January 6

Partisan Politics Cloud the Capitol Riot's Significance

Neither Republicans nor Democrats can be trusted to give an honest account of what happened that day.

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You may have heard that the Republican National Committee (RNC) described last year's Capitol riot as "legitimate political discourse." Although that is what The New York Times and other news outlets reported last week, it is not actually true.

It is true, however, that the RNC, which used that phrase when it censured Reps. Liz Cheney (R‒Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R‒Ill.) for participating in the House committee investigating the events of January 6, 2021, did not explain what it meant until after its misbegotten resolution generated a predictable storm of criticism. The episode illustrates why neither Republicans nor Democrats can be trusted to give an honest account of what happened that day or what it signified.

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel called the Times story "completely false." She said the RNC censured Cheney and Kinzinger because they joined "a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens who engaged in legitimate political discourse that had nothing to do with violence at the Capitol."

The heart of McDaniel's complaint is that the January 6 committee has gone beyond investigating the riot itself to explore the circumstances in which it happened. The committee is looking into the planning of the "Save America" rally that preceded the violent assault on the Capitol, for example, and it has issued subpoenas to Republicans who presented themselves as "alternate electors," which was part of the quixotic effort to keep Donald Trump in office.

McDaniel is right that much of what the committee is investigating involved the exercise of constitutional rights, including freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and the right to petition the government. And it is important to distinguish between peaceful protest and political violence: While tens of thousands of Trump supporters attended the "Save America" rally, the FBI so far has charged fewer than 800 in connection with the riot.

The Justice Department estimates that as many as 2,500 people could ultimately be arrested for crimes committed at the Capitol, including trespassing, disorderly conduct, vandalism, and assault. That is still a small fraction of the Trump supporters who were in Washington, D.C., that day to hear the president and his allies decry the imaginary conspiracy that supposedly denied him a second term.

Still, it is impossible to understand the riot without understanding its context: Trump's unprecedented, monthslong refusal to accept the results of the presidential election. When Trump urged his followers to march on the Capitol and "peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard," it was foreseeable that some of them would go further than that.

The argument that Trump's inflammatory "fight like hell" rhetoric was protected by the First Amendment did not save him from a second impeachment. Nor should it have, since the issue was not criminal liability but the dereliction of duty he displayed before and after the riot started. 

It is understandable that a party still dominated by Trump and his supporters does not want people to dwell on these facts. It is likewise understandable that the opposing party wants to constantly remind voters of them.

As outrageous as the riot was, however, it is simply not true that it "almost succeeded in preventing the democratic transfer of power," as former President Jimmy Carter recently claimed. Vice President Mike Pence had already announced that he would not participate in Trump's bizarre scheme to overturn the election results, which Congress certified that night.

Even the most aggressive rioters literally did not know which way to turn after they broke into the Capitol, let alone what their practical goal was. This was more like a temper tantrum than an incipient coup.

Warnings that the riot could prove to be the opening battle of a civil war are likewise overblown. That fear is based mainly on polling results that, like news reports on the RNC resolution, grossly exaggerate the extent to which Americans condone political violence.

Both parties are bending reality to fit their political goals. That temptation makes understanding the riot and its implications harder than it should be.

© Copyright 2022 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  1. For fucks sake. If you are going to insist that both sides "cannot be trusted" to tell the truth about what happened that day, then provide evidence that both sides have lied about what happened that day.

    As near as I can tell, the evidence is that the Republicans have censured a couple republicans specifically for joining a "a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens who engaged in legitimate political discourse that had nothing to do with violence at the Capitol." As the article notes, the committee *is* indeed investigating people who had no involvement of trespass or violence. Sullum agrees with the Republican statement. He agrees that criticism of it is (in his words) exaggerated.

    The entire article points to evidence that Democrats are misrepresenting the riot as an insurrection and that the Democrats are over-reaching in their investigation. And what is the evidence that republicans "can't be trusted"? Sullum doesn't really give any.

    He says, "Still, it is impossible to understand the riot without understanding its context". Um...ok...What does that have to do with trust in the Republicans? On the one hand, he points to actual evidence that Democrats are investigating behavior that had nothing to do with the riot. On the other hand...I guess the republicans are to blame for...not...pointing out context?

    Seriously. Sullum gives ZERO example of Republicans misstating the seriousness or significance of the Jan 6 riot. None. The only link to evidence that he can give is a link to an article Sullum himself wrote about the Trump team's legal defense against impeachment. Remember that, when it happened a year ago? Trump defending himself against impeachment is somehow evidence that Republicans right now cannot be trusted to speak on the issue.

    This is word salad nonsense, and Reason should be ashamed that it was published, and most ashamed that it was written by one of their purported heavyweights. If you are going to give a "Both Sides" article, then you need to provide evidence of both sides.

    Christ. I have judged 6th grade debates with better ability to backup their opening statements. Reason? This is emoting and wishful thinking. Stop being so god damn lazy.

    1. If it weren't for the miracle of "both sides" our Reasonistas would have to come to the horrible realization that the cool kids in the DC establishment are actually jackbooted fascist thugs.

      1. I am not morally or logically opposed the "both sides" treatment. I am not enamored with either side of the aisle in our government. But if you are going to level a both sides argument, then back that shit up.

        And Sullum doesn't do that. At best his article is a catalog of untruthful and politically slanted statements by the democrats, punctuated with a "and Trump was bad too, er go Republicans evil too".

        Where is the evidence, Sullum? These guys are in dire need of some ideological diversity in their editing room.

    2. And by the way, before the usual subjects jump in with a "Stop complaining about both sides!" non-sequitur, please read my actual complaint: my complaint is that Sullum alleges that both sides can't be trusted while offering up only evidence of the Democrats' perfidy. His only link to the Republicans is Trump team's legal defense from a year ago. We have had a year of quotable quotes from Republicans since then, and Sullum couldn't be bothered to choose any of them to support his "both sides" thesis.

      Had Sullum's article been titled "Democrats cannot be trusted..." it would have matched the content. His "To be sure, the insurrection was still bad, and Trump's first amendment protests were weak" stuff would support such a thesis. I don't know if Sullum's work was overridden by an editor or if he just had a little too much wine. But if you are going to make a bold statement that the entire legislative branch- GOP and DEM- cannot be trusted to tell the truth to the American public, you need to back that shit up.

