Douglas Andrews / June 25, 2020

Tim Scott Punches Back

After Democrats blocked his bill on police reform, the good senator let them have it.

Senator Tim Scott has, almost overnight, become the Left’s worst nightmare. And rightly so. After all, what could possibly pose a more serious threat to the Democrat Party’s stranglehold on the black vote than a compelling, principled, and prominent black Republican?

Scott, the junior senator from South Carolina, has been the tip of the GOP spear in its efforts to enact sensible police reform, and yesterday he called out Senate Democrats for their unwillingness to do what “the world’s greatest deliberative body” is supposed to do: deliberate.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, “A debate that had quickly consumed Congress effectively ended Wednesday when the bill … drew 55 votes, short of the 60 needed for the Senate to begin considering it. The House is scheduled to pass a Democratic bill late Thursday, but it is opposed by President Trump and has no path to passage in the GOP-led Senate.”

Scott’s condemnation of the Democrats reads well enough. “The actual problem,” he says, “is not what is being offered. It is who is offering it.” But the words alone don’t quite do it justice. If you have a spare two minutes and 33 seconds, spend them right here:

There was also a matter of honor to address — a vile smear from the day before — and Scott took that up as well. On Tuesday, Nancy Pelosi, referring to what she deemed an inadequate GOP reform proposal, said her Republican colleagues were “trying to get away with … the murder of George Floyd.”

“She knows that she can say that,” said Scott, cutting right to the chase, “because the Democrats have a monopoly on the black vote.”

Pelosi, though, wouldn’t apologize. “Absolutely, positively not,” she sputtered, before attacking the media for having given “far too much credit” to the GOP proposal. But when asked whether Scott was “working in good faith,” she giggled nervously then let the mask slip. “I’m sorry?” was all she could blurt out before switching to an easier target of sufficient pallor — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

But McConnell wasn’t having any of it either. “So as recently as last week,” he said, “leading Democrats called it a life-or-death issue for the Senate to take up this subject this month. Well, here we are, ready to address it. But now, in the last 48 hours, [here’s] this bizarre new ultimatum. Now they don’t want to take up the issue. They don’t want debate. They don’t want amendments. They’ll filibuster police reform from even reaching the floor of the Senate unless the majority lets the minority rewrite the bill behind closed doors and in advance.”

It’s hard to predict the future of the GOP’s JUSTICE Act, but electoral politics has clearly put it in peril. Tim Scott, our nation’s lone black Republican senator, recognizes this, and he’s not afraid to put the blame squarely where it belongs: “Detroit, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Philadelphia — all these cities could have banned chokeholds themselves,” he rightly noted. “All these communities have been run by Democrats for decades.” And therein lies the biggest problem.

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