Over the weekend, Democrats called for (gasp!) an investigation into a Trump Administration directive. Stop me if you’ve heard this before.
This time, they want to investigate the President’s decision to use federal agents to quell a riot in Portland, and the tactics the agents used to do so. The calls for investigation came on the same weekend that rioters set ablaze the Portland Police Association building.
Portland, like Seattle, Minneapolis and parts of Atlanta, has devolved into a lawless frontier. Democrat mayors and city councils have stymied police efforts and ordered them to stand down as these and other cities have been looted, burned and otherwise desecrated for the last two months. Seattle famously gave up six blocks to a band of vigilantes for the month of June, leading to murders, reports of rape, extortion, violence and general chaos.
As local and state authorities in a handful of major American cities have failed to act, the responsibility to protect lives and property, and to restore order in the streets, has fallen on the federal government. Now, after federal marshals, park police and other agents have stepped in and done the jobs their local counterparts weren’t allowed to do, the liberal apparatus that fiddled while America burned wants to cry foul.
Had federal agents not intervened, and Portland were destroyed (and it may yet happen) to the degree that Minneapolis was, you can bet that Portland officials would be asking the federal government for emergency funding to rebuild the city, as their Twin Cities counterparts did.
So what is a President to do? He swore an oath, as did each member of state and local government. They aren’t willing to honor theirs. President Trump is. When you send federal agents into an incendiary situation to control violent, arsonist rioters and looters, there are going to be a few injuries. On both sides. They’re going to use tear gas. They’re going to arrest people. They’re going to defend themselves. If Democrats in Congress, or local mayors don’t like it, they can support local law enforcement instead of calling to defund them and tying their hands.
Among the complaints from Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was that federal agents used unmarked vehicles and “scooped people off the streets.” I’ll go out on a limb and assume the Portland police fleet includes some unmarked vehicles. And scooping people off the streets wouldn’t be necessary if people weren’t….in the streets. Sitting in a public street and blocking traffic is a crime. A picture in this CNBC article about the weekend’s activities and the mayor’s complaints shows people doing just that.
Lack of law enforcement and failure to protect citizens and their property is what leads to situations like the McCloskey saga in St. Louis. They’ve now been indicted for standing outside their property and brandishing weapons (granted, Patricia McCloskey did point hers at the intruders) as a mob broke through a private gate and breached private property while verbally threatening the homeowners. With no law enforcement presence, people take the law into their own hands and do what they feel is necessary to protect themselves. If local police won’t (can’t) act, federal police must. Doing so will not only protect innocent lives and property. It may also protect rioters and looters from being shot by scared business owners or residents.
If local police are defunded, who is going to act in their place? Someone has to fill the void. We’ve seen what happens when nobody responds. The Trump campaign made a campaign ad out of it, and it may be one of the few issues that gives him an edge over Vice President Biden right now. It’s popular to criticize the President, but Democrats should find another issue, and stop letting their cities burn.