The events at the Capitol
The events at the capitol today are horrifying, and to many of us seem like the natural outcome of Trumpism and the morally degenerate enabling of the Republican party. But the events today may well end up strengthening our democracy.
I suspect that Trump has badly overplayed his hand. The images of thugs running loose through the capital will horrify a significant part of Trump’s law and order base. In the court of public opinion, this will be worse than Charlottesville. His appeal for peace emphasizing his election grievances will not help much; it was the least he could have done, another Trump hostage video.
Trump will also lose at least some support from Republican pols. This was bound to happen anyway, but today’s events will accelerate the process. It will be interesting to see how Cruz and Hawley react. I think it is possible, though perhaps not likely, that some Republicans will drop their objections to Biden’s electors. In any event, this may haunt Trump’s enablers for years. Let’s hope.
The police preparations were shockingly bad.
Yes, there is clearly a double standard, with people peacefully protesting police brutality getting treated far more harshly than illegally armed rightwing thugs threatening the peaceful transfer of democratic power. But at the end of the day, a harsh police response today would have diverted attention and condemnation from Trump and his extremist supporters.
Those – including Biden – who have emphasized that the words of politicians matter have new evidence to support their position. Trump supporters do not believe the election was rigged because they have independent evidence of vote fraud; they believe it because Trump tells them it was rigged. They showed up in DC and stormed the capitol at his urging. McConnell gave a good speech defending democratic procedures tonight, but only after weeks of refusing to challenge Trump’s false election fraud claims. It is as if he told an energetic, poorly behaved toddler that people can fly by waving their arms, brought the toddler to the top of a tall cliff with no fencing, and then sternly advised the poor child to stay clear of the edge. Those playing footsie with Trump for short term political advantage need to rethink their priorities and the way they assess probabilities. In fact, the all-too-common willingness of establishment politicians to accommodate authoritarian outsiders – a main theme in How Democracies Die – may partly reflect the general human inability to think clearly about uncertain events, such as the risk of a democratic collapse.
I did not realize, but this action was not limited to the US Capitol.
Supposedly, there was similar in Lansing, MI too. The Republicans own this
Ted Cruz’s electoral vote speech will live in infamy
Ted Cruz deserves much of the blame for tonight also. Romney does also as well as other Repubs who have failed repeatedly to deny trump support. Silence as to trumps actions are not denial of support. After Roney voted to convict trump in the impeachment, he went back to his old ways of silence.
Cruz lied tonight during his 4-minute speech. Lies are a matter of support. In Cruz’s speech as reported by WaPo’s Philip Bump’s “Ted Cruz’s electoral vote speech will live in infamy”, Cruz took great liberty in citing statistics of who strongly agreed and somewhat agreed.
“Recent polling shows that 39 percent of Americans believe the election that just occurred, quote, was rigged,” Cruz said. “You may not agree with that assessment. But it is nonetheless a reality for nearly half the country.”
“Even if you do not share that conviction, it is the responsibility, I believe, of this office to acknowledge that it is a profound threat to this country and to the legitimacy of any administrations that will come in the future,”
The combining of the two positions does not a solid position make. An even worse comp was stating 19% of Dems agreed the election was rigged with the combining of 7% “strongly” and 12% “some-what.”
This is not a man I would lean on or depend upon to present accurate and truthful information and positions. Within one hour of his 4-minute speech, the mob attacked. He did not hang around and fled. Cruz is a liar and a fraud. The clip in in the article.
Time to send 70M Trump voters to the FEMA reëducation camps.
I hate to say this, but this will not affect Trump’s enablers one little bit. I am not talking about Cruz, Hawley, etc., here, I am talking about his real enablers, white working class voters.
This will not bother them one little bit.
Think about what that means.
Democrats took the Senate. Republicans crapped all over themselves and seem on the verge of an inter-party civil war. Trump is discredited with all but the most ignorant swine in the country (there are a lot of ignorant swine). Baby steps.
“…But at the end of the day, a harsh police response today would have diverted attention and condemnation from Trump and his extremist supporters…”
[IMO that is the money ball. This further isolated Trump from most of his politically connected allies, but that migration began a long time ago. The big ones jump ship this week.]
“…The political advocacy organization backed by the billionaire Charles Koch is encouraging Congress to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.
The move comes as several of the network’s Republican beneficiaries in Congress plan to object to the results.
‘Joe Biden is the president-elect, and we support the process and certification of his election,’ Lo Isidro, a spokesman for the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, said in a statement…”
[Trump is toast, burnt toast at that.]
” may partly reflect the general human inability to think clearly about uncertain events, ”
exactly. people cannot think at all in the absence of facts.
but it is not only the R’s and Fox who have been lying to the people. the Dems and yes, the mainstream media, do it all the time.
as for the weak police response” far better than a strong one, such as killing one of the protesters. Schumer’s speech at the reopening of the Senate was singularly lacking in humanity much less “uniting us” as a democracy.
wanting a harsh response after the fact, or a lethal one during the fact, is a serious,,,fatal…moral error as well as bad politics. this is nothing more than left-handed Trumpism.
