Eric Adams vs BLM

Incoming New York mayor Eric Adams was elected to reverse the city’s violent crime spike. And that is what he set about doing on Thursday when he reaffirmed his plan to bring back a reconstituted version of the plain-clothes police unit disbanded by current mayor Bill de Blasio last year.

One person unhappy with the commitment is New York Black Lives Matter co-founder Hawk Newsome. “If they think they are going back to the old ways of policing then we’re going to take to the streets again,” said Newsome after a meeting with the mayor-elect. “There will be riots. There will be fire, and there will be bloodshed.”

Newsome’s politics-by-intimidation may have worked last year, but patience has worn thin with these sorts of threats in major American cities.

You could hardly have a neater illustration of the changing moods when it comes to policing in American cities than Adams and the man he is replacing.

Adams called Newsome’s grandstanding “silly”, said New Yorkers should “not allow rhetoric like that” and doubled down on his determination to “zero in on gun violence.”

“This city is not going to be a city of riots, it’s not going to be a city of burning,” he said.

Contrast that clarity with de Blasio, who, when asked about Newsome’s comments, hid behind his spokeswoman and didn’t comment. If you want to understand why Adams triumphed in the city’s Democratic primary while de Blasio is loathed citywide, look no further than these contrasting responses.

Adams’s refusal to back down is just one example of how quickly debates around policing, public safety and criminal justice have changed.

Elsewhere, San Francisco officials have confirmed that campaigners have collected enough signatures to trigger a recall vote for the city’s progressive prosecutor Chesa Boudin, who was elected to deliver on an activists’ wish list of criminal justice reform measures and has overseen a subsequent spike in crime and lawlessness.

In Seattle, city employees who commute on public transportation will now be offered security escorts to and from work because of increased downtown disorder. The city is pressing on with cuts to police funding in spite of these growing problems, but in last week’s elections, the hyper-liberal electorate chose a law-and-order Republican as its next city attorney.

Across the country, the mood has changed. Defund the Police is toxic. The crowd of radical chic activists cheering on threats of violence is a lot smaller than it was a year ago. Urbanites yearn for the safety they once took for granted. The homicide spike is a national emergency that has claimed lives of thousands of Americans, a disproportionate number of them black, young and poor. Eric Adams knows this. Hawk Newsome doesn’t.

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Trump vs Pence

Speaking of inexcusable threats of violence, Donald Trump was asked about the chants of “hang Mike Pence” from the mob that rioted in the Capitol on January 6 by ABC News’s Jonathan Karl in a March interview for the ABC News reporter’s new book Betrayal.

In audio from the interview released this morning, Karl asked Trump, “were you worried about him during the siege? Were you worried about his safety?” The former president replied: “No, I thought he was very well-protected, and I had heard that he was in good shape. No. Because I had heard he was in very good shape.”

Karl: But you heard those chants, that was terrible.

Trump: He could have — well, the people were very angry.

Karl: They were saying “hang Mike Pence.”

Trump: Because it’s common sense, Jon. It’s common sense that you’re supposed to protect. How can you — if you know a vote is fraudulent, right? — how can you pass on a fraudulent vote to Congress? How can you do that?

The White House vs the weather

Christmas parties are set to make a triumphant post-pandemic return to Washington this year (invitations to oliver@thespectator.com). The hottest ticket in town is usually (and obviously) the White House holiday celebration. But Politico reports that the party could be a chillier affair than many hoped and is all but certain to take place outdoors. “It will look a bit differently than it has in the past. We are working through final details,” says one White House spokesperson.

What you should be reading today

Peter Wood: Whither the woke
Elbridge Colby: How America can defend Taiwan
Adam Roberts: Dave Eggers defies the tech giants
Jack Shafer, Politico magazine: The disappearing of Brian Williams
Matthew Continetti, Washington Free Beacon: Thus spake Omarova
Eli Lake, Commentary: The resistance liar

Poll watch

President Biden Job Approval
Approve: 42.3 percent
Disapprove: 52.3 percent
Net approval: -10.0 (RCP Average)

Has poor physical health kept you from doing your usual activities?
Gen Z: 36 percent
Baby boomers: 21 percent (USA Today/Suffolk)