    3. And what is the evidence that republicans "can't be trusted"? Sullum doesn't really give any.

      Here is one clue, from the article:

      You may have heard that the Republican National Committee (RNC) described last year's Capitol riot as "legitimate political discourse." Although that is what The New York Times and other news outlets reported last week, it is not actually true.

      It is true, however, that the RNC, which used that phrase when it censured Reps. Liz Cheney (R‒Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R‒Ill.) for participating in the House committee investigating the events of January 6, 2021, did not explain what it meant until after its misbegotten resolution generated a predictable storm of criticism. The episode illustrates why neither Republicans nor Democrats can be trusted to give an honest account of what happened that day or what it signified.

      The clear implication here, is that the RNC originally did intend for the phrase "legitimate political discourse" to refer to the entirety of the events of that day, including the riot, and only when they were called out on it, backtracked to claim that no, really it only meant this very small other thing, not the riot itself. That Republicans can't be trusted to view this event honestly because, if left to their own devices, they WOULD regard rioting at the Capitol to be "legitimate political discourse".

      1. It is not the clear implication Democrats want, which is all the proof I need that you are a Democrat stooge. If it was a clear implication, you wouldn't have to explain why you think it is a clear implication.

        * clearly
        * I support XXX, but ...
        * it goes without saying
        * not to mention
        * it is indisputable
        * inarguably

        1. “you wouldn't have to explain”

          Overt asked someone to explain.

      2. And why not? When rioting at the Supreme Court, or burning down businesses, or looting, or attacking police, etc., were considered "legitimate political discourse" for the last year.

        I mean, "Death to America" and "Kill All Pigs!" and "This is not American territory, it's an Autonomous Zone!!" are legitimate political discourse, and "Where's the bathroom?" is insurrection, to be sure, but this still reeks of residual TDS.

        Sure, Trumps a dummy, he's an asshole, he made mean tweets, he wasn't "presidential"...but how is any of that worse than what Nadler/Schiff/Pelosi, et. al. get up to every single fucking day?

        They are working to fix elections and are moving us towards a police state, a panopticon where total control of economic activity and arbitrary, unequal application of the law are used to lock the ruling class safely into their positions.

        And Reason still says Trump was the "authoritarian". Jebus. I am disappoint.

      3. Did you listen to the rogan podcasts you claimed didn't exist yesterday jeff? You said you would. Do you retract your entire opinion on him after?

        1. im sure he will get right on that after he reads the reason CRT article he was MIA for that has been mentioned to him over and over.

          Then maybe he can look at Chris Rufo's big list of compiled "CRT happening in broad daylight" he refused to look at.

          But hey, then he can keep going on saying "listen, I havent personally seen evidence of CRT in schools...cite?!"..."I mean Rogan never has anyone with left wing views on, he skews the discourse toward right wingers only by his guest choice...cite?!?!"

      4. Chemjeff wannabea statist....Oh please. Nobody with functioning synapses favors violent rioting at the capitol building. No one. The attempt to smear half the country as somehow traitorous is disgusting.

        As so are the people who perpetuate this calumny....chemjeff.

        1. chemjeff radical individualist
          February.9.2021 at 8:56 am
          Flag Comment Mute User
          What is there to talk about?

          From a libertarian perspective, Ashli Babbett was trespassing, and the officers were totally justified to shoot trespassers. Again from a libertarian perspective, the officers would have been justified in shooting every single trespasser. That would not have been wise or prudent, of course.

          1. Jeff deserves a rusty pitchfork up the ass.

      5. You're and idiot.

        Clearly, based on actual evidence and not "implications," this is a partisan political process that has exceeded any reasonable scope and is now a partisan abuse of Congressional power (which it's questionable that they even have).

        From the article:

        "McDaniel is right that much of what the committee is investigating involved the exercise of constitutional rights, including freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and the right to petition the government."

        Sullum's own statement acknowledges the committee is investigating protected speech by ordinary citizens.

        1. Still, it is impossible to understand the riot without understanding its context: Trump's unprecedented, monthslong refusal to accept the results of the presidential election.

          Do you agree with this?

          1. What does one have to do with the other?

            Sullum acknowledges in his article that the committee is investigating people exercising their constitutionally protected rights to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and the right to petition the government. Those are "ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse."

      6. "The clear implication here,"

        Yes, you and the Democrats are implying that the Republicans meant even rioters. Do you have any evidence that this is the case? No...Just you imputing the worst motives on people you hate, and agreeing with their political rivals. Have Republicans repeatedly before this pointed out that the Select Committee is abusing its power and going after people that weren't involved in actual rioting? Yes. Has that been one of the MAIN ARGUMENTS they have been making for the past 3 or 4 months? Yes.

        But because *you* think you can read minds. That is not EVIDENCE that the Republicans can't be trusted. It isn't a lie from them.

        1. the Select Committee is abusing its power and going after people that weren't involved in actual rioting?

          Are you referring to the "fake electors"? Why do you think they are looking into the issue of the "fake electors"?

      7. "The clear implication here, is that the RNC originally did intend for the phrase "legitimate political discourse" to refer to the entirety of the events of that day, including the riot, and only when they were called out on it, backtracked to claim that no, really it only meant this very small other thing, not the riot itself."

        Your proof seems to consist largely...if not SOLELY...of your assumption about what they meant.

        The 1/6 Committee has engaged in egregious violations of civil rights of people. Anybody involved with it SHOULD be disciplined for being involved in it.

        "That Republicans can't be trusted to view this event honestly because, if left to their own devices, they WOULD regard rioting at the Capitol to be "legitimate political discourse"."

        Your assumption of what they really meant is not actually proof.

      8. 'The clear implication here,' if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. Implication is another way of saying you are making a presumption, not that there is a statement in proof of this. Mind-reading to support your preferred narrative is a weak argument.

      9. it only meant this very small other thing, not the riot itself.

        In reality the protest was quite large while the riot was quite small. But it's definitely funny watching people who spent 6 months hyperventilating over bifurcating protests and riots to ensure no identifiable left wingers could be criticized suddenly pretend the bifurcation is not relevant.

        We see one more nail in the credibility coffin.

