Tag: Capitol Police

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It began in 1909 and has a storied history. And despite rancorous times, it has always been a refuge of civility in a partisan town, even during election years. A trophy is involved. Protests and partisanship are shelved, at least for this one annual occasion, both in the stands and on the field. Until this […]

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Who Killed Ashli Babbitt, and Why?


Greetings, Ricochetti. With apologies for my long absence from the site, I return today to bring your attention to a piece I’ve written for The Pipeline, “Who Killed Ashli Babbitt?” You’ll recall that Babbitt was shot and killed by a Capitol Police officer during the so-called insurrection of Jan. 6. She was unarmed and did not appear to pose a threat to anyone at the time she was shot.

In a time when police shootings far more justifiable than this one are endlessly scrutinized in the press, how is it that Babbitt’s death has escaped even a fraction of the coverage devoted to other police killings? Here’s a sample from the piece:

Join Jim and Greg as they discuss what happens next with a deeply fractured Republican Party.  They also fume as Capitol Police officials say they never got the FBI warning of violent threats at the Capitol on January 6. And they have some fun with people mistakenly thinking Chuck Norris was part of last week’s demonstrations in Washington.


Join Jim and Greg as they welcome the good news that the Pfizer vaccine successfully fights off the recently discovered coronavirus mutations. They also mourn the death of a U.S. Capitol Police officer and discuss the scrutiny the USCP will undergo after Wednesday’s riots and the chief’s resignation. Finally, they slam Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for immediately framing the police response as evidence of a race-based two-tiered justice system.

A Few Thoughts on Today’s Capitol Protest


The US Capitol is the centerpiece, even the capstone, of my 40 career in and around politics and advocacy, and much more. It is where I met Adrienne and where every member of my family has spent time – both my sons were Senate pages, and one would serve as a doorkeeper and House staff assistant. I consider being Secretary of the Senate the greatest honor of my years in public service and politics. I love the Article I branch of our Republic.

I hate what happened today, for all the reasons you do, even though much of it appeared peaceful. But I have a few thoughts to share. They may surprise.
First, as a former journalist: take nothing you read, watched, or heard via corporate media today at face value. I have long learned that much early reporting is wrong. Worse, much of the media has been pining for years for an event like this; something to prove that “tea party” or Trump supporters are prone to violence. Some no doubt are. But let’s wait for the facts before drawing conclusions.
Second, while there is no excuse for violence, it is undeniably a part of our Capitol’s history. The 9 million pound cast iron dome symbolizes to the world our democracy was constructed during the Civil War; Union troops were quartered on the then-new Senate floor. One soldier had to be restrained from destroying former Senator Jefferson Davis’ (D-MS) desk (you know, the President of the Confederacy). There are bullet marks on the House floor where Puerto Rican nationalists opened fire during a vote in 1954.
And you can see bloodstains on the stairway leading from the House chamber along the east front downstairs, the result of a fatal gunshot wound. in 1889, a Louisville Courier reporter, Charles Kincaid, shot former Congressman William Taulby (KY); Kincaid was never charged.
More recently, in 1983, the Senate had just adjourned late one November evening when a bomb exploded just off the Senate floor, courtesy of “Weathermen” extremists. The damage was extensive. Fortunately, no one was injured. Shortly after I left my job as Secretary of the Senate, two Capitol policemen were killed by a deranged killer near the offices of then-House Whip Tom DeLay. They were the first two Capitol police lost in the line of duty.
I mention all this to remind you that protests and violence are the unfortunate but inevitable price of free speech and the freedom of expression, movement, and association guaranteed by our Constitution. Our first such “protest” occurred in Boston Harbor. Western Pennsylvania’s “Whiskey Rebellion” was quelled by troops led by none other than President George Washington. Over 600,000 Americans lost their lives in a bloody and tragic civil war. And civil rights protests during the ’50s and ’60s were frequently violent and bloody.
I’m not excusing it, nor what happened in the Capitol today. It is a part of our history and the dark side of our human nature. And we have always survived, grown, learned, and moved on. . . to the next episode. We are a fallen people. We learn the hard way. We always have.
As I wrote on my blog just yesterday, I believe we just experienced the worst election in modern times – not the result, but because of the massive irregularities that transpired, undermining confidence in the cornerstone of our republic – free and fair elections. 
Third, and finally, I’ve heard and read enough claptrap from enough of you about how, as a Trump voter (twice), I’m responsible for what happened today. How shallow, stupid, and insulting. And so many, especially in the media, are beside themselves over this “assault on democracy” involving the US Capitol . . . the same people dismissing or ignoring over 500 violent events in more than 200 cities across the United States this summer that destroyed thousands of buildings, small businesses, and livelihoods. Spare me your crocodile tears, hypocrites. If you decry violence in the Capitol today, decry it all.


Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America look through a rough and often disturbing 2017 to find three things they’re each thankful for in politics and beyond this year.  From some important accomplishments to the arrival of an important new figure in Washington to the bravery of people in different walks of life, Jim and Greg find some silver linings in our toxic political culture.  Happy Thanksgiving!  There will be no podcast on Thursday.  Please join us again on Friday.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Rich McFadden of Radio America discuss the Capitol Police response to the shooting early Wednesday morning in Alexandria, VA where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others were injured during their practice for the 2017 Congressional Baseball Game. They also speculate about the possible motive of the 66-year old shooter from Illinois based on reports of his incendiary political views found on his social media account. And they react to the polarized responses on social media that are erupting across the political spectrum following the attack.