The Corner


The Stupid Argument for Keeping Barbed-Wire Fences at the U.S. Capitol

I suspect that a lot of smart, competent, fair-minded Americans who could do a lot of good for our country want nothing to do with elected office or the political world right now, in part because the incentives for bad-faith accusations are off the charts, and the consequences for making bad-faith accusations are negligible.

Early this morning, Texas GOP congressman Dan Crenshaw made the utterly reasonable argument that it was time to take down the barbed-wire fencing around the U.S. Capitol complex and return the National Guard to its regular duties.

Crenshaw isn’t the only person on Capitol Hill who feels this way. Local residents are tired of their neighborhood looking like the Green Zone in Baghdad. City council members are objecting to Congress. The Washington Post editorial board declared, “Walling the Capitol into a fortress so clearly goes against the grain of America’s proud tradition of government open to the people that one would hope the Democratic leadership of Congress would just squelch this bad idea.”

Democratic D.C. congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced legislation to ban the fencing. “We should not be relying on security theater based on 19th-century ideas when state-of-the-art options and old-fashioned preparation and cooperation among security forces could have prevented the events of January 6,” Norton said.

The U.S. Capitol Police’s oversight board suggested “the razorwire-topped fencing that has surrounded the Capitol since the insurrection in January should come down next week.”

So how does Democratic strategist and former DNC field director Adam Parkhomenko respond?

Does Parkhomenko think that local residents, D.C. council members, the Washington Post editorial board, Representative Holmes Norton, and the U.S. Capitol Police’s oversight board “want our Capitol unprotected?” Are all of them motivated by a secret sympathy with the rioters? Or is calling for the removal of the fencing and the departure of the National Guard only malevolent and sinister when a Republican does it?

The notion that Dan Crenshaw is calling for the fencing to come down because he wants the Capitol building overrun is a stupid argument, and Parkhomenko should feel stupid for making it.


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