    4. If sullum wants the truth he would ask for the hundreds of hours of video tapes the DoJ is still withholding. He would be stronger on pointing out only 10% of the j6 committee subpoenas are for people who were at the Capitol. He would mention Pelosi and the Capitol police are stonewalling records for why they didn't use the national guard and communications for staffing and procedure.

      1. Ding ding ding!!!

    5. ^100%, Overt the real MVP!

  2. Neither Republicans nor Democrats can be trusted to give an honest account of what happened that day."

    Nor can Jacob Sullum apparently, based on past articles.

    1. At this point, I begin to think his TDS is no longer involuntary.

    2. Jacob Sullum (D)

  3. The disgust over the partisanship comes from one simple fact: The Jan 6 vandalism was far less violent than any of the hundreds of spring and summer Burn Loot Murder riots, which also include city governments pulling police back, turning city property over to the rioters, and even handing over control of sections of cities to the rioters. The Jan 6 vandalism was not even close to an insurrection, and barely qualifies as even a riot. Not a single participant had a gun or caused any deaths. Yet there have been no Congressional hearings of those Burn Loot Murder riots.

    The Burn Loot Murder founders are avowed Marxists, and if the Jan 6 vandalism is worthy of being called an insurrection, then everyone who Burned, looted, and murdered is a damn traitor.

    Get the facts straight before you start screaming BOAF SIDZ.

    1. It's an open question though, if those Marxists really wanted a violent revolution, or if it was just a side effect of a sleazy scam.

      NOTE: The money's now gone, and policing in zero communities has been improved.

      1. Why can't it be both? What is Marxism, but a sleazy scam?

      2. But you should be applying the same metric to both sides. The marxists are given a pass for the explicitly violent rhetoric and actions but the J6 organizers are assumed to have organized for the purposes of violence when there was none of significance.

    2. This is such a tired, weak talking point. It would not matter if there was zero property damage on January 6th. What makes the riot that day uniquely bad is that it was an attempt to disrupt the peaceful, democratic, Constitutional transition of power from one Presidential administration to the next administration.

      1. ...except they did not. Meanwhile, leftists did try to prevent the inauguration of Trump via rioting during the ceremony and afterwards.

      2. Because the Trump supporters thought the transition of power was happening through fraud. I don't believe that, but THEY did -- so adopting their mindset, what were they supposed to do? Just let fraud happen?

        1. Numerous court cards and recounts and audits showed there was no significant fraud, so what they should have done is accepted the facts and supported the peaceful, democratic transition of power.

          1. You're dodging the question.

            And you're exhibiting your hypocrisy.

            Democrats spent 4 years screaming "Resist!" and pushing the Russia lie.

        2. You are basically saying the same thing as: Son of Sam shot a bunch of people because of voices in his head — from his point of view, what else was he supposed to do?

          1. Only in the very broadest strokes. The range of people who do things for the wrong reason range from "he's wrong, but I see his point" to "he's fucking crazy." Berkowitz was "fucking crazy" so he gets no leeway. The election protestors, I think were wrong, but I saw their point for awhile. On January 6, I don't think was long enough from November for anyone to say "they're fucking crazy." So they get a lot more leeway than Berkowitz.

            1. They rioted, breaking into the Capitol.
              There’s no excuse for their doing that.

              1. Except the dozens if times democrats have invaded a state Capitol like in Wisconsin?

              2. No excuse?

                Our government is being stolen from us, is no excuse?

                You wouldn't break into the Capitol to prevent that, if you thought it was happening?

  4. "When Trump urged his followers to march on the Capitol and "peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard," it was foreseeable that some of them would go further than that."

    No, not really. Democrats have a long, long record of violence at their political protests, including a couple years of bloody riots prior to January 6th. It's an unusual Democratic protest that doesn't involve at least a little rioting.

    Republicans had an equally long record of PEACEFUL political protest. Leaving protest sites cleaner than when they came, even.

    Indeed, isn't that why the Capitol police were unprepared for the riot? That nobody actually expected Republicans to riot, it was basically unprecedented. That's why it came as such a shock!

    Heck, even in Charlottesville, you only got violence when the police deliberately forced the right-wing protesters and the Antifa goons who had come to attack them, together, instead of keeping them separated; It was done to have an excuse to shut down the protest. Before they did that, it was peaceful, normally the only time you get violence at Republican events is when somebody like Antifa shows up to attack.

    1. Like the tea party, the truck convoy in Canada is often leaving streets and parks cleaner than when they began protesting.

      1. But they're being called "Nazis" anyway. So far the only violence there has been an 'anarchist' deliberately driving into a crowd.

        1. Agreed.

          There is a video of a fully masked person woth a confederate flag in Ottawa, as if Canada had the confederacy, where the protestors call him out demanding him to leave. The media reported on the flag being at the protest instead.

    2. Charlottesville wasn't exactly a Republican event, either. There may have been a few moderates who got duped into showing up there because of the issue, but the organizers weren't your typical right wingers.

  5. All I can say is that it is a damn shame there are no videos of what happened, and we have to rely on partisan hearsay.

    1. It is strange only one side is asking to release all the videos. But both sides want misinformation apparently.

  6. "When Trump urged his followers to march on the Capitol and "peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard," it was foreseeable that some of them would go further than that."

    No it fucking wasn't, you TDS addled hack. There is nothing in that statement that comes even close to inciting, encouraging, or even tacitly approving violence. No reasonable person would interpret "peacefully and patriotically" to mean "go tear the place up."

    If the phrase "peacefully and patriotically" foreseeably leads to violence, than what about the phrases, "No justice, no peace," and "Burn it down?" If that's the standard Sullum wants for poliitical speech, those two phrases are clear calls to violence.

    If that's the standard Sullum wants, then he has no respect for free speech.

    1. How hard would it be to find two dozen explicit calls fo, or at least condoning, violence from Democrats. Sullum is little more than a DNC hack trying to hold together his fraying narrative at the cost of whatever is left of his reputation.

    2. The people who busted in weren't even AT his speech, they headed over to the Capitol before he started talking, and busted in partway through the speech.

      Apparently Trump's speech was so inflammatory it reached back in time to incite people who only heard it later.

      1. This is a nice, convenient belief.

        You are saying that if we draw a Venn diagram with one circle being people that attended at least some part of Trump’s rally and another circle with entered the Capitol building there are no people in the intersection?

