There has been a lot of attention on the recent shooting of pro-Trump supporter, Jay Bishop, in Portland, OR on Saturday night. The complete story is not yet known, but Mayor Ted Wheeler made one dramatic misstep prior to the shooting.
On Friday, August 28th, Wheeler issued a public statement that was a snarky letter to the President, rejecting the offer to send Federal troops to Portland to help quell the violence. Wheeler opened the letter by saying “Yet again, you said you offered to aid Portland by sending in federal law enforcement to our city. On behalf of the City of Portland: No thanks. We don’t need your politics…” Wheeler, in all his wisdom, signed the letter “Stay away, please. Signed, Ted Wheeler, Mayor of Portland.”
Most of us were taught growing up that politeness was always the best course of action but Wheeler decided he was going to play to the ha-ha, gotcha base of his followers (dwindling fast). It was a foregone conclusion that such a response could (and would) bite him in his backside.
Here’s the timeline:
- Friday – Wheeler sends “no thanks, stay away” letter to the President
- Saturday – Alleged Antifa protestor/rioter allegedly kills Jay Bishop in cold blood
- Sunday – President Trump sends condolences to the family of Bishop
- Sunday afternoon – Wheeler is seen on a press video saying “I’d appreciate that the President either supports us or he stays the hell out of the way,”
- Sunday evening – Presidential hopeful, Biden, issues a late-to-the-game statement condemning violence from all individuals regardless of their political outlook, a sort of “All Lives Matter” statement
- Throughout the Weekend – President Trump tweets his disapproval of Wheeler along with repeated reminders that if any city needs federal help with law enforcement, all they have to do is ask
Today posted an article online with a posting time/date of 1:12 on Monday August 31st. (The video date was postdated somehow, showing a 2:48 time). The article was entirely too forgiving of Wheeler’s behavior. In that article and video, Wheeler indicates that he is willing to do “the hard work” to “reach out” across the aisle, to find compromise. He essentially accuses the President of not being willing to do the same.
Portland, as much as any city, is very divided. Tensions are high. Any Mayor playing games by trying to make points with allies is not the best choice of Mayor. A skilled diplomat would take every opportunity to be strong, even keeled, intelligent, and calculated to both adversary and ally. Wheeler doesn’t appear to be able to muster that posture, but it would have been to his advantage to have found the courage not to respond in a childish manner to the President’s offer. There seems to be a lack of ability on the left to take the high road. If you are a Democrat and reading this, it is not our intention to get your hackles up, but instead to say that if people (of any political leaning) could take the high road rather than making a major misstep like Wheeler did this weekend, we would all be better off. The statement from former First Lady Obama, “when they go high, we go low” is not exactly the right tact, and rarely works. The real effort is far more complex and involves working together, not simply doing the opposite.
The primary way in which the federal government can help Portland is by sending federal troops to support the Portland PD in their efforts to regain control. That offer was rejected, and not in a very nice way. Wheeler’s willingness to reach across the aisle is not evident as he continues to blame Trump for the violence in Portland, over which the President has no jurisdiction.
To make matters worse, coverage like Today provided only exasperates the political tension and exasperates the social unrest in Portland. Today says, “a man was shot and killed in Portland amid clashes between Black Lives Matter protesters and a pro-Trump caravan on Saturday.” Well, not quite.
We hear repeated ‘reminders’ from Today and other MSM outlets that the protests are peaceful, but shooting someone in the chest is not peaceful in anyone’s dictionary. The Antifa (or BLM) activists were absolutely on the hunt for violence (and there may have been some of the patriot contingent who were spoiling for a fight as well). However, when you’re getting ready to go out and peacefully protest you might say, “oh whoops, I better get my water bottle” or “oh whoops, I better remember to take my protest signs and wear my BLM/American Flag t-shirt” but at no point would you say, “oh whoops, I better not forget my shield, helmet, gun, and riot gear.”
Today uses the terms ‘protesters’ and ‘counterprotesters’ interchangeably to describe the BLM/Antifa contingent. It is safe to say that although both groups can be considered protesters, the individuals who have been vandalizing downtown Portland and suburbs for the last 90+ days are definitely not counterprotesting anything at this point, they are seasoned protesters.
Don’t let MSM serve as your judge and jury, question everything you read.