Acting Out by James Howard Kunstler
When Portland, OR, Mayor Ted Wheeler dropped in to check out the “peaceful protest” action down at the Federal courthouse Wednesday night in his spiffy REI riot casuals and dual purpose Covid-19 / riot mask with matching riot goggles, he seemed a little surprised to find himself in the midst of… a riot. Perhaps he had not been following all the Twitter videos of what looked like a Road Warrior free-for-all, what with the Antifa soldiers ripping down fences, banging wrecking bars through the ground-floor protective barriers, shooting roman candles and laser-beams at the pitifully small crew of federal officers, and hurling rocks, bottles, human waste, and anything else at hand at them in their determination to bum-rush the entrance and burn the place down.
Mayor Wheeler also serves as the city’s police commissioner, but he apparently forgot to notify the department that something might require their attention down there on SW Third Ave. The Feds were on their own. Mayor Ted made his way to the front of the mob, pulled on his chin while surveying the colorful scene and then — surprise — the mob discovered he was among them and turned its ire on him, crying, in Antifa vernacular, “Fuck you, Ted” and “Resign, asshole!” As a few bottles and gobs of suspicious liquid flew his way he began to comprehend that his grandstanding wasn’t appreciated, and he withdrew to the safety of his nearby mayoral aerie with his security detail.
Afterward, in a press release, he observed: “What I saw last night was powerful in many ways. I listened, heard, and stood with protesters. And I saw what it means when the federal government unleashes paramilitary forces against its own people.”
Yes, it was a “teachable moment” for Mayor Ted, as so many acts of violent idiocy are supposed to be in this summer of social justice, a national struggle session à la Mao Zedong to re-educate the obtusely privileged multitudes to the insidious menace of “systemic racism.” How’s it working? Well, those multitudes are taking it all in, for sure, and perhaps concluding on their own that a teachable moment is not exactly the same as a leadership moment, and that this phantom of systemic racism may not be all that it’s cracked up as.
Anyway, Mayor (and Police Commish) Ted soon hurled his own thunderbolt at the Feds —a citation for obstructing a city bike path by placing protective fences on it. There’s leadership for you! Take that, Donald Trump, you big Hitlerscheiss! Perhaps Mayor Ted is thinking his exemplary valor may put him in a position to replace the mentally-disabled Democratic Party front-runner, Joe Biden, as the nauseating task of actually daring to nominate him approaches in just a few weeks (and if She-Whose-Turn-Was-Cancelled stands aside).