Sunday, September 19, 2021

Twilight of Justice or Its Dawn?

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari,)
One could say company picnics were bigger than yesterday's rally in DC. And, yes, we should be grateful that there wasn't the slightest shred of evidence of the historic violence that had marked and marred January 6th. In fact, one is surprised it already has its own Wikipedia page.
    CNN roving correspondents' & Capitol Police estimates had put the "crowd" at about 400-450. That's right, as in hundreds. High school girl's field hockey matches attract larger crowds. The press, sent on a wild goose chase, was said to have outnumbered the rally-goers. And that especially went for the police, who were determined not to be caught flat-footed as they were seven and a half months ago.
    Yet as rightly grateful as we should be that nothing had happened yesterday, we also should not allow that to lull us into a sense of false security. There were several readily ascertainable reasons why the "Justice for J6" rally was virtually nonexistent and, again, thankfully peaceful. One is that, through the media, the Metro and Capitol police made it known they'd be out in full force and would not allow themselves to be literally pushed around like the last time.
     This had led Proud Boys and Oath Keepers leadership to take to social media and tell their members that going to the rally would be a fool's errand and, for once, they were right. This was a perfect delineation of the truism that, when confronted with a significant show of opposing force, bullies will back down and rediscover the better part of valor. We saw this on Inauguration Day just two weeks after the riot amid the unprecedented security. Simply put, the potential rioters didn't wish to end up like their January 6 predecessors.
    Another factor explaining yesterday's non-event was the poorly-chosen date. Perhaps the most noteworthy event in US history on September 18th was the death of Jimi Hendrix in 1970. However, unlike January 6th, which is the day Congress quadrennially certifies the election results, September 18 has no historic or symbolic political significance attached to it. The January 6 riots had a desperate, last ditch effort to it when Trump, in true deranged tyrant fashion, whipped his red-toothed crazies into a screaming frenzy that if they could stop the pro forma certification, everything would be as right as rain. Then, typically, when they and the riot he'd started failed after less than an hour, he immediately lost interest in them.
     Yet, the biggest reason for yesterday's Justice for J6 rally falling flatter than Joss Whedon's Justice League movie is the complete absence of Trump himself. Save for a weak note of support from Liz Harridan's piggy-backed, Stockholm Syndromed Twitter account, Trump plainly wanted nothing to do with yesterday's deflated Whoopie cushion of a rally (as with the rest of the GOP). Even demented tyrants know how to read tea leaves. And, on that basis alone should we not allow ourselves to be lulled into a sense of false security.

It's My Party and I Can Cry Foul If I Want To.
In his gaudy exiled status, Trump may or may not be the leader of the Republican party. But few can deny that he's still its most influential leader. Today brought the news from the WSJ (subscription required) that he's trying to dislodge Mitch McConnell. Obviously, ditching "the Grim Reaper" wouldn't be such a horrible thing at first blush until you consider that what Trump probably has in mind to replace the senior senator from Kentucky is the junior Senator of Kentucky.
     And, sending shock waves through the party establishment was Trump forcing out Ohio GOP congressman Anthony Gonzalez when Trump began pimping for career criminal Max Miller. Gonzalez was no blushing liberal during his two terms but he did vote to impeach Trump along with nine other Republicans, hence Trump's jihad.
     And, yes, Trump did actually say, "One down, nine to go." In his reason for not seeking reelection, Gonzalex cited, "increasing parental responsibilities." In other words, his family was threatened.
     Liz Cheney had already been ousted from her Conference Chair position over her impeachment vote as well as her staunch refusal to go along with Trump's election lie. Replacing her was Trump head cheerleader, Elise Stefanik (R-Does this dress make me look dumpy?)  Last January, a week after the insurrection that eventually claimed nine lives, Kevin McCarthy laid the blame for the riots squarely at Trump's doorstep. When Mar a Lago's most famous Cane Corso impersonator growled, McCarthy heeled to and was soon fetching Trump's paper in Palm Beach.
     McConnell has had it up to here with Trump. The way both men look at it, they didn't do anything for the other. Trump wrecked the January 5 Georgia elections and didn't help McConnell keep his Senate Majority office and as far as Trump's concerned, McConnell didn't do enough to toss the election results (although one is confounded to guess how McConnell could've accomplished that).
     Trust me when I say that any guy who can change the face of Congress (getting Cheney tossed, making Gonzalez retire after this term), and without social media, is a guy who would and will have no problem mobilizing the masses when he feels he can exploit them them again. No one will remember or much care that once Trump's rebellion failed, he completely forgot about all their names (except for Ashli Babbitt's) that he issued zero pardons for any of them. They'd served their usefulnessness.
     So, yes, Trump is a sick, fat, old loser but one who can still alter the landscape on the right side of the aisle without a social media footprint or elected office. He's still a transformative figure but more in the way of Benedict Arnold. And the reason why he still has Secret Service protection and is drawing a pension is because Senate Republicans, including McConnell, chose to acquit rather than convict Trump for the worst attack on Washington in 207 years.


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