When #woke journolists¹ write the news, it tends to fall into the category of GI/GO: garbage in, garbage out. It was the subtitle of this article from what I have frequently called The Philadelphia Enquirer² that told us that the leftward bias of the newspaper was going to force it into irrelevance.
Philly’s next mayor will inherit an unprecedented gun violence crisis. Here’s how it’s defining the race.
The Democrats running today must strike a balance that many of their predecessors did not: they must show they can fight crime while maintaining the criminal-justice reforms most of them supported.
by Anna Orso | Wednesday, January 11, 2022
Crime has been a top political issue in Philadelphia for as long as anyone can remember, but few recall a time when it was quite this salient.
The subtitle, the Democratic candidates “must show they can fight crime while maintaining the criminal-justice reforms most of them supported” tells us everything: it takes on the assumption that Philly’s terrible crime rate can be fought while continuing with those “criminal justice reforms” left in place. More, it assumes that those ‘progressive’ “criminal justice reforms” did not contribute to the increase in crime.
While I have previously criticized Anna Orso’s reporting, article headlines are traditionally written not by the reporter, but by an editor. In this case, the original headline was “Philadelphia mayor’s race: how gun violence crisis is defining campaigns”, as you can see if you hover your cursor over the tab in your browser. I cannot assign the responsibility for that subtitle to her, even though she could have been the one who wrote it.
Homicides climbed to all-time highs over the last two years, and thousands more people survived shootings. Carjackings and vehicle thefts have skyrocketed, and the Police Department has hundreds of vacancies. Residents of long-neglected neighborhoods report often feeling unsafe, and many say the city feels as if it’s at a crossroads.
And nine Democrats are vying to run it.
I’ll point out the history here: Philadelphia’s last Republican mayor left office while President Harry Truman was still in office. Those city mayors in the chart above? All Democrats! The chance that a Republican will be elected in November is almost vanishingly small.
As the Philadelphia mayor’s race takes shape ahead of the May primary election, all the candidates agree: Public safety is the No. 1 issue. What they’ll debate now is how to lead Philadelphia out of the shootings crisis — and they’ll do so in a city that just two years ago saw a mass protest movement challenge the role of law enforcement.
It means Democrats running for the nomination must strike a balance many of their predecessors did not. They must show they can fight the urgent gun violence problem, and also tackle the long-standing societal factors that drive it. They must set the agenda for the Police Department and also the city’s antiviolence programs.
That last embedded link? It’s not just a throwaway, but leads to a previous story, one in which Miss Orso is listed as a co-author, in which the Inquirer blames the existing problems not on the rotten behavior of the current residents and gang members cliques of young men,³ but on real-estate “redlining”, community disinvestment, and poverty. There’s not a single word about children born to single mothers, about absent and frequently unknown fathers, or empty churches. Nothing was said about parents rearing children with no values or morals or ethics. In a Lord of the Flies culture among those “cliques of young men”, there isn’t a single word about children growing up with little or no parental supervision, the overarching theme of Lord of the Flies in the first place.
Former Councilmember Helen Gym, seen as the most progressive candidate in the race, centered her campaign announcement speech on public safety, saying violence is “destroying our city and our people.” She’s focused largely on expanding social programs and tailoring them to young people.
Mrs Flaherty,4 as Miss Orso told us, is the furthest left of the Democratic candidates, a supporter of the leftist defense attorney who is Philadelphia’s District Attorney “Let ’em Loose” Larry Krasner, and has supported both significant ‘decarceration,’ turning more criminals loose, and ‘defunding the police.’ That the ‘social programs’ she favors have done no good in the literally decades that Philadelphia individually, and the country as a whole, have been applying them, is not a question Miss Orso raised.
Joseph P. McLaughlin, an adviser to two former mayors, said he’d recommend a mayoral candidate running in 2023 avoid being dismissive of law enforcement and work to separate themselves from the “defund the police” movement. The slogan that refers to diverting law enforcement funding to social services was adopted by racial justice protesters in 2020, and local officials across the country — mostly Democrats — backed versions of the idea.
“Whatever you think of the particular policy,” McLaughlin said, “the headline on it was a disaster for Democrats.”
It has arguably been a ‘disaster for Democrats’ in competitive elections, but once a Democratic nominee is selected, it no longer matters, not in Philadelphia; if the Republicans nominated Jesus, and Satan was running as the Democrat, Satan would win in the City of Brotherly Love, and it wouldn’t even be close.
