Disorder + illegal migrants + kids
If you saw the Republican primary debate, you know that the issue of crime was given short shrift, coming in near the bottom in terms of discussion time.
This may be because there is a strange meme floating around in conservative circles that asserts the U.S. President cannot materially influence the issue of domestic safety.
I’m here to tell you: that is wrong, and it’s suicidal for the right.
Folks, what people see now on their television screens every night is unpunished looting, rioting, mass shootings. It’s all undeniably scary.
But what people generally see in their lives is different. Ask any precinct commander what people complain about at a community meeting. It’s rarely, “I see too many shootings here” (thankfully). No, they complain about disorder. The feeling that they are unsafe, and that no one is in charge during their daily lives.
And that goes right to the heart of broken windows policing. When people see clean streets, few homeless, scooters that avoid the sidewalk, mass transportation devoid of menacing lunatics, no open drug use — they feel safe (generally, because they are).
And broken windows policing — using the statutes on the books to enforce against these conditions — is the only proven way to create that feeling. God knows what we’re doing now isn’t working.
Now, add a tidal wave of illegal migrants who are un-vetted, un-housed, and unemployed, and you have a roiling cauldron of disorder.
Recall, as we noted last time: 80% of the U.S. lives in cities. Add the suburbs whose fortunes are tied to those cities, and we are well over the 90% range.
It’s no secret that the Republicans lost the soccer moms last time out, and various analyses suggest this is the demographic they need to tip — even a little — in their favor.
Soccer moms, by definition, have kids. Kids they want to raise in safety.
So add the (adjacent) issue of woke indoctrination in schools: and that’s it. That’s the entire formula, in my opinion. That’s what people see and feel. Talks of administrative fixes and soaring rhetoric regarding values — even scarifying talk re: China and Russia — won’t do it.
The nation needs to hear this message from the candidates. Promise order and safety, and tie it to kids.
Okay then: How?
De-Coding The Candidates’ Responses
Let’s first look at how each of the major candidates (who were asked) actually responded to the crime/disorder question. It’s telling.
Christie: Defaulting to his federal prosecutor experience, Christie vowed that he would use federal prosecutors to go after the crime progressive local prosecutors are letting go.
Assessment: Impossible. The federal system is nowhere near capacious enough to handle the volume needed to really move that needle. Sorry — this was wind.
Vivek (yes, he’s got single-name recognition now): Subtly acknowledging his lack of experience in this area, he defaulted to his main theme: “America is in decline, traditional values are being lost, and that’s why we’re seeing this disorder.”
Assessment: A clever pivot, but not very concrete. And therefore, not compelling.
Pence: Vowed to support law enforcement and spend money.
Assessment: Nothing concrete. And I’m sorry, but he was VP during the 2020 “Summer of Love,” when our cities were burning and no major federal cases were made (I’m still waiting for a single Antifa conspiracy or RICO case). Where was Pence’s (rather pious) voice then, when my cops were getting bricks bounced off their faces?
DeSantis: The Florida Governor (who I believe gained most from the debate) vowed that he would pressure local prosecutors to do their jobs, citing the fact that he fired two so-called “Soros prosecutors” in Florida for shirking their duties. Fair enough, but: that power is a state Governor’s power. The President doesn’t have it.
Assessment: A start, but needs to go further as President (see below).
Here’s What a President Can Do On Crime
1. Close the border — The most obvious fix on the issues we’ve identified, and one — to their credit — the candidates hit. But aside from invoking fentanyl, none tied it compellingly to the issue of crime and disorder in our cities.
So for God’s sake, enough with the “our system is broken” bullshit. Be concrete. Vow to finish the wall and to let CBP do what they know how to do. Vow imprisonment and deportations. Explain that that alone would remove the welcome mat message that Biden threw out, and will slow things considerably.
Articulate how the flood of migrants is pushing the mentally ill and homeless out of shelter systems and into the streets. Nobody made this point; it speaks of a lack of understanding of what’s happening on the ground.
Oh, and: Call for Congress to impeach Mayorkas. In fact, vow to investigate him if you’re elected. His behavior in office has been unconscionable (his lies about his own people re: the “whipping” incident alone qualify him for this).
