Rioting is Wrong

An obvious point. But one that, sadly, needs to be repeated in light of today's pro-Trump riot at the Capitol.


The Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021.


I cannot say much about the current despicable rioting by Trump supporters at the US Capitol, other than to condemn it and the actions and rhetoric by Trump himself, which have helped inspire it. Rioting is wrong even when done in a just cause, and is especially so when—as here—the cause (bogus claims of election fraud) is pretty obviously unjust. The point is, perhaps obvious. But sometimes the obvious still needs to be said.

I would add that I similarly condemned the rioting and looting that occurred this past summer, even though some of those involved did have a just cause (opposing police abuses). Much of what I wrote then is relevant now:

Most of the damage caused by rioting is inflicted on innocent people…. Violence and violation of property rights reduce investment and economic development, which predictably exacerbates the poverty of minority inner-city neighborhoods. The negative economic effects can persist for many years.

It may be tempting to say that rioting and other similar violence is justified if you are doing it in the name of a just cause. But even people with legitimate grievances must still observe moral limits on tactics they use to pursue them. Ignoring this principle is a recipe for disaster.

As I noted in June, one can imagine extreme circumstances where rioting or similar actions are the only way to address some even greater evil. It is plausible to argue that they might be justified in such circumstances. Indeed, a sufficiently extreme situation can justify a wide range of otherwise indefensible actions, including war, suppression of civil liberties, and so on.

But anyone defending riots on that basis has a high burden of proof to show that the riots really will remedy the evil in question, and that they really are the only way to achieve that objective. That wasn't true of the riots that occurred this past summer. And the same point applies even more clearly today, when the rioters don't even have a legitimate grievance to begin with.

In the June post, I pointed out that, historically, riots have damaged the cause the rioters and their supporters seek to promote, because they predictably lead to political backlash. As Martin Luther King, Jr. warned in 1968, "riots are socially destructive and self-defeating." It is quite possible history will repeat itself, and that today's events will further discredit President Trump and his supporters in the eyes of the majority of Americans.

I am, to put it mildly, no fan of Trump and his many cruel policies, and would be happy to see him and his allies take some political damage. But even if today's violence ends up having some beneficial political effects unintended by the perpetrators, it is still wrong, and the potential gains are unlikely to be worth the awful cost.


NEXT: Impeach and Remove

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  1. So we’re all supposed to be good ******* and be happy in the back of the bus?

    Fuck NO!!!

    1. You will go under the bus where you belong.

        1. The election-whining bullshit likely cost you both Senate runoff elections in Georgia and thus, control of the Senate.

          You’ll be lucky to even get near the bus now.

          Congratulations, you earned this reward.

        2. “this is only the start…”

          You’re finished.

    2. That is what happens when you lose an election.

      Seriously, if Mitch McConnel is telling you that Trump is talking BS then you need to STFU.

      1. And this is what happens when an election is STOLEN.

        And this isn’t going to end today…

        1. You’re a brave little bitch behind your keyboard, Ed.

          Thankfully that’s all you’ll ever be.

          1. If I could walk, I’d have been down to DC today.

            But what I am hearing is that the actual thugs who broke into the capital were Antifa — complete with “Hammer & Sickle” tattoos. You won’t find any MAGA supporters with those kind of tattoos.

            1. You are completely and utterly full of shit.

            2. Of course that’s what you’re hearing. Because you surround yourself by idiots and credulously lap up crap from people with exactly as much respect for your intelligence as it deserves.

            3. Incredible. Antifa and BLM riot all summer and people of the left insist it was the Proud Boys, despite the obvious fact that it wasn’t.

              Now wackos on the right storm the capital and people on the right insist it was Antifa, despite the obvious fact that it wasn’t.

              There is no obvious reality that the partisans will acknowledge.

              Ed, Trump did this out of his own extreme narcissism. He needs to go. Not on 1/21. Right the fuck now.

            4. If the voices in your head are telling you thank please seek mental health heap ASAP you are losing touch with reality

            5. “But what I am hearing is […]”

              Nobody cares what the voices are whispering at you, Ed.

        2. “And this is what happens when an election is STOLEN.”

          No it isn’t. The unpatriots were unable to steal it.

    3. Other than halfheartedly cheering people on from the safety of your basement (only to turn tail when called out), what exactly are you doing to support the glorious revolution?

    4. No one says you have to be happy about election results.

      Being kind of libertarianish, my favorite candidate *never* wins. If you don’t like the election results, start working to have someone you like win next time. But you don’t get to just ignore elections because your guy didn’t win. If your guy does win, the other side will be unhappy. Someone is always unhappy with the results. That’s the way it is. You aren’t so special you always get your way, and the heck with everyone else.

      1. Now that most of the American voting public is no longer composed of Americans, a good candidate can NEVER win, no matter how much “work” is done.

        1. That seems to characterise the Trumpist argument. It’s not a good look.

          1. He can’t have a good look because he’s not a good person.

          2. Did Americans ask for 100 million third worlders to be made their fellow “Americans?” Were they polled on the issue?

            1. You should consider the fate of Julius Streicher. The game you are playing may seem fun, but it’s dangerous fun.

        2. That’s just fucking wrong. More than 60% of the country is white. Estimates are that maybe 3% of the people who live here are not authorized to be here.

