We're witnessing aggressive gaslighting from a party that just choreographed a national convention that scrupulously avoided any acknowledgment whatsoever of violence, rioting and looting that have wracked various American cities in recent months. Once the violence spilled over into a small city in a swing state and public opinion started to shift, the Biden campaign finally rolled Biden out to condemn non-peaceful actions, which he's occasionally done with perfunctory statements. But his party ignored the issue in their four-night infomercial, elected officials have been bullied by the hard Left into deleting social media posts disavowing violence, and top Biden surrogates have contorted themselves to avoid saying anything too harshly negative about the rioters.
And now they're trying to clean up their mess by deceiving the country. They're blaming Trump for the chaos, disingenuously repeating the mantra that it's all happening in "Trump's America." Well yes, but Trump and Republicans have been unequivocally condemning and decrying this lawlessness for months, lawlessness that is occurring in heavily Democratic cities. Trump has repeatedly offered federal assistance to quell the mayhem, and Democratic governors and mayors have performatively rejected the help, often denying that a problem even exists. This delusion and paralysis has allowed the violence to fester, businesses and property have been destroyed, and people have been assaulted and killed. To pin this on Trump is risible, even if his rhetoric is too often provocative and inflammatory. Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," Biden's deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield accused the president of "inciting violence," a claim that she struggled to substantiate, despite doubling and tripling down on it after anchor Chris Wallace pushed back:
Bedingfield contrasted this with President Trump, who she accused of “trying to incite violence this entire summer.” This prompted host Chris Wallace to question that assertion, and Bedingfield did not take it back. “You saw Donald Trump go to New Hampshire on Friday and say, you know, ‘protesters my ass.’ He’s had every opportunity to speak as a leader to this nation that is hurting. To speak to people who are struggling, who are trying to rightly seek justice in this moment, but also who are looking around and who are afraid, who see chaos, who see unsettled times.” Wallace again pressed Bedingfield on the claim that Trump incited violence. This time, she unequivocally doubled down on the accusation. “Absolutely, absolutely he has,” she said. “He has encouraged his supporters to go out, to be aggressive. If you heard, you were just discussing with Lara Trump, Kellyanne Conway said it unapologetically it is better for this president if there is more anarchy, more violence, more chaos. He has at every opportunity tried to fan the flames here, and that is the reason we’re living in Donald Trump’s America.”
Interestingly, Trump's "protesters my ass" line crudely drew a distinction between peaceful protesters and violent agitators -- a distinction that Democrats explicitly failed to even attempt to draw during their convention. And as I noted on Twitter during the interview, it's ludicrous to suggest that Trump is "inciting" the violence that is overwhelmingly being carried out by hardcore leftists:
Biden campaign spox just accused POTUS of “inciting violence.” Chris Wallace pushing back. Her examples are vague and weak.— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) August 30, 2020
You know, I don’t get the sense that rioters and looters are taking marching orders from Donald Trump.
Imagine going on national television to blame Donald Trump for what's happening, literally the morning after a Trump supporter was murdered -- apparently targeted by an alleged Antifa member because of his beliefs -- in the middle of a left-wing city, where riots have raged for three consecutive months. Portland is under the control of extreme left-wing politicians and the local and state level. Biden ended up releasing a stronger statement hours later, which again differentiates him from far too many in his party. But was still literally the least he could do after a Trump supporter was gunned down in cold blood the night before. The violence they've indulged for endless weeks has resulted in savage attacks and now what appears to be a political execution. And no, the terrible and needless killings in Kenosha are not the same. As I wrote on Twitter, "there has been violence from the radical right in some cases, which is egregious, appalling and indefensible. Still, bothsidesing the violence & unrest is a form of gaslighting. The mayhem/rioting/looting/assaults has been profoundly asymmetric, and driven by the hard left." That's a fact. And any effort to attribute these disgusting scenes, in which a Trump supporter was shot and killed in the most radical leftist major city in the country (where officials have prioritized resisting Trump over maintaining public order), to "Trump's America" is an exercise in wild dishonesty. Content warning:
Wow. Here is the clearest video I’ve seen of the murder in Portland last night. https://t.co/M7GBsecXcn— (((AG))) (@AGHamilton29) August 30, 2020
