Penalty of insurrection? Absolutely nothing
Traitor Anna Morgan-Lloyd asked the federal court Wednesday for mercy. She got it.
For her role in the Jan. 6 insurrection, a federal judge slapped Morgan-Lloyd with probation and fined her $500. Of course, the judge threw in 120 hours of community service, but that’s what a person gets for shoplifting, isn’t it?
Newspapers like The Washington Post have called what happened on Capitol Hill a “riot.” Morgan-Lloyd called it the most exciting day in her life.
In the strictest sense, what unfolded in Washington, D.C., was a riot. To use that term, however, is to play down what Morgan-Lloyd and others of her ilk tried to do. They thought they could put a deranged president back in power if they stormed the seat of government and killed those who didn’t side with Donald J. Trump.
Hundreds of them supported tearing the republic to shreds, an act not seen on U.S. soil since the Civil War. No doubt, riots have occurred in countless places, but none threatened to undo this American way of life — none until Jan. 6.
What is oddly confounding here is that the last true insurrection is at the root of so many problems in this country. Had the North exacted the kind of sustained retribution that treason demands, America might have conqueror its race problem. Talk of the “Land of Cotton” rising afresh would have been quashed like Communist China did in a rebellion in Tiananmen Square.
America is not a Third World country. The republic of Hamilton, Jefferson, Franklin and Washington is built on principles that, stacked next to the governance of other countries, seems rooted in values with a long shelf-life. Now, the republic is imperfect, as the sporadic riots over racial injustice have proved the past couple of years.
Those riots were about change — change in human rights, change in policing policies, change in what some had thought were core values. Those men and women who took to the streets didn’t intend to dismantle a nation; they wanted to wake it from its malaise.
Nobody can dissect what Morgan-Lloyd did and view it as righting what was wrong in America. She participated in a coup d’etat, and people who see it otherwise have left the door wide open for others of a like mind to step through it.
To think others will not is to believe in things America is not. The country has shown it will reckon with its past if the reckoning has nothing to do with the remnants of slavery. The color of a man remains America’s problem in the 21st century.
In the weeks and months ahead, America will address insurrection in mass. Fistfuls of defendants will appear in court. They will do what Morgan-Lloyd did — apologize. The court will show compassion. The court will chastise Trump and Republicans who discounted the threat the Morgan-Lloyds posed; the court will forgive them in ways it refused to forgive rioters in Detroit, Harlem, Cleveland, Watts and elsewhere over the past 75 years.
Some judge will point fingers at the leaders, men who ginned up the crowds and asked them to do what the ballot didn’t: anoint their candidate president.
What the court seems unwilling to do is mete out justice. For what Morgan-Lloyd got wasn’t justice, not unless travesties count as justice.