Source: Daniel G. Jones
Joe Biden wants you to be miserable when you vote. This is not an unusual wish for out-of-office politicians. Miserable people tend to vote against the incumbent.
Earlier this year, Joe Biden faced daunting odds. The economy was stronger than it had ever been, ISIS had been defeated, North Korea had been silenced, Iran had been cowed, bad trade deals had been renegotiated, and the border wall was being built. People were happy.
Then the China virus hit. It was a godsend to Democrats. It’s real. It can kill you. And best of all, it has stopped Trump’s huge rallies.
Naturally, Democrats want the virus to appear as deadly as possible for as long as possible. They’ve done a terrific job of it. They (including their supporters in the press and the bureaucracy) have kept the China virus in the headlines for the past five months by exaggerating its effects (overstating the numbers of infections and deaths), maximizing its inconvenience (shutting down businesses, schools, and sports), and mandating a constant visual reminder of the ever-present danger (masks for everybody all the time).
Things were going well for them, politically speaking, until the unruly wing of the Democrat Party saw an opportunity in the death of George Floyd and decided to flex their muscles. No one realized how weak the mainstream Democrat Party had become, or how powerful Black Lives Matter and Antifa had become, until they destroyed downtown Minneapolis.
Until then, they had done little more than make nuisances of themselves. Antifa had pulled down statues, broken windows, and disrupted traffic. Black Lives Matter had marched through cities shouting: “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want them? Now!” and “Pigs in a blanket. Fry ‘em like bacon!” Small stuff with little lasting damage, so far as Democrats were concerned. They decided to countenance the violence and threats with silence. And that was when they missed their best chance to distance themselves from all the mayhem that would follow.
The riots that started in Minneapolis quickly spread to Seattle, Chicago, New York, Portland, and dozens of other Democrat-run cities. Local authorities didn’t know how to react. After all, the rioters were presumptive Democrat voters.
Democrat mayors and governors decided to dance with the devil. They would side with the rioters and try to minimize all the damage they did — political, not physical damage — with words. They declared the riots to be “mostly peaceful protests.” They described the anarchy as an expression of “love.” And they announced that any intervention by the Feds would itself be an unprovoked act of aggression. (I am reminded of a story Abraham Lincoln related in his Cooper Union speech: “A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear, and mutters through his teeth, ‘Stand and deliver, or I shall kill you, and then you will be a murderer!’”)
In this third month of the siege of American cities, nary a word of criticism has passed Democrat lips. Liberal media continue to characterize the riots as righteous exercises of our First Amendment if they mention them at all. In a conversation with Joe Biden, President Obama described the mayhem as “…an extraordinary mobilization across the country.”
Black Lives Matter and Antifa seem to have thoroughly cowed the Democrat Party. Whatever they wish, Democrats shall do. You want us to defund the police? Sure. Paint BLM “murals” on city streets? Hand me a roller. Don’t want us to prosecute rioters? Wouldn’t think of it. Looting is payback for long-overdue reparations? Well, yeah. Okay.
Democrats must surely worry about the optics of bowing to the rioters’ will. But they worry even more about what might happen if they should refuse to do as BLM and Antifa demand. War might break out between the unruly and ruling wings of the Democrat Party, and that could cause them to lose not just the presidency, but possibly both houses of Congress as well. They calculate that their better option is to pay lip service to the gangs and keep the chaos out of the news. Make the pandemic the big story. That’ll keep the voters terrified.
Mark Twain once observed: “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” Some of us will recall familiar strains from a half century ago. In 1968 we were beset by a pandemic (the Hong Kong flu), saw riots engulf the nation (incited by the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), and held a presidential election between Vice President Hubert Humphrey and former Vice President Richard Nixon. Nixon campaigned on the theme of “law and order,” and he won.