Koch is perfectly happy to get back on board with Dems. his Trump tool is broken, and the Dem tool will work out fine for him and the new world order.
We have had the privilege of witnessing what insanely irrational commitment bias looks like when visited upon our fellow Americans of the opposition political party. I hope we can learn from it before it is too late. Long ago Carl Jung supposed that about one-third of people living in western civilizations were possessed of some degree of dementia praecox (an archaic diagnosis for sure – but some kind of neurotic disposition no less). In any case, we need to be careful in public discourse and political communications to correctly and clearly represent our ideas because not everyone around us is tightly wrapped and many of the rest are just plain stupid. Shit can go wrong easily, way wrong, when the stakes are high.
just to be a little clearer… i am not endorsing the Progressives, though I agree with then generally about policy and basic reality, push them and they turn out to be Trumpists turned inside out: policies half-thought out that harm real people in the name of giving money to some abstraction which ultimately turns out to be “us,” and put your enemies in jail.
Totally with you on all of this. The more things change then the samer that they get. Still, not seeing Trump on the evening news each day is worth a lot in simple peace of mind terms. And second best in the race to the bottom is not the worst possible thing to be.
Personally, I find this encouraging.
“All that goes to show the profound difference in the crop of young progressives versus the longer-tenured Democrats. Where older Democrats, even those on the party’s left, have shied away from confrontation or any action they’d deem divisive, these newly added progressives have no such qualms, and aren’t waiting to take cues from leadership. Now, the Democratic Party can either come out against Bush’s and Omar’s resolutions, actively endorsing the seditious behavior of the Republican Party, or go along with the action of their more assertive colleagues. For activists and progressive voters skeptical of just how much power these representatives can and are willing to wield, the results are immediate and resounding.”
BTW, does “horrifying” mean the same as totally expected?
I think I get it. Taking Mr. Peabody’s Wabac machine to . . .
Portland Oregon: trump thugs come out and whoop-it-up on protestors many of whom are Black Americans, if they get to close to Federal buildings or occupy a parking lot. The mix of assailants attacking protestors are unidentified federal agents gathered by Barr and trump. Others come in from other states.
Return to evening of January 6th in the Wabac and we can witness along with Mr. Peabody what takes place.
Congress is in session to certify a new president. The old president gives a pseudo – call-to arms to white supremists and they march on the capitol. Guards throw open doors allowing them entry. Congress is taken to safe quarters while the white protesters run rampant through Congress destroying what ever they can. Later on, they enjoy a cigarette outside during a declared curfew and police quietly watch them do so.
Sherman asks, but Mr. Peabody why didn’t police make more arrest and disburse the remaining protestors the same as they did in Portland and in Minnesota?
Well Sherman, some people are more equal than others. White America still has power and authorities and politicians are afraid to disrupt them even though they are and will become a minority race.
But Mr. Peabody, I do not understan. The police as well as the others brought in by trump and Barr did treat Black and their supporting protesters in a harsher manner in Portland and Minnesota. Is the law not applied in an equal manner?
Sherman, the laws are applied in a manner by those empowered. If you are a minority, you can expect unequal application of the law and harsher treatment and penalties.
My mistake, but I do have one quibble with you with regards to “put your enemies in jail.”
To be clear though, first you should understand that I do not consider myself to actually have any enemies. I know that liberals have enemies everywhere, but I am not actually a liberal in a broad general sense. We share some convictions as I also do with conservatives, but I am definitely not a conservative either.
The political right, aside from its odd semantics, are not my enemies. Hell, they want my taxes to be lower. How could they be my enemies? However, we disagree about the importance of maintaining a clean sociopolitical house. They believe that if you screw up then you just move on quickly, everyone for themselves. They believe that they are only responsible for themselves and not responsible for the mess that was made in the process of establishing the circumstances surrounding their own success and comfort. In the sociopolitical context then this is abject irresponsibility. In theory the right believes that one should work to earn what they get, yet they are unwilling to expand that concept to include the sociopolitical work that maintains the equitable humane environment from which they benefit. For example, when was the last time that a Republican told you that is was fine for them if someone killed them and took all their stuff? They are socially dependent just to be alive.
These people are no more my enemies that the piggish children of my brutish neighbor, who fortunately moved away but while he lived nearby he had great respect for me, just not much of a clue about how to take care of anything, his home, his children, or even his dog. I cannot say that I respected them back any more than I respect any other living thing, perhaps less even. At least squirrel and rabbit are useful in a stew. They are more like a spoiled woman that wants to sleep on clean sheets, but is too lazy to do her own laundry. For me to wash her sheets then I would want her to do something in return.
OTOH, if these people were my enemies, then they would be lucky to make it to jail. That is one of the reasons that I get their respect. I like to keep a clean house, but I have little sympathy for either laziness or willful ignorance.
IOW, no one is my enemy that does not directly threaten my life. In my youth that distinction was not so clear to me. OTOH, just about anyone can be an irresponsible moron. In my youth that distinction was already entirely clear to me.
