Joe Biden feels 'defund police' slogan boomeranged for Dems in congressional races, says that's how GOP won
The president-elect promised a comprehensive police reform during a closed-door meeting with civil rights leaders earlier this week
This was something that had kept the Democratic Party divided after the results of the November 3 elections came out. The Democratic Party lost quite a few congressional seats and the moderates put the blame on the progressives, saying hard slogans like "defund the police" were reasons behind their ordinary show. Now, the viewpoint has got a validation from President-elect Joe Biden.
According to a report on Thursday, December 10, Biden told civil rights leaders that the "defund police" slogan was the reason why the Dems faced widespread losses in key congressional contests held last month. As per an audio (which was obtained by Bad News) of the two-hour-long closed door meeting that Biden had with the civil rights leaders last Tuesday, December 8, the former vice-president said: “That's how they beat the living hell out of us across the country, saying that we're talking about defunding the police.”
The call for defunding the police and even dismantling police units gained momentum among the progressive factions of the Democratic Party since the brutal murder of George Floyd at the hands of the police in Minneapolis in May. The incident saw widespread race riots and violence across cities in the US with many civic authorities even going to the extent of slashing police budgets. In some cities, units of the law-keeping agency were even dismantled.
James Clyburn, Barack Obama have also blamed 'defund police' slogan
House Majority Whip James Clyburn and former president Barack Obama, both prominent Blacks in the Democratic Party, also blamed slogans like "defund police" making the party pay in the elections. Biden also distanced himself from the slogan during the pre-election phase and has warned that pursuing it now again could hurt the Democrats in the crucial runoff (Senate) elections in Georgia early next month that would decide which party will control it next.
At the meeting, the former vice-president said he is not in favor of defunding the police but holding them responsible and reallocating funds. In August, he said most cops are good and only the bad ones needed to be prosecuted even as the progressives remained stubborn on their stand to defund the law-keepers. “We’re talking about giving them money to do the right things,” Biden said at the meeting, adding: “We’re talking about putting more psychologists and psychiatrists on the telephones when the 911 calls through. We're talking about spending money to enable them to do their jobs better, not with more force, with less force and more understanding.”
Biden promises commission for police reform
Biden, who will take over as the 46th president on January 20, also pledged during the meeting that he would set up a commission on police reform. “I guarantee you, there will be a full blown commission. I guarantee you it's a major, major, major element,” he said.
However, Biden was not in favor of pushing the police reform rhetoric in the next few months, saying it could prove to be counterproductive in Georgia next month. “I just raise it with you to think about how much do we push between now and January 5th – we need those two seats – about police reform,” he said. The Democrats are trailing the Republicans 46-50 in the Senate with two Independents caucusing with them. If they win both the seats in Georgia, then it will be a 50-50 split with Democratic vice-president-elect Kamala Harris having the tie-breaking power. If the GOP wins those two seats and maintains the majority in the chamber, then Biden will be set to face deadlocks with the Congress after his administration gets into action.
Biden not in favor of rule by executive orders
Biden was also asked by the civil rights leaders to sign a series of executive orders but the former seemed less excited to use executive authority to expand civil rights and implement other issues that he has promised in his agenda. “So there’s some things that I’m going to be able to do by executive order,” Biden said. “I’m not going to hesitate to do it, but what I'm not going to do is I'm not going to do what used to... you probably used to get angry with me during the debates, when you'd have some of the people you were supporting saying, ‘On Day One I'm gonna have an executive order to do this!’ Not within the constitutional authority.”
“I am not going to violate the Constitution. Executive authority that my progressive friends talk about is way beyond the bounds,” Biden said, adding that it is the only hope that America has. “It’s our only hope. Our only hope and the way to deal with it is, where I have executive authority, I will use it to undo every single damn thing this guy has done by executive authority,” the president-elect said while taking an indirect dig at the incumbent President Donald Trump. “So we gotta be careful.”