America’s news networks were quick to term it an “insurrection” and “sedition” soon became the theme of the hour. Perhaps it was both of those things but, equally, events on Capitol Hill might just have been a protest allowed to turn ugly through a combination of poor intelligence and weak policing.
That’s not to say there wasn’t malicious intent in the planning. Bombs would be found and advanced planning discovered in the usual places where the Far Right congregate on internet forums. Then emerged the implausible counter narratives as events were spun. Fox News pundits would later claim the rioters were really Antifa disguised as Trump supporters. Meanwhile, on the other side, liberal media outlets complained about the police response. Compared to the Black Lives Matters protests, they noted, the police showed too much restraint in quelling the riot. Never for a moment did they stop to think that perhaps it wasn’t that these protests were being under-prosecuted but that Donald Trump’s presidency has seen too many protests over-prosecuted. Balance is hard to find when the pendulum swings so wildly.