Senator Cory Booker just did something awesome.
You may have seen the headline “The Senate, Including Sanders, Votes to Penalize Local Governments That Defund the Police”
Nope nope nope. That’s not what happened.
Better news outlets covered it this way: “Video of Cory Booker Teasing GOP Senator Over ‘Defund the Police’ Goes Viral”
What really happened?
The GOPer that wrote the amendment worded it badly. He based it on the GOP lies about defund the police (DTP), not on how reality works. As a result, this is a great amendment to support!
Spotting the mistake, Senator Booker and others decided to help it backfire by supporting it. In fact, Booker described it as “a gift” and said he wanted to give Tuberville a big hug. (watch the video)
The way the bill is worded, it empowers the DTP movement: If a police department is defunded (or reduced), the “punishment” is that the federal government can’t swoop in and backfill the funding.
That’s like telling a child, “if you throw your vegetables on the floor, we’ll punish you by not giving you replacement vegetables.”
You may be asking yourself… but doesn’t the amendment mean that next year the town won’t get any federal money? Well, yes, but police departments don’t get federal money. Local/state taxes pay for police. This is something an ex-Mayor like Booker knows, but a GOPer idiot like Tuberville (with no education in civics or government… he’s an ex-football coach) didn’t realize. Booker used to be mayor of Newark, New Jersey, where he dramatically reduced corruption and crime. (Watch the Oscar-nominated documentary “Street Fight” to see how he got elected.)
So how did this happen?
The GOP disinformation about DTP is to claim that Dems want zero police so that crime can run rampant. (Here’s a refresher on GOP logic: Only blacks vote for Dems. All blacks are criminals. Zero police means criminals (i.e. black people) can run rampant and with impunity…. or even worse they might have sex with your pure white daughters. Therefore, DTP is bad and gosh golly how could any sane person vote for a Democrat, especially if you value your white daughter’s virginity?)
The truth about DTP is that 80% of all police calls are non-criminal things like noise complaints and domestic disputes. Cops hate to go on those calls because they’re not trained to handle them, they’re messy, and I assure you that when they decided to become a cop it was to fight bank robbers and murderers, not to respond to a man beating his wife because he “had a bad day.” (wow, that was a long sentence!)
That’s why these domestic calls get handled so badly.
The solution proposed by DTP is to innovate by having those calls handled by experts and leave the other 20 percent to the cops. They want to send specially trained social workers and other non-gun-shooting types to handle these domestic calls, de-escalate them, and get the people involved to solve their disputes productively. You know like…. helping people to solve their problems so we have fewer problems in the world.
Towns that have done this find it is more effective and cops love it because they don’t want to do this kind of work anyway. I repeat: COPS LOVE THIS.
In fact, one town in Florida has decided to do that. and it is expected to save money. Cops make twice as much as social workers. So, aw, heck, why not do it just to save money?
But I digress…
Here’s where it gets fun:
Senator Booker said, “I am sure I will see no political ads attacking anybody here over defund the police.”
What he meant is that he knows that GOPers like to buy adverts claiming that all Dems want to defund the police (i.e. let black people rape your white daughters). Now we have an amendment which was passed 99-0, all Dems voted for it. They can say, “See? GOPers put up a bill to see who supports DTP and zero zero zero democrats voted for it!”
Booker called it a gift because every Dem that gets to go on record for “supporting the police just like GOPers do” and at the same time helping the DTP movement!
Oh, did I mention that Senator Tuberville’s qualifications for writing bills and amendments is that he is an ex-football coach?
What are Senator Booker’s qualifications for writing laws? Senator Booker graduated from Stanford University with a BA in political science in 1991, a masters in sociology in 1992, earning a degree in United States history in 1994 at Oxford, and got his law degree in 1997 from Yale Law School. While in law school he operated free legal clinics for low-income residents of New Haven, Connecticut.
But if you think that football is more important than all that, don’t worry. Senator Booker was on his high school varsity team (named to the 1986 USA Today All-USA high school football team). In college he played football (making the All–Pacific-10 Academic team). While doing that he still had time to be elected class president and manage a student-run crisis hotline.
Wait… he did all that AND ran a crisis hotline?
Maybe that’s why he knows a little something about helping people and writing laws.