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Stop comparing riots and other commentary

From the right: Stop Comparing Riots

The fact that “a lot of people seem very keen on litigating whether the attack on the Capitol was worse than last summer’s rioting” sends a “depressing” message about this country’s “political polarization,” laments National Review’s Robert VerBruggen. “Both events were horrific, with consequences that will last for years,” so comparing the tragedies to see which side wins should be the least of both parties’ worries. During the summer’s violence, “somewhere around 20 people died,” and “the places that suffered the riots will take years to recover economically.” Meanwhile at the Capitol, “Five people died, including a police officer.” Looking at the big picture, “these were both failures at all levels, and our first priority should be to make sure neither happens again.”

Prosecutor: No, Trump Didn’t Incite

At The Wall Street Journal, former Washington federal prosecutor Jeffrey Scott Shapiro argues that whatever he did, President Trump “didn’t commit incitement or any other crime.” Under the relevant Supreme Court precedent, “mere advocacy” of violence, not “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action . . . likely to incite or produce such action,” is protected speech under the US Constitution. Last week, “the president didn’t mention violence on Wednesday, much less provoke or incite it. He said, ‘I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.’ ” Nor did any “public disturbance” occur when Trump spoke. Bottom line: Inflaming public sentiment “does not satisfy the elements of any criminal offense.”

Neocon: They Took Don Literally — Disastrously

At Commentary, John Podhoretz flags the hole in Salena Zito’s “they take him seriously but not literally” explanation for why people support President Trump: The problem with his “wildly and massively irresponsible rhetoric” is that some followers “took him seriously and literally — and the real world consequences are staring us in the face.” It includes the roughly “75,000 voters in Georgia” who bought his “rigged election” talk and so “refused to come out for the runoffs — thus handing Senate control to the Democrats” as well as the “monstrous, noxious, anti-American thugs and goons and marauders” who assaulted the Capitol last week in a “populist version of [Charles] Manson’s helter skelter.”

Conservative: 2020 Ain’t Over Yet

You thought 2020 was crazy? “Hang on,” warns Victor Davis Hanson at American Greatness, for an even crazier 2021. After the “unchecked violence in the Capitol” last week, “a weird cancel mob formed.” Never mind that “leftist protesters were once with impunity beating on the doors of the Supreme Court to get in during and after the Kavanaugh hearings.” Liberals called “for the complete weaponization of social media and the permanent banning” of President Trump and other conservatives. “Progressives are no longer the watchdogs breaking up trusts. They are the trusts breaking up watchdogs,” ensuring “they alone can control, censor, and cancel incorrect communications over the publicly owned airspace.” And their task is “made easier by a COVID-stricken, quarantined and financially strapped population.”

From the left: Cuo’s Vaccine Debacle

Gov. Cuomo, writes Ross Barkan at Jacobin, “has always embodied a dark irony of the COVID-19 pandemic”: Though he has presided over the highest number of deaths in the nation and destroyed the Empire State’s economy, “he has won hysterical praise from many of the nation’s leading newspapers, magazines and television shows.” His latest ignored failure: “With a vaccine here, he is again proving his lack of fitness to lead New York through the worst crisis it has faced in modern history. For weeks, unused vaccine doses have sat in freezers, with some even being thrown out. After imposing extremely complex and rigid guidelines over who can receive a vaccine, Cuomo threatened health care providers with million-dollar fines if they didn’t follow the rules he had created for who can get a shot first.” Even if his premises about distribution are right, the debacle shows he’s wasted “months to prepare for what’s happening now.”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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