News & Politics

GOP Calls Democrats' Bluff on the Capitol Riot

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her fellow Democrats have sought to weaponize the Capitol riot at every turn, acting as though 1/6 constituted a similar threat as 9/11. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) repeatedly suggested that her life had been in danger. President Joe Biden laughably claimed that the Capitol riot was worse for American democracy than many bombings at the Capitol, four presidential assassinations, Pearl Harbor, and 9/11.

With these hyperventilating assertions, Democrats are posturing as defenders of the peace, defenders of order, defenders of “the temple of democracy” itself. Yet Democrats have a gaping weakness when it comes to defending order, and Republicans are deftly moving to expose it.

Last Thursday, Reps. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Tony Gonzales (R-Texas), David Joyce (R-Ohio), Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Fla.), and Van Taylor (R-Texas) introduced legislation to investigate the involvement of antifa in the nationwide riots of 2020.

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“Last year, organized cells of criminals hijacked overwhelmingly peaceful protests and used the legitimate grievances of others as cover to commit horrific acts of violence,” Mace said in a statement. “They caused billions of dollars in property damage and attacked law enforcement officers and innocent bystanders in cities across the country.”

“These riots often caused the most harm to the marginalized communities the criminals claimed to represent,” Mace added. “Antifa bands represent the same threat to our nation posed by other terrorist groups. We must do all we can to understand and neutralize this dangerous movement before more are harmed.”

While many Americans protested after the death of George Floyd, many of those protests devolved into arson and looting. In a tragic irony, this violence in the name of helping black people destroyed black livesblack livelihoods, and black monuments. Antifa black bloc agitators led or took part in many of the riots, especially in violent hotbeds like Portland and Seattle. The noxious ideology of Marxist critical race theory inspired a great deal of the violence.

The looting, vandalism, and arson that took place between May 26 and June 8, 2020, resulted in at least $1 billion to $2 billion in insurance claims, eclipsing the $775 million (in 1992 dollars) — $1.4 billion (in 2020 dollars) — paid out after the Los Angeles riots following the acquittal of the police officers who brutalized Rodney King. Other riots in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s did not reach $500 million in 2020 dollars.

Democrats strain to condemn Republicans for the Capitol riot, but Republicans loudly condemned the violent rioters at the time. President Donald Trump, who told the January 6 protesters to remain peaceful, loudly condemned the rioters a few days afterward.

By contrast, Biden and the Democrats mostly ignored the violence over the summer. Biden did condemn violence, but he did only condemned antifa once — in a local news interview. By contrast, he repeatedly mentioned militia groups and the Proud Boys, often associated with the Right. Trump argued that “Biden has given moral aid and comfort to the vandals, repeating the monstrous lie that these were peaceful protests.”

If Democrats want to claim the moral high ground on riots, they need to vocally condemn Black Lives Matter and antifa rioters who terrorized American cities last summer.

The new Republican bill, H.R. 4117, would establish the “National Commission on Domestic Terrorist Attacks on the United States.” This commission would be structured like the 9/11 commission and it also resembles the proposed January 6 commission Pelosi first supported in H.R. 3233, a bill that died in the Senate.

Nancy Mace defended her commission as necessary while claiming that the January 6 commission was not.

Pelosi’s commission would have been redundant because numerous federal law enforcement agencies are examining the riot while prosecuting cases, Mace argued.

“There has been more investigation and more resources invested into investigating Jan. 6 than 9/11,” the congresswoman noted. “There are already criminal charges.” She said she would support a separate commission if the federal agencies do not reach a “reasonable outcome.”

Other congressional committees have also investigated the Capitol riot.

Meanwhile, prosecutors across the country have dropped charges against rioters in Portland, Minneapolis, and New York. Under Biden, the Department of Justice dropped 31 of the 90 remaining criminal cases linked to riots in Portland. These dropped prosecutions represent not only a lack of justice for victims but a lost potential for law enforcement investigations into the riots.

If Democrats truly want a commission to investigate riots, they should support this Republican bill, which presents a far more necessary commission than the January 6 commission Pelosi supported.

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By filing this bill, Mace and her allies expose just how partisan Democrats’ focus on the Capitol riot — which has already been subjected to law enforcement scrutiny and congressional investigations — truly is. Democrats aren’t defending law and order or shielding “democracy,” they’re weaponizing riots to condemn their political enemies, all the while ignoring the more damaging riots perpetrated by leftist agitators last summer.

It’s high time more Republicans call them out on it.