Gaslighting Last Summer's Riots and the Law Enforcement Response

The notion that law enforcement routinely and violently cracked down on peaceful demonstrations, or even looting and rioting, is not consistent with the facts.

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Last week, Joe Biden stated that if the rioters at the Capitol last week had been associated with Black Lives Matters, they would have been treated much more harshly. I heard a segment on NPR this morning with the same theme. The implication is that right-wing and white rioters get treated with kid gloves, while left-wing and minority rioters–and even peaceful protesters–face violent crackdowns. [UPDATE: Here's a link to the NPR audio. If you listened to this report, you would have no idea that there was any violence associated with last Summer's protests, much less that there was looting and rioting all over the country.]

It so happens I have a forthcoming article about the state of Second Amendment rights in light of widespread law enforcement abdication during last summer's riots that followed George Floyd's death. The rioters, to the extent they were political, were leftists, and while there were many white rioters, there were many non-whites as well. So we have an empirical basis to judge Biden and NPR's allegation; how did political leaders and law enforcement actually react last summer? (Note I am not commenting on whether law enforcement treats street criminals differently depending on race, but solely on whether we can discern racial and political bias in how politically-inspired violence has recently been handled).

So let's start with some background. While the vast majority of demonstrations last summer were peaceful, the accompanying rioting across the country was incredibly destructive. There are different ways of measuring the property damage the riots caused, but they are up there with the damage from the 1992 Los Angeles rioting, and the totality of the urban riots of the 1960s.

Looters, rioters, and others connected with the unrest murdered approximately twelve people (approximately because the circumstances of a few deaths are unclear). These include David Dorn,  a retired seventy-seven year-old police captain who looters shot and killed when they broke into a pawn shop; Secoriea Turner, an eight-year-old girl, who was killed during a shooting incident involving armed rioters in Atlanta; and Aaron Danielson,  conservative counter-demonstrator, who a leftist rioter stalked and murdered. The overall death toll was about double the dozen, including individuals shot and killed by police and armed civilians in self-defense, people killed by right-wingers reveling in the chaos, people killed by automobiles whose drivers were trying to escape the rioting, and so forth. The related death toll is much higher, as murder rates have soared in cities throughout the country in the wake of the chaos.

So how did the authorities react to all this? There were some well-publicized incidents of excessive force used by police in a few instances, especially toward the beginning of the rioting. And there are some terrible anecdotes one can find on the internet, though one must keep in mind the statistical context that an estimated 15 to 30 million people took part in BLM protests last summer. In any event, the overall picture is far from the Biden and NPR picture of consistently harsh, violent crackdowns.

Let's take a few examples:

Minneapolis: For the first few days of riots, Minneapolis police focused on defending their embattled 3rd Precinct building located at the center of the unrest. The mayor then ordered the police to stand down and abandon the building to the angry crowd that had surrounded it. The police withdrawal caused the situation to "spin[] out of control in the neighborhood around the precinct house"; the Precinct was burned to the ground, and "nearly every building around it [was] vandalized, looted or set on fire." Order was only restored when Gov. Walz, responding to pleas from local legislators, called in the National Guard. Walz said he didn't "know what the plan [was]" but wasn't "going to wait for the city to tell [him]," adding that the city officials "ha[d] lost control" and that their response was "an abject failure." Mayor Frey, defending his stand down order, acknowledged that police made "only a handful" of arrests across the first two nights of violence.

Seattle: For twenty-three days in June, armed leftists occupied six blocks of the city's Capitol Hill neighborhood, declaring the area a "police-free" zone they called the "Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone" ("CHAZ"), later changed to "Capitol Hill Occupied Protest" ("CHOP"). Bands of self-appointed, gun-toting "guards" set up encampments and patrolled the area, looted stores, smashed windows, and prevented residents from leaving or visitors from entering—in the process devastating businesses located in the occupied blocks. In early June, as rioters began to overwhelm the affected neighborhood, Mayor Jenny Durkan, over the objection of Police Chief Carmen Best, ordered the Seattle police to abandon its precinct in the area, allowing rioters to trash the building. After the occupation began, Durkan defended it as a mere "block party"—"a peaceful expression of our community's collective grief and their desire to build a better world." City officials "not only permitted the establishment of a police-free zone, but provided infrastructure like concrete barriers and portable toilets to sustain it." Mayor Durkan only changed her tune after armed robberies, shootings and rapes in the zone went out of control.

Nearby, beginning in June, demonstrators took over a stretch of Interstate 5, blocking traffic for nineteen consecutive nights. Although walking on I-5 is illegal, "the Washington State Patrol looked the other way, even setting up barriers" to facilitate demonstrators' blocking of the freeway, and refused to arrest those who obstructed traffic. A State Patrol spokesman told the press that "he doesn't believe WSP surrendered I-5, but reacted appropriately to a unique situation."

Portland: Portland suffered three months of nightly riots. Daryl Turner, head of the Portland Police Association, alleged that Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt limited the city's response to riots in order to appease lawbreakers: "If it is acceptable for rioters to commit acts of violence against community members and to try and burn down occupied buildings, and if this conduct is allowed to continue," Turner said, "then Portland is lost." Oregon State Police, about one hundred of whom had been in Portland for two recent weeks to assist local authorities with quelling violence, announced in mid-August that they were withdrawing from the city in frustration. "We're in a county that's not going to prosecute this criminal behavior," said a State Police spokesman.

Chicago: On a particularly violent weekend in early June, Mayor Lightfoot refused to deploy the National Guard beyond Chicago's central business district, drawing condemnations from officials representing districts on the south and west side of the city, which were left unprotected during Chicago's deadliest weekend in sixty years. Over that weekend, twenty-four people were killed and at least sixty-one injured by gun violence, and the city's 911 dispatchers received 65,000 calls in a single day—50,000 more than normal. As chaos unfolded, one Democratic city councilwoman told the mayor on the phone, "My ward is a shit show …. [Rioters] are shooting at the police. I have never seen the likes of this. I'm scared."

Louisville: Riots left the city's downtown "look[ing] like a war zone," according to a local paper. Louisville Police accused Mayor Greg Fischer of issuing stand-down orders to officers during riots, allowing lawlessness to run rampant. Several hundred officers accordingly walked out on Fischer in protest when he appeared before them to speak in early June, with police leadership calling for the Mayor's resignation.

New York: When violence in New York City erupted in May, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that NYPD officers would use "a light touch" with demonstrators. Days later, de Blasio's "light touch" policy was blasted by a fellow Democrat, Governor Andrew Cuomo, who strongly condemned the city's failure to quell rampant rioting, looting, and violence.

Columbus: Although several highranking city officials denied this, multiple 911 operators informed callers reporting attacks by rioters that police were under orders to stand down: "We were told by our mayor to stand down, so the mayor has given [demonstrators] full range of the street," said one operator.

Long Beach: Video clips showed looters "busting their way out of a boarded-up store … with armloads of clothes as officers watch from a few dozen feet away," as well as "looters bolting past a cluster of officers in riot gear, who are unable to grab a single one of them." City officials, while denying accusations of a stand-down order, admitted that the police response was lackluster; Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna said the department expected only a few hundred peaceful demonstrators, and mistakenly thought that officers should preemptively "back off" in the hope "that people will protest peacefully" and "that there is voluntary compliance."

Indianapolis: In Indianapolis, Mayor Joe Hogsett denied allegations of a stand-down order, but the city's police chief admitted, "We did allow the protesters"— who, the Chief claimed, were initially peaceful—"to have a little more space in the circle"; although officers remained in the vicinity, he said, "We simply backed off in an effort to give them space and to oblige their requests." According to local news, "[m]any business owners in downtown … are angry because they believe it is the choice to back off which gave instigators enough room to cause destruction, and by that time, officers were no longer in a position to handle it."

Raleigh: The weak law enforcement response to rioting and looting led many downtown observers to "question[] why police at times were nowhere to be found as protesters damaged property." Officers' absence was partly explained by the city police chief's self-described refusal to put "an officer in harm's way to protect the property inside a building because insurance is most likely going to cover that."

Denver: Police leadership in Denver was accused by Nick Rogers, head of the local police union, of ordering officers withdraw from a July pro-police rally and effectively permit demonstrators to be attacked by counter-protestors—though, according to Rogers, one SWAT lieutenant on the scene disregarded the order and refused to retreat. A Denver police spokesmen declined to comment on the incident.

But what if rioters were threatening an important federal building? Surely if BLM protestors had approached the Capitol or the White House, there would have been out-of-control law enforcement violence and mass arrests? Well, no. Let's go to Wikipedia:

The White House was on lockdown the night of May 29 in response to protests reaching the gates…. The protesters came into conflict with the United States Secret Service. … At one point the protesters were pepper sprayed. Several Secret Service agents reportedly suffered broken bones due to rocks and bottles of urine and alcohol thrown at them by rioters.

As a result of the protests, the Secret Service rushed President Donald Trump to shelter in the White House underground bunker, where he remained for almost one hour. This occurred after some protesters crossed temporary barricades set up near the Treasury Department buildings. Around that time, the Secret Service alert level was raised to "red". The president's wife and son were also brought to the bunker…. The Secret Service reported that six people were arrested in Lafayette Square within President's Park, directly north of the White House.

