I had a conversation over the weekend with a senior career lawyer (who is a Trump supporter) with a federal agency who passed along some interesting information. He said career federal officials in Washington he spoke with on Thursday and Friday are seriously rattled by last Wednesday’s events. Among other things, the fact that apparently some Capitol Police were friendly with the protestors who entered the building have federal bureaucrats wondering whether they can fully trust their own security personnel. Will the feds start trying to screen security personnel by ideology? Oh, that’d be just great. Pretty sure there are a bunch of German names for a fully politicized police force, but I forget what they are right now.
Beyond the security question, this person told me the mob action has been a psychological blow on the DC bureaucracy which didn’t think such an open expression of tangible disrespect for the government was possible. In other words, the capitol mob was a blow to their status, and Washingtonians believe the entire protest represents more than just anger at the election outcome: the disrespectful spirit of the day represents a real threat to their power going forward. This is one reason for the paranoia of Democrats at the moment, and they worry that more such protests are not only possible but likely. Part of the reason there is such fury on the left to run Trump out of office right away is that DC is genuinely afraid of him and his followers. Machiavelli might approve. Hence the calls to deploy national guard units in DC in large numbers for Inauguration next week.
Right away a few observations come to mind. First, if you squint the right way, you can see that our leaders don’t really take BLM and Antifa protests very seriously, and hence the kid glove treatment they get. The property damage may be significant, but our government likely doesn’t think Antifa and BLM amount to a significant political threat. Hence the leniency of the government response at all levels to riot season last year. But if the government at all levels now tries to crack down on pro-Trump protestors, won’t they have to also tighten their rules of engagement with Antifa, or will there now be a political litmus test for rules of engagement? There is, this person said, a lot of hand-wringing going on about the fact that of the hundreds of people who invaded the capitol building, only about 50 arrests were made. (There may be more as law enforcement goes about identifying people.) But the point is: from the perspective of the Deep State, the mob largely got away with it.
Second, there is a lot of controversy and conflicting reports on whether a national guard presence had been requested for last Wednesday. Here’s a certainty: if Trump had requested deployment of the national guard beforehand to stand by at the capitol, the left would have screamed that this show of force was all part of Trump’s plan to stage a military coup to stop the certification of the election.
UPDATE: Sure enough, it seems the government is going to apply stricter justice for the Wednesday protestors:
. . . While most murder investigations focus on the person or persons who caused the fatal injury, former federal prosecutor Tim Heaphy said prosecutors could charge many rioters with felony murder, even if they were nowhere near Sicknick.