You’ll hear a lot of chatter today about an “insurrection” or a “coup” or a “threat to democracy” last year on this date. It’s all horse manure. It was a riot. How do we know this?
1. Insurrections don’t use mindless goobers- Coups are usually carried out by elite military units, not the cast of Petticoat Junction. Seditious forces are generally well armed. The cretins who rioted were unarmed and that included their wits. Rebels intent on toppling a government have a plan. Those rioters just milled around, hung signs, vandalized the Capitol, and went home. There was no plan for regime change. Only idiots out on a spree.
2. Who were they supposedly overthrowing? – Given it wasn’t January 20th yet, that would have been their idol, Trump. He was still president and a coup would have ousted his government and installed what? A dictatorship of rioters?
Oh, but you say, they were trying to stop the Electoral College count. Some of them would have loved that. But would that have been the end of it? Would Mike Pence and the electors say, “Well, we can’t go on. Morons are knocking loudly.” Nope. They would have just hightailed it to another location and the count would have resumed. However, the rioters couldn’t think that far ahead. They were having a hoedown, a political barn raising. Those rarely lead to the fall of a government.
3. Did the rioters, when they entered the Capitol, try to stage an insurrection? Nah. They had a party, a very uncouth and disorganized party. But still merely a shindig. You know, the same thing happened in 1829 when Andrew Jackson was inaugurated. Jackson made the mistake of inviting one and all to his afterparty. Various sources take it from here: “The White House was opened to all for a post-inaugural reception and was filled by the public even before Jackson arrived on horseback. Soon afterward, Jackson left by a window or a side entrance and proceeded to Gadsby’s, later called the National Hotel. The crowd continued to descend into a drunken mob, only dispersed when bowls of liquor and punch were placed on the front lawn of the White House. ‘I never saw such a mixture,’ said Joseph Story, then a justice of the Supreme Court, ‘The reign of King Mob seemed triumphant.’ The White House was left a mess, including several thousand dollars worth of broken china.” Gee, sound familiar? Substitute the White House for the Capitol and sadly nix the booze and you have the same populist rabble and result as in 1829. Was that a coup? History says no.
4. It was so bad, such a threat to Congress, they had to erect security barriers around Capitol Hill- Nope. Congress loved the erection of those fences and guard posts because it made them feel important, not because of an imminent threat of sedition. It also keeps out their constituents, who ask them to do annoying things like the job they were elected to do. So viola, no insurrection, no threat. Simply a passle of hollering Hooterville vandals who, by the way, were let inside the Capitol grounds by the Capitol Police. It’s the first anniversary of that, not of a coup gone awry.