If you haven’t seen this 15 minute video at the Washington Post, it’s necessary to understand the terror of January 6th. The Washington Post put together videos from a variety of sources to create a timeline of events. Everything unfolded with astonishing speed; the Post’s video is a third as long as the actual events in real time.
I can’t embed it; here’s the link:
Let there be no doubt: Many of the rioters were absolutely out for blood. The term “banality of evil” of course comes to mind; every one of the rioters will seem as familiar and “knowable” as family. It’s not just banal, it’s uncomfortably close. This is, literally, who we are.
As such, I think there will be calls for light prosecution. Absolutely this has a racist valence to it: A mob of Black rioters would face the absolute worst the legal system could throw at them, cheered on by the President, every Republican in Congress, and probably more than a few Democrats. These rioters knew what they were doing; the act was premeditated; they weren’t ashamed. In fact, they took copious, self-incriminating video. (The rioters were not aware of, or thought themselves immune to, the Stringer Bell rule.) The Post put that to good use, as will prosecutors, I trust.
I believe in repentance. I believe in the morality of the Prodigal Son. Former Olympic swimmer Klete Keller took part, and now seems deeply ashamed of himself. That can be taken into account, though he should still face legal jeopardy. Contrast this to the Dallas realtor who simply is asking Trump for a pardon – ie impunity without repentance. Throw the book at her.
Can you imagine your neighbor, your crazy uncle, your Facebook “friend” that posts right-wing memes with a hint of menace, rioting at the Capitol? In other words, following through on the language of Trump, amplified by a pathologically greedy and destructive rightist media industry? Well, they did, and they filmed it themselves.