Portland is burning.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) is a naïve fool and he has paid and will continue to pay the price. Only a naïve fool would mollycoddle violent activist groups hell bent on the destruction of the city over which he purports to govern. (Every word and phrase in that sentence is carefully chosen to convey the absolute lack of understanding by Mr. Wheeler of his role and responsibilities as mayor of Portland, Oregon.) It matters not what is in Mr. Wheeler’s mind or heart or whether he hates President Donald Trump with the universal zeal exhibited by other Democrat politicians in Oregon. Mr. Wheeler has failed at every level.
During Mr. Wheeler’s campaign for mayor I was told by business friends and acquaintances that Mr. Wheeler was the candidate to turn things around in Portland after four years of former Mayor Sam Adams who did himself in by chasing an underage intern Beau Breedlove in the men’s room at City Hall. I told them they must have been smoking dope because Mr. Wheeler was just the next “cookie-cutter fey liberal” and that he would screw the business community the minute he finished emptying their pockets of campaign contributions. I’ll let you decide who was right.
So the business community paid for Mr. Wheeler’s campaign and Mr. Wheeler returned the favor by marching with the thugs (Antifa) who are burning down the city. But here’s the irony. The thugs don’t want anything to do with Mr. Wheeler. Mr. Wheeler limited the police response to the rioters as if the police were the problem and he went out amongst the thugs who in turn mocked him, mussed him up and laughed at him as a pathetic wannabe. But that wasn’t enough. Mr. Wheeler forgave them by placing the blame on Mr. Trump – the logic of that continues to escape me – and the thugs responded by trying to burn down the high-rise in which his condo is located. And still Mr. Wheeler continues to look around for someone to blame – someone other than the thugs or his own ineptness who are the only ones to blame.
And as much as you might think this is just about another incompetent liberal/progressive, it isn’t. Because the irony of the whole mess just continues to churn along.
Mr. Wheeler filed for re-election. Portland uses a “non-partisan” open primary, which means that the top two candidates face off in the general unless one candidate gets in excess of fifty percent of the vote during the primary. (I say non-partisan but since there are no Republicans left in Portland, it is highly partisan with the only question being just how far left are the voters willing to go.) Mr. Wheeler, the incumbent mayor ran against about three hundred other candidates who ranged from a sports team chef to a yoga teacher – not a one had held prior public office. And yet, Mr. Wheeler was unable to get to even fifty percent of the vote. Mr. Wheeler had about forty-nine percent and his principle challenger, Sara Iannarone, had about twenty-four percent.
So Mr. Wheeler is facing Ms. Iannarone in the general election in two weeks. The plot thickens. What are Ms. Iannarone’s qualifications? She has none. She lists her status as community activist but more importantly she is the self-proclaimed Antifa candidate. But it gets better. An October 6 article in The Hill indicated that Mr. Wheeler was trailing Ms. Iannarone by 11 points. Filings relating to campaign contribution indicated that Ms. Iannarone had out raised Mr. Wheeler by nearly 7:1. Mr. Wheeler had not improved his numbers since the primary while Ms. Iannarone had gained substantial ground. Now there’s a cold, hard slap in the face. Play footsie with the violent left and they not only mock you, try to burn your house down but they run a nobody candidate against you who is eating your lunch – it reminds me of Hillary Clinton getting taken down by a nobody from Chicago – Barack Obama.
We still haven’t reached the final irony.
The final irony lies with the voters of Portland. Over the past four decades, the percentage of voters in Portland voting for liberals/progressives has increased dramatically – at a rate faster than its population growth. So large of a majority do the liberals/progressives have in Multnomah County (Portland) that they dominate every statewide political race. In most of the last number of presidential and gubernatorial races, the Republicans have won until the vote comes in from Multnomah County – Multnomah County habitually reports last so as to ensure that the Democrats know how many votes they have to deliver in order to overcome the plurality in the remainder of the state. A demonstration of that growth is found in a comparison of the percentage of votes received by the Democrat presidential candidate in 1988 (51.2%) versus 2004 (65%), 2008 (76.7%), 2012 (75.4%) and 2016 (73.3%). (You may note that the percentage of votes for Democrats has slipped slightly but it has nothing to do with the success of Republicans; rather it reflects the rise of parties who think the liberal/progressives of the Democrat Party are just not liberal/progressive enough.)
And now the final irony. During this same period of time, Portland went from a jewel on the Willamette River to first a haven for the homeless, then for the drug addicted and now for the thugs that rule Portland’s streets – burning, looting and injuring people and property. The worse conditions in Portland become, the more likely the Democrats are to find the next “cookie cutter liberal/progressive” to preside over its continuing slide. The television series Portlandia made fun of Portland’s obsession with political correctness – it was both sad and funny at the same time. But there is nothing funny about Portland today, nothing funny about the mayor of Portland today, nothing funny about the remainder of its elected political leaders and surely nothing funny about the next group of political leaders set to take office in January. Portland is destined to become like Seattle, San Francisco and Montpelier – dirty, mired in the detritus of humankind, and tinder for anarchist and communist who are hell bent on the destruction of American society.
It is the voters, the business community, and those who stand silently by who are principally responsible for the slide of Portland into destruction. So you can thank Ted Wheeler for his contribution to the destruction but you need only look in the mirror to see the person actually responsible.