No one really expected a million people in Washington, D.C., Saturday night for the ongoing George Floyd protests. But according to some estimates, 200,000 did show up—more than enough to try to overrun the helmeted Secret Service agents standing guard in front of the White House. Instead, they spray-painted “Defund the Police” on 16th Street. So what happened?
For three years, Resistance Media and a set of political operatives who tag-team with their allies inside the federal bureaucracy have laid siege to the American public through their proxy war against the president they hate—and the country elected. What the resistance yearned for was the kind of imagery that galvanizes resistance movements from Latin America to the Middle East: a spectacular act of martyrdom that would crown their campaign of new age political warfare, which began with the Russiagate conspiracy theory, which was followed by a fraudulent impeachment process staged by the same political operatives, CIA officers, and media personalities who pushed “collusion” into the public sphere, to the three-month-long coronavirus lockdowns that were portrayed as matters of life and death only to be magically lifted to combat racism, after leaving nearly 20 million Americans jobless. The successive failures of the campaign to destroy Donald Trump and undo the 2016 election have only made the American left angrier and more willing to take desperate measures
It is precisely because no one in America believes that George Floyd deserved to die with a knee on the back of his neck that the protests have burned with such orgiastic intensity. If the real issue is systemic racism, as Al Sharpton along with the hundreds of thousands of protesters around the world say it is, then the problem is the system itself. Logically, the system has to be collapsed.
But the people in charge of the Democratic Party have no intention of doing that, because the system is theirs, which is why they were able to weaponize it against Trump and his supporters. In fact, razing and looting American cities is a fundraising mechanism. Click “Donate” on the Black Lives Matter website to link to Act Blue, the Democratic Party “piggy bank” that pushed more than $1.5 billion into the 2018 midterms.
For the party of resistance, the George Floyd protests served as a tactical bridging maneuver away from the coronavirus lockdowns, which had already appeared to have run their course. Americans would be let out of their cages—but only to protest against racism, which was clearly Trump’s fault, despite the fact that Minnesota has a Democratic governor and two Democratic senators, Minneapolis’ mayor is a progressive, and the precinct that sent four officers after Floyd for passing a phony $20 bill is in Ilhan Omar’s district.
What we’ve watched over the last two weeks is political theater meant to energize a Democratic base that can hardly be blamed for its obvious lack of enthusiasm for the party’s notional presidential candidate. Joe Biden either can’t remember his lines, or he veers off script, as he did on May 23 when he told WBLS radio host Charlamagne tha God that if you don’t vote for him “you ain’t black.”
Predictably, conservative pundits went nuts, pointed to Biden’s name on the 1994 crime bill that led to mass incarceration of African Americans, and said Biden was a racist. Whether that’s true or not is irrelevant because Joe Biden is the candidate in name only, a fact that he has no problem admitting to in public. The real candidate running under the “Joe Biden” label is his former boss, who is certainly not a racist—which is why none of Biden’s public stands and votes matters much to anyone.
That “Joe Biden” is merely Obama’s avatar has been plain since mid-April, when Trump’s predecessor decided to “reenter the political arena”—i.e., to discard the fiction that he isn’t running the Democratic Party from his mansion in Kalorama. Obama is the first president to stay in Washington after leaving office since Woodrow Wilson. The 28th president stayed because he’d suffered a stroke in his second term and was incapacitated. The Obamas argued that they wanted their youngest daughter, Sasha, to finish up at her D.C. private school.
In 2019, Sasha graduated from high school. Last fall, she matriculated at the University of Michigan. Yet none of the journalists who were on such easy terms with the 44th president ever bothered to ask him or top aide Valerie Jarrett, who has an office in his house, why he has chosen to remain in the Kalorama neighborhood—a 10-minute downhill bike ride to the White House.
The 58-year-old Obama remains the de facto leader of the Democratic Party, and he knows better than anyone that his old friend is not at the top of his game. “You don’t have to do this, Joe,” Obama famously told his former vice president in 2019 when he decided to run for president again. “You really don’t.” It couldn’t have been much of a surprise to Obama when he saw Biden faltering on the campaign trail and showing signs of something more serious than the verbal miscues that have characterized the former vice president’s career inside the Beltway.
But it was only in mid-April, as the coronavirus made in-person visits to his mansion more difficult, and normal political signaling through whispering and cutouts less effective, that Obama dispensed with the polite fiction that he spends his time screening documentary films for his $50 million Netflix deal, and emerged again on the public political stage. Until then, Obama’s Twitter feed was full of anodyne good cheer, holiday greetings, book recommendations, and other corporate-seeming niceties. Then, on April 10, Obama tweeted three times about making vote-by-mail standard practice nationwide.
According to one of The New York Times articles he tweeted, even some Republicans approve of the idea. So why hadn’t the Founding Fathers thought of this really terrific initiative back when Ben Franklin was postmaster general? Because what is obvious today was also obvious 240 years ago, and to everyone who has ever seriously studied the issue since—voting by mail is an invitation to voter fraud.
