What January 6 insurrection?

Big Lie redux

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they try to storm the US Capitol in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021. – Demonstrators breached security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP) (Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)

I was trying to write a post about the anniversary of the events of January 6. Now, I had gathered tons of articles and video clips laying out why the events of a year ago were so awful. But isn’t that self-evident? Of COURSE NOT, because America.

I’m going to use the I word here. Right after the January 6 insurrection, all manner of persons, even Republicans in Congress, specifically denounced the then-sitting President for fomenting the violence. Then, not so much. Did It Even Happen?! Spoiler: Yes (feat. Chris Hayes and Jordan Klepper | The Daily Show).

Yeah, I know: “When asked to describe what happened at the Capitol, 85 percent of Democrats surveyed said it was an insurrection and an attempt to overthrow the government. By comparison, 21 percent of Republicans said the Capitol attack was an insurrection and 18 percent said it was an attempt to overthrow the government.”

Don’t use that word!

This Newsweek opinion piece by Markweaver bugged me. “Since January 6, a clanging chorus of commentators has standardized the language surrounding the event with the use of a few choice phrases including ‘insurrection,'[oops!] ‘assault on democracy,’ and—according to President Biden— ‘the worst attack on the Capitol since the Civil War.'”

Then he points to United flight 93, which WOULD have attacked DC on 9/11 but for the intervention of “citizen heroes.” He also mentions “a 1954 assault on Congress when terrorists fired indiscriminately from the gallery into the House chamber, wounding five congressmen.”

I would submit that January 6 is worse because it was, apparently, an inside job. The committee investigating the event is subpoenaing Republicans in Congress, including Jim Jordan. Yes, that Gym Jordan, who House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy wanted to put on that very committee. He and others will be asked about their role in planning the insurrection.

Not as smart as Chauncey Gardiner

Worse because the “leader of the free world” apparently watched the DC riots on TV, ignoring pleas to intervene. This despite pleas from Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham from FOX News, not to mention Trump’s own family. They all tried to pressure him and his Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, to “intervene to stop the insurrection (despite publicly downplaying and lying about it).”

Yes, this is worse because, even before the 2020 election, the incumbent made it clear that if he didn’t win, the system must have been rigged. And he repeated the Big Lie again and again, to the point where state Secretaries of State, county clerks, and even those folks who only work the polls were physically threatened.

This is worse because the intent was to stop the prosaic but required task of certifying the Presidential election. Will we ever be able to have an election that isn’t challenged for no good reason?  

And this is worse because it could be the collapse of democracy in the US. Thomas Homer-Dixon, “the former head of a center on peace and conflict studies at the University of Toronto, warned that the ‘political and social landscape’ of the U.S.—a profoundly unequal and ideologically polarized nation that also happens to be ‘armed to the teeth’ —is ‘flashing with warning signals.'”

Vaguely related: Conspiracy Chart, from Detached from Reality to Grounded in Reality

IMPOTUS squared: djt, Please GO AWAY

The breakdown of civil society?

Profiles in Courage

Mark Evanier tweet this Monday: “Sometimes, it’s great to turn on the TV and see a rerun you enjoyed before. I just turned to CSPAN and it’s the ‘Democrats impeach Donald Trump’ episode. Almost as timeless as Lucy and Ethel working in the candy factory…

The House of Representatives impeached djt again. IMPOTUS squared.  I’m of two minds on this. As Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) said, “I don’t think is the smart move” because it lets IMPOTUS play the victim.

On the other hand, as Kinzinger also noted, “There is no doubt in my mind that [he] broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection. He used his position in the Executive to attack the Legislative.

“So in assessing the articles of impeachment brought before the House, I must consider: if these actions—the Article II branch inciting a deadly insurrection against the Article I branch—are not worthy of impeachment, then what is an impeachable offense?”


When djt was impeached the LAST time, I thought it was justifiable. But I felt that Ukrainian stuff was too arcane for the general public to understand. I wish the House had tacked on an article regarding the emoluments clause, how he and his family were lining their pockets.

I knew that Mike Pence would refuse to invoke the 25th Amendment. “In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Pence said he didn’t think it would be ‘in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution.'” One can argue about the former, but “if these actions… are not worthy,” then what is? His boss ACTUALLY shooting someone on Fifth Avenue?

In fact, I thought djt’s constant shuffling of his Cabinet, with many of them in “acting” roles, was a strategy to insulate himself from being dumped by A25. Then when Betsy DeVos and Elaine Chao, two of the four original appointees left, quit, it was probably a lost cause. (Can Acting Secretaries participate? I dunno.)