The Capitol Police were woefully understaffed and under-prepared for last Wednesday's riot. The reasons for that need to be thoroughly investigated. But the notion that right-wing mostly white rioters get special treatment while BLM-associated lawless behavior attracts violent, harsh, crackdown is at odds with what actually happened last summer.

NEXT: Grounds for Impeachment

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  1. “Note I am not commenting on whether law enforcement treats street criminals differently depending on race”

    But of course . . . this is a White, male, right-wing blog, part of the “colorblind” and “post-racial” world of conservative make-believe.

    1. Law enforcement treats black criminals differently because they’ve earned it over the last 60 years of bad behavior.

      1. 60% of violent crimes are committed by blacks, who only make up 13% of the population.

        1. Unlike the “percentage of women raped on college campuses” statistic, that racial crime statistic is actually debunked. I’ve flagged your comment for deletion because Reason shouldn’t help propagate fake news or false narratives.

          1. It is true based on household crime victimization surveys. 90% of the victims of the black criminal are black. These rape 35000 white women. No black woman was raped by a white man.

            The black criminal is fully protected, privileged, and empowered by the Democrat lawyer profession. You cannot even criticize one in prison without losing your job for racism.

            The lawyer profession must be crushed to protect black crime victims. We are sick of you pro-criminal lawyers.

          2. Citation please.

            You can verify that over half of the murder victims and murderers in the US are Black who who make up only 13.4% of the population.

            According to the FBI 89% of African Americans victims are murdered by other African Americans.
            https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2018/crime-in-the-u.s.-2018/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-6.xls

          3. You know you’re a decent troll, when I’m not sure if you’re serious for a moment on not. Here’s more specifics for those interested. Note, the 13/50 or 13/60 depending on how you’re citing things, has become meme slang.

            “Blacks committed 52 percent of homicides between 1980 and 2008, despite composing just 13 percent of the population. Across the same timeframe, whites committed 45 percent of homicides while composing 77% of the population, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.”

            https://www.dailywire.com/news/7-statistics-you-need-know-about-black-black-crime-aaron-bandler

          4. Sorry, it’s accurate, with Blacks also overrepresented as victims.

            Victim status is not officer discretion, it’s who dials 911.

        2. Males make up a disproportionate of violent criminals, so should they be treated differently by law enforcement? They also make up a disproportionate number of sexual assaults, so Title IX programs and such should treat them differently?

          1. Depends. Are female teachers treated differently when they molest a male student?

          2. No. But there’s plenty of data that says that they are.

            1. So if males disproportionately commit rapes or violent crime but they shouldn’t be treated differently by authorities then even though African-Americans disproportionately commit violent crime or rape they shouldn’t be treated differently by authorities? Agreed?

              1. Absolutely. I’m not the guy saying otherwise. I’m not even sure that we should rely on the data that says that blacks commit more crimes.

                1. That’s victimization surveys; If they don’t, it’s blacks lying about it.

                  1. Like those blacks are lying about the vote totals in Detroit, Atlanta, etc., amirite?

                    1. If you think that’s a good counter argument, you’d better think again.

                      Anyway, the discrepancy between victimization surveys and actual police reports is huge, and a well established fact in criminology, just as it the fact that people lie to pollsters in general.

                2. I only cite murders because lots of other crimes go unreported but dead bodies generally are reported.

                  1. I believe only a minority are solved, though. Which does put a wrench in putting much weight on that statistic. Black murders might be easier to solve or the police may investigate them with more resources. We don’t know from that stat alone.

                    1. Actually, the majority of murder/manslaughter cases are cleared (https://www.statista.com/statistics/194213/crime-clearance-rate-by-type-in-the-us/ ), the highest percentage of all crimes, at least in this report. Not an expert–there may be nuances, but it’s not obviously true that a minority of homicides are not solved.

    2. Crucify the Capitol protestors for sedition.
      Their blood be upon us and our children!

    3. But, of course, you’d never let reality disturb your fantasies.

  2. 1. You’re mistaken that the right-wing violence is over, so your tally sheet will expand on that side.
    2. Your definition of “damage” is quite narrow; how much damage was there done to our nation due to last week’s violence has not yet been calculated.

    1. 1. The same is true of the BLM-related violence. There are still riots going on in Portland.
      2. The same is true of last summer’s violence. The destruction of vibrant urban neighborhoods, and the soaring crime rate (assuming it’s not soon brought under control) will have long-lasting implications for the urban revival which has been crucial to so much of US economic growth over the past three decades.

      But I’m not trying to compare the damage done in each situation, which are on different scales and thus incommensurate. But only to question the notion that leftist/minority rioters were treated incredibly harshly last Summer, in contrast with the Capitol rioters on Wednesday.

      1. The police used chemicals, helicopters, SWAT vehicles, and large numbers of officers to clear Lafayette Square for a presidential photo opportunity.

        The police watched the recent marauders enter the Capitol with zipties, tasers, and spears . . . then watched them walk away after they destroyed property, beat an officer to death, and hunted Democratic members of Congress.

        Are tone-deafness and lack of self-awareness required qualifications for admission to the Volokh Conspiracy?

        1. Don’t bother arguing. Most “libertarians” are crypto-neo-Confederates.

        2. Did they burn down the Capitol, as the neo-Marxist rioters burned down our cities?

        3. The DC Mayor decreed no more helos, etc after Lafayette Square.

          Blame her…

          1. Why wouldn’t we blame the architect of what happened in Lafayette Square?

            1. The article is not about the event, its actors, or its instigators… the article and ensuing argument is about the response to these things.

              So you can blame Trump all you want… fine, I’m not arguing against you on that.

              But that doesn’t make it his fault that the police reacted the way the did (or didn’t) given that the police and their deployment was the result of someone else’s choices.

              1. It may have been the Department of Defense, it may have been the Capitol Police, it may have been the D.C. police, it may have been some incompetent admixture . . . I expect an investigation conducted after January 20 will illuminate this point.

      2. “But I’m not trying to compare the damage done in each situation, which are on different scales and thus incommensurate. But only to question the notion that leftist/minority rioters were treated incredibly harshly last Summer, in contrast with the Capitol rioters on Wednesday.”

        Why not compare how left wing protestors *in the same city* were treated (national guard helicopters rotor wash, the beatings for Trump’s photo op, etc.,) compared to the kid’s gloves treatment the right wing protestors got last week?

        1. Lafayette Square — 0 shot by cops, 0 trampled to death due to police activity, total civilian deaths = 0

          Capitol Incident — 1 shot by cops, 1 trampled to death due to police activity, total civilian deaths = 4

          (It hasn’t been widely discussed, but when the cops used tear gas and flashbangs to drive the crowd back, a woman was trampled to death in the process.)

          1. At the Capitol protestors were advancing on the police, in Lafayette it was the other way around. And yet, the latter got a more generally harsh response.

          2. Lafayette Square – 0 Police Officers beaten to death or otherwise murdered

            Capitol Incident – 1 Police Officer beaten to death

            1. Actually, two CHPO died, no details on the second.

              But when you throw things at police officers, it’s blind stupid luck where you hit them, and the broken bones suffered at Lafayette Square would likely been fatal if head strikes.

      3. Professor Volokh made a post recently with changes in crime rate this year–some crimes like murder and arson are up considerably this year, others are down. Overall violent crime was up about 2% for the year, or about the same as in either 2017 or 2011 since it’s been bouncing up and down for the past decade.

        (i.e., this “soaring crime rate” you are talking about is in the noise for the types of annual swings we’ve been seeing lately, unless you want to cherry pick categories and ignore decreases in other areas)

        1. Well, focusing on homicide is not really “cherry picking” categories, since most people consider it rather more serious than burglary.

          1. If the claim were “soaring homicide rate” then I think it would be a totally fair statement, although the cause is a lot more complicated than professor Bernstein implies.

            But since the claim is “soaring crime rate” I don’t think it’s reasonable to use murder as a proxy for the more general trend since it’s an outlier.

            1. Honest question… is the author speaking of crime rates centered in the cities hit by the summer’s riots or about the national crime rate over all.

              It may be true that general crime is down nationally… Covid possibly having something to do with that (and maybe not). But even if it is down generally across the nation, it could still be higher, and even acutely so, in the cities that suffered riots.

              If it is true that the riotous cities did/do in fact have increased crime rates, only homicide or not, then the point by the author still holds.

              1. This year, 51 cities of various sizes across the U.S. saw an average 35% jump in murder from 2019 to 2020 – a “historically awful” development, says New Orleans-based crime analyst Jeff Asher, who crunched those numbers.

                1. Note that Asher’s work was completed before the end of 2020. I’m guessing that if he waited and compared the calendar year 2020 to 2019, the average increase would be higher than 35%. This is certainly true for Portland. Asher shows a 43.8% change for the fiscal year ending 10/31/20. I just ran the numbers and came up with a 57.1% change for the calendar year.

                  More importantly, if we only look at the last seven month of the year (the protest/riots began at the end of May) and compare that to the last seven months of 2019 we find a whopping 163.1% increase.
                  https://rantsravesreviewsreflections.blogspot.com/2021/01/portland-2020-murder-rate-increase.html

              2. That’s a valid question. I haven’t seen someone attempting to break down overall crime rate by cities that had riots versus those that did not, but the increase in murders isn’t limited to a specific set of cities:

                https://twitter.com/Crimealytics/status/1330991403695034368

      4. Professor Bernstein…Thanks for engaging with Readership! We need that.

    2. Whither the shrieking histrionics apres the assault on Senator Paul after leaving the GOP convention?

      Whither the shrieking histrionics ensuing the assault on the homosexual attendees after they had left the GOP convention?