        If we draw another circle with people who attended the rally until its conciliation and a circle of people who later entered the Capitol building it would have no people in the intersection?

        1. We're talking about the people who ACTUALLY broke into the capitol, not the ones who followed along later and wandered in because the doors were open.

          1. "followed along later and wandered in"

            "Oh, look. I just happened to be walking by, and noticed that the doors of Congress are open. Think I'll wander in and stay behind the velvet ropes."

            1. Quite a few did exactly that.

              1. And the plan all along was for the protest to move to the Capitol building outside. The poor fools got there and saw that there was a crowd that was strolling through the building and police didn't seem to be stopping them, so they thought it was okay. They were so far behind the violence that happened in the front, earlier in the day, that they never realized it.

                1. “The plan”? Isn’t the point of the House investigation is to find out if anyone planned anything ahead of time? There is no know, proven plan on anyone’s part at this time other than some Oath Keeper’s plans that were not actually carried out according to plan.

                  1. Yeah that's why we want to see all the video.

                    1. If the committee actually ever accuses anyone of planning January 6th, they will have to present their evidence and make their case.

                    2. So why are the videos hidden today sea lion?

  7. Okay. Now do how BLM and its advocates are responsible for the riots and destruction surrounding the protests in 2020 and 2021.

    1. You never provided birth certificates, membership rosters, sworn statements, etc saying those blm leaders at riots were blm leaders. False equivalence!!!

    2. This is such a tired, weak talking point. What makes the riot that day uniquely bad is that it was an attempt to disrupt the peaceful, democratic, Constitutional transition of power from one Presidential administration to the next administration.

      1. Your copypasta is limp and overdone. This talking point is lame. All political protest is an attempt to disrupt in order to bring about a particular political end. This one is no different.

      2. There were GOP lawmakers already vowing to use an established congressional process to challenge state by state certifications. There was also open question about whether VP Pence would decide whether or not to certify the overall results through a far more questionable process. While Pence has said lately that he had no authority to reject the results, he was being pretty damn quiet about in the days leading up to J6, when broadcasting his stance ahead of time might have made a world of difference.

        The impression I got from watching what was going on with the crowds before the riot that day was that a lot of Trump supporters were planning to go into the building and yell at their lawmakers and Pence to reject electoral certifications. That seems to have been the idea a lot of the J6 defendants had, considering the large majority were arrested for simple trespass-type charges. Had the police not started batoning and pepper-spraying folks, I'd imagine it would have ended up looking like all the Dem voters who protested the Kavanaugh hearings and yelled at their senators not to confirm him. The end result would have been a lot of yelling and then the eventual let-down for the people doing the yelling, but nothing out of the ordinary.

        That's not exactly the dastardly attempt to stop the transition of power it's constantly portrayed as by the likes of you and the corporate press.

        What made J6 uniquely bad was that after how the left reacted to Trump getting elected in 2016 and the 2018 Kavanaugh hearings and half a year of fiery/deadly riots throughout every major U.S. city, including one at the WH that forced Trump into the bunker, all of which were egged on by Dem lawmakers, the J6 crowd (which granted spends a lot of time talking about fighting back against a government gone tyrannical) naively thought they could pull what the left pulled at the Kavanaugh hearings and get the same result, or at the very least better treatment than folks who put entire sections of their cities to the torch for months on end. Thinking there wouldn't be a double standard was really f-ing stupid of them, but their stupidity doesn't place them in their own unique category as insurrectionists.

  8. "Neither Republicans nor Democrats can be trusted to give an honest account of what happened that day."

    What happened isn't the issue. It's the significance people attach to it. The progressives' assault on democracy narrative is unhinged. There was never any good reason to believe that Biden wouldn't be declared the winner of the election, The biggest threat to democracy on January 6 was not the Capitol riot. The biggest threat to democracy on January 6 was from the night before, when it became clear that the Democrats had won the runoff elections in Georgia. The Democratic party and the federal government would now be one in the same thing--all controlled 100% by the Democrats, and they were pushing to add two new states, kill the filibuster, and pack the Supreme Court.

    Does anyone dispute those facts?

    No honest account of January 6 can ignore the significance of the police killing an unarmed protester, something that has been unacceptable to the American mind since Paul Revere published his depiction of the Boston Massacre--and right up through the National Guard firing on unarmed students protesting against Vietnam at Kent State.

    The question isn't whether Ashli Babbitt was armed or whether she was killed. Everyone agrees about the events. It's just that Democrats and progressives continue to justify shooting an unarmed protester in terms of her political beliefs. She didn't believe in the election results, so shoot her, shoot her, shoot her! Does anyone dispute the fact that progressives defend shooting an unarmed protester in terms of protecting democracy?

    What happened on January 6 isn't the issue. The issue is that the Democrats and the progressives represent the largest threat to democracy in generations, and the interpretation of January 6 is soaked with their contempt for average people and democracy. They even used January 6 as a pretext to shut down a social media service, Parler, for tolerating views on their service that oppose them. They even used January 6 as a pretext to sic the FBI's counter terrorism division on parents for opposing progressive school boards--all in terms of insurrection.

    What actually happened on January 6 isn't the issue. The issue is that Democrats and progressive have used the undisputed events of January 6 to launch the biggest assault on democracy and civil rights that we've seen in a very long time, to the point that they're assaulting basic American values--like free speech, freedom of assembly, shooting unarmed protesters, as well as democracy itself. They've even tried to push through a bill that would force states to count ballots that are received weeks after election day--showing nothing but contempt for the concerns of voters about the integrity of our elections.

    It isn't what happened on January 6 that's in dispute. January 6 was just a pretext for the Democrats' assault on democracy. It's Biden and the Democrats' assault on democracy that's the issue.

    1. On top of that the J6 commission is in violation of House rules on investigatory committees. There is no membership put on the committee from the minority party. But they continue to issue subpoenas and depositions in violation of House rules. Again 10% of subpoenas have been for people at or involved with the Capitol. They are requesting bank records, phone records, and even diaries. It is a completely partisan attack on an opposing party. Key aspects ignored by Sullum.

