— Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), reading excerpts from a piece titled “I Saw Provocateurs at the Capitol Riot on Jan. 6” into the record at Tuesday’s Senate hearing on the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol
It was a wonderful day at the Capitol! The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and the large, jovial crowd was dressed in their very best, most jovial, most pro-police attire. Some carried flags. Some carried signs! It was beautiful!
They were at the Capitol because they were feeling very jovial and friendly about the result of the election. They wanted to overturn it, very gently, like you might overturn a Jell-O mold and then tap on it, very gently, until it came out just the way you wanted.
Some of them had even brought baseball bats, just in case anyone wanted to play baseball later, and pepper spray, in case anyone needed a snack. They also brought and erected a small rope swing, although it was not a very good or convincing rope swing and looked more like something else. But some people brought pyrotechnics, which were very convincing! It was a jovial, friendly, earnest bunch.
You had never seen a more convivial crowd. Everyone was jovially smiling and laughing. Sometimes they laughed so loudly and with so much joviality in their voices that it sounded as though they were chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” But if so, they were chanting it in a loving, jovial way that gladdened the heart of all who heard it.
Well, almost everyone who heard it. Some obviously didn’t fit in.
Some people were not so jovial. Some people were not there for the right reasons. They were there to make mischief, unlike the happy, wonderful, friendly crowd who just wanted to casually tip one or two barricades as though they were excellent waiters, and perhaps break some glass, as you do in moments of celebration, and possibly write some loving messages on the desks of senators they particularly admired (although the messages mostly turned out very, very, very, very, very misspelled so that their original meaning was lost).
These other people were agents provocateurs and villains, which they demonstrated by chanting the exact same things that the rest of the crowd was chanting and breaking into the exact same places that the rest of the crowd broke into. But when they chanted “Hang Mike Pence,” they meant it in a bad way, unlike the rest of the crowd, which was being jovial.
It was these bad seeds, so cunningly hidden in the crowd as to be scarcely detectable, who were responsible for all the bad things that happened!
But also: What bad things?
Mostly it was a wonderful day at the Capitol for everyone there. Some people walked through a hallway and made loud noises to show how jovial they were! Some people brought some old-timey flags to the Capitol to show how much they appreciated their history. Some people called out “Nancy!” in the hope that they could get the House speaker to come join in the good, funny times with them.
Nothing could have been less frightening, really, and it’s your own fault if you can’t take a joke! It’s your fault if you see the people who were beaten and crushed and hurt and scared and killed and you think it might not have been quite such a jovial day at the Capitol. You are not looking at it the right way. All you have to do is give yourself over to baseless conspiracies and it can have been a wonderful day for you, too!
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