Some of us have been around long enough to have witnessed legitimate protest and to have at least seen images of coups, attempted coups and brainless mobs acting in service of nothing much but chaos.

What we witnessed Wednesday in Washington was certainly among the latter. It was not an example of patriotic Americans exercising their right to protest.

Those were thugs wrapped in our national flag — an insult to us all, but especially those who’ve taken oaths to protect and defend the Constitution — terrorizing citizens, destroying public property and trampling the rule of law.

It might be impossible to determine whether it was an attempted coup, an organized action with a political aim, or just a mob. That matters very little right now.

Wednesday was not a terrible day for Democrats or liberals or any other subgroup. It was a terrible day for all Americans, and it demands a few things.

We know who is ultimately responsible for this sedition; this crime against everything truly American, including the memories of every real American who ever died in defense of our core values.

That’s Donald J. Trump. He has lied and baited and incited from the beginning. It’s his only skill. He should leave now. Just go. Let the most junior dishwasher on the White House kitchen staff run the country until Joe Biden can take over. The nation would be better off.

We know who has abetted the sedition. Notable for our purposes is Ted Cruz. He, along with every other elected official who has parroted Trump’s false, divisive and self-serving fable about the election, should resign. Just go. Emigrate, perhaps to one of the several kleptocracies around the world where the crass inclination to keep power at any cost and curry favor among the powerful by any means might be an asset. It’s not here, and the people of Texas deserve better than him.

Everyone who wants anyone to take seriously their claims to patriotism must denounce this mob action against the physical and legal structures of our republic.

For some, it’s already too late for that.

Many people were asking some obvious questions Wednesday, and those questions need answering.

Among them is where were the tear gas and the rubber bullets, the dogs and oak batons when this mob was invading and vandalizing the seat of our national government?

Law enforcement in this country has routinely used greater force to defend pawnshops and hardware stores from rioters.

Where were the armored cars and the secretive Homeland Security police in their combat gear who broke heads in Portland in May when our elected officials were being driven from their posts by an armed mob on Wednesday?

The threat of this insurrection was clear and present. Why was the full force of law and order not also present?

Someone must answer for the feeble response.

• Michael A. Smith

Michael A. Smith: 409-683-5206;


Recommended for you

(30) comments

Carlos Ponce

Until you placed blame on the President this was a good editorial.

The malefactors need to be identified, arrested, persecuted. You will find the bad guys are not Trump supporters. Many on the scene surmise these were Antifa - black backpack, black hoods, etc. under a MAGA hat while waving a Trump banner so they could infiltrate. The majority of Trump supporters were older. What's revealing is the college aged men climbing the scaffolds. Trump supporters? I think not. Trump supporters support the police. The bad guys here did not. Trump supporters do not destroy. The bad guys did. This has ANTIFA written all over it. You may find a few Trump supporters caught up in the frenzy but when they saw the destruction they backed off. As one man in his 60s said, "This isn't us".

Craig Mason

Trump has blood on his hands. Four dead today all because of Donald J Trump. You look like a fool when you keep defending this malcontent president. Carlos save yourself now and denounce Trump for what he is.

Carlos Ponce

Unsubstantiated nonsense from Craig Mason....AGAIN!

I rebuke what you post.

Craig Mason

I can't believe someone as close minded as you educated children Carlos.

Carlos Ponce

I walk in the shadow of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you think that is close minded or narrow that's your problem.

Craig Mason

as do I

Carlos Ponce

If you walk in the shadow of the Lord Jesus Christ then you know he does not condone abortion.

Charles Douglas

Trump supporters would not plant pipe bombs in the RNC Headquarters either. So it is obvious what happened.

Carlos Ponce

Sounds like Antifa's tactics. There are cameras all over DC. Let's see if they investigate who planted those bombs. The truth will not jive with the FALSE narrative the media has sown.

L'ee Graham

Well stated. These heinous acts of insurrection and sedition were egged on by a petty and raging loser of a lawful state-run elections and a slew of Court cases largely presided over by Republican judges and abetted by a handful of representatives and senators who were thinking of theit own political aspirations. They were no doubt surprised how quickly and terribly it went out of control. There was no Antifa here. These were Trump supporters egged on by a delusional President, storming and destroying our historic Capitol and putting lives at risk. Shame on every single member of this mob.

Carlos Ponce

"There was no Antifa here." Really? .L'Quest when the truth comes out you will see who's delusional ....not Trump nor his supporters. Good thing there's cameras all over DC. Throw the Antifa thugs in prison!

Carlos Ponce

The following on an Antifa flyer: was dismissed by an AP Fact check: “Antifa comrades! On Nov. 4, don’t forget to disguise yourselves as patriots/Trump supporters: wear MAGA hats, USA flags, 3%er insignias, a convincing police uniform is even better! This way police and patriots responding to us won’t know who their enemies are and onlookers and the media will think there are Trump supporters rioting so it’s hard to turn popular opinion against us!”

Same modus operandi that was used yesterday.

The AP fact checker, Arijeta Lajka, dismissed this as fraud because it did not happen on November 4th. Why didn't it happen? The Liberal news reported on November 4th a Biden win so they did not implement their plan. But everything was in place for later.....

Use the videos. Identify the thugs responsible, arrest them, charge them then do a background check on them. You will find few if any Trump supporters among the perps.

Use your brain. The young men were seen climbing the walls, climbing scaffolding. The pro-Trump peaceful protestors are more family types and most not college age. They were with their families. Common sense tells you they were not the bad guys here.