“I am not sad that a f—ing fascist died tonight,” says a woman at the antifa gathering in downtown Portland. The crowd laughs and cheers. The ID of the deceased is not confirmed but he is believed to be a Trump & blue lives supporter. #PortlandRiots pic.twitter.com/XV6471FSuF— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) August 30, 2020
I'll remind you that beyond the Democratic Party's overall chronic fecklessness in the face of violent upheaval, a powerful House committee chairman called much of this violence a "myth." Another chairwoman urged Democrats to harass and confront Republicans in public. A member of the squad explicitly called for "unrest" in the streets. The Speaker of the House shrugged off mob action with an "it is what it is"-style statement. They've fostered this environment, and their fellow Democratic officials in states and cities have been slow, unable, or unwilling to contain the violence. A few more dark vignettes that cannot be seriously blamed on "Trump's America:"
A lot of these videos have been shocking. I audibly gasped at this one. https://t.co/xiS5ppOV79— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) August 28, 2020
National media is gaslighting their audiences into believing this complete destruction of entire neighborhoods is no big deal and these are "mostly peaceful" protests where the only problem was a few armed citizens. https://t.co/tSWDbu2bQS— (((AG))) (@AGHamilton29) August 29, 2020
A BLM leader is encouraging this crowd of protesters to fight the DC cops on the frontlines. Saying he’s “ready to put them in their graves” - this may lead to another violent night in DC... pic.twitter.com/0LXTR69c2P— Brendon Leslie (@_BrendonLeslie) August 30, 2020
Accosting people eating their dinner doesn’t seem like a “peaceful protest.”— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) August 30, 2020
But the Left doesn’t care.
They’re coming for your neighborhood next. pic.twitter.com/LH94nK2OM3
“If you kill one of us, it’s time for us to kill one of yours.” https://t.co/jvRFDKYIXd— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) August 30, 2020
National Public Radio decided to take a moment to promote a pro-looting book, whose author offers such insights as, "without police and without state oppression, we can have things for free." That's an innovative spin on stealing other people's belongings. These are correct responses to that insanity, as well as the destructive lie that insurance justifies destruction:
What's particularly appalling is that so much of this discourse is being driven by children of the professional class who clearly have no grasp of what it means to pour years, decades, or even generations into building up some unglamorous small business that's rooted to one spot https://t.co/0eFqX3o2H4— Megan McArdle (@asymmetricinfo) August 29, 2020
That's not "what insurance is for." You're putting innocent people out of work for weeks or months while damage is repaired, and then their rates go up, forever. That's taking money straight from the pockets of people who've done nothing. https://t.co/aXG5QJ403B— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) August 29, 2020
I'll leave you with a primetime MSNBC host taking the gaslighting and lying to new levels. You'll be shocked to learn that the piece she links to does not even remotely support her nutty assertion:
Let me repeat this for those inventing the idea of “Black Lives Matter riots.” BLM doesn’t “riot.” They march against police violence. And note that those caught setting fires, assaulting and shooting people are consistently of the RIGHT, not the left. https://t.co/3qSk5Ym7l7— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) August 29, 2020
Oh, and let's check in on the loudmouth clown who took down a tweet that criticized violent protests. Dude's a U.S. senator:
Can we take the gloves off and tell the truth?— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) August 29, 2020
Trump is deliberately killing people.
He holds rallies where people get infected. On Thursday, no social distancing or masks, sending a clear message that the CDC should be ignored.
His plan is to kill people. Let's just say it.
UPDATE - More intensive gaslighting from the media and an elected official whose city has been consumed by riots for the straight months (and who has ostentatiously rejected federal help):
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, at news conference just now: "Do you seriously wonder, Mr. President, why this is the first time in decades that America has seen this level of violence? It's you who have created the hate and division."— Peter Nicholas (@PeterAtlantic) August 30, 2020
WHEELER: "I’d appreciate that either the President support us or stay the hell out of the way!" pic.twitter.com/FJjD7n76sv— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) August 30, 2020
Trump's efforts to label what is happening in major cities as "riots" speaks at least somewhat to his desperation, politically speaking, at the momenthttps://t.co/tQJ495xOZK pic.twitter.com/vs19vtCHiW— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) August 30, 2020
That accompanying photo is a chef's kiss. (UPDATE II - I addressed this on Fox earlier):
.@guypbenson also called out Sen. @ChrisMurphyCT for tweeting that the president is murdering people.— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) August 31, 2020
As for @JoeBiden's new calls denouncing the violence, Guy says, "It's probably the least he could do, literally the day after a Trump supporter was murdered by left-wingers..." pic.twitter.com/Or3D0shN3f