          Your statement about “most of the American voting public” is total garbage.

          And you’re a freaking racist.

          1. Yeah, that’s the point. Limited government and individual responsibility appeals to whites only. Whites built America, as much as it pains you liberal racists to admit it.

            1. When I told someone recently that even the foulest, most loathsome people are entitled to life, liberty and an array of other rights and protections, I actually had you in mind.

          2. “you’re a freaking racist.”
            “Yeah, that’s the point.”

            Not that there was any doubt, but it’s nice to see it confirmed.

    5. Dr. Ed’s showing more racism, as well as delusion.

      1. When delusion is all you have, you make the most of it.

    6. The 82nd Chairborne Keyboarders have issued the battle call!

      Experience indicates the ankle-nipping will be fierce.

      Toe the line, bigots, or you will get what you deserve.

  2. Seriously….

    Let’s compare Somin’s two headlines….

    1. “How to Curb Police Abuses—And How Not to
    Much can and must be done to curb police brutality. The task is difficult, but far from hopeless. But riots and looting are both wrong in themselves, and likely to have counterproductive results.”

    2. “Rioting is Wrong
    An obvious point. But one that, sadly, needs to be repeated in light of today’s pro-Trump riot at the Capitol.”

    Notice the difference? I do. One says “Well, Rioting’s not a good idea, but the cause it just say perhaps, maybe….”

    The other “No, Rioting is very very bad”

    Do you have ANY idea how much that apparent double standard is? Any idea at all?

    1. I doubt it.
      Seriously, I doubt it. And that’s scary.

    2. No, Somin is oblivious. About a great many things.

      1. It’s the people like that who wind up getting hurt the worst when the tide turns.

        1. Yeah, for some reason the white liberals don’t think the blacks and Hispanics they’re currently using as political pawns will eventually turn on them.

        2. “It’s the people like that who wind up getting hurt the worst when the tide turns.”

          The tide turned, and it didn’t favor your ilk.

    3. “Well, Rioting’s not a good idea, but the cause it just say perhaps, maybe….”

      Prof. Somin literally makes the same point in this post.

      1. Look at the headlines. The tone. They’re clearly not the same.

    4. What apparent double standard? There’s no double standard. A double standard requires treating two like situations differently. These aren’t two like situations. BLM protesters had legitimate grievances. Trump supporters do not. But either way, rioting was not justified.

      1. ” BLM protesters had legitimate grievances. Trump supporters do not. But either way, rioting was not justified.”

        This “mentality” is the problem. Either rioting is wrong all the time…or it’s not. Without caveats. No ands, ifs, or buts.

        If it’s “justified” if you have “legitimate grievances” then everyone has a “legitimate grievance” in their own opinion one way or another.

        This mentality “Well, some rioting is OK” is exactly why you have the situation in the capital now.

        1. You’re just an inconsequential misfit, Armchair Lawyer. You have been appeased for far too long. Take your bigotry, your gun nuttery, your hypocritical superstition, and the rest of your stale, ugly, Trump-level conservative thinking to your den, or your basement, and let the adults handle this.

          Or you will sustain the consequences.

        2. Read to the end, AL…”But either way, rioting was not justified.”

          1. It’s not just about the end. It’s about the tone, the context, and everything else within the posts. You know this.

            1. It’s about your subjective reading, eh?

              Well, la de da.

              1. “That’s just, like, your OPINION, man” was a dumb argument even in the movie it came from.

        3. “This “mentality” is the problem. Either rioting is wrong all the time…or it’s not. Without caveats. No ands, ifs, or buts. ”

          Wow, you disagree so strongly with “rioting was not justified, either way”.

          You want so much to attack people for supporting rioting, you’ll attack people who did not support rioting while you proceed to support the latest rioting.

          Fortunately, nobody is required to take you seriously.

        4. “This mentality ‘Well, some rioting is OK’ is exactly why you have the situation in the capital now”

          which is why so many people object to you defending the rioting in the capitol, you absolute twit.

      2. “A double standard requires treating two like situations differently. These aren’t two like situations. BLM protesters had legitimate grievances. Trump supporters do not.”

        Everybody thinks they have legitimate grievances. You are just setting a different standard for people who you agree with vs people who you don’t.

          1. There’s no reason any rational person has to consider the delusions of a nutter as seriously as actual things that exist in reality. YOU see the flying rabid monkeys, YOU deal with them and leave everyone else alone to deal with actual problems.

        1. Sone beliefs are rational and some beliefs batshit crazy. Yes, I know the difference, and adjudicators make such decisions every day. Beware the company you keep.

          1. If enough people believe in something, it’s not “batshit crazy” anymore….

            1. That is what batshit crazy people say.

              Get a grip or be prepared for the consequences of placing yourself on the line for bigotry and backwardness your betters do not intend to appease any longer.

            2. “If enough people believe in something, it’s not “batshit crazy” anymore….”

              that’s batshit crazy.

              1. “I’m not crazy, it’s everyone else who is crazy!”

                Think about it.

                1. Reality is a lot like a straitjacket.

          2. “and adjudicators make such decisions every day.”

