Capitol Punishment

Dear Weekend Jolter,

There wasn't a movie titled The Reprobates, so we go with what's available — The Misfits. Which, after extensive stretching, is about the nicest term one might use to describe the fools who invaded the Capitol Building on Wednesday (our John McCormack was there ...

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WITH JACK FOWLER January 09 2021
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WITH JACK FOWLER January 09 2021
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Capitol Punishment

Dear Weekend Jolter,

There wasn't a movie titled The Reprobates, so we go with what's available — The Misfits. Which, after extensive stretching, is about the nicest term one might use to describe the fools who invaded the Capitol Building on Wednesday (our John McCormack was there). It would be delusional to call them or consider them ideologues or revolutionaries, but then Fred Sanford's go-to epithet about big dummies would be wide of the mark too.

"Patriots?" Some use that term. Hmmm. Have it your way, but the daughters of Your Humble Correspondent had best never bring one of these flag-clad arsehats home to meet the folks.

So short in the tooth, 2021 is proving already to be the Year of the Reprobate. And an encore, because . . . so was last year. Granted, 2020's reprobates merely engaged in . . . how did it go? . . . oh yes, peaceful protests.

Let us recall the last attempt at destruction of the Capitol Building. It was an attack that failed when Americans — the brave passengers trapped on the actual Flight 93 — fought back. Now, these are folks one indeed may rightly describe as "patriots." They saved The People's House, and paid for it with their lives.

True enough, the Capitol Building is where dumb and bad things can and do happen under the heading of "official business." No matter: America demands intolerance of vandalizing clowns on the structure's sacrosanct premises.

Sacrosanct: So too is your house, and mine — something many pontificators were at a loss to remark upon this summer past when flames burned down Americans' homes and small businesses. To our media lords, it matters who lights the match.

It shouldn't.

Well, here's hoping that the video footage and the selfies these louts — these criminals — posted on Instagram and the like will be carefully reviewed, that names will be put to faces (and tattoos and costumes), that warrants will be issued and arrests made and trials held and sentences rendered.

If only horsewhipping was permitted under the penal code.

As for the President: After the mayhem (empowered in part by his words — the dots connect pretty easily) was suppressed, and the corpses dragged away, and after the Congress confirmed the Electoral College's votes, he pledged an "orderly transition on January 20th." This was tweeted verbiage that may prove undone by deeds yet to come and / or be unimagined.

(An ensuing videotaped speech by the President, writes Michael Brendan Dougherty, rang very hollow indeed.)

The Editor of this entity, Rich Lowry, has this to say about the presidential egging-on, and more:

The rioters themselves bear ultimate responsibility for their acts, but Trump egged them on.

He fed them poisonous lies about the election, including lunatic conspiracy theories worthy of QAnon that, if true, would justify violent revolution.

He encouraged them to come to Washington and said they wouldn't stand for his "landslide" victory getting taken away.

He whipped them up on Wednesday with one of his typically high-octane speeches about how the election was stolen from them and urged them to march on the Capitol to give "weak" Republicans the "pride and boldness they need to take back our country."

When the mob overwhelmed security and made its way on to the Senate and House floors, sending Vice President Pence and lawmakers fleeing, Trump tweeted about how he'd been wronged by Pence's entirely correct view that he lacked the power as vice president to unilaterally declare him the winner of the election.

It was only a couple of hours later that Trump, clearly under duress, released a pro forma video calling on his supporters to go home, but, of course, repeating all of his same attacks on the integrity of American democracy that motivated the rioters in the first place.

We move on to the full fare of our missive by noting this institution of Mr. Buckley's making is not selective, as are so many in America's press and chattering class, in its condemnation of rioting — whether in in our Capital, in Seattle, in Minnesota, in countless other cities — and its condemning of instigating forces. The bottom has fallen out of the MSM Hypocrisy Market. And with these things having been said, and with many more to be said just below, we order every Tom, Dick, and Ophelia: Get thee to the Jolt!

