Sunday, July 24, 2022


(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari) 
They say there are no coincidences in politics. I've never wholeheartedly subscribed to that. After all, why should the political arena be immune to the sometimes outrageous turns of events that coincidence provides? This is one such coincidence yet is one from which we can mine some significance:
     The number 187, as many of us know, is a police code for a homicide. 187 is also the number of minutes that Donald Trump did nothing to stop the rioters on January 6, 2021. From the time he'd ended his incendiary speech at the Ellipse at 1:10 PM until he made that video outside the White House, on the south lawn, at 4:17, Trump had successfully resisted any and all entreaties from his senior staff, his own family, congressmen and senators and powerful, influential media personalities to tell the rioters to stop the violence and go home.
     The January 6 Committee's eighth and final hearing until September when the congressional summer recess is over, made the information about what Trump did that afternoon more granular than ever. Four rioters died that day. A fifth, Officer Brian Sicknik, a supporter, died the next day. In the days and weeks to come, four more police officers died by their own hands.
     And what about Trump's hands? The blood of those nine people are on them. That's a lot of blood. Yet, not one of the survivors of the riot, none of the over 850 charged, got a pardon. None of the dead rioters got even a mention except for Ashli Babbitt, whose name Trump cynically used in order to insult the Capitol Police who'd so valiantly fought that day to preserve our democracy and safeguard the lives of congressmen and senators while they were in the midst of a pro forma but still vital function of government: the quadrennial certification of the Electoral College results.
     So, what happened that afternoon, instead?
   Well, for starters, the Capitol Building was breached, only the 12 unreinforced windows were breached, something the rioters could've only known after getting a highly irregular if not illegal recon tour from certain Republican congressmen (Yes, I'm looking at you, Barry Loudermilk. We all are.). Both the Senate and House chambers were fully occupied by screaming psychopaths with blood in their eyes.
     After hearing they got within 60 seconds of grabbing Mike Pence, we then learned it was more like 40 feet. Virtually all 435 members of Congress who were just as vital to the certification were also on the run, whose lives were also in danger. Republicans as well as Democrats. They were all marked men and women. Pence's Secret Service detail were calling home to tell family they loved them.

The Running Man 
Thanks to the eighth hearing last Thursday night, we got the full measure of the kind of "man" Josh Hawley is. Because, if anyone on Capitol Hill is now the poster child for wet-legged cowardice, of a cynical politician willing to suck up to the very worst elements that American society can offer only to run away from them just hours after giving them a fist pump from the safety of a police cordon that would be overrun, that person is Hawley.
     Hawley, it should be remembered, was the first Republican senator out of several who'd vowed to contest the electoral college results. Hours after his fist pump, Hawley was running in fear from them. In other words, Hawley didn't know with what he was climbing into bed. He either underestimated or overestimated the barbarians at the gates.
    You can't say that about Trump. You can't ever say that about Trump. He's always had a near supernatural ability to know his base, a gift that was just as infallible as Hitler's intuitive understanding of his base. This was why he thought, if the Secret Service had done his bidding, he could confidently and safely enter the crush of the mob, even though every indication is that Trump has been all his life a physical and moral coward. But if the anecdotes are correct, and we have no real reason to disbelieve them, Trump would've forced his SUV toward the Capitol, choking out his head of security and to hell with the Secret Service.
    Secret Service? Who needs them? I've got the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and Three Percenters standing back and standing by. Trump really wanted to be in the middle of the stack formations that marched up the Capitol steps because he had every confidence and every good reason to know that they'd keep him safe and sound.
     Because he knew they were there for him. They were there because of him. Because he'd been saying for two months to the 74,000,000 misguided rubes who'd voted for him that their vote was stolen, that it didn't count, that the political  "elites" didn't care about the vox populi. If you want to get tens of millions of people riled up enough to try to overthrow the government, that's the way to go about it:  Instilling in them the illusion of disenfranchisement.
     Who cares that Trump's opponent got over 81,000,000 votes,  the most ever in a presidential election, that Joe Biden won 306 electoral college votes?
     Of course Trump knows his base. And he knows facts don't matter to them any more than they do to him when the facts are stubbornly inconvenient for him. This nonchalant disregarding of facts is what led him to take the podium at 2 am the morning after Election Day and, like the tinpot dictator he yearned to be, had declared himself the winner.
     That was why Trump tried to pressure state elections officials to overturn lawful results, why he briefly floated using the military and Homeland Security to confiscate voting machines so they could then be stuffed with fake votes for him then, finally, using the hard coup, the rioters, to stop the certification of the election results, even if it meant the extrajudicial execution of his own vice president.
    In other words, the most notorious 187 since Kennedy's assassination.


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