            That’s why we adjudicate and don’t riot, both for people we disagree with and people we don’t. If you let the people with legitimate grievances riot, the batshit people will riot too.

            1. “If you let the people with legitimate grievances riot, the batshit people will riot too.”

              Easy to understand but so many cannot.

              1. Easy to understand if you are batshit crazy at the time.

        2. I don’t recall armed BLM protesters storming the US Capitol and trying to take the Senate and House floor in a futile attempt to prevent the operation of government to prevent a vote they didn’t like, but maybe there was a conspiracy by the liberal MSM to cover it up.

          1. Ummm… do Federal Courthouses count? How about the White House?

            1. The White House certainly would count if some armed BLM protestors had climbed over the fences, pushed past the secret service and taken a seat at the Resolute Desk.

              Maybe I missed when that happened? Certainly seems like it would have made the news.

              1. Maybe it didn’t actually happen, but people tuned to the right signals know full well that they totally would have done it if not for the absolute and firm defense provided by super-manly President Trump when he finished inspecting the bunkers.

        3. Everybody does not think they have legitimate grievances. Trump said go home and let those evil people steal this election. He doesn’t really buy what he’s selling. But the grift must go on.

          1. Trump doesn’t actually support the actions of anybody today. He didn’t have an opportunity to make any money off the rubes. A lot of them didn’t even have $20 hats on…

      3. Are you fucking kidding?

        People on the left like Nieporent who justify their side’s violence while condemning the other side should shut the fuck up. You’re embarrassing yourself and aren’t worthy of discussion because your thought processes are warped by politics.

        God, you’re embarrassing.

        1. Nieporent is not on the left.

          1. He’s a libertarian, no real difference.

            1. Members of the Libertarian Party are Republicans who want to smoke pot. You know, leftists!

        2. Yes, people on the left like Nieporent. You’re definitely a Mensa candidate.

  3. Its a peaceful protest.

    1. Mostly peaceful.

      1. It’s going to get quite ugly, quite quickly when they try to move a bunch of (lost) people out of there — with them having neither knowing where they are being driven to nor any way to get home from there.

        This is going to get uglier in an hour or two — way uglier.

        1. “…nor any way to get home from there…”

          They can get home after they post bail. This is what happens when you blur the distinction between expression and riot.

          1. You’ve got several HUNDRED THOUSAND people and you can’t possibly arrest even a small fraction of them. Besides, most of them haven’t done anything.

            1. Sounds like a BLM protest and police dealt with those.

              1. Ummmm…

                1: They didn’t and
                2: It’s a shitload more people — 20-40 times the largest BLM protest. Dinish D’Souza posted some pictures — go look them up.

                1. You can watch video on TV, except, oops, they’re mainstream media and therefore not to be trusted.

                  It’s the largest protest ever!

                  1. It’s a beautiful protest. (Or, in the alternative: It’s a perfect protest.)

                    1. “We love them. Not as much as if there’d been enough of them to actually win the election, but, hey, they’re here. Better go inspect the bunkers again, just in case.” — D. Trump, 2021

            2. Clearly you can’t count.

            3. “You’ve got several HUNDRED THOUSAND people ”

              Several hundred, sure. A thousand, maybe. several HUNDRED THOUSAND? If you count one, two, three, many, maybe.

          2. “post bail”

            Ha…thanks to liberal DA’s cash bail has been abolished in the District. So those held on local charges will just get cut free and then can go back to their mostly peaceful protest.

            1. There are no DA’s in the District, liberal or otherwise.

              1. “Don’t interrupt, he’s on a roll.”

        2. “This is going to get uglier in an hour or two — way uglier.”

          The sore losers aren’t liking the tear gas?

      2. Maybe its just me but I don’t really see anywhere near the violence that occurred over the past year. I know a girl protestor got shot and Trump rightfully distanced himself from any potential violence and that about sums up the biggest incidents but its mostly a simple protest thats supposedly makes you immune to covid. Yet the condemnations have have already exceeded the volume for the entire past year of BLM marches.

        1. It’s not even a tiny fraction of a percent of all the Burn Loot and Murder we’ve seen in the past year.

          1. Well, if you insist on imagining it that way, that’s on you.

      3. The only violence was a cop shooting an unarmed woman in the neck. None of the protesters were armed. None.

        1. Yeah, the windows broke themselves, and the barricades were pushed over by themselves.

          Thankfully, the MAGA Keyboard Brigade is here to continue to spread their lies.

          1. I heard she said, “Hands up, don’t shoot.”

          2. “windows broke themselves, and the barricades were pushed over”

            Why are you responding to a comment about guns with things that do not need guns to do?

            Did they have guns or not?

            1. Are you seriously so stupid as to not know what ‘violence’ is?

              1. “Destroying property, which can be replaced, is not violence. To use the same language to describe those two things, I think is really not moral to do that.” – Pulitzer award winner Nikole Hannah-Jones

                1. I’m not sure how to explain this to you, but we’ve decided as a society to use dictionaries to define words. For quite some time, actually.


