“There was very little destruction of property.” Uh huh. Just ask Senator Bill Cassidy, who took this photo of the riot’s aftermath.
“There was very little destruction of property.” Uh huh. Just ask Senator Bill Cassidy, who took this photo of the riot’s aftermath. Credit: Bill Cassidy

It has been a bad month for apologies from MAGA, as no one is as bad at apologies as MAGA.

Generally, a MAGA apology consists of misdirection, deflection, projection, and self-pity—lots of self-pity.

No one wallows in self-pity as much as MAGA, just as no one has so little reason to feel so sorry for themselves.

Think about it: they never actually won more votes in any presidential election, and yet for the better part of the last four years, they’ve controlled the White House, the Senate, and the Supreme Court. Not to mention a television network, several newspapers, and too many conservative radio outlets to count.

Last week, I analyzed the so-called apology of Congresswoman Mary Miller, a newly elected Republican from the 15th district in downstate Illinois. She got into hot water for uttering the three words that even a MAGA person should know enough not to say . . .

“Hitler was right.”

After several days of denunciations from people throughout the civilized world, Miller grudgingly stitched together a typically self-pitying statement where she more or less apologized for saying “Hitler was right” even as she made it clear that she still sorta subscribed to that general notion.

Now I feel compelled to consider the apology of John Catanzara, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7, one of the most prominent Trump supporters in Chicago.

Catanzara loves Trump so much that he went so far as to post on social media a picture of himself in police uniform holding a sign that said: “I stand for the anthem. I love the American flag. I support my president. And the 2nd Amendment.”

As a lefty with Libertarian impulses, I support Catanzara’s right to hold that sign. Even as I condemn him for vowing to oust from the union any member who takes a knee in sympathy with Black Lives Matter protesters.

Liberty for me but not for thee being the MAGA philosophy regarding free expression.

Back to Catanzara’s apology . . .

As you know, on January 6 hundreds of Trump supporters—fired up by a speech from Trump—marched to the Capitol, broke through police lines, ransacked congressional offices, smashed windows, hit one cop over the head with a hockey stick, apparently beat another cop to death with a fire extinguisher, and threatened to kidnap and/or murder Nancy Pelosi and Mike Pence.

In the aftermath, Catanzara minimized the siege as something like a harmless romp by aggrieved citizens, rightfully upset at the injustice they have suffered.

Let’s quote Mr. Catanzara himself from an interview he gave with Chip Mitchell from WBEZ on the evening of the riot.

“There was no looting, there was very little destruction of property. . . . It was a bunch of pissed-off people that feel an election was stolen, somehow, some way.”

And . . .

“I don’t have any doubt that something shady happened in this election,” he said. “You’re not going to convince me that that many people voted for Joe Biden. Never for the rest of my life will you ever convince me of that. But, again, it still comes down to proof.”

And . . .

“Evidence matters . . . until that appears, shame on them for what they did, but it was out of frustration. There’s no fights. There’s no, obviously, violence in this crowd. They pushed past security and made their way to the Senate chamber. Did they destroy anything when they were there? No.”

And . . .

“They’re individuals,” he said. “They get to do what they want. Again, they were voicing frustration. They’re entitled to voice their frustration. They clearly have been ignored and they’re still being ignored as if they’re lunatics and treasonous now, which is beyond stupid.”

And finally, the obligatory shot at MAGA’s favorite target: the media.

“It’s a whole side of the argument and, primarily, your profession is at the root of it . . . basically championing Joe Biden the whole time.”

OK, where to start . . .

Number one, there was looting, and destruction, and violence.

Number two, I realize Catanzara’s not a detective, but he has a curious attitude toward evidence. There’s not a shred of evidence to even remotely suggest, as he put it, that “an election was stolen” or that MAGA’s been “ignored.”

And their clearly fabricated accusations—championed by Trump—have been investigated by lawyers, judges, and election bureaucrats all over the country.

Catanzara seems to believe that if someone says something, it must be true, even if there is no evidence to support it. Otherwise, why would they say it?

Good thing he wasn’t in charge of the Jussie Smollett investigation. He’d still be out there looking for the guys who attacked Smollett.

Now here’s a question: What’s more delusional—MAGA’s insistence that the election was stolen, or Jussie’s story about the mugger in the MAGA hat? 

Once Mitchell released his story on WBEZ, the shit hit the fan, leaving Catanzara with the same challenge Congresswoman Miller faced: how to get out of a bad situation without actually saying he did anything bad.

His response was his own version of the dog-ate-my-homework explanation. Bad timing.

He claimed he didn’t know the full extent of the damage at the Capitol when Mitchell called. Had Mitchell called only a few hours later, he’d have a different response. In other words, It’s Chip Mitchell’s fault!

Catanzara also said: “I was in no way condoning the violence in D.C. I certainly would never justify any attacks on citizens, democracy, or law enforcement.”

Well, actually, he was doing just that.

In that original interview with Mitchell, Catanzara sounded less like a law-and-order policeman and more like a bleeding-heart conservative, justifying the lawlessness of rioters on the grounds that they felt overlooked and maligned.

Too bad Catanzara can’t find such empathy for people in low-income areas of Chicago’s west and south sides.  v