The January 6 prosecutions are an utter outrage against the older understanding of law and decency. A year and a half since some Boomers wandered around the People’s House (the horror, my god) the DC tribunal is still handing down sentences. The latest to come across my feed is James Mault, a soldier out of Fort Bragg who was convicted of spraying police with pepper spray. He’s getting three and a half years in prison, plus additional probation. And that doesn’t include what the military is likely to do to him.
This should be obvious, but this is a clearly political prosecution. I remember watching the riots of the summer of 2020 in which ANTIFA threw rocks, bricks, and concrete at police. I remember cities burned to the ground. And yet there was nothing like the prosecution being conducted against Trump’s supporters. Of the 17,000 arrests associated with the 2020 riots, the vast majority were for low level offenses like violating curfew and most didn’t culminate in meaningful charges. And while a few individuals were prosecuted for burglary, etc. there was nothing like the systematic witch hunt for suspects from the Jan 6 protest. There have been nearly a thousand individuals charged in connection with the protest.
None of this should be happening. Trump should have pardoned every single one of his supporters at the protest before he was booted from office by Zuckerberg and co. The American Right simply doesn’t understand the friend/enemy distinction. Lots of Republicans I know are critical of the rioters. I have heard numerous variations of “Well, I don’t like how they’re being treated, but they shouldn’t have been there.”
Leftists would never say this about the George Floyd protestors who blocked interstates, burned down police precincts, and assaulted federal buildings in places like Portland. That’s because they understand power politics. The older norms and civility that conservatives (the bulk of whom are 60+) simply no longer make sense. Read more…