Wednesday afternoon, President Donald Trump announced that Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has had a change of heart, and is now welcoming federal law enforcement into Kenosha, Wisconsin after three nights of increasing violence stemming from the shooting of Jacob Blake by local police officers this past weekend.
We will NOT stand for looting, arson, violence, and lawlessness on American streets. My team just got off the phone with Governor Evers who agreed to accept federal assistance (Portland should do the same!)…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 26, 2020
Hopefully the presence of federal officers will help keep the peace in Kenosha, though its ridiculous that it’s taken this long for Evers to agree to the federal help. In fact, I can’t help but wonder if Evers’ decision is based more on public opinion than public safety.
Check out this clip from CNN’s Tuesday evening programming, featuring Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo discussing the political impact of the riots.
“The rioting has to stop… it’s showing up in the polling, it’s showing up in focus groups.” Don Lemon pic.twitter.com/xiFsowHbhb
— JohnWMarxII (@JohnWMarxII) August 26, 2020
It seems like as long as Democrats thought that the riots, looting, arson, and unrest could be pinned on Donald Trump, they were happy to let the mob run wild. Now that voters are pinning the blame on the Democrats in charge of these cities, they’ve decided it’s time to get serious about the disorder on their streets.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown, who’s taken a decidedly hands-off approach to the nightly riots in Portland, issued her own tweet on Tuesday evening calling for a tougher response to those who’ve tried to torch the city and kick off a revolution.
Let me be clear: It’s time for the violence and vandalism to end so Portland can focus on the important work to be done to achieve real change for racial justice. Those who have committed acts of violence will be held accountable.
— Governor Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown) August 25, 2020
Mayor Lori Lightfoot in Chicago seems to suddenly be interested in cracking down on violent protests, and not just those centered around her own home.
— Mary Ann Ahern (@MaryAnnAhernNBC) August 26, 2020
Whether or not you like Donald Trump, at least his position has been clear and consistent since the rioting began in Minneapolis in early June; peaceful protest is great, but property destruction and political violence is not. For many on the Left, however, the unrest was a good thing until they realized it was hurting the Biden/Harris campaign.
Think about that for a second. It wasn’t the burned-out businesses that caused them to change their mind. It wasn’t the assaults and shootings that made them reverse course. If the polls were showing that the violence and unrest in these Democrat-controlled cities was hurting the Trump campaign, I truly believe that these mayors and Democratic governors would still be calling for understanding and compassion for the looters, arsonists, and agitators creating mayhem in their communities.
It’s a craven and calculated political response, and it’s so blatant that I suspect many Americans will see right through it. Your business can go up in flames, your neighborhood can be targeted with midnight marches and demands for you to vacate your homes in the name of racial equality, you can be yelled at and shouted down for refusing to raise a fist in solidarity with Black Lives Matter or Antifa, and it’s all okay. If Joe Biden’s poll numbers take a hit, though, it’s time to crack down.
I’ll say it again. While I’m glad to see Democrat mayors and governors at least pretend to take an interest in the security of their residents, their new shift in position is a public relations move, not one based on public safety.