January 6 Was Not an Insurrection
Like virtually all the Republicans and conservatives I know – including those in Congress – I viewed what happened on Capitol Hill on January 6 with great anger and contempt for those who breeched the Capitol Building, disrupted the proceedings, vandalized and caused injury. Those who took place in the rioting should be identified and prosecuted. That is what we do in a nation that claims rule-of-law at its foundation.
I differ with Democrats and much of the media in that I also believe those who rioted, burned, vandalized, injured and killed in innumerable outbreaks of violence in our major cities should also be identified and prosecuted with the same determination that we see in the case of the Capitol Hill rioters.
In fact, many of those caught and released in the urban riots committed far more serious crimes than were committed by the majority of Capitol Hill rioters. That is being borne out by the fact that most of the 400 or so arrested in conjunction with the January 6 riot are being charged with relatively mild crimes – such as trespassing and disorderly conduct. There was no wholesale looting. There was no arson. That comes as a great disappointment to those who want to hype the riot into an existential threat to the Republic. That is just political propaganda.
The rioters represented a small percentage of the lawful demonstrators – just as we see in those urban riots. Unlike the urban riots, it was all over by nightfall. Both the peaceful demonstrators and the rioters left. And the Congress resumed its business of certifying the presidential election. In many of the urban riots, many businesses were destroyed and closed forever after nights and weeks of rioting.
So, why do I say it was NOT an armed insurrection – as democrats and their media allies allege?
They have even accused demonstrators, Republican legislators and Trump of sedition and treason. They also called the entire event a coup attempt. That is nothing more than hyper hyperbole. It is easy to make such accusations – especially when you have the partisan support of the media. But it is unlikely you will see any Republican leaders charged with such crimes.
You first must consider what the objective of the demonstrators was. If you believe the narrative that they were there to overthrow the election and forcibly ensconce President Trump as an authoritarian head-of-state, you are exceedingly gullible or hopelessly partisan.
The demonstrators on January 6 were rather clear in their purpose. They hoped that their presence would have legislators withhold certification of the election in CERTAIN STATES PENDING FURTHER INVESTIGATION – which is not an unconstitutional act. It has happened often in the past. Seven House Democrats voted against the certification of Trump in certain states in 2017.
The movement never was to throw out the entire election, as the media often states. It was never about making Trump President by force. Trump had repeatedly said that he would leave the Oval Office on January 20th with the inauguration of the new President – and he did.
As in other riots, there were nutcase malcontents who were there to provoke violence. And they came from the far right and the far left. And they were successful. They had bricks and Molotov Cocktails, but never used them.
Why didn’t they use them if this was a true insurrection – a coup? I do not know, but I have one theory.
The entire thing ended too soon. The class of professional violent rioters and provocateurs we have seen in other riots come out from under their rock in the shadows of night. The assault on the Capitol Building was over before sunset.
An inadequate presence and response of law enforcement heightened the rioting. One of the main reasons rioters breeched the building was because they could. Once the protective line was broken, mob mentality created the surge of rioters entering the Capitol.
We have seen this many times in the all too frequent urban riots. When the police have been told to “stand down,” the rioting and violence continues and accelerates.
Make no mistake about it, It was bad – as all riots are. But the left-wing news’ attempt to paint this as an “armed insurrection” if farcical. Of the thousand folks who came to demonstrate, there was no gunfire by protestors. Of the hours upon hours of video, there were no guns in the footage. In fact, there have been more guns, gunfire, wounding and deaths at many of the urban riots. If you insist that January 6 was an insurrection, you should at least call it an “unarmed insurrection.”
The lack of lethal weapons also suggests that the masses of demonstrators – and even the rioters – were not intent on overthrowing the government in a coup. Even in those so-called “bloodless coups” in foreign nations, the coup-plotters show up with a lot of armament.
The left continues to spread the disinformation that several people died in the rioting.
They still insisted that rioters killed Capitol Hill Officer Brian Sicknick. Even after the medical examiner said he died of natural causes long after he had left the riot scene. But even before that, the media misreported that rioters hit him with a fire extinguisher. When that was disproven, they said his death was the result of bear repellant – and that was also disproven.
They count a person who died from a drug overdose and one who suffered a heart attack. Both were among the demonstrators – not even among those rioters.
Only one person died as a result of the rioting. It was a young lady that Capitol Hill police shot as she attempted to get inside the House Chamber. She was in the lead of a group that were threaten officers and attempt to overpower them. Sad as it was, it was a justified shooting.
This may shock some readers, but I wondered why the Capitol Hill police did not use their guns more than this one instance. Lethal force is justified when an officer is in imminent danger or others are in imminent danger.
When I saw the video of that police officer screaming for help as he was being intentionally crushed by a door, I wondered why he, or other officers, did not shoot those pushing against the door. I think they would have not only been totally justified, but it might have chilled the rioting. I suspect the rioters would have been running out of the building faster than they ran in.
There were a number of instances where police were under attack that they could have invoked the standard for lethal force. This has also been true in many of the urban riots. It is not about police killing innocent people. I am talking about people committing acts acts – with a lethal response being the action of last resort.
As I noted in an earlier commentary … one of the reasons the riot on Capitol Hill gets such extraordinary news coverage and law enforcement response is because it was against the elitist establishment.
The folks who were terrified in the urban riots — who had their homes burned and business looted — were just the little people. Riots in their neighborhoods in Chicago, New York, Seattle and Portland do not count. But riot on the turf of the power elite and it is apparently a much bigger deal.
As former Republican National Chairman Michael Steele admitted in expressing the difference between all those other riots and what took place on Capitol Hill … “this is in our backyard.”
To understand the double standard, just ask yourself: Why was the takeover of Seattle and Portland not deemed to be an insurrection – especially when those protestors openly seized property that they declared to be independent of the United States? Why was it not an insurrection when they attacked federal government buildings and seized control of a local police headquarters? Where were the demands to have every rioter, vandal, looter and arsonist tracked down and prosecuted – instead of a catch-and-release policy? Why weren’t public officials who ordered the police to stand down and the National Guard to get out of town accused of sedition? Why did the media stop covering the Portland riots that went on every night for weeks? And why did the media emphasize “peaceful protest” even as communities burned?
There are two things that make January 6 exception and worthy of exaggerated descriptions by Democrats and the media – the Capitol Hill riots occurred too close to the power elite – the politically privileged class — and it had to be overplayed as a false partisan narrative to demonize Republicans in hope of defeating them in 2022.
I carry no water for the rioters on Capitol Hill. I think they should have been dealt with much more severely at the time. But I would think it is disgusting that Democrats and their media allies would exaggerate the events of January 6 and play down – nay, promote and encourage – the riots that have devastated the communities of the common folks.
So, there ‘tis.