Charles Douglas

That is ANTIFA'S modus operandi! They pull the same crap at African-American Protests by edging them on, ...then they will hide behind those marching and carrying signs ...while they loot, burn-down businesses, beat up and assault old seniors, and destroying automobiles behind those marching!! The LEFTISTS will not go after ANTIFA, because it is not expedient politically to do so! It means nothing to blame TRUMP for all this upheaval in DC because everything BAD that happened in the last four years ....he got blamed for them anyway, so it is all good.

Bailey Jones

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup] I agree with every single word.

Don Schlessinger

Wow there is a reason for the sun to shine today. Carlos and Bailey appear to have agreed on something. [beam]

Charles Douglas

Yes sir you are right as East Texas rain Mr. Schlessinger, those two are worth the price of a subscription to be sure!

Ted Gillis

Don, I don’t think Bailey was agreeing with Carlos. He was apparently agreeing with the original poster.

Charlotte O'rourke

Tasing and beating officers? - Condemnation is well deserved after reading the reporting about mob rule and destruction and trying to intimidate others.

“Officials say one woman was shot by a Capitol Police officer on Wednesday, amid the chaos near the House chamber where lawmakers were sheltering in place. She later died from the injury. The agency identified the woman as Ashli Babbitt.

Three other people — two men in their 50s and one woman in her 30s — died after separate medical emergencies, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and D.C. Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee said during a news conference.

Contee said 56 officers were injured, describing "a lot of valiant fighting" to perform their duties despite facing tear gas and other hazards. One officer, he said, was "snatched into a crowd" where he was beaten and tased repeatedly.”

Thomas Carpenter

They must remove the KKK from the Kops.

Carlos Ponce

If you know of any KKK in the police, please inform the Chief of Police of that city. But I really think you are making things up. Most call that LYING.

Stephanie Martin

You are so wrong Mr. Smith.

Thomas Carpenter Here's some more fake news.

Carlos Ponce

An eyewitness account:

"Based on what I saw and read, I have no doubt that dozens and possibly even hundreds of Antifa and/or other provocateurs had infiltrated the rally in order to carry out violent acts and suck impressionable Trump supporters into their antics." Antonio Chaves, Biology Teacher at a Community College

Carlos Ponce

Another eyewitness:

"As we were able to position ourselves within 75 yards of the entrance, we noticed that among a large cadre of what appeared to be young Trump supporters there were many frankly stereotypical Antifa-looking militants waving Trump flags on the steps attempting to get to the doors as the useless barriers of portable and plastic fencing had been easily breached. These militants were at the entrance area before Trump’s speech at the Ellipse (two miles away) was finished. The speech could not have incited the subsequent mayhem. "

" I abhor trafficking in conspiracy theories and have avoided doing so over my entire adult life. Nonetheless, I cannot help but entertain a growing suspicion in the back of my mind, after having witnessed firsthand the events of January 6 and the near complete lack of police presence at the Capitol, and knowing what Antifa has done in other pro-Trump rallies that the powers-to-be at a minimum hoped that what happened would happen. So deep is the loathing for President Trump and his supporters by the Ruling Class that I cannot rule out this possibility."

Carlos Ponce

"Video Shows Trump Supporters Attempting to Stop People from Breaking into the Capitol"

" 'No Antifa, no Antifa,' a woman is heard shouting as protesters break their way into the Capitol. Another Trump supporter can be seen attempting to physically restrain an individual damaging the doorway leading into the building.

'Don't break that window,' a person yells.

A Twitter user who says she attended the rally captured the footage, claiming it was members of Antifa who started breaking windows."

Thomas Carpenter

Not a single Antifa member has been arrested, but plenty of MAGAS sit in jail, and plenty more to come.

David Hardee

M. Smith attempts to classify or qualify any acts of a mass demonstration that erupts in violence is an Editorial exercise of lunacy. A simply Editorial that condemns all violence would suffice. Smith has exposed his personal biases with this over the top condemnation when compared to his response to the Trump supporters demonstration gone violent.

Among these mass, demonstrations lurk every describable possibility of action and reaction. Intentional lunatics gravitate to these demonstrations and they avail themselves of the high emotions and irrationality of the mass to shield them from being identified as they do their dastardly deeds. A true journalist would Editorialize the events (no matter the driving force) with universal condemnation of and the danger in a mass demonstration.

all this peep squeaking of commentators trying to score points for their side is another irrational demonstration of not seeing the forest for is the issue and their tree has no less culpability than

the other's tree.

Sacrimonious participants in this thread should look in the mirror and admit that stimulus or place is incidental. If this crescendo of justification does not stop the next violent event may be at your house and harm your loved ones.


Carlos Ponce

What started as a good editorial quickly devolved into Trump bashing. The majority of Galveston County voted Trump. As long as there is balance representing both sides of the political spectrum I have no problems. But we don't hear from any Conservative editors (if there are any). My favorite editor is Laura Elder. She knows her intended audience and does not offend.

Kimberley Jones Yancy

Ditto Mr. Smith. Donald J. Trump must go. He set it up, approved it, gave a rally to send them, laughed at it, and let it go on for at least 2 hours before he said a word....5 people are dead. And for what? The Republican Party needs to distance themselves from this mad man or it’s party will pay the price. One man should not be able to destroy One Party. It’s time for the Republican Party to clean house- from the top to the bottom.

Carlos Ponce

Kimberly, you are so brainwashed.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.