May 8, 2024

DNC Déjà Vu in Chicago?

There are some remarkable parallels with the Windy City as the site of this year’s Democratic National Convention, but also some stark contrasts.

“History repeats itself,” said Karl Marx, “first as tragedy, second as farce.” And if the bloody 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago was tragic, then this year’s version of the event is indeed setting up to be farcical.

The similarities are hard to ignore. Same city, same political convention, same summer month of August. And in the lead-up to each event, thousands of young people have been disrupting college campuses across the country to protest an unpopular war.

But the difference — the thing that will make this second DNC a pathetic rather than a brutal exercise — will be Chicago’s mayor. Back then, it was Richard J. Daley, the last of the big-city bosses and perhaps the most powerful mayor in American history. This time around, it’ll be Brandon Johnson, the former Chicago Public School teacher.

In American Pharoah, their definitive biography of Daley, authors Adam Cohen and Elizabeth Taylor recall the police crackdown during the ‘68 convention:

The news reports from the convention so far had been grim and bloody, filled with footage of the Chicago police charging into crowds of unarmed anti-war demonstrators, swinging clubs and breaking heads. The elderly, the young, and innocent bystanders of all kinds had been attacked by Daley’s army in blue — some were teargassed, others had their skulls cracked, and still others were shoved through plate-glass windows. … Just the night before, Senator Abraham Ribicoff of Connecticut had stood at the podium and decried, to a national television audience, the “Gestapo tactics” being used on the streets of Chicago.

We can practically hear the Ghost of Richard J. Daley now: Boo hoo.

It’s hard to say what we’ll likely see in Brandon Johnson’s Chicago this August because we don’t know whether Israel will have finished its war with Hamas by then. But we do know that this summer’s protesters will be treated by the hapless Mayor Johnson with the same kid gloves that Democrat mayors across the country have afforded these filthy, fake-brave, Jew-hating leftist protesters.

In short, and to borrow from the great Yogi Berra, it’ll be “déjà vu all over again.” And then again, it won’t be.

“The DNC is reportedly taking no chances with the potential risk that pro-Hamas protesters will show up as they continue to harass President Joe Biden for supporting Israel,” writes Townhall’s Sarah Arnold.

The Democrats’ chickens have certainly come home to roost, and it’ll be interesting to see just how willing the party’s poohbahs are to keep their brand from being further sullied by their young and unwashed lefthand flank. When it comes to law and order, though, the Democrats are weakness personified. Indeed, a practically airtight case can be made that the Democrats have become enablers of violence. As our Mark Alexander has written, “In the summer of 2020, then-candidate Joe Biden and his state and local Democrats unleashed a record surge of violence, insisting that our justice system was infested with ‘systemic racism’ and vilifying law enforcement officers while insisting on defunding the police.”

Speaking on behalf of Democrat apologists and blame-casters everywhere, DNC spokesman Matt Hill said in a statement: “Peaceful protest is fundamental to American democracy, and has been a fixture of political conventions for decades. While [wait for it!] Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans stoke political violence, we support the ongoing security coordination at all levels of government to keep our convention safe.” He added, “When the country looks to Chicago this August, the unity and excitement of Democrats will stand in stark contrast to the chaos and extremism stewing in the GOP.”

Yeah, the “unity and excitement” surrounding decrepit Joe Biden’s candidacy is just palpable, isn’t it?

Try as they might, the Democrats are having a devil of a time trying to point folks’ attention away from their own burning house and toward this supposed “chaos and extremism stewing in the GOP.” The only “chaos” we can see is entirely the result of the Democrats’ lawfare strategy against Trump and his supporters.

As the Washington Examiner reports: “The White House has struggled to find an approach to the War in Gaza that would satisfy its traditional pro-Israeli cadres while also placating the younger liberals, who have been vehemently critical of President Joe Biden’s response. The scenes of chaos wrought by the latter have proven to be a major thorn on Biden’s side and threaten to tank his image as a figure of stability in contrast to Trump’s chaos.”

Wait. Since when was Joe Biden ever an “image as a figure of stability” — except to the low-information voters who propelled him to the presidency in the first place?

In this respect, his presidency has been equal parts tragedy and farce.

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