The Insurrection Interview We’ve Already All Forgotten
Four months ago, the most upsetting video of the January 6 insurrection involved Daniel Hodges. Hodges was the Capitol police officer who was shown screaming in pain as he was lodged in-between two doors, being smashed by Trump supporters attempting to gain entry into the Capitol building. You may remember his pain; it in many ways represented the brutal reality of that day. A little girl was so moved and scared by what happened to Hodges that she wrote a letter to him. It made those sort of soft-focus feel-good morning show programs that try to make the world seem to have happier endings than it does.
Hodges, less than a week after the insurrection, gave an interview to a local ABC station in Washington, D.C. It was a very well-received interview that many people saw. Here is the full interview:
Hodges’ interview was the first time I felt good after January 6. I wrote the day after about how painful, how overpowering just watching the insurrection on television was, and how much it made you want to despair: How much it made you feel like we might all truly be lost. But Officer Hodges made me feel better. Here was this young police officer — in an age when police officers are under more scrutiny than any other time — not just describing the horrors that he went through (including two insurrectionists attempting to gouge his eyes out), but, breathtakingly, how he would eagerly do it again.
Here is what Officer Hodges said:
“If it wasn’t my job I would have done that for free. It was absolutely my pleasure to crush a white nationalist insurrection. I’m glad I was in a position to be able to help. We’ll do it as many times as it takes.”
Look at that. We’ll do it as many times as it takes. That, friends, is a hero. It was absolutely my pleasure. That’s what a good police officer does. That’s what a good American does. Officer Hodges is the best of us. It made me feel like we had the right people to fight this off.
Three months later, it is becoming increasingly clear that not only have Republican lawmakers, who keep refusing to agree to an independent commission to investigate January 6, forgotten the heroism of Hodges and countless other officers and first responders on that day, but they’re trying to pretend like they were never heroic at all.
One Republican Representative claims the invaders were like “tourists,” even though he was barricading a door when it happened. Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy don’t want an investigation because they think it will hurt them in the 2022 elections. Senators are reversing themselves and saying it’s time to “move on.”
Move on from this:
There will not only be no commission, it’s increasingly clear there is a concerted effort to minimize what happened on January 6 … which of course will only help lead to it happening again. January 6 was one of the worst things I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. Police officers like Daniel Hodges stood up to it. And how is he being rewarded for his heroism. Republican Congress members are acting as if they can call his bluff. That “as many times as it takes” line that was so moving? Turns out: That’s something they might just take him up on.
Will Leitch writes multiple pieces a week for Medium. Make sure to follow him right here. He lives in Athens, Georgia, with his family and is the author of five books, including the upcoming novel How Lucky, released by Harper on May 11. He also writes a free weekly newsletter that you might enjoy.