I have a personal theory as to why members of the so-called squad of progressive House Democrats want to defund police: They need the money to protect themselves, apparently. According to a Saturday report in the New York Post, Federal Election Commission data show the eight members of the unofficial group of hard-left legislatures have spent more than $1.2 million on private security since they came into office. To be fair, over half of this total belongs to just one member of the group: Missouri Rep. Cori Bush, who has shelled out over $730,000 on private security, according to the report. Bush was one of the most adamant Democrats when it came to sticking by explicitly using the slogan “defund the police” even after it became unpopular among voters, according to Axios: “I always tell [fellow Democrats], ‘If you all had fixed this before I got here, I wouldn’t have to say these things,'” she said in February 2022. “‘Defund the police’ is not the problem,” Bush added. “We dangled the carrot in front of people’s faces and said we can get it done and that Democrats deliver, when we haven’t totally delivered.” However, the congresswoman definitely hasn’t delivered personally, and her spending has raised some eyebrows — as well as an ethics complaint. According to the FEC data, $75,000 of her private security budget was directed to her now-husband, despite the fact he lacked the appropriate license to provide security for her. And there were other fun hypocrisies in Bush’s private-security spending, as well, according to the Post. “Among the benefactors of her donor’s largesse was St. Louis-based Peace Security, a pro-gun, right-wing private security firm that racked up $380,947 despite reportedly promoting the Second Amendment — in sharp contrast to Democratic socialist Bush’s anti-gun campaign messaging,” the report said. Bush defended her profligate personal-security spending in a 2021 interview with CBS News, claiming her life was in danger without it. “They would rather I die? You would rather me die? Is that what you want to see? You want to see me die?” she said. “I have private security because my body is worth being on this planet right now,” the Democrat said. “I have private security because they, the white supremacist racist narrative that they drive into this country. The fact that they don’t care that this black woman that has put her life on the line … “I’m going to make sure I have security because I know I have had attempts on my life and I have too much work to do. There are too many people that need help right now for me to allow that.” As for those “people that need help right now,” they can deal with whatever desiccated law-enforcement apparatus gets left behind after Bush and her ilk are finished defunding it. You’re welcome, America! Next up in the “squad” personal security spending sweepstakes? Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who spent more than $272,000 in campaign funds for personal security, including upgrades to her district offices, according to the Post. “Her expenses include nearly $2,000 for security system installations at her Queens and Bronx district offices, more than $20,000 on ‘internet’ or ‘digital’ security, $4,263 for office security equipment and $521 for what she noted in FEC records as ‘security barriers,'” the report said. This also isn’t a surprise when you consider AOC is another one who makes dubious claims that her life has been in imminent danger — particularly during the events of Jan. 6, 2021, when she claimed she “had a very close encounter where I thought I was going to die.” [firefly_poll] That “encounter” involved a Capitol Police officer coming into her office — which was in an entirely different building from where the Capitol incursion was taking place, it’s worth noting — to make sure she was safe, but never mind. She’s gotten plenty of mileage out of this story and the nonexistent dangers she faced during the incursion in general, including telling Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz that he “almost had me murdered.” Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota took the bronze medal in the “defund for thee, not for me” personal security Olympics, reportedly spending a total of $125,683.75 on security services since her 2019 swearing-in. “Rounding out the rest of the squad: Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) spent $64,763; Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) $20,480; Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) $7,872; and Greg Casar (D-Texas) $1,570; while Summer Lee (D-Pa.) has yet to document security spending. Both Lee and Casar are freshman members who joined Congress in January,” the Post reported. Heritage Foundation legal fellow Zach Smith told the Post that those numbers were “incredibly hypocritical” when you consider these lawmakers “have been at the forefront of the defund the police movement.” “Cori Bush, AOC, all the members of the ‘squad’ — they and their families deserve to be safe and secure in their homes and communities — but so does everyone else,” Smith said. “Unfortunately while they get their own taxpayer-funded security detail … on top of what they’re paying for out of pocket” with campaign funds, “their constituents do not and must rely on police or their Second Amendment rights … that the ‘squad’ also opposes,” he said. Perhaps most notably, of the $1.23 million in personal security outlays for the soi-disant “squad,” the vast majority of it — $1.15 million — was spent after the “defund the police” movement kicked into high gear following the May 2020 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. Crime soared. Police were overwhelmed. Cities burned. Murders spiked, lawlessness reigned, urban areas became no-go zones — and the good progressives who backed “defund the police” and other “squad”-friendly criminal justice policies quickly tucked tail and ran off to someplace where they didn’t have to worry about getting mugged by a fentanyl-sotten “unhoused” individual living in a tent city right outside their apartment building. But at least the “squad” members were safe and sound — and their personal police were hardly defunded. Quite the opposite, actually. Thank heavens for small mercies. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.