The New York Times reports that crime is starting to worry “progressives” — not the phenomenon, but the politics of it. I don’t know whether progressives in general are worried, but the ones at the Times sure are.
This Times article focuses on the success of Eric Adams in the Democratic mayoral primary. The Times frets that the winner of the race (at least in terms of the popular vote) “focused much of his message on exposing progressive slogans and policies that he said threatened the lives of ‘Black and brown babies’ and were pushed by ‘many young, white and rich’ people.” That’s hitting awfully close home for the New York Times.
The Times acknowledges that Adams’ message resonated with Black and Latino voters, constituencies upon which Democrats depend. It quotes Hakeem Jefferson, a Stanford political science professor. In Jefferson’s view, there’s a disconnect between these voters and the Democratic left. Says Jefferson, “the middle black voter is not AOC and is actually closer to Eric Adams.”
Bernie Sanders, who unsuccessfully courted black voters in two separate campaigns, would probably agree, at least privately.
The Times goes so far as to say that the success of Adams, coupled with polls showing the “disconnect” between the views of Blacks and the Democratic left on matters of crime and policing, “threatens to undermine a central tenet of [Democratic] political thought for decades.” It seems to agree with Adams that “if the Democratic Party does not recognize what we have done here in New York, [it’s] going to have a problem in the midterm elections and. . .in the presidential elections.”
But are Democrat politicians willing to suck it up, abandon “a central tenet of their political thought,” and get behind the police? Maybe, at least in terms of rhetoric.
But if they do, they will face plenty of pushback from the hard left. The Times quotes a member of the leftist “Working Families Party” who seems to accuse Adams of using a racist “dog-whistle” on crime. This, despite the fact that Adams is black.
Because Adams is black, and an ex-cop to boot, he can take this kind of inane criticism. But can Joe Biden? Can most liberals? Possibly, but they would much rather not.