I’ve got one question about the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
Just what did people expect would happen?
A Reuters’ poll indicates that 70% of those polled disapprove of Trump’s calls to action during the rally and even 70% of Republicans disapprove of the actions of those who broke into the Capitol building.
So, finally, some of Trump’s supporters aren’t happy about an action of his. Separating toddlers from their parents wasn’t enough; it took a riot forcing members of Congress to hide and to flee.
Vigilantes set out to hang Vice President Pence because he’d refused Trump’s demand to throw out Americans’ votes. Fifty-six D.C. policemen were injured, including one “dragged into the mob and repeatedly beaten and tazed.” And five people, including one policeman hit with a fire extinguisher, are dead.
People were surprised? Just where did they think President Trump’s refusal to accept his defeat would lead? Some of his supporters have been talking of civil war since September.
Trump repeatedly claimed he’d won the election by an overwhelming margin and that he would not be forced from office. He continued to allege there’d been voting fraud even after judges from all over the country ruled that 61 of his 62 claims were groundless. The Supreme Court itself refused to stop the certification of presidential electors.
Everyone knew he’d been bullying state legislators and election officials to do illegal acts. Some Republicans, notably Senator Mitch McConnell and Vice President Mike Pence, felt the President should have accepted the court decisions. Still, many politicians, media hosts, and donors continued to support him. (Even after the riots, nearly 150 Republican Congresspersons supported challenges to Biden electors.)
In mid-December the President called for his supporters to rally in D.C. on Jan. 6. And, yes, his request was noted by that nice couple from across the street. But I doubt Trump’s claim that it “will be wild” was meant as an appeal to them. It attracted members of groups such as the Proud Boys, “Murder the Media,” neo-Nazis calling themselves the National Socialist Club, Three Percenters, QAnon and others.
Social media was abuzz with their plans–including promises of rides for those who couldn’t fly because they were taking their weapons. QAnon members alone made 1480 social media posts, including calls for violence, in the six days prior to the rally. (There are at least four social media sites that don’t censor such posts.)
President Trump wanted the crowd to intimidate either Vice President Pence or an additional 150 Congresspersons enough that they would vote against enough electors to give him a second term.
He didn’t give a blueprint. Some thought that preventing Congress from voting that afternoon meant they won and spent their time sightseeing. Some were content to be ‘wild’–destroying tables, smoking pot, and smearing walls.
A few wore t-shirts saying, “MAGA Civil War, Jan. 6, 2021.”
And some attacked the police.
It’s hard to believe those extremists will sit back now and allow Biden to be peacefully inaugurated. Last weekend CNN, the Washington Post, NPR and USA Today all featured articles discussing possible inauguration violence.
A social media post by “Colleen Marie & Charlie Freek” reveals some of the extremist thinking.
“Congress is a Domestic Terror organization and will be treated that way.”
“This is GOD’S PLAN..and the Violence today was largely STAGED, no one was killed, no one shot.”
“For ‘Ten’ Days this Glorious Battle will rage until such time,,,VICTORY will be announced and the Healing will finally begin…”
The President–and every person who has accepted his baseless claims–has helped feed this insanity.