Democrats have come up with a totally incoherent set of talking points to address the ongoing riots and violence in American cities.
On the one hand, they say there is no crisis. In an interview Tuesday, Joe Biden said Democrats don’t need to be more outspoken about left-wing violence, and that Trump is just using the protests as “an opportunity to focus on quote ‘law and order’” (Biden used air quotes) while “throwing gasoline on the fire” and ignoring the real crisis, which Biden says is the pandemic: “People are worried about dying from COVID.” Didn’t you know?
On the other hand, if there is a law and order crisis, it’s all Trump’s fault. On Sunday, Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield told a befuddled Chris Wallace of Fox News that Trump is “inciting violence,” and that “we living in Donald Trump’s America.”
That phrase is obviously part of the Biden campaign’s official talking points about the riots because Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris repeated it verbatim during a virtual fundraiser earlier this week when she was asked a simple question: How would she “respond to the continuing violence in major cities?”
Harris did not answer the question. Instead, she replied with a word-salad about how Trump is “trying to sow hate and division among us,” and creating a “climate of fear,” and how she thinks “it’s really important to talk about the fact that this moment is Donald Trump’s America.” She went on to say that “the violence that we’re seeing, the pain that we’re seeing” has increased during Trump’s term, in part because Trump himself has encouraged it.
So, which is it? Is Trump using mostly peaceful—and perfectly understandable—protests as a pretext to gin up voters’ fears about a crisis of law and order? Or do we really have a crisis of law and order in our cities, and the violence and rioting are all Trump’s fault?
‘I Don’t See Any Riots Here, Must Not Be Any Riots’
Democrats can’t seem to decide, and neither can their courtesans in the mainstream media. Earlier this week, a CNN correspondent in Portland beclowned himself when he tweeted out a picture of a quiet downtown park and reported that “the city is not under siege and buildings are not burning to the ground,” and that he was able to eat his breakfast burrito in peace without being “attacked by shadowy gangs of Antifa commandos.”
Good morning from wonderful Portland, where the city is not under siege and buildings are not burning to the ground.
I also ate my breakfast burrito outside today and so far haven’t been attacked by shadowy gangs of Antifa commandos. pic.twitter.com/shG39nVRnS
— Josh Campbell (@joshscampbell) September 1, 2020
Then on Wednesday, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman followed suit, tweeting that he went for a morning run, “and am sorry to report that I saw very few black-clad anarchists. Also, the city is not yet in flames.”
One suspects Krugman would not extend his logic in the other direction and conclude that if he didn’t see any police brutality on his morning run, there must not be a problem with police brutality in this country.
These tweets recall the now-infamous reporting of CNN’s Jim Acosta, who in January 2019 went down to the U.S.-Mexico border, found a random stretch of the border fence near McAllen, Texas, looked around for a minute and, seeing no smugglers or migrants hiding in the bushes, concluded that there was no border crisis. (A few months later, apprehensions of illegal immigrants hit a 13-year high.)
I found some steel slats down on the border. But I don’t see anything resembling a national emergency situation.. at least not in the McAllen TX area of the border where Trump will be today. pic.twitter.com/KRoLdszLUu
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) January 10, 2019
The purpose of such facile stuff from Krugman and CNN is to convince Americans not to believe their lying eyes, that there really are no riots to speak of, no unrest or mob violence in the cities, or at least not that much. Everything is fine, honestly.
They’re saying this because they know what we all know: that Democrats, not Trump, are to blame for the riots and the looting. In the first place, the blame falls to the Democratic mayors and governors who didn’t crackdown and impose law and order.
After them, blame falls on the Democratic Party’s leadership and the Biden campaign, which has flatly refused to condemn the organizations fomenting violence and unrest, namely Black Lives Matter and Antifa.
For months now, Biden and the Democrats have offered excuses and equivocations about the riots and violence associated with BLM protests across the country, and Biden must now feel like he can’t just come out with a full-throated condemnation. Those people are, after all, an important part of his coalition.
But the Biden campaign had better sort out its talking points fast. As polls tighten, Democrats can’t keep saying that the riots and looting and mob violence aren’t that bad, and suggesting that in fact they’re kind of justified, but also that if they are as bad as all that, well then it’s all Trump’s fault.