Thursday, March 3, 2022

Biden debunks 'defund police' in SOTU speech

It’s not news that President Biden opposes the “defund the police” movement. He said as much when the movement got off the ground two years ago. Since then, the unpopular idea has fallen even more out of favor, living on mostly in the comments of a handful of liberal hard-liners and in attacks from Republicans seeking to attach those comments to the broader Democratic Party. It’s the kind of thing that politicians are usually loath to talk about because they have already addressed it, and it should be a nonissue.

And yet, Biden decided to broach the topic in his State of the Union address. The apparent purpose: to try to put an end to it, once and for all, reported the Washington Post.

It wound up being perhaps Biden’s biggest bipartisan applause line of the entire night, save for his early comments on Ukraine.

 “We should all agree the answer is not to defund the police; it’s to fund the police,” Biden said.

Receiving an overwhelmingly positive response — including from Republican leaders who stood and applauded — Biden went off his prepared remarks to drive the point home.

“Fund them,” he said. “Fund them.”

He added, returning to his script: “Fund them with resources and training, resources and training they need to protect our communities.”

While Biden has opposed defunding the police for a long time, this was more than checking a box. It was leaning hard into a repudiation of an idea that at least some members of his party have embraced — depending upon how they defined “defund.”

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