The New York Times led Wednesday’s front page with a bluntly biased attempt to portray the Republican Party as racist and “flat-footed” in the wake of mass protests against police across the nation: “G.O.P., Blindsided By Public’s Rage, Is Pressed To Act – Police Under Scrutiny – The Law and Order Party Loses Its Footing as Attitudes Shift.” The paper cited a Washington Post poll for backup, which indicated people find the George Floyd killing signifying a broad problem with law enforcement.
Never mind that very few people want what the protesters are shouting – “Defund the Police!” – and more moderate Democrats (and less moderate Times reporters) are frantically insisting that that simple phrase actually means something much less radical. Columnist Nicholas Kristof tried to reassure readers in his Thursday column, which included this text box: “Don’t take the term literally. The plan isn’t to get rid of all cops.” Has he told the people in the streets?
Catie Edmondson and Nicholas Fandos reported:
Congressional Republicans, caught flat-footed by an election-year groundswell of public support for overhauling policing in America to address systemic racism, are struggling to coalesce around a legislative response.
Having long fashioned themselves as the party of law and order, Republicans have been startled by the speed and extent to which public opinion has shifted under their feet in recent days after the killings of unarmed black Americans by the police and the protests that have followed. The abrupt turn has placed them on the defensive.
Adding to their challenge, President Trump has offered only an incendiary response, repeatedly invoking “law and order,” calling for military and police crackdowns on protesters, promoting conspiracy theories, and returning time and again to the false claim that Democrats agitating for change are simply bent on defunding police departments.
"The false claim"? Did we all hallucinate the myriad protestor cries to, ahem, “Defund the Police,” notably in Minnesota, as the Times itself admitted?
The Times went through their greatest hits of supposedly racist examples of GOP perfidy.
The dilemma for Republicans is urgent. For decades, their party has been built on the legacy of the “Southern strategy,” in which candidates sought to win over onetime Democrats by portraying themselves as tough on crime and disorder.
Over the years, some Republicans have used the issue to traffic in racial stereotypes and fear-mongering, like when George Bush and his supporters highlighted the case of a black murderer named Willie Horton, who raped a white woman and assaulted her boyfriend while on a prison furlough, to portray Gov. Michael S. Dukakis of Massachusetts, his Democratic presidential rival, as insufficiently tough on crime.
Mr. Trump has sought to stir up white grievance as well, calling immigrants criminals, berating professional African-American football players for kneeling during the national anthem, and calling protesters of police brutality against black Americans “thugs."....