For reasons that have never been explained beyond optics, Joe Biden brought in 25,000 national guard troops for his inauguration – five times more than are currently in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunately for the troops, who were never properly housed, after the photo ops were over, they were relegated to a garage, where many were filmed resting and sleeping. Reportedly, in the garage where 5,000 National Guardsmen were staying, there was no internet reception, one bathroom, one electrical outlet, and temperatures in the forties.
Like many other Members of Congress, I will make sure we get to the bottom of how our National Guard soldiers were relegated to the parking garage. Those who made this decision need to be held accountable.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) January 22, 2021
Here’s a video from the parking garage where 5,000 members of the National Guard who were guarding the Capitol are being forced to stay. pic.twitter.com/bREUxt1tRi
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) January 22, 2021
After seeing that debacle, Texas Governor Greg Abbott decided he’d had enough of seeing Texan members of the National Guard treated that way and tweeted this,
I have instructed General Norris to order the return of the Texas National Guard to our state. @TexasGuard
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) January 22, 2021
That came on the heels of Abbot being displeased about Democrats questioning the loyalty of National Guard troops.
This is the most offensive thing I've ever heard.
No one should ever question the loyalty or professionalism of the Texas National Guard. @TexasGuard
I authorized more than 1,000 to go to DC.
I'll never do it again if they are disrespected like this.https://t.co/STZDMz7PGm
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) January 19, 2021
On the upside, after an outcry, Democrats have allowed the National Guard troops to come back inside where they can sleep on the floor in warmer buildings with more bathrooms. Terrific.
Here’s a pertinent question that I have yet to hear answered: why do we still have National Guardsmen in DC right now? Not even they seem to know.
Good for Greg Abbott for deciding not to continue with this ridiculous farce. More governors should follow his lead. We call on the National Guard to help with security threats and deal with disasters. It’s often dirty, unpleasant, but necessary work. How necessary are photo ops with politicians and sleeping in a parking garage, probably because some Democratic campaign strategist thought it would look like a display of strength? This whole thing is ridiculous and they should stop wasting the National Guard’s time and just let them go home.
John Hawkins is the author of 101 Things All Young Adults Should Know.