One of the alleged ironies (at least in some circles) of seeing Donald Trump run on a law and order platform to end the violence seen in many American cities is that the violence is taking place on his watch, right? And that’s a theme that was being picked up on by many Democrats over the weekend. Clearly in a panic over Joe Biden’s tanking poll numbers and the declining support for the Black Lives Matter movement in general, Biden’s surrogates hit the Sunday shows to point out that if Trump was really serious about law and order, he shouldn’t have let it happen in the first place. Or something.
No, it really doesn’t make much sense if you stop and think about it for more than three seconds. But it’s out there on the campaign table now and the Free Beacon offered a roundup of the people pushing this new line of attack on the President. Good luck sorting this mess out.
Multiple Democrats on Sunday said President Donald Trump was responsible for inciting violence in Democrat-run cities.
Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said Trump has “been trying to incite violence this entire summer.”
“He has at every opportunity tried to fan the flames here and that is the reason we’re living in Donald Trump’s America,” Bedingfield said on Fox News Sunday.
Looting and violent protests have plagued major American cities in recent months following the death of George Floyd. In response, Trump has repeatedly called for “law and order” and offered federal support to cities that are struggling with riots.
This was all part of a planned narrative that Biden’s people have decided to launch, with the same confused message showing up in Biden’s upcoming speech on the subject.
“He may believe mouthing the words law and order makes him strong, but his failure to call on his own supporters to stop acting as an armed militia in this country shows you how weak he is. Does anyone believe there will be less violence in America if Donald Trump is reelected?”
I suppose that the Democrats had to come up with something to say in response to their poll numbers dropping as both their candidates and most of their media enablers ignored all of the violence. But was this really the best response they could manage? Yes, in general terms at least, anything that happens on the President’s watch lands in his lap. But that’s largely understood to apply to national matters. COVID happened on Donald Trump’s watch, along with the associated economic crisis caused by shutting society down in response. Those responses varied from state to state, of course, but the President will still be judged on his overall response to and handling of the crisis.
These riots are not a national phenomenon. They aren’t even a statewide phenomenon anywhere. They are a municipal problem. The further away you get from the epicenter in terms of governmental responsibility, the less control there is. The Mayors of the cities being burned and looted are on the front lines. They can work in cooperation with the Governor to get more state police on the job and call in additional resources, but the Governor doesn’t micromanage the direct response on the streets.
By the time you get to the federal level, about all the President can do is work to authorize the National Guard. Yes, he can send in federal law enforcement to guard federal buildings, but we all saw what happened when it was suggested they do more than that. And what have some of these municipal and state officials done when President Trump reached out to offer more help? The Free Beacon reminds us of how things played out in the city that’s arguably suffered some of the most damage.
Ted Wheeler of Portland turned down Trump’s offer of federal support on Friday. The mayor previously said that he plans to let the violence “burn itself out.”
Rather than asking if reelecting Donald Trump will somehow magically stop the violence in Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis, Kenosha, Philadelphia and elsewhere, perhaps we should be asking Joe Biden a different question. How will the violence end if the residents of those cities keep electing Democrats? And what does Biden think that he would be somehow able to do that Trump couldn’t if the cities continue to bite the hand that feeds them if he replaces Trump?