By now it is abundantly clear that the Democrats will do just about anything to ensure Trump’s defeat in November. That would include the proliferation of violence in major American cities to provide optics to the narrative that the US leader has been an unmitigated disaster for the United States. Will Portland, Oregon become Donald Trump’s Maidan?
During the public grilling of Attorney General William Barr on July 28, the Democrat’s pushed one argument above all others: Democratic cities had been enjoying their ‘summer of love’ that saw righteous folks peacefully protesting against police abuse until Darth Trump and his ‘storm troopers’ crashed the party with tear gas and pepper spray.
To quote Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.): “The protests began to wind down before you marched in and confronted the protesters. And the protesters aren’t mobs; they are mothers and veterans and mayors. Now you are projecting fear and violence nationwide in pursuit of obvious political objectives.”
Of course that was a deliberate distortion of reality that pretends riots were not happening every single day. The situation in Portland has been out of control since May, and was getting progressively worse. Here is a snippet from local Oregon media, dated May 31st detailing the aftermath of a public vigil service to George Floyd.
Activists were outraged after a “trans femme protester” was arrested by plainclothes officers in an unmarked vehicle. https://t.co/vGL1074PT5
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) July 29, 2020
“As the march moved south, protesters began to break windows and graffiti buildings along Martin Luther King Boulevard and eventually, when they reached downtown, some began torching cars and public buildings, breaking windows and looting stores.”
The Portland Business Alliance estimated that between the property damage, looted inventory and lost wages from that ‘protest,’ Portland’s businesses and community suffered “tens of millions” in damages.
The peaceful protests did not end there, as clashes between the local police and rioters continued through the torrid month of June. It should be remembered that during this time, protesters were calling for police departments to be defunded and even disbanded altogether. Eventually, the city fathers got their wish. The Portland City Council passed a budget in late June that cut some $15 million from the police bureau. Now, when a Portland resident places a 9/11 call in an emergency situation an “unarmed, trained responder” will likely appear at their door. In other words, an actual deterrent to criminal behavior – the knowledge that a would-be offender might be arrested and sent to jail for his or her actions – no longer works to prevent illegal activities. Lawbreakers will come to the conclusion, and sooner rather than later, that they may act with a large degree of impunity.
As if that were not enough, days later, the activist group ‘Don’t Shoot’ won a temporary restraining order against the Portland Police Department, which stipulated that law enforcement officers were forbidden to use non-lethal munitions in crowd-control (i.e. riot) situations. Thus, the police lost their ability to confront looters and lawbreakers with the FN-303 anti-riot gun, flash-bang grenades, pepper spray and Long Range Acoustical Devices. Ironically, short of confronting the looters and rioters with deadly firepower, the exact sort of scenario the protesters were said to be protesting against, the police were left with no other options when it came to restoring law and order. No surprise, then, that local, state and federal property in Portland, like the federal court house, became a natural target of the mob.
A lawsuit put forward by the ACLU on behalf of aggrieved protesters described the situations as follows: “They are intentional acts by a lawless president, who has sent his paramilitary forces to shoot up the streets of Portland, choke downtown in a haze of toxic chemical fumes, and generate reelection soundbites – in blatant disdain of public safety, the rule of law, and the most fundamental principles of our Constitution.”
BREAKING: ACLU seeks contempt findings, sanctions against federal officers who have fired impact munitions at journalists, legal observers https://t.co/Q76jdQB4zd
— Maxine Bernstein (@maxoregonian) July 28, 2020
Now that is certainly rich considering it was the White House struggling to enforce the “rule of law” in an American city where rioters, looters and vandals have taken control of the streets. We already saw the results of such unbridled freedom in the Republican of CHAZ in downtown Seattle, which was forced to cancel its short-lived ‘summer of love’ due to an unfortunate climb in homicide rates, which tends to happen when mental health workers instead of police officers respond to emergency calls.
They are trying to retake CHAZ https://t.co/ANLVsft2pl
— Jack Posobiec ?? (@JackPosobiec) July 26, 2020
In light of all this unmitigated mayhem, certainly the mayor of Portland supports Trump’s offer of federal intervention. Think again. Not only did Mayor Ted Wheeler order his police to stand down against the rioters, he was actually in the very center of the mob that had gathered at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse. Then there are the so-called ‘Wall of Moms,’ a group of ‘concerned mothers’ that suspiciously sprung to life just as Trump was warning he would be forced to intervene if local authorities failed to do their jobs.
Maidan, American style?
It does not seem to have escaped the attention of the Trump White House that Portland may be a Democrat trap – at the minimum designed to portray the US leader as a “lawless president,” to quote the ACLU, who resorts to the use of “paramilitary forces” to crush innocent protesters. This is exactly the sort of stage that was set for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, who was forced from power following a massive uprising in 2014.
Although the circumstances confronting Donald Trump are completely different, the dynamics are similar. Yanukovich, who incurred the wrath of the political opposition (not to mention the United States, which dispatched John McCain to Kiev where he instigated the crowd) after he refused to sign an association agreement with the European Union, was eventually forced to activate riot police to quell the crowd.
What happened next is a mystery that may never be resolved – the protesters came under sniper fire and dozens were killed. It had been assumed at the time that the Ukrainian riot police had been responsible for the shootings. However, years later, long after Yanukovich was forced out of power, an Italian documentary presented evidence that Georgian mercenaries had been brought into Kiev specifically for the purpose of shooting protesters. Whatever the truth of the matter, the result was the same: Yanukovich was vilified and lost any remaining public support he may have had.
Back in Portland, Democrats are attempting to make Trump’s efforts to restore law and order look like a page torn from the Nazi Party playbook.
“The use of stormtroopers under the guise of law and order is a tactic that is not appropriate to our country in any way,” railed Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
Majority Whip James Clyburn echoed Pelosi’s sentiments, saying: “Nobody asked the federal government to come into Portland…This is something that’s made up of whole cloth by this administration as an excuse for sending in stormtroopers to incite the people.”
Thus far, the Trump administration, despite the outlandish claims made by the left, has shown itself to be handling the attacks on federal property in Portland as prudently as possible. All footage coming from the scene shows the federal forces responding with non-lethal tactics – even arresting suspects away from the maddening crowd to avoid any volatile situations – against a mob that seems very intent on taking the violence to a new level.
With any luck, the American people, in the words of Patrick Buchanan, in their quest for law and order, will take a stand “with the cops who guarantee it against the mobs that threaten it.” In the meantime, Trump must be extra cautious to avoid any potential Maidan scenarios that the left is certainly hoping to use in an election year of unprecedented consequence.