Impeachment Trial Showed Shameless Double Standard | Opinion

As House impeachment managers wrapped up their show over the weekend—an unnecessary exercise in histrionics for what they hope will be political gain—the American people witnessed the stunning double standard by which Democrats judge their enemies.

In his summation of the impeachment case, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) rightly excoriated Donald Trump's reaction to learning of the mob of his supporters laying siege upon the U.S. Capitol.

"Did [Trump] spring into action to stop the violence and save us?" Raskin asked rhetorically. "Did he even wonder about his own security, since an out-of-control, anti-government mob could come after him, too? Did he quickly try to get in touch with or denounce the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, the rally organizers, the Save America Rally organizers and everyone on the extreme right to tell them that this was not what he had in mind, it was a big mistake, 'Call it off, call it off, call it off,' as Representative [Mike] Gallagher begged him to do on national television? No. He delighted in it. He reveled in it. He exulted in it."

This would have been a powerful point if the Democrats' own actions didn't undercut the message.

While arguing that the January 6th speech incited the mob, for instance, some Democrats suggested the violence was planned beforehand. They used the president's past comments to signal that efforts to court an insurrection were effectively underway prior to the January 6 speech. So did the speech incite the violence or not? Democrats didn't even charge the president for poorly handling the mob post-riot.

They also argued that if Trump isn't prevented from running for office again, nothing would stop him from engaging in the same kind of violence in the future. Well, if Trump meant to violently overthrow the government with an army of supporters, why would he go to the trouble of engaging in a political campaign? And if his plan was an insurrection, as Raskin claims, why did Trump ever relent and call it off? Why did he even leave the White House at all? Not only did he leave on his own; he left early.

You can call out Trump's speech as an inappropriate, dangerous promotion of unsupported claims of massive voter fraud, and sharply criticize how the then-president handled the mob, without supporting impeachment. These positions are not in conflict.

You can strongly condemn the January 6th riot and hope all lawbreakers face steep punishment, while also questioning the motivations of a Democratic Party that hurried an impeachment knowing it didn't have the votes to convict Trump in the Senate. Both positions are reasonable to hold.

In this screenshot taken from a webcast, lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) gives closing arguments on the fifth day of former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial at the U.S. Capitol on February 13, 2021 in Washington, DC. House impeachment managers had argued that Trump was “singularly responsible” for the January 6th attack at the U.S. Capitol and he should be convicted and barred from ever holding public office again.

Democrats want you to think otherwise; that if you don't support impeachment, you somehow also support an "insurrection" at the Capitol. It's a juvenile, transparent strategy.

But perhaps it belies a bigger strategy to conceal the double standard by which Democrats judge their opponents. Once you compare their reaction to the Capitol riot to their inaction as left-wing radicals besieged cities across the country for eight months, their hypocrisy becomes apparent.

Violent extremists roiled American cities for months in the aftermath of George Floyd's death. Americans were killed, police were beaten, buildings were burned down and businesses were destroyed. And we knew the culprits.

While sometimes quite literally chanting "Antifa," black-clad radicals waving anti-fascist action flags tore neighborhoods apart. During Black Lives Matter marches, violence and looting broke out. Molotov cocktails were thrown, officers nearly burned alive in a police building, with one city experiencing well over 100 consecutive days of riots. Rioters even established "autonomous zones" in some cities.

Did Democrats spring to action at any point during the eight months of violence? No. The rioting was either ignored, downplayed or excused. Some lawmakers even encouraged the violence.

Did Democrats ever wonder about their own security, since the Antifa mob is anti-government, and could come after them? Democrats got a wake-up call on Inauguration Day when Antifa thugs rioted in Portland, vandalizing the Oregon Democratic Party headquarters while condemning President Joe Biden.

Did Democrats ever condemn Antifa or get in touch with BLM leaders to ask them to help quell the violence? For the most part, Democrats won't utter the name "Antifa" unless it's to claim the group doesn't exist. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) insisted it's a myth created by the Right. And some Democrats only briefly and passively called out BLM violence after internal polls suggested Trump's talking points were gaining steam in swing states.

Instead of showing consistency and calling out all political violence (as Republicans have), Democrats delighted in what the riots did to energize their base, bring momentum to the BLM movement and help them take the White House and Senate. Now, they have the audacity to lecture others about inaction.

Jason Rantz is a frequent guest on Fox News and is the host of the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH Seattle, heard weekday afternoons. You can subscribe to his podcast here and follow him on Twitter: @jasonrantz.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.