Why the Madness of Democrats? Part 1

Democrat misgovernance seems not to make sense, so what are we missing?

A man always has two reasons for doing anything: a good reason and the real reason.

 - J. P. Morgan

Mr. Morgan's observation assumes that the person actually had a reason.  We've seen many completely unreasoning people carried along by mobs and "riotous assemblies" even though they should know that rioting can land them in Club Fed, but we tend to assume that intelligent people who carry out an action long enough for the passions of the moment to subside are doing it for a reason..

It can be challenging to figure out why supposedly intelligent people do things which seem to be against their interests as we see them.  Thomas Frank wrote What's the Matter with Kansas based on his observation that Kansas voters continually voted against what he saw as their economic interests - i.e. they voted for Republicans rather than Democrats who promised support for "poor folks," which most Kansans were and are.  He was surprised to find that Kansas voters were so concerned with social issues such as abortion and gay marriage that they supported conservatives, in opposition to liberal elites who promised to raise taxes to transfer money to them.

Regardless of the motivations of individuals, when a great many like-minded people of similar background act in the same way, we tend to look for a common reason why they do as they do.  Mr. Frank wrote his book to try to explain why Kansas voters acted in a way he couldn't understand.

It doesn't seem to have occurred to him that Kansas voters valued their independence and freedom of action more than they valued receiving government welfare, which would have made them subject to the social-work bureaucracy.  They would rather eat their own bread by working for it than feed at the government trough under a watchful bureaucratic eye.

Today we are met with an even more vexing problem: why are blue-state politicians taking actions that are patently insane from an electoral point of view?  What could possibly be the curious motivations of blue state governors and mayors as they order their police departments not to stop the current plague of BLM riots that are turning their cities into bombed-out wastelands?

It's normally a safe assumption that elected officials not only want to be re-elected, they desire to move to higher office.  It's been said that when any state governor looks in a mirror, a future President of the United States looks back, and many mayors and prosecutors have become governors.

Instead of building resumes suitable for advancement, we see blue state officials responding to the widespread Black Lives Matter riots according to a pattern which apparently goes against their interest in winning the coming November elections.  We see as them acting against their own apparent best interests, just as Mr. Frank thought Kansas voters acted against their interests.  Like Mr. Frank, we'll offer explanations; perhaps we'll do better than he did in coming up with sensible ones.

Democrat Doings

On top of an utterly incompetent if not murderous Democrat response to the covid plague which resulted in 3 big blue states having 42% of all American virus deaths in spite of having only 10% of the population, there are countless examples of Democrat officeholders deliberately failing to keep order in their communities.  They are correct in saying that peaceful BLM protests are perfectly fine and are a traditional mechanism for interest groups to influence elected officials, but even the lying media can't hide the the fact that these "peaceful protests" are anything but.

Instead of stopping the accompanying riots as their oaths of office require and their taxpayers expect, they followed the ghastly 2015 example of  now-ex-Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake whom NBC quoted as saying "we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well." She also refused to accept the governor's offer to send the National Guard to quell the 2015 rioting.

Failing to keep order in her city aroused so much anger that she announced in September 2015 that she would not seek a second term as mayor.
Democrats are well aware that giving rioters space to destroy ended the previously promising career of a mayor whose father had represented a Baltimore district in the Maryland legislature and who had served as secretary of the Democratic National Committee and as president of the United States Conference of Mayors.

Although BLM rioters always make a lot of noise and get a great deal of favorable news coverage which falsely describes their riots as "peaceful protests," we now know that ordinary voters did not appreciate the Baltimore riots in 2015 and that they don't seem to appreciate the more widespread rioting of 2020.  Breibart reports:

Americans significantly decreased contributions to Democrats running for state legislature seats in the second quarter as the Democrat Party has turned hard left, fundraising information announced this week shows.

This suggests that their base is defunding elected local Democrats as elected Democrats defund the police after letting rioters destroy millions of dollars worth of property.  Many citizens are buying guns because they fear for their own safety, and it's possible that they resent their elected officials spending tax money to protect themselves after imposing funding cuts which reduce the ability of the police to protect ordinary taxpayers.  Have they decided that buying guns is a better investment from a safety point of view than helping Democrats would be?  The Minneapolis Star Tribune tells us:

The city of Minneapolis has paid two private security firms $63,000 over the last three weeks to protect three City Council members amid tensions over George Floyds death and efforts to end the Police Department[emphasis added]

Bites out of the Big Apple - Rotten at the Core?

Democrat officials' deliberately keeping their police from stopping riots has emboldened criminal elements who were held in check only by the threat of being caught carrying an illegal gun or while committing a crime.  The New York Post published "Mayor de Blasio, do something about the deaths in our streets" which showed a picture of their Sept. 7, 1990 cover story "Dave do something!" urging Mayor Dave Dinkins to address the then-soaring New York City crime rate.  They reminded us that now-Mayor De Blasio worked for Mayor Dinkins at the time and met his wife on the job.

