September 26, 2023
Source: Public Domain
The threat to men’s lives had him in a rage. A leader such as that would command fanatic loyalty. He would be difficult to defeat. Against his own will and all previous judgments, Kynes admitted to himself: I like this Duke.
That’s from Frank Herbert’s Dune, and for those of you who don’t know the book, I’ll spend the next 5,000 words explaining it so you can understand the context.
Just kidding. The shorthand is, a dude who’s used to oppressive rulers realizes that his new occupier actually cares.
So, I gotta say…against my own will and all previous judgments, I’m kinda liking Karen Bass, the new L.A. mayor.
Let me qualify that. Bass is a leftist; I disagree with her on most matters of ideology. But in the age of Trump, Lake, Boebert, and MTG on the right and Harris, AOC, and every black officeholder in Chicago, Baltimore, and NYC on the left, I appreciate politicians who aren’t self-destructive imbeciles.
It’s refreshing to see a politico exhibit skill and finesse.
In 2020, Bass—then a congresswoman (representing a Frankensteined district encompassing crappy South L.A. and parts of prosperous Culver City) and chair of the Congressional Black Caucus—played it smart regarding “defund the police.” In the national press, she condemned “defund,” making sure to never be caught even tacitly supporting it. At the same time, she deftly outmaneuvered her pro-defund South L.A. constituents by telling them (I’m paraphrasing here, but you can see her own words in this thread), “Hey, I’m not condemning what you’re trying to do; I’m just saying, right-wingers are distorting the slogan, misinterpreting it to mean that you want to actually defund police, when I know that what you really want to do is keep police but also expand social services for the mentally ill.”
That was adroit. Publicly denounce “defund” in the WaPo, and then use verbal jujitsu on the weak-minded pro-defunders to make them think that what they really want is not what they really want.
Jedi mind-trick stuff. And few BLMs possess the intellect to deflect it.
BLM: “You denounced ‘defund the police’! We oppose you.”
Bass: “You don’t really want to defund the police…you just want to help the homeless. Defund isn’t your slogan but the right wing’s misinterpretation of your actual goals.”
BLM (robotically): “Yes, we don’t really want to defund the police…we just want to help the homeless. Defund isn’t our slogan but the right wing’s misinterpretation of our actual goals.”
She played it perfectly, distancing herself from a millstone most other black Democrats tied to their neck like a noose, while, at the same time, manipulating the defunders into embracing a less extreme position.
While in Congress, Bass championed everything a chair of the Congressional Black Caucus is expected to. Reparations! Affirmative action!
But when she ran for L.A. mayor, it all went out the window. Because she knows this town. Like me, she was born here (we attended the same majority-black high school). Her ex-husband, the father of her children, is Hispanic. And she sees the demographic change plain as I do. L.A.’s remaining blacks were infuriated by her refusal to advocate reparations during her mayoral campaign. In November last year, “Black Twitter” “community organizer” “influencer” “Princess El-Bey” (and David Cole breaks the record for contiguous scare quotes) declared that Bass “represents a gentrified Los Angeles. That needs to be reversed, but most of us have moved away. LA is browner than ever! Compton, Watts, Inglewood undergoing gentrification!”
Yes, most blacks have moved away, and Bass knows that. She knows that L.A. (the city, not the county; in other words, not counting white Beverly Hills, Malibu, South Bay, etc.) is brown, just like 50 percent of the LAPD and LASD. Bass ran a nuanced campaign targeting whites who might be tempted to vote for a Riordan-style Republican (she didn’t have to worry about the other whites; they’d vote for her regardless) and Mexicans. No defund, no reparations, no affirmative action so that Daquan is silver-platter handed a job that Juan actually worked to get.
To be clear, Bass’ November 2022 victory wasn’t all skill; some of it was luck. Her opponent, Dipshit Douchebaggio (Italian-American billionaire developer Rick Caruso, but I’ll never afford that sack of crap the respect of being referred to by name), is a pussy who makes Mitt Romney look like Barry Goldwater. Douchebaggio saw the word “crime” as worse than the “n-word,” so he refused to say it (I go into more detail about that on my Substack).
Douchebaggio did not make crime an issue during the election, meaning that Bass could’ve skirted it entirely. But she didn’t. That was impressive. She advocated for more cops and more policing without having to be backed into a corner by her opponent. Indeed, during the election, Bass was slammed by The Appeal, L.A.’s Soros-Zuckerberg-Google-funded “prison abolitionist” advocacy org, as a “cheerleader for cops” who’s “virtually indistinguishable from Republicans on public safety.”
But that was during the election. Was Bass just putting on a pro-police act? After she won, that’s when her true colors would shine, right? (I’m trying to say “right?” a lot more these days because apparently the current fad for every TV news show interviewee is to end every sentence with a rhetorical “right?”)
