Topic: War & Peace (185)

The Same Door - Six Hours Apart


This is the main entrance to the House of Representatives of the United States Congress. When I saw the photo of this door, closed, yesterday afternoon, Wednesday, January 6, I wondered what the door led to. Perhaps it was a side door to some office or hallway somewhere. When I realized it was the main entrance to the House chamber, I was amazed there wasn’t a steel door they could drop for security. Instead, the defenders depended on pushing furniture against the door to block it; a skimpy defense. And note the three pistols, with fingers firmly on the triggers, pointed at the faces staring through the newly broken glass of the door. There was terror in the room as our congressional representatives had no idea how many assailants were attacking the doors nor how they might be armed. The officers showed intelligent restraint and no one was shot and no one came through this door.

Vice President Pence arriving about 8 pm. Click to enlarge.

Vice President Pence arriving about 8 pm. Click to enlarge.

Then in the evening, a second photo came online and a quick comparison showed it to be the same door, the main entrance to the House. Vice President Pence is seen reentering, followed by all 99 Senators, to reconvene the joint meeting of Congress and count the final batch of electoral votes for president and vice president of the United States. Same door.

We will learn more in the coming days, weeks, months and years. But from information now available, it seems there is no secret room or hidden passage to evacuate Senators and Representatives to safety. Instead, as the north wing of the Capitol was stormed by the insurgents, security staff escorted the Senators from their chamber and led them down a basement hallway to the House chamber - and then blockaded that chamber with furniture to hold off the mob. This is a photo of the close and terrifying moment when it looked like the mob of insurgents - bent on forcing Congress to throw out the electoral votes for Biden and Harris and reinstall Trump and Pence - came closest to breaking into the House of Representatives.

But there is one more thing that must be said about the first photo, and it applies to the entire insurrection yesterday.

If those faces peering into the chamber through the broken glass had been Black faces, these security guys would have been shooting.

The anarchists apparently saw pistols pointed at their faces and backed off. Blacks are not allowed that opportunity; too often we “shoot first and ask questions later.” The hundreds or thousands who stormed and defiled our Capitol were merely ushered out a couple hours later with not a single white terrorist arrested. We will eventually learn more, and some of what we know now may prove to be slightly off, but what happened at these doors just six hours apart is amazing, because ultimately the republic stood. The six hour revolt is now over, but its impact will change things as much as 911 or Pearl Harbor. What I find horrifying is that this time it was our own - our citizens, mostly entitled white men - who tried to overthrow our government and end our democracy. All instigated and encouraged by our president just a mile away. This is treason.

And this door is now very much a part of our history.

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About John Servais

Citizen Journalist and Editor • Fairhaven, Washington USA • Member since Feb 26, 2008

Comments by Readers

Abe Jacobson

Jan 07, 2021

Sad but true. A complete double standard.


Aaron Brand

Jan 07, 2021

You say no one was shot. But, in fact, one person was shot. I guess it remains to be seen exactly where the shooting took place, but this seems as likely a place as any for that to have occurred. 


John Servais

Jan 07, 2021

Aaron, correct that we have not yet been told where she was shot and killed, but it was not at this door.  There is video and the windows of the doors were clear and large enough that, after the glass was fully broken out, she was stepping up to jump through and into the room or chamber.  Those doors look quite different from these.  There again, they withheld shooting until she was actually in the act of leaping through the opening.  She fell back and deterred the others following her long enough for them all to be stopped.  Tragic, stupid, useless, and mislead by the instigators.  As the police did not arrest anyone in the building, it seems the accomplices with her in the battering out of the windows were also merely ushered out of the building.  They were all white. 


David A. Swanson

Jan 08, 2021

Kampfbund leaders Cruz and Hawley created quite a spectacle on Wednesday with the Oval Office Putsch and the Sturmableitung responded as expected, a bloody attack on Congress. Now, Donald Der Fuhrer only needs to find a ghostwriter for his next book, “The Art of Mein Kampf.” Maybe Doug Ericksen is looking for another way to make more money.


Michael Riordan

Jan 08, 2021

At this point, responsible publications like the New York Times, Washington Post, Seattle Times and Wall Street Journal are calling for the Orange One’s immediate removal from office by invocation of Article 25 or impeachment, but that is not nearly enough. Once Biden becomes president, we need a thorough investigation and indictment of all individuals responsible for this atrocious assault on U.S. democracy. That would include not just the rioters and their leaders but also Congressional figures — Mo Brooks (R-AL), Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) — who encouraged and enabled this mob to take seriously the ridiculous and widely discredited allegations of electoral fraud. Even the Orange One himself should be indicted for inciting this mob into violent action, for promoting sedition, and for acts of treason against the United States of America.

