As I explain in my article on the homepage this afternoon, Oakland mayor Jean Quan has embarrassingly encouraged and facilitated the destructive actions of the Occupy Oakland movement. While the behavior of the protesters is obviously indefensible, some liberal commentators have done their best to spin the situation.
Across the pond, The Guardian offers a reasonable assessment of the damages in its story, but you wouldn’t know it from the headline or the lede, which tells the story the Left wants to hear: “Occupy Oakland: police use teargas after protesters force port to close.”
Over at the Daily Kos, it’s explained that Oakland “WAS TOTALLY PEACEFUL YESTERDAY” — except for some rare but pesky anarchists. They don’t bother explaining how a small number of anarchists meant that the entire mob of protesters left huge amounts of destruction in its wake. Another blogger there excuses the protesters because they “mess up sometimes too,” and “we live & we learn.” Some of them are helping to clean up the graffiti.
Michael Berkowitz at the Huffington Post argues, “by any measure, Occupy Oakland’s General Strike on Wednesday was a huge success.” He alludes only briefly to the wanton destruction, lamenting that “well after the day’s conclusion and the thousands had dispersed, a small group of anarchists struck again, setting fire to a few dumpsters.”
On her show yesterday, Rachel Maddow blamed the Oakland police for the “bad decision to wage essentially a shock and awe campaign of militarized force.” This reflects the attitude that has led Mayor Quan so far astray. After some unfortunate accidents during a standard police response, involving so-called “militarized” tactics like tear gas, it seems like she almost felt like she had to make it up to the progressive community by giving them free rein and encouragement on Tuesday night. You can read about her irresponsibility here.