Tuesday, June 1, 2021

It's Full of Landgrebes!

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)
Remember what happened in the Capitol building January 6th. Don't just imagine or, even worse, re-imagine it. Remember what happened. Then remember its significance, how it happened, why, who had instigated it. Then remember which party wants to prevent the truth from coming out.
    That was the day a major government figure, and several others, including Mo Brooks, called for an insurrection the day that Congress was about to begin the pro forma process of validating the electoral college results that decided the outcome of the 2020 presidential race. That major government figure was Donald Trump, aided by two of his sons, then the lame duck head of the Executive Branch, calling on a mob that already had blood in its eyes. That was the day Trump went where no president ever had gone before and called for the government to be interrupted at best, overthrown, at worst.
    Look at the lead image. In the lower center of that photo is Congressman Jason Crow (D-CO6), crouching and keeping an eye, obviously, on one of the numerous doors leading to the House chamber. He looks like a man under siege, because he was. Rep. Crow knows better than most what that feels like. He's a combat veteran who'd served three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. 
    While Republicans put hair pieces on their chest and claim military credentials they don't really have, Jason Crow is the real deal, a former Army Ranger captain who risked his life and served with valor and distinction in two wars that, in a sane world, would've been declared illegal by an international tribunal. If he looks as if he's in the throes of PTSD, I think he could be forgiven.
     What Congressman Crow, and hundreds of other congresspeople experienced that day was the kind of thing you only see in banana republics, only not. Because even banana republics are more stable and orderly than this. The closest parallel that springs readily to mind is September 11, 1973, the day Nixon and Kissinger overthrew the democratically-elected government of Chile and installed a pint-sized wouldbe Hitler named Pinochet.
     Yeah, Republicans are real good at that, at battling democracy under the guise of "nation-building", especially when an insufficiently conservative government is hostile to US corporate interests. In fact, it's been estimated the US government has overthrown 63 democracies abroad since WWII. In fact, the US has been so hyperactive in "regime change" since WWII (often in contradiction of the UN Charter of 1945), it even has its own Wikipedia page.
    So, it's a supreme irony that, come January 6th, the imperialistic nation that had overthrown or had tried to overthrow over five dozen different governments would barely be able to keep its own democratically-elected government running during a pro forma procedure that had never merited headlines.
The Revolution Will be Televised
So are the machinations of its apologists.
     Let us call them, "the worst generation."
     It is not a Republican class that will be favorably looked upon by Dames History and Posterity. And the political and intellectual devolution of the Republican Party doesn't even start with Trump. He's just the oaf playing with matches who'd inadvertently started the fire in the dumpster that the GOP had thoughtfully prepared for him for decades.
     It really starts with Nixon and one notoriously stupid Congressman from Indiana, Earl Landgrebe, who'd once famously shouted,  "Don't confuse me with the facts!" Now, as Steve Benen reminded us a year and a half ago, we now have a whole party full of Landgrebes. It continued through the klutzy reign of Ford, then Reagan, who'd cheerfully ushered in the Moral Majority with a sunny Poligrip smile and a tidal wave of Brylcreem. It continued through the wimpy, one term reign of Bush I, then the pretzel-challenged Bush II until, finally, the slide into the primordial ooze was completed in the expanded, restocked swamp of one Donald John Trump.
     It's pretty much an unbroken line of succession that you can trace all the way back to Landgrebe and Nixon. The Don't Confuse Me With the Facts crowd, as Benen had called them. Now we're seeing the rise of the new bastard sons and daughters of Earl Landgrebe in the 35 Republican senators who'd voted against the formation of the January 6 Commission because they owed Moscow Mitch McConnell a favor.
    Sure, they had absolutely no reason to oppose a bipartisan commission in which John Katko, a Republican from New York, went in with his marching orders from Kevin McCarthy, gave him everything McCarthy insisted on, only to spit on it when Katko presented the bill to him. It was like sending the dog to fetch the paper only to swat it over the nose with it.
     This would be the same Kevin McCarthy who'd had a screaming match over the phone with Trump while the latter was busy short-stroking his little mushroom while watching the riots on TV in the Oval Office. Maybe realizing he'd be called in as a witness, he'd decided to let the ring he'd kissed so effusively at Mar  Lago to evolve his thoughts on the subject. That would be the same figurehead who'd, on the floor of the House just a week after the riots, laid the blame for it squarely on the stoop of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
     Because neither he nor his rotten caucus want to be confused with the facts. But the fact is, they know what the facts are and they don't want them stovepiped into a dedicated commission formed to get at the facts then funneled straight to the American people. Because then it would be known they'd approved the insurrection even hours after it happened, had supported it, enabled it, even.
     And it may have been a unique commission that actually would have gotten to the truth, unlike the JFK and 911 Commissions. And it would've shown Republicans on the Hill in a strange, unique light: They would've been portrayed simultaneously as victims, enablers, accessories and witnesses. And, as we all know, Republicans are only interested in victimhood.


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