If found guilty in a court of law, he should go to jail. And then have his cell phone taken away!


Kris Keillor

Jan 10, 2021

These entitled terrorists must be prosecuted and Pence invoke the 25th Amendment to remove 45 from office. That’s all there is to it, ideally. Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world… nonetheless I emailed senators Murray and Cantwell making clear their responsibility to hold Pence accountable for his involvement creating this situation, and his opportunity to remedy it now under the 25th amendment. Again that’s all there is to it, we will see if the government can see things so clearly.


Michael Riordan

Jan 11, 2021

And now NYT columnist Paul Krugman suggests we should start using the F word:

Appeasement Got Us Where We Are

Mussolini had his Blackshirts and Hitler had his Brownshirts (Sturmabteilung or Storm Troopers) to intimidate the populace when they couldn’t get their way at the ballot box. Now Trump has his Proud Boys, Patriot Prayer, Oathkeepers, etc., etc. Not exactly the same thing, but close: violent intimidation of the electorate and duly elected government officials.

This is straight out of the fascist playbook.

Which raises the question: Do any of them reside in Whatcom County?


David A. Swanson

Jan 12, 2021

Facism, Communism, cults, and many religions share in common the “Answers” and, as such, hold a strong appeal to those who are uncomfortable with uncertainty, especially in regard to the big questions, such as how the universe came about and how  we can make our way in it. Science only offers tentative  answers because it is really designed to generate questions. Thus, the fundamental nature of science makes fascisnts, communists, cultists, and the ultra-religious uncomfortable because it does not reduce uncertainty the way a body of scripture does that tells them “This is how it all works and here is how to make your way in the universe.”  “Certainty” comes by swallowing a large dose of faith, which usually is in the form of being constantly exposed to repetitive simple phrases such as “I won by a landslide and the election was stolen from me,” accompanied by social re-inforcement by peer and reference groups. Don der Fuhrer and the leaders of his cult learned well the lessons offered by Joeseph Goebbels as evidenced by the millions of followers who drank the “stolen election Kool-aid.” They have no uncertainty about it.


Elisabeth Britt

Jan 21, 2021

State Senator Doug Ericksen was recently quoted by Danny Westneat in the Seattle Times calling Congressman Dan Newhouse and Congresswoman Jamie Herrera Beutler “Vichy republicans” because they cast a vote to impeach Trump. The term originates from WW II, when the French government collaborated with the Axis Powers during the occupation of France. 

But Ericksen misused the phrase. In 2009, it was ocasionally used to describe republicans who collaborated with the democrats against true conservative values. But in 2016, the term emerged on social media to describe republicans who blindly support Donald Trump due to political expediency, not out of genuine alignment with Trump’s agenda or his campaign.

So, in the future, we can safely refer to those republicans who align themselves with Trump as Stepford republicans. Vapid and shallow. They have abandoned the traditional values of the party and realigned themselves with a man who encouraged a mob to storm Congress while it was meeting to formally certify the results of the election. Oh, and if they happened to run into Vice President Pence? Perhaps they could hang him with a noose they brought along just for kicks.    

If sending a mob to attack Congress is a true conservative value, then we owe those republicans who had the courage to cast a vote to impeach Trump a bit of gratitude. Perhaps the real Vichy republicans, like Ericksen, can be re-trained in the future to be better human beings. Or, like the final scene in the movie, Stepford Wives, be trained to take out the garbage and do some light shopping to atone for their insensitivity.


Michael Riordan

Jan 22, 2021

Ericksen needs to reopen the history books he had to read — or maybe didn’t read — as a government and political science major at Cornell and WWU. The Vichy French were those who collaborated with the Nazis and governed southern France for four years after June 1940, when German troops occupied Paris. Thus “Vichy Republican” could much more appropriately be used to describe collaborators like him with the fascist Trump regime, not those who opposed it or call for his impeachment.

For Ericksen himself, I prefer another derogatory term that emerged from the chaos of World War II, “quisling,” after Vidkung Quisling, who led a Norwegian Nazi collaborationist regime after the German invasion in the spring of 1940. To quote from Winston Churchill, “A vile race of Quislings — to use a new word which will carry the scorn of mankind down the centuries — is hired to fawn upon the conqueror, to collaborate with his designs and to enforce his rule upon their fellow countrymen while grovelling low themselves.”

Churchill nailed it.

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