IF I were to extend the concept of enemy into abstraction to include ones that I did not personally know or have any real life contact with then my enemies list would only include men that hurt women. I raised three girls. Politics just does not cross that threshold but abusers of women do.
i wasn’t thinking of you when i said “put you enemies in jail”. i was thinking of the oh so humane and tolerant love your enemy left, who, when the shoe is on the other foot demand blood for blood, or revenge on statues that look at them funny.
like you, perhaps, i can be moved to homicidal rage when i see a bully hurting someone.. or even their own dog… but i can usually restrain myself when the enemy is “only” political. not to say i don’t have some pretty black thoughts about the current crop of R’s.
i take refuge in a belief in a sort of karma: not that they will be reborn as cockroaches, but that they will be reborn as exactly what they were when they left their past life, and so on, each life being a chance to learn the error of their ways, which may require that they experience in their souls exactly the pain they have inflicted.
jesus said turn the other cheek. i don’t think he meant that we should not interfere with a rape in progress.
might be worth noting that, while police enforcement tends definitely to be racist, the cops at the capitol were few and not well equipped. that is not the best strategy for dealing with a mob. a show of overwheming force can discourage mob violence. and you want to discourage it, not machine gun it, or punish it later. i think someone at a higher pay grade did not want to discourage it.
to listen to some on the left, they would be okay with the cops shooting rioters as long as they shot whites as well as blacks.
my understanding is that the woman killed was shot by a cop. it seems to me the NPR station I have been listening to carefully avoids saying that.
There is a real long history of America applying equal justice under the law and starting with the Colfax massacre lynching and murdering
whiteblack Americans during Reconstruction.
does “horrifying” mean the same as totally expected?
maybe. in a way.
these people have no real concept that others have feelings… or indeed that there is any reality beyond their own self interest.
so they didn’t really expect the hate they were stirring up to come in the door.
and these people are horrified when a little person fails to show them their due respect , so you can imagine how they felt finding themselves in the same room with those “radical leftist socialist democrat elitists” they had been calling on the mob to kill, surrounded by that very mob who couldn’t be counted on to tell them apart.
lest i seem to be too one sided here…
it is also the case that the oh so kind liberal politicians cannot imagine that the poor people they keep promising to help, while feeding them kibble and keeping them chained in the yard, would ever go mad and bite them.
he profound difference in the crop of young progressives versus the longer-tenured Democrats.
is that the young progressives are younger than the long tenured.
when they get long tenured themselves they will have a different view of things.
not necessarily either good or bad.
not sure i understand what you are telling me.
i know about the history of lynching. what i am trying to point out is that we do not accomplish anything good by becoming equal opportunity lynchers, though I have no reason to expect anything else of human beings.
Think of the Terror (France c 1790) or the hutus and tutsis (Rwanda c 1990?)
white on white. black on black.
This is where the Republican party has been going since at least the 1960s. Every decade they got worse, more overt, and more willing to do the next horrible and wretched thing that they seemed unwilling to do before. I’m sort of hoping that this latest might upset a few of them, but I highly doubt it. When one has abandoned the basic principles of democracy, justice, the rule of law, something like this is just bad because it failed to do what it set out to do, and a new level must be descended to.
As a more or less progressive, I don’t want the cops to shoot the right wing rioters, I want them not shoot and beat the left-wing protesters. Pointing out the clear difference is not a demand that they apply the same brutal tactics to both. Further, better preparation would have allowed them to stem the breaching of the capitol with extreme measures.
THanks and yes, I agree.
“…I am talking about his real enablers, white working class voters…”
[This is one of those cases where Paine’s distinction between wage class and working class really does matter. I use the language “working class” too frequently. People that do not really do work but have jobs at least like to believe that they are working class. White collar and pink collar workers have closer ties to the managerial class that also includes a large pro-Trump cohort. Many of those people with clean nails were shocked at how far things went with Trump’s gorillas. They have not suddenly become Democrats, but they are now longing for Mitt Romney again. Mostly though they are suddenly quiet. Yes, I am talking about my in-laws now and quiet is quite a blessing when it comes to them.]
I do wonder though whether all those Trump gorillas were really blue collar wage workers instead of petite bourgeoisie. It took some resources just to get there at the capital from all over the US.
“talking about the real enablers…the white working class..”
this sounds a little naive. the people are led. they do not lead.
the white working class voted for Roosevelt, for Truman, for Ike, for Kennedy, for Johnson, for Carter, for Bush 1, for Clinton, for Obama, and for Biden. I left out Nixon because he was arguably a racist…at least understood the power of the Southern Strategy… but as far as I remember did not make much of appeals to racism, but rather to people fed up with “Democrat wars” and, yes, a civil rights movement that had overreached: objections to forced busing had less to do with “racism” than to just not wanting your kids to be bussed away from home and especially into a situation that was dangerous and substandard. the better option than busing would have been to simply spend the money to upgrade “black” schools, and to allow black children to attend “white” schools, in small numbers at first, even if they had to be bussed at government expense.
it’s too bad the world is so complex and nuanced. it takes all the fun out of racist thinking… even racism turned on its head.