Mayor Dinkins added 6,000 officers to the NYPD in 1991 and Bill Bratton, his transit chief who later became police commissioner, improved safety in the subways by applying the "broken windows" approach of refusing to tolerate low-level crimes like farebeating.  The 1991 Crown Heights riots, when the NYPD seemed impotent for days, didn't help Mayor Dinkins' image.  He didn't retire from office as Baltimore Mayor Rawlings-Blake did, but he lost the 1993 election to Mayor Guiliani.

The Post is begging Mayor De Blasio to "do something" because Hizzoner forced the NYPD to stop focusing on minor crimes.  Subways have become infested with homeless vagrants, rioters were given a free hand, 600 plainclothes officers who had focused on making it dangerous to carry illegal guns were reassigned, many criminals are repeatedly released without having to pay bail, jails have been emptied to protect criminals from bat soup flu, and the NYPD even shut down their "Comp Stat" computer system which tracked crimes by location so that police would be deployed to high-crime areas.  In June, New York City shootings hit the highest monthly total since 1996.

Mayor De Blasio continues to dismantle the city's effective crime fighting programs even though he saw his old boss lose an election to "law and order" Guiliani.  Has he forgotten?  He can't run for mayor again due to term limits, but does anyone think he's given up seeking political office?

He's cut a billion dollars from the NYPD budget even though a black member of the City Council has said that minority communities need more police resources, not fewer.  CNBC reports that more than 10,000 Manhattan apartments were listed for rent in June, an 85% increase over last year.  By some coincidence, apartment rents are dropping - CNBC headlined "landlords slash rent" - as residents who fear the virus or can't afford to buy their own security flee the city.

Private security isn't cheap.  Assuming that the Minneapolis city council didn't overpay too shockingly, their $63,000 bought 9 person-weeks of security at $7,000 per person per week.  How many New York residents can afford to pay $1,000 per day for security which the police should provide freely to all, covered by the astronmical amount of tax dollars extracted at the point of a gun?


The Minneapolis Star Tribune described property damage in the city during the "peaceful" riots.

The city's first survey of property damage shows that nearly 1,000 commercial properties in Minneapolis were damaged during the riots, including 52 businesses that were completely destroyed and 30 other locations that sustained severe damage.

... costs of the damage could exceed $500 million.

Talk of abolishing the police department which failed to protect the city doesn't inspire confidence.  7-Sigma Inc., which has operated since 1987 at 2843 26th Av. in South Minneapolis, is leaving, taking 50 jobs and its property tax payments with it.  People without jobs can't pay their rent, which means landlords can't afford to maintain buildings or pay property taxes.

How many of the 52 "completely destroyed" businesses will recover enough to pay taxes in the future?  If they have insurance, do their policies include riot coverage?  Progressives often forget that the public sector needs a thriving private sector to tax to pay for all their wonderful plans.  Powerlineblog has a detailed story of just how badly the Minneapolis government collapsed in the face of rioting.


On June 1, CNN told us of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms' press conference denouncing violence before rioting hit Atlanta.

"And yesterday when I heard there were rumors about violent protests in Atlanta, I did what a mother would do, I called my son and I said, 'Where are you?' I said, 'I cannot protect you and black boys shouldn't be out today.'"

In spite of her speech denouncing violence, praising her police force, and urging young people who were the most likely potential rioters to stay away, protesters trashed CNN's Atlanta headquarters in spite of being correctly told, "Stop!  They're on our side."

The Washington Post described the June 12 fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks, 27, at an Atlanta Wendy's restaurant.  The Wendy's was soon burned to the ground - apparently by Mr. Brooks' white girlfriend, who's now out on bail freely walking the streets.  The officer was charged with murder after being fired, and the location became a center for violent protest.

Atlanta had no riots after the 1968 murder of Dr. King, but this time, rioting quickly got out of hand.  USA Today tells us that three people, including an 8 year old girl, were killed near the Wendy's site over the July 4th weekend.

"You shot and killed a baby. And there wasn't just one shooter, there were at least two shooters," [Mayor] Bottoms said. "If you want to be part of a solution and not the problem, you need to clear out the area."

The mayor and her police department failed to quell violence even with the help of 500 National Guardsmen who were sent by the Governor at the Mayor's request.  Mayor Bottoms is clearly doing a better job than the mayors of either Seattle or Minneapolis - at least she's trying - but she's failing just as visibly if not quite as spectactularly.  That can't be good for her re-election prospects.


The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) was established on June 8 when rioters protesting George Floyd's death took over the Seattle Police Department (SPD) East Precinct building after the officers left.  The question of who ordered them to abandon their posts has been lost in a fog of finger-pointing.

