Problem: Not all the sheriff's departments bought off on the concept of sending deputies to be props in an ongoing, Dem supported, civic insurrection. Clackamas and Washington counties declined to send their deputies, in no uncertain terms. In fact, they put those terms into very cogent statements. Excerpts follow.
Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office:
Had Governor Brown discussed her plan with my office, I would have told her it’s about changing policy not adding resources. Increasing law enforcement resources in Portland will not solve the nightly violence and now, murder. The only way to make Portland safe again, is to support a policy that holds offenders accountable for their destruction and violence. That will require the DA to charge offenders appropriately and a decision by the Multnomah County Presiding Judge not to allow offenders released on their own recognizance, and instead require bail with conditions. The same offenders are arrested night after night, only to be released by the court and not charged with a crime by the DA’s Office. The next night they are back at it, endangering the lives of law enforcement and the community all over again.
Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett:
At this time, I do not plan to send deputies to work directly in Portland. PPB is a terrific partner and I am very sympathetic to what they are enduring. However, the lack of political support for public safety, the uncertain legal landscape, the current volatility combined with intense scrutiny on use of force presents an unacceptable risk if deputies were deployed directly.
Across the nation, many state governments are largely controlled by the politics of one or a handful of major cities--"Blue" cities--that are unrepresentative of most of the state in geographical terms. At the same time, we're hearing more and more about businesses and residents of those cities fleeing the violence that has engulfed Blue cities. Is this a sign of a beginning of a loose coalition between the suburbs and ex-urban areas with rural counties, a coalition based on a need to defend against the dysfunction of Blue cities and Blue state governments?
Kenosha may suggest another example of this trend. Salena Zito has an insightful article about Kenosha--city and county. I believe the article has run at a number of different sites, but here's a link that's ad free: Why Kenosha Riots Could Matter in November. Zito wrote a very prescient article during the Republican primaries in 2016 that previewed Trump's appeal that led to his victory in Michigan and other areas of the Upper Midwest, so her views are worth considering.
Here are a few things to understand about Kenosha and Kenosha County. Start with electoral politics. Kenosha has been deepest Blue for decades:
In presidential elections, Kenosha County has voted Democratic for most of the past century. In 2016, Donald Trump became the first Republican presidential candidate in 44 years to win the county; the last time this happened was when President Nixon carried it in his 1972 landslide.
Kenosha County went for Trump by just 250 votes, out of a population of 170,000. As Zito puts it: "It is the swingiest county in the swingiest 2020 state." It's classic aging rust belt, having lost the industries that had carried its economy and provided good jobs for so long, but making a comeback:
Kenosha County is bordered by Lake Michigan to its east, where it retains its early Rust Belt roots, thanks to the railroad and factories that lined it. Its western portion is rural. The center of the county is where it has seen the most growth in the past few years.
Intersected by Interstate 94, linking it to Minneapolis, Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago, its growth is driven by location, an exodus from Illinois taxes and a renowned work ethic.
Enormous Amazon facilities and related businesses dominate the I-94 corridor now.
Despite those voting patterns,
The racial makeup of the county was 88.38% White, 5.08% Black or African American, and ...
Any white people you saw rioting and burning down Kenosha likely did NOT come from that 88% of the county's population. They came from out of county and out of state. That 88% were likely not at all amused at what happened.
So, Zito writes of the devastation and the safety concerns in what had been a relatively prospering area:
The vivid imagery in the days following the police shooting of Jacob Blake shows a town in devastation. Rioters blocked traffic. And they stole gasoline from a nearby gas station to start fires that took out numerous small businesses, car lots, an apartment building and a Family Dollar store.
Other businesses that were not burned down nonetheless were looted and had their windows and doors smashed.
It is a war zone, and no one wants to live in a war zone. No one wants their children and grandchildren to live in a war zone. No one wants to own and run a business in a war zone.
Consequently, no candidate running for president should be silent about it. Because in moments like this, people want safety, security and to know elected officials have their back.
Wisconsin Rep. Bryan Steil was on-site immediately. The Republican, who represents Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District, which includes Kenosha, said the question he has heard from people on the scene in the aftermath of the wholesale destruction of the business district is: Who is going to step up?
Steil said that after two nights of rioting, he was deeply concerned there were insufficient resources, so he asked local officials and community members if they were open to receiving additional support from the federal level. They said they were, and he called the White House.
"I called the president, and he graciously gave me time to discuss what was playing out in Kenosha, and at my request, he called the governor and offered additional resources," explained Steil.
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers "rejected that offer," Steil said.
The next night, two people were shot and killed in the continuing mayhem.
Steil said Evers was extended the White House offer again the next day and accepted it.
In 2016, Trump flipped the Great Lakes "blue wall" states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin due to the pull of cultural and economic concerns. No state embodied that shift better than Wisconsin. If security concerns in Kenosha persist, Nov. 3 may not shape up to be a good night for Democrats.
We're seeing this also playing out in Minnesota, where 6 mayors from Deepest Blue Iron Range cities have endorsed Trump--that's Bob Dylan country. People in Minnesota may be tiring of being hostages to the crazies in Minneapolis.
Yesterday my wife listened to the local CBS radio station's noon business report. There was an interview that was supposed to focus on "Business after the pandemic" in Chicago. Instead, the guest quickly brushed Covid aside and instead discoursed at length about the social dynamics--violence, looting, social dysfunction--that are devastating Chicago and leading businesses as well as affluent residents to flee. He went on at length about the consequences for Chicago's tax base, which doesn't require much imagination. How to pay for all the police overtime? And teachers are still getting paid to "teach" while the schools are closed and the "children" are shooting each other on the streets instead of developing literacy skills. Human capital aside, how can a major city allow that to continue?
And yet that's the policy of the Left. How long will suburbanites, especially women, align with that? Will they begin to see their interests as unmoored from those of the Blue city by the Lake?
Americans across the country will be voting for their future in November. How do they see that future?