As Gov. Brian Kemp (R-Ga.) signed his landmark election integrity law on Thursday, Georgia State Rep. Park Cannon (D-Atlanta) disrupted the public announcement of the bill signing in an apparent stunt to draw attention to herself and to claims of “voter suppression.” Cannon knocked on Kemp’s office door, and continued to do so when state troopers directed her to stop. Police arrested her and charged her with disrupting General Assembly sessions.
Conservatives on Twitter mocked the Left’s hyperbole about the Capitol riot, referring to Cannon’s actions as an “insurrection.” While the Capitol riot was truly heinous, the degree to which it represented an insurrection is quite debatable. Furthermore, if the Capitol riot constituted an insurrection, did the Black Lives Matter and antifa riots over the past summer represent insurrections? It seems those on the Left adopted the term “insurrection” in order to condemn the Capitol riot as some sort of armed uprising — even though DOJ charging documents make no mention of rioters using firearms during the riot.
Democrats have loudly condemned the fact that Cannon got arrested for knocking on Kemp’s door, but by their logic, Cannon may have been involved in an “insurrection” in doing so.
Andy Ngo, editor in chief at The Post Millennial, noted that Cannon got “arrested after she attempted to disrupt the democratic process where [Governor Kemp] was signing new legislation into law at the state Capitol.”
Emerald Robinson, White House correspondent for Newsmax, noted that “When Trump supporters barge into the DC Capitol, the Democrats say it’s an ‘insurrection!’ When Democrats barge into the Georgia Capitol, the Democrats say it’s just ‘legitimate protest.'”
When Trump supporters barge into the DC Capitol, the Democrats say it's an "insurrection!"
When Democrats barge into the Georgia Capitol, the Democrats say it's just "legitimate protest." https://t.co/q0T9Be5DOK
— Emerald Robinson ✝️ (@EmeraldRobinson) March 26, 2021
Tony Shaffer, president of the London Center for Policy Research, noted that “An attempting to disrupt the democratic process constitutes ‘a core attack on our democratic institutions’ per Merrick Garland. Insurrection. Why isn’t the FBI out looking for her accomplices who filmed her attempt to interrupt democrat processes?”
Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) declared, “I stand with Georgia State Rep. Park Cannon (@Cannonfor58), who was arrested and CHARGED WITH A FELONY for … for what? For *knocking on Gov. Kemp’s office door* as she tried to observe the cowardly closed-door signing ceremony for the voter suppression law.”
Mike Cernovich responded, “It was an insurrection, Senator.”
It was insurrection, Senator. https://t.co/1puTm4qWMt
— Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) March 26, 2021
“I am 100% serious about Georgia,” OANN correspondent Jack Posobiec tweeted. “The Attorney General of the United States testified that interrupting a daytime democratic process constitutes an insurrection. Prosecute her.”
I am 100% serious about Georgia
The Attorney General of the United States testified that interrupting a daytime democratic process constitutes an insurrection
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) March 26, 2021
I’m not sure I would call Cannon’s stunt an “insurrection,” and I don’t like to see elected representatives arrested in this manner, but to the degree that her stunt disrupted the signing of the bill that the Georgia legislature had duly passed, this rhetorical turnabout appears to be fair play. Cannon’s stunt is worlds away from the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, but the exaggerated use of the term “insurrection” arguably applies in both situations.
Make no mistake: What happened on January 6 was a national tragedy. But Democrats have used the term “insurrection” to link the rioters with Republicans who raised objections to the verification of the Electoral College votes — objections of the sort that Democrats made in 2017. In fact, Democrats objected to more states in the 2016 election than Republicans did in the 2020 election. Democrats have accused Republicans who objected to the 2020 election of being complicit in the Capitol riot. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) went as far as claiming that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was “trying to get me killed,” even though he loudly condemned the rioters.
If Cruz supported the “insurrection” by attempting to block the certification of electoral votes, then Park Cannon attempted an insurrection by knocking on Brian Kemp’s door.
This situation should convince the Left to tone down the outrage and recriminations against Republicans who never supported the Capitol riot. Unfortunately, it seems more likely Democrats will just dismiss it.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.