The Democrats have applied a two-pronged political strategy since the tragic Jan. 6 riot at the U.S Capitol.
Blame Donald Trump for the violence, as well as the injuries and deaths that are allegedly connected to the riot. And tar all Republicans, regardless of where they live or what they do, with the insurrectionist brush.
The narrative, however, misses one crucial detail.
For Trump fans and those on the right generally, the riot was a one-offer.
The violence subsided with a few hours that dreadful day and Congress finished its business of validating the election. And despite the left’s incessant, and often hyperventilating, rhetoric about the risk to our country and our government presented by hooligans who stormed the Capitol, opportunities for additional mass violence – such as President Joe Biden’s inauguration – have come and gone without incident.
Compare that to last summer, when “mostly peaceful” protests by Black Lives Matter and Antifa repeatedly plagued major cities with rioting, looting, arson, destruction, and on occasion injuries and deaths.
After Portland hit 100 consecutive days of rioting, people stopped counting. In city after city, almost all of which were run by Democrats, the threat to civil authority and law enforcement were near-constant.
Still, the post-Jan. 6 hysteria in Washington, D.C., has led to security measures that have turned the nation’s capital into the Green Zone, the nickname given to the heavily fortified area around the U.S. embassy in Baghdad during the Iraq war.
Although Trump was supposedly the dictator, it is Biden who presides over a capital that resembles one in a banana republic, with wary armed troops in the streets and areas cordoned off with sleek black fencing adorned with razor wire.
And apparently it will stay that way.
On Thursday, the Associated Press reported, “U.S. Capitol Police officials told congressional leaders the razor-wire topped fencing around the Capitol should remain in place for several more months as law enforcement continues to track threats against lawmakers.”
The estimate before the fencing can come down around the facility: September.
“But despite the recommendation,” the AP continued, “it is unclear how long the fence will remain surrounding the Capitol grounds with dozens of lawmakers growing tired of it and an increased push in Congress for it to come down.”
The AP pointed out that more than 40 Republicans have signed a letter to Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling for the removal of the fence.
Back on Jan. 27, GOP Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, once an Army Ranger who served in Iraq, argued in an op-ed that there was no “specific, credible threat … that justifies this continued troop presence.”
“The lesson of the Capitol riot,” Cotton wrote, “is not that we should quarter a standing army at the Capitol just in case, but rather that our security measures should be calibrated to the actual threats.”
That day, Rep. Michael Waltz, a Florida Republican, and a former Green Beret, led a group of 11 GOP lawmakers who wanted to know why 7,000 National Guard troops remained in D.C. three weeks after the riot. He told the Military Times, “We should know exactly what is driving that number. And the guardsmen deserve to know that. … To have them here just to stare at a fence doesn’t make sense to me.”
The Times reported that the Guard is ordered to be in Washington until the end of March.
Other than referencing the fact that federal authorities are tracking some unspecified threats, the AP does not explain why the goalposts for removing troops have been moved from March to September.
The news agency did note that Yogananda Pittman, acting chief of the Capitol Police, has said, “I can unequivocally say that vast improvements to the physical security infrastructure must be made to include permanent fencing, and the availability of ready, back-up forces in close proximity to the Capitol.”