January 6th: 14 Thoughts From a Year of Rage
Things Are Not Any Better Now than They Were Then
A lot of what I wrote in my original piece last January 6th remains very true. So does what I said when I noted I was right about Donald Trump over five years ago. There is nothing about what happened on January 6th that doesn’t still piss me off to my very core.
Here we are, a year after one of the most pathetic and embarrassing displays in the history of our country. And yet, it seems like things surrounding and related to January 6th have only gotten worse in the year that has passed.
So here are some thoughts that I have, one year after the insanity and the ridiculousness of that day and everything that has happened since.
It Was That Bad: There is never a situation where the country that is the leader of the free world should face an invasion of its Capitol by anybody. It’s exponentially worse when it is American cities actively trying to execute a coup d’etat at the behest of the President of the United States. The fact is that American citizens saw that madness play out on live television. What’s worse is that our allies and our enemies, both foreign and domestic, saw it too. It was an unprecedented show of weakness from this country.
People who condemned it then who aren’t condemning it now are gutless: There are plenty of people, particularly those who are in Republican leadership positions in Congress, who condemned the coup only to walk that back when it became clear that it was politically advantageous to do so.
January 6th should have been the point of no return, the pivot point at which even the most blinkered sugarcoaters of Trumpism recoiled in disgust from what they had wrought. For a nanosecond, it seemed that it was. In the first days after the desecration of the Capitol, a number of previously timid Republicans found their voices. As I noted at the time, Sen. Pat Toomey said the president had committed impeachable offenses and was unfit to serve. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said, “I want him out.” Sen. Lindsey Graham expressed his disgust on the Senate floor: “Trump and I, we had a hell of a journey . . . but today all I can say is: Count me out. Enough is enough.” Rep. Kevin McCarthy said Trump was responsible for the storming of the Capitol, and warned Republican House members not to criticize those who voted for impeachment because it might endanger their lives.
And yet here we are with Kevin McCarthy being one of the more spineless creatures in Washington, is the leading culprit of this crew. So many of the people who gave up on Trump and Trumpism on the evening of January 6th were marching right back in lockstep with him not to long after January 7th. It is hardly a profile in courage for those Winston Smith Republicans who finally realized the mistake that they made only to ultimately admit that they love Big Brother.
Mike Pence doesn’t give enough credit for doing the right thing when it counted most: I was very critical of Mike Pence during his term as Vice-President. For most of his term, Pence abandoned his conservative beliefs in order to toe Donald Trump’s left-wing, big government line. And yet, when his country needed him most, Mike Pence did the right thing. Pence may have sacrificed his own political future in this radicalized Trump version of the Republican Party in order to stand up for the Constitution, free elections, and the American system of Government. Pence maybe didn’t do enough during the rest of Trump’s term in office to protect the country, but when the chips were down and the point of no return was reached, Pence did the right thing.
Nancy Pelosi doesn’t get enough blame for doing the wrong thing when it counted most: Like Republicans did, Pelosi chose to do the politically expedient thing instead of the right thing. What Pelosi should have done was to ensure that on January 7th that Trump was impeached by the House. Had that happened, Trump likely would have been convicted by the Senate, removed from office, and banned from seeking office again. Instead, she decided to slow roll the process to try to gain political advantage over the Republicans. She gave more Republicans an offramp to support Trump instead of supporting impeachment. She also gave Senate Republicans the offramp of arguing (correctly) that a President who was no longer in office cannot be convicted or impeached. Now, Democrats are likely to lose the House and Trump is still running amok as a potential Republican nominee. Doing the right thing would have solved Pelosi’s problems. Instead, she did the political thing and exacerbated them.
The Democrats Don’t Get Enough Flack for Starting This Game: Twice in the last twenty years, Democrats complained about “stolen elections.” Remember, there are still Democrats who to this day believe the Supreme Court “stole” the election for Al Gore in 2000. There are still people who believe that Donald Trump “stole” the election in 2016.
These Democrats believe that both of these elections were not legitimate. Hillary Clinton was still saying Trump wasn’t legitimate in 2019. Even last year, Democrats have absolutely ZERO room to stand on when it comes to complaining about how Trump and other Republicans say Joe Biden did not legitimately win the election. This entire millennium has seen people questioning the legitimacy of elections, and look where it has gotten us.
The January 6th criminals are not “political prisoners”: Eugene Debs was a political prisoner. Japanese-Americans forced into internment camps during World War II were political prisoners. Matthew Lyon was a political prisoners. The idiots who stormed the Capitol are not political prisoners any more than the Unabomber is. They are being convicted of many various crimes, none of which are the correct crime which is rebellion against the United States.
The January 6th criminals are not heroes: It’s absurd to think that people really believe this, but they do. And the Republican Party in many areas is trying to normalize this insanity.A Cobb County GOP committee is holding a Jan. 6 program and candlelight vigil for the “J6 patriots” in the violent mob that overran the Capitol. The Cobb GOP was once the heart of the mainstream GOP in Georgia, but Trump’s rise has pulled the local party to the far right.
Cobb County used to be the vanguard of competent Republicanism in Georgian and now they are indistinguishable from a QAnon Discord server. Mercifully, they cancelled this nonsense. Not that their cancellation fixed their view of this:
"Due to the mischaracterization of the event scheduled for January 6th and the ensuing concerns for the safety of those in attendance, the prayer vigil is CANCELED," the announcement reads. "All those who would have been in attendance are encouraged to keep those families who suffered a loss of loved ones, along with the pre-trial prisoners held in DC in inhumane conditions in thoughtful prayer. It is our fervent hope that all those who committed unlawful acts against our Nation’s Capital are brought to swift justice."
