“DEFUND THE POLICE” AND THE DAMAGE DONE: Remember the debate over the meaning of the phrase “defund the police”? Repeated over and over on the progressive left, it seemed pretty clear — it meant that cities should no longer fund, and thus effectively abolish, their police forces. But some Democrats worried that embracing such a radical proposal might hurt them politically, so they suggested that it actually meant re-directing some, but not all, funds from police to things like mental health treatment and affordable housing. Nothing too radical.
Every time Democrats thought they had limited the political damage done by a literal interpretation of “defund the police,” some progressive voice would mess it all up. For example, in June, the New York Times published an op-ed headlined, “Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police.”