44% since 2019.
Democratic Rep. Karen Bass of California, who is running for mayor of Los Angeles, revealed that she planned to increase the city’s police, acknowledging that residents of Los Angeles “don’t feel safe” and vowing to restore the city to its 9,700 authorized officers.
Bass went on to say that the countless acts of crime –– stolen property, property damage, vehicle theft, house robberies, violent assaults –– that had affected many of those in the city created a general feeling of fear.
But, Bush is seemingly undeterred by her fellow Democrats voicing concerns about crime. Instead, during the interview, she pointed to the little progress the party made on police reform bills.
Discussing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act –– which some in the party have considered using a piecemeal approach to implement –– Bush said, “If we couldn’t get George Floyd done back when millions of people were marching in the street, then how do we expect to get more than one thing done [on policing] over the next few years?”