Photo Credit: Elvert Barnes via Flickr
Anti-police protester in Baltimore, Maryland on Saturday afternoon, June 6, 2020.

If Webster’s is looking for an image to illustrate their entry for “Stone cold stare,” they really must give this one their consideration: it’s Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) stone-cold staring into the back of the head of Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia who is about as rightwing as you can get these days in the Democratic party (he’s against packing the court, to give you an example). And Senator Joe Manchin tweeted on Thursday:


“Defund the police? Defund, my [behind]. I’m a proud West Virginia Democrat. We are the party of working men and women. We want to protect Americans’ jobs & healthcare. We do not have some crazy socialist agenda, and we do not believe in defunding the police.”

AOC retweeted the senator’s refreshing message and attached her picture staring into the back of Manchin’s head like a character from the 1981 cult favorite “Scanners,” in which people with unusual telepathic and telekinetic powers blow up their victims’ heads by scanning them, like so (I hesitate to embed this one in a family newspaper – DI).

In a Zoom town hall meeting Thursday, AOC stated, “I believe the path toward justice is a long arc. Safety is not just an officer with a badge and a gun.” She then referred to the NYPD annual budget of $6 billion (the city’s police force is around 35,000 strong – bigger than many countries’ standing armies – DI), and said NYC is spending too much on its police, and having too much police “becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

AOC also said that her constituents complain that “too many people” die as a result of “police violence,” and therefore “we need to invest in those other types of safety,” and, anyway, “We need to stop being so reactionary,” she said.

There was support for AOC, as well as a slew of unfavorable responses to AOC’s death stare tweet, like Melissa Kay, who tweeted: “AOC, girl, I have so much respect for you but you are really starting to [expletive] me off. Change is gradual. It takes compromise. Please stop hurting the party. It doesn’t always have to be a purity test. You’re hurting our chances. Stop, please!”

And John House added this sober note: “We know ‘Defund The Police’ is a right-wing Nazi conspiracist slogan used to deride Democrats. No one is going to defund law enforcement but that does not mean it shouldn’t be reformed. Law enforcement reforms are desperately needed because what we are doing now is not working!”

And someone going by the handle Super Gay made a reasonable suggestion: “Know your audience: It’s time to change the phrasing on this as to not alienate moderates. Reallocate funds to support services is much more of a winning argue (sic.).”

Which is always preferable to relocating the head of a certain senator from West Virginia.

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