      1. The essential facts aren't in dispute.

        1. Says every kangaroo court ever.

    2. Doofus Ken, Ashli wasn't shot for her opinions. She was shot for breaching a corridor attached to the chamber holding House members who were the target of many of the rioters. It was unknown if she was armed or how many would follow behind her if she entered. Unfortunately, the cop who shot her did his job of protecting our elected leaders. If someone had been shot much earlier, this stain on our democracy would have been kept to being a protest and not a destructive riot where some had murderous intent.

      1. Lt. Michael Byrd, a serially written up and incompetent LEO, should be summarily dismissed and charged with manslaughter.

      2. It was unknown if she was armed

        In fact it was known she was unarmed.

        or how many would follow behind her if she entered.

        We can see in the video there are only a handful of people present, loosely grouped and watching / videoing docilely. In fact a few seconds after the shooting three LEOs walk through this loose group unimpeded. Left wingers are inventing excuses trying to justify her killing.

      3. Please show us the section of the law which justifies the use of deadly force against a person whose only offense is "breaching a corridor" . . .

        1. She probably shouldn't have been shot, but after reviewing the video, I'd have expected to have been shot in her place. She was not doing anything she should have been doing, and she had to have known that.

      4. Joe,
        The NAP needs to be applied here I would think. As for the fear of this women being armed is hard to believe given the heavily armed police (holding M-4 rifles) around her when she was shot. The cop had a bad case of nerves..in a situation he was never trained for. He got scared and shot her. At the very least he should lose his job as a cop.

      5. All video evidence shows she was not armed. The claim for over a year now has been that she was climbing through a window. If she was climbing through a window, Byrd would have been able to clearly see what her hands were doing (grasping at the window frame, not an UZI).

        It's one thing to say a cop couldn't tell if X person was armed if when they yell for the person to put their hands up the person instead jams their hands into a pocket. It's one thing if a person is facing away from the officer or is bladed so the officer can't see what the person is doing. But climbing through a window towards Byrd (as the narrative goes) is a scenario where it's far less easy to claim he couldn't tell if she was armed.

        "If someone had been shot much earlier, this stain on our democracy would have been kept to being a protest and not a destructive riot where some had murderous intent."

        This is either a seriously poorly worded sentence or an admission that you support atrocious murder of people you disagree with. Cops can't, in a morally justifiable way, shoot protesters to ensure they don't start a riot.

    3. “Does anyone dispute those facts?”

      Yes. It is a bigger deal that rioters broke into the Capitol to try to disrupt the peaceful, democratic, Constitutional transition of one presidential administration to the next. And even worse that a U.S. President and his party made excuses for them.

      The loss in the Georgia recounts was largely the fault of that incompetent President and his cronies undermining his own base voters’ confidence that their votes would count in true recall election.

      1. recount, not recall

        1. Stop justifying authoritarianism.

    4. “a pretext for the Democrats' assault on democracy”

      If that is so, the pretext was handed to the Democrats in a silver platter. They didn’t plan it. It was a scenario set up by one of the most moronic, incompetent Republican presidents ever.

    5. “just a pretext”

      So, no concern on your part that a violent mob broke into the Capitol to try to disrupt a Constitutional process and perhaps murder the Vice President and the Speaker of the House while they were at it.

      No biggee. Nothing to see here. Move along.

      1. What they actually disrupted was the presentation of election irregularities. How lucky for a few specific people, one of which may have been in charge of security that day.

        1. Conspiratorialize away!

          1. That isiterally what you've done all thread dummy.

          2. It's not a conspiracy that there were election irregularities. That has verifiably been the case. An irregularity isn't definitive proof of fraud, though it does warrant answers. Election officials put out their answers and the Dems found them satisfactory while the Trump voters didn't. That's not a conspiracy. That's a dispassionate reading of the situation.

            In fact on J6, dozens of GOP lawmakers were lining up to talk about these irregularities and, as ElvisIsReal, points out their own supporters ultimately made it too ugly of an issue for the lawmakers to pursue it any further after the chaos that day. The irregularities became a moot point.

  9. The most “divisive” practice, by leaders of both parties, is during election cycles. In previous decades citizens had a recovery period - divisive during election season then the leaders of both parties would try unite citizens after the election cycle.

    Today in the 21st Century there is no recovery period - to unite citizens - since we have non-stop election cycles. We could drastically shorten the election season which would help unite citizens.

    During the Bush Administration, Republicans invented a foreign concept in government called the “Unitary Executive Theory”. Essentially it’s the foreign practice of electing a dictator every 4 years with unlimited authority to do anything. So some reason this theory only applied to Republican leaders. They never obeyed this theory under Obama or Biden.

    1. "During the Bush Administration, Republicans invented a foreign concept in government called the “Unitary Executive Theory”. Essentially it’s the foreign practice of electing a dictator every 4 years with unlimited authority to do anything. "

      Dude, you have no idea at ALL what unitary executive theory means. It has nothing to do with Presidents being dictators with unlimited authority.

      It just means that all the authority the executive branch DOES have is vested in the President, and only delegated to anybody else, so if he doesn't like what somebody in the executive branch is doing, he can overrule their decisions.

      For instance, as commander in chief, if he doesn't like the orders a general is giving, he can issue his own orders that general can't countermand.

      But if there's no constitutional law saying that anybody in the executive branch can do something, under unitary executive theory, the President doesn't have it.

  10. "The argument that Trump's inflammatory 'fight like hell' rhetoric was protected by the First Amendment did not save him from a second impeachment. Nor should it have since the issue was not criminal liability but the dereliction of duty he displayed before and after the riot started."

    Yes the fuck it should have Sullum. Not only is this a cut and dry first amendment issue but "fight like hell" isn't even a novel phrase in political discourse. It's standard stuff. It's not nearly as descriptive even as "create a crowd and show them they're not welcome."

    Trump got impeached because the Democrats really disliked him. Simple as. A handful of the less conservative, more DC-oriented, Republicans joined in because they also found Trump to be a nuisance. But let's not forget that as little of a set of ground rules as the first impeachment had, the second one didn't have half of that. I recall that once plans for more witnesses were to be called, the Dems immediately scrapped those plans when they realized Trump's lawyers would call their own rebuttal witnesses.