Well, after Bass was sworn in, she refunded the police like she was Buford T. Justice chasing the Bandit. She pushed through $3.2 billion for the LAPD, along with an extensive package of raises and bonuses to replenish LAPD ranks (which have been seriously depleted over the past three years). Starting pay for new recruits would increase by 13 percent. Retention pay and health insurance would also increase. Bass stated that her goal is “hiring more police, speeding up recruitment and improving retention rates.”
“My number-one job is to keep Angelenos safe,” Bass told the L.A. Times. And she was able to get her “fund the police” budget passed via a 13-to-1 City Council vote (and yeah, she actually says “fund the police,” a middle finger directly in the eye of BLM).
Cretinous kaiju Melina Abdullah, the deformed face of BLM L.A., has declared holy war on Bass. “We haven’t been able to influence her,” Abdullah whined to Politico in August.
Music to my ears.
Like I said, I’m not writing a love letter to Karen Bass. But I can’t help but think that white weakling Assholio Pussypantsa (I’ll never tire of Caruso nicknames) would’ve caved to Abdullah and BLM. His flagship development, The Grove, was looted and burned by BLM in 2020. Had Imbecilio Succadafagga been elected, BLM could’ve forever used the threat of re-destroying his properties as leverage regarding LAPD defunding. And more than that, I’m 100 percent certain Limpdiccia Skidmarco would’ve spent his entire tenure trying to prove he’s “not racist.” He likely would’ve caved to the City Council’s far-left wing at every opportunity.
Again, against all previous judgments, I think the right person won. Not in terms of “the right person among all persons on earth,” but the right person considering the options.
So what are the larger lessons here?
The first one that comes to mind is that the GOP is lucky as hell that Dems haven’t realized just how unstoppable a “1994 Democrat”—pro-choice, tough on crime, no trannyism—would be today, especially in city and state elections (not counting places where blacks are a majority or near majority, because that demographic is way too far gone). Should Democrats ever realize that going back to that 1994 vibe—supporting abortion rights while also supporting policing and incarceration and going easy on the gay shit while avoiding tranny talk (which of course wasn’t even an issue in ’94)—would be an ultimate stake through the heart of a GOP that’s dying among swing voters thanks to Trumpism on one end and pro-life extremism on the other, GOP losses would be profound, and that’s saying a lot considering how substantial those losses have already been over the past five years.
Luckily for Republicans, and this is why there were still a few GOP bright spots even during the recent losing streak, many Dems blow the pro-choice goodwill, or at least temper it, via fanatical devotion to “progressive prosecution,” decarceration, and misogynist tranny ideology.
Which means that the GOP’s entire plan for victory is, “I hope the other side stays dumb so that my dumbness looks less harmful in comparison.” And that’s shaky ground indeed.
Karen Bass is not my idealized “1994 Democrat.” And at nearly 70 years of age, she’s not someone with long-term ambitions. But God help the GOP if any younger Dems see her success and get any ideas to go even further. “Hmmm…pro-choice but also tough on crime…and maybe cool it with the trannies and favor at least some immigration restrictions.”
A leader such as that would command fanatic loyalty. He would be difficult to defeat.
The real test for Bass will come next year, as DA Gascon, a conscienceless monster responsible for more deaths than every American serial killer combined, comes up for reelection. As several other commentators have noted, Bass can boost LAPD recruitment all she wants, but as long as Gascon is the DA, what’s the sense of arresting people when they’re immediately freed? (A Soros DA makes policing merely a mild inconvenience for criminals.)
How will Bass respond? Will she support Gascon? Will she support one of his rivals? Will she stay neutral?
Bass has never expressed a word of support for Gascon. And in August she very visibly shut the bastard out of her press conference with the LAPD to announce new policies to battle the city’s shoplifting epidemic.
If Bass emerges as a force against Gascon in next year’s election, that might win me over entirely. Considering that Gascon’s beloved Proposition 47 (the shoplifting decriminalization initiative) was pushed by Newt Gingrich and Rand Paul, if Bass helps defeat Gascon, you’ll have a hard time convincing me that she’s not the better option when compared with hypocritical, deceitful GOP slimeballs.
As rightists nationwide continue to run on relitigating the 2020 election, excusing J6, defending Trump against his indictments, bending over backwards to “not be racist” to blacks, praising frauds like Kari Lake, playing footsie with Holocaust-denying Nazis like Nick Fuentes, and promising total abortion bans even in the face of electoral defeat after defeat for pro-lifers, they better hope and pray that Bass is an outlier and not a trend.
That prominent rightists have spent the past few weeks circulating a 100 percent fake viral video about how Beverly Hills is “now a ghost town” (yeah, I’ve gotten your DMs about that, and I’ll address it in greater detail next week) while Bass has spent those same weeks doing real-world good by funding and bolstering the police speaks volumes regarding who can actually earn public trust.
You’re on shaky ground, rightists. A San Andreas Fault.
Lifelong Angelenos know that “the big one” is always just around the corner.
For rightists, it might be even closer than that.