Move over, Rep. Andy Biggs. Stop vaping in that pregnant woman’s face, Rep. Lauren Boebert. We’ve got a new candidate for weirdest Republican in the House, and she is on a roll.
On Wednesday, Attorney General Merrick Garland was summoned to the Capitol to be ranted at by House Republican Jim Jordan’s Special All-Clown Revue, or what used to be known as the House Judiciary Committee before Republicans turned it into a dumping ground for congressional crackpots.
Whatever the original plan was, the hearing quickly devolved into the usual circus, with Garland on the receiving end of complaints about a “World Naked Bike Ride” and generally not being able to get a word in edgewise. But there was one Republican bent on making even those complaints look tame: a performatively furious Rep. Victoria Spartz, who took Garland to task over the Jan. 6 insurrection and resulting arrests.
In the past, sedition-backing Republicans brushed off the violence and deaths on Jan. 6 as a typical “tourist visit.” Spartz, however, appears to have invented a whole extended universe twice removed from even those claims. The Indiana Republican is outraged that police were attacking families with “strollers and the kids” on that day, and it’s a complete mystery what the flying hell she thinks she’s talking about.
“You talk about Jan. 6 people, some people came on Jan. 6 here that had bad intent but a lot of good Americans from my district came here because they are sick and tired of this government not serving them,” Spartz told Garland. “They came with strollers and the kids and there was a chaotic situation because proper security wasn’t provided.”
Let’s back that trolley up a bit, because what? No seriously, what? Here’s the clip, via Aaron Rupar.
There are several things going on with this, and all of them are muddled together into a great big pile of What The Hell. It’s gracious that Spartz is willing to allow that there were at least “some” people in the crowd that had bad intent, given that the crowd attacked and injured over 140 law enforcement officers as they made their way into the Capitol to hunt for lawmakers and ransack their offices—a few bad actors there!—but this is the first anyone has heard of the rioters supposedly wheeling in baby strollers so that their toddlers could get their own taste of the violence.
Spartz, though, just kept on going. “They were throwing smoke bombs into the crowd with strollers with kids. People showed up, you know, FBI agents, to people’s houses. You had, in my district, in my town, FBI phone numbers all over the district.”
While it’s conceivable that a handful of Trump supporters might actually have brought young children to Trump’s planned Jan. 6 march—because Trump supporters, by definition, have the worst judgment of anyone in America—if there’s footage out there of rioters bringing their children into the rioting mob, none of us have found it yet.
And I’m going to propose here that if there was indeed any jackass out there who brought a baby to a violent insurrection, how about we all worry less about whether your baby got smoke-bombed and more about taking your kids away from you and throwing you in a cell for a long, long time?
Also, Garland wasn’t in charge of the Justice Department back then, so if “proper security wasn’t provided,” then maybe Spartz should devote some of her apparently voluminous free time to figuring out who the hell did keep “proper security” away from Trump’s armed rally mob.
Here is a tip: Witnesses say it was the White House itself.
Curiously, or perhaps not, there doesn’t seem to be much of anything in Spartz’s rant that is true. She claims that “in my district” the FBI was allegedly running amok, but there appears to be only one Spartz constituent arrested after the riot, a bear spray-wielding Oath Keepers founder who’s been cooperating with the federal probe of the seditious conspiracy.
If Spartz is going to argue that law enforcement overstepped in charging the militias that led the attacks on that day, she’s going to need to spell it out a lot more clearly. Because it’s a damn certainty that none of those Oath Keepers showed up with baby strollers.
Spartz isn’t seeking reelection, so chastising a man who wasn’t in charge for an insufficiently baby-friendly environment inside the mob of violent attackers is evidently not a play for new votes. She just has really strong thoughts about imaginary babies and imaginary constituents being terrorized by, uh, “FBI phone numbers.”
Here’s hoping we get some clarification from Spartz. Not because we need it, oh heavens no. Just because her explanation is likely to be a real treat.
Republican gripes that Merrick Garland didn’t respond to his letter about ‘World Naked Bike Ride’
Democrats pummel Republicans at Jim Jordan’s circus hearing
Merrick Garland appearing before Jim Jordan clown show