House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has expressed a much different stance regarding ongoing civil unrest in Portland, Oregon, than the hardline position endorsed by President Donald Trump.
In a recent New York Post piece, conservative pundit Rich Lowry took her to task over what he claimed was a mischaracterization of the city’s destructive protests in an effort to politically attack the president.
“This isn’t hard”
Democrats across Oregon and beyond have condemned Trump’s decision to send federal law enforcement officers to Portland, where sometimes violent protests have continued for weeks.
Pelosi’s reaction was particularly harsh and likened the president to a dictator dispatching “storm troopers” tasked with keeping his subjects in line.
“We will not tolerate the use of Oregonians, Washingtonians – or any other Americans – as props in President Trump’s political games,” she said.
Lowry pointed out, however, that protesters have threatened to destroy a federal courthouse among other acts of vandalism and property damage.
“This isn’t hard: It is the people attacking federal property who bear moral responsibility for what’s happening in Portland,” he wrote. “In all the cities around the country where nihilistic mobs aren’t trying to burn down symbols of our justice system, there’s no enhanced presence of federal officers.”
“Would spell disaster”
Of course, Pelosi is not the only prominent member of her party upset over the deployment of agents to patrol the streets of Portland. In response to the president’s threat to follow suit with similar orders in other cities, Chicago, Illinois, Mayor Lori Lightfoot wrote a letter to the White House urging against such a move.
“What we do not need, and what will certainly make our community less safe is secret, federal agents deployed to Chicago,” she wrote. “Any other form or militarized assistance within our borders that would not be within our control or within the direct command of the Chicago Police Department would spell disaster.”
Trump and many of his GOP supporters, on the other hand, see a federal response as appropriate given the perceived inaction of local and state leaders.
“Their leadership has, for months, lost control of the anarchists and agitators,” the president tweeted this week. “They are missing in action. We must protect Federal property, AND OUR PEOPLE. These were not merely protesters, these are the real deal!”
While critics are sure to continue portraying his reaction as extreme, plenty of other Americans believe allowing protests to turn violent and destructive in cities across America is the extreme position.