January 6, 2021
Today, January 6, 2021 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States was attacked — by an insurrectionary mob storming the capitol — and by over 100 Republican senators and representatives preparing to vote to overthrow a free and fair democratic election. In favor of a criminal, incompetent, mendacious monster, literally insane. Who they thusly helped to incite the defilement of our country in the eyes of a shocked world.
Perhaps those Congressional Republicans, knowing they’d lose, imagined their votes were consequence-free. This afternoon proved otherwise. It all shows how far to the dark side they’ve gone. Nothing is more fundamental to a democratic culture than election losers accepting winners’ legitimacy.
While Trump had long thrown the word “coup” at opponents, THIS was truly part of an attempted coup. Many foreign autocrats have tried similar, too often succeeding. We may have been saved only by Trump’s deranged incompetence.
Congressional Republicans seeking to overthrow the election invoked alleged voting irregularities. Those originated as a pack of lies by Trump, made up out of nothing, because his diseased mind could not take losing. Then right-wing media whipped it up into a frenzy of conspiracy theories. But all Trump’s lawsuits were thrown out, many by Republican judges, some his own appointees. Many election officials attacked are Republicans, as are Georgia’s, who Trump openly browbeat to falsify vote counts. In the end, not a single Biden ballot was proven fraudulent. As if Democrats needed fraud to defeat a monster who horrified a majority of voters.
Ironically, while Trump insists Democrats cheated, especially in Georgia, it’s actually Republicans who did — especially in Georgia — by blocking many Democrat-leaning voters (particularly Blacks) from casting ballots. And who was pushing state officials to falsify vote counts?This depravity likely contributed to Georgia electing two Democrats — a Black and a Jew! — to the United States Senate.
Yet Tuesday Trump was idiotically doubling down, tweeting fraud about the Georgia