Thursday, January 7, 2021

We Need a Morning After Pill For Yesterday

     There's an old saying that you never know what you have until you lose it.
     Yesterday, we got a taste of what that would look like if we lost our democracy. Let's recap:
     The idiot who stole Nancy Pelosi's lectern, Adam Johnson of Bradenton, Florida, has been identified. He didn't exactly help his cause by putting the Speaker's lectern up for sale on eBay where the bidding got up to $100,000.
     The other idiot who sat with his filthy boots on Speaker Pelosi's desk, Richard Barnett of Gravette, Arkansas, made it easier for law enforcement by having his picture taken sans mask and giving interviews.
     From the lede in Newsweek: "Officials from the FBI, the Secret Service, Homeland Security, the District of Columbia government, the Pentagon, the National Guard, and the Joint Task Force–National Capital Region who spoke to Newsweek last weekend on condition of anonymity, all talked about the potential for protesters and militias and paramilitary goons—egged on by the president—to storm Capitol Hill and even the Capitol building itself."
     "The cops at the gate," said an ex Oakland cop who joined the rioters, "they moved aside, gestured with their arms, almost inviting them in, almost, I hate to say it, almost like a set-up -- like they wanted us to be disruptive."
     Virtually the entire Democratic leadership, including Chuck Schumner and Nancy Pelosi, were sheltering in place in the same room while House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer was making several panicked phone calls to his governor Larry Hogan for National Guard support.
     Four people died in Washington DC yesterday, including three women. 52 have been arrested. Many more arrests are expected, with sedition charges very much on the table, according to the DOJ.
     The United States Congress was under siege yesterday, with "aides pil(ing) up furniture to block the doors..." A cop with a machine gun stood between Mitch McConnell and Charles Schumer.

“The protesters are in the building.”
(Rep. Jason Crow (D., Colo.) and Rep. Susan Wild (D., Pa.) as they sheltered in place as armed rioters broke into the chamber.) Photo: Tom Williams Roll Call/AP
     Those have got to be the six scariest words to hear if you're a legislator, especially one who's in session. It's the political equivalent of, "We've traced the call and it's coming from inside your house."
    It was like something out of an action movie like Olympus Has Fallen or White House Down. Except, in those movies, the bad guys weren't ushered in by the Capitol Police, the cops didn't pose for selfies with the bad guys and weren't allowed to walk away unmolested after wreaking mayhem in the nation's Capitol.
     After Trump's antics before, during and after the riot that killed four people, his cabinet, or what's left of it, is desultorily discussing invoking the 25th amendment to remove Trump and transfer power to Pence (who refuses to talk to Pelosi and Schumer) for the last 13 days of this shit show of an administration. Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Schumer have already warned the cabinet that if they didn't initiate the 25th amendment immediately, they will impeach Trump... again. Administration aides have already decided they weren't obeying unlawful orders from Trump, which would be any order from him from this point on. 
     Donald Trump is being erased and canceled before our very eyes as he's lost his platforms on Twitter and especially Facebook, on which he's suspended at least until January 20th. He's now reduced to using the social media accounts of aides to get his lies out to the public and risking getting their accounts suspended, which is as pathetic as you can possibly get. He has virtually no friends. No allies. Five people, at least, have quit the administration, including DOT Secretary Elaine Chao, Mitch McConnell's wife. He's isolated, politically and socially. Even John Kelly says it's time for him to go. Now.
     We have no president, not that we ever had since January 20 2017, and that especially goes for the nine weeks since the election. Trump's at Camp David eating worms and running away from the most serious talk ever about removing him from office.
     It's almost impossible to resort to hyperbole in describing what happened yesterday. Even when the KKK marched down that very same Pennsylvania Avenue 95 years ago, we didn't see any of this chaos. Even the Klan at the height of its power still respected the physical and political infrastructure of the federal government. While it was a disgusting and horrifying show of force, order was still maintained.
     Many of us have lost our sense of and respect for order and think the law should be applied only to certain other people. And many of our elected officials are to blame. While it would be hyperbole to say all Republicans are to blame for yesterday, it nonetheless cannot be seriously argued that not every politician who'd had a hand in this was, without exception, a Republican.
     Nonetheless, after Congress had to fight to take back that Hill, Republicans went right back to work to subvert democracy and to vainly thwart the electoral college results. They. Learned. Absolutely. Nothing. In fact, a bench-clearing brawl almost broke out between Democrats and Republicans when one Democrat from Pennsylvania called Republicans liars. Even Mike Pence, one of the most inflexible right wing stiff pricks the GOP had ever produced, took time out from the certification to denounce the rioters.
      And Pence's own people are telling CNN's Jim Acosta that they feel Trump set up Pence and used him as a lightning rod to take the heat in the unthinkable event that Pence did his job as mandated by law. And they're right. At his Nuremberg rally yesterday across the street from the White House, Trump verbally painted a big red bullseye on his own vice president's back when he said, he'd "be very disappointed in" him if he did his job. "I'm not hearing good things," he loosely but balefully said.
      No, democracy wasn't almost destroyed. But we got a sharp, oily taste of what that would look like if it had been. There but for the grace of whatever Powers That Be, all that was required was for one random gunman to walk into the room where Pelosi, Schumer and Hoyer were huddling and our Democratic congressional leadership could have been virtually decapitated in just a few seconds with a few bullets.
     Now's the time when we have to look at our shoes and do some soul-searching. Our so-called "president" must go, immediately, and temporary acting power thrust upon Pence whether he likes it or not. Arrests have to be made even if it involves black helicopters. Rioters and looters have to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The Capitol Police needs to be overhauled, the traitors within expelled, arrested and charged with dereliction of duty if not sedition.
     No, democracy was merely threatened. It hadn't come close to being overthrown and replaced with anarchists. But next time, they may be more successful. 


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