January 7, 2021

Violence at the Capitol

“Hundreds of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in a stunning bid to overturn his election defeat, battling police in the hallways and delaying the certification of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden’s victory for hours.” Reuters

Both sides condemn the violence and call for a stronger response from President Trump:

“The breaching of the building during one of the longest-running ceremonies under our system of government is the starkest domestic assault on our democracy in memory, and means that in 2021 we indeed failed to have a peaceful transfer of power. The rioters themselves bear ultimate responsibility for their acts, but Trump egged them on… He whipped them up on Wednesday with one of his typically high-octane speeches about how the election was stolen from them, and urged them to march on the Capitol to give ‘weak’ Republicans the ‘pride and boldness they need to take back [our] country.’…

“It was a painful contrast Wednesday afternoon when outgoing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, an institutionalist to his bones, gave a compelling, carefully crafted speech on why it’d be wrong to reject Biden electors, just as the rabble was preparing to roust him and his colleagues from their work. McConnell’s speech was the handiwork of someone who cares about our system enough to, when appropriate, admit defeat. The mob was not.”
Rich Lowry, Politico

“They broke through barriers and swarmed the Capitol steps. They climbed up walls. They smashed windows. Some got inside the building, where they provoked an armed standoff with Capitol police, and even breached the Senate’s inner sanctum… This was anarchy and terror, pure and simple, from a group that pretends to belong to the party of ‘law and order.’”
Robin Abcarian, Los Angeles Times

“Trump and his enablers talk a good game about patriotism. They denounced President Barack Obama for sometimes not wearing a flag lapel pin. They criticized Colin Kaepernick for protesting police brutality by taking a knee rather than standing during the national anthem — and then Trump incited a mob on Wednesday to invade the United States Capitol…

“What the pro-Trump rioters attacked was not only a building but also the Constitution, the electoral system, our democratic process. They humiliated the United States before the world and left America’s enemies chortling. They will be remembered as Benedict Arnolds… Patriotism is not about words. It is not about waving flags or singing ‘America the Beautiful.’… Whatever a president’s rhetoric, he betrays the Constitution when he oversees a campaign to overturn a free election guaranteed by that Constitution, and when he galvanizes rioters to overpower our democratic process.”
Nicholas Kristof, New York Times

“I sincerely wish Donald Trump had won the 2020 election. Trump’s record on naming originalist judges and justices, defending America against claims of Marxist critical race theory, defending life, bringing peace in the Middle East, and many other issues is exemplary, while Joe Biden has little to show for his decades in public life — and he has a long history of going soft on China. Trump did not win, however, and his rhetoric after the election has been dangerous…

“Never in my life did I expect to see the president of the United States refuse to unequivocally condemn a mob that broke into the U.S. Capitol. There is no place for political violence in America, and the president needs to be the first person to always insist upon that… When Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, Trump had a moral duty to vocally condemn their lawless attack. This situation also gave him an opportunity to demonstrate that he supported law and order more than Joe Biden had over the summer. Instead, Trump arguably proved himself worse than Biden. The president coddled violent elements among his supporters, even when they broke into the People’s House. This was despicable.”
Tyler O’Neil, PJ Media

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