BERNARD COLUMN: ‘Defund the FBI’-the strange new GOP anti-police slogan by a GA Representative?

Published 9:30 am Tuesday, October 4, 2022

By Jack Bernard
Bernard is a retired corporate executive

‘DEFUND THE FBI!’ -Ga Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tweet (in all caps), Aug. 8 

I’m an anomaly. I’m a social progressive who comes from a law enforcement family. My favorite uncle was a Lieutenant with NYPD who ran a precinct. My closest cousin is a retired prison guard now in Alabama. Another close first cousin retired from the FBI. And I believe that the law enforcement occupation deserves our respect. 

As I have said in other columns, the Democrats goofed big time when they did not come down hard on the very few extremists in their ranks (like Rep. Cori Bush of the Squad) who advocated “defund the police”. It hurt the Democrats politically here in Georgia and elsewhere, with the GOP acting as though it was House Majority Leader Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Schumer who also advocated defunding. Although they were 100% against it, because leadership was not aggressive enough in disavowing the far-out activists, the noose was hung around their neck and they cannot seem to get it off to this day (https://rollcall.com/2022/04/27/defund-the-police-still-haunts-democrats/ ).  

You would have thought that the GOP leadership would have learned from the Democrats’ recent disastrous experience. But no, they obviously did not. And those who do not learn from history are doomed to relive it. 

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the GOP House Minority leader, tweeted on 8-8-22- “When Republicans take back the House, we will conduct immediate oversight of this department, follow the facts, and leave no stone unturned.” And Greene here in GA was not alone, for example, extremist Arizona GOP Rep. Paul Gosar tweeted much the same- “We must destroy the FBI.”  

Although she was not the only one attacking the FBI in the national GOP, Greene gves GA a black-eye. She stands out due to the level of her paranoia and hatred of the FBI. According to Greene- “We now know that there was an FBI informant at Mar-a-Lago… they are traitors and they’re helping the deep state. These are the enemies within” (https://www.newsweek.com/marjorie-taylor-greene-fbi-informants-traitors-trump-1732792 ). 

There is no proof whatsoever that the FBI was doing anything other than its job. No one has shown maleficence of any sort.  

I am not saying that the FBI or other law enforcement agencies are perfect. My view is that we need to spend more, not less, on policing in the US. We need better pay and improved training on the state and local levels. We need to give local police more resources to assist them with mentally ill people who are having problems. For example, the sick woman in Sparta, Georgia who fell out of the police car to her death. She should not have been arrested. She needed emergency mental health assistance, aid that does not currently exist, especially in a rural area like Hancock County. It’s not fair to the police to simply dump the problem in their lap.  

However, I also believe that law enforcement needs to weed out the bad apples. And that cannot be done with police unions wielding protective power, ensuring that all police are given immunity from their actions. As a nation, we must address this issue, doing away with the “qualified immunity” doctrine protecting bad police.  But remarks like the ones made by the GOP establishment are not helpful. 

They simply represent politicization of policing based on wild theories versus facts. These outrageous declarations by GOP politicians are bound to come back and bite their party in November and beyond.