Further Observations On The Pro-Trump Rioting At The Capitol

Capitol riots

I wasn’t able to track everything that was going on yesterday, at the Capitol, in the media, and in cyberspace. I confess: I didn’t even try to listen to the news networks. I know their biases, assumed, correctly, that the rioting would just give the news media perceived license to unleash all of the hate for President Trump they might have left unexpressed over their four years of resistance. I don’t respect these people, I don’t trust them, and I don’t care what they think or say. They are at least as responsible for the violence as the President; I would argue that they are more responsible.

Here are some ethics observations on matters that came to my attention since the post on this topic last night:

1. I’ll repeat this one:

First and foremost, anyone who did not condemn all of the George Floyd/Jacob Blake/Breonna Taylor/ Black Lives Matters rioting that took place this summer and fall is ethically estopped from criticizing this episode.

That covers almost all of the mainstream media, Joe Biden, “The Squad.” and many others. Now that I have checked, virtually all of the conservative media and its pundits have unequivocally condemned those who invaded the Capitol yesterday as they should.

2. The President’s statements about the rioting following the one I quoted were irresponsible, but about what I would have expected. Conservative writer Tyler O’Neil, who, like me, has chronicled the wretched way Trump has been treated by the AUC since his election, wrote (in part), in an admirable post titled, “Trump Needs to Forcefully Condemn the Rioters, Not Coddle Them”:

Never in my life did I expect to see the president of the United States refuse to unequivocally condemn a mob that broke into the U.S. Capitol. There is no place for political violence in America, and the president needs to be the first person to always insist upon that. Tragically, President Donald Trump not only failed to denounce the mob but even praised some of them, essentially coddling rioters….

Trump’s comments remind me of the way Joe Biden responded to the Black Lives Matter and antifa riots over the summer. Biden asked protesters to remain peaceful, but he also repeatedly praised the protests that devolved into riots and condemned America’s “systemic racism,” repeating the arguments that inflamed the riots in the first place. Biden refused to full-throatedly condemn the noxious ideology behind the riots. Like Biden, Trump has called for peace even while suggesting that this political violence followed from a legitimate grievance. Yet even at his worst moments, Biden did not say “we love you” to antifa and he did not insist that riots were the natural response to systemic racism.

He continued,

The 2020 election was not a pristine exercise of democracy, as many legacy media outlets have claimed, but it wasn’t a “steal,” either. As Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) pointed out, it is unlikely that the very serious irregularities and mistakes in the 2020 election were responsible for Biden’s win. Trump’s legal team had many chances to present evidence in court, and when push came to shove, they caved.

It is important for Americans to demand election reform after 2020, but it is also essential for them to accept that Biden won…President Trump decided he would fight the loss, which is his right. Yet the president did not just call for recounts or raise specific problems — he repeatedly claimed that he won by a “landslide.” He also cited the 74 million Americans who voted for him as an achievement. That 74 million number is indeed an achievement — but if the president says the election results are in doubt, he should not brag about the election results. Tragically, Trump’s supporters were primed to listen to him, rather than the legacy media and other sources, because the legacy media has proven itself heinously biased against Trump, again and again. … a Media Research Center poll found that many Americans who voted for Joe Biden said they would not have done so if they had heard about one of eight key election-related news stories that the legacy media suppressed (like allegations of Joe Biden’s personal connection to Hunter Biden’s corruption). If these Americans had not voted for Biden, Trump would have won the election.

Trump did not win, however, and his rhetoric after the election has been dangerous. The president never encouraged his supporters to storm the Capitol, but he did support various schemes to overturn the election results, including crackpot theories about the vice president’s ability to reject Electoral College votes from certain states. (Mike Pence wisely refused to take this course.)

When Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, Trump had a moral duty to vocally condemn their lawless attack. This situation also gave him an opportunity to demonstrate that he supported law and order more than Joe Biden had over the summer.

Instead, Trump arguably proved himself worse than Biden. The president coddled violent elements among his supporters, even when they broke into the People’s House. This was despicable. Trump’s comments were beyond the pale.

The president needs to reverse course. He should follow the lead of Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who called for the mob to face “prosecutions to the fullest extent of the law.” He should not equivocate or suggest that it was natural for some of his supporters to break into the Capitol. He certainly should not praise them or declare his “love” for them.

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Ethics Observations On The Pro-Trump Rioting At The Capitol

DC riots

1. First and foremost, anyone who did not condemn all of the George Floyd/Jacob Blake/Breonna Taylor/ Black Lives Matters rioting that took place this summer and fall is ethically estopped from criticizing this episode.

That means I can, and will, condemn it as stupid, useless, self-destructive and anti-democratic violence, but most Democrats, progressives and media pundits cannot.

2. Representative quote of the day: “Stop this bullshit right now…This should be condemned. I’m saddened and disappointed by what I’ve seen.”—Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R).

3. From the President: “You have to go home now. We have to have peace. I know how you feel, but go home in peace.”

4. The President did not “incite” this riot, but those who have essentially blamed him for everything imaginable for four years of course are saying this now. I seldom quote Glenn Reynolds, who is quite a bit too doctrinaire Right for me, but I will this time, because he’s right:

“With 40% of the country thinking the election was stolen, this was to be expected — especially after the unified voice of the media saying for years that if you feel disenfranchised it’s okay to riot. Our ruling class, and particularly our media, have been playing with fire for years and I hope that this will be enough to shock them into more sensible behavior. But so far they’ve not lived up to my hopes.”

With the nation facing what was going to be an unusually bitter election, Democrats deliberately pushed through a mail-in ballot scheme guaranteed to make a Biden victory, if it occurred, suspicious, and the news media exceeded even past extremes in refusing to give both candidates fair coverage. This placed the President and Republicans in the position of meekly accepting a corrupt fete accompli or risk inflaming anger that could easily burst into violence by challenging it legally and rhetorically. On Ethic Alarms, I have advocated the former approach, unsatisfactory as it is and contrary to my nature, for exactly the reasons made clear today.

5. More than anything else, the rioting was stupid, stupid, stupid. It didn’t even have the beneficial effects (for the activists) of the Black Lives Matter riots. This fiasco undercut the also ill-conceived GOP protest in Congress of the election results. Of course it did.

6. The Democrats who are calling for impeachment or a 25th Amendment removal of the President based on this just show how obsessed and unmoored to reason and reality so many Democrats are. But look at the list: Ted Lieu, Gwen Moore, Ayanna Pressley, Ed Markey, Illhan Omar… these officials spewed hate at the President and his supporters for four years, and when the violence finally erupted, they are shocked and outraged.

7. And let me give a special call out to the Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, a nearly unparalleled ass, who declared a curfew in Northern Virginia just to make the D.C. disruptions seem more ominous than they were.

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/8/20: In Which I Am At A Loss For Words

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1 As predicted, the police shooting of a black teenager with a semi-automatic weapon resulted in a new round of riots, this time in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin because the officer involved was not indicted for 1) being a police officer, and  2) having to shoot a an African American who 3) resisted arrest. Of course.

Riots are unethical. Demonstrating against responsible and fact-based law-enforcement decisions whether to prosecute is unethical. Creating a culture in which it is presumed that enforcing the law against a particular race is racist is unethical. This is all what one political party, just one of two, is supporting, rather than clearly condemning. That too is unethical.

And supporting such a party is unethical, as well is ignorant.

While I was typing this, an ad, not “approved by Donald Trump,” featured a woman being terrorized in her car by a mob, and noted that the Biden-Harris ticket would try to disarm citizens while “defunding the police.” “Vote Against Biden-Harris to keep safe” the ad concluded.

I think that’s entirely fair.

2. I did not watch the Pence-Harris debate, and I may not even review the video or the transcript. There should be nothing left to learn about Harris at this point, after watching her giggling, incompetent performances in the Democratic candidates’ debates. I assume she made numerous counter-factual assertions, and I assume the best she could do was to level pre-scripted ad hominem attacks on the President to pander to the Trump Deranged Democratic base. I assume no one asked her about the apparent hypocrisy of her enthusiastic alliance with a serial sexual harasser and the object of a rape accusation when she savaged a nominated Supreme Court Justice based on far less. I assume no one will ask how she defends the open decision to base the critical choice of who stands “a heartbeat from the Presidency” on nothing, literally nothing, but skin color and gender, resulting in Harris  being chosen despite no relevant experience and clear rejection by voters in the primaries. And I assume the Vice-President was stolid, professional and boring, as he always is, thus sparking comparisons with the President’s uncivil, un-Presidential but wholly Trump-like performance in the first Presidential debate.

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Shocked—-Shocked!—That There Would Be Violent Protests Over An Unambiguously Justified Police Shooting

Okay, I confess. I’m not shocked.

I’m not even surprised.

It has been obvious for years that a critical mass of protesters/demonstrators/rioters who have repeatedly  inflicted their outrage on communities across the country are not doing so because of any reasonable and responsible desire to obtain police reform or address legitimate racial injustice issues. Responsible protests are based on facts, and the majority of the Black Lives Matter-triggered protests, inevitably endorsed by the Democratic Party, have neither waited for the facts to be determined nor cared what they were once they were determined. The objective is to create division, intensify racial hate, intimidate the community to promote concessions and capitulation, to gain power for extreme left and other activist groups, and to do harm.

Last month,rumors that Chicago police had killed an unarmed 15-year-old boy was all that was necessary to cause the mobs to hit the streets, although, according to ABC News, police had justifiably shot an armed adult male who allegedly opened fire on them. But Facts Don’t Matter: 13 police officers injured and neighborhood were trashed.  Also in August, false reports that law enforcement had killed an unarmed man resulted more rioting and looting. Just 90 minutes after the incident, they released a video and statement showing that an armed murder suspect committed suicide when police approached him. Never mind! Any death of a “person of color” with police in the midst of trying to do their dangerous and difficult jobs is provocation enough for violence, slogans, and chaos.

It was considerate of the unusual suspects—Look! Another Casablanca reference! —to eliminate all doubt by rioting over the shooting of madman who rushed a polite officer with a huge knife:

Would you have shot that guy? Oh, why didn’t the brutal police officer wing him? Hey, he didn’t even have a gun! That’s not fair!

That incident was sufficient provocation to sent 100 “peaceful protesters” into the streets of Lancaster, Pennsylvania last night. They vandalized the police station, broke windows, threw bricks, damaged private businesses and looted. They damaged a post office, because post offices are always shooting people of color. “Death to cops” was spray-painted on one building, See? The victim was only attempting to carry out the will of the woke. He was a martyr!

The objective of these protests/demonstrations/riots is to make it impossible for police to function, to intimidate them so that they allow dangerous people to break laws and evade arrest with impunity, and to surrender society to chaos.

The man who charged the officer with a knife was alreday facing trial for stabbing four people in 2019; he wasn’t kidding. Naturally, his family, including his sister who called the police, told the news media that he was a pussycat. This was all the fault of “the system.” “He had an episode. He was just incoherent and acting out,”  she said. “I called to find out what the procedure was to get him some help.”

You know, acting out!

By trying to stab people! Continue reading

High Noon Ethics Warm-Up, 9/11/2020: Thoughts While Wondering How Progressives Will Try To Reconcile Honoring First Responders With Their Demonization Of Police Position

I know the current Democratic Party and its agents, the mainstream media, are immune from self-awareness, but I would think pious reflections on the bravery of the heroes of 9/11 would be so flamingly insincere coming from them that they would just explode from internal and irresolvable inconsistency.

1. Then there’s the NFL…The current demonstrations by NFL players on the field, resuming yesterday as the pro foot ball season “kicked off,” and the leagues’ pandering to them, are, I read in the Times, due to the “killing of George Floyd” and the “shooting of Jacob Blake, and are meant to address “systemic racism” and “police brutality.” However, there is still no evidence that the death of Floyd was a result of racism, and increasing evidence that  Officer Chauvin’s admittedly brutal treatment didn’t kill him. As for Blake, he was not profiled or singled out for his race, but confronted because he was threatening a black woman whom he had previously raped and assaulted. Although the investigation isn’t complete, there is a significant chance that no “police brutality” will be found to have occurred in Blake’s shooting.

Meanwhile, David Bernstein identified the following people who were killed as a result of the Black Lives Matter/ antifa riots and looting: Continue reading

Ethics Cool Down, 8/27/2020, From A Fiery But Mostly Peaceful Day…

(I told you there would be more)

1. Kudos to luckyesteeyoreman, the venerable EA commenter who exactly predicted what Joe Biden’s ventriloquists would have him say about the riots, aka “the angry genie the progressives will never get back in the bottle”: The violence is “Donald Trump’s America.”  Lucky bested me: I never thought even the Democrats could be that incompetent. By claiming that the riots are the President’s fault, he sends exactly the opposite message from the one he needs to send,which is that the riots are not being blamed on Trump, but on the Democrats. Biden’s argument, “he made me riot” is one that the campus Left has been justly mocked for, and nobody but cowering college administrators and indoctrinated students regard it as anything but risible.

2. Speaking of things the Democrats and media are having no luck blaming on Donald Trump, Issues and Insights published five charts that nicely debunk the “The pandemic in the US is worse than anywhere!” talking point.  These are the best:

Of course, nobody in their right mind or who isn’t a Times reporter or  works for CNN believes the figures from China, Iran, or Russia.

Then there is this. Continue reading

A Poll On “Fiery But Mostly Peaceful” Because “I Gots To Know….”*

The mainstream news media generally has humiliated itself with its “mostly peaceful protests” gaslighting forthe past three months, but CNN launched itself into self- parody with the classic chryon above. It quickly spawned social media mockery like this…

..and this…

and is sure to inspire more. I wish I was more adept at computer graphics; there are several scenes I’d love to use.

So I have to ask…

______________________

*Classic pop culture reference. What’s the film and the situation? (This should be easy.)

 

Great: Watching TV Made My Head Explode TWICE, And It’s Not Even 10 AM Yet…

Head explosion #1: On HDL, Robin Meade happily (she says everything happily) told us that there were peaceful demonstrations in Kenosha, Wisconsin yesterday…although some buildings were set on fire in the evening, and police tear-gassed “demonstrators.”

KABOOM!

  • I don’t know who thought up the “mostly peaceful” demonstration deceit, but any protest or demonstration that results in attacks on police, looting, rock-throwing or arson is a riot. Calling a demonstration that involves law-breaking and violence “mostly peaceful” is like calling Jack the Ripper “mostly law-abiding.”

It’s spin instead of reporting.

  • Oh! It was those horrible police who were violent!  The implication that tear gas is per se proof of police brutality is an old Alinskyesque trope going back to campus riots in the Sixties, and is, to be blunt, garbage. Tear gas  is a riot control tool, and “mostly peaceful demonstrators” without permits who do not obey police orders to disperse should be gassed, ideally before they start setting fires.

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Unethical Quote Of The Month: Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers

“While we do not have all of the details yet, what we know for certain is that he is not the first Black man or person to have been shot or injured or mercilessly killed at the hands of individuals in law enforcement in our state or our country, We stand with all those who have and continue to demand justice, equity, and accountability for Black lives in our country.”

—Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers (D…naturally) in a statement following an officer involved shooting in Kenosha last night, before any investigation has occurred, knowing that the rioters were already gearing up to cause violence and destruction.

And, of course, violence and destruction is what he got.

Police have not commented on what led to the shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  He was taken to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee after being shot multiple times, in the back, as he appeared to be entering his car and perhaps reaching for something. (I’m no expert, but doesn’t the fact that more than one cop reflexively started shooting suggest that there was  a reason other than “Oh!Here’s an uarmed black man: let’s shoot him”?)

At this point, the important facts are not known, just irrelevant facts injected into the story to make the police look like villains. Blake was apparently shot in front of his kids. Irrelevant.  It is said that he was trying to break up a fight between two women—he’s a peacemaker!—which is what precipitated the police call. Irrelevant. What is relevant is why the police fired, and what action Blake was engaged in or appeared to be engaged in immediately before the shooting. That is not clear in the video. Continue reading

Censorship, Indoctrination And Intimidation Watch, Part I [Corrected]

Not my meme, but it fits!

Constitutional Law Professor Jonathan Turley has been on what for him qualifies as a rampage lately, condemning efforts from the Left  to intimidate and punish anyone who isn’t in lockstep with its current agenda. Those nay-sayers are  racists and hate-mongers, you see.

Turley is always labeled a “liberal professor” by the conservative media, and once that would have been an accurate description. He, however, has remained true to his ideals while his party (he is, or was, a Democrat) and its allies moved sharply in the direction of leftist totalitarianism. Dissent on the Left or opposing the Left is no longer countenanced in most universities, in news organizations,  even in business and non-profit organizations. When Turley made legal mincemeat out of the Democratic argument for impeachment, students at American University tried to get him fired.

Turley believes in academic freedom to the extreme, as well as the First Amendment, of course, and he is properly alarmed to see professors (and others) facing institutional hostility or worse because of non-conforming views. I’ll discuss some of his recent targets in Part 2.

He  hasn’t covered this story so far. Continue reading