    You argue Trump had committed derilection of duty before and after the riot. How? Is challenging election results derilection of duty? Especially when states AGs demonstrably changed election procedures without the consent of the legislature as is the process laid forth in the constitution (changes which several judges have even recently declared wrongful). How did he derilect duty after the riot? He told his supporters to leave during the events and he served out his terms in spite of his misgivings about the election. His biggest derilection ahead of leaving office was not pardoning Ross Ulbricht and Massage, but that's utterly separate from the scope of the J6 committee's grievance.

    1. It is around 2 dozen cases now where judges ruled violation on election changes.

    2. “You argue Trump had committed derilection of duty before and after the riot. How?”

      Months of rhetoric undermining confidence in the democratic election outcome, scheduling a rally called “Stop the Steal” at the same time and place as the tallying of electoral votes, perhaps ignoring intel that rioting might occur (we’ll see what disclosed documents show), not taking actions to try to stop the riot once it had started.

      1. So we should throw Biden out for saying 2022 is illegitimate, right?

        1. Sure. Go ahead. I'm not a Biden supporter.

      2. Again, Trump's rhetoric is cut and dry 1A issue. Trump is also far from the first to challenge election results.

        Trump also asked for NG support prior to J6 to prevent a riot in the first place (albeit he expected it would be Antifa attacking his supporters). That was declined.

        When the riot started, he put out a video telling people to go home. The eventual NG response ran into a bureaucratic mess at the Pentagon. Not sure what Trump was going to do to make the military act faster, since the military had defied his orders on things like withdrawing from Syria, Afghanistan, deploying to the riots in the summer of 2020, etc.

  11. And it is important to distinguish between peaceful protest and political violence: While tens of thousands of Trump supporters attended the "Save America" rally, the FBI so far has charged fewer than 800 in connection with the riot.

    Don't hurt yourself patting your back for taking a year and a month to say what you said about BLM riots overnight.

    When Trump urged his followers to march on the Capitol and "peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard," it was foreseeable that some of them would go further than that.

    Just like we knew the BLM riots would turn violent. I've never seen this point made or supported by any Reason writer.

    1. By the metric he holds Republicans to just about every Democrat should be tossed out of office if not tossed in prison for their violent, insurrectionist rhetoric and actions up to and including seizing territory from the US by force (let alone the arson and assaults).

  12. Why is this resolution "misbegotten?"

    Cheney and Kinzinger are participating in a process of questionable legality which is engaged in investigating ordinary citizens based on their participation in constitutionally protected activities and speech, against the wishes of the Republican caucus, after the committee initially rejected the Republican caucus' own selections for committee members.

    They're acting deliberately against the interest of the RNC. Why would the RNC support that?

    1. They're part of a committee engaging in acts Congress has no power to engage in, largely because the limits on ACTUAL investigative bodies do not apply to Congress.

  13. The Justice Department estimates that as many as 2,500 people could ultimately be arrested for crimes committed at the Capitol, including trespassing, disorderly conduct, vandalism, and assault.

    One person who will never be arrested is the FBI agent terroist caught on video planting pipe bombs at the RNC and DNC headquarters.

  14. Where do they get the columnists for this web site - the parking lot at Home Depot?

    1. First and foremost, Republicans other than the 2 principled members, refused to partake in the House Committee even though they were offered numerous concessions to typical House Committee majority/minority rules, unless they could have bomb throwers like Jordan seated. The same party that had 5 or 6 committees "investigating" Ben Ghazi - until Hillary sat there for 8 hours and shut them down (Rep Gowdy was so butt hurt after that he didn't seek reelection) - doesn't want to politicize this investigation?

    2. If Pence had followed Trump's order we would have had a constitutional crisis, and may have one in the future as Republicans are currently working to give power to state legislatures to disregard voting results.

    1. IOW, the Republicans mostly refused to participate in a committee where the Democrats got to chose the Republican members. Except for the two NeverTrumpers, who were glad to participate in anything that was predetermined to make Trump look bad.

    2. "1. First and foremost, Republicans other than the 2 principled members, refused to partake in the House Committee even though they were offered numerous concessions to typical House Committee majority/minority rules, unless they could have bomb throwers like Jordan seated."

      Dictating who can and cannot be seated, by default, is not "offering concessions". It is setting up a kangaroo court, which is precisely what this charade is.

      "The same party that had 5 or 6 committees "investigating" Ben Ghazi - until Hillary sat there for 8 hours and shut them down (Rep Gowdy was so butt hurt after that he didn't seek reelection) - doesn't want to politicize this investigation?"

      Who, exactly, did they bar from being on those committees?

      "If Pence had followed Trump's order we would have had a constitutional crisis, and may have one in the future as Republicans are currently working to give power to state legislatures to disregard voting results."

      States always had that power.

      1. damik, the Speaker has that power and obviously Jordan would acted to sabotage a serious investigation, not to mention he is now a possible co-conspirator.

        As to giving state legislatures more power over electors, as the GOP is seeking to do in several states they control, today, 48 states appoint all of their Electors on a “winner take all” basis from slates provided by the top vote-getter in their statewide popular election for president. But two states—Maine and Nebraska—award the Electors by Congressional District and give their remaining two electoral votes to the statewide winner. Do you favor state legislatures involvement in choosing those electors? I favor all states going to the more equitable system Maine and Nebraska use. Winner take all elections supposedly enhance each states impact on the results, but when all do it we have the abortions of 2000 and 2016 as well as campaigns focused on about 10 states instead of all of them.

        1. "damik, the Speaker has that power and obviously Jordan would acted to sabotage a serious investigation, not to mention he is now a possible co-conspirator."

          So, again, she shot down the requests because the person might be adversarial. Got it. Much better. No need to have an investigation unless everybody agrees on everything. Truly, that is how you know it is a serious investigation --- nobody having a differing opinion at all.

          "As to giving state legislatures more power over electors, as the GOP is seeking to do in several states they control, today, 48 states appoint all of their Electors on a “winner take all” basis from slates provided by the top vote-getter in their statewide popular election for president."

          And if they tomorrow said "Scratch that, we will name who we want", there would be no legal recourse at all. Read the Constitution.

          "Do you favor state legislatures involvement in choosing those electors?"

          Can you point to me saying I did?

          "Winner take all elections supposedly enhance each states impact on the results, but when all do it we have the abortions of 2000 and 2016 as well as campaigns focused on about 10 states instead of all of them."