When President Trump offered to send the army to remove the protesters, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan told him to stay away and that she expected a "summer of love."

We were sardonically amused to hear that the first things the occupiers did was build a wall around CHAZ and lay in a supply of firearms.  There were two homicides in the area, but emergency responders refused to pick up the wounded without police protection which the occupiers wouldn't permit.  Mayor Durkan walked back her "summer of love" comments, and at the end of June announced that the zone would be dismantled, claiming the movement's message had "been undermined by violence."  After several false starts, the police finally removed the protesters on July 1.

We don't know whether the mayor decided to clear the area after she called BLM protesters "terrorists" because they sprayed graffiti on her house or because President Trump threatened to send in the military if she didn't take action, but CHAZ is no more.

Citizens who lived in the part of Seattle which CHAZ claimed are suing:

The class action lawsuit claims by allowing the protest zone, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Governor Jay Inslee, violated the Constitutional rights of everyone who lives, works, or passes through the area.

Not only does attorney Jacob Bozeman say the city allowed it, he claims they helped create it by installing barricades and bathrooms.

Instead of trying to improve businesses conditions to help their city recover, the Seattle City Council recently increased business taxes by $200 million per year.  What are they thinking?

Seattle isn't the only left coast city pandering to rioters - the District Attorney's office dropped charges against at least 59 of the roughly 400 protesters arrested since mass demonstrations started in Portland, Oregon in late May, some of whom had been charged with felonies.  That's a good way to increase business confidence.

BLM and Voters

The New York Times reported that DeRay Mckesson, a BLM leader who campaigned to become Mayor of Baltimore, never polled more than 1% and in the end got 2.6% of the primary vote.

Mckesson isn't an ordinary candidate: He's famous. He has more than 325,000 followers on Twitter. He has made appearances on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" and "The Daily Show With Trevor Noah," and has been to the White House so many times that he says he doesn't get nervous anymore. He was on Fortune's World's Greatest Leaders list last year. He collects celebrity "friends" (Azealia Banks, Jesse Williams, Susans Wojcicki and Sarandon, Rashida Jones, Tracee Ellis Ross), refers to them solely by their first names and often follows by asking if you've ever met them. All because, over the last year and a half, he has been the best-known face of the Black Lives Matter movement, traveling the country to protest police violence. ...  [emphasis added]

His run has drummed up national interest but has made little impact locally.  [The opposite of Mayor Mike - won local office but went nowhere nationally - ed]

An unkind blogger put it, "If he could've run for Mayor of Twitter, he would've likely been competitive. Mayor of Baltimore? Not so much."

For all their fame, Twitter followers, and media attention, Black Lives Matter activists don't seem to have a whole lot of clout with voters.  Polls show that very few residents of minority neighborhoods want to defund the police.  Reform, sure, but step up patrols in our neighborhoods!

Why, then, are so many ambitious Democrat politicians embracing BLM rioters and cutting police budgets in blue states on both coasts and even in St. Louis, MO, in the heart of the fruited plain?  We could understand one or two elected officials doing these things which so frighten ordinary citizens, but when so many Democrats act as if they were all reading out of the same playbook, we wonder what's going on.

The next article in this series will explore what sorts of thinking or incentives could be behind these dysfunctional and counterproductive policies and actions.

Will Offensicht is a staff writer for Scragged.com and an internationally published author by a different name.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Will Offensicht or other articles on Partisanship.
Reader Comments

Looking forward to the next installment. Perhaps it could be entitled "What the dog expects to happen when it it finally catches that bus".

July 22, 2020 9:09 PM

Democrats outsource government to the unions in return for votes and contributions. The education, police , and welfare worker unions all act in their self interest which doesn’t include the citizens. ... “ pensions over people”. My guess is that the police unions will have a rough couple of months , but will shortly be back in charge. In Baltimore, no high school student is proficient in math at their grade level. But nobody will get fired. The welfare system builds case loads/dues by keeping fathers from families. No wonder they use riots and monument desecration as distractions from the real problems. I too am looking forward to the next installments.

July 22, 2020 10:16 PM

Don't you think much of the handling of the riots (and the COVID shutdowns while we are at it) are about Trump and the election? They think that anything they can do to create chaos and economic ruin will destroy his chances of reelection. The seem to be holding us all hostage to their demands - dump the Orange Man and we will stop hurting you!. In addition to wearing down the morale and strength of the voters they figure they have Trump in a difficult place. If he cracks down he is the dictator they have been warning about for four years. If he holds back and lets them stew in their own juices he is weak and ineffective. The real question is why are they so driven to destroy him that they have engaged in non-stop warfare since he descended the elevator?

July 23, 2020 11:15 AM

When are you going to post the next installment?

July 28, 2020 8:13 PM
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