If Americans want a picture of what the United States could look like under a Joe Biden presidency, then Portland, Oregon, is a good place to start.
In a city that has been wracked by violence on a nightly basis since May, Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler is pointing directly at the source he considers is to blame: the federal agents of the Department of Homeland Security.
And he knows who should clean up the mess of graffiti left behind by rioters with the antifa movement: the federal agents of the Department of Homeland Security.
In a series of Twitter posts that’s mind-boggling even coming from a leftist Democratic elected official in one of the country’s most liberal cities, Wheeler took to social media on Tuesday to say the city didn’t “need or want” help from the federal government protecting its own citizens.
I told the Acting Secretary that my biggest immediate concern is the violence federal officers brought to our streets in recent days, and the life-threatening tactics his agents use. We do not need or want their help.
— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) July 14, 2020
“Today the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security asked to speak with me about demonstration activity in Portland. He expressed his concern about ongoing violence and asked how his agency can help,” Wheeler wrote.
“I told the Acting Secretary that my biggest immediate concern is the violence federal officers brought to our streets in recent days, and the life-threatening tactics his agents use. We do not need or want their help.”
He then posted a demand that federal agents either stay inside their quarters or leave the city altogether — and, by the way, they should clean up the graffiti before they go.
While we’re busy cleaning our streets and buildings, the two federal buildings are covered with graffiti that has been there for weeks on end. Our plan is this: protect our community. Clean up our city. And re-open.
— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) July 14, 2020
“The best thing they can do is stay inside their building, or leave Portland altogether. Our goal is to end these violent demonstrations quickly and safely. And in the meantime, I asked him to clean up the graffiti on local federal facilities,” Wheeler wrote.
Now, it might have escaped the mayor’s attention that his city hasn’t been in upheaval because federal agents have been running amok, causing an estimated $23 million in property damage in just six weeks.
And it’s possible he just didn’t notice that a group of violent demonstrators who, according to KATU-TV, attempted to set up an “autonomous zone” in the city’s downtown on Tuesday, weren’t uniformed DHS personnel.
But surely even a blind partisan like Wheeler should understand that federal employees aren’t the ones tagging their buildings with anti-government messages.
And then there’s the basic dishonesty of Wheeler’s point. As TheBlaze reported, DHS agents weren’t sent to Portland until June 26 as part of President Donald Trump’s executive order to protect national monuments.
Portland’s troubles started long before then — and Wheeler knows it.
Even The Associated Press, a once-respectable news outlet that has become a parody of a journalistic organization in recent years, was forced to describe the continuing upheavals in Portland in a way that — though obliquely — put the blame where it belonged.
“It’s become a cycle of unrest, police response and further outrage,” the AP reported Tuesday.
That’s another way of saying “rioters provoke, authorities try to maintain order, rioters riot in response.”
Twitter posts published by Portland-based independent journalist Andy Ngo, who has covered the ongoing Portland violence for years, gives an idea of the atmosphere in the city Wheeler pretends to govern:
Warning: The following videos contain graphic language that some viewers may find offensive:
Police made an arrest at the antifa/BLM riot in north Portland. Rioters gathered outside the police union to attack it but was repelled by Portland Police. Video by @PDocumentarians. pic.twitter.com/S6qEYRmJ0k
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) July 14, 2020
Antifa in Portland set up walls and barriers in the street outside the federal courthouse to claim their own autonomous zone, calling it “CLAT” for “Chinook Land Autonomous Territory.” pic.twitter.com/ntQQPfCZAR
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) July 15, 2020
The ”ACAB” on the first sign is an acronym used by the Black Lives Matter movement, standing for “All Cops Are B——s.” That and the word “f—” next to a circled “a” — which is widely understood to be an anarchist symbol — should be a pretty good tip off that the groups behind the violence aren’t DHS agents, U.S. Marshals or the Portland police.
Yet it’s DHS agents that Wheeler is literally blaming for the unrest that has been a regular, if not nightly, occurrence in his city literally for years.
If Americans want a picture of the Democratic Party in 2020, it’s not the aging, confused face of former Vice President Joe Biden they should be looking to.
It’s the raging mobs of antifa and Black Lives Matter rioters who have laid waste, with impunity, to streets in some of America’s great cities in the weeks since the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.
And if they want a picture of what the United States would look like under weak, dishonest leadership, utterly beholden to the most radical fringes of leftist politics, then Portland, Oregon, is a great place to start.
Trump’s re-election bid is offering Americans a chance to restart the economic boom of Trump’s first three years in office before the coronavirus crisis. It’s offering the country a chance to continue reshaping American foreign policy so U.S. allies contribute more to their own defense, while forcing adversaries like China and Russia to respect U.S. strength.
A victory by the modern Democratic Party, and a Democratic presidency where Biden’s very possible role is a witless figurehead, would put the country on the road to looking a lot more like Portland than any sane person wants it to.
Those are the stakes. And every American needs to know it.
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