Right now, Congress can’t seem to agree on a police reform bill. That’s hardly surprising in such divisive climates as Congress has been for the past few years. No one wants to listen to anyone, just because they’re part of the wrong party.
The Republican bill was pretty basic. There was a lot not being done, but there were still good things in the bill. However, because it wasn’t enough, House Democrats basically killed any chance of that becoming law. Instead, they want their bill, one with a more broad approach to pass, which isn’t likely to happen.
Unsurprisingly, many are blaming the Republican Party for the problem. However, I can’t agree with that one.
You see, police reform isn’t a need that just materialized. It’s been something clearly needed, especially in our large cities. It’s been a need many in these communities have argued for in recent years, sometimes for decades, even.
Yet in these large cities, congressional action isn’t required. Policing is over dictated at the local level. While there are state standards that must be adhered to, large municipalities can often create additional standards for their law enforcement agencies. In other words, they’ve had all the authority to reform their police departments all along.
They just haven’t done so.
And yet, what party tends to hold power in these large cities? They’re generally not red counties, that’s for damn sure.
That’s right. These are Democrat strongholds. More importantly, this is the core of their support. Beyond major cities, Democrats find little in the way of backing in most of the nation. Sure, some rural counties in the Northeast lean blue as well, but for the most part, without the cities, Democrats would have about as much backing as the Libertarian Party and we all know it.
Mayors and city councilmembers throughout these cities are proud Democrats. They campaign on Democratic talking points. They take their cues from the Democratic Party. They are Democrats.
Even when you get the odd Republican, they’re often someone like Michael Bloomberg, someone who has the Republican name, but backs every measure the Democrats could dream of. Hell, in what party’s primary did Bloomberg run for president in again? I don’t remember seeing him challenging Trump.
And yet, these Democrats have done nothing to address the problem. From New York to Minneapolis to Los Angeles, these are cities that are controlled by Democrats. Democrats who have had ample opportunity to deal with the problem.
Now, when it’s clear there’s a problem, though, they seek to try and lay the blame at Republicans’ feet because they’re not tripping all over themselves to tell state and local governments how to police.
Congressional action isn’t required. Not for the biggest issues, at least.
Local governments can act unilaterally, even if the federal and state governments won’t. They can address the problems. They can mandate additional training for law enforcement. They can ban chokeholds or other procedures deemed too risky. They can do damn near whatever they please to deal with the issue.
They just won’t.
Then again, why should that be surprising? It’s not like these local officials will accept the blame for their own failures, so why should we be shocked when they try to pass the buck up the line?
No matter what, though, you can’t rightly blame the Republican Party for failing to address an issue Democrats could have dealt with years ago.