Republicans love them some insurrectionists. Donald Trump explicitly proclaimed his love for them in his infamous tweet on Jan. 6, as he was ostensibly calling them off from their mission, saying “So go home, we love you, you’re very special.” He also urged them to “Remember this day forever!”
More recently, Republican Senators thwarted efforts to establish a bipartisan Jan. 6 Commission, taking the bizarre position that it was not worth the effort to thoroughly investigate the origins of the Capitol Insurrection.
Then, House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy tried to play games with his nominees for the House Select Committee on Jan. 6, nominating two Republicans with ties or sympathies to the Insurrection.
And now, the House Goofball Caucus — Gaetz, Greene & Gohmert — staged a political stunt at a federal jail to check on the conditions under which some insurrectionists are being held. Gohmert seemed especially troubled that terrorists who attacked the Capitol and assaulted our core governmental processes are possibly being treated as, well, terrorists.
The Republican decision to exalt the insurrectionists is odd in light of their past hardline stance against demonstrators. Remember the Summer of 2020 demonstrations outside the gates of the White House, when Trump crowed that Secret Service officers “let the ‘protesters’ scream & rant as much as they wanted, but whenever someone got too frisky or out of line, they would quickly come down on them, hard — didn’t know what hit them.”
Trump described the scene as “Big crowd, professionally organized, but nobody came close to breaching the fence. If they had they would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen. That’s when people would have been really badly hurt, at least.”
Fast forward to now, when Trump is outraged – outraged – that a Capitol security officer shot someone who was attempting to break into the Speaker’s Lobby to the House Chamber through a window that had been smashed by the mob. “Who Shot Ashli Babbitt?” is not a sequel to “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” but a Republican rallying cry, as if she were some poor, virtuous waif (“an innocent, wonderful, incredible woman” according to Trump).
Where was the Republican outrage when police shot Breanna Taylor, who was roused from sleep in her own bed and shot during a botched police raid that was based on alleged criminal activities of a former boyfriend, or Botham Jean, who was minding his own business in his own apartment, or other blacks who were moving away from the police, or had their hands in the air when they were shot?
Republicans said things like “Well, she shouldn’t have associated with a suspected drug dealer” or “He should have complied with police orders” to justify those shootings, as if Ashli Babbitt didn’t associate with domestic terrorists or fail to comply with the orders of officers protecting the House Chamber.
Remember when Trump announced “I just had the privilege of signing a very strong Executive Order protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues”? Regarding those who attacked statues (rather than government officials or functions), Trump declared, “We are looking at long-term jail sentences for these vandals and these hoodlums and these anarchists and agitators and call them whatever you want. They’re bad people, they don’t love our country, and they’re not taking down our monuments.”
But in Trump’s mind, the insurrectionists are “very special” people. Why isn’t an attack on the Capitol when Congress was fulfilling its constitutional duty to certify the electors in the 2020 Presidential election at least as disturbing as attacking a statue??
It is clear that Trump and the vast majority of Republican politicians in Washington have chosen sides. And in the battle of the insurrectionist mob vs. America, they are not on the side of America.