Last week’s Capitol Hill riots drew condemnation from the very folks who have spent decades encouraging and engaging in far worse behavior
The usual suspects on the new corporatist American Left – politicians, billionaires, corporate executives (especially in Silicon Valley and Hollywood), Wall Street investors, journalists, activists, entertainers, and “influencers” of various stripes – have spent much of the last few days expressing shock – shock! – at the violence that consumed the nation’s capitol for a few hours on January 6, 2021 as Congress convened to certify the results of the presidential election. The same people who for more than a century weaponized ideology by encouraging and using political violence and intimidation as standard operating procedures suddenly discovered that political violence and intimidation are bad. To paraphrase Lieutenant John McClane, welcome to the party, folks.
Here we insert the obvious caveat: What happened in Washington DC last week was beyond the pale. People who fancy themselves “patriotic Americans” engaged in a pattern of behavior that wouldn’t pass muster in a mid-century banana republic. By following an individual politician who by all appearances is increasingly disconnected from reality they betrayed the most fundamental values of the U.S. Constitution they claim to cherish. They were a dangerous ship of fools who should be counting their blessings that they “only” got four people killed. Like their counterparts on the Left they set their cause back by years if not decades, and their arrogance was matched only by their ignorance. They would have fit in perfectly at an Occupy rally.
It also must be added that there is a distinction – albeit an ever shrinking one – between mainstream Democrats and Leftists. Mainstream Democrats respect the rule of law whereas Leftists seek to tear it down. Mainstream Democrats value American history and culture. Leftists’ primary goal is nothing less than their complete extermination. Unfortunately Leftists increasingly control the power centers in this country, from the Democrat Party itself to technology, media, and entertainment to corporate boardrooms to athletic fields. Indeed, the infiltration of seats of power at every level by radicals is one of the central narratives of the last half century of U.S. history. The normalization of political violence was inevitable.
Which is the proper lens through which to view last week’s events. Ignore the histrionics of people like Arnold Schwarzenegger, who compared an Animal House like riot to the Nazi pogroms on Kristallnacht (note to the Governator: if you have to resort to the reductio ad Hitlerum you’re losing the argument). Ignore the breathless invocations of the woke crowd when the call January 6 an “insurrection” (again, note to the woke: before making an assertion you should check your Funk and Wagnalls). It was no such thing. It was, with apologies to Eric Stratton, a really stupid and futile gesture.
Despite the violence of the day January 6 also was an exception to the rule, and a pretty minor one at that. The fact remains that for at least the last 100 years political violence in this country overwhelmingly has been a product of the Left. In fact it’s close to an unbroken lineage, from KKK lynch mobs and Socialist bomb-throwers in the 1910s, 20s, and 30s to Baby Boomer “militants” in the 1960s and 70s to the tediously combative Occupy movements of the early 2000s and today’s ANTIFA. Much of the Democrat Party’s leadership can trace their personal political journeys to practitioners of political violence. Barack Obama infamously studied for decades at the feet of a racist, anti-Semitic Black Liberation preacher who routinely called for violence against the U.S. government (remember “God damn America”?). Hillary Clinton’s political mentor Senator William Fulbright was a segregationist, as was Al Gore’s father. The former rabid Klansman Robert Byrd served more than 60 years in various elected positions including 51 years in the Senate, 30 of which he was the Democrats’ majority/minority leader. Put simply, it’s rather rich for the very people who gave the most violent political group in U.S. history a prime seat at the table in Washington, D.C. for the better part of a century to now take to their fainting beds over a brief – albeit deadly – right-wing melee in the Capitol.
The irascible septuagenarian Bernie Sanders is a living fossil record of the Leftist tradition of political violence. At various points in his political career Bernie has sounded and behaved like a full-throated Stalinist, an old-school New Dealer, and a standard-issue New Democrat. In the 1976 and 1980 presidential elections, as Mayor of Burlington, Vermont he “proudly endorsed and supported” a Socialist Workers Party (SWP) presidential candidate named Andrew Pulley, a man with a long history of violent rhetoric. During the ’76 campaign he railed, “if America don’t come around…it should be burned down to the damned ground, it should not exist to see 1980….We advocate a Socialist Revolution in America by any means necessary.” He encouraged soldiers to “take up their guns and shoot their officers.” Mr. Sanders, on the cusp of a Cabinet position in the incoming Biden administration, has never disavowed these statements.
The tradition, such as it is, continues: Today’s Leftists get positively fizzy when the likes of anti-Semitic Minnesota Representative Illhan Omar (D) says, “My work has been to figure out where I’m going to burn down everything around me.” They Twitter cheered when a journalist said Democrats would “burn the entire f****g thing down” if Republicans confirmed a successor to their diminutive heroine Ruth Bader Ginsberg. They celebrated when groups like Code Pink stormed and disrupted Congressional hearings and – wait for it – overran House and Senate offices. They lionize celebrities who truck with murderous dictators like the Castro brothers and Hugo Chavez. At the conservative website The Federalist the aptly-named Tristan Justice has compiled a list of 28 times Leftists excused or encouraged violence in just the last six months. It is far from exhaustive: USA Today identified more than 700 instances of political violence nationwide between June and December 2020. Meanwhile, Vice President Elect Kamala Harris infamously established a legal fund for ANTIFA protesters to fight their arrests and criminal charges.