Sure, Democrats see the lockdown as an opportunity to push their agenda. Hillary Clinton clumsily restated Rahm Emanuel’s slogan during her recent appearance in a Biden video town hall—“Don’t let a crisis go to waste!” But the reason Obama tweeted about vote by mail—not once, but three times—wasn’t simply to push a particular policy. More importantly, it was an opportunity for Obama to push back the curtain and reassure the party: Relax, I’m here.
Once he’d gotten voters’ attention, he proceeded to lay down the party’s articles of faith.
And oh yes, the long-awaited endorsement of “Joe Biden”:
In a tweet regarding Putin’s “war against American science,” he even included a nod to the DNC-funded conspiracy theory that tied down Trump’s presidency for three years:
And now that we’ve shut down America because of the novel coronavirus, don’t be surprised when “Joe Biden” shuts down America because of a national climate “emergency” and rewrites regulations and laws to enrich friends and bankrupt the party’s opponents:
Obama perceives that this is a political moment of great opportunity as well as vulnerability, for Trump and for himself. When documents hinting at Obama’s role in framing Michael Flynn were declassified last month, he leaked a phone conversation in which he suggested Trump’s first national security adviser was guilty of perjury. A week later, the judge in the Flynn case obediently solicited an amicus brief showing how Flynn might be charged with perjury, after the Justice Department dropped the case.
What Trump had in his favor going into the election cycle was the economy and jobs numbers, no matter how high his negatives were. COVID-19 stripped the president not only of his campaign’s major selling points, but also the huge rallies from which he draws energy. Last week’s employment numbers, adding 2.5 million jobs when losses were expected, restored some of the luster to the reelection campaign.
What the Biden campaign has going for it is that voters know it’s really Obama at the top of the ticket. Obama wouldn’t have needed to make it so obvious had Kamala Harris won the nomination. D.C. insiders on both sides agreed that since she had Obama’s quiet backing, Harris was the obvious frontrunner. The only question was who the brilliant and beautiful senator from the most populous state of the union would choose as her running mate. After Harris proved inert and unlikable on the stump, Obama waited for the other candidates to sort themselves out, like an NCAA tourney bracket, until it was down to Biden and Bernie Sanders.
For Obama and the politburo, the problem with Bernie wasn’t that his agenda was too progressive. The fact that the Sanders foreign policy team was so easily grafted onto the Biden campaign is evidence there is a unified Democratic Party policy, formed in Obama’s shadow White House in Kalorama. The problem with Bernie was that the Vermont socialist stubbornly insists on being his own political brand.
While no one is making a case for repealing the 22nd Amendment, Obama’s politburo will choose the vice president, through whom he and his aides, who will now be her aides, will guide the country. This will give Obama another four to eight years for the transformative work he did not have time to finish in his first two terms in office.
America is now facing a crisis in legitimacy, with no resolution in sight. The crisis is not about Trump who, like the 44 presidents who preceded him, was democratically elected by his fellow citizens. No, the crisis is about our elite, a large and influential part of which has now acquired an appetite for the politics of the street and loudly calls for parts or all of the democratic system to be overturned—one week it’s the Electoral College, the next week it’s voting booths, and the week after it’s the Supreme Court and the Senate. Whatever appears to stand in the way of enforcing their views on the public should be eliminated, tomorrow.
In their pursuit of power, outside the lines of our democratic system, the Democratic Party’s elite operatives and opinion-makers have merged with what Trump calls the swamp—the layer of lawmakers and government bureaucrats and the others swimming alongside them, like contractors, consultants, and lobbyists, that oil the gears in Washington, D.C. Thus, it was hardly surprising when 89 former Pentagon officials signed a letter saying that it would be unconstitutional to send in the armed forces to stop violence in the streets, as Trump had hinted: The signatories were all involved in one of the greatest boondoggles in U.S. history, accumulating jobs, prestige, and money by wasting trillions of taxpayer dollars on pointless wars in the Middle East, and spending American lives on political stability in Kabul and Baghdad. But when it comes to saving American lives, homes, businesses—let it burn.
We are just now beginning to see what it means when the people who run large parts of America fundamentally lose their minds. To refer to this class as an elite is shorthand for describing the people who occupy the commanding heights above the intersection of mass culture, communications, education, and Democratic Party politics. We are not talking about Ivy League mandarins arguing fine points about literary etiquette, or white-shoe Park Avenue lawyers deciding on the next junior senator from New York, or ladies-who-lunch dining at a restaurant that prefers not to serve blacks and Jews. No, it is the people you see every day, smart and ambitious young people like the African American lawyer who graduated Princeton and NYU and throws Molotov cocktails at police cars.
Politicians like New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio who govern the besieged cities, preferred to let chaos reign in order to oppose Trump at the expense of their constituents, and are now exposed as incompetent lunatics. The public health industry has also shown itself to be a politicized warren. More than 1,000 public health experts and officials signed a letter saying that it was OK to ignore COVID-19 lockdown guidelines and torch cities since racism was a much greater health risk than the coronavirus. Municipal leaders around the country are now looking to realize their new rallying cry—Defund the Police!
Who will protect their constituents? The members of antifa and Black Lives Matter? What will it be like to live in a country where it is impossible to trust those responsible for the basics of public safety and health?
Lee Smith is the author of The Permanent Coup: How Enemies Foreign and Domestic Targeted the American President (2020).