Viking Guy Takes Over the Capital

(I’m still on sick leave, but I’ve been posting short thoughts on twitter. Will be back soon. No worries at all.)

19 thoughts on “Viking Guy Takes Over the Capital

  1. I do not think what happened yesterday was funny (though the picture is). I am still shocked that the majority of House Republicans voted to overturn the results of the election in AZ & PA after the home invasion. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said she was going to vote to object and then changed her mind after the invasion, which I think might make the WA Republican House delegation (3 members) the only non-singleton delegation that did not support the overturn. Otherwise still processing.


  2. My Facebook has been over-run with people ridiculing his costume.
    I don’t have a problem with what he chooses to wear.
    I wouldn’t (especially as it’s over 80F here and about 100% humidity – fur, I don’t think so!). But if cosplay makes him happy, who am I to judge… [Actually, I expect he’s been seeking exactly this kind of notoriety, and the news media are happily complying]

    I do (even as a non-American) have a major issue with him and his fellow protesters/rioters invading a legislative chamber – especially while the legislators were present and working.
    This kind of mob intimidation is not what we expect to see in a civilized democracy (though we have, too often – I remember incidences in Hong Kong and I know protesters have tried to storm the National Assemby in France).

    Under the new administration, I would expect to see a thorough review of the security arrangements – which apparently allowed protesters free access.


    1. As I understand: (i) the mayor of DC requested a light federal law enforcement presence, (ii) obviously, the aesthetics of having Congress meet while surrounding by a large phalanx of heavily armed policemen or soldiers are unappealing to almost everyone, and (iii) most Trump demonstrations have been relatively peaceful (compared to, say, BLM demonstrations). So a set of decisions about police and troop deployment were made which seemed reasonable a priori but in the event did not produce good results.


      1. y81, what is the source for the information about Bowser requesting a light federal law presence? WaPo seems to suggest that it was the DoD’s decision how to use the National Guard.
        “Defense officials said the Pentagon approved the activation of more than 300 members of the District of Columbia National Guard, but limited the size and scope of the mission after a deployment during racial justice protests in June raised questions about whether the Trump administration was trying to use the military as a political club.”


      2. Here’s Mayor Bowser’s tweet from Jan. 5, complete with the official request letter addressed to the Attorney General, Sec. of Defense and Secretary of the Army:

        The letter from Bowser says that that she was concerned about a repeat of this summer, with regard to the possibility of having a mass of various unidentified federal forces milling around confusingly.

        The day before the rally/certification/assault on Capitol Hill, she tweeted, “To be clear, the District of Columbia is not requesting other federal law enforcement personnel and discourages any additional deployment without immediate notification to, and consultation with, MPD if such plans are underway.”


      3. The DC police department (which the DC Mayor Bowser controls), does not police federal buildings. The Capitol Hill Police are the ones who are in control of the Congressional building.

        According to Politico:
        “. . . the Capitol Police has grown into one of the largest, best-funded and most single-focus police departments in the country, with a budget of more than $460 million and around 2,000 sworn officers to guard just 2 square miles of the capital. (By comparison, that’s half the size of the entire police force for Washington, D.C.).”

        Thanks to the Mayor, there were National Guard on the streets of DC on Wednesday afternoon but the Capital Police did not “invite” them into the Capitol building until sometime after it was overrun with the Trump supporters.

        Even the Capitol Police Union is blaming their leadership:
        “The Capitol police union shared Bowser‘s frustration, releasing a statement Thursday denouncing the force‘s leadership, which it said “undermined the response of law enforcement to the violent events at the U.S. Capitol.“ The union demanded leadership change, including the chief of the U.S. Capitol Police.”

        The Mayor was trying to keep non-uniformed, unidentified and armed people from taking charge of the capital. In retrospect that was a very prescient point of view.

        The attempt to shift the blame is telling.

        Next thing you know Trump apologists will be claiming that the Trump supporters/rioters who trashed the Congress are actually Antifa.


      4. “The MPD has coordinated with . . . Capitol Police.” Could not be more explicit.

        BTW, I wasn’t trying to blame any particular decision-maker. Ann asked what had gone wrong. As I said, based on what I have read, decisions were made that seemed reasonable but did not work out. A mob is an unpredictable thing.


  3. The good news for democracy, is that the rioters were cleared with relatively little difficulty, and Congress proceeded with it’s duty to certify the election results and declare a new President.

    Democracy 1 : Anarchy 0


    1. It’s not safe to assume this is done. You don’t even have to go off the “trending” thing of Twitter to see people waiting for the next order because “Trump goes to Camp David” means something to Q cultists.


  4. The WSJ editorial page told Trump to resign but he’s still being cheered at the RNC meeting. I don’t see this as the end unless Republicans are willing to take more painful positions. Gaetz, Ghosar, Brooks and others continuing and expanding lies certainly aren’t the right direction. Neither is McCarthy and Scalise’s votes.


  5. Trump demonstrators have not been peaceful. They’ve driven legislators out of buildings before. As David Niewert writes, the risks of white nationalistic, alt right, QAnon Violence is consistently understated and underestimated by law enforcement. That intelligence and a priori failure was at least as predictable (and probably more predictable than the NYC nursing home failure). And it was a result of bias.


  6. “Holt, who employs similar techniques and tracked online planning of the siege for months, concurs, telling me that many of the participants were “militia movement groups” and “white supremacist and white nationalist groups” and known individual “conspiracy extremists.”

    The connecting thread is the “Stop the Steal” movement, which brought all these groups together in various state capitals in the months-long struggle over the election results, Holt says” . . .

    “But both Holt and the ADL agree that for these groups, what happened on Wednesday was a major, resounding victory.”


  7. This is a reasonable summary of the way this looks on the other side of the world.
    We don’t appreciate the details – but this is the big picture.
    And, yes, it does come across as a bit smug (not a national characteristic I’m particularly proud of – but it’s pretty real, right now)


  8. Would you reject a doctor for espousing QAnon views?

    In our neck of the woods, an employer *cannot* fire someone for their political views. So you are safe from employment discrimination if you post pictures of yourself engaging in political speech (though, obviously, not breaking windows to enter the capitol — any capitol).

    An area physician posted clips of herself flying a QAnon flag (as well as clips on the steps of the capitol beyond the police barriers). UW Medicine tweeted that she is not employed by UW Medicine (which doesn’t mean she doesn’t work there). They can fire her if she engaged in criminal activity (probably). But maybe not for being a QAnon enthusiast and probably not for saying that Trump won the election.


    1. There’s no protections like that here. St. Vincent College fired Saccone (the first of three Republicans to lose to Connor Lamb) for his participation in the coup.


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