                    1. Oh, dear. Is there anything you like that doesn’t have a conspiracy attacking it?

          3. Wait, let me pull out the riot talking points from the BLM thing.



        2. For some people, a cop shooting someone is cause for killings, beatings, burnings, and “NO JUSTICE NO PEACE.”

        3. ” The only violence was a cop shooting an unarmed woman in the neck. ”

          Take your ignorant, silly, right-wing delusions elsewhere . . . maybe a militia meeting, or a Republican committee meeting, or a Klan rally.

          1. Cops shooting people is now just fine!

        4. ” None of the protesters were armed. None.”

          This would have been more believable had they not be openly carrying.

  4. This isn’t a riot or a protest. It is a coup.

    1. Please stop with the hyperbole.

      This is just a protest.

      1. “Armchair lawyer” indeed. Pontificating from the comfort of your armchair. The Congresspeople being issued gas masks, hunched under their desks, being escorted under armed guard, are not as comfortable as you.

        1. Isn’t it nice that they have armed guards the entire time?

          Unlike Josh Hawley’s family. Or Steve Scalise just playing baseball. Or the businesses burned in the BLM protests.

            1. Hawley says they were. And the police weren’t there the entire time.

              1. Oh, Hawley said so, huh? Well I guess that resolves that. Politicians are after all well-known for not embellishing situations in which they can portray themselves as victims.

                1. And to Jason Cavanaugh, Oh, some spokesman who wasn’t even there the whole time said so, huh? Well I guess that resolves that.

                  1. Oh, some dipshit MAGAtard disputes the spokesperson for the police department? A spokesperson who read the reports filed by the officers involved?

                    When you have something of use to add to a discussion, we will let you know when to open your mouth.

                    1. A police officer who wasn’t even there disputes Senator Josh Hawley?

                      Well, no, actually. They just said they were peaceful while the police officer was there, not actually disputing Hawley.

                      When you have something of use to add to a discussion . . . well, there’s a first time for everything.

                2. Why would HE lie?!?!?

                3. That’s the same Josh Hawley who was encouraging the rioters today.

                  1. link to Hawley encourging rioting?

                    1. Nope. That’s not encourging rioting. That’s greeting protestors.

                    2. Encouraging rioting, greeting protesters, breathing — when Republicans do these things, do Democrats even make any distinction?

                  2. Gosh, I hope the new Senate doesn’t vote to decline to seat him on a party-line vote.

              2. Armchair Lawyer is precisely the type of gullible, embittered dumbass on which the Volokh Conspiracy relies.

                You will toe the line, loser. Or you will wish you had.

                1. I’ll be content with either result.

              1. Nice that you’ve decided to become concise, and now just summarize your commentary.

                1. Will the next comment just be
                  “additional bullshit”?

      2. “This is just a protest.”

        Sure it is.

        Just like when the rightwing nutjobs took over the bird sanctuary in eastern Oregon. They protest by keeping government property from being used for its intended purpose, and loot whatever they like from it, and literally shit on everything.

        1. And when protestors block a highway?

          1. Maybe you choose to slow down, and maybe you don’t.

    2. Drama alert!

      World ending again! Just like every other day.

      1. We were supposed to be done with this shit when the calendar changed.

          1. You keep appending this notation every time. It’s like you have nothing useful to say.

              1. Keep trying. You’ll think of something.

    3. More like a Reichstag fire, I suspect.

      1. The Brownshirts didn’t wear their uniforms.

  5. The fault for today’s riot lies with everyone who voted for Trump. You should have known this is what you were getting. He has continually incited this behavior and also refused to condemn it (when it’s by people supporting him).

    Everything we liberals said about him turned out to be true. You can now apologize for making fun of us, when we pointed out in 2016 that Trump was serious when he refused to admit he would accept the results of an election if he lost.

    1. As opposed to the Bitchy Little Marxists and their stunts?

      1. Racist says what?

    2. So, are all those who supported the riots of 2020 responsible for them? Are you responsible?

      1. Keep talking, bigot. It will make shoving the progress down your whining, impotent throat that much easier.

        Or don’t. Your comfort is no longer a genuine concern.

        But you will comply.

      2. “are all those who supported the riots of 2020 responsible for them?”


        “Are you responsible?”

        No, the people who supported riots are responsible.

    3. And everything I said about Obongo back in 2008 turned out to be true, and I got no such concessions from you people.

      1. “Obongo” is fine by Prof. Volokh’s self-proclaimed “civility standards,” but calling a conservative a “c-p succ-r” or “sl_ck-j_w” gets censored by Prof. Volokh.

        This blog is a right-wing fraud.

    4. “You can now apologize for making fun of us, when we pointed out in 2016 that Trump was serious when he refused to admit he would accept the results of an election if he lost.”

      When he said the 2020 would be the most corrupt election in history, he wasn’t making a prediction, he was making a promise.

    5. I remember liberals saying Trump would create a Muslim registry and put them in internment camps. Nuke North Korea, start a war with Iran, and crash the economy. The only thing that did come true was the economy stalling, but that was because of covid.

      And btw, Trump today said he would step down.

      1. I don’t remember liberals saying this and it doesn’t sound like something Trump would do because there isn’t an obvious way for Trump to make money off the deal.