          Whbew. If you mentioned 2020, you'd be an insurrectionist. But you mentioned prior ones, so you're good. Only questioning ONE is insurrection.

          1. I think we're done damik. You think Jim Jordan would be a productive part of a serious investigation into an incident of which he was part, you imply that you approve of state legislatures trying to jig the selection of electors, but don't have the nuts to admit it, and confuse noting that elections in 2000 and 2016 resulted in the candidate voters rejected becoming president with an attempt to overthrow another.

            1. We think the minority party gets to pick the minority members of a committee. They're not there to be the people the majority wants, those are the majority members.

              Literally, the whole point of HAVING minority members is gone if the they have to be people the majority likes.

              Isn't it enough that the minority loses every single vote on the committee? They have to not have any input at all?

              1. Hey, it is important that we forbid people who the majority think were involved in spite of them not being involved are barred.

                Who was involved? Well, all Republicans EXCEPT Cheney and Adam what's-his-face. OBVIOUSLY.

              2. "...Literally, the whole point of HAVING minority members is gone if the they have to be people the majority likes..."

                You think the muted steaming pile of lefty shit understands "the opposition'?
                Of course not! To assholes like that "the opposition" is 'seditious'.
                These people are not to be credited with an IQ most of us would tolerate in a Starbucks barista.

            2. "You think Jim Jordan would be a productive part of a serious investigation into an incident of which he was part"

              Was he IN the Capitol?
              Did he take down barricades?
              Did he insure the security was understaffed?

              In what way was he a PART of it? He was not there. He did not remove barricades nor enter any buildings illegally.

              Feel free to explain how he was involved. This is your claim here.

              "you imply that you approve of state legislatures trying to jig the selection of electors"

              As I asked you earlier, can you cite a single example of me approving of it? Try arguing what was said and not what you wish was said.

              "but don't have the nuts to admit it"

              OH...Joe Friday is talking out of his ass. As usual. Shocker.

              "confuse noting that elections in 2000 and 2016 resulted in the candidate voters rejected becoming president with an attempt to overthrow another."

              Hey, I agree. It is fine to question any election in the history of the USA...EXCEPT 2020. That is the ONLY one where questions are verboten. Got it.

              1. Asshole Joe showed up here a month or so ago, and started spouting a pile of sewage which made it clear asshole Joe was full of shit. After several days of continued sewage output, it became clear that asshole Joe was still full of shit, regardless of how much shit asshole Joe spewed.
                At which point asshole Joe got muted as befits an asshole unendingly full of shit; suggest all do so.
                If you were so inclined, it is possible that you might find the TDS-addled spastic asshole or his buddy Hank might bury a nugget of intelligence somewhere in a post.
                Not true of this steaming pile of lefty shit; not a single post worth shit.
                Fuck off and die, asshole Joe.

  15. Court documents from yesterday show the ASUA arguing for a period of only 60 months for the blm protestor who burned down the pawn shop killing a person. 60 months down from 240 he was found guilty of in sentencing guidelines.

    This is the same length the DOJ prosecutors sought against the shaman at j6 for selfies.

  16. That's spelled "p-r-o-t-e-s-t", TDS-addled pile of shit.

  17. Maybe they should simply release all the video and let the people sort it out themselves? Nah.

    https://thefederalist.com/2022/01/04/pelosi-is-blocking-access-to-house-january-6-records-what-is-she-hiding/

    In a letter to the speaker on Monday, House Republicans independently probing the Capitol riot outlined at least four times last year that House deputies under Pelosi’s command denied requests to review documents shedding light on the security decisions of Jan. 6.

    1. There are numerous videos out there that clearly show the rioting. What secrets do you think some videos hold that will cancel out the culpability we have seen in numerous videos that are widely available?

      1. Why would you oppose releasing all of them? What is there to be scared of?

      2. It's what Nancy Pelosi knows they hide that matters.

      3. If there are no secrets in them, why not release them?

      4. There are numerous videos out there that clearly show a mouse talking.

        If your sole information source is the Disney Channel, there is nothing proving that a mouse DOESN'T talk.

  18. I find it interesting that so many people here are so uninformed that they don't even understand why the Jan. 6 investigation is investigating topics that are strictly beyond the events of that day. They deliberately wish to remain uninformed, and instead project the worst possible motives onto the people they hate. My personal rule of thumb is that if your argument relies on your opponents acting like caricatures of cartoon villains, your argument is probably wrong. Because there are no real cartoon villains out there.

    So, take a look at this:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/06/capitol-attack-coup-attempt-trump-far-right-republicans

    I am not saying that I agree with it. I am saying that it gives insight into why the Jan. 6 committee might have a legitimate basis to look at events that were strictly beyond what happened on Jan. 6.

    1. The J6 committee has no legitimate basis to investigate people engaging in constitutionally protected free speech activities, no matter what uour BlueAnon fever dreams tell you.

      1. I think that is an overly broad statement. They certainly should not punish people for nothing more than constitutionally protected speech, I absolutely agree with you. But I don't think it is out of bound for any congressional committee on any matter to gather evidence to explore a topic that is of national concern.

        1. It's entirely out of bounds for the government to investigate constitutionally protected activities, especially if those activities involve protest against the government.

        2. "But I don't think it is out of bound for any congressional committee on any matter to gather evidence to explore a topic that is of national concern."

          Given that Congress is not beholden to the same open disclosure rules that actual investigative bodies are...it is out of bounds to an order that is hard to fully express.

  19. "Funny", if by "funny" you mean "utterly pathetic". Jake, after writing a totally candy-assed "both sides" piece, which labors absurdly to make the Democrats look as unreasonable as the Republicans, is lambasted by Reason readers for being unfair to Republicans--I guess by criticizing them. If the people who wrote in to denounce Jake for being a Democrat/Commie are "representative" of libertarianism, libertarianism is a joke.

    1. It was worse than 9/11. I'd hardly call the Democrats unreasonable on this.

    2. "If the people who wrote in to denounce Jake for being a Democrat/Commie are 'representative' of libertarianism, libertarianism is a joke."

      They are not. A lot of conservative commenters hang out here because it is a free-of-charge, unmoderated commenting website.

      Many of them are quite vocal about not being fans of Reason. Despite their philosophy of self reliance, they apparently have no problem with being free riders on Reason, proudly proclaiming in Reason's own comment section that they do not contribute anything to Reason during webathons, and don't subscribe to the magazine.