      Whither the shrieking histrionics following the trespass to, and vandalism of, Senator Hawley’s home?

      Whiter the shrieking histrionics in the aftermath of the insurrectionists who rioted at the Capital during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing?

      1. It’s easy to match every one of these with a right wing equivalent, or worse, but I could also raise you a federal Capitol take over, which I know you don’t have in your hand.

        1. OK, I’ll bite. What’s the right wing equivalent to Seattle or Portland?

          1. LM gave individualistic or small group behavior examples. These can easily be matched, no?

            1. This is for everyone, not just Queen A… but it is dishonest to point to the actions of each side as the end of the discussion. The real critical issue is how each side views the behavior of their own people.

              The left defended the actions of the BLM riots. I have yet to see a mainstream GOPer defend what happened at the Capitol. They may downplay it, they may “whatabout” it… but to defend it on its own merits like many on the left did? Haven’t seen that.

              That is the issue… not that riots are good or bad. But that people’s views of them are politically motivated and not principled.

              HAD the left put down the riots, not defended them, called out those who did defend them, actively push for peace rather than incentivize more violence via bail, etc…. then the outrage over what happened at the capitol would be believed. And it would allow sane people to be on the same page… riots then bad, riots now bad. But that the left DIDN’T do that… those on the right are wanting to know why, now all of a sudden and with the only difference of importance being the politics involved, are riots the last stage before treason.

              THAT is the issue… not that “our riots are good, yours are bad!”

              1. “The left defended the actions of the BLM riots. I have yet to see a mainstream GOPer defend what happened at the Capitol. They may downplay it, they may “whatabout” it… but to defend it on its own merits like many on the left did? Haven’t seen that.”

                You haven’t been looking very hard, then. There are frequent posters in the Volokh Conspiracy comment sections who have called the Capitol invaders patriots or otherwise talked about how great they were.

                1. There is no end to the supply of Commie Revolution or 1776 LARPers whindefend their side. Not what Inwqs talking about.

                  Actual figure heads of the two sides is what I was comparing. Yes… some on the left decried the riots. Some did quickly. Most who did dragged their feet. Far too many defended them.

                  As for figure heads on the right… the worst I have seen (and I’m not saying it is correct or right… but it is substantially different than a defense on the merits like some on the left provided) is a downplaying of what happened at the capitol.

                  If I defended the MAGA march by saying, “Where does it say protests have to be civil and peaceful?” the left would, rightly, skewer me for a ridiculous position. However… that was Andrew (?) Cuomo on CNN defending the BLM protests.

                  Has a major GOP politician solicited bail funds for those being arrested? Has a major politician tried to reframe the violent aspects of what happened on the Capitol as somehow justifiable? Not just the “most were peaceful” line but one specifically claiming the violence was a moral good or at least justifiable in some way? Big names on the left did that… and not in defense of the protesters… but in defense of the actual rioters.

    3. But they were such stupid crackers that none got away with even one flat screen TV.

      1. It’s almost like one group had ulterior motives and the other didn’t.

        1. Sedition > petty theft

          1. Sedition is statist-speak for “hurt my feelings, said something nasty”.

            I’ll also note that Antifa / BLM liked marching through residential neighborhoods, chanting and making a ruckus, trespassing to stare into people’s houses, threatening anyone who tried to video them, and when a St Louis couple stood outside to defend their property against a mob of hundreds, they were the nes arrested and charged, not the mob.

            1. Sedition is English language speak for the act of inciting revolt or violence against a lawful authority with the goal of destroying or overthrowing it.

              Starting into people’s homes < than attempting overturning democratic elections via violence to me, but I get YMMV

              1. with the goal of destroying or overthrowing it

                You’d best get started putting your case together — that’s a heavy lift indeed, by design.

                Loose usage of ominous-sounding words, on the other hand, requires no intellectual effort at all.

          2. There was no sedition, and if this is your stance, you may want to examine your biases. The if charges for sedition and/or domestic terrorism are brought, if new authoritarian laws crafted then this was indeed a shameful period, but not because a group of knuckleheads broke into the Capitol and wreaked havok before getting bored.

    4. A few hours occupation of the Capitol Building isn’t even peanut shells to the damages done over the summer and fall all over the country. Poor baby is s hurt over this one rampage, can’t imagine how many more people have been hurt all summer and fall.

      Like Stalin said, one murder is an outrage, millions are just a statistic.

    5. You’re mistaken that the right-wing violence is over, so your tally sheet will expand on that side.

      Given your essentially non-existent ability to understand what has already happened you probably should avoid going into the business of predicting what has yet to happen.

      how much damage was there done to our nation due to last week’s violence

      The only damage done to the nation is the result of elements on the left using the event as an excuse to go full 1984.

      1. I distinctly remember the part in 1984 where Winston loses his book deal and Twitter account. Harrowing indeed!

    6. Facts and data don’t matter. Here’s a story I made up about the future as a substitute for your facts and data.

    7. Apedad, I’m terrified you are right.

      The Washington Monument has just been closed due to “credible threars…”

    1. I stopped reading here: “Even though the Capitol mob was far more violent — and seditious — than the largely peaceful BLM demonstrators…” I can’t take anything the author says seriously when this is how she describes arguably the most destructive riots in the country in over a century.

      1. (The fact that the demonstrations overall were ‘largely peaceful’ is no more relevant than the fact that the vast majority of the demonstrators Wednesday were peaceful and did not attack the Capitol.)

        1. Not totally irrelevant.

          Part of the discussion is how actually peaceful demonstrators were treated.

          And let’s look at what you omiyteed from the Wikipedia article.

          First ellipsis: The protests began at 7:00 p.m. By 8:30 p.m., the White House lockdown was lifted as protesters began to leave. At 10:00 p.m., the protesters returned, however by 3:30 am Saturday the protesters were more subdued.

          Second ellipsis: At times, the protesters got close enough to inflict minor injuries on certain officers.

          Apparently, no fire extinguisher were wielded. No zip ties.

          You quote this: As a result of the protests, the Secret Service rushed President Donald Trump to shelter in the White House underground bunker, where he remained for almost one hour.

          Incorrect. He was merely inspecting the bunker.

          Later: President Trump responded to the White House protesters on Twitter, saying that if they had crossed the White House fence they would have been attacked by “the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons”. He also stated that “many Secret Service agents [are] just waiting for action”,

          Where were these dogs and weapons Wednesday?

          Further down: Amid ongoing protests, U.S. Park Police and National Guard troops used tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spray, stingball grenades, horses, shields and batons to clear peaceful demonstrators from Lafayette Square and surrounding streets, creating a path for President Trump to walk to St. John’s Episcopal Church

          Nobody did that to peaceful pro-sedition demonstrators Wednesday.

          In any case, much of the comparison I’ve seen was between the events of Wednesday and the reaction to the BLM protest last My-June in DC. Here is one such comparison.

          I don’t think your post, however accurate, is an adequate response to the claim that, in the particular case of DC, the BLM protestors were treated worse than the Trumpist rebels.

          1. We all know that Trump himself would have reacted far more harshly to BLM rioters than to Trumpist rioters, though I’m sure he would much prefer black Trumpist rioters to white BLM rioters. If that’s all that Biden meant, it’s not the least bit controversial. But what I keep seeing all over social media, interpreting Biden and not, is that the authorities routinely allow white right-wingers to have carte blanche, while harshly cracking down on their opposites. Even a cursory glance at the overall reaction last summer, several incidents to the contrary, shows that this wasn’t how things went down. And we all know that just like Trump would react differently to rioters less to his liking, the mayor of Seattle wouldn’t have let the Proud Boys violently establish an “autonomous zone” in her city for 23 days.

            1. And part of that interpretation of last summer is that there was minimal violence, and much of the violence that did occur was fomented by right-wing infiltrators and agitators. Both of these notions are completely false, on a par with the right-wingers treated Wednesday’s events as a lark that got a bit out of hand, with the violence mostly fomented by antifa infiltrators. Is it too much to ask people to live in the real world?

              1. And part of that interpretation of last summer is that there was minimal violence, and much of the violence that did occur was fomented by right-wing infiltrators and agitators.

                You say that there were around two dozen deaths, some of them attributed to right-wingers. (I’m not sure how you classify Kyle Rittenhouse’s killings, but at least acknowledge that he had no business being there.) You list eleven examples of demonstrations where there was violence, so call it two per. Wednesday saw five deaths.

                Is it too much to ask people to live in the real world?

                Maybe you should address that question to Trump, Cruz, Hawley, and their supporters, not to mention an increasing number of the regular commenters here.

                1. And you, for your part, will address that to all the Democratic mayors and governors who gave the Antifa / BLM looters and rioters and arsonists free rein, even told their police to not arrest them, gave them government resources to terrorize sections of the city from which police were withdrawn.

                  We know how much we can count on you to uphold your end of the bargain.

