Jo Ann Hardesty is the first-term Portland city commissioner leading the effort to defund police. In the heady days of early summer the city coughed up 15 million in cuts immediately, with radicals demanding 50 million, to be transferred over to anti-cop activist groups. The elections were a refutation of defunding efforts and the riots, with a radical commissioner losing to an establishment candidate and the hapless Ted Wheeler winning reelection over the creepy passive aggressive antifa androgyne Sarah Iannaronne, who had promised to hand over to Hardesty the mayor’s job as police commissioner.
Hardesty’s proposed 18 million in police cuts were then voted down by virtue of Wheeler’s and swing-vote newbie Dan Ryan’s no votes. Hardesty, who’d been all but running the city when BLM bestrode it like a colossus this summer, lost last week’s election without being on the ballot. Hardesty may have crashed back to earth, for the moment at least, but when police budgeting comes up again we can be assured it will be with declining tax revenues due to Covid and, of course, the riots on behalf of defunding the police. Demagogy and budgetary reality will make some “defunding” inevitable. Cratering tax revenues can achieve much of the abolitionists’ goals; “starve the beast” for Bolsheviks.
Understandably, Jo Ann went out the other night to blow off some steam. I was unexpectedly struck by sympathy–sympathy of the loner let’s call it–for her when I thought of her spending her time like this, drinking alone at an Indian casino over the state line, just another lonely wretch.
She called a Lyft. Her driver, apparently observing Covid protocols, had the windows “cracked” partly open. It’s been cold out recently. Jo Ann asked him to roll up the window and he refused. She demanded, he cancelled the ride and ordered her out of the car; she refused, demanding he get her another car. A familiar and pathetic scene, the stuff of rideshare drivers’ gag reels on YouTube, ensued.
Forget the obvious irony: Hardesty et al seem genuinely unable to imagine what police abolition will mean–despite all the talk of “reimagining” policing. They genuinely think they, when the time comes, will still be able to make that call. Even for the petty things.
What strikes me is that Hardesty retains very much a sense of entitlement–she is, pardon the phrase, a carbon copy of the “Karen”, with none that slandered character’s sense of fair play and all of her zeal–white Karen cites the rules, black Karen disdains them.