The “Other” Violence Against Biden

To be fair, I was already aware of what the New York Times was talking about before I read its headline.

Hours After Biden Inauguration, Federal Agents Use Tear Gas in Portland

Did federal agents go off on some random gassing spree in Portlandia? Not quite.

Protesters who spent months in the streets over racial injustice and inequality said they don’t expect immediate change from President Biden, who they declared “will not save us.”

No, they aren’t insurrectionists, as they did not attempt to breach the Capitol and prevent Congress from performing its duty. But no, they weren’t quite protesters either, not that the Times concerns itself with such nuance.

Protesters in the Pacific Northwest smashed windows at a Democratic Party headquarters, marched through the streets and burned an American flag on Wednesday in a strident challenge by antifascist and racial-justice protesters to the new administration of President Biden, whose promised reforms, they declared, “won’t save us.”

There was grave concern about violence by crazed Trump supporters at Biden’s inauguration. It didn’t happen. Not in Washington. Not in state capitols. Nowhere. Instead, it was a lovely American experience, highlighted by the radiant Amanda Gorman, our Poet Laureate. I thought we had dodged a bullet, literally, as the day’s glorious traditions of the transfer of power to a new regime demonstrated that democracy survived.

But the concern expressed here numerous times, that while the left wing of the Democratic Party, and the radical left that considers the Dems reactionary conservatives, might do whatever they can to make sure Trump loses, they are not Biden supporters, or supporters of the Democratic Party. They just hate Trump more than Biden. But once he’s gone, they will turn their attention to Joe.

Their complaint, that Biden “won’t save us,” is certainly correct. He’s not the president of anarchy, but of the United States. And that isn’t close to being good enough for the rioters of Portlandia.

In Seattle, about 150 people marched through the streets. Some spray-painted buildings with an anarchist symbol and broke windows, including at a federal courthouse. They chanted both anti-Trump and anti-Biden slogans.

First, they trashed the new locus of evil, the Democratic Party headquarters. Then they went after the federal courthouse, which has seen its share of attacks. That New York Times tear-gassing headline omitted these little details. Maybe it was just to give the new administration a honeymoon before admitting that it needs to look both right and left before crossing the street.

One member of the group handed out fliers to people on the street that said, “Biden won! And so did corporate elites!” The fliers explained that a “Democratic administration is not a victory for oppressed people” and that “Biden will not save us.”

“I came out here because no matter what happens, Biden and Kamala aren’t enough,” said one of the protesters, Alejandro Quezada Brom, 28, referring to Vice President Kamala Harris. He said the new president needs to know that “the pressure’s not off” for progress on immigration and policing reforms.

When Trump was president, it was all his fault. Now that there is a new president, it’s all Biden’s fault. And the ongoing “mostly peaceful” riots are now Biden’s problem. They may not hate him as much as Trump, but they still hate him (and his trusty sidekick, Kamala the Cop). No amount of Executive Orders will change this, unless they dissolve the Union and close up shop.

Even as the crazy Trump cultists are disavowing him as a weak cuck for leaving the White House, there are similarly crazy and violent people from Biden’s left to take their place, and there is nothing, no progressive agenda, no stentorian proclamation that gravity will be rescinded in furtherance of racial justice, that will make angry Portlandians dressed in black stop hating Joe Biden now that Trump is gone.

27 thoughts on “The “Other” Violence Against Biden

  1. David Meyer-Lindenberg

    One member of the group handed out fliers to people on the street that said, “Biden won! And so did corporate elites!” The fliers explained that a “Democratic administration is not a victory for oppressed people” and that “Biden will not save us.”

    “I came out here because no matter what happens, Biden and Kamala aren’t enough,” said one of the protesters […]

    One thing these guys have going for them is that, unlike with the insane QAnon types waving at them from the other end of the horseshoe, what they say here isn’t precisely wrong. Biden’s natural habitat has been described, accurately enough, as “the offices of Delaware-based credit-card companies,”* and Kamala’s recent edits to her Wikipedia page – from “flagrantly lawless prosecutor” to “lifelong champion of the downtrodden” – are all the more annoying because no one seems to have noticed them.

    That said, if the way they choose to get their message across is to smash, loot, and burn, they shouldn’t be surprised if they fail to persuade anyone – and if anyone who doesn’t hate as unreasoningly as they do calls for them to be brought to justice. To his credit, Biden was consistent during the campaign season about having no tolerance for these riots. We shall see. I hope both that he will follow through and that there will be room for intellectual disagreement with the new administration once antifa’s done breaking things.

    PS: How remarkably self-aware of antifa to call for an end to “Imperialist Wars” under a drawing of the Soviet rifle of choice.