                2. Kyle Rittenhouse had at least as much business being there as the people he shot. At least acknowledge that they were violating curfew to participate in an illegal assembly, while harassing people who were stopping them from burning down more businesses.

              2. “Oh, my sweet summer child…”

                I gave up on expecting people in general to live in the real world, rather than a comfortable partisan vision decades ago.

              3. White nationalist have infiltrated previous BLM protests to cause anarchy and mayhem. The FBI needs to take the domestic threats from white nationalist, alt-right, neo-Nazi groups seriously if we are to save our democracy. If you can’t see the real threat from these white terrorists, you’re no real Jew!

              4. They don’t care about fact or reality.

                Leveling attacks at Americans is the beginning and end for them.

              5. “And part of that interpretation of last summer is that there was minimal violence, and much of the violence that did occur was fomented by right-wing infiltrators and agitators. Both of these notions are completely false, on a par with the right-wingers treated Wednesday’s events as a lark that got a bit out of hand, with the violence mostly fomented by antifa infiltrators. Is it too much to ask people to live in the real world?”

                I guess you missed this:
                https://www.npr.org/sections/live-updates-protests-for-racial-justice/2020/07/28/896515022/minneapolis-police-reportedly-identify-viral-umbrella-man-as-white-supremacist

                “Police say the masked, umbrella-wielding man who smashed windows at a Minneapolis auto parts store two days after George Floyd’s death has ties to a white supremacist group and specifically sought to inflame racial tensions.”

                This was the very first incident of vandalism that most americans saw. The riot in Minneapolis was the first in what would become a series. All started by a real life, real world right wing agent provocateur.

                Please update your article with this very relevant info you apparently did not know.

                1. Moronic leftists had previously confidently identified “Umbrella Man” as a police officer, only admitting they were wrong when video evidence was released of him being on duty in a different city during that vandalism.

                  If you claim one incident by an alleged right-wing provocateur is supposedly enough to rob thousands of leftist rioters of their agency, you should also agree that months of serial rioting by leftists is enough to rob dozens or hundreds of pro-democracy protesters of their agency.

                  1. I prefer to stay on topic.

          2. I don’t think your post, however accurate, is an adequate response to the claim that, in the particular case of DC, the BLM protestors were treated worse than the Trumpist rebels.

            How many BLM protesters were shot dead by police? According to The Guardian, one (exactly the same number, in months of protesting, as were killed by police at the Capitol in four or five hours of protesting): “In Las Vegas, Jorge Gomez was wearing body armor and carrying several guns when he was shot to death by Las Vegas police at a protest in June.” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/31/americans-killed-protests-political-unrest-acled

          3. “Apparently, no fire extinguisher were wielded. No zip ties.”

            Why would the protestors have fire extinguishers? They wanted to start fires, not stop them.

            Can you possibly be any more transparently partisan?

            1. Thrown full cans of food or glass bottles are a dangerous and potentially deadly weapon.

              I recall seeing my “friends” making jokes about the poor awful Portland police being “scared of dinner” or the like.

              Because a pound can of food with nice hard, reinforced edges can’t crack a skull, only “weapons” can, right? A rock’s one thing, but a heavier, reinforced can of soup? Harmless! Because!

              (Anyone who thinks otherwise should invite people who hate them to throw canned food at them for a while to Prove It’s Safe And Fine.

              Ideally on video so we can all watch.)

              The only difference I can see is that riot cops have armor and helmets, so they only get concussions and broken small bones, not killed.

              1. A UMass student once broke a 1/4 inch thick plate glass window — on the fifth floor — with an orange. Seriously.

                Someone who has played high school baseball, particularly as a pitcher, can get these small objects going 90 MPH or more, and it’s mass *times* acceleration that becomes the energy of the projectile.

                A thrown baseball can be quite dangerous — anyone remember Tony Conigliaro? And a riot helmet doesn’t protect you from a broken neck — when your whole head whiplashes from the impact.

                1. > it’s mass *times* acceleration that becomes the energy of the projectile.

                  Learn to physics better. Mass times acceleration is merely force. And this is an instantaneous equation that is usually not as relevant as its integral over some time span (m * (delta)v = impulse) showing how much momentum can be transferred.

                  However, unless it’s generally kinetic energy (m*v*v/2) that determines how damaged something gets in a collision. (The big exceptions are elastic collisions and through shots, each of which there is very little kinetic energy actually lost).

          4. At times, the protesters got close enough to inflict minor injuries on certain officers.

            Broken bones are broken bones, and it is nothing but blind, stupid, luck as to which ones get broken. Had the unfortunate USCP officer been hit anywhere other than his head, it’d been “minor injuries”, i.e. broken arm, ribs, etc.

            When you throw heavy objects at someone, you don’t know where you are going to hit the person. The Lafayette Parksters well could have killed an officer or USSS person that night.

          5. ‘U.S. Park Police and National Guard troops used tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spray, stingball grenades, horses, shields and batons to clear peaceful demonstrators from Lafayette Square and surrounding streets.’ This is untrue, but you eat it up.

          6. Not defending any side involved here, but said dogs and trigger-happy Secret Service officers defend the White House, not the Capitol. If Trumpist rioters had breached the White House perimeter, I’m pretty sure they would have been treated just as harshly. (Secret Service is apolitical – their job is to serve the *office* of the president, not the man himself – but any breach of White House security would be viewed as a direct attack on that office, and would be responded to with potentially lethal force. You don’t mess with the Secret Service).

      2. Why should your input be taken seriously, when you quote Biden and then proceed to compare everything except what he actually stated?

        ““No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protestors yesterday that they wouldn’t have been treated very differently than the mob that stormed the Capitol,” Biden tweeted. “We all know that’s true — and it’s unacceptable.””

        Did you bother comparing any D.C. action against Trump’s mob? No. You went around the rest of the country, and ignored the direct comparison actually being made.

        Based on D.C. Police and military response to the BLM protests at the Capitol, Trump’s mob was handled with kid gloves and open arms.

        1. Apparently, you didn’t even bother reading the whole blog post before bloviating.

          1. “I stopped reading here: “Even though the Capitol mob was far more violent — and seditious — than the largely peaceful BLM demonstrators…” I can’t take anything the author says seriously when this is how she describes arguably the most destructive riots in the country in over a century.”

            Note my response below, where I was specifically addressing the one ‘comparison’ you did make. Beyond that, you admit that you don’t read articles before forming your opinions.

            Hypocritical pundit says what?

            1. You make a factual statement about my post, which is that I didn’t address any instances in DC. I did in fact address a mob surrounding, and threatening to attack, the White House. Which means you didn’t bother reading the post. Which makes your comment worthless.

        2. “In a statement released Saturday, the USSS said its officers had made 6 arrests in and around Lafayette Park and along Pennsylvania Ave. near the White House, adding that some demonstrators hurled bricks, bottles and fireworks and attempted to knock over security barriers but none breached the White House perimeter.”

          Attempted to knock over security barriers, versus actually doing so. None breached the WH perimeter, versus thousands doing so at the Capitol. Apples-to-oranges.

          (And no, one reference to a wikipedia article about one specific date doesn’t even begin to address what we all saw and watched on TV with our own eyes regarding instances such as Lafeyette square.)

          1. Interesting that your own comment fails to account for the difference between USSS protecting the WH and president versus Capitol police protecting the Capitol building. Apples to oranges.

            There is no proof, whatsoever, that Capitol police would have treated a mob of black BLM protestors any differently, at the Capitol building. Maybe if they acted like they did in front of the WH throwing bricks and shit… The “riot” in the Capitol is not comparable to the riots elsewhere, which led to mass looting, arson, murders, etc. If your apples and oranges weren’t joined deep in your ass by your head, you might acknowledge that.

            Hypocritical dumbass says what?

            1. What does Bernstein’s comparison reference?

              The USSS.

              So the quotation I cited is in direct reference to the incident Bernstein chose as his best argument for what he would claim is a direct comparison.

              That means it’s time for you to fuck right off. Adios!

      3. Yes, “arguably”… And arguably the moon is made of cheese.

          1. Headline: “Exclusive: $1 billion-plus riot damage is most expensive in insurance history.”

            1. Costliest U.S. civil disorders
              Includes riots and civil disorders causing insured losses to the insurance industry
              Dates Location Dollars 2020 dollars
              May 26-June 8, 2020 20 states across U.S. $1-2b $1-2b
              Apr. 29-May 4, 1992 Los Angeles, CA 775m 1.42b

              1. So about the moon…. what kind of cheese?

              2. Yes, if I was going to make that “arguable” case, I’d do the sums that way too.

                On the one side: months of events across the country
                On the other side: each event counted separately, no attempt at including the value of lives lost, and no attempt at correcting for inflation.

                1. The chart in that article is adjusted for inflation.

                  1. He didn’t bother to read it, because he “knows” what true, so why let facts get in the way.

          2. Those numbers are basically irrelevant. You’re comparing different eras, different time ranges, and different numbers of cities.

            But most importantly a common and extensively reported feature of the BLM protests was peaceful protests turning violent after a violent police response. If you don’t factor that into the property damage comparison then your numbers are about as relevant as the lunar dairy content.

            And really, the different police response to BLM vs the Trump rally was so disproportionate I’d honestly consider your article as gaslighting.

