The docile police let the white trash in!


Frank Rich, loud and clear: What happened at the Capitol building last Wednesday? More precisely, what was the instant experience of officers with the Capitol Police?

This morning, at Buzzfeed News, we found another account. In this excerpt, Emmanuel Felton is interviewing one officer:

FELTON (1/13/21): [Officers] are still grappling with the toll that last week’s siege exacted on them and their colleagues. The third officer described how close they had been to opening fire on the mob: After nearly two decades on the force, the officer said, “I’ve never, ever, ever had physically or mentally been in a place where I’ve felt the need to use my weapon, and I was about five seconds from doing it on that day. I felt legitimate concern for my safety and the safety of the other few officers that were around me because to say we were outnumbered is a gross understatement.”


The veteran officer said they were so outnumbered and unprepared that at times he had to stand by helpless as colleagues were viciously attacked. “We came to this door and they were like five or six officers on the other side,” they said. “And it was very heart-wrenching for me because there was nothing that we could do for them. There were literally hundreds, thousands of people on the other side of this door and [the officers are] literally [pinned] against the wall, but we can’t open the door because if we opened the door, they’re going to get crushed and these people are going to pretty much take over.”

These reports go on and on. They contrast with many instant claims which were heard in the streets of Our Town.

On Tuesday, we noted Roxane Gay's instant account in the New York Times. According to Gay, Capitol Police were "basically ushering these terrorists into the building and letting them have the run of the place for a ridiculous amount of time."

Gay was not a first-person observer. Despite her lack of first-hand knowledge, she quickly offered an account which closely mirrors the preferred narratives of many who live in Our Town.

Were Capitol Police ushering the rioters into the Capitol building and letting them have the run of the place? Later reporting has made it sound like Gay's account may be less than perfectly fair and balanced.

That said, many of Our Town's experienced pundits quickly produced such claims. At times like these, information develops slowly, Storyline flames up quite fast.

Anywhere Storyline exists, can Frank Rich be far behind? Here's what the one-time "butcher of Broadway" said at New York magazine: 

RICH (1/8/21): Let’s not resort to euphemisms about what happened. There were no “very fine people” among these rioters. They are trash. They trashed the people’s house so they could feel right at home...

Another thing about them, by the way: They were almost exclusively white.

Also largely white: the docile police who facilitated their entry into the Capitol, who failed to curb their criminal behavior until way too much damage had been done, and who, in some cases, fraternized with the insurrectionists as if they were all members of the same secret society. Maybe, with time and investigation, we’ll learn that in fact they were.

Maybe, with time, we'll learn that—and then again, maybe we won't! Stir in one dose of racial invective and you have the secret sauce which is frequently ladled by the upper-end stars of Our Town.

According to Rich, it wasn't just that the docile police let the white trash in. The problem was even worse than that—the police were largely white too! 

Rich, of course, is a Harvard man; we'll assume he's an OK guy. He isn't as bad as a violent rioter, but in our view, his attitude has made him a part of the problem for a rather long time.

Others slimed the docile cops who let the white trash in. Reports of the injuries, and the one or two deaths, began to filter in later.

We'll leave this here, but we'll restate two key points:

First, Storyline travels much faster than info. Also, you can't necessarily trust or affirm the things you hear from those who align on your side.


  1. "The docile police let the white trash in!"

    Precisely, dear Bob.

    American mega-drama: filthy commoners violated the sanctity of the offices of their divine aristocratic rulers.

    Oh yes, we are just as shocked as you are, dear Bob.

  2. There was collusion between the police and rioters. The details will come later but the broad outlines are already known. It is no coincidence that the capitol police were understaffed and improperly equipped and received no reinforcements until hours after they were needed, despite offers of support before the riot.

    Two officers were immediately suspended. Ten others are being investigated. The head of the capitol police is gone. One officer committed suicide after the insurrection. I have seen video of police moving barricades to assist rioters in gaining access to the building. I have seen the selfies. The accounts of police helping open the doors for insurgents are first-hand and the reporting about this is legitimate. In fact, Somerby's only accusation against Gay was that she pluralized what Somerby thought was a single occurrence (he was wrong), not that she made anything up.

    But now Somerby pretends that the cops are being maligned. Who else is saying this? I don't know...could it be the Trump supporters? I'm surprise Somerby isn't telling us that antifa opened the doors.

    Somerby won't acknowledge the details of what happened, much less admit that this was a planned coup, not a riot that got out of hand. He still wants us to believe nothing happened, and that is just plain wrong.

  3. It is unclear when the word police is being used to refer to the entire capitol police force, in which case accounts of their possible collusion and unpreparedness are correct, or when the word is being used to refer to a single officer, in which case there were some brave officers and others who didn't do their duty. Somerby contributes to this confusion by refusing to interpret Rich's collective use of the term as referring to the force itself, and getting all huffy about the insult to particular brave officers. Again, this seems like a motivated misinterpretation and that makes it dishonest.

  4. They were white and they were trash.
    Next question

  5. From Political Wire:

    “On Dec. 8, someone made a simultaneous transfer of 28.15 bitcoins — worth more than $500,000 at the time — to 22 different virtual wallets, most of them belonging to prominent right-wing organizations and personalities,” Yahoo News reports.

