Four years ago, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, cruised to reelection without any real opposition. Donald Trump was still President, and the city enjoyed prosperous times. The only real criticism of Bowser’s policies was that the nation’s capital was growing too fast driving up housing costs – a good problem to have.
One catastrophic term later, and with homicide and violent crime rates spiraling out of control, Bowser finds herself in a highly contested reelection fight against two progressive challengers from the District of Columbia Council who have accused her of mishandling public safety. The D.C. Mayor is now scrambling to hire more police officers to help get a grip on the rampant violence plaguing its city.
According to the Associated Press, homicides have risen for four years straight, and the 2021 murder count of 227 was the highest since 2003. In January, a candidate for the D.C. Council, Nate Fleming, was carjacked at gunpoint.
Her challengers, however, who are even more progressive than Bowser, aren’t convinced that adding more police is the answer.
“I don’t think the police are the end-all solution for reducing crime,” Councilman Trayon White said during a June 1 debate. “During the height of the crack epidemic, D.C. had 5,000-plus police officers, and it never decreased any crime.”
Councilman Robert White also criticized Bowser’s crime prevention proposals: “I haven’t heard the short-term (solution), and I haven’t heard a plan, either.”
One would think that adding more police to restore law and order was a decent “plan” or at the very least a “short-term solution”, but according to modern-day liberals, law and order isn’t really a thing anymore despite residents in the area calling for increased safety.
A Washington Post poll from February found that 30% of city residents said they did not feel safe from crime in their neighborhood, compared with 22% in 2019, and the highest percentage in two decades of polling. Asked to name in an open-ended question the biggest issue facing the district for the mayor to work on, 36% of residents mentioned crime, violence, or guns, significantly ahead of housing, poverty, or transportation.
Bowser can’t seem to win with any demographic lately and in the past has been held hostage by radical leftist group Black Lives Matter who have long ridiculed her for being “hopelessly biased toward the police”, yet Former President Donald Trump and other conservatives have tried to make the case that she is not supportive enough of law enforcement. It seems that Mayor Bowser can’t pick a side, and her reelection campaign may be in serious jeopardy because of it.
As taken from the Associated Press, in the early days of the summer 2020 protests, Bowser publicly sided with demonstrators as Trump usurped local authority and called in a massive federal security response. She responded by renaming the protest epicenter as Black Lives Matter Plaza and commissioned a mural with Black Lives Matter painted on a stretch of 16th Street, one block from the White House, in giant yellow letters.
The local BLM affiliate immediately dismissed it as “a performative distraction” from true policy changes, and activists hijacked the space to make their own point.
Bowser is campaigning on her experience and leadership as the city emerges from the pandemic and on her history as one of the faces of Washington’s ongoing quest for statehood. She blames the D.C. Council, including her far-left challengers, for hampering her efforts to rein in crime.
“I’ve never been to a community where they said they didn’t want the police. Never,” Bowser, 49, said in a radio debate last month. “We need the police that we need.”
Republicans are having a field day with the liberal power grab and have been quick to highlight that Democrats cannot control or protect their own cities. The winner of Tuesday’s primary is the prohibitive favorite in the November general election.