            The Capitol building invasion involved the police falling back and letting protestors up to the building with minimal resistance, officers standing aside in the halls while protestors streamed in, and officers letting protestors take selfies with them (and apparently giving them directions) inside the building.

            If it had been a BLM protest the police presence would have scaled up much more quickly, they never have yielded ground unless a lot of force was used, and the interactions in general would be much more antagonistic.

            Now you can argue the various factors behind the different responses (race, political alignment, how the protestors felt about police), but I can’t fathom how you claim they were treated as harshly as BLM.

      4. I can’t take anything the author says seriously when this is how she describes arguably the most destructive riots in the country in over a century.

        I suppose anything is arguably comparable to anything else. But that seems peculiar.

        You really think this summer was comparable to what happened in 1968? You might want to Google photos of the DC riot, just for a start. Or take a look at all the riots nationwide in April, 1968.

        Bernstein, you are visibly straining to make this summer’s events seem worse than they were. No one had to do that in 1968. For many years afterward entire blocks of DC remained nothing but rubble.

        Maybe your real beef is not with the severity of this summer’s events, but instead with the lack of a response draconian enough to suit you. That’s not a useful point of comparison. Compared to giving an enforcement pass in the face of the President’s outright challenge to national sovereignty, do you really suppose lethargy in protecting property rights from scattered attacks is a comparable vice? If so, there is something wrong with your value system.

        The seditious attack on the Capitol was a more damaging attack on the nation than all the riots of 1968 put together, compared to which the events of this summer were barely a blip.

        1. “The seditious attack on the Capitol was a more damaging attack on the nation than all the riots of 1968 put together, compared to which the events of this summer were barely a blip.”
          Fabulous hyperbole.
          In the end (aside for the 5 dead) the major damage was to DJT.

        2. https://www.axios.com/riots-cost-property-damage-276c9bcc-a455-4067-b06a-66f9db4cea9c.html
          Damage of DC riots in today’s dollars: 170 million in insured losses. Damage to Minneapolis: over 500 million. Let’s say have of that was insured. More damage to Minneapolis in 2020 than DC in ’68. And if you Google Minneapolis riots aftermath you can see entire blocks leveled. I don’t blame you for your ignorance, because for the national media downplayed and ignored the extent of the destruction.

      5. Well the Capitol mob was clearly far more seditious and more violent than the vast majority of BLM demonstrations.

        Especially if you consider the “Capitol mob” to be the group that actually invaded the capitol.

        You cherry picking the most extreme incidents ignores the violent law enforcement responses to peaceful demonstrations.

        And there’s a clear difference between a crowd causing property damage and a mob invading a building while chanting threats of violence towards occupants of that building.

        1. And there is a difference between people causing property damage (which implies things like breaking doors/windows, graffiti, etc.) and people burning down businesses, apartments, police stations… and between mere property damage and setting fire to buildings with people inside.

          1. Who set fire to buildings with people inside?

              1. Don’t expect that fact to be acknowledged or remembered. Doesn’t aid the propaganda effort.

                Also the news article doesn’t say whether the individual was one of the people whose lives matter.

                1. How many times have you said that and I respond?
                  Not everyone who pushes back on your nonsense is a propagandist.

                  Yeah that sucks. Glad they found the guy. Not people inside, but still.

                  I hadn’t seen that. But of course you are not going to argue that that’s the main thing about the Floyd protests, are you? Do you think that guy is going free? Do you think he was inspired by Kamala Harris?

            1. Reposting without links because more than one link triggers moderation that (almost?) never happens:

              Richmond, VA, May 31/June 1 – Protesters started a car fire that spread to an occupied house, and filled the streets with burning trash containers that blocked fire trucks from getting there.

              Portland, OR, August 8 – Protesters tried to burn down the police union headquarters.

              Portland, OR, August 31 – Protesters threw burning material into a business on the first floor of an (occupied) apartment building.

              The burned-out police precincts in Seattle and Minneapolis were both occupied when they were first attacked; I’m not sure whether the fires were set before or after the police evacuated. There are probably more examples from Portland, also.

  3. Great article. The rioting and breaching of the Capitol was an outrage, and should be condemned by all people who value freedom and the rule of law.

    But, the Left has been engaging in the same sort of mob violence, in cities across America since early 2020. That violence has been ignored, condoned and even supported by a large percentage of Democratic leaders.

    Mob violence is always an outrage, no matter who is engaging in it. Biden’s divisive, racially charged gaslighting is no better than anything Trump has done.

    A true leader would admit the sins of his own party and call on all Americans to unite against all forms of mob violence, from all sources.

    1. The rule of law ended 55 years ago with the passage of the nation busting 1965 Immigration Act.

  4. Greta article. David cleaning up the trash comments is also entertaining.

    1. Tired of winning yet?

      1. What would you know about winning?

        1. I overcame bad circumstances in a bigotry- and backwardess-infused hometown by leaving at high school graduation and never returning for a single night. I have had several nice careers and have a good family, nice house in a good neighborhood, strong education, no debt (after I pay my credit card balance each month), good health, plenty of comforts and amusements. I am content.

          I also am part of the victorious (liberal-libertarian) side in the American culture war (former elected and appointed official of the Democratic Party) and operate on the right side of history.

          There is plenty more, but this should answer your question.

          1. Lower signal to noise each time, and, most of this is untrue, which makes it funny, at least.

            1. That’s the phrase Prof. Volokh uses when he is censoring liberals and libertarians for making fun of conservatives too deftly.

              1. If he were censoring, you and your trolling would be banned

                1. Interesting that you picked today for that comment. This blog has censored me repeatedly . . . and just today, it appears, my comments are subject to special ‘moderation.’

                  No making fun of conservatives . . . and now, perhaps, no pointing out that blood is on the hands of those who lather up a marauding crowd of conservatives storming our Capitol.

                  1. Time for your meds to be adjusted.

                    Tell the attendant when he brings you the nightly pudding later.

          2. Oh, Kirkland imaginary life is getting more details.

      2. Winning is more important than truth. Right out of Pravda.

  5. Gaslighting becomes enormously more effective once you can ban all other forms of illumination.

    1. Consider that line stolen. Wait, rather that’s line is going to be “mostly non-plagiarized” while I use it elsewhere without attributing it to you unless someone asks.

      1. Brett never said anything like that. You are free to claim it.

        1. I’ve been commenting, and prior to that lurking, on this blog long enough to know that Brett usually says sensible things, even if he himself is re-approriating this quote from elsewhere, which is itself worthwhile, because I may not have seen it if he hadn’t used it.

          1. I took that as a satirical meta-joke about gaslighting. It’s hard to be sure of the intent, though…

            1. Poe strikes again (or a close cousin, it isn’t quite Poe’s Law). (I agree with your reading, btw).

  6. Yes, isn’t gaslighting the worst?

    1. Not when Trump is around. Trump is the worst. Except Trump. Who is worse than Trump.

      You guys are going to be lost when Trump is gone.

      1. We were kicking around the clingers (figuratively) before Trump arrived. We’ll be kicking them around (figuratively) after Trump departs . . . unless the last of them is replaced, in which case we’ll just chalk them up as the wrong side of history and forget about them.

      2. Maybe they will go back to kicking around Tulsi Gabbard again?

        1. Who’s Tulsi Gabbard? Is she that housewife from Hawaii?

          1. Someone who is smarter, wiser, and funnier than a fake like you.

            But that was admittedly an almost made me laugh comment. Bravo

          2. Member of Congress, surfer, military medical officer. You on the other hand are an odious bigot whose oral rape fantasies are only comparable to the totalitarian state fantasies you continue to espouse.

            1. NOT a “military medical officer,” which is a physician serving in the medical corps; she’s a “military medical service corps. (A medical service corps is a kind of military corps found in branches of the United States Armed Forces that is formally designated to engage in supporting and administrating the provision of medical assistance to soldiers and their families, and to civilians in emergency situations.) Helluva big difference.

              Oh yeah, a homophobe too. (Former one?)

          3. She’s the one who’s easy on the eyes. The other one make your eyes bleed.

            1. She’s an incel 7.

  7. Let’s go to Wikipedia

    Is that necessarily the best source? I have no idea what happened at that event, but this is what the Boston Globe said:

    “Hundreds of people were arrested, D.C. police records show. More than 300 were arrested on June 1, 2020, the day Barr ordered law enforcement to forcefully clear peaceful protesters from a perimeter near the White House, making room for President Trump to pose for cameras while waving a Bible in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church. It was the largest number of arrests recorded for any day during the summer of events.”

  8. Yes, this was an abuse of power by the White House to clear the area for a presidential photo op. Yet, the actual rioting outside the White House a day or two before led to six arrests, despite people trampling through police barriers and assaulting secret service agents. The latter strikes me as much more indicative of how law enforcement handled matters last summer than the former…

    1. “The protests at Lafayette Square, outside the White House, were not “peaceful.”

      A Breitbart News reporter was assaulted there, as were other journalists. Radical left-wing activists threw bricks, bottles, and rocks at law enforcement, injuring scores of officers.

      Attorney General William Barr told CBS News exactly what happened:

      >>On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, OK, there were violent riots in- at Lafayette Park where the park police were under constant attack at the — behind their bike rack fences. On Sunday, things reached a crescendo. The officers were pummeled with bricks. Crowbars were used to pry up the pavers at the park and they were hurled at police. There were fires set in not only St. John’s Church, but a historic building at Lafayette was burned down.

