Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrisson has been on vacation over the holidays so his Deputy, Michael McCormack, has taken the reins as acting PM in his absence. McCormack didn’t waste much time making some headlines of his own, as he frequently does as the leader of a rural, conservative party in that country. That pattern continued when reporters asked him to comment on the recent Capitol Hill riot in Washington. (Why the input of an acting Prime Minister from literally the other side of the planet was required wasn’t immediately obvious.) His response didn’t seem all that notable for anyone who has been paying attention to current events in America over the past year, but it immediately drew howls of protest from social justice advocates. McCormack made the “mistake” of comparing the riot to the hundreds of other riots spawned by Black Lives Matter protests in cities across the nation. As you’ve already guessed, he’s now being branded an insensitive racist and every other label you can imagine. (Associated Press)
Australia’s acting prime minister on Tuesday defended his comments comparing the attack on the U.S. Capitol building with Black Lives Matter protests despite criticism from Indigenous and human rights groups.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, who is acting as the conservative government’s leader while Prime Minister Scott Morrison is on vacation, has come under widespread criticism since Monday, when he described last week’s insurrection on Capitol Hill that claimed five lives as “similar to those race riots that we saw around the country last year.” …
He said the Black Lives Matter protests last year had claimed 19 lives across the United States.
It really does seem as if McCormack was intentionally goading the press and the liberals in his country because he was hitting all of the catchphrases that were sure to generate outrage on the left. After saying that Amnesty International was “being a bit bleeding-heart” and “confecting outrage,” he uttered the words that are verboten in social justice circles. Pointing out that 19 people had died over the course of the riots, he reminded his critics that “those lives matter too. All lives matter.”
That was all it took. A leader of an Indigenous People’s rights group went on the attack, along with other liberal organizations. When an apology was demanded, McCormack shrugged it off, refusing to back down from his statements while earning himself another couple of days in the headlines.
Since when are people expected to apologize for saying something that’s true? Oh, wait… that’s right. I forgot that I live in America. People demand apologies for speaking the truth all of the time.
I would argue that there are obviously a few critical differences between the Antifa/BLM riots that have been running wild across America and the Capitol Hill riot of last week. Much of the rioting during the BLM protests seemed primarily opportunistic as hoodlums took advantage of the chaos and the crowds to empty out stores and set fires. But the original, underlying motives for the initial gathering and the targets that were chosen bore quite a bit in common.
Last week we saw a large group of people attacking the seat of the federal government. In the BLM riots, federal courthouses and police precincts were attacked and in some cases burned by people seeking to abolish the police and replace the municipal governments with “autonomous zones” of their own making. The theft and robbery taking place during most of our riots far outpaced anything we saw on January 6th, but there was some looting going on there as well. (At a minimum, somebody stole Nancy Pelosi’s lectern.) And while five people wound up dying as a result of the riot last week, the death toll and total hospitalizations from all of the other riots far outpaced this one event.
None of that will matter in terms of McCormack’s political career, however. The “damage” is done and he will continue to be branded a racist and demands for an apology will continue to follow him around. But judging by the one interview clip I watched showing him responding to the charges, he doesn’t seem particularly bothered by all of this. In fact, you might argue that he looks pretty pleased with himself.