Trigger Warning: The following column contains a lot of "whatabout-isms" directed at the left. Read under adult supervision.
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so the murderous assault on Congress should have the Democrats beaming with pride.
The shameful right-wing attack on the U.S. Capitol, with the murder of the Capitol police officer, the violence against the police, and the vandalism of Congress, was right out of the left's playbook, and their reaction has revealed a lot of politically expedient hypocrisy. Pointing out these contradictions in no way justifies the attack, or the rioting and violence. Most conservatives support the full and vigorous prosecution of the rioters. This is also our Capitol, and we share the outrage.
We just wish that the Democrats would be more consistent. One of the most dramatic aspects of the Democrats' reaction to the attack was their sudden "discovery" that rioting and violence are bad and should be condemned. The nation recently experienced months of violent rioting, murder, looting, and arson following the death of George Floyd. Like the Capitol Hill attack, buildings were seized, occupied, looted, and vandalized, and cops were murdered in these riots.
How did the Democrats react to that horrific violence? Shamefully, we saw our current Vice President Kamala Harris raising bail money to obtain the release of jailed rioters. We had high-ranking police and government officials in liberal cities "taking a knee" to show solidarity with the rioters. BLM was allowed to paint its logo on public property, while those who attempted to remove it were prosecuted. And, of course, we saw local governments quickly acquiescing to the demands issued by the rioters, such as defunding the police. In the eyes of many Democrats, BLM became a respectable and formidable political force.
Is it any wonder that the thugs storming Congress saw rioting and violence as an effective method to advance their agenda?
This summer, the only outrage expressed by the Democrats was over the "militarized look" of the police in their riot suppression gear, and the "brutal" use of tear gas and pepper balls. Now, in a sharp reversal of their usual stance, they support the entirely justified shooting and killing of an unarmed woman rioter. Still, we all know that they would have gone berserk had this occurred during a BLM riot.
And the Democratic enthusiasm for rioting has recovered. In justifying a jail prisoner riot in St. Louis, Democrat Cori Bush recently proclaimed, "A riot is the language of the unheard."
"But ... but ... but ... ." say the deflecting Democrats. "This was different. This was insurrection! They stormed and occupied Congress!" This conveniently ignores the fact that attacking and seizing government buildings has long been a favored tactic of the left.
Consider Seattle, where city government surrendered the police station and six blocks of surrounding homes and businesses to a BLM mob. The Democratic authorities first celebrated the event as a new "summer of love," only ending this insurgency a month later when the killings and violence in the "autonomous zone" made it politically uncomfortable to allow it to continue.
And, of course, there is Portland, where BLM mobs were allowed to spend the summer attempting to burn down the federal courthouse, while Democratic authorities, rather than helping, just criticized the federal government for its efforts to protect the courthouse.
Locally and elsewhere, we had leftist mobs seizing highways and trapping and assaulting innocent motorists, all in an effort to force the government to obey them. Still, we only see the Democratic outrage machine complaining about the prosecution of the rioters, not the crime itself.
The assault on Congress has had the curious effect of enlarging the leftist vocabulary to now include previously ridiculed terms like "insurrection," "treason," and "sedition" as improbable additions to old favorites like "no justice, no peace" and "burn it down" and other calls to revolution. Leftists have shown no consistent reverence for duly elected institutions. Insurrection, sedition, and treason only seem objectionable to them when they are having their own power challenged.
The hypocrisy extends to Democratic complaints that the Republicans refused to accept the results of the election, conveniently ignoring the four years of unhinged whining that we endured from them. They insisted that the 2016 election was stolen by Trump and by trolls named "Ivan" and "Boris" who used social media to beguile the gullible into voting for Trump over the impeccably honest and likable Hillary Clinton. And, of course, there was rioting at Trump's inauguration. After long listening to their yammering, it is no surprise that disappointed Republicans would makes similar gripes.
Having witnessed the friendly reception given to the BLM riots, and the resulting endorsement and implementation of much of their agenda by the media and government, it is not surprising that that the right-wing loons who stormed the Capitol may have gotten the impression that riots and violence might effectively benefit their cause.
My suggestion? Perhaps we should all be more consistent about opposing and denouncing all rioting, violence, and insurrection, regardless of whose side is doing it. Δ
John Donegan is a retired attorney in Pismo Beach who is sick and tired of the violence by extreme partisans, and wishes everyone would just rant peacefully like he does. Respond by sending a letter for publication to firstname.lastname@example.org.