by Wade Rathke
New Orleans What nightmare is this? In his dictatorial desperation, as polls indicate that the president’s ineptness in dealing with the economy, race, and the pandemic is capsizing his campaign, he is trying to drive a wedge between federal and local police powers, by demonizing the nation’s largest cities. How? Using the border control units of the Department of Homeland Security normally, charged with dealing with drug gangs, trafficking, and of border control, and its acting leadership, unable to be approved by Congress, as if it were a private, police force.
What has it come to when we now have to root for the home team, our local, semi-out-of-control local and state police forces!?! We’re living in an upside down, mirror image Alice-in-Wonderland world, and, trust me on this, none of us are going to like it.
In Portland, with 2000 on standby, 200 federal stormtroopers in camo-fatigues, unmarked vans, unlabeled uniforms saying nothing more than police, have been patrolling wide areas, ostensibly around federal property, picking up random protestors, moving them to unknown locations, holding them without charges, and releasing them without any explanation of their crimes or identification of their authority. In doing so, they have kicked up a hornet’s nest of opposition from the Oregon’s governor, Senators, and attorney general, as well as the Mayor of Portland. Now the president is threatening to send more militarized federal police to Chicago, Philly, Detroit, Baltimore, and even New York City.
Wait a second. Who is he kidding? He and his DHS buddies are supposedly dispatching 150 folks to Chicago. Really? 150 camo-clad, armed and dangerous are still nothing but a flea on an elephant’s ass when it comes to a city the size of Chicago. Trump claims he’s doing so because there were a bunch of murders in Chicago last weekend? That’s sad and tragic, but what does that have to do with protecting federal property? Detroit, Philly, and New York City. What have they done to warrant a mini-federal invasion? They just happened to be cities that Trump could remember were somewhere in the United States.
This is the folly of the old Texas Rangers slogan, “one ranger for one riot.” This is Trump’s Bay of Pigs. Sending in some posers to face king-sized issues where thousands of local police are already deployed. This is all politics, and Trump’s button-button game of trying to change the focus and conversation from his self-made disasters and incompetence by making some random, sporadic protestors into the bogey men and women of rural, white America hiding behind doors with the couch pushed to the window and the guns loaded.
So, let’s hoot and holler, but not be sucked into this shadow play. The budget is coming up for the Department of Homeland Security. Congress can stand up, sit them down, and show them what defunding really means. Acting-DHS Secretary Wolf claims he can do whatever he wants, wherever he wants, and he doesn’t have to listen to any bunch of governors, mayors, and attorneys general. Congress needs to show him the limits, and then show him the door.
In the meantime, we all know what the slogan means now: Support Your Local Police!
Wade Rathke is founder and chief organizer of ACORN and ACORN International. You can find Wade’s recent past posts here Chief Organizer Reports. And you can link to his website here Chief Organizer ACORN/ACORN International