The New York Times again attacked President Trump’s “law and order” rhetoric by implying it’s racist (and that Trump himself is racist) while insisting the phrase has backfired on Trump after the disgusting spectacle of the riot on Capitol Hill.
Reporter Elaina Plott’s “political memo,” “How Trump’s ‘Law and Order’ Mantra Was So Loaded Yet So Hollow,” also smeared the police as a group while downplaying the political damage wrecked by the left’s cry to “defund the police.”
For years, the phrase rolled off his tongue in times of strife, a rallying cry to his predominantly white base.
So it was unsurprising when, on the day after his supporters stormed the Capitol, he uttered those familiar three words just 20 seconds into a video filmed from the White House.
“America is, and must always be,” Donald Trump declared, “a nation of law and order.”
Plott boasted Trump’s “favored mantra had become all but meaningless.”
Ever since descending the gilded escalator of Trump Tower to announce his presidential bid in 2015, Mr. Trump has tethered his success to the politics of law and order, stoking fears and then positioning himself as the only person capable of confronting them. As for what -- or whom -- Americans should fear, Mr. Trump virtually always targeted people of color and people who protested for their rights: Mexicans, migrants from Central America, Black Lives Matter activists, the diverse array of protesters in major cities last summer.
But this month, it was a largely white mob trawling the Capitol grounds with Trump banners and zip ties, and killing a police officer. And yet the president did not preside over a tear-gas-fogged show of force, as he had during a protest for racial justice before the White House last summer….
This piece of the “news analysis” could have been pasted from an editorial in the far-left Nation:
If Mr. Trump spent much of his presidency casting the G.O.P. as the party of law and order, he is concluding it by clarifying just who, in his view -- and in his base’s view, the law was designed to order. It’s the Black Lives Matter protesters who are confronted and arrested by the police in Mr. Trump’s law-and-order America; the white mob, on the other hand, can expect officers who pause for selfies.
“This ‘Blue Lives Matter’ stuff was just a code word for race that they were using,” said Stuart Stevens, a longtime Republican strategist. “‘Law and order’? Here you have a police officer murdered on Capitol grounds, and the White House doesn’t even acknowledge it. It’s incredible.”
Stephens, a former Romney for President adviser and a truculent Trump critic, is a New York Times favorite. After the outbreak of rioting on Capitol Hill, he claimed on MSNBC that Trump “called on American terrorists to attack the Capitol, which they did more successfully than 9/11 terrorists.”
Plott argued that Trump law-and-order message didn’t work electorally, though her own paper admitted differently after the disappointing congressional results for Democrats in November.
The message sputtered in no small part because many Americans largely supported the goals of the Black Lives Matter protesters, according to polling, a stark contrast to the 1960s and ’70s, when surveys showed that Americans were less likely to view police brutality as a problem and more afraid of demonstrations and riots spilling into their community.
Plott played defense on Biden’s behalf, likening Republican criticism of the left’s catastrophic “defund the police” slogan to rationalizing the riots on Capitol Hill.
And should Democrats “persist with a defund-the-police message,” [Republican consultant Chris] Russell added -- though Mr. Biden has denounced it -- Republican candidates will likely continue to find success in framing their party as more committed to public safety, more supportive of law enforcement.
All of which squares with how some Republican lawmakers have rationalized the Capitol attack. They insist that the sea of marchers and rioters was not the outgrowth of months of indulging the president’s lie that the election was stolen, was not reflective of the party’s core, indeed was not reflective of the party at all….