A female driver hit a police cruiser on the grounds of the US Capitol this morning. Police exited, and she apparently tried to Run them down. The police fired Shots. She was taken into custody, and no one was hurt,

A female at the wheel?

Customarily if a news headline indicates no gender and the subject is an act of violence, the assumption is that the perpetrator is a male. Yet it seems to me relevant to say at the outset that the driver was a woman. I am not sure what it means. Police had no hesitation in firing their guns. Apparently, they missed.

Tangled web

Such clues as can be gathered point to no terror but a possible DUI. Someone started driving erratically some distance from where the incident occurred. Arriving on Capitol Hill, she struck a police cruiser. Officers exited. She aimed her car at them and proceeded. Shots rang out. She is taken into custody. Would not one begin with a sobriety test?

We wait for news

Some ten or so news reports have hit Twitter as I was writing these lines and nothing new has been revealed. Even those who like to cry terror at every possible opportunity are unable to conclude anything.

But there is something to be said, anyway. It is that we have changed as a nation in the wake of 9/11 into a state of national jumpiness.


Confusion was widespread as workers entered their Capitol offices and several buildings in the area were placed on alert. This is similar to airport shutdowns that seem a bit overdone.

Since 9/11 we are all on alert. It was this jumpiness that gave the Trump message resonance during the campaign. So we can conclude that even when there is no hint of terror, the fear is there and it can be exploited.

The exploitation of fear gets us back to FDR's caution that what we should be afraid of is fear itself. We are now seeing the consequences in ICE raids and in a President who never fails to squeeze any trigger that will set off fear.

We need in the face of incidents like this altercation at the Capitol to relax and feel some concern for a woman who risked death and may have been crazy or drunk enough to inflict it. We can live with that.