I spent a lot of time overnight reading accounts of Wednesday’s insurrection. Here are some things that struck me:
First, At some point Wednesday afternoon, the only thing standing between complete looting, perhaps even burning of the Capitol was a relatively small group of Metro DC Police.
After rioters were already inside the building, the D.C. police reinforcements, led by a D.C. police officer, Inspector Robert Glover, began to take charge inside the Capitol itself.
To start, he sent a contingent of Capitol Police and D.C. officers to retake the Capitol’s famed Statuary Hall — which one officer said was “like a mosh pit” full of shoving rioters. Then he sent officers to make a floor-by-floor search, corralling rioters and escorting them out.
“If it wasn’t for Inspector Glover, we would have probably lost both chambers to looting and had a complete overtaking of the building,” the officer on the scene said. The officer spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to speak to the news media.
Obviously that’s one officer’s point of view, but it explains a lot of things that have enraged us. It answers why police didn’t arrest everyone: They didn’t have enough officers, and there was still a mob outside and the building doors were open — if they started rounding up this mob they might have outraged that mob and had another invasion on their hands. It explains why there’s some video of officers saying nice things to rioters and assisting them down the stairs: At that point, you say anything to get them out and re-assert control of the building. This was de-escalation 101 because these MAGAts had backpacks full of God knows what, and job one with the resources at hand was to get them the fuck out of the building. I’m not ignoring or downplaying the huge overlay of white privilege, as I wrote yesterday.
Second, fucking Trump conspired to create a situation where an understaffed and unprotected Capitol was overrun by a mob. First, his minions greatly limited the DC National Guard’s mission and equipment, meaning they had to go to an armory to get equipment before they could be deployed to the Capitol. The governors of Maryland and Virginia describe a 90 minute delay. DC is full of federal cops – none of them were deployed by (who is the Attorney General today?) and other federal agencies, probably because Trump and his crowd in the White House subtly or overtly pressured them not to. To me, this is the most execrable of Trump’s offenses.
Third, I don’t know the right strategy for Pelosi and Schumer. The resignations of Elaine Chao and Betsy DeVos, and Pence’s refusal to even talk with them, indicates that the Trump cabinet isn’t ready to commit what they perceive to be political suicide. They were all gutless fucks in the first place, because that’s what Trump surrounds himself with. He has a connoisseur’s eye for a sycophantic chickenshit. So, it falls to Pelosi and Schumer. I think their strategy is to let this cook a little more in hopes that Pence will finally be pushed to invoke the 25th, or enough Republicans will cave to have a conviction in the Senate. Sadly, neither of those things is probable. Pence, his wife and his brother were in the Capitol and came within minutes of being killed by a Trump mob, yet he’s hiding out. And it’s hard to see 17 Republican Senators voting to convict. Still, I think it’s obvious that another impeachment is necessary.
Finally, fuck Josh Hawley. He and Cruz need to pay.