      >>All I heard — all I heard was comments about how peaceful protesters were. I didn’t hear about the fact that there were 150 law enforcement officers injured and many taken to the hospital with concussions. So it wasn’t a peaceful protest.

      When the park was cleared, it was not for a “photo-op,” but for the safety of law enforcement and the White House itself.”

    2. “Yes, this was an abuse of power by the White House to clear the area for a presidential photo op.”

      Where is your VC post on this? Link?

  9. Just a reminder, in 2018 the Woman’s March official Twitter account boasted of taking over and shutting down the whole capital building.

    It’s still up on twitter. I don’t recall “healing and coming together” afterwards with mass arrests.

    https://twitter.com/womensmarch/status/1047935356673437697

    P.s. (don’t forget the WI capital building being taken over in 2011 by protesters and nothing happening either)

    1. Note that that’s technically bragging that they “scared” the government into shutting itself down, rather than that they actually occupied the Capitol building.

      The Hart building is not the Capitol.

      (But, it’s still ironic, in that “scaring the government into action for a political purpose” is … literally terrorism?

      Except I don’t think they actually “scared” anyone, except maybe of “awkward optics”.

      That’s the problem with preening posturing and trying to pretend you’re scary – you end up sounding like, well, something scary, if people believe you.)

    2. “WE BELIEVE ALL SURVIVORS”

      Funny how quickly that was demonstrated to be lies.

  10. “The rioters, to the extent they were political, were leftists, and while there were many white rioters, there were many non-whites as well.”

    Antifa seems almost all white, and the BLM/Antifa riots together were still mostly white.

    Meanwhile, footage from the front lines of these Capitol trespassers includes many non-whites as well. More than people would think anyway.

  11. God bless Bernstein for having the chutzpah to engage in the comment section.

    Agee with him or not, don’t you wish all VC bloggers would do the same?

    This blog’s only saving grace these days is that the comment section is NOT filled with paid shills because it is too niche.

    1. Good lord, the paid shills. I miss the days when you could have a real debate.

      Maybe once the Cheeto in Charge is in the rear view mirror we can go back to having actual issues of import, instead of faux outrage and handwringing.

      1. Why would that happen?

        It didn’t start in 2016, and it’s been so emotionally satisfying to people, and so effective at getting ad revenue with rageclicks, that I expect it to never stop.

        We’re why we can’t have nice things.

      2. Nah, you don’t back off on things that work, you double down on them to make them work more.

        Remember that I said this today: By four years from now, you’ll look at the internet circa 2020, and think, “I miss that free and civil debate!”.

    2. Prof. Bernstein earns substantial credit for engaging, establishing a fine example.

      1. Hell just re-froze over, because that’s like the 2nd time in as long as I’ve been commenting on this blog that we agree on something.

        Perhaps you should follow his example, and engage arguments with facts and data yourself?

        Your kindergarten level trolling, is at best, counter productive as per your fellow leftist commentators. Note, I have zero illusions that you’re capable of the level of introspection that personal growth in this matter requires. But hey, stranger things have happened.

  12. How dare you try to interject facts into this discussion?

  13. “Gaslighting” is a terrible was to describe difference of opinion and perspective. It was adopted as a progressive tool to describe disagreement with progressive orthodoxy as a form of abuse, and adopted by non-progressives. Maybe we should have adopted it.

    That said, the mostly-peaceful festival-like civil disobedience at the Capital was a direct outgrowth of the normalization of political violence by Trump and the left over the past several years.

    1. “…difference of opinion…”

      You are entitled to your own opinion. You are not entitled to your own facts. Prof. Bernstein is spot-on.

  14. The biggest gaslighters are the people who use that word.

  15. Gaslighting seems to be the new vocab rage on the right, as it was last Fall on the left.

    1. The right started to use the term frequently in the Obama years as a more sophisticated version of noting that he was lying to everyone, but you’re not plugged into that blogosphere. There is a name for an effect where you learn a new word, and then you see it everywhere and think people are making it trend, but in truth, it’s been around quite a while. I’m surprised, frankly, that your aware enough of the propaganda leveled at you to register it as usual.

      Still, the left has always been better at a centralized message that they pump out to there. If I had a penny for every use of “norm breaking” and “threat to our democracy” over these past four years, I’d be rich. During the Bush years it was how he lacked “gravitas” and such.

      While you may deride it, the American attention span for our ill educated population is rather small, so a consistent messaging works and is, frankly, required, to make inroads into the public consciousness. Just ask Hillary about her emails.

      1. People hear some good phraseology and use it themselves. That is not propaganda.

        I can call out Prof. Bernstein for using a word that’s more meme than meaning these days. Looking above, I’m far from the only one.

        1. Sure, you can “call him out” to use a hackneyed phrase to complain about using a (perhaps soon to be) hackyneyed phase, but you’re kinda wrong that it’s suddenly in vogue with the right after they took it from the left. You actually have it backwards.

          For instance, Mikey Kaus started to use it in 2014 about Obama and it caught on back then on the right. Google trends show it really picking up in 2008.

          https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=gaslight

        2. And I don’t think you know what propaganda really is…it’s not just Soviet posters in reds and yellows of strong men holding large wrenches saying “onward to the future, comrads”.

          1. He’s just mad DB is using his “gaslight” trademark.

            1. I suspect, actually, that you’re correct.

        3. It is an old phenomenon.
          After all, language is a weapon in the class warfare.

    2. Conservatives are, perhaps philosophically, always a bit behind the curve…

      1. Yeah, many of us still believe in objective reality.

        1. Our new objective reality is whatever the tech oligopoly is says it is.

        2. Not about the 2020 election, though!

          1. That’s funny.

            See, both sides believe what they want to believe regardless of any objective evidence to the contrary. What really happened doesn’t matter. Power was used to obtain more power, that’s what happened. Even if there *was* no fraud, power was used to prevent an investigation into proving that there was no fraud. Therefore, no matter what, people like you will go to your grave convinced it was a legit election, and people like me saw video evidence of fraud, and at least wanted an audit but never got it before it actually mattered.

            How’s that for failed institutions, eh?

            1. Even if there *was* no fraud, power was used to prevent an investigation into proving that there was no fraud./i>”

              Are you familiar with the fundamental logic concept of “burden of proof” and who bears the burden? You seem no to understand it, but no matter, what did you and like-minded others take from William Barr’s unqualified representation that DOJ had found no evidence of widespread fraud sufficient to affect the election outcome. Did you think he had rolled over on The Donald to save his so badly damaged reputation, and that report to the nation shouldn’t be credited? Whose opinion do you think most trustworthy on the subject of election fraud generally – Rs or Ds, and the just past ones in particular – Rudy G, Sidney P, Jenna M, DJT himself, LTG (disgraced) Mike Flynn, DJT Jr, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Medal of Freedom winners Nunes and Jordan, the Fox News crew, etc.?

              people like me saw video evidence of fraud

              What video, the heavily edited PA one of the suitcases? Self-evidently bogus.

              at least wanted an audit but never got it before it actually mattered./i>”

              There a great many recounts and audits in different states before Dec 14, when it really mattered. You think Raffensberger (R) and Sterling (R) and Kemp (R) were not to be trusted? Do you not think so, because POTUS tried to get them to break the law and “find 11,780 votes” for him therein GA?

          2. “Not about the 2020 election, though!”

            No, but about the 2016 election, where most Democrats believed that Russia tampered with vote tallies.

            Both sides, my man!

            1. Yeah, I remember when they stormed the capital about it.

              Your attempted parallels are not really playing very well.

              1. “Yeah, I remember when they stormed the capital about it.”

                They launched “the resistance” which led to riots at Trump’s inauguration and a general challenge to Trump’s legitimacy. If your bias prevents you from seeing the parallels, you won’t see them.

                1. And public school math teachers are still getting into twitter spats trying to claim that 2+2=5!

              2. “I remember when they stormed the capital about it.”

                Well, they did.

                https://www.cnn.com/2017/01/19/politics/trump-inauguration-protests-womens-march/index.html

                Not the capitol though.

                1. Everyone forgets about the left taking over the WI statehouse in 2011 for something like a month, way back in antediluvian times (pre-Trump). Hell, my liberal family went and joined them and thought it was grand. Bring that up today to them, and you hear “that’s different.”

                  1. This wasn’t some plan to occupy the Capitol, and you know it.

                    1. The 2011 Wisconsin protests were a prolonged occupation of the state capitol building. From Wikipedia: “By February 20, protestors had undertaken a physical occupation of the Capitol building, establishing a fully functioning community within the public spaces of the Wisconsin State Capitol, including an information center, a sleeping area, a medic station staffed by members of the Madison Community Wellness Collective, and food stations with food for protestors supplied by local businesses.”

                      That went a long way beyond a plan, to actual occupation, complete with violent intimidation tactics. That included a threatening comment by a Democratic state representative (reference [83] on that Wikipedia page).

    3. So you have nothing substantive to say then

      1. I have this, and other things to say, Ben.

        You, km the other hand, see, to be here mostly to justify whatever. Trump didn’t do anything wrong, the invaders did nothing wrong, the coming violence will be deserved…really bad stuff.

