On Tuesday Portland voters refuted Portland rioters, taking back at the ballot box much of what antifa/BLM gained on the street through a long summer of organization and hard work. The election was bound to be a referendum on the Summer of Georges (Floyd and Soros), and came as the only relief and recourse available to voters appalled by the riots and police defunding, voters who had no advocates in politics and media willing to challenge BLM. The election came like the lifting of a hand stretching a rubber band–the narrative hand of phony popular consent–the results the snapping return to a normal state.
Needless to say, antifa already has something to say about that.
Tuesday’s local elections were as much of a refutation of the riots as a place like Portland can muster, with Mayor Ted Wheeler winning reelection over the self-styled antifa candidate Sarah Iannarone. Ted didn’t represent a law-and-order faction (un-representable by virtue of one-party rule), just an exhausted how-about-less-chaos? faction, in opposition to Iannarone and councilmember Chloe Eudaly, another antifa ally, who went down in flames like Old Glory in the park blocks on Tuesday.
Her vanquisher, representing real estate interests opposed to Eudaly’s anti-landlord policies, had already been campaigning before everything changed over the summer. She did them a favor by enthusiastically supporting police defunding and the riots–in a political stunt she used her position as parks commissioner to bill the federal government daily for the concrete and fence barrier put around the Mark O Hatfield Federal Courthouse after antifa started attacking it–whatever the merits of her renter’s rights policies, they were the last thing on the minds of voters.
Wheeler’s reelection and subsequent no vote killed anti-cop councilmember Jo Ann Hardesty’s bill to gouge another 18 million out of the police budget, and her lamentations were profound.
Going into the election Hardesty had her own and Eudaly’s vote for defunding, with outgoing commissioner Amanda Fritz and the mayor no votes. Newcomer and neophyte Dan Ryan replaced a retiring councilmember just in time to be thrown into the present chaos as the swing vote on defunding the police. He voted with Wheeler to delay a vote on defunding until after the election; Wheeler’s loss would ensure passage of Hardesty’s measure. Wheeler’s win left poor Dan in the position of swing vote for a second go-round, having already enraged antifa and Hardesty’s faction by voting for the delay. Antifa turned up at his suburban home at night to begin a campaign of intimidation first to try and pressure his vote and now, I guess, just for spite.
Having seen off, they believe, the ogre Trump, the establishment left and its monied interests intend to go back to an orderly and managed pre-Trump dismantling of the historic American nation and pilfering of its wealth (as “white privilege”), only faster and harder, its tenets and vanities codified and consecrated, as it were, over the last four years of narrative hustle culminating in the Summer of Georges.
But there are two factions that may have something to say about it before it’s over–the streetfighters of antifa and their counterparts on the right.