Reporting on the antics of the impeachment-frenzied liberals, Liberty Nation has likened the second attempt to a circus. The simile is apt. But there is a dark side to the Dem shenanigans. The backdrop of seven-foot-high fences with razor concertina wire affixed to the top and armed National Guard soldiers patrolling seems more suited to Alexandr Solzhenitsyn’s image of the Soviet gulag than to the capital of America, land of the free.
The Trump Derangement Syndrome that afflicted Democrats while the former president was in office has turned to hysterics in his absence. And the left’s histrionics now come with a high price tag, as American taxpayers are paying the bill. According to John Kirby, the assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, in a video press briefing, the cost of having 5,000 to 7,000 National Guard soldiers bivouacked in Washington, D.C., from January to March will be $483 million. At one point, the number of Guardsmen was 26,000, deployed to provide security for Biden’s inauguration, 13 times the estimated 2,000 attendees.
The total dollars include $283 million in personnel costs and $199 million for lodging, meals, airlift, other transportation costs, and sustainment – fuel, equipment maintenance, and repair.
For the current fiscal year, the National Guard Bureau has an appropriation of $19 billion, and the money for the deployment will come from that source. Guard officials have said they intend to request reimbursement from the Department of Defense for the D.C. mission costs. So, it’s time for taxpayers to ask why the soldiers and the military cantonment are deployed to our nation’s capital.
The purpose is simple: keeping alive the notion alive that somehow Trump supporters are amassing at any minute to storm Capitol Hill and take down our government. That image perpetuates the single count on which the liberals hang their impeachment hopes: that Trump incited an insurrection.
But not all of our lawmakers and particularly our state governors are on board. According to Forbes, “Republican lawmakers have questioned the need for National Guard troops around the Capitol Hill complex.” The Washington Examiner’s Abraham Mahshie tells us, “Members of Congress and governors have objected to the heavy-handed presence amid an uncertain threat.” Quoting Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) in a Fox News interview, Mahshie continues:
“There are still 5,000 troops [in] this huge perimeter with razor wire. This isn’t really a great image for a free country or for our country, so I say the sooner it’s torn down, the better. Who’s making these decisions, I guess, they’re unilaterally being made by Nancy Pelosi, maybe Chuck Schumer. But I think also Democrats need to look in the mirror a little bit.”
To that point, the cost to American citizens is more than dollars. The Dems’ imaginary terror narrative is soiling the shining image of the United States, where free speech and the right of assembly prevail, and that tab is inestimable. On the first day of the impeachment fiasco, were mobs of fanatical Trump supporters pressing against the barricades? Not so much.
Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) said in an opinion piece written for Fox Business News,
“I sit on the Intelligence Committee, but I’m aware of no specific, credible threat reporting—as distinguished from aspirational, uncoordinated bluster on the internet—that justifies this continued troop presence. Thus, I believe the rest of these soldiers should also go home to their families and civilian jobs.”
Our nation’s Founding Fathers envisioned a protective military made up of citizen-soldiers with the sole purpose of protecting their country from real threats. The U.S. Army National Guard has been, as its motto says, “Always Ready, Always There,” since it was first formed in the Massachusetts colony in 1636. A unique and valuable capability of national security should not be turned into stage scenery for political theater furthering the liberals’ fake narrative. Capitol Hill is not a gulag. As a nation, we are better than that.
The views expressed are those of the author and not of any other affiliation.
Read more from Dave Patterson.
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