Still, tough-on-crime rhetoric or strategies that call for increasing funding to the Police Department may not sit well with the city’s growing and well-organized progressive movement, which has notched notable electoral wins over the last five years, including elevating District Attorney Larry Krasner to office.
“The message of ‘more police are going to solve this, more prisons will solve this’ is out of touch,” said Robert Saleem Holbrook, executive director of the Abolitionist Law Center. “Philadelphia has a very strong movement that is opposed to that and is not going to accept any kind of talk like that from these candidates.”
The Abolitionist Law Center, huh? They very honestly tell you what they are about, which is “abolishing class and race based mass incarceration”. As many criminals as Mr Krasner has sprung from prison — and shooting and homicides have both risen dramatically as the incarcerated population have dropped — many of whom have wound up committing new crimes, you would think that if ‘decarceration’ worked to reduce crime, crime would have come down.
I began this article by slamming Miss Orso, but in a way, it really wasn’t fair: she was reporting on the political positioning of the candidates for the Democratic nomination for Mayor, and it wasn’t really her job to point out that their common problem would be that their proposed policies are all terrible.
In the meantime, there was this:
The killing on West Erie Avenue in North Philadelphia on Wednesday could have connections to a non-fatal shooting of another 16-year-old boy two days earlier, police said.
by Jason Laughlin | Wednesday, January 11, 2023 | 7:32 PM EST
A 16-year-old boy was shot to death in North Philadelphia Wednesday night, and police said the shooting could have ties to another shooting of a teenager in the neighborhood just two days earlier.
The 16-year-old, whom the Philadelphia Police Department did not identify, was found shot multiple times in an empty lot on the 1400 block of West Erie Avenue about 5:25 p.m. Wednesday. He was taken to Temple University Hospital and pronounced dead there about a half hour later.
Shell casings gathered at the scene suggested at least 11 shots were fired just half a block from Broad Street and Erie Avenue, a bustling commercial intersection in North Philadelphia. When the shots fired people scattered, said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small, and the teenager, already shot, ran to the vacant lot where he collapsed. It was unclear how many shooters were involved, Scott said.
Police are investigating whether the killing Wednesday is related to a shooting nearby Monday night, Small said. In that shooting, another 16-year-old male was shot in the leg at 15th Street and Erie Avenue. He survived. That victim and the teenager killed Wednesday appeared to have known each other, Small said. Both lived in that neighborhood, he said.
There’s more at the original, but one thing is clear: decarceration, anti-violence initiatives, and social programs won’t do anything, not as long as 16-year-olds are out running in gangs “street groups”, and won’t mean a thing if parents aren’t rearing their children properly. It takes two parents to bring up children properly, a mother and a father, and it takes parents with a strong moral, ethical, and yes, religious foundation.
And there is one more thing. All of the Democrat politicians in Philly are fully supportive of abortion. But what is abortion other than teaching children that other children are disposable? Was the probably teenaged shooter who slew the 16-year-old really doing anything different from the pregnant women ‘terminating’ their pregnancies in the city’s abortion clinics? The shooter was just engaged in a sixteen-years-late abortion. As we see the supporters of prenatal infanticide telling us that abortion is a good thing, helping women to avoid a disruption in their lives, helping them to maintain their chosen career paths, don’t think that the children in Philly don’t see that as well, don’t get the message that a child can be simply gotten rid of because he might happen to be inconvenient.
¹ – The spelling ‘journolist’ or ‘journolism’ comes from JournoList, an email list of 400 influential and politically liberal journalists, the exposure of which called into question their objectivity. I use the term ‘journolism’ frequently when writing about media bias.
² – >RedState writer Mike Miller called it the Enquirer, probably by mistake, so I didn’t originate it, but, reminiscent of the National Enquirer as it is, I thought it very apt.
³ – We were reliably informed by The Philadelphia Inquirer that there are no gangs in the city, just “cliques of young men affiliated with certain neighborhoods and families,” who sometimes had “beefs” with other cliques, so we must replace the term “gang-bangers” with “cliques of young men” or “clique beefers”. District Attorney Larry Krasner and his office seem to prefer the term “rival street groups“. Even after the widespread mockery the Inquirer has received over this, they were still avoiding the word “gang” in preference for “street groups” and “groups.”
4 – Although Helen Gym Flaherty doesn’t have enough respect for her husband to have taken his name, at my website, The First Street Journal, we do not show similar disrespect.
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