    *Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    1. SHG Post author

      To be fair, the Portlandia rioters have been clear about their position all along, even if the New York Times, et al., have chosen to characterize them as mere peaceful protesters for racial justice. But you make a similar mistake when you argue that their methods won’t be persuasive. Smash, loot and burn is the point of anarchists seeking to destroy democratic governance. Plus, it’s a fun way to spend an evening.

    2. Bear

      The irony of the drawing of the AK 47 struck me as well. It’s almost as if it’s possible they haven’t thought these mostly peaceful riots through carefully.

      1. Dan J

        Given what these types like to (wrongly) classify as violence/threats/incitement, how does this banner not fall under one of those categories?

    3. Bob S

      The same people who are aghast that anyone at all is armed in America, ever, sure love waving that rifle silhouette around.

        1. PseudonymousKid

          Making generalized statements about anarchists is genius. Yes, some of them like guns and want to have them, but you certainly won’t like what they want to do with them.

          Pa, why does your site draw so many conservatives? If Jake and Jay stop pulling their weight, I’ll have to jump in and talk about what is and isn’t Anarchist or Marxist ad nauseum. Heinlein quotes are out. Lenin quotes are in.

          1. Blackbeard

            I’m a conservative and I come here every day. Why should that surprise you? I like to survey a wide range of opinion and I generally find SHG’s posts interesting and insightful. The fact that I don’t always agree is a feature not a bug. You can’t learn much from stuff you already agree with.

            1. PseudonymousKid

              Captain, I’m not so dull to assume conservatives don’t seek out wide ranges of opinion. You could wander further than here if you really wanted stuff you don’t already agree with. Maybe you do and Pops is the first stop on the train leading to Qanonsense. I really can’t imagine that’s the case, but I’m curious as to our Host’s thoughts.

              Conservatives seem to see our Host as a fellow traveler, even though he isn’t. It’s interesting to me. I don’t think rightists are atavists. Sorry if you felt targeted.

          2. Hunting Guy

            Vladimir Lenin.

            “We set ourselves the ultimate aim of abolishing the state, i.e., all organized and systematic violence, all use of violence against people in general.”

          3. Bob S

            You may find my statement conservative, I admit it can be read that way. You are incorrect in considering *me* a conservative by really any stretch. My ethos may be unusual, but consistent, I’m always available to have a productive chat about any of my positions.

        2. Jake

          For instance, I am not impressed with what the kids did in Portland last night. Petulant grandstanding is not why we were out there for BLM last summer.

  2. B. McLeod

    Yes, eventually, Biden’s party may have to take action to protect American lives and property in Portlandia.

  3. tk

    I don’t get it: I thought the “mostly peaceful protests” were all about “change.”

    What, precisely, do they need to be saved from?

    And why do they expect someone else to do it for them?


    1. SHG Post author

      If they had more guns, maybe they would be more confidant in their ability to do it for themselves. But do you really want that to happen?

      1. Bob S.

        I’ve said for some time, that the fact that they *don’t* have guns demonstrates the performative nature of their “rebellion”. This is America, and for better or worse, if you can afford an iPhone you can get yourself a rifle and plenty of ammo. If they were believers and not LARPers they could easily get right down to it, but that has consequences, so they don’t.

        1. rxc

          Demonstrating without weapons other than a lock in a sock provides plausible deniability about their motives when the glass is shattered and buildings start burning.

          “I don’t know anyone who wanted to do anything other than peacefully protest. It must have been those fascists with their guns who started it.”

          Each side is learning tricks from the other. It is an continuing escalation of the war between the extremes.

  4. Corey

    Everyone calling for unity got what they wanted it seems. The radical left hates Biden as much as the radical right. Who could have seen that coming? You know, aside from all the patrons of the hotel bar here.

  5. Drew Conlin

    …” Plus, it’s a fun way to spend an evening” …
    I have a confession to make. Circa 1970 Ann Arbor,I participated in a March to the ROTC building where we broke windows with rocks. I was about 13 or 14. I do remember as we were making our way asking out loud where we were going and why. An older guy maybe 19 scolded me and said I was an idiot if I didn’t know why I was there.
    I was just looking for a fun way to spend the evening!

  6. Pedantic Grammar Police

    It looks like even the NYT is capable of responding to widespread ridicule. The new headline is slightly less silly.

    The reason this article confused you is because you didn’t translate it from “NewsSpeak” to English. NewsSpeak is one of the most difficult languages to translate. Google Translate cannot do it, it requires a highly trained NewsSpeak expert. The translation process involves determining which apparently English words have been replaced by their opposites by NewsSpeak writers who live in an alternate reality (where they hope that the rest of us will join them). Here’s the translation:

    Rioters in the Pacific Northwest smashed windows at a Democratic Party headquarters, rampaged through the streets and burned an American flag on Wednesday in a violent challenge by fascist and racist rioters to the new administration of President Biden, whose promised return to the pre-Trump status quo, they declared, “won’t save us.”

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