Hillary Clinton was right, for once.
Those supporters of President Donald Trump who stormed the Capitol on Wednesday were deplorable.
This rag-tag, unruly violent mob – whose actions cost one woman her life at the hands of police and may have prompted the deaths of three others who attended the rally – was also despicable, disgusting, and destructive – destructive to the physical grounds inside and around the Capitol, but also to a political institution all Americans should hold dear and, briefly, to the rule of law.
Trump bears some responsibility; his careless speech motivated them. The brunt of the blame for Wednesday’s Trumpster fire, however, falls on the goons who took it upon themselves to attack cops and wreak havoc in the halls of Congress.
You sensed it, though. Here comes the “but”: Other bad actors also deserve blame for our descent into this wretched, tumultuous political climate.
During Wednesday’s chaos, Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor and GOP VP candidate, tweeted, “Media: quit labeling DC protestors ‘Conservatives, Republicans, Tea Partiers, Trump Supporters, etc’ LOOK IN TO WHO THESE PEOPLE ARE who’d choose an apparent leaderless insane swarm to create a perception of condoned violence. KNOCK IT OFF.”
She added, “And to any insincere, fake DC ‘patriots’ used as PLANTS – you will be found out.”
Palin’s suggestion that Antifa or other progressive thugs infiltrated the rally and acted as provocateurs to incite violence is debatable. There is a precedent. When Antifa and Black Lives Matter supporters were burning down city after city last summer, some liberals claimed their violence was a false-flag operation instigated by far-right kooks.
Yet Palin is correct on one point: the mainstream media and liberals inside and outside of government will lump all conservatives and Republicans in with the lunkheads who assaulted the Capitol on Wednesday.
David Harsanyi, a columnist for National Review, explained this well in a tweet thread Wednesday.
“This is not ‘coup.’ It’s a bunch of violent un-american (sic) assholes rioting — incited by a bunch of insane ppl who can’t handle losing an election, including the president. It’s an embarrassing day for this country, regardless of what antifa did or the hypocrisy of their defenders. It’s just incredibly dangerous that people can’t accept the results of a presidential election,” he wrote.
“The best thing would be for some sort of unified bipartisan message regarding political violence. But you can already see that anyone who’s ever supported a tax cut is now on the hook for this. And that’s going to be the price.”
In other words, we can expect the media and the liberal politicians they promote to do what BLM defenders accused conservatives of doing last summer: characterizing all attendees of those “mostly peaceful” riots as violent agitators.
Undoubtedly, some on the right will kneel rhetorically, if not literally, to such criticism in a pointless attempt to be expiated for the sin of having supported Trump.
But unless we all acknowledge how we got here, others may react differently.
After four or five years of being labeled Nazis, Klansmen, dolts, cultists, or traitors – in short, subhuman – for backing Trump and his “America first” message, they may look at Wednesday’s violence and say, “Meh.”
They will do so because most who now rip Trump and the hooligans who betrayed his message, his work, and his other followers are hypocrites who did nothing to rein in the excesses of their own side.
On Aug. 30, as one example, Twitter user Caldron Pool posted a video montage that showed liberals calling for just what we saw on Wednesday – and did so without fear of blowback from other liberals. In a tweet with the video, Caldron Pool asked, “How did you think it would end?”
Some clips included:
- Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “I just don’t know why there aren’t uprisings all over the country. Maybe there will be.” In another appearance on the video, Pelosi referred to Trumpsters as “enemies of the state.” In a third clip, Pelosi also said, “The domestic enemies to our voting system and our honoring our Constitution are right at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” the address of the White House.
- Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley, a founding member of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Squad: “There needs to be unrest in the streets for as long as there is unrest in our lives.”
- CNN’s resident airhead Chris Cuomo: “Show me where it says that protests are supposed to be polite and peaceful.”
- Eric Holder, President Barack Obama’s first attorney general: “When they go low, we kick them.”
- Cuomo’s partner in whine, Don Lemon: “The biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right.”
- Actor Robert DeNiro, of Trump: “I’d like to punch him in the face.”
- Political consultant and co-founder of the left-wing Lincoln Project Rick Wilson: “They’re gonna have to go out and put a bullet in Donald Trump.”
- A TV news clip about state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, a Missouri Democrat who called for Trump to be assassinated.
- Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California: “If you see anybody from that (Trump) Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”
Examples not mentioned by Caldron Pool include such statesmen as:
- Hillary Clinton: “You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about.”
- Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester about Trump: “You need to go back and punch him in the face. The truth is this guy’s bad for the country.”
- Clinton’s 2016 running mate Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine: Democrats must “fight in Congress, fight in the courts, fight in the streets, fight online, fight at the ballot box.”
For four long years the left-leaning leading lights of our political system, pop culture, and news media did what the mob did Wednesday: reject the results of a bitter, closely contested but legit election.
Instead of accepting and debating, they then proceeded to lecture us again and again that Trump was a criminal, an illegitimate president – it was the Russkies who put him there, don’t ya know – unworthy of respect, praise, or kindness. Accordingly, those who cheered him did not deserve to be heard, a job, or even to live.
On Wednesday, Trump came along and tossed a burning match onto that seething pile of resentful kindling – and we saw the result.
A brief tweet posted Thursday by Joel Pollak, executive editor of Breitbart News, likely answered that.
“The right is looking at itself in the mirror today,” he wrote. “The left continues as before.”