UNADORNED LINKS

Editorials

Trump's New Low

Mitch McConnell's Finest Hour

Ted Cruz's Electoral College Objection Plan — Electoral Commission A Bad Idea

Georgia Senate: Trump Is Responsible for this Avoidable Defeat

A Bevy of Wisdom and Sobriety — 17 Quite Worthwhile Articles Published this Week on NRO

Andrew C. McCarthy: Trump's Allies Become the Swamp: The 'Electoral Commission' Gambit

Thomas Berry: Republican Senators Electoral-College Challenge: Legally and Practically a Terrible Idea

Mike Gallagher: Republicans in Congress Shouldn't Object to Electoral College Certification

Andrew C. McCarthy: Against Invoking the 25th Amendment

Kyle Smith: Trump, 25th Amendment & Impeachment — End This Republican Nightmare

Dan McLaughlin: Making Him Go Could Make Things Worse

Fred Bauer: The Georgia Senate Debacle Has Many Fathers

Kyle Smith: Congressional Democrats Have No Mandate for Sweeping Change

Neal B. Freeman: Come Home to the Freedom Party

Cameron Hilditch: Britain's National Health Service Doesn't Work

Robert VerBruggen: COVID and Deaths of Despair: Analyzing the 2020 Death Toll

Michael Brendan Dougherty: China Is Getting Away with It

Adam Hoffman: College Campuses and Free Speech: Suppression of Conservative Voices Continues

George Leef: College Officials Find New Ways to Silence Unwanted Professors

Victor Davis Hanson: Cancel Culture: Defend Homer and Classical Literature against Ignorance

Nicholas Frankovich: Reginald Foster, Vatican Latinist and Contrarian Genius, R.I.P.

Brian Allen: New Washington Museums on Women and Latinos Promise to Be a Waste of Space and Money

Capital Matters — A Quartet of Wise and Edifying Writings

David Bahnsen: Insider Trading and Financial Crimes: Rethinking Lifetime Bans

Michael Hochberg and Leonard Hochberg: The Bill Is Coming Due for China's 'Capitalist' Experiment

Joseph Sullivan: Joe Biden's Corporate Tax Plan Would Make America Mediocre Again

Alexander William Salter: How the Biden Administration Can Stand up to Red China

Selections from the New January 25, 2021, Issue of National Review, Your Favorite Fortnightly

Ramesh Ponnuru's take on a 2021 conservative political operations manual: Back to Opposition

John Yoo and John Bolton say changes in Iran policy must be via treaty ratification: JCPOA 2.0

Andrew C. McCarthy hates commuters (or is it commutators?): Repeal the Pardon Power

Kevin Williamson considers obligations to the Subaru Voter: Joe Biden's Two Left Wings

Jay Nordlinger's account of political prisoner Loujain al-Hathloul: A Saudi Woman

Joel Kotkin's sees a nation reinventing itself: The Case for American Optimism

Lights. Camera. Review!

Armond White: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Turns August Wilson into #BLM Tyler Perry

Michael Washburn: Lana Turner Centenary: The Actress’s Faustian Life Choices Parallel Her Movie Characters

Armond White: My Annual Better-Than List for 2020

AND NOW, LINKS APLENTY AND ADORNED

Editorials

1. Welp, if you didn't think Donald Trump could push the envelope, you'd have been wrong. We condemn the mob-whipping, and more. From the editorial:

He whipped up and urged on a mob toward the U.S. Capitol, where it breached the building and forced his vice president and lawmakers to flee. He didn't immediately address the violence and reportedly resisted calling out the National Guard. He finally issued a brief video telling the rioters to go home but expressing his love for them. At no point did he condemn their conduct and at the end of the day, he tweeted that such acts are what happen when an election is stolen (leading to the temporary suspension of his Twitter account).

The scenes at the Capitol were so shocking that they were difficult to fathom. They were worthy of a third-world country, not a well-established constitutional republic whose political stability has been one of the wonders of the world. Not only did the rioters desecrate a great temple of American democracy, they managed to disrupt the counting of electoral votes, the final step of the presidential election. Trump has never had any interest in the peaceful transfer of power, and yesterday's events mean that the transfer this year, indeed, hasn't been peaceful.

Of course, the backdrop to all of this is Trump's unhinged and poisonous lies about the election. If shadowy forces have really stolen our democracy, why isn't an insurrection to stop Joe Biden from taking office justified?

2. His stand against efforts to overturn the Electoral College vote was, we argue, Majority Leader Mitch McConnells' finest hour. From the editorial:

Amid our national obsession with the presidency and its occupants, it can be easy to forget that it is Congress, and ...   READ MORE

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