McConnell: Imagine If Tea Party Protesters Set Up an Autonomous Zone

By Melanie Arter | July 1, 2020 | 4:31pm EDT
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

( - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in a speech on the Senate floor on Wednesday called out the mainstream media and Democrats for praising protesters in Seattle for taking over a police station and setting up an autonomous area dubbed the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) zone.

McConnell posed the hypothetical: how would they react if Tea Party patriots “forcibly created a breakaway zone within a major city” and kept the police out?

“I had planned to discuss our work to ensure American service members can protect our nation and secure peace to the United States, but unfortunately, the inexplicable passivity and weakness of local leaders in our country has denied some citizens peace and security right here at home,” he said.

“Here we are in Congress equipping our armed forces to protect the homeland, yet some local leaders apparently felt it would be too politically incorrect to do their jobs and keep the peace. It’s now been 22 days since radical demonstrators seized control of several blocks of downtown Seattle, drove the police out of a precinct and declared an autonomous zone which the mob itself would rule,” McConnell said.

“It’s worth pausing to consider how the mainstream media and leading Democrats might have reacted if Tea Party protesters in 2009 had forcibly created a breakaway zone within a major city and barred the actual authorities from entering. Somehow I’m skeptical the press would have bent over backwards to find a sympathetic light,” the majority leader said.

“Somehow I doubt these same politicians would have felt compelled to curry favor with the occupiers or flirt with their demands, but we’re talking about the American left in 2020, so instead what we get is a major newspaper lavishing praise, praise on the ‘mayor and local government that have expressly declined to restore order and the equal protection of the law,’” he said.

McConnell pointed out that two people were killed and a third person injured in the CHOP zone – two of them reportedly at the hands of “a self-appointed security squad.”

“The mob has gotten its way. There’ve been numerous shootings in this lawless place. About a week ago, a 19-year-old was shot and killed. Last weekend, you had another shooting. A 16-year-old is dead, and a 14-year-old was injured. Some reports suggest these two boys were shot by a self-appointed security squad. These are miscellaneous citizens who roam the area with guns drawn after the occupiers drove the real police out,” he said.

“We’re talking about Seattle, Washington, in the United States of America. Madame President, the rule of law cannot fade in and out with fashions of the radical left. No leader should sacrifice small businesses to riots and mobs a few weeks back, and no leader should let threats or let plain jargon persuade them to tolerate occupations for weeks on end,” the majority leader said.

“I understand that just this morning, Seattle’s mayor finally, finally released a new order that at least empowered police to bring an end to this. So let’s hope the rule of law prevails,” McConnell concluded.

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