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22 Conservative Dems Join The GOP To Make Sure Local Police Can Buy Tanks And Assault Weapons

Yesterday, the House passed the disgustingly bloated National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022, 316-113, with 38 Democrats-- generally progressives-- and 75 Republicans-- generally fascists-- voting NO. There were dozens of amendments and there's one I want to bring up today-- Hank Johnson's amendment to stop the militarization of the police. It would restrict the Department of Defense from transferring certain surplus military property to local law enforcement agencies. Because, you know, who wants missiles used against American citizens on our city streets, the police being so... well you know.

In 2014 Alan Grayson passed a similar amendment-- though specifically for weaponized drones-- while a more generalized amendment that included stopping police forces getting their hands on more aggressive weapons like tanks and missiles was voted down. Later Obama, through an executive order, put Grayson's bill into effect-- which Trump promptly reversed when he slithered into the White House. So Hank Johnson, who worked with Grayson on the original amendments, tried codifying the more general prohibition again.

It failed 198-231. Only 2 Republicans voted for it, libertarians Tom Massie (KY) and Tom McClintock (CA), while 22 conservative Democrats voted against it, killing the amendment. For people who remember names, these are the ones who voted for heavy duty weaponry on American streets:

  • Cindy Axne (New Dem-IA)

  • Cheri Bustos (New Dem-IL)

  • Charlie Crist (Blue Dog-FL), an "ex"-Republican currently running as the lesser of two evils candidate for governor of Florida

  • Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX)

  • Antonio Delgado (NY)

  • Val Demings (New Dem-FL), a failed police chief currently running as the lesser of two evils candidate for Florida senator

  • Lizzie Fletcher (New Dem-TX)

  • Jared Golden (Blue Dog-ME)

  • Josh Gottheimer (Blue Dog-NJ)

  • Josh Harder (New Dem-CA)

  • Jim Himes (New Dem-CT)

  • Ron Kind (New Dem-WI)

  • Connor Lamb (PA), the conservative candidate in the Pennsylvania primary for Senate

  • Susie Lee (New Dem-NV)

  • Stephanie Murphy (Blue Dog-FL)

  • Chris Pappas (New Dem-NH)

  • Scott Peters (New Dem-CA)

  • Kurt Schrader (Blue Dog-OR)

  • Kim Schrier (New Dem-WA)

  • Eric Swalwell (CA)

  • Filemon Vela (New Dem-TX)

  • Susan Wild (New Dem-PA)

Let me just focus on one phony-baloney member of Congress, Val Demings, who has hoodwinked so many Democrats into believing she'd be a worthy member of the Senate. Better than Rubio? Sure. But a good senator? Well, if you like members like Manchin and Sinema... Look, Demings has again shown her true colors, joining with all but two House Republicans to keep supplying tanks, assault rifles, drones, bazookas and missiles to her old friends on the Orlando Police, and elsewhere. She never punished a single case of police brutality when she was Police Chief, and now, with this vote, she’s making it easier for "law enforcement" to terrorize minority communities. She’s famous in Orlando for having lost her gun at a party; Floridians were lucky it wasn't a machine gun."

I called Grayson this morning, the progressive candidate running against Rubio... if he can best Demings-- who, like Sinema was, Schumer's candidate-- in the primary. He reminded me why he introduced the original amendments to deny policy military weapons: "Police are police," he said, "and soldiers are soldiers. I was successful on votes to deny weaponized drones to the police. It is shameful and disgraceful to treat minority communities in this country the same as a foreign military enemy to be defeated. There is no legitimate use of tanks, armored vehicles and military weapons on our streets. My amendments came to a vote two months before the police’s military occupation of Ferguson, Missouri. After that, two other Members of Congress asked me how I had known that would happen. I wondered (to myself) how they had not known it would happen."

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