Something fun from this afternoon in which Lee dared them to block a denunciation of woke riots and … darned if they didn’t do it.
Or rather, Bob Menendez did it for them so that the rest of the caucus wouldn’t have to get their hands dirty.
You can read Lee’s resolution here. He had the idea for it, it seems, after the attack on the driver in Provo, Utah, that John’s written about this week. It makes a point of distinguishing the looting and rioting from “legitimate, peaceful, constitutionally protected demonstrations against instances of police brutality and racial inequality, serious problems meriting investigation and reform,” which should have made it easier for Dems to support. Not good enough for Menendez, though, who killed it off by objecting to it. What was his problem with it?
He complains at one point in the clip below that it fails to mention slavery when it praises the “principles of freedom, justice, and human equality” that the country was founded on. That’s true, although there is some boilerplate in the following paragraph about “falling short” of those values as “imperfect human beings” are wont to do. Another dispute between him and Lee has to do with singling out Trump for criticism. Apparently Menendez wanted to add a line accusing the president of inciting violence, an attempt to make this vote as painful for the GOP among parts of their base as it would have been for Dems among the pro-riot parts of theirs. Lee didn’t go for it, arguing that it’s enough to criticize “public officials” generally.
I wonder, though, if this isn’t the part of the text that made Menendez and Dems choke:
Whereas America’s law enforcement officers do an extremely difficult job extremely well, and despite the inexcusable misconduct of some, the overwhelming majority of such officers are honest, courageous, patriotic, and rightfully honored public servants
Most lefties probably would have indulged them a basic condemnation of mob violence, if only for appearances’ sake. Biden’s already done that generically, remember, and paid no price. But agreeing with a GOP-written resolution that “most cops are good” under the present circumstances might have made Schumer nervous. At a moment when progressives are pushing to defund PDs, they don’t want to hear any broad character testimonials for cops from their own leadership.
Another choice line from the resolution declares that “the rising tide of vandalism, mob violence, and the mob mentality that feeds it—including its cruel and intolerant ‘cancel culture’—should be condemned by all Americans.” Senate Dems don’t want any part of a war on “cancel culture.” If they start that, leftists will be in their faces in two seconds. “Which ‘cancellation’ did you disapprove of, specifically? Harvey Weinstein? Racist corporate mascots? Please, enlighten us.”
Anyway, very exciting that the woke party had to harrumph its way out of taking a position on whether rioting is bad. Look out here for a cameo by Ted Cruz, who happened to be presiding over the Senate today during this back and forth between Lee and Menendez. Menendez wanted a reprimand of Lee by the chair for disparaging Democrats’ motives. Good luck with that, bro.
People are being shot! Businesses are being looted. Innocent Americans are being attacked and threatened. Lives are being ruined. Communities are burning! And democrats refuse to condemn mob violence. pic.twitter.com/9moGpQ6MbC
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) July 2, 2020