I'm not one of those "Trump plays 4D chess while everyone else plays checkers" kind of political observer.
I think Donald Trump has great political instincts, and I also think his political adversaries make stupid, unforced errors because he either brings out the worst in them (see Marco Rubio in the 2016 Vegas debate) or he gets them to show their true colors.
I believe what we are witnessing transpire this week is a perfect case of the latter phenomenon.
In Seattle, a group of armed anarchists have cordoned off a portion of the downtown area and declared it an "Autonomous Zone." Autonomous from Seattle laws and law enforcement. Autonomous from the State of Washington and autonomous from the jurisdiction of the United States federal government.
Our intrepid reporter Julio Rosas has provided some incredible, Pulitzer-worthy coverage from inside the zone.
Without the presence of police in the area, things can be dangerous for people accused of wrongdoing. In one instance, a young man was accused of stealing a phone from another protester. A crowd quickly surrounded him and tried to interrogate him, with one individual brandishing a baseball bat in the man's face. The accused thief was clearly frightened and explained he did not steal anything, to which the crowd asked why did he run away.
The situation was resolved after it was discovered the phone was never stolen, but it only came after the man was able to once again run away from the crowd.
President Trump saw this coverage and the stories on Fox News (because CNN and MSNBC are virtually ignoring the story) and he took to Twitter to condemn the lawlessness and the Democrats in charge for allowing it to happen.
Radical Left Governor @JayInslee and the Mayor of Seattle are being taunted and played at a level that our great Country has never seen before. Take back your city NOW. If you don’t do it, I will. This is not a game. These ugly Anarchists must be stopped IMMEDIATELY. MOVE FAST!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 11, 2020
"Radical Left Governor Jay Inslee and the Mayor of Seattle are being taunted and played at a level that our great Country has never seen before," he tweeted. "Take back your city NOW. If you don't do it, I will. This is not a game. These ugly Anarchists must be stopped IMMEDIATELY. MOVE FAST!"
Inslee and Mayor Jenny Durkin reflexively pushed back at Trump and went several steps further in defending the armed radicals who had occupied the city-center of Seattle.
I spoke with @MayorJenny and her team about the situation on Capitol Hill. Although unpermitted, and we should remember we are still in a pandemic, the area is largely peaceful. Peaceful protests are fundamentally American, and I am hopeful there will be a peaceful resolution.— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) June 11, 2020
Inslee tweeted, "I spoke with @MayorJenny and her team about the situation on Capitol Hill. Although unpermitted, and we should remember we are still in a pandemic, the area is largely peaceful. Peaceful protests are fundamentally American, and I am hopeful there will be a peaceful resolution."
Durkin took her defense of the anarchy one step further. She delivered want can only be described as a gushing endorsement of the armed mob that has taken control of several streets and buildings in her city.
It's clear @realDonaldTrump doesn’t understand what’s happening on five square blocks of our City. Cal Anderson and Capitol Hill has for decades been a place for free speech, community, and self expression.— Mayor Jenny Durkan (@MayorJenny) June 11, 2020
Lawfully gathering and expressing first amendment rights, demanding we do better as a society and provide true equity for communities of color is not terrorism - it is patriotism.— Mayor Jenny Durkan (@MayorJenny) June 11, 2020
Yes, in her zeal to oppose and attack Trump, she went so far as to call the anarchy in her own streets "lawful" and "patriotism."
Are these people nuts? Well, kind of. Trump drives them crazy.
Whether he meant to do it or not, Trump has gotten two prominent Democrats, a governor of a state and a mayor of a large city, to defend what can only be described as the unlawful actions of a violent, anarchist mob. They hate Trump so much and are so fervent in their desire to oppose his every utterance they have gladly defended the indefensible.
All Trump had to do was make a common-sense condemnation of anarchy, theft, violence, and hooliganism in Seattle and Democrats reflexively attack him and defend the criminals.
So now the political lines are drawn. Trump opposes and condemns the mob that has commandeered several blocks of a major American city as their own. Prominent Democrats have defended the action and even praised it as patriotic.
Whose side are you on?
Further... what about the man who would be president? The de facto leader of the Democratic Party?
Does Joe Biden join his fellow Democrats in Seattle in defending and praising the anarchists who have seized public and private property in the "Autonomous Zone"?
Or does he agree with President Trump that this type of chaos and lawlessness can't be condoned or tolerated?
We deserve to know.