Ms. Harris knew what she was doing: Frighteningly, at this point Leftists have succeeded in installing hundreds, maybe thousands of practitioners of political violence directly into the system itself. With a little help from friends like George Soros they elect people like Chesea Boudin. Mr. Boudin, the new San Francisco District Attorney, is the son of political terrorists and convicted murderers. Both served decades in federal prison for the cold-blooded, cowardly killing of three people during a botched bank robbery attempt in 1972 as part of the “Weather Underground” group (apparently radical anti-capitalists still like the greenbacks, who knew). Mr. Boudin, who has never renounced his parents’ adherence to violence, was raised by another pair of terrorists in Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorn. He’s now in the process of unleashing a novel kind of political violence at the county level by refusing to prosecute thousands of felons, instead turning them loose on a daily basis to terrorize the innocent people he swore to protect. His mentor, George Gascon, is doing the same in the nation’s second largest county, Los Angeles. Leftist D.A.’s in Philadelphia, Houston, Seattle, Minneapolis, and elsewhere also are on board. As a direct result of their politically-motivated policies many people already have died, such as the two San Franciscans killed by a career criminal on New Year’s Day. He’d been arrested barely a week earlier for a violent carjacking, but Mr. Boudin turned him loose. Because progress. In yet another example of the institutionalization of violence on the Left, Mr. Boudin’s mom – again, a confessed, convicted triple murderer – is these days the co-director and co-founder of the Center for Justice at Columbia University.
Here we pause while your heads explode.
When Leftists aren’t actively engaged in political violence they’re encouraging it. Less than 48 hours after violent riots destroyed entire neighborhoods in Los Angeles in May 2020 Mayor Eric Garcetti – the son of a former L.A. District Attorney – was taking a (non socially distanced) knee among protesters outside city hall, literally bowing to the violence. In the next week the riots claimed 19 innocent lives, with nary a peep from the man who would be president. A few days after that, with fires still burning in the streets of dozens American cities the entire Democrat leadership in Congress took a knee in the Capitol rotunda while dressed in traditional Ghanian kente cloth – a bizarre spectacle that even the Washington Post called a “mess of contradictions.”
Regardless, the message from Democrat politicians, media figures, and coproratists was clear: The riots and destruction are justified, have at it, we’ll keep law enforcement at bay. Countless thousands of Americans paid the price of that perverse moral certainty with their livelihoods and even their lives.
It was no surprise to witness Democrats fall over each other to throw their support to violent Leftist rioters and criminals over the last six months. They treated the laughable-if-people-handn’t-actually-died temper tantrum that was the “autonomous zone” in Seattle as if it was the Bastille. They flat-out rationalized violence and looting, as when the architect of the New York Times’ historically illiterate “1619 Project,” Nikole Hannah-Jones, explicitly rejected the idea that destroying property even constitutes “violence” in the first place. She said, ““Destroying property, which can be replaced, is not violence,” which will come as news to the thousands of business owners nationwide whose lives and livelihoods were destroyed by violent rioters.
The Orwellian spin ultimately, inevitably, devolved into self-parody when a CNN reporter wearing protective gear stood in front of rioters and a row of burning vehicles in Kinosha, Wisconsin while the chryon on the screen read “fiery but mostly peaceful protests.”
All of which is why it’s been so entertaining to watch those same Leftists wedge their underwear into their cracks in response to last week’s flash riot in the Capitol. Suddenly the same “progressives” who thought it was dandy for hooligans to take over parts of American cities are clutching their pearls at a brief (albeit historically stupid) riot. The same Leftists who’ve spent years braying about police brutality turned on a dime and lamented the lack of police brutality. The folks who want to defund the police were screaming for more police.
These are the same Democrats who in June unanimously voted against Florida Republican Representative Greg Steube’s thoroughly measured resolution condemning the violence (hat tip: Instapundit) and rioting that consumed the country following the death of a career drug dealer and violent felon named George Floyd while he was in police custody. This, even though the resolution condemned Floyd’s death. That’s the Left for you: Riots for me, but not for thee.
There’s no question that, by their refusal to condemn violence over the last six months Democrats sent an unmistakable signal to the cowardly thugs and ANTIFA types in the streets: Violence by the left in pursuit of its political goals is acceptable. Indeed, it’s not just acceptable, it’s a form of “social justice.” If a few innocents are beaten and killed along the way – and Leftists have beaten and killed hundreds at this point – well, then, those are just the eggs that need to get broken to make the Utopian omelet.
There’s an old Jewish saying that the definition of chutzpah is the man who murders his parents then begs the court for sympathy because he’s an orphan. This week the American Left’s chutzpah is on full display as Democrats fall over themselves to re-impeach President Donald Trump for encouraging the riots. That’s right: With tens of millions of Americans still unemployed and struggling, and even as they botch the second stimulus, Leftist political class is obsessed with scoring a few last political points.
If that’s not political violence, what is?
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