Readers of this blog will know that the writer is no fan of Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR). Last year The New York Times ran an op-ed by Senator Cotton extolling the virtues of the use of military force to quell riots in the streets of our cities. He was specifically referring to the looting and vandalism that followed the George Floyd murder, but his point was that order must be maintained if civilization is supposed to thrive and our people are to be kept safe. The NY Times editor that gave that opinion piece the green light was fired for running it. His name is James Bennet and he’s back.
The irony of all of this was not lost on the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page and of Mr. Bennet’s return in the pages of Politico noting that Senator Cotton’s ideas don’t seem so radical after the riot in Washington on Wednesday. Along with the Journal’s own comment about this is a piece by Senator Cotton reiterating his previous points about the use of military force against civilian insurrection. He seems pretty savvy about now.
I am all for civil demonstrations. Excite your followers. Get your march permits. Flood the streets. Behave. That’s not what we saw last spring and summer and surely not what we saw on Wednesday.
Senator Cotton makes the point that civil (and if necessary military) force must be brought to bear on rioters or they will not stop rioting. If there are no consequences to bad behavior, the behavior will continue. (Please see third attachment by Peggy Noonan from January 7 on WSJ web site).
If there is one thing that liberals and conservatives can agree on it is that there is no excuse for violence, property damage, looting or attacks on people in America. I don’t care if you were incensed by the George Floyd killing (I was) or angry about the result of the November election (I wasn’t this year. I was in 2016. I didn’t riot either time).
We clearly have a problem in this country when it comes to expressing our unhappiness with current events. Who am I to criticize? I write this blog. But I don’t pillage and loot and if I did, I would be expected to be arrested, charged, tried and jailed. Yet, none of that seems to be happening in the aftermath of the riot in Washington last week. In fact, the pictures from inside the Capitol seem to show Capitol Police taking selfies with demonstrators. What?
I suggest that the FBI cull through all the reams of video and begin to make arrests of every person that they can identify as having breeched the Capitol barricades as suggested by Ms. Noonan. If they can be found to have had a weapon, charge them for possession on federal property. If they looted congressional offices, charge them, too. If this does not occur, the riot in Washington will not be the last one and whether or not Donald Trump is president is not a factor. Yes, he incited the mob, but he didn’t invent it.
He committed sedition. So did Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Ron Johnson and a host of other members of Congress. They too should be investigated and if found guilty, removed from office and tried. This riot on Wednesday was not a spitball fight. It was mob violence in the cradle of democracy and must be met by the full force of the law. It embarrassed the entire country and the perpetrators ought to be prosecuted.
I agree with Senator Cotton. We cannot tolerate violence in the streets and if it takes the military to stop it, so be it.
There, all my conservative readers! How was that?
And check out this video: