National Guard protects, Congress and Capitol Police snub them anyway
I still cannot wrap my mind around why people were shocked by the Capitol Riot. We’ve seen this sitcom before. The school bully tells a kid he’s going to fight him at 3 o’ clock. He’s terrorizing this kid in plain sight of authority figures, and they shrug it off. The kid dreads the end of the school day and thinks about it nonstop. At 3 o’ clock, the kid’s day has been quiet and he’s optimistic. He thinks that maybe the bully forgot. He rounds the corner, and there’s the bully — with his whole posse. Maybe the bully fights. Maybe he doesn’t.
His shiftless friends definitely egg him on and may take over the entire fight. When the principal is asked, “Who did it?” those same friends take the blame for it. And the bully struts around, ready to terrorize another kid. The bully rarely gets in trouble; the bar is already set pretty low for him. Or, the principal hopes the bully has learned his lesson and lets him off the hook, secretly knowing the bully will pull the same stunt again and again and again.
Minus these 10 House Republicans (who finally came to their senses in 2021 but not in December 2019), this principal describes the entire GOP when it came to coddling two-time impeached President Donald Trump. It’s the same group that feels it’s “vindictive” to continue on with the Senate impeachment hearings. I’m not even mildly surprised that the GOP is putting more energy into backing Trump than they are the police officers who were wounded or killed during the Capitol Riot on January 6, 2021, or the officer who committed suicide shortly after.
I was well aware that Blue Lives (Almost Always) Matter — when it’s not a threat to white faces or policing them. But even with a permanent scowl on my face for the GOP and my own experience with racist police, and a Black Lives Matter face mask on daily, I was repulsed by how the Capitol Police were treated on January 6. (Well, skip the ones that were taking selfies and giving an open-gate grand tour.)
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But the “bully” that’s actually surprising me now is that same group who wanted to be protected during Inauguration week. Granted, I’ll exclude President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris from the pack; they are busy. But everybody else had time to plan for these troops coming in to make this a seamless event. And while the plan to prevent against the Capitol Riot was the most piss-poor planning I’ve ever seen — although Officer Eugene Goodman was quick on his feet — they had a second shot to get this right and are still being the oblivious principal. There were 12 Army National Guards removed due to inappropriate behavior or comments, but that still left 25K troops to guard the White House during Inauguration Day.
While that’s definitely a lot of people to take care of, with all that military funding that the United States prioritizes, why were they left to sleep on the floor with no cots in their first days? And no pillows? One Fresh Pillow came through in the clutch to deliver pillows to some of them, but why did this not factor into the budget?
Two days after we have a new (and qualified) president, now there’s news of guardsmen being kicked out to sleep in a parking lot. I wouldn’t put my dog in a parking lot. And then to be kicked out (reportedly) by the same group who let random rioters take over the Capitol building is even more insulting. And Capitol Police officials ordered them out after they’d spent two weeks doing security duty after the riot.
According to Politico, one group had no internet reception, one electrical outlet, one bathroom with two stalls for 5,000 troops and temperatures in the low 40s by nightfall. And all I keep thinking while I’m reading this news is, “Is this the same group that loves to shout ‘support our troops’?” Don’t support them when it’s trendy. Support them because they support you.
While Senator Chuck Schumer says he’d “get to the bottom of this,” I’m just wondering why was there no plan put into place for the troops to have proper sleeping accommodations and a safe, efficient exit plan beforehand. The devil himself (Minority Leader Mitch McConnell) bum-rushed through 27 days to confirm a lifetime job for Amy Coney Barrett. You mean to tell me this man couldn’t work with his over-the-top, sometimey patriotic crew to organize proper sleeping arrangements and an exit plan for thousands of troops sent to protect all of them, regardless of political party? Beds, pillows and housing was too hard, but a new Supreme Court Judge was a breeze?
Did the riot teach Congress (on both sides) nothing about planning ahead of time, or is it still the same “let’s wing it” mentality that lead to January 6 in the first place? There is too much money invested in military arms and not enough invested in the people carrying those weapons — before, during and after their duties are served. Congress, do better. Revisit the definition of “support,” too.
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