There is an obvious problem in Portland, Oregon. Everyone, no matter what side you’re on, agrees. And most can even agree that it all boils down to the leadership, although clearly for different reasons.
At the top of the leadership pyramid is Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler, who, on the 55th consecutive night of protests and riots in Portland, decided to join in on the fun, attending the “protests” outside a federal courthouse and even getting tear-gassed.
Rioters to the left and right of him were throwing burning debris and even fireworks at the federal property, and yet he still had the nerve to say, “I saw nothing that provoked this response, referring to the tear gas.
Mayor Ted was trying to make himself one of the people, hoping to convince the crowds that he was on their side and against the federal agents who had been sent by President Donald Trump to regain some semblance of law and order to the chaotic city.
And he desperately needed the people to believe him, as some are calling him to hand over his responsibilities to someone who might actually do something about their situation.
Don’t get your hopes us though, the people speaking the loudest about him being stripped of power don’t want to quiet the city and stop the violence and looting. No, instead, they want to have his control over the Portland Police Bureau so they can further dismantle it, rendering it impossible to stop the chaos.
Enter liberal Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty.
Last week she made a public statement demanding that if Wheeler won’t do something about the feds and police in their city, which his title and office entrusts to him, then she should be given command of them.
Hardesty’s July 18 statement describes how “the best of Portland” has come out to “exercise our constitutional right to free speech and peaceful assembly” in recent weeks. “This was a united call to end the occupation of our city by federal troops and demanding an end to the aggressive violence being perpetrated on our city by both federal troops and the Portland Police.”
And she adds, “We had impassioned speakers sharing a variety of perspectives and opinions. We lit candles. We sang. We danced… We talked about the work ahead and how we are going to reimagine community safety.”
But then she claims that the festivities were attacked by federal agents and the Portland Police force, who she referred to as DHS Secretary Chad Wolf’s “45’s goon squad.” She notes that this happened after all of the speakings, you know, about the time the rioting and looting began.
But she has had enough! She addressed Mayor Wheeler, saying, “I demand action right now… If you can’t control the police, give me the Portland Police Bureau.”
On Monday, Wheeler gave Hardesty her answer. He said that he and his staff would continue to “explore other legal options to address federal actions in our community” and to “direct reforms of the Portland Police Bureau.” He added that he would “continue to serve as Police Commissioner through this time of transformation.”
To further convince Hardesty and any others who may not feel very confident in his skills as Mayor and Police Commissioner, he attended the protests.
However, his mission failed miserably.
Not only did the people not appreciated his presence at the protest, they even refused to let him speak, jeering, and cursing at him. Some even threw water bottles and other items in his direction. In addition, they pointed out his hypocrisy, as he, like the feds and local police, is well known for his use of tear gas on citizens to quiet their unrest.
He actually had to be escorted out, at a near run, by his own private security detail. Tell me, what man of the people needs to bring his personal detail to a “peaceful protest” where is supposedly joining others of a like mind?
It seems Mayor Wheeler doesn’t really have friends on either side of the argument. Clearly, he isn’t doing anything to stop the rioting that is destroying the city from the inside out, as he attempted to join in this past week.
But neither is he being welcomed by those who might do far worse, like say completely disband the police or any other form of law and order.
Only time will tell if Wheeler will be ousted from his hypocritical position. One thing is clear, though: he’s not doing any good to anyone.