No, it’s a breath mint!
The Wall Street Journal insists that what occurred a year ago January 6 at the Nation’s Capitol was a riot, “a national disgrace,” but not an insurrection. The Werkes contends that a riot is looting the corner liquor store during a “mostly peaceful” protest in Kenosha. The assault last year was not so much on a government building as on the Constitutionally mandated transfer of power itself. Insurrections don’t have to be successful to qualify — just ask Jefferson Davis. But January 6 did succeed, at least, for a few hours.
Imagine, Karl Rove asks, if the other side had done it?
What if in early January 2017, Democrats … had stormed the Capitol and attempted to keep Congress from receiving the Electoral College results for the 2016 presidential election? … If this happened, would some of my fellow Republicans have accepted it as merely a protest? Would they have called ‘patriots’ those charged with violent acts against our country, its laws and Constitution?
Situational ethics work both ways
Jimmy Carter (remember him?) apparently signed an op ed claiming that “One year ago, a violent mob, guided by unscrupulous politicians, stormed the Capitol and almost succeeded in preventing the democratic transfer of power.”
By that definition, the four-month takeover of the State Capitol here in Madison WI in 2011 to prevent Act 10 was also an insurrection. Ann of Althouse, retired UW Law professor, remembers:
The Wisconsin protesters characterized what they were doing — interfering with the duly elected government — as “democracy,” chanting, endlessly, “This is what democracy looks like.”
Columnist Erick Woods Erickson noticed the same incongruity. “The Wisconsin State Journal reported it in eerily similar language to January 6:”
Thousands of protesters rushed to the State Capitol Wednesday night, forcing their way through doors, crawling through windows and jamming corridors.
Progressives, cheered by John Nichols, MSNBC, and Paul Soglin, did prevent elected legislators from the lawful exercise of their duties for months. Lest we cede the high ground with these “what abouts” we quote Erickson: “The truth is January 6 is nothing for Republicans to celebrate. It was a dark day in the history of our republic. Fueled by repeated lies from President Trump.”
Once upon a time
Back on January 14, 2021, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the President bore responsibility for the attack and dispelled a right-wing urban myth that persists: “Some say the riots were caused by Antifa. There’s absolutely no evidence of that, and conservatives should be the first to say so.”
Letter from select Committee chair Bennie Thompson, D-MS, to Sean Hannity, Fox News: “On January 5th, the night before the violent riot, you sent and received a stream of texts. You wrote: ‘I’m very worried about the next 48 hours.’ With the counting of the electoral votes scheduled for January 6th at 1 p.m., why were you concerned about the next 48 hours?”
Blaska’s Bottom Line Question: Another counter-factual: What do you suppose would have happened on January 6 if Capitol Police had stood down, much as did Czar Nicholas’ guard during the Communist Revolution in 1917?
if not to prevent the transfer of power?