Pence: "Calls to defund the FBI are just as wrong as calls to defund the police ... The attacks on the FBI must stop."
I’m tired of people pretending that legitimate criticism of federal abuse is universal criticism of “law and order.”
I’ve never taken a position one way or another on Mike Pence (both he and Trump have been guests on my radio program) but is where Pence loses me:
“Calls to defund the FBI are just as wrong as calls to defund the police … the American people need to be assured in the integrity of our justice system.”
I don’t think comparing local LEOs to a federal bureau is where Pence or any Republican ought to go with this. I’m tired of people pretending that legitimate criticism of federal abuse is universal criticism of “law and order.” Yes, the Republican party is law and order — but classifying parents who speak out at school boards as “domestic terrorists?” Doctoring emails to obtain surveillance warrants? Concocting kidnap plots? Leaking to the press over and over and over and over? Giving a pass to crimes committed by like-minded politicians and their staff? Fabricating probable cause to target political opposition? None of this is “law and order” and Americans not only have a right to criticize this, we have an obligation.
“The attacks on the FBI must stop,” he says. (Criticism is an “attack,” now.)
What about these aforementioned politically-motivated “attacks” on the American people? Pence says we need to “reassure the American people” but lecturing voters justifiably outraged over these abuses like we’re simpering children isn’t the way to do it. Pence could have easily noted the 14 whistleblowers who spoke to Jim Jordan and Chuck Grassley as examples of the “rank-and-file” who want accountability, but he lectured voters instead.
Bad play, bad message, bad tone.
We're in for a stupidly annoying presidential primary cycle if stuff like this is how candidates think they can best set themselves apart from Trump: by lecturing voters over justified outrage at egregious federal abuses.