Q: Why Make A Big Deal About Jan. 6? A: Stealing Nikes Is One Thing, Stealing The Presidency Is Another
[guest post by Dana]
It seems pretty obvious, but Kevin D. Williamson believes the question demands an answer because too many don’t seem to understand. Sadly, he is correct.
He sets the stage:
Sean Hannity, radio host and off-the-books Donald Trump adviser, demands to know. After all, Hannity points out, there have been scores of riots, some of them deadly, over the past couple of years. Why fixate on that one?
Sean Hannity apparently believes that he has the dumbest audience in America.
In answer to Hannity (and Trump supporters everywhere), Williamson explains why Jan. 6 was different than other riots:
The sacking of the Capitol on January 6 by a gang of enraged Trump acolytes acting on the president’s complaint that the election had been stolen from him is different from other riots because of its particular political character. Stealing Nikes is one thing, and stealing the presidency is another. Hannity knows this. Most of you know this.
What has been clear to some of us for a long time — and what is becoming more difficult to deny every day — is that the events of January 6 were part of an attempted coup d’état, one that proceeded on two fronts: As the rioters occupied the Capitol and disrupted the process of certifying the Electoral College votes, Trump’s legal minions sought madly for some pretext upon which to nullify the election. Meanwhile, Trump allies occupying several points on the far-right tail of the bell curve of glue-sniffing madness hatched all kinds of supplementary schemes, some of them involving the military.
A riot that is part of a coup d’état is not very much like a riot that is part of a coup de Target.
It is true that some of the disorder of the past few years has had a distinctly political — revolutionary— character. The CHOP/CHAZ episode in Seattle is one example. But planting your flag on a Seattle sidewalk is a very different thing from having the president of the United States and his official allies make a serious effort at an autocoup — an effort that is, we should very much keep in mind, ongoing, with Trump-aligned Republicans working to take over election-management offices and to continue their effort to delegitimize the 2020 election through lies and conspiracy kookery.
At the very least, if one believes that every effort must be made to identify, arrest, and prosecute the masterminds and looters behind the ongoing smash-and-grab crimes or those who wreaked havoc and destruction during the 2020 summer riots, then consistency demands every effort be made to identify, arrest, and prosecute those who attacked the U.S. Capitol or had any part in the events of Jan. 6. This would naturally include those who incited the riot, the rioters themselves, anyone who tried to impede Congress’s official proceedings at the time, and especially those who had the responsibility to tell rioters to go home but remained silent out of self-interest. This, at the very least…