Several days ago, I was discussing the potential effects of the evening riots in Portland and other places with a friend, and he pointed out something that has really stuck on my mind ever since: The Democrats can’t be tougher in condemning the violence in these riots, because it would absolutely destroy their electoral chances if those rioters listened.
And he is exactly right. Just imagine Joe Biden going out and condemning in the strongest of language the violence we’re seeing from these progressive activists. Biden and the other Democrats have called for it to stop, but have done so in the weakest of terms and also while calling for conservatives to also stop being violent. The problem is that whatever conservative violence they’re condemning isn’t happening in a vacuum. Something set them off, and it probably has to do with American cities light up like Christmas as fires destroy private property and people in masks chant about killing cops.
Time and again, it has to be said that these violent protesters are not Joe Biden’s base. They are, best case scenario, more Bernie bros than Biden supporters. They might be tangentially pro-Biden, but to them, the Biden campaign was a soft, moderate campaign and Biden himself is a puppet of the status quo.
So, while it is unlikely that a sterner call from Biden would cause them to just pack up and go home, if the Democrats were able to appeal to them and say that their time was coming if they could just hold off until they beat Trump? That would show all the uncommitted moderate voters that the Democratic Party is responsible for all the violence and chaos, and it would crush the Democrats in November.
So, they can’t take that risk. Instead, they just hope the protests burn themselves out and they go home without needing the party to help it along.
These are all things Republicans could seize on, by the way, but they have to refocus themselves and get back to being on message about law and order rather than being scatterbrained. Particularly the President. The races in the House and Senate look like they can be run independently of Trump’s messaging and there may be few lost seats, but it would help all of them out if they could all get on the same page.
But the Democrats can’t unite all their sub-groups. These rioters have put them in the difficult position of having to essentially stay out of the clashes between violent rioters and police, and that just gives Republicans more fuel. As I said yesterday, there really isn’t anymore growing they can do with their bases… but they can lose them. And while they could lose parts of their base over what’s going on in Portland and Kenosha, they can also lose any chance to bring in moderate voters.
Maybe Trump and his party can capitalize.