      1. Seems rich that one of the richest men on Earth needs people markedly poorer than he to keep this afloat when he could do with ease.

        Just sayin'.

    3. Alan, you are one fucking dishonest, idiotic piece of shit. You should really stuff your TDS up your ass; your head's there and asking for company.

  20. was not a riot, young lady.

  21. Neither Republicans nor Democrats can be trusted to give an honest account of what happened that day.

    BOWF SIDEZ!

    1. Once again, I have to commend you. Spelling "both sides" as "BOWF SIDEZ!" constitutes a powerful argument against the position that people such as myself hold that neither major American political parties is worthy of a libertarian's support.

    2. If they really want to get to the bottom of what happened and the sequence of events they just need to release all footage of the day and let the internet mechanical turk it. Within 72 hours we would have the EXACT sequence of events, who talked to whom, when people talked on radios or cell phones, which cops beat people to death, and hey we would find that mysterious pipe bomber too.

  22. It should not be surprising that both sides would try to spin January 6th to their advantage. What is surprising is the degree to which the Trump party has failed. The Republicans had opportunities to have more input into the investigation but chose not to do that. They left their side represented by two people more loyal to the country, to their party and not to the former President. The result is as expected.

    The more the Trump Republicans attempt to distance themselves from January 6th the more they sink into the mud and they take the rest of the party with them. The former President anchors the Republicans to the past. Democrats are happy to leave them to the past.

    1. "The Republicans had opportunities to have more input into the investigation but chose not to do that."

      By not naming exactly who the Democrats wanted? Sounds cool.

      Again, when this standard is held in a GOP House, I do not want to hear complaints from you.

      "They left their side represented by two people more loyal to the country"

      Such heroes. Really.

      1. Republicans could have named any of their number to the committee, instead they let the former President suggest the names. I have little doubt that the former President will be running the House after the midterms and I suspect he will do no better than he did as President.

        1. The Republicans could have named anybody the Democrats wanted, but perversely named the members THEY wanted, instead. That's what you're saying.

          1. No, the Republican could have named who they wanted, they chose to job out the selection to Trump and that why the Democrats did not seat them. You are making the assumption that Kevin McCarthy can make his own decisions, I don't believe he can. He is too busy running down hallways just to avoid questions.

        2. "Republicans could have named any of their number to the committee"

          Clearly they could not.

        3. The whole point of minority representation in a committee isn't so that the majority gets to cherry-pick minority members who will agree with them. It's so that the process doesn't become politically one-sided and there's an at least adversarial review of the case.

          The majority already gets to outvote the minority and already gets to author the top-line majority opinion. The minority should at least be able to ask the type of questions that tend to discover exculpatory evidence in a case. This process was set up so exculpatory evidence would not come to light at all.

    2. Looks like McConnell and others are starting to see Trump as a problem for the party.

      1. "Starting"? Have you been in a cave the last decade?

        Trump was an insurgent candidate, the party establishment hated his guts, and did their best to have him lose. They fell short of that goal in 2016, succeeded in 2020.

        So, sure, if he runs in 2024, McConnell and others will want him to lose again.

        He's not so much a problem for "the party", as the party establishment, who don't want to lose their stranglehold on a party whose voting base has been trying to get rid of them for about 2-3 decades now.

        1. Trump was practically branded "elite" since the 1980s. It's his entire life goal to be a member of the establishment. And you can't be more establishment than from inside the Oval Office.

          What you're mistaking for being an outsider is incompetence. He had no relevant experience to be president, with predictable disastrous results.

    3. Why do you deny individuality within groups? You're suggesting that this is about loyalty to Trump while ignoring the tens of millions of people who expect their elected officials to stand with him.

      There is no cult of personality. You're just assblasted about how unpopular you really are.

  23. Partisan Politics Cloud the Capitol Riot's Insignificance

    Fixed it for you.

  24. Everyone knows what happened
    when they got to the Capitol
    they lacked a Leader .
    He never showed up !

  25. "Still, it is impossible to understand the riot without understanding its context: Trump's unprecedented, monthslong refusal to accept the results of the presidential election. When Trump urged his followers to march on the Capitol and "peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard," it was foreseeable that some of them would go further than that."

    You trying to qualify for the Olympics with those mental gymnastics Sullum?

    You just claimed that asking questions and challenging the results would lead someone to use violence. This is victim blaming. Many elections at all levels of govt have been challenged. Historically, most election challenges are taken seriously and investigated, but not this one. Immediate resistance from the winning party. No criminal investigation from any alphabet soup agency. Massively coordinated DNC/media campaign to suppress any inquiries, culminating in the permanent ban of a sitting President, who is still up for re-election, from the largest media platforms on the planet.

    Part of the problem is obsession with blame. You claim to be critiquing partisan politics with the typical lolbertarian "both sides" argument, but all you accomplished was revealing your own bias. Notice the coordinated effort to blame Trump to wound him for 2024 and the complete lack of effort to wound individual Democrats.

    If you have to blame someone, blame everyone. We all failed to take the claims of voters seriously. When your countrymen express concerns over election integrity, you roll out the red carpet, same as you would expect them to do for you. Anything less is selfish traitor politics and un-American.

    1. At what point are you going to accept the evidence that Trump lost? There has been no coverup. There've been more investigations into this election that maybe any in history. You're talking lies. Is there any outcome that you would accept that's not an overturning of the 2020 election (something that's not legally possible)?

  26. What could possibly be considered an overreaction in dealing with a violent attempted coup against the United States and an obvious fascist cult of personality making up the bulk of the Republican party and fed by FOX News?

    So far we've had the criminal justice system and a congressional committee on the problem. Hardly extrajudicial extermination, which we can all look forward to if a fascist cult of personality actually takes power.

    Even people here speak about how they want to start executing liberals, foreigners, communists, and all the usual targets. You may think that Americans will never stomach being directly complicit in a violent fascist regime, but they've brushed off nearly a million deaths by plague and declared the real problem is their being asked to practice hygiene.

    Fascist cults are definitionally hysterical and destined to a spiral of increasing tribal violence until they are finally snuffed out by more stable forces. The only question is how many more of us we're going to allow them to take down. I'll let you know when the reaction has become an overreaction.

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