  6. Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind. The breakdown of our norms started on January 6, 2017 when the U.S. government, including Obama, Biden and Comey decided to try to frame President elect Trump for Russian collusion, i.e. treason, without any evidence. They knew the “evidence” was false and did it anyway.
    What followed was a systemic coup attempt.
    I only wish that the Supreme Court had heard and decided the PA case before the election. Could have possibly defused this entire issue. John Roberts again causes great damage by refusing to decide a case for political reasons. Always too clever by half.

      1. Not even vaguely true.

        Again there is a problem with someone confusing wishful thinking with actual reality, and demanding that other people honor the delusional thinking.

    1. U.S. government, including Obama, Biden and Comey decided to try to frame President elect Trump for Russian collusion, i.e. treason, without any evidence.

      If they decided to frame him, why wasn’t he convicted?

      1. If they decided to frame him, why didn’t they charge him and convict him before the election?

        For that matter, these are the same people you’re now alleging have in place a huge conspiracy that exists for the sole purpose of keeping him from winning elections. Why didn’t they keep him from winning an election?

  7. What do you think about throwing other people’s tea into the Boston harbor?

    1. There was no tea thrown in the harbor you idiot.

      1. Actually, there was. Someone bottled up some of the water the next morning and it’s in a museum somewhere in Boston. I’ve seen it.

        1. “somewhere in Boston. I’ve seen it.”

          And the Ark of the Covenant is in a warehouse in Washington. I didn’t see it because I didn’t want my face to melt.

    2. “What do you think about throwing other people’s tea into the Boston harbor?”

      Because of being angry at having backed a loser in an election? Not cool.

  8. Some here are into shooting people who do property crimes. What are your thoughts about this group in the capitol?

    1. What are yours? You couldn’t stop minimizing and defending mostly peaceful protests until yesterday.

      1. There are a few differences between this and the height of the BLM protests.

        For one, a CVS is not the national capitol.

        But no, I don’t think anyone should be shot here. Just prosecuted and impeached.

        1. Good. Let’s impeach Biden for supporting Antifa.

          1. The next set of Senate rules — established 51-50 (unless a few Republicans defect), over the bleating of blustering, powerless right-wingers — should be great fun.

        2. “a CVS is not the national capitol”

          No, it’s an essential business.

        3. Prosecuted for a specific crime? or just because you have sad face?

          1. Your time of relevance has ended, Ben. Get in line or pay the price. Your betters are in control. You will comply with their preferences.

            Bigoted clingers hardest hit.

        4. ” Just prosecuted and impeached.”

          If we just wait a couple of weeks, we don’t even need an impeachment.

    2. That appears to have happened. I’m not opposed to shooting people to protect the Capitol.

      1. A single shooting with a lethal bullet doesn’t seem to be a great protection plan.
        Part of why I don’t think it was a protection plan.

        1. Yeah, but this fecklessness in response to big protests is just part of our post-Kent norms.

          A competent police force sets a line and shoots the first person who crosses it. Preferably with a rubber bullet, but live ammo is called for if people consistently disrespect the line. We have intentionally made our police forces incompetent in this regard.

        2. This reminds me of the nutcake twits who decided to take over a bird refuge in eastern Oregon, because they were mad that someone who used federal land to graze cattle was expected to pay grazing fees like anyone else. They had a lot of people with delusions of grandeur about defending people from the big scary government by attacking an undefended office, they kept some government employees from doing their job for a while, and they got one person very dead but otherwise didn’t make much of a difference to anyone’s lives before realizing they were in a PR battle with no endgame and quietly going home.

      2. Peaceful protest intensified

  9. Okay, now we have a problem with rejecting peaceful transfer of power.

    Morons. Do any of them really think this will end well?

    1. Yeah, NOW we have a problem.

      All the people saying Trump was into some bad shit before this were just hysterical.

      1. I’m not saying there is a problem now when there was no problem before.

        I never said the people saying Trump was into some bad shit were hysterical.

        However, meritless legal challenges to the election outcome and/or political shenanigans in Congress over the certification are categorically a different problem than the use of violence to try and stop it.

  10. The whole point of protesting is to make ppl uncomfortable.

    Activists take that discomfort w/ the status quo & advocate for concrete policy changes. Popular support often starts small & grows.

    To folks who complain protest demands make others uncomfortable… that’s the point.

    1. How far you’ve fallen.

      1. The left lost any moral authority here (if it had any to begin with) this summer when democrat mayors and DA’s let BLM loot and riot without consequence. As far as activists on the right were concerned it was these (in)actions that “normed” this type of behavior.

        1. Yes. For 30 years, I’ve been asking what happens when everyone else starts doing what the left has been doing.

          Although it increasingly appears that Antifa were the ones invading the Capitol itself. “Hammer and Sickle” tattoo — is that something that a MAGA person would have???

          1. You have an amazingly vivid imagination for details.

      2. You don’t expect people to view this outside of the context of the “mostly peaceful” protests and torching of police stations, do you? I don’t like this, and I didn’t like what happened over the summer. But I’m not surprised to see people treating the violence very differently based on what side they’re on.

      3. Don’t exaggerate his or her starting elevation, TIA

      4. “How far you’ve fallen.”

        Its a tweet from Ocasz-Cortez [sic] from early December justifying your side.

