According to the Associated Press, Paul Allard Hodgkins, a crane operator from Florida, was sentenced yesterday to eight months in prison for his role in the Jan. 6 “insurrection.” Hodgkins’s sentence was the first for a felony charge and “could help determine the severity of other sentences in hundreds of pending cases.” U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss, an Obama appointee who handed down the sentence, acknowledged that Hodgkins’s role — he breached the U.S. Senate chamber carrying a Trump campaign flag — was not as significant as that of others. But he hastened to add, “That was not, by any stretch of the imagination, a protest. It was … an assault on democracy.”
The judge’s opinion has been shared by numerous others. One of them is Dana Allin, a senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), who wrote an op-ed on Jan. 8 titled “The assault on the Capitol and American democracy.” The piece, which opens with a melodramatic retelling of the armed siege of the Spanish parliament building in 1981, affirms that “since Wednesday, there has been much parsing of the definitional distinction between what happened at the United States Capitol building and an attempted coup.”
The Democrats who were there that day — and some who weren’t — prefer to think and say that it was. Nancy Pelosi has organized a 9/11-style committee to investigate the riots and Donald Trump’s role in them.
This all makes for great theater, but it begs other questions about other “incursions.” Take the one that occurred in Portland, Ore., the Thursday before the Fourth of July. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports:
Police broke up a group of several hundred protesters in downtown Portland overnight Thursday and into Friday morning. Crowd control munitions were used after protesters shot fireworks towards police, broke windows and set what appeared to be a small fire inside the federal courthouse, police said. [Emphasis added]
Let me repeat: Protesters set fire to a federal courthouse. By Democrats’ own lights any federal buildings is a “citadel of democracy.”
But there’s more to the story. In paragraph four we read:
Video posted on social media shows police outside the federal courthouse using what appears to be smoke or gas to disperse crowds.
Police dispersed the crowds who had just desecrated a federal building? What happened to rounding up as many of the
“insurgents” as possible so they could later stand trial for their crimes against democracy? (One of the protesters throw an open pocket knife at an office whom he came close to striking, but there’s no word over whether he was one of the nine people charged.)
Best of all is the local government’s response to the assault. On June 30, Gov. Kate Brown released a statement. But it’s not the mob she has a beef with. It’s the police, who had “large rocks and full cans” hurled at them:
I am disturbed by what appears to be a pattern of escalation between the Portland Police Bureau and this group of protesters, and by the Police Bureau’s use of crowd control munitions. Use of force, regardless of its legal justification, will do nothing to solve the underlying concerns of racial justice and police accountability raised by the protests.