Something surprising happened on Friday’s PBS NewsHour. Both pundits agreed the Democrats are in trouble of standing on the wrong side of looting and rioting.
Anchor Judy Woodruff began: “The Republicans did spend a lot of time going after Joe Biden. Does that help them? I mean, they have clearly tried to not only draw distinctions. They have painted him in some pretty dark places.”
David Brooks said the “perversity of this year” is the Democrats gave the better convention, but “if you measure the mood both in the Democratic and Republican camps, Democrats are a little more anxious and Republicans are a little more confident” because of “what's happened outside of the conventions, Kenosha, and this sense of rising crime and violence.”
BROOKS: The Democrats, I think, have come to understand, they somehow got on the wrong side of order. And they got somehow attached, even though Biden is not actually attached to it, to the idea of defunding the police. And they need to somehow make some gesture to show they understand the insecurity of the American people.
The country has been through an anxious time, with the pandemic, economic turmoil. There's just this great sense of fear, of fear and a sense of unsafety, physical unsafety, from the pandemic and everything else. And somehow they have to address that.
Now, a lot of law and order talk is code word for racism. There's no question about that. But I think a lot of it is not. And I think Democrats would be making a mistake if they just said, oh, you're all just a bunch of cryptoracists. I think people have legitimate concerns about expressing their opinion safely, about living safely. And so I think Biden really would do well by himself to somehow address this issue and say, no, we're for policing, we want to reform policing, but we will keep you safe. This is just an elemental issue of politics stretching back 3,000 or 4,000 years.
Woodruff asked liberal pundit Mark Shields if “the Democrats have gotten off on the wrong foot when it comes to this law and order or order argument,” and he said yes.
MARK SHIELDS: Portland remains a festering boil for Democrats, that what went on in Seattle and has been reported by The Times and other news organizations is really just unacceptable in a civilized society, in a law-abiding society. And Democrats cannot be appear to be indifferent. It's Donald Trump's opening. I mean, Donald Trump's going to run on law and order. He has no doubt — no question about that.
Shields noted the Republicans brought on a lot of African-American speakers at their convention to sell swing voters, especially women "who have been turned off by the Republicans."