This represents a truly impressive display of political incompetence on the part of Black Lives Matter and its allies. If you came to the American public with an argument that cities such as Louisville and Philadelphia are poorly governed, that this poor governance imposes especially terrible costs on African Americans, that the municipal incompetence naturally extends to police work, and that sweeping reform is called for, you would get a great deal of buy-in from both sides of the aisle. Republicans don’t need a whole lot of convincing that Chicago is a flying circus of whirling buffoonery.
In truth, the Left isn’t especially interested in police reform. If they cared about police reform, progressives would be offering actual halfway serious proposals for police reform, which have been notably few and far between over these past months, drowned out by unserious and irresponsible rhetoric about abolishing city police departments. The police are a special problem for the Left in that they represent an incompatibility between the Left’s post-1960s Bill Ayers–style radicalism and the realpolitik that recognizes police as unionized municipal employees and hence natural constituents of the Democratic Party.
The scandal of urban America is a stumbling-block for Democrats, for the obvious reason that this is pretty much exclusively their show and has been for generations. Louisville, currently convulsed by the death of Breonna Taylor at the hands of police, hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since Lyndon Johnson was in the White House. Portions of American cities were ceded to armed militias over the summer, not by Republican authorities accommodating right-wing radicals descending from the hills of Idaho but by the powers that be in impeccably progressive Seattle inviting a left-wing occupation force to set up shop in a corner of that declining city, where they promptly set about shooting a few children.