    “Now cryptocurrency researchers believe they have identified who made the transfer, and suspect it was intended to bolster those far-right causes. U.S. law enforcement is investigating whether the donations were linked to the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol.”

  6. Anon 3:38, you're a poster child for utter cluelessness.

  7. Yet you guzzle his clueless drivel as if it were Trump's jizz...

  8. anon 4:56, I thought the problem, as noted by anon 3:38 was that TDH called them "trash", not that Rich did. well, as long as he is wrong no matter what. God forbid that we have to listen to TDH point out weaknesses in the narrative that everything is about race and racism, and needs to be seen in that light.

  9. Who were the people involved in the Night of Broken Glass?

    A “report” by Bob Somerby

    The analysts howled in pain back when Kurt Schumacher said, with great conviction, that the Nazis represented “a continuous appeal to the inner swine in human beings". For good measure, he added that they were “ceaselessly mobilizing human stupidity.” That is the kind of condescension we just love here in Our Town. We (Social) Democrats love to look down on the proles. We really do nothing else. We’re lazy and stupid and nobody likes us.

    And now, our name-calling has put the disordered Adolf Hitler at the top of the heap. The Kurt Schumachers and Unnamed Left Wing Newspapermen put him there. And they refuse to discuss the possibility that he is mentally ill and therefore not responsible for his actions. We, Bob Somerby, denounce Our Fellow Social Democrats for the way they constantly sneered at the Nazi Working Class, and we, Bob Somerby, can now have nothing but pity for The Adolf.

    Those multifaceted people breaking windows and generally trashing Jewish shops and synagogues were surely not all anti-Semites. In fact, the intersection of Anti-Semitism with Shop Destroyers is largely imagined. They were aggrieved Everymen, driven to the brink by constantly being called stupid swine by elitist Democrats. Can you really blame them?

    And on a side note, Bodo Williams claimed there were “a hundred” deaths during the event. But over at the Völkischer Beobachter the number was reported as 91.

    People, can we talk? Statistics are hard!



    Next week: why do we Social Democrats exude such a moral squalor? Inquiring anthropologists want to know!

  10. AC/MA, Rich called them "trash" but Somerby called them "white trash". There is a difference between the two names. Think a while and see if you can figure out what it is.


    Josh Marshall at TPM provides the details Somerby says he doesn't know about.

  12. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) questioned the timing of Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20 in an interview with WIAT.

    Said Tuberville: “We probably could have had a swearing-in and inauguration later after we got this virus behind us a little bit. Again, we’re talking about Washington, D.C..”

    “However, the 20th Amendment to the Constitution requires that the inauguration and swearing-in of a new President take place on January 20th. It wasn’t clear if Tuberville was aware of that during the interview.”

  13. Evidence that Trump does understand that he is no longer president after Jan 20 includes the departure photos with staff that he is taking and his plans to live at Mar a Lago, announced today. He isn't living in a fantasy world. He is cynically trying to steal an election that he lost.

    Somerby's continued pretense that Trump may believe his own lies or not know that he lost are ridiculous in the face of Trump's own actions.

  14. They were trash...and they were white. I don't think it's a stretch to put two and two together. Somerby is right: Bruni is feeding us thin gruel. To make his point, Somerby juxtaposes Bruni's pejorative description against someone actually to practice journalism.

  15. From court documents filed by the federal prosecutors in the detention of Jacob Chansley (via TPM):

    "Chansley had even told the Globe and Mail that Capitol Police had let him into the Capitol on the day of the attack, although he was later charged with entering a restricted building without lawful authority, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds."

  16. From Political Wire:

    "“As President Trump’s supporters massed outside the Capitol last week and sang the national anthem, a line of men wearing olive-drab helmets and body armor trudged purposefully up the marble stairs in a single-file line, each man holding the jacket collar of the one ahead,” the AP reports.

    “The formation, known as ‘Ranger File,’ is standard operating procedure for a combat team that is ‘stacking up’ to breach a building — instantly recognizable to any U.S. soldier or Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was a chilling sign that many at the vanguard of the mob that stormed the seat of American democracy either had military training or were trained by those who did.”

  17. AC/ MA,
    Do you agree with Somerby that the people who tried to overthrow the Capitol last week, because black people's votes wee counted in the Presidential election, aren't really racists?

  18. MH and anons - ok, not everyone, though I think there are some who seem to put a racial spin on everything. Others are pretty promiscuous in raising the race card. Not to say that 'racism' in some measure isn't out there. No question, many, maybe most of the mob who burst into the Capitol are 'racists' - certainly avowed Nazis, KKK and white supremacists and the like. MH, there is a wide swath between "everything being about race" and "nothing being about race." TFH never said or implied that "nothing is about race." You don't see the difference between pointing out weaknesses in the narrative and denying that there is any "racism." I suspect a lot of the mob members would deny that they are 'racists.' Look at anon 10:45, who claims that the "people who tried to overthrow the Capitol" did so because "black people's votes were counted in the Presidential election." This is an example of highly reductionist logic and simplistic thinking, which I personally don't care for.

  19. AC/ MA,
    You may be correct, that the people who tried to overthrow the Capitol didn't do so because black people's votes were counted in the Presidential election.
    It was Republican politicians and their operatives who complained that black people's votes were counted in a Presidential election, and not necessarily those who broke into the Capitol.
    I regret the error.

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