California Democrats won’t let themselves get tougher on crime

The problem Democrats have when trying to address crime is that their own governance makes it impossible to execute their plans.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed has been one of the leading Democratic city officials in focusing on crime. Her problem is that her city is in California, which is run by a Democratic supermajority that passes laws without GOP votes. That hampers the ability of law enforcement officers to do their jobs or makes it so that criminals can get off easy with weak penalties for things such as shoplifting.

Shoplifting plays into Breed’s latest problem. Street vendors keep popping up in the city, some of which are legal and some of which are selling stolen goods taken from the pharmacies and stores that are closing their doors in San Francisco. Breed wants to crack down on unlicensed vendors, especially the ones selling stolen goods.


California law, though, stands in her way. Civil rights and racial activist groups pushed for a 2018 state law that prevents police officers from enforcing regulations on street vendors. As my colleague Barnini Chakraborty wrote on Monday, “That means San Francisco must use public works employees to drive the vendors out, but because there is so much violence or threats of violence on the streets, the public works employees need police protection.”

It would be hard to call this irony rather than the natural consequences of California’s ridiculous obsession with pleasing civil rights groups and race-obsessed activists when it comes to crime. Even when a Democrat such as Breed comes to the correct conclusion that crime is bad, her response is limited by what her fellow Democrats have already decided. Democrats in California and in major cities across the country can’t even get out of their own way when it comes to crime, showing once again just how ridiculous the party’s view of governance truly is.

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