These people are criminals who tried to interrupt our system of elections and the peaceful transfer of power that has set America apart from so many of our allies and our enemies alike. Free and fair elections are at the vanguard of American exceptionalism. And yet, so many people who claim to love America and think our nation is exceptional are willing to glorify and canonize those who willfully and forcefully stood against our exceptionalism.
Ashli Babbit is Not a Martyr, a Hero, or a Patriot: There are people who truly believe that Ashli Babbit was the victim of a political murder. To believe that, you would have to suspend the disbelief that it was totally fine for Babbit to be involved in a violent invasion of the United States Capitol and that she was just a tourist or whatever over nonsense people like to tell themselves. The same people who believe that Babbit was murdered are the same people who think that what happened to George Floyd was justified. It’s ludicrous.
I think it’s important to reference the DOJ investigation into the shooting here:
The investigation further determined that Ms. Babbitt was among a mob of people that entered the Capitol building and gained access to a hallway outside “Speaker’s Lobby,” which leads to the Chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives. At the time, the USCP was evacuating Members from the Chamber, which the mob was trying to enter from multiple doorways. USCP officers used furniture to barricade a set of glass doors separating the hallway and Speaker’s Lobby to try and stop the mob from entering the Speaker’s Lobby and the Chamber, and three officers positioned themselves between the doors and the mob. Members of the mob attempted to break through the doors by striking them and breaking the glass with their hands, flagpoles, helmets, and other objects. Eventually, the three USCP officers positioned outside the doors were forced to evacuate. As members of the mob continued to strike the glass doors, Ms. Babbitt attempted to climb through one of the doors where glass was broken out. An officer inside the Speaker’s Lobby fired one round from his service pistol, striking Ms. Babbitt in the left shoulder, causing her to fall back from the doorway and onto the floor. A USCP emergency response team, which had begun making its way into the hallway to try and subdue the mob, administered aid to Ms. Babbitt, who was transported to Washington Hospital Center, where she succumbed to her injuries.
Short version? Ashli Babbit fucked around and she found out. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
January 6th Revisionism is Insane: There are still people, like Tucker Carlson, who think that January 6th was a false flag operation. Why have these people not been laughed out of public life yet?
The Coup Was In Place Long Before January 6th: Remember, as I wrote in December, we have written proof that the Trump Team was planning to execute a coup and overturn the election. The physical actions of January 6th were only a partial manifestation of the real and obvious Trump desire to overturn the will of the people by any means necessary. Lots of people like to talk about January 6th and the media’s alleged overreaction to it to deflect from the very real actions that Trump and company were undertaking in order to undermine the election process.
Republicans need to move away from Trump before it happens again: A recent poll showed that 70% of Republicans believe that the election was stolen. Again, this has been exacerbated by gutless Republicans who would rather get re-elected than do the right thing. I mean, just look at this quote from Congressman Peter Meijer on the subject.GOP Rep. Peter Meijer says 'there's no other option right now in the Republican Party' beyond backing Trump news.yahoo.com/gop-rep-peter-… via Nuts!
Same guy who said this:I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that the President of the United States was completely MIA while the next three individuals in the line of succession (VP, Speaker of House, Senate Pres Pro Tempore) were under assault in the Capitol. Unconscionable.
I get it, to a point. The Republican base has become absolutely overcome with love for Trump for reasons that don’t make a hell of a lot of sense.All of Trump’s post-election antics have been a small net negative for the GOP but a *huge* positive for Trump personally who has managed to completely the avoid the “fuck this loser” backlash that normally accrues to people who lead their party to defeat.
David Byler @databylerSo this is something https://t.co/CfrhwNjmnL https://t.co/SidaYWfgm5
I mean, there is always an option. You don’t have to back Trump, If the rest of the party is jumping off a cliff, you don’t have to too. It is never a bad choice to do the right thing and to dump Trump for somebody who respects conservative principles and the American Way. But instead, two of the dimmer members of Congress, Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor-Greene, are gonna make a spectacle of things later today.
Liz Cheney Deserves Our Thanks: Liz Cheney is potentially throwing away her political career in order to do the right thing in Congress. It would be very easy for Cheney to join the other spineless weasels in the Republican House Caucus who have gone along to get along. With her name, no position in Wyoming or in the House of Representatives is closed to her. And yet, here she is, being the voice of reason on the January 6th Committee. Not that the partisan way the Democrats have run that Committee has been perfect: it’s been anything but. But Cheney didn’t have to do this. She’s doing it because it’s the right thing and because, like so few of her House Republican colleagues, she’s actually a conservative.
Both Parties Need to stop normalizing political violence: Erick Erickson posted this the other day, and its important.
Democrats want to act like those on the left don’t use political violence for their means. But do you remember what the Wisconsin state capitol looked like then?
A bunch of left-wing union protestors stormed the Capitol in order to stop the Wisconsin legislature to stop a budget bill. A bill, incidentally, that passed.
Stop the Secession Talk: Too many Republicans are talking about a “national divorce” between red states and blue states. Even some Democrats are saying that it’s a good idea. That of course will lead to nationwide violence unseen since the Civil War. This talk is being egged on, of course, by well to do upper middle-class types who like to rile up their bases without getting their hands dirty. While rich lawyers like Kurt Schlichter have nearly sexual fantasies of civil war, he will never do anything about it and would rather create fairy tales to rile up the rubes who listen to him. Any such talk about secession is dangerous and shows a complete disregard for our nation and our fellow citizens.
It’s tiring having to deal with all of this. But until Trump conservatives realize the exact magnitude of what they have supported and what they continue to support, we’re not going to be able to move on from it. And I have a terrible, terrible feeling about what the future holds for us.
The question is: what happens after the next Presidential election? And will we, as individuals and as a country, be ready for it?