When You’ve Lost Chuck Schumer, You’ve Really Lost
Late in the afternoon of March 8 the Senate voted to block an overhaul of Washington DC’s criminal code that would have shaved years off prison sentences for a range of violent crimes including rape, armed robbery, burglary, and carjacking. The Senate vote was overwhelming: 81–14. Only a few Democratic Party diehards seemed willing to cling to the recently widespread progressive mantra that the key to reducing crime is to reduce criminal enforcement.
Just a few weeks ago it did seem likely that the Senate wouldn’t endorse the new code unanimously approved by the DC Council last year, but only because a predictable handful of Democratic centrists representing red states—West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, Montana’s Jon Tester, Ohio’s Sherrod Brown—announced they would vote along with Senate Republicans for disapproval. Since Democratic control of the Senate is by a paper-thin single-vote majority, Democrats were counting on a veto by President Joe Biden, a longtime supporter of home rule for the District of Columbia, that would effectively allow the new code to become law….