  16. Appreciate the rundown and writeup. Too bad reason wasn’t reporting on this much at all during that time.

  17. The BLM bodycount is far higher than you have listed — way back in 1916, five Dallas Police officers were fatally shot with another nine wounded. And there were other incidents where cops, often more than one, were killed by BLM folk.

    Well, if your movement has been killing cops for the past four years, cops might view your group a little bit differently than a group that hasn’t been killing cops — they’re kinda funny that way…

    1. That was 2016 not 1916

    2. From an old 2018 post:

      BLM activists that have attacked police:
      Officer Cameron Ponder killed by BLM activist Joseph Shanks in Kentucky. BLM protested his death, killed while shooting at police.
      Good friend of Michael Brown and BLM activist Tyrone Harris shot four police on the 1 year anniversary in Ferguson.
      Another Michael Brown friend and BLM celebrity Jeffery Williams shot one officer in the face and wounded another in Ferguson in 2015.
      Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were assassinated by BLM activist Ismaaiyl Brinsley.
      Five police killed, 7 wounded, in Dallas by BLM activist Micah Johnson.
      Baton Rouge had three police killed and three more wounded by BLM activist and Nation of Islam member Gavin Long.
      Three Palm Springs police killed by (Hispanic) BLM activist and anti-cop Facebook group founder in 2016.

      ALL of these shooters were BLM activists, and most of them had BLM protests in support of them.

      You can also move on to Tyler Gebhard, a BLM activist, who broke into a police officer’s house, after threatening to kill the officer’s wife. When he was killed, BLM turned out in his support.
      There was Keith Scott who pulled a gun on police and was killed, causing several days of violent riots and looting. More than a dozen police were injured in those riots.
      Dontre Hamilton was shot by an officer’s partner after he attacked the officer, knocked him down with the officer’s only baton, and was trying to take the gun. Riots, and several wounded police, resulted as BLM ‘protested’.
      Of course, you can select the original – Michael Brown, who twice attacked the police officer that shot him. First trying to take his gun, and second charging back towards him.

      I really need to update the list for 2020, and include non-cops. Just a few minutes gets me some notable events:
      (Aug) Cannon Hinnant, 5yo white boy in NC killed by BLM marcher Darius Sessoms, who was upset over “whites killing blacks”
      (Aug) Jayvon Hatchett (BLM supporter) stabbed Auto Zone employee in Georgia because “whites were killing blacks”
      (Jul) Daniel Navarro (hispanic) crashed truck into Harley rider Phillip Thiessen (white), killing him, in Wisconson because all Harley riders are racists and he was upset over “white racism against blacks and hispanics”
      (Sept) Kimonie Bryant (black man) shoots white family in their home, kills 4-yo boy, because he wanted revenge because of white killer cops.
      I’m sure I’m missing a few dozen.

      1. Do you have links to these stories somewhere you could easily share?

  18. I’m not familiar with all of the examples, but it seems weird to cite NYC as a place where police were “hands off” with protestors, when there were numerous incidents documented of overly aggressive police response to protests and where there have been reports by both the state AG and the city’s own Department of Investigation (see https://www.wsj.com/articles/nypd-faulted-in-handling-of-george-floyd-protests-11608307527 ) saying that the police were overly aggressive and systematically violated protestor’s rights.

    More generally, the fact that police were sometimes didn’t take action against rioters doesn’t necessarily contradict the idea that in many cases the police response to peaceful protests was unnecessarily violent. In fact, Professor Bernestein acknowledges these overly aggressive responses but speeds right past them in this post, despite the fact that these overly aggressive police responses to peaceful protest is exactly what Biden was contrasting to last week’s response by Capitol Police.

  19. It appears my comments are being specially moderated.

    Free speech, movement conservative-style.

    1. Rev’s inner dialogue:

      “HA HA! Big tech companies just banned Trump lol.

      Unaccountable corporations having massive political power is fine as long as they own the cons.

      This will never backfire.”

      1. When people like AK whine no one is going to listen and I think they will seriously wonder why…

    2. Give us some evidence of that.
      Case by case please.
      If you can’t you’re just lying.

    3. I wondered why you seemed somewhat more rational.

    4. Maybe lay off on the oral rape fantasies and the personal insults alleging that other peoples’ “betters” will suppress them. Your usual comments are intentionally unproductive, hostile garbage. Or maybe you are simply obliviously to your toxicity. I suspect the former.

  20. Mr. Giuliani’s words quite clearly were intended to encourage Trump supporters unhappy with the election’s outcome to take matters into their own hands. Their subsequent attack on the Capitol was nothing short of an attempted coup, intended to prevent the peaceful transition of power.

    BULLSHYTE….

    https://nysba.org/new-york-state-bar-association-launches-historic-inquiry-into-removing-trump-attorney-rudy-giuliani-from-its-membership/

    1. I work with a guy who comes from a country that has endured many coups. He was laughing the other day at the idea of the capitol hill event being anything close to a coup. His words – “in a coup you have death squads with lists, not actors taking selfies and posting them to social media…”

  21. Wall Street joining in.

    Following a week in which major social media companies cut off President Donald Trump and began excluding some of his biggest advocates in the wake of the Capitol Hill riot, some of the nation’s largest financial institutions have announced that they are halting donations to their political action committees and considering permanently cutting off politicians accused of attempting to “overturn” the 2020 election…

    Typically, bank contributions to political action committees and politicians are considered by the American public some of the worst intersections of money and politics. The current situation has given the banks a rare opportunity to pose as do-gooders, even while implicitly pressuring politicians to win back their favor by adopting pro-Wall Street stances…

    The reaction to the Capitol Hill riot by supporters of President Trump stands in stark contrast to the response of banks and corporations to the Black Lives Matter anti-police riots and protests of last year. In response to those events, corporations pledged over a billion in support of Black Lives Matter and related causes.

    1. Conspicuously, they’re not defunding the left, only the right.

      1. Capitalism and freedom of association are such cruel mistresses. Clearly we need to nationalize industry to ensure freedom.

        1. What do you mean by that? Really.

          1. He means he cannot see any remedy beyond total government takeover.

            Which is unsurprising, if also shortsighted.

          2. It is sarcasm.

            This is freedom of association.

            Now, I’m fine with Twitter kicking Trump out. But I was more troubled by Parler being denied ISP services.

            Until I heard the specifics. Amazon told Parler that it had to take measures to deal with the people who were full-on planning political violence on their website. This wasn’t really about politics, so far as I can tell – the explanation for the lack of lefties planning violence on Parler left as an exercise for the reader.
            Parler said it would deal with the issue, but then took no measures. They then got kicked off.

            This echoes some measures taken against ISIS recruitment-hosting sites a few years ago. No one complained then.

            1. “This is freedom of association.”

              You’re against freedom of association, remember?

              Of course it’s freedom of association. And we can point out that freedom of association can cause problems without access to services without forcing people to associate with people who they’d rather not associate with.

              But since public accommodations don’t currently have freedom of association, I’m not sure why we should worry. We’re going to force companies to associate with people anyway, it’s just a question of who we force them to associate with.

              1. Which laws do not apply here.

                So quit being dumb.

                1. “Which laws do not apply here.”

                  I never said that they did. You quit being dumb.

            2. Parler should say it is gay, then you’d force amazon to serve it, Mr. freedom of association.

              1. Parler committed specific individualized acts, as I explained above.

                1. Yes, you swallowed amazon’s position hook line and sinker.

                  Censors always claim X justifies the censor.

                  1. I see, they’re lying lalalala.

                    Bring an argument next time.

                  2. Bob, I’ve asked you to refrain from mocking the good people of Ohio. When will you drop this novelty account?

                    You are overplaying the uneducated and strictly reactionary conservative character, by the way.

            3. “Until I heard the specifics. Amazon told Parler that it had to take measures to deal with the people who were full-on planning political violence on their website. This wasn’t really about politics, so far as I can tell – the explanation for the lack of lefties planning violence on Parler left as an exercise for the reader.

              Parler said it would deal with the issue, but then took no measures. They then got kicked off.”

              This was bullshit. They identified 98 death threats on Parler. Parler identified 14,000 on Twitter. Is Twitter being deplatformed? No, in fact Amazon deplatformed Parler shortly after signing a big new deal with Twitter.

              Twitter still has Farrakhan and the Ayatollah Khamenei unbanned. The idea that Amazon is hyper-vigilant about violent threats on sites they host is so laughable it’s obnoxious. In fact, when did they announce they were banning Parler? Within hours of Trump opening an account!

              1. Twitter takes measure to deal with death threats. Parler refused to.

                Easy, see?

                1. Yeah like “hang Pence” trending for more than a day…they took that one reallllll seriously….

                  1. You…do know why that was trending, yeah?

                2. And when that contention is proven factually false, you will just make up another one

                  1. What was my old contention, and what did I change?

          3. They love blacklisting now. It was bad when communists were blacklisted, but now that the blacklisting is communist-friendly, and in-part advances communist goals, they love it.

            It’s because they’re The Good Guys.

        2. They are already quasi-nationalized. Heavily regulated to shut down competition, unlimited corporate giveaways and immunities, all data shared with government intelligence agencies, free reign to monopolize, full political and operational alignment with our illegitimate permanent bureaucratic establishment government.

          That’s . . . the point.

