Marc A. Thiessen offered an interesting take in the Washington Post today. It starts from the evidence Democrats themselves have been presenting about the efforts of the Capitol Police to keep Members of Congress safe on January 6, often at the expense of their own well-being. Just yesterday, Democratic impeachment managers showed video of Officer Eugene Goodman redirecting Sen. Mitt Romney away from the rioters and possibly saving him from a beating or worse. But there were many similar instances caught on security video that day.
It was a war zone, and there were casualties. “Officers ended up with head damage and brain damage,” lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.) told a rapt Senate chamber. An officer’s “eyes were gouged. An officer [tased by protesters] had a heart attack. An officer lost three fingers that day. Two officers have taken their own lives.”
In short, there were close calls that day and things could have been much worse if not for the actions of Capitol Police, some of whom paid a personal price. That’s very much the consensus at this moment. And yet, just a few weeks ago, President-elect Biden jumped on the leftist bandwagon criticizing the Capitol Police:
Instead of praising the Capitol Police for their heroism, he accused them of racism. “Not only did we see the failure to protect one of the three branches of our government, we also saw a clear failure to carry out equal justice,” Biden declared. “No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday, they wouldn’t have been treated very differently than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol. We all know that’s true. And it is unacceptable.”…
To suggest, as Biden did, that the officers who risked and gave their lives to defend Congress failed to “carry out equal justice” is a calumny.
Thiessen makes clear he’s not blaming Biden for what happened. He explicitly blames the President, so this isn’t about defending Trump. But he’s right that at a moment when police officers were suffering with injuries and some were killing themselves, Biden’s knee-jerk reaction was to call them a failure and embrace a BLM-inspired critique that their failure was racist. That’s a long, long way from the tone of reverence Democrats are using to describe the same officers now.
If Democrats have suddenly decided the police are heroes, that’s fine with me. But those who saw the Jan. 6 riots as an opportunity to make a point about systemic racism and police failure rather than to thank officers for putting themselves on the line ought to admit their first instincts were wrong. Have any of them done that?
And is there even one reporter at the White House who would dare to ask Biden about his comments? We’re not talking about ancient history. This was exactly five weeks ago today.