    2. “Societies exist under three forms sufficiently distinguishable. 1. Without government, as among our Indians. 2. Under governments wherein the will of every one has a just influence, as is the case in England in a slight degree, and in our states in a great one. 3. Under governments of force: as is the case in all other monarchies and in most of the other republics. To have an idea of the curse of existence under these last, they must be seen. It is a government of wolves over sheep. It is a problem, not clear in my mind, that the 1st. condition is not the best. But I believe it to be inconsistent with any great degree of population. The second state has a great deal of good in it. The mass of mankind under that enjoys a precious degree of liberty and happiness. It has it’s evils too: the principal of which is the turbulence to which it is subject. But weigh this against the oppressions of monarchy, and it becomes nothing. Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem. Even this evil is productive of good. It prevents the degeneracy of government, and nourishes a general attention to the public affairs. I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccesful rebellions indeed generally establish the incroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions, as not to discourage them too much. It is a medecine necessary for the sound health of government.” – Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, Paris, January 30, 17872

  11. Oi Vey! The twisted jew with a law degree is mad because a society where the people are sovereign makes jewish control a problem. What is wrong with rioting … is it not a sign that the government has failed? Why would a properly functioning representative government worry about riots … riots simply prove the elected government has failed.

    Poor little jew never burned a draft card. Never went to an anti-war riot. Never went to a BLM riot? Now his rabbinical choseness passes judgement on what is right and wrong for the goy. Give it up. This clown in his ivory tower is so far removed from WE THE PEOPLE that he is a domestic enemy of the Constitution. Jews want folks to believe that four black folk counting ballonts taken from hiding spot under the table is legit…..bring on the riots….burn it to the ground!!!

    1. You are despicable.

      1. Guessing it’s Steven Miller or another Hawley supporter. Male, between 12 and 28. Crap grades, didn’t care. Single.

        1. A socially awkward IT worker, most likely, if a Volokh Conspiracy fan.

      2. No, he’s just an insincere poser trying to be funny. And not the only one here.

  12. It’s interesting to see some of the Twitterati that excused the mostly peaceful protests over the summer calling for the National Guard and use of tear gas and rubber bullets against these mostly peaceful protesters.

    1. And there is a new, instant appreciation for federal law enforcement who were referred to as jackbooted nazis or just “troops” this Summer. Darndest thing right?

    2. “It’s interesting to see some of the Twitterati that excused the mostly peaceful protests over the summer calling for the National Guard and use of tear gas and rubber bullets against these mostly peaceful protesters.”

      Because trying to steal the American government is the same thing as pointing out that killing unarmed people isn’t what police are for. They’re entirely equivalent.

  13. Hey look at the positive side:

    1. The media finally was able to write “riot” in its copy….
    2. The “rule of law” now matters…
    3. Violent protests are all of the sudden NOT an acceptable form of social change…
    4. There is new found interest in good old fashion law and order…

    1. The people you are talking about don’t even have double standards. They have infinitely malleable, context-dependent standards.

    2. You overlooked:

      5. Biden will be president.
      6. Congress will be Democratic.
      7. Better Americans will stop appeasing right-wingers.
      8. The Electoral College is doomed.
      9. The Supreme Court will be enlarged.
      10. The amplification of yahoo votes will be curbed.
      11. Nonsense-teaching schools may lose accreditation.
      12. The Republican Party will continue to recede.
      13. The deplorable backwaters will continue to decline.
      14. America will prevail, at clingers’ expense.

  14. Wouldn’t it have been better if we had had a proper investigation into the issues around the election, rather than ignoring the people and pushing them into these actions?

    1. Telling someone they are dumb and wrong is not a good way to change their mind. It is funny because the Left likes to scream about this when the Right points out things using data and logic. The argument they use is that, but so and so FEELS that way so their belief is somehow valid.

      Well, low and behold, tables turn as the political pendulum swings and now the Right is in such a position. What does the Left do? Tells them they are dumb and wrong then censors dissent. And, imagine that, these actions convinced no one and just further cemented the perception that the election was stolen.

      Then you end up with what we are seeing now….

      1. Nobody is trying to change your mind. We’ve all given up on that years ago. Now the best we can hope for is that you STFU every once in a while.

        1. And that was my exact point!

      2. ” the Left likes to scream about this when the Right points out things using data and logic.”

        Is that what they’re doing? Because from a couple of hundred miles away it looks a lot more like a tantrum over losing a couple of elections, not a bit like using data and logic.

        ” The argument they use is that, but so and so FEELS that way so their belief is somehow valid.”

        that sounds more like YOUR argument.

        “Tells them they are dumb and wrong then censors dissent.”

        Who is being censored, by who, and what was censored. the dissent seems to be “But WE wanted to win the election!” (stomp, stomp, stomp).

      3. ” Telling someone they are dumb and wrong is not a good way to change their mind. ”

        I do not want to change your mind. I will await your replacement. Until then, I will observe you complying with your preferences’ betters . . . or watch you pay the price of being a disaffected, troublesome, right-wing loser.

