Democrats have been coy about their relationship to the violent groups rioting in our cities. CNN, a faithful echo chamber for the Democrat Party, downplays the violence by describing it as “fiery but mostly peaceful.” Kamala Harris, who will apparently be president in a Biden Administration, has willfully ignored the violence. In an interview with Steven Colbert about the protests, she said, provocatively: “They’re not gonna let up. And they should not.” Democrat governors, and mayors in places including Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle, and Kenosha, have allowed the riots to continue as cities have burned. They have only now begun to speak out against the rioting and looting as it has become clear that continued violence could cost them votes in November.
Recent legislative activity here in Virginia, far from being coy, makes clear that Democrats support the violence. House Bill 5146, introduced on 1 September, just three months after the death of George Floyd sparked off riots across the nation, is racing through the legislature, where both houses are now controlled by the Democrats. The public hearing by the Virginia Crime Commission was held with only three days’ notice, and the virtual nature of the hearing provided little opportunity for public participation. The bill has passed the House of Delegates and is already under review by Senate committees.
HB 5146 seems tailor-made to both benefit and encourage participants in the current violence. The bill would automatically expunge the records for a series of specified crimes after eight years, if the individual has not reoffended. Offenders would no longer be required to reveal these convictions to potential employers, and most employers would, on inquiry to the state, be told that “no record exists.” The crimes include: pointing a laser at a law enforcement office, threats of bodily injury, trespass, damage to churches, monuments, public buildings, vehicles, crimes involving gas pumps and gasoline carriers, encrypting criminal activity, tampering with a fire hydrant, interfering with emergency communications, throwing materials such as glass and nails on highways, obstructing the free passage of others, interfering with law enforcement, obstructing medical personnel, disorderly conduct, defacing the symbols of the commonwealth, and concealing or compounding the offenses of others. The most interesting is refusing to obey by the police or National Guard when summoned to keep the peace. What possible justification is there for this crime encouragement bill?
Democrats disingenuously argue that this bill is designed to lift families from poverty by making it easier for Virginians who have reformed after running afoul of the law to gain employment. There are, in the mix, a few minor crimes, such as drug possession, that many might agree should not be a lifelong drag on a citizen’s employment history. The vast majority of the crimes being discounted, however, are related to the current rioting. No doubt concerned middle-class parents have been telling their Molotov-cocktail tossing progeny to rein it in less they forfeit any chance at future six-figure employment. But there is no longer any reason to fear consequences: once the Resistance has accomplished its mission and made Orange Man go away, young people can go back to their gender studies program assured that in just a few short years, their careers as anarchists will become a state secret.
And let’s not ignore that wink and a nod to police officers and National Guardsmen that it’s perfectly OK to stand by and let the revolution proceed. The Democrat Party has your back.
But this pass for serious crimes isn’t just for bored college kids. Career criminals will still lose the chance at expungement if they re-offend. But another bill has been introduced to provide them relief too. Democrats are offering House Bill 5148, which provides a sentence reduction of up to 48 percent, versus today’s 15 percent, for good behavior. The largest reductions will occur for those with the lengthiest sentences. This bill has followed the same speedy time line as HB 5146 and is currently in the Senate.
Why decriminalize looting? Career criminals are the shock troops of the progressive revolution, and an increasingly important part of the Democrat base. Many of those arrested while rioting – including in the very political demonstrations in places like Portland – have turned out to have serious criminal records. In Virginia 1.6 million people, or 19% of the state’s residents, have criminal records. Among them are undoubtedly willing rioters — combatants even, for Democratic political causes. Although Virginia’s constitution prevents felons from voting, in 2016 then Democrat Governor Terry McAuliffe attempted to enfranchise more than 200,000 released felons by executive order. The court, noting that the law required voting rights to be restored on an individual basis, cancelled the order, but McAuliffe proceeded to mass produce individual orders restoring voting rights for 13,000 individuals.
What is clear, is that right now, Democrats are trying to unleash the criminal class and use them to tear down society, and blackmail voters into quiescence. They clearly want to give a green light to others to join in the violence. Democrats may hope that voters, tiring of the assault and arson, will vote in their candidates as the price of peace. They no doubt also hope that grateful ex-felons will provide the margin of victory at the polls in November. A party that owes its success to criminals, however, must also provide them a pay-off. We shall see just how comfortable law abiding, solid citizens are, having this force unleashed upon them. Virginia’s recent legislative efforts illustrate the degree to which the Democrat Party has chosen to tie themselves to criminal interests.