Tim Scott So Sad His Good Buddy Cory Booker Was Gonna DEFUND THE COPS!
Last week, Senator Cory Booker finally realized his Republican colleague Tim Scott was giving Democrats the okey-doke on police reform negotiations. He wasn't interested in reaching a grand bipartisan bargain. He was just playing them for saps.
Scott has insinuated multiple times — in public, where Jesus can see him — that racism doesn't exist unless Democrats are responsible, so it's not a big shock the senator from South Carolina has an alternative view of reality (i.e. lies a lot). He's now claiming the bipartisan talks collapsed because Democrats insisted on “defunding the police," presumably replacing the police with zombie robot gangs. Sunday, he told Martha Brennan on "Face the Nation":
"We said simply this: 'I'm not going to participate in reducing funding for the police after we saw a major city after major city defund the police.' Many provisions in this bill that he wanted me to agree to limited or reduced funding for the police."
Brother Tim is mistaken. According to a Bloomberg CityLab analysis of 34 of the largest 50 US cities' finalized 2021 budgets, while New York and Los Angeles might have made some large cuts, more than half "actually increased spending or kept it unchanged as a percentage of their discretionary spending." Let's also keep in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic crushed state and city budgets. It's tough for everyone, not just cops.
Brennan challenged Scott's bullshit claims, pointing out that the Democrats' plan didn't decrease total funds but actually increased funding for "mental health resources, data collection, officer recruitment and body cameras." But Scott has a broad definition of “defunding" the police, which includes any punitive measures targeting bad cops or the police departments that enable them.
SCOTT: Here's what we know: We have about $1 billion in grant money that goes to police. When you start saying, "In order to receive those dollars, you must do A, B and C. And if you don't do A, B and C, you literally lose eligibility for the two major pots of money — the Byrne grants and the COP grants — when you tell local law enforcement agencies that you are ineligible for money, that's defunding the police, there's no way to spin that.
This is what your humble narrator has told you for months. Republicans would call any reform measures “defunding." What about “demilitarizing the police?", suggests your helpful white moderate friend. No! That's also “defunding." How are cops supposed to do their jobs without access to Star Destroyers? What if we withhold federal grant money from police departments whose officers keep accidentally shooting Black people in the chest? No! When will you people quit with the “defunding?" It's like you want cops to die.
Booker countered Scott's copaganda on CNN's “Face the Nation," stating accurately that Democrats proposed "millions of dollars for police departments ... millions of dollars more, additional dollars, because we want to help officers with mental health issues." Aww.
But seriously, if some Good Will Hunting sessions will keep cops from breaking Black women's collar bones, it's worth the expense. Booker told viewers on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he still considers Scott a friend, and he sends “him grace all the time." Booker seems intent on re-enacting the frog and the scorpion parable despite its predictable ending.
BOOKER: I promised the families [of police violence] we're going to get something done. I'm still at work. I'm not throwing accusations at either side.
Yeah, that's fan-fucking-tastic, Cory. But here's the thing: Scott is going to spend the next year leading up to the midterms claiming Democrats tried to defund the police, so you might want to very strongly suggest that he's a lying sack of shit. Your dear friend has left you with no actual police reform legislation to show for your efforts and you don't even have the benefit of telling your more activist supporters that you did try to fuck the police. You're sort of stuck in the middle, which is no good politically.
VIRAL MOMENT: Cory Booker gives a highly energetic response to Tommy Tuberville's "scurrilous" defund the police ac… https://t.co/QD5nQ4xZK0— Forbes (@Forbes) 1628692972.0
Last month, Booker said he was “so excited," like a common Pointer Sister, when GOP Senator Tommy Tuberville from Alabama proposed an amendment to the 2022 budget that would block federal funds from any municipalities that defunded their police departments. This would supposedly force Democrats to go on record as supporting the "woke defund the police movement." But Democrats outfoxed them! They all voted for the amendment, which Booker sarcastically claimed was a “gift," an opportunity for sensible Democrats to finally "put to bed the scurrilous accusation that somebody in this great esteemed body would want to defund the police."
Of course, it doesn't matter how Democrats voted on that amendment or any other bill. Their good faith efforts to reach a bipartisan consensus on cop-friendly police reform won't change the GOP's rhetoric, either. Liars aren't bothered by facts. That's one of the perks. The best way for Democrats to deal with Republicans is to act like they've met them.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."