2. Funding — While the vast majority of law enforcement in the U.S. is comprised of state and locals, what many don’t realize is how large a role the federal government plays in funding even local police. Every police department gets some federal help.
A perfect example is the 1994 “COPS” bill (aka, The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act).
Signed by President Bill Clinton, it was the sort of thing the Dems used to actually care about. From DOJ’s own website, the Act was “the largest-ever crime bill in the country’s history, providing for 100,000 new police officers and allocating $9.7 billion for prisons and $6.1 billion for prevention programs.”
(graphic for the COPS bill — proudly displayed on DOJ’s current website)
It’s no accident that it was in the 1990’s that many cities — including New York — started to finally ratchet down crime and disorder. This bill, plus broken windows tactics, changed everything (I don’t have to guess; we used to call it, “Clinton overtime”).
The Dems have run away from this policy success, rather than try to reinstate and tweak it (Biden’s “Safer America Plan” has been a joke, and seems more designed to intimidate cops than support them). Republicans: Grab it and own it.
We need a large gesture here. Vow to work with Congress for a new — effective — COPS bill.
And vow to withhold funding from departments and agencies that are not doing their jobs.
3. Federal Monitorships for Prosecutors — This is what DeSantis came close to, but stopped short of.
A beloved tactic of the Dems, federal monitorships place police departments under direct control of the feds (these exploded under Obama; the NYPD is under one now, relative to stop-and-frisk).
The federal government could do the same to state and local prosecutors’ offices.
The way this works is, the feds take the locals to federal court, prove what the locals are doing is unconstitutional or illegal, and get a federal judge to issue a “consent decree.”
That’s where the teeth come from; if the locals then violate that decree, they are in contempt of court — which results in major fines and could even mean jail time.
Start with Alvin Bragg’s office in Manhattan.
Bragg — in fact, the NYC prosecutors in all five boroughs except Staten Island — refuses to prosecute the Theft of Service charge for fare-jumping.
Now, fare-jumping in the subways was a key component of the broken windows era of policing that was so effective in the 1990’s onward. As NYPD legend Jack Maple once observed, robbery crews entering the subway are not about to pay the fare.
Taking an entire statute, duly enacted by the legislature, off the table is not “prosecutorial discretion” as these prosecutors claim; that discretion applies in individual instances of a crime.
This instead is an abdication of the legal duties of a prosecutor, and an arrogation of the role of the legislature. Essentially, the prosecutor has just repealed a portion of the NY Penal Law. That is blatantly unconstitutional.
This is just one example of activities that could qualify for a monitorship. There are others.
So go to court and put these prosecutors under monitorship. Do the same to Gascon in Los Angeles. I’d bet Kim Foxx in Chicago and Krasner in Philly also qualify.
Even initiating this process will scare many of these prosecutors straight — and local prosecutors’ offices nationwide will get the message. Fast.
DeSantis is in the best position to articulate this in a simple way, and as we’ve noted, he has some history in this area. Man up and pledge to do this.
Will there be outrage? Hysteria? Gnashing of teeth? Yes.
Meanwhile, What’s The Biden Administration Looking To Fund?
Under the Safer America Plan, here’s what they’re grant funding actually looks like (from DOJ’s grants page — click on the image to go to the page and see the full graphic):
If you have the stomach, read through the descriptions of what they’re looking to throw billions at (the last one is particularly noxious).
Yet another disorder talking point the Republican candidates seem to be missing. The Safer America Plan (appropriately, “SAP”) is failing badly.
The Migrant Riots Start
This issue is really starting to boil here in NYC…. Today’s protests at the Mayor’s Gracie Mansion turned violent.
I think we’re going to see more of this, nationwide. (Republicans: Pay attention!).
Here’s a tweet that tells you all you need to know:
Direct from the Alzheimer’s Association of California, a quote:
For people with dementia, ice cream is far more effective and safe than Prozac, or any other “happy” drug on the market! If you are caring for a loved one with dementia, find out what flavor is their absolute favorite and NEVER RUN OUT OF ICE CREAM!
Anyone with experience of Alzheimer’s knows this is not funny — it’s terribly, terribly sad.
And it’s even sadder when it applies to a Commander-in-Chief on endless vacation.
Luckily, Dr. Jill is around. She apparently knows what to do.
Thanks for reading The Ops Desk!