The Republican Party has been declaring itself the party of the police and the military for decades. It’s been a hallmark of the party, but recent actions show that times have changed. Certainly, many Republican lawmakers say things like “back the blue” and “support our troops” in interviews and tweets, but those words ring hollow when your actions say something else entirely..
Which is something Fox News’ Chris Wallace pointed out to Indiana Republican Jim Banks Sunday morning during an interview that got increasingly awkward as Wallace backed the congressman into a corner. He reminded Banks that he and every other Republican voted against President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which included $350 billion in aid that states and cities can use to hire more police officers, and implement new training.
Wallace wouldn’t let Banks shift the conversation to what some of the Democrat Party’s far-left members have said about police. In an opinion piece for The Washington Post, columnist Jennifer Rubin wrote that Democratic lawmakers should be continuing to hammer the point home about how the GOP stood united in opposition to a bill that will fund a slew of worthy programs, including bolstering the police departments around the country Republicans claim to love and support. No matter what Republicans say on Fox or any other network, the results are indisputable: Democrats voted for a bill that funds the police; Republicans did not.
More from Rubin:
Wallace never got a straight answer because there was nothing Banks could really say. Republicans had voted against providing more funding for the police. In fact, for more than a year, they had refused to allocate needed funds for state and local governments that employ police and other first responders. They called money for police, firefighters and paramedics “a blue-state bailout.”
While Republicans would prefer to talk about the defund-the-police rhetoric of a few Democratic backbenchers, the media should press them on their obstruction. After all, Republicans refused to support not only police funding but also hugely popular items such an expanded child tax credit, funding for a successful coronavirus vaccination program and the restaurant revitalization fund (although Republicans have been touting that item). If the shoe were on the other foot, Republicans would not hesitate to go on attack. (Why does the other side hate the police, kids and restaurants?)
There are other examples that show how the GOP has abandoned its law-and-order platform. Georgia Congressman Andrew Clyde, who thinks the deadly Jan. 6 Insurrection that left dozens of cops hurt was not that big a deal, refused to shake hands with one of those officers, Michael Fanone. Clyde, meanwhile, was one of 21 Republicans who voted against giving congressional gold medals to the Capitol Police Officers who faced the mob on Jan. 6 to protect them.
House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy avoided meeting with Fanone for weeks, and when he finally did, would not commit to publicly condemning his members who have been downplaying the events on the Capitol that day.
The military has also fallen out of favor with the GOP, it seems.
Where was the outrage from Republican leaders over Tucker Carlson calling General Mark Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “a pig” and “stupid?”
Imagine, as Max Boot does, if a Democratic lawmaker or an MSNBC host had called a general “stupid” and “a pig?” Can you imagine the news cycle at Fox that would launch?
Meanwhile, Carlson’s attack on Milley didn’t receive nary a reprimand from the Fox hierarchy.
So no, Republican can no longer claim to be the party of “law and order” or the party that “supports the troops.”
Actions speak louder than words, and the GOP has made its beliefs crystal clear.