Thank God no Congressmember or Senator was injured in the Capitol riots. That goes for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has Capitol police to thank for her safety and security on that bleak day in American history.
The nation’s most powerful politicians understandably believed their lives were in danger. It came out later that there is no evidence of “capture and kill” teams being sent to harm them, all claims of a “coup” or “insurrection” aside. Instead, it appears to have been a massive tumult fueled by radicalized elements on the far-right, as well as left-wing agitators, by numerous accounts.
Adding to the chaos, as if by directive, Capitol police officers inexplicably held the doors open for protesters, who merely walked around unimpeded and took pictures. There was loud shouting on the lawn outside, including chants about Antifa, followed by violent altercations that led to the death of one police officer, who therefore sacrificed his life to protect politicians like the young Congresswoman.
By the way she has talked about those harrowing events in a recent live-streamed video, one wouldn’t think Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was grateful for that officer’s service, nor the service of the police officer who came to ensure her safety in a time of considerable confusion at the Capitol building on January 6th.
Instead, she does what she does best: She “freezes, personalizes and polarizes” the situation for maximum political impact.
.@AOC describes a Capitol Police officer bursting into her office, says his presence “didn’t feel right” and that he was looking at her “in all of this anger and hostility.” Her staffer reportedly wondered if he would have to fight the officer. pic.twitter.com/LCj2JmmFP6
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) February 2, 2021
“Hide, hide, run and hide,” she recounts one of the staffers allegedly telling her.
They allegedly hid in a bathroom for about six hours in Katie Porter’s office.
SIX HOURS. That’s how long @AOC, @katieporteroc and their staffers hid out in Porter’s office, in the darkness and the silence, not knowing whether they would make it out alive. SIX HOURS of feeling like your life is on the line in your own place of work. Just awful. https://t.co/ljIc5oR3sq
— Dr Suze Kundu (@FunSizeSuze) February 2, 2021
“I hope I get to be a mom,” Porter claims Ocasio-Cortez said. “I hope I don’t die today.”
According to a New York Times timeline, the first breach was about 2 p.m. and the Sergeant-at-Arms declared the Capitol building secure around 5:16 p.m. This is considerably less than six hours.
AOC recounting her horrifying experience hiding in her office during the insurrection.
“I thought I was going to die…I have never been quieter in my entire life.” pic.twitter.com/t2P6FU3mFU
— Justice Democrats (@justicedems) February 2, 2021
“Where is she? Where is she?” someone yelled, Ocasio-Cortez recounts about the experience. “And this was the moment where I thought everything was over.”
After hearing loud banging on her office door, Ocasio-Cortez said she hid in her bathroom, believing the office was about to be breached.
“I thought I was going to die…I have never been quieter in my entire life,” she added.
The person who had come to find her was… a Capitol police officer. Sent to rescue her.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez not only shows a lack of gratitude for the officer, she demonizes that individual.
“It didn’t feel right,” she said. “Because he was looking at me with a tremendous amount of anger and hostility. Things weren’t adding up. There was no partner there. He wasn’t yelling ‘this is Capitol Police, this is Capitol Police.’ And he was looking at me in all of this anger and hostility,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez also wondered if she was projecting “something onto him,” but she claims that a staffer echoed her sentiments.
“We couldn’t tell, we couldn’t read if this was a good situation or a bad situation,” she said. “Like so many other communities in this country, just that presence doesn’t necessarily give you a signal if you’re safe or not. So the situation did not feel ok.”
She went even further, likening Republicans who seek “unity” and understanding in the aftermath of the mutually shared threat — if anything the Trump supporters were as angry at Republicans, as at Democrats (see: Mike Pence) — to sexual assault abusers in that their desire to “move on” is the “same tactics of abusers.”
“The reason I’m getting emotional in this moment is because these folks who tell us to move on, these are the same tactics of abusers,” she said. “There’s no, something really big happens to you — and then you deal with and you move on, and then something else happens to you, you deal with that.”
The Capitol riots stand nearly universally condemned by Republicans and Democrats. Members of the Democratic Party have objected to elections in 2000, 2004, and 2016. It has been demonstrated convincingly that former President Trump could not have “incited” the pre-planned siege. Violent riots raged on without Democrat condemnation for months in nearly 140 cities, causing $2 billion in damage, hundreds of injuries and at least six deaths. The Capitol riots led to the death of one non-Trump supporter, a police officer, a member of a profession that Ocasio-Cortez is vilifying.
The breach of the Capitol building was carried out by a few hundred extremists, who should be charged to the maximum extent of the law if they were proven to have committed a crime. While it is easy to be sympathetic to those who went through such a horrifying ordeal, it is not so easy to be sympathetic to those who are weaponizing the grievous national wound for petty partisan advantage.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.