John wrote about this last night, but having had some time to digest it, Mayor Ted Wheeler’s “explanation” for the riots on Saturday is too awful to let it slide. First, a brief review.

Ever since Antifa showed up at a rally in Portland on Saturday, beating down several people and sending photojournalist Andy Ngo to the hospital, questions have been raised. Where were the police? Why wasn’t there more of a law enforcement presence on the scene? And perhaps most of all, where was the Mayor? He’d been awfully silent, considering what a disaster he had on his hands. Finally, as John noted, more than two days after the rioting had ended, Mayor Ted Wheeler broke his silence… sort of. Since this is 2019 he decided to bravely offer his “explanation” on Twitter. In case you missed those tweets, here they are again in all their nonspecific, rambling glory.

Well, that’s just lovely. First of all, Antifa never shows up to “exercise their First Amendment rights.” They show up to physically attack people whose opinions they don’t approve of. They don’t throw around rhetoric. They throw punches and Molotov cocktails.

Also, when you say you “stand against all forms of violence,” there is no need to follow that phrase with anything. By adding “regardless of someone’s political leanings” you’ve delivered a clear dog whistle to Antifa. What you’re actually saying is that you sympathize with the idea that the Proud Boys (and apparently journalists as well) are in need of a good beating, but you sadly can’t allow it in the streets of your city.

And what was Wheeler trying to say with this remark? “Portland police officers have the unenviable task of keeping the peace. It’s a difficult job and hard decisions are made in real-time.”

The “unenviable task of keeping the peace?” That is literally the definition of what the police do. And while the job can certainly be challenging at times, it’s leadership’s responsibility to make those hard decisions. One of those decisions would have been to deploy the police to the scene of the rally, particularly after it became obvious that Antifa was on the prowl. Where were the cops? Wheeler is busy “explaining” what happened, but he’s yet to say a word about that. Was that a decision that came from the Mayor’s office or the Chief of Police? Somebody needs to be held accountable.

Ted Wheeler has repeatedly failed to keep the streets of Portland safe and he’s turned a blind eye to violence as long as the potential victims are of the “wrong” political persuasion. And this isn’t some hypothetical discussion, Mr. Mayor. Perhaps you’d like to go have word with this person and “explain” it all to him.