Chicago, IL is one of the most violent cities in the United States, as well as Forbes‘ no. 4 most miserable city of 2013. According to one Democratic strategist, the GOP is to blame for deep, long-standing woes.
During a Friday morning CNN Newsroom panel, anchor Carol Costello asked her “Talk Back” guests about retired Lt. General Russel Honore’s recent suggestion to place National Guard troops in the city of Chicago in an effort to curb the rampant violence that held the city down in 2012.
During his response, Democratic strategist Robert Zimmerman pulled the blame toward the Republican Party:
“And let’s be very clear about what’s happening in Washington today and why it’s undermining the city of Chicago, because there’s a mindset now in our government, in Washington, from the Republican members of Congress, that sequestration is an acceptable way of doing business, that we can in fact engage in these massive irresponsible cuts that no one thinks is a logical approach to budgeting.
“And that undermines law enforcement in our cities; it undermines so many education opportunities for our younger people and it does in fact — in fact create an impoverished class of our society that leads to abuse, leads to violence and leads to more Chicagos.”
CNN contributor Ana Navarro responded with incredulity:
“I’m going to try not to roll my eyes at your suggestion that Republicans are the ones responsible for Rahm Emanuel’s city, for Barack Obama’s — President Obama’s state, for a state that’s mostly Democrat. Look, you all got to take responsibility and you are laying the blame on Republicans and making this a partisan issue. Frankly, I don’t think helps anything.”
A few notes before we wrap up: Chicago hasn’t had a Republican mayor in over 80 years, Democrats have controlled both houses of the state legislature for over a decade, and Democrats have held the Illinois house for 28 of the last 30 years.
Zimmerman also makes a vaguely direct suggestion that the current sequestration battle on Capitol Hill (also known as Fiscal Cliff 2: Electric Boogaloo) is responsible for 506 murders in the city of Chicago last year.
So, I must ask. Do you think Zimmerman’s claims are a bit of a stretch? Is it the worst kind of spin, or do you see a connection between a Republican minority in Washington and rampant crime in Chicago?