Incoming President Joe Biden addressed yesterday's events this afternoon before he introduced D.C Circuit Court Judge Merrick Garland as the next attorney general and he did not mince words.
To my own surprise, Biden went a step further than simply condemning the act and bluntly pointed out what all us saw for ourselves as U.S. capitol police used kid gloves on violent rioters who were actually trying to overthrow the government.
“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, very differently from the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol. We all know that’s true and it is unacceptable. Totally unacceptable,” Biden said, jabbing his finger on the lectern from which he spoke in Wilmington, Delaware.
“They were a riotous mob. Domestic terrorists. It’s that basic. It’s that simple. I wish we could say we couldn’t see it coming,” he said.
The biggest surprise of yesterday wasn't that the Red Hats wanted to breach the capitol. They've been openly fantasizing about it for years and they organized yesterday's attack in plain view. It was a shock to the senses, however, that the police more or less let them do it with very little resistance. It's unconscionable that some of them were able to enter the Senate chamber and Speaker Nancy Pelosi rightfully called for and received the resignation of the Sergeant at Arms today.
I know it makes some people uncomfortable when Joe Biden talks about working together and finding common ground with Republicans, but it doesn't bother me because I know that's purely aspirational rhetoric. And it's okay to say you want to work together as long as it doesn't compromise your core values and I haven't seen any reason to think the Biden administration will do so. Tens of millions of Americans voted for Biden because he ran on a platform of governing as the president of all Americans, not just Democrats who voted for him. He is not Donald Trump nor should he be.
I mention this because his remarks today demonstrate that he understands the issues we face even if he occasionally says things that make activists doubt him.
Choosing Kamala Harris as his vice presidential running mate was the first and clearest sign that Biden knows what he doesn't know; that he would surround himself with people who can teach him what he doesn't know and keep the administration pointed in the right direction while negotiations with Republicans proceed.
Black Lives Matter protesters were brutally assaulted for peacefully protesting outside the White House last summer. The Red Hats entered the Speaker's office without even a bruise.