“Defund the police” — the rallying cry of the Democratic Party’s progressive left wing in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police nearly three years ago — was arguably the most self-defeating political slogan in modern history.

Its impact and potential for inflicting even greater damage reached into the White House itself. President Joe Biden has backed a Republican-led congressional resolution to overturn a criminal justice reform ordinance adopted by the District of Columbia city council to abolish some mandatory minimum sentences and substantially reduce penalties for a variety of crimes.

While Biden’s intention to sign the Republican legislation infuriated Democratic House members, it was, in truth, an easy political call, an effort to shed the defund the police reputation and wriggle out from under its burden.