          1. Your inability to tell where we are now from actual Communism is quite a sight to see.

  22. Ron Paul banned from Facebook without warning or explanation. Just one more among thousands being persecuted in the coordinated purge by tech, finance, internet and retail monopolists.

    1. coordinated purge. Not evidenced; markets have runs as businesses imitate one another, that is not evidence of collusion.

      monopolists
      You are bad at law.

      1. So all the Big Tech companies just happened to, within hours, ban the same list of users….? If you believe that I got some ice in Alaska to sell you.

        1. Since Ron Paul posted about his Facebook ban on Twitter, your coordination theory is not holding up that well.

      2. “monopolists
        You are bad at law.”

        It’s an economic term, Sarcastro.

        1. Facts have never got in the way of Sarcastro’s gaslighting…

        2. Also a legal term, dude. What the hell?

          1. “Also a legal term, dude. What the hell?”

            No legal context in the comment, dude.

  23. No serious person is going to argue that the BLM riots, looting, and violence were not politically privileged largely because democrats adopted a supportive, hands-off policy. (Queue Sarcastro to do some gaslighting…)

    Almost no one was prosecuted for destroying public monuments or other properties.

    We were told that violence as the Portland federal courthouse was because federal law enforcement (referred to as “troops” by the media) were present so the rioters (referred to as “mostly peaceful protesters”) felt the morale duty to engage with them nightly.

    We were told simple property crimes were legitimate ways to spur social change because “property is not equivalent of human life” (or similar BS).

    We were told antifa and the violence they brought to every “mostly peaceful protest” was not representative of the greater movement. But those who engaged in civil disobedience at the Capitol are not only examples of the entire movement, but now represent the close to a million people who were there.

    A complete lawless zone was set up right next to a state seat of government. But this was going to be a “summer of love” and was celebrated by the media.

    The list can go on and on. And what the problem is going to be is that humans do not like to be treated unequally or unfairly. The left spent the summer telling us their preferred protests should enjoy privilege and immunity because of (insert blah blah blah) and so now that you have protests in another form people are going to expect the same treatment. Don’t give it to them and there will be problems, big ones.

    1. It is funny how so many will hear what you just said and act as though you are trying to defend what happened at the Capitol based on this line of reasoning.

      They are incapable of realizing that a complaint about the unequal treatment of the rioters is not a defense of the rioters. For some reason that is an unconscionable thought… as in it is literally a thought that can not be cognitively realized in their mind. It is like imagining a rock God can’t lift or a color they have never seen or some such.

      1. It really isn’t a big logical leap for people to see others getting away with certain crimes, violating societal rules, and expecting similar treatment.

        Also, I haven’t seen many people pointing out the disparate treatment as a reason to let those who committed actual crimes off the hook. They are pointing out the sheer hypocrisy of treatment to demonstrate sheer and unbelievable amount of media and political bias.

        Heck, your own bias is showing in that you use the term “rioter” whereas the media and most couldn’t be brought to equating those who were engaged in dictionary definition activity of “rioting” as such. You should probably check your privilege before posting again…

  24. The way I see it the summer of riot/unrest simply normalized the condition so why would there be greater pushback in the Capitol? I have also heard reports that some of the protestors Wednesday were carrying “blue lives matter” banners, hats, etc. It’s probably a good way to get an initial favorable lean with those items than ones with slogans along the lines of “defund the police”.

    Also, people claiming that the Capitol protest was so violent yet only “5 weapons” have been recovered with no mention of what those weapons might be. My guess is pocket knives, pepper spray, and the like but no guns since if there were guns you know there would be a lot of press and photo ops showing them off.

    1. Considering usually any large group of people leaves a footprint as normal wear and tear, there was little from this event. There are some photos (not widely circulated of course) of people picking up trash before leaving. Also, no media outlet will say but once word got around of the 6pm curfew the protest broke up. When is the last time a BLM riot listened to even an order to disburse?

      1. “once word got around of the 6pm curfew the protest broke up”

        LOL. You could watch live TV and see that the protest was still going strong after 6 PM.

        1. At 6pm the Capitol building was largely cleared off. There was little to no pushback by those who remained outside the entire time (which was the vast majority of people there). They may have remained outside after 6pm in defiance of the curfew but I have not seen any evidence that any sort of conflict of any remotely serious level continued after the cops pushed everyone back.

          Compared to BLM protests where the crowd literally left fires in their wake, if they backed off at all… and then only after throwing rocks, fireworks, etc at the police and in some cases using picnic tables as large shields as they re-approached the cops to re-enter some sort of skirmish.

  25. the second sentence of the first paragraph – “I heard a segment on NPR this morning with the same theme. ”

    NPR is blatantly dishonest. I was in the colorado rockies the week before thanksgiving 2019 when the house impeachment proceedings were going on. NPR was the only radio station with reception so that is what I listened to. NPR was running constant commentary on the impeachment.

    NPR had absolutely zero commentary on
    A) Biden’s efforts to get the Ukranian prosecutor fired
    b) Hunters compensation for the influence
    C) any other corruption going on associated with Biden

  26. The White House was on lockdown the night of May 29 in response to protests reaching the gates…. The protesters came into conflict with the United States Secret Service. … At one point the protesters were pepper sprayed. Several Secret Service agents reportedly suffered broken bones due to rocks and bottles of urine and alcohol thrown at them by rioters..

    The claim that protests reached the gates is based on a news article that, as far as I can see, provides no support for the claim. (The word “gate” appears nowhere in the article.) The key word in the last quoted sentence is “reportedly.” No videos or witnesses confirm the report.

    The bottom line, according to the Secret Service, is that, “No individuals crossed the White House fence and no Secret Service protectees were ever in any danger.” I suspect, although I don’t know, that if either of those had not been the case, the response of law enforcement would have been considerably more aggressive. For that reason, this event is not a good point of comparison with the attack on the Capitol.

  27. The Left wing response to the Capitol Hill event is basically straight out of the Nazi’s playbook from the Reichstag fire. Funny isn’t it???

    1. Not at all surprising though.

      1. Those silly leftist Nazis always calling Trump a Nazi.

        Do you guys see yourselves?

  28. Sarcastro – this is what a real crackdown on a protest looks like, not your little complaint about how BLM had a few people arrested and cops broke up some of their illegal activity.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9134839/The-MAGA-rioters-caught-far.html

    1. It’s almost as though this wasn’t a protest.

      1. But if you look at it objectively, especially compared to tactics used by BLM, which were supported by the political class, it was just that – a protest.

      2. It was a mostly peaceful, not even fiery, protest.

        The totalitarian leftist media has unwittingly outdone you in the sarcasm department.

  29. Chinese state media spent the weekend crowing that “American-style democracy” is finished after the Capitol riot, asserting the United States has sacrificed all credibility as a voice for freedom, as well as the moral stature to criticize countries like China for their human rights abuses.

    The People’s Daily on Monday happily quoted Lebanese diplomat Mohamad Safa: “If the United States saw what the United States is doing in the United States, the United States would invade the United States to liberate the United States from the tyranny of the United States.”

    This was followed by the latest iteration of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) argument that the coronavirus pandemic demonstrated the superiority of China’s authoritarian model over free-market capitalist democracy….

  30. Speaker Pelosi sure as Hell did not have a problem with aronists attacking a federal courthouse.

    http://twitter.com/speakerpelosi/status/1284294427654197248

    And she has the audacity to complain about rioters trashing her House!

  31. Is it too late to say riots are wrong whoever the rioters are – whatever their politics, skin color, sports-team preference, etc.?

    While I think most Americans agree with that proposition, I think the “leaders” – more extreme than the majority – judge riots based on whether it’s their team or not.

    Add in the factor that Congresscritters care deeply for the sanctity of the Capitol, while in many cases having a profound indifference to the sanctity of, eg, private businesses.

  32. Good job, Bernstein. All of this information is available on the internet. The sad part is that anyone in the MSM with a nominal effort could have compiled this information, which shows Biden’s BLM tale is baloney. They are too busy reciting the same tale. Takes someone (you) not connected to the media brotherhood to set thing right. Thanks

  33. There’s an unsurprising lack of math in this article.

  34. Even if there *was* no fraud, power was used to prevent an investigation into proving that there was no fraud./i>”

    Are you familiar with the fundamental logic concept of “burden of proof” and who bears the burden? You seem no to understand it, but no matter, what did you and like-minded others take from William Barr’s unqualified representation that DOJ had found no evidence of widespread fraud sufficient to affect the election outcome. Did you think he had rolled over on The Donald to save his so badly damaged reputation, and that report to the nation shouldn’t be credited? Whose opinion do you think most trustworthy on the subject of election fraud generally – Rs or Ds, and the just past ones in particular – Rudy G, Sidney P, Jenna M, DJT himself, LTG (disgraced) Mike Flynn, DJT Jr, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Medal of Freedom winners Nunes and Jordan, the Fox News crew, etc.?

    people like me saw video evidence of fraud

    What video, the heavily edited PA one of the suitcases? Self-evidently bogus.

    at least wanted an audit but never got it before it actually mattered./i>”

    There a great many recounts and audits in different states before Dec 14, when it really mattered. You think Raffensberger (R) and Sterling (R) and Kemp (R) were not to be trusted? Do you not think so, because POTUS tried to get them to break the law and “find 11,780 votes” for him therein GA?

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