Capitol riot blame game unsettling

U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, speaks to reporters in May after an election for House Republican Conference chairwoman on Capitol Hill. Alex Wong/Getty Images/Tribune News Service

This editorial appeared in the Press-Republican on July 28:

PLATTSBURGH — It is disheartening to see something as serious as the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 turn into a political mud fight.

The events of that dreadful day were horrifying, and to see them used as fodder for nasty and misleading political attacks is another low point we’ve reached in this nation’s politics and government.

It is also disappointing to see north country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik’s remarks regarding the hearings aimed at getting to the bottom of the attack. Stefanik said [July 27] that essentially it was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s fault that the Capitol was breached by a mob that day.

Let’s not forget what we saw happen with our own eyes.

Hundreds of people, many wearing clothes in support of Donald Trump, waving Trump banners and shouting pro-Trump slogans, forced their way past police barriers. We also saw Confederate flags, QAnon symbols and other far-right paraphernalia.

Windows were broken, doors forced open and there was open battle with police officers all over the Capitol grounds. Dozens eventually made their way into the Capitol building and searched for Pelosi and other leaders of Congress. Some even chanted, “Hang Mike Pence!”

It was total mayhem. Members of Congress, including Stefanik, and their staffs were rushed to safety. Those who could not make it out hid in fear for their lives.

In all, five people died and more than 140 people were injured. It is unbelievable that such an event could occur in this country in 2021. It seems plainly clear that the mob was spurred on by Trump himself who nurtured distrust in Biden’s win and held a rally right before the attack, urging his supporters to “fight like hell (or) you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

Stefanik and other Republicans are now taking the stance that Pelosi is responsible because she did not take measures to add more security to the Capitol despite knowing about threats beforehand. Pelosi is not responsible for Capitol security. That’s up to the architect of the Capitol, the House and Senate sergeants at arms, and House and Senate committees.

To say that Pelosi is culpable for the riot not only is wrong, it is downright ludicrous. Had she not been ushered out of harm’s way in time, Pelosi might have been maimed or killed that day. That one rioter made his way to her office and propped his feet up on her desk is just startling.

This game of blaming the victim to serve self-interests instead of pinning responsibility on those truly involved is un-American and getting old fast. The testimony of Capitol police who fought for their lives on Jan. 6 is emotional and heart-wrenching.

This affront to our democracy deserves to be treated with so much more respect and reality than what we’ve seen so far. For the sake of our nation and our democracy, we expect better from our elected officials.

© 2021 Press-Republican

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(4) comments

Empathy

When is the WDT going to do the right thing and publicly say that they will never support Stefanik again. If they think she is the best we can do, they are insulting the whole 21st Congressional District. If the WDT supports Stefanik and her lies, perhaps their paper is just full of news omissions and lies? It truly makes me wonder if subscribing to get local or any other news is wise on my part. When Covid is better tamed, perhaps I will just get out and about more myself, see and hear for myself, and drop my WDT subscription. We don't watch TV.

forsythia

Sorry for the mispellssing of betray.

forsythia

Right on. Stefanik needs to asnwer for her lies that bwetray our democracy.

KRobbins

The Capitol police and the Democrats want investigation. Republicans, with the exception of Cheney and Kinzinger, do not. Who’s backing the blue in this? Republicans are backing Trump uber alles.

Had she not been ushered out of harm’s way in time, Pelosi might have been maimed or killed that day.

The attackers were there were for Pence and Pelosi. They said as much in calling for both. It’s a cinch they weren’t there for Rep. Brooks who helped incite the attack by speaking at Trump’s rally beforehand. Save Romney, it’s doubtful any Republican was in danger except from accidental injury. Pelosi, Schiff, AOC or any Squad Rep and really any Democrat would’ve been in danger, tho. Look how they treated the police and probably some were carrying the blue line flags.

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