How much has the GOP changed since 1988? Whereas during the Bush-Dukakis campaign, Republicans ran a “Willie Horton ad,” highlighting the extreme position of Democrats on releasing criminals back onto the streets, now Republicans are attacking Democrats, who have lurched light-years to the left of Dukakis on crime, for not being weak enough on the issue!
Last night, during the Democrat debate in Ohio, the RNC communications teams sent out an email at 9:57 p.m. titled, “RNC Reality Check: Kamala Harris’ record on criminal justice.” California has become a cesspool of crime, with property crimes and rape skyrocketing in recent years since the state adopted the radical Left’s “criminal justice reforms.” But that’s not what Republicans were attacking Harris for. They’re upset that she “fought to keep inmates locked up in overcrowded prisons so they could be used for cheap labor.” They also criticized her for “increasing bail costs” and for defending capital punishment.
Is this some sort of October fool’s joke?
Republicans apparently need to highlight, negatively, the “tough on crime” record of a Democrat candidate way behind in the polls. This illustrates just how far the entire political class has shifted on the issue of public safety. Radical alt-Left Democrats of just a few years ago were to the right of where establishment Republicans are today.
It is simply insane that Republicans would misleadingly highlight Harris’ supposed tougher record on crime at a time when California is facing a resurgence of the 1980s crime wave as a result of the very policies Harris and every other Democrat candidate is now advocating for on national policy. Why in the world wouldn’t Republicans hit all the candidates on being weak on crime, including gun felons, while disarming law-abiding citizens? Who needs Republicans anyway if Democrats are already advocating their pathetic weak-on-crime policies?
Just last week, the American Conservative Union Foundation for Justice, part of the organization that hosts the annual CPAC gathering, referred to criminal justice reform as a “moral issue” that “conservatives need to own.” The problem is that these radical policies have already been implemented, with devastatingly immoral consequences to public safety. It is a moral issue conservatives should own, in exactly the opposite way that the ACU meant.