    2. “Wouldn’t it have been better if we had had a proper investigation into the issues around the election”

      First identify some issues around the election beyond some people really, REALLY wanted to win but did not. Then we can investigate the attempt to steal the election. The good news is, there’s no need for an impeachment or trial, just waiting out the end of el grande generalissimo Trump’s regime.

    3. “Wouldn’t it have been better if we had had a proper investigation into the issues around the election, rather than ignoring the people and pushing them into these actions?”

      You figure reasoning, modern, educated Americans are in the mood for appeasing deluded, nonsense-peddling right-wing cranks? How quaint.

      Toe the line established by your betters. Or you will wish you had.

  15. All through the summer we were told over and over that merely being next to people throwing Molotov cocktails week after week didn’t make peaceful people rioters.

    Now a fraction of a percent of the protesters in D.C. break into the Capitol buildings, and every protester in the city is guilty?

    1. Low and behold the media did know what a “rioter” looks like!

      1. The big hint is that they go armed to a peaceful protest.

    2. And not one of them remembered to bring a Molotov cocktail… 😉

      1. “not one of them remembered to bring a Molotov cocktail”

        Trump fans are not known for their competence, but rather for their strong ability for self-delusion.

    3. You think they’re going to stop guilt-by-association with just the protesters?

      Sarcastr0 wants Trump prosecuted. Not sure for what, maybe being orange.

      Once the storytelling gets going, I’m sure we will hear how all the people are not like us [them] are all guilty of [whatever] and any reaction is justified, no matter how insane it sounds.

      1. Sarcastr0 wants Trump prosecuted. Not sure for what, maybe being orange.

        Where did I say that?

        1. Above. “prosecuted and impeached”. Did you mean some other individual would be “prosecuted and impeached”?

          1. Why did you parse those to both refer to a single individual?

            “I don’t think anyone should be shot here” seems a pretty clearly group statement.

            1. The literal meaning of “and”.

            2. Parsing the verbs together is the most straightforward way to read what you wrote. Also, “anyone” is a singular pronoun. And “… should be shot here” suggests that you think at least someone there should be shot somewhere else instead.

    4. I don’t know of any coverage that claims that every protester in the city (or at the capital) is guilty, but whether or not you are attacking a straw man, I agree with your position.

    5. Don’t forget that shooting fireworks at law enforcement was no big deal. The media said a cop in riot gear was in no danger of being hurt so it was a legitimate form of protest. That was some extra special bullshit.

  16. Welp. Every horrible person who typically comments here continue to be as horrible as they’ve always been. So at least there’s that.

    1. It’s funny how double standards work, isn’t it? And how they make people feel….

    2. Most of them “laid siege” and “gained entrance” to the VC (some waving Confederate flags) only after it moved to Reason.

  17. Just more mostly peaceful protests. Yawn.

    We’ve had countless of these over the last year. Although this one is sure to have a higher number of false flags in the midst.

    If Trump stoops as low as Nadler, he will claim it’s a “myth” that any violence occurred.

    1. Maybe they can set up a zone around the Capitol building and call it CHAD. Then the national guard will put up barriers for them, celebrities will visit, and the media will talk about how great those few blocks are with vibrant art and activism…

      1. Meh. Who cares what the unpatriots do?

      2. That’s not a bad idea…

      3. What we need is a wall to keep these Trump-for-brains people out. And Donald will pay for it!

  18. That’s fair. Just because a minority of folks at the BLM protests were violent shouldn’t have discredited the peaceful acts and the same should be true today. Just arrest the door crashers and any who caused violence outside and leave the peaceful folks alone.

  19. I appreciate that Somin made a post pointing out that rioting is wrong earlier this year when others were doing it. Good on him. The same will not be able to be said of many others who will be handwringing.

    1. If you actually read the past articles (at least the ones I can find) where he ‘condemned’ BLM, most of it is actually spent kissing the rioters butt in solidarity.

  20. If nothing else, its funny to see both sides once again take polar opposite positions from where they were a few weeks ago.

    The search functionality of this place sucks but I wonder if this is the most pro ‘law and order’ we’ve seen Somin in awhile. The only thing I can find his him all but slobbering over the BLM rioters in sympathy a few months ago.

    1. “once again take polar opposite positions”

      Not me. We should have suppressed the riots in June and also suppressed these before they got so far.

      1. Concur = We should have suppressed the riots in June and also suppressed these before they got so far.

        1. If riots were easy to suppress they would have been suppressed.

  21. I am ready to abandon the Republican Party for federal elections. It has not stood up to the corruption and violence of the Democratic Party and its proxies, BLM and Antifa. It has allowed the forces of totalitarianism and globalism to gain control of the federal government and it is very unlikely that real, Constitutional freedom will ever have a chance again in this country.

    If I could be convinced that Libertarians were truly for liberty and the protection of our rights, I would vote for their candidates. But all I’ve seen is a lot of vacuous platitudes about freedom, but no real effort to reign in the selling of America to the Communist Chinese Party and the international consortium of globalists.

  22. Oh bother. If VC types had been equally outraged by the rioting, arson, looting, mayhem and murder; by the shameful, the dispicable behavior of the Left/Dems, e.g., using mendacious allegations such as the “pee tapes” to effect a rationale for impeachment proceedings – the once sober, even somber proceeding used only with the utmost caution and reserve, now used as if by a flippant, snot-nosed adolescent for purely political/partisan purposes of the lowest kind – if VC types had been equally, in commensurate fashion been outraged by all that in-your-fucking-face flippant, adolescent-like contumely and all the rest over the last four years then VC would have been nothing but an endless stream of high dudgeon and moral outrage.

    But such was not at all the case. So much for Ilya’s outrage.

    1. Rioting after being murdered by police with impunity, and gassed and shot at for standing on the street in protest–that’s understandable. Rioting because Trump is riling you up so you’ll fork over $9.99/mo. to watch Trump News Network in your trailer–not as understandable.

      1. Rioting is bad no matter the motive in a free country with elections and courts.

        Justify one set, you encourage the second set.

        1. I understand one, not the other.

      2. I’ll address only one of your puerile inanities. There has been no impunity, the officers in question have been marshalled through the legal system.

        Besides, you failed to address the argument as presented.

        1. Take it up with a dictionary. You’re not talking to me.

          “exemption from punishment or freedom from the injurious consequences of an action.”

          1. Any keyboard fantasist can deploy a dictionary. It requires no moral grounding, no moral bearing whatsoever.

            1. But trashing the Constitution in order to save it does?

      3. “Rioting after being murdered by police”

        Come on now. Provide just one example of someone rioting after being murdered by police.

  23. The sore losers are angry, nay ANGRY!!! that they are losers.

    1. Yea only sore losers protest and make angry faces!

      1. If you say so. The sore losers also make up stories about vote fraud.

  24. Well, this blog sure sucks now.

    1. How dare people ruin the messaging by pointing our ludicrous double standards and media bravado!!!!!!

    2. Twelve years of leftists calling anyone who disagrees with any leftist policy a filthy racist doesn’t make for great intellectual discussion.

      1. Racism is a biproduct of low intellect, so no surprise.

        1. The low-intellect complainer doesn’t like being called a racist just because he wants to say and do racist things. Can’t see the connection.

    3. “Well, this blog sure sucks now.”

      This blog has sucked for a long time . . . a nonsense-riddled whinefest of gun nuts, anti-abortion absolutists, superstitious yahoos, uneducated clingers, misogynists, racists, gay-bashers, xenophobes, and anti-social IT incels wishing for good old days that never existed.

      This is why Orin Kerr and a few others bailed, in my judgment. This blog has become like our can’t-keep-up rural and southern
      backwaters . . . the smart people depart, leaving behind a depleted human residue.

  25. If you are going to make ignorant comments like “I would add that I similarly condemned the rioting and looting that occurred this past summer, even though some of those involved did have a just cause”

    Just cause? Say that when you have skin in the game, when you’ve lost your home or your life’s work or your family member.

    1. You’re a shit-grade bigot, vaadu. Stand aside and let your betters handle this, or you will wish you had.

    2. “The owner of a Minneapolis restaurant damaged by fire during George Floyd protests said: ‘Let my building burn, justice needs to be served'”

  26. The people have entered the people’s house — mostly peaceful?

  27. Formal logic has more certainty than the laws of physics.

    The contrapositive of a true assertion is true. (A then B is true. Not B then not A must be true. All bats are mammals. This animal is not a mammal. It cannot be a bat.)

    If legal liaiblity is a replacement for violence, then lack of legal recoruse justifies violence in formal logic. The lawyer profession and Deep State refused to even hold a hearing on the merits of the claims of election fraud. The retaking of the Congress building by patriots is 100% the fault of the Deep State lawyers on the Supreme Court.

    1. “The lawyer profession and Deep State refused to even hold a hearing on the merits of the claims of election fraud.”

      Anybody who wants a hearing on the merits of a claim of election fraud needs to produce some evidence of election fraud that exists currently in the real world.
      What’s that, you have no evidence that meets this criteria? OK, then all the evidence has been examined.

  28. I know many of you knee-jerk find something on the left to point at to justify.

    But it is extremely difficult to pretend that this attempted insurrectionist nonsense is not very different from the worst of the Floyd-based violence, both in the specific actions, and the underlying cause.

    1. You are correct — They burned the police station DOWN.

    2. You are right — this is very different. Today, there was no arson reported; less property damage; the police actually killed one of these protesters; and the cause is preserving the US constitution and democracy, rather than destroying the government because someone tried to resist police while dying of a drug overdose.

      1. And the media is defending the police doing a lot of victim blaming for the shooting. That is completely different too.

      2. ” the cause is preserving the US constitution and democracy”

        By throwing them away?

        What yesterday proved is that a person can be a Republican, OR they can be an American, but not both at the same time.

    3. No, it’s extremely easy

  29. Has Trump finished inspecting the White House bunkers yet?

  30. Don’t know what the media is talking about. I just got done looking at twitter and it looked like a mostly peaceful protest in the people’s capital building. Looks like they were nice enough to give it back in decent shape too so Congress could finish their work tonight.

    1. Tomorrow we should pretend nothing happened, just like they do. When they insist, demand proof. When they show the video, say it’s from a source that’s well known for deceptive video editing. The same gaslighting they do all the time.

      1. When they show the video, complain that it’s probably real, and reality has a known liberal bias.

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