Mitch McConnell  reportedly believes impeachable acts took place— “And Aims To ‘Purge’ Him.” Of course, “it should never be forgotten that the Senate majority leader is the spawn of Satan.”

What a Cluster…

You know you’ve screwed up when all four of the living presidents— Carter, Clinton, GW Bush, and Obama– called out IMPOTUS2 and his party for inciting the rioters.

Bill Clinton: “The assault was fueled by more than four years of poison politics spreading deliberate misinformation, sowing distrust in our system, and pitting Americans against one another…

“The match was lit by Donald Trump and his most ardent enablers, including many in Congress, to overturn the results of an election he lost. The election was free, the count was fair, the result was final. We must complete the peaceful transfer of power our Constitution mandates.”

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has decided NOT to travel to the White House today and receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Bad news

There’s a  conservative influencer named Tomi Lahren. I know who she is because she appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart shortly before he left the program.

She had a post on Nov 3, 2020. “If @realDonaldTrump were to lose (he won’t) his supporters will go to work tomorrow just as we do everyday. When Biden loses, his ‘supporters’ will likely loot and riot. Tells you everything you need to know! #Trump2020”. Her skills as a prognosticator need work.

I feel SO much worse now than I did on January 6.  U.S. Capitol Police in shambles after the attack, undermined from within. The FBI Ignored Its Own Report Warning of ‘War’ on Capitol – Details Included MAGA Had Maps of Congressional Tunnels. Threats to ‘Storm the Capitol’ were public. Why did the police let it happen anyway?

Worse, Congressperson Mikie Sherrill says unidentified lawmakers led ‘reconnaissance’ tours ahead of the Capitol attack. There are members of Congress who bear responsibility. Republicans tried to blame the insurrection on ‘Antifa,’ “but they own every ounce of this treason.”

A very small start: Simon and Schuster canceled the book contract of Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), one of the instigators of challenging the electoral votes. He whined he was a victim of “cancel culture.”  The publisher has committed a “direct assault on the First Amendment,” he insists. The constitutional lawyer was lying. He knows a private publishing company is not required to publish anything.

Evangelicals should examine how they may have helped fuel the deadly siege, Ed Stetzer, head of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, told NPR in an interview published on Wednesday.

It Ain’t Over

“Trump: Nothing is my fault. Ever.” This is the headline in a lengthy Boston Globe piece by Teresa Hanafin. Like his “perfect” call to the Ukrainian president.

“Are we witnessing the breakdown of civil society?

“That’s what former DHS official Christopher Krebs thinks. (He’s the former director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency who Trump fired because he said there was no election fraud.) Krebs told CNN that the disinformation about the election spread by Trump “created a tinderbox.” Now they have decided to hire the services of https://www.sapphire.net/open-source-intelligence-osint/ to handle of the data security.

“We are on the verge of what I fear to be a pretty significant breakdown in democracy and civil society here,” he said. He called on law enforcement to forcefully quell the current insurrection, and in the next couple of years, for all Americans with a brain (my words) to “chip away at the disinformation, propaganda, and lies that motivate and incite these insurrectionists.”

“Think he’s exaggerating? The FBI issued a bulletin to its field offices warning that Trump Terrorists are planning armed protests at all 50 state capitols and at the US Capitol — site of last week’s insurrection — starting as soon as this weekend and continuing to Inauguration Day next Wednesday.”

Check out How To Quell A Domestic Insurgency is the January 13, 2021 segment of On Point. (ht/ADD) Also, the statement by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

“Who we are” about race

stark contrast

who we are

Jaquandor noted, in his blog response to the January 6 tyranny, “We are who we were.”

Specifically, “The road we walk is the one our ancestors paved, for good or ill. It’s a road that leads to amazing things: a nation that helped defeat Fascism on opposite sides of the globe, and a nation that built itself on the stolen labor of some and the stolen land of others…

“We’re a nation that elected a black man President, and then turned around and enabled a four-year tantrum by people who hate that this ever happened.

“‘Who we are is who we were.’ We were racists and white supremacists and violent conquerors of people who lived here before us. We weren’t just those things, but we were those things…and who we are is who we were.” It’s impossible, then, to avoid looking at America through the prism of race.

Why is it ALWAYS about race?!

As I read conservative websites, few philosophies of “the Left” aggrieve them more than the critical race theory.” The view is that “the law and legal institutions are inherently racist.”

