Sunday, September 13, 2020

In Dallas, #DefundThePolice becomes epithet to describe any cut, even amidst COVID revenue shortfalls

Debates over "defunding the police" became even sillier this week with Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson trotting out the phrase to oppose a $7 million cut to police overtime that's almost trivial in the scheme of a) the overall Dallas police budget and b) COVID-driven revenue shortfalls.

Because our friends in the MSM can't keep from saying Austin "cut" a third of its police budget when the IRL cuts were less than 5 percent, Grits can almost understand the public's confusion over whether cuts are a good thing. They've been repeatedly lied to, after all. If Austin had done what the governor and police unions pretend they did, it could be alarming. But it's just not true.

In Dallas, though, Mayor Johnson is using "defund the police" as an epithet to characterize a far smaller cut that only affects a few million dollars in police overtime. (As an aside, this comes as the press airs headlines about DPD officers scamming the overtime system.)

In the wake of that dramatic 13-2 loss, the Big D Mayor could have considered that politics is the art of compromise, understand that he'll have to work with these 13 council members going forward, and simply accepted the L. Instead, he's doubled down, echoing GOP talking points and earning enthusiastic Republican praise, while isolating himself from council members who said his comments were "insulting" and accused him of "grandstanding." 

The net result of this pointless display was to invite Greg Abbott to include Dallas in his attacks on Austin, and siding with him instead of the city. Viewed generously, I guess, at least we know Mayor Johnson is not letting his re-election prospects dictate policy positions. He's in the process of alienating big chunks of Democratic base that he may later discover he needs.


Gadfly said...

Speaking of, you see Renee Hall is resigning as police chief? Was originally going to be effective mid-November, but city manager Broadnax convinced her to stay through end of year.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Yeah, I'd said on Twitter, while I've had my criticisms of Chief Hall, only in an unjust world is SHE out and Manley stays. She's been a far better chief than he has, across the board.

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