Big-city mayors don't want to end the chaos


Those who followed President Trump's tweets on Sunday may have seen an astounding video of nine or ten police cars, mostly SUVs, most of them in a single-file, convoy arrangement, abandoned on a wide street in what looks to be a low-rise, "hip" shopping and microbrewery-oriented section of Los Angeles County.  The cars were all spray-painted; most had their windows broken and tires slashed.  There was no evidence of a fight — no discarded police equipment and little trash or debris other than broken car window glass.  The strong impression is that the vehicle occupants had left peaceably on foot before the vandals even showed up.  A reasonable conclusion is that the police — sensing an absence of a clear mandate to truly deal with the problem at hand, and a dearth of support from their elected civilian leadership — simply gave up the ghost, like the dejected German tankers running out of fuel and commencing a long walk back to their homeland in the classic 1965 film The Battle of the Bulge.

Another shock was seeing scores of Austin, Texas police formed up in a big, tight heap on the balcony platform at the entrance to their headquarters, with those in the rear having their backs literally to the wall of the building, while one of their number in the front sprayed pepper juice out of a canister at some punk on the sidewalk who had come too close.  Their entire mass gave the impression of huddling in fear, though, judging by what little was shown of the mob in the photo, the cops likely outnumbered the unarmed, unorganized youths in the street.  One could be forgiven for shouting into one's laptop screen, "You're the police!  This is your castle!  Clear the damn street!"

How can this be happening?  Thanks to donations from the Department of Defense, the police across America are now better armed and more prepared for "war" than they have ever been.  There are likely thousands of armored Humvees sitting in police garages across the country.  There is riot gear galore.  There are mountains of rubber bullets.  Building on the experience of the 1991 Los Angeles riots, the LAPD and most other major urban police departments have had extensive training in riot control.  Remember all that smarmy lefty and libertarian griping about "the militarization of the police"?  Where is that militarization today?

We are not seeing it, because the current crop of "progressive" Democrat mayors and governors are afraid of their own shadows.  They do not want to become pariahs among their own "movement," nor do they wish to alienate their clown-show city councils, their own spaced out donors, and their core voter base (in many cases, African-Americans) through further displays of "police brutality."  Thus, it is easier to just let some shops burn and hope the mob's lust extinguishes itself after a few days.  After all, the small business–owners hardly vote Democrat anyway, and the big businesses (e.g., Target) will reopen whatever happens.  Why take the risk of restoring order when you can build Progressive Street Cred by virtue-signaling at a teary-eyed press conference, or on Twitter?

Recall how Mayor Frey of Minneapolis, who looks as if he wears a full bottle of "Bed Head" mousse in his ludicrously over-attended hair, allowed a small mob led by (privileged?) white agitators to seize and burn a police precinct building so as to avoid conflict and not escalate things.  Since then, it has become increasingly clear that "blue city" mayors — from California to Texas to Chicago to Philadelphia to Atlanta — have deliberately held back their police, allowing them to be committed only in piecemeal fashion, if at all, and usually without any special vehicles or gear.

Washington, D.C.'s genius mayor, in fact, has refused any meaningful police presence anywhere near the White House, such that vandals were able to set fire to part of the historic St. John's Episcopal Church (a few minutes' walk from Mr. Trump) last night.  And where the D.C. police were deployed yesterday, they attempted to clear streets with an obvious shortage of riot shields and padding, not to mention an obvious severe shortage of manpower.  Then there is Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, who refused for most of the weekend to call up his National Guard, and when he did, the figure that was mentioned was a measly 600 guardsmen, only a few percentage points of the entire state force — a joke.

It may seem heartless to say, but it's a fact: this is the "leadership" that the urban Democrats voted for, and this is what they are getting.  This is what they wanted, and in a democracy, people get what they want.  It is not Mr. Trump's job — nor is it within his power — to intervene to save these people from themselves.

What are these useless mayors going to do with cops who willfully abandon their posts en masse — fire them?  At a time like this?  We are talking about government employees — you can't just toss them in a heartbeat, barring suspicion of some serious crime.  I would in fact encourage all "blue city" cops to just walk away for a few days.  How can anyone work any job — much less a dangerous, extremely stressful one — without the support of their own boss?  It is intolerable.  It is what the cities voted for.

Image credit: Twitter screen shot.