Screenshot of video by Igor Bobic

In what has to be one of the easiest pieces of legislation for anyone to support ever, a bipartisan group of members of Congress have introduced a bill to honor Eugene Goodman, the Black Capitol Police officer who faced an angry mob of white insurrectionists who had just invaded the US Capitol on January 6. One of the bill's co-sponsors, Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Florida) put it plainly in a statement about the move to award Goodman a Congressional Gold Medal, one of the nation's highest honors for a civilian.

He's a hero! The United States Capitol was under attack by armed, violent extremists, and Officer Eugene Goodman was the only thing standing between the mob and the United States Senate. I shudder to think what might have happened had it not been for Officer Goodman's fast thinking and commitment to his duty and his country. While some will remember last Wednesday for the very worst in our country, the patriotism and heroics of Officer Eugene Goodman renew my faith and remind us all what truly makes the United States great.

And you'd better bet that last line was a rebuke to the MAGA chuds whom Goodman led away from the Senate, almost certainly saving lives of those who were in the chamber.

You've almost certainly seen the viral Twitter video by HuffPo reporter Igor Bobic, showing Goodman facing down the mob as they chase him up flights of stairs. Let's have another look at Goodman's exceptional quick thinking and grace under pressure:



As he reached a hallway leading to the unguarded doors to the Senate, Goodman briefly glanced down it, then got the attention of the guy at the front of the mob with a little push, which led the rioters to chase Goodman as he led them away from the Senate — and toward other cops, finally. It's just an incredible moment showing a cop who you might think was running for his life — and we're not saying he wasn't also doing that! — but was actually (or also) luring the mob away from people they wanted to harm.

The bill to honor Goodman was introduced yesterday by Crist, along with Democratic Rep Emmanuel Cleaver (Missouri) and Republican Rep. Nancy Mace (South Carolina). Rep. Cleaver noted,

If not for the quick, decisive, and heroic actions from Officer Goodman, the tragedy of last week's insurrection could have multiplied in magnitude to levels never before seen in American history.

Goodman, 40, is an Iraq War vet who served with the 101st Airborne Division. The Washington Post reports, in a profile of Goodman, that

Friends who have talked to Goodman since the riot, including two fellow officers and a former colleague, said he has been ambivalent about the limelight. Generally private and reserved, the D.C. native has started to worry about becoming a potential target of far-right extremist groups that have vowed to return to D.C. this weekend and for next week's inauguration.

"He said he'd do the same thing again. He's not looking for any accolades," said one friend, a Capitol Police officer who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he had not been authorized to speak on the issue. "But the attention is a little scary for him."

And that, sadly, is also true: In the insane political culture where armed white supremacists attack the US Capitol in an attempt to overturn the will of American voters, our heroes aren't necessarily safe just because they were heroic. Congress shouldn't have any difficulty getting the two-thirds majority needed to award Goodman that medal — the legislature's equivalent to the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In fact, if the bill doesn't pass unanimously, we should all plan to shame anyone craven enough to vote against it. We can't imagine why anyone would, but it just seems like something Rand Paul would do.

But to really honor someone with the courage of Eugene Goodman, we should do everything we can to eliminate the toxic swamp of lies, violent conspiratorial fantasies, and white grievance that Donald Trump, his supporters, and decades of GOP fuckery have made of our politics.

[Business Insider / WaPo / Text of Congressional Gold Medal bill]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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