Some conservatives actually say we need to root out racist behavior. The trouble is that the examples of blatant announced racism they can point to are comparatively unusual.

What’s more likely is that a white Columbus, OH policeman, Adam Coy, a “19-year veteran of the Columbus Division of Police,” will shoot and kill Andre Hill, an unarmed black man holding a cellphone. And within 10 seconds of the encounter. Coy refused “to administer first aid for several minutes.”

Did  Coy shoot Hill because he feared him based on his race? Can someone prove that? No, but the preponderance of unarmed black folks dying that way forces one to ponder that possibility.

You might have heard about that attempted coup of the US government on January 6. According to the Associated Press report: “The Pentagon asked the U.S Capitol Police if it needed National Guard manpower. And as the mob descended on the building, Justice Department leaders reached out to offer up FBI agents. The police turned them down both times…”

This despite the fact that far-right activists on social media telegraphed violence weeks in advance.

By comparison, last summer, “a diverse group of largely peaceful protesters for racial justice were met with tear gas, military tactics, and legions of police in riot gear.” The contrast was stark.

Difference in tactics

Ed Davis, a former Boston police commissioner wondered, “Was there a structural feeling that well, these [on January 6] are a bunch of conservatives, they’re not going to do anything like this? Quite possibly. That’s where the racial component to this comes into play in my mind.

“Was there a lack of urgency or a sense that this could never happen with this crowd? Is that possible? Absolutely.” No rows of “camo-clad and helmeted National Guard troops” watching this crowd, some of them wearing neo-Nazi apparel and/or waving the Confederate flag.

President-elect Biden saw it. “No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting…, they wouldn’t have been treated very, very differently than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol. We all know that’s true, and it is unacceptable.” As the article title declares, “What’s happening is white privilege.”

I just started reading The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein. The subtitle is “a forgotten history of how our government segregated America.” I’ve gotten far enough to know that the redlining of the US occurred as a result of de jure, rather than de facto segregation.

I’m sure the folks at the Daily Signal are tired of what they deem identity politics. Their conclusion: “the purpose of all teaching about race in American schools is to engender contempt for America.” (SMH) No, the purpose of teaching about race is to recognize that we are on a long, and sometimes imperfect journey. We are striving to form a more perfect union, and we’re not quite there yet.

Inciting an insurrection

January 6, 2021: a date which shall live in infamy.

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they try to storm the US Capitol in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021. – Demonstrators breached security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP) (Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)

We witnessed an American President inciting an insurrection against the United States. How did we get here?

Every morning since November 3, my wife watches the 7 a.m. CBS News eye-opener. After it’s over, I ask her, “Are we at war with Iran yet?” It’s not a glib question. This regime seemed primed to do just that not long ago. And IMPOTUS, increasingly unhinged from reality, seems to have taken a scorched earth policy towards his own country.

He says the election was rigged, and that he’ll never give up, never concede. Yet he has shown almost zero interest in actually doing the job he says he still ought to have. He has said little about the raging COVID numbers. Nothing was mentioned about the Christmas morning bombing in Tennessee.

Even his appearance at a rally for the Republican candidates for the US Senate in Georgia was mostly about how his own agenda. He even called that GA runoff into question, which helped the Democrats grab BOTH seats.

Senate Majority Leader McConnell noted “Our democracy would enter a death spiral” if Congress overturned the November 3 election.

January 6

My friend Alan had linked to this January 3 article by Jack Rasmus. It is titled What Happens January 6th, 20th & After? I agreed with much of it.

As I’ve noted, the Weekly Sift wrote The Increasingly Desperate Attack on Democracy, posted on January 4. “Once Congress has recognized Biden’s election, Trump has no more cards to play within the American political system. His only option then is to attempt a violent revolution.”

And we got it. The terrorist attack on the US Capitol was “instigated by the President of the United States.” Those are the words of Presidential historian Michael Beschloss.

Twitter and Facebook both locked Trump’s accounts “after he posted false accusations about the election as a mob of his supporters broke into the Capitol following a rally.” Why has it taken so long?

CBS News reports that Cabinet members are discussing invoking the 25th Amendment to remove  Trump. Why has it taken so long?

Even impeachment has been floated, again, with reasons far stronger than the last time.

“Alternative facts” is a threat to democracy. His repeating lies incited the rioting. We may be shocked by the first breach of the Capitol since 1814, but not all that surprised.

For months, even years, people have wondered if he mentally fit, and has the temperament to handle the Presidency, even for the next 13 days.

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