Instead of providing the Capitol Police backup on Jan. 6, 2021, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi gave them gold medals 23 months after the fact.
On Tuesday, Congress bestowed Congressional Gold Medals on Capitol Police officers and some family members for their actions on Jan. 6, 2021. A few of the recipients snubbed Republicans in the receiving line.
“Officers … shook hands with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer as they accepted the medals,” Politico reported, “but quickly moved past the House and Senate Republican leaders — despite [Mitch] McConnell outstretching his hand.”
Almost all of the police acted bravely during the rioting — surely the officer who shot an unarmed woman behaving in an unruly manner (not heretofore grounds for summary execution) did not — but they did so because others in positions of greater power failed them.
It surely starts with sore losers casting a defeat by 74 electoral voters and seven million popular votes into a “landslide” victory stolen from them. Just as this group refused to accept results on Nov. 3, 2020, they refused to accept the Electoral College vote on Dec. 14 and congressional certification on Jan. 6. Some of the folks who marched to the Capitol violently objected to the results despite holding no chance to persuade the vice president or the legislators inside. To what end?
It should not have happened. But something happening seemed entirely predictable, which means entirely preventable.
U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, sensing the danger, requested National Guard troops in advance of the protest. The House sergeant at arms, Paul Irving, previously prevailed upon by Nancy Pelosi to keep the National Guard off Capitol grounds, denied the request, citing “optics.”
Despite the praise for law enforcement’s response to the riot on Tuesday, the day after it happened Sund, Irving, and the Senate sergeant at arms, the late Michael Stenger, did not receive promotions or pay raises or medals in a surreal Star Wars–esque ceremony (with Darth Vader playing the role of Princess Leia). They resigned.
Democrats soon realized praising cops beat blaming them in terms of — here comes that word again — optics. Thus began the revisionist narrative that served as an effective bright, shiny distraction averting eyes away from the failure of Democratic Party governance.
The New York Times acted as the booster sheet for Democrats looking to rewrite history, which seems an odd impulse since so much of what really happened on that day already made Republicans look terrible. Why fabricate when the truth already served their ends?
Two days after the riot, the Old Gray Lady claimed that “pro-Trump supporters attacked that citadel of democracy, overpowered Mr. [Brian] Sicknick, 42, and struck him in the head with a fire extinguisher, according to two law enforcement officials. With a bloody gash in his head, Mr. Sicknick was rushed to the hospital and placed on life support.” All of this is false. Hours after the riot ended, Sicknick suffered two strokes. He died the next day.
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The New York Times initially reported that Rosanne Boyland, a MAGA protester, “appears to have been killed in a crush of fellow rioters during their attempt to fight through a police line.” She actually died, according to the coroner, of drug intoxication.
While the truth bubbling up to the surface forced the newspaper of record to correct the record, the daily continued to mislead. The Times, in an article published on the anniversary of the event titled “These are the seven people who died in connection with Capitol riot,” included cops who committed suicide days later as casualties of the riot.
To this day, largely because of such reporting and the pull to believe the worst of political enemies, many die-hard leftists contend that the rioters, who killed no one that day, murdered seven people. The “murder” of a Capitol Hill police officer even made it into the articles of impeachment passed by the House.
Signs and tweets, implicitly likening a riot of rubes to a terrorist attack that killed nearly 3,000 people, implore: “Never Forget: January 6, 2021.” People who refuse to remember already forgot.