Liam Bissainthe’s nightmare has come true (see his blog post here), and Arlington voters nominated Parisa Dehghani-Tafti yesterday as the Democratic Party’s nominee to run for Commonwealth Attorney. In ultra-blue Arlington County (76% Clinton, 16.7% Trump), the Democratic nomination is tantamount to election. Now Arlington will become a petri dish for progressive theories on law enforcement.
To get an idea of Deghani-Tafti’s priorities, here is a statement the George Soros-backed candidate issued last month, according to ARLNow:
I’m for impartiality. Even though rare in our community, use-of-force incidents require impartial review. I’m also a reformer and any time you run as a reformer you get pushback but pushback means we get to talk about the issues. My opponent has fought reform at every turn. Now she has decided to go negative because it distracts from her record of failing to adequately support victims, including survivors of sexual violence — a record of opposing cash bail reform, opposing voting rights for returning citizens, opposing using diversion instead of incarceration for individuals with mental illness, opposing expungement of minor infractions, opposing civil asset forfeiture reform, and opposing transparency and impartiality. I will continue to focus on these issues in the campaign and once elected because that’s what makes everyone safe.
The great thing about America is that it is still (even with an overbearing federal government) a laboratory for democracy.
Personally, I think Dehghani-Tafti’s nostrums are a recipe for disaster. The “broken windows” theory suggests that expunging minor infractions will contribute to an atmosphere of lawlessness that will increase crime. Her policies could well lead to Arlington becoming San Francisco-on-the-Potomac, ridden with petty crime, homelessness, and feces- and needle-infested public spaces. But, then, I’m not all-knowing and all-wise. I acknowledge the possibility, however remote, that I might be wrong. Compared to progressives, I’m downright humble. So, I say, by all means, let Dehghani-Tafti give her ideas a try and let’s see how they work.
I’d go a step further. Let Dehghani-Tafti carry out her entire agenda. No half measures. No letting her come back and saying that her policies failed because she had to compromise. Let’s make Arlington a true experiment in public policy. However unlikely, Virginia may have something positive to learn. Perhaps a leftist vision of social justice is compatible with maintaining public safety. Conversely, perhaps we’ll learn that SJW policies lead to lawlessness and suffering. Whatever the result, let’s have clarity about what works and what doesn’t.
Of course, that’s easy for me to say. I live in Henrico County. I have no skin in the game. If she fails, that’s someone else’s problem, not mine.
Update: Steven Spiker offers a much more positive appraisal of Dehghani-Tafti on Bearing Drift. He likes her emphasis on transparency and data-driven policy, an emphasis I have to agree with. A reasonable case also can be made for reducing the use of cash bail and reforming civil asset forfeiture. The dog whistle that I responded to was this: “opposing expungement of minor infractions.” I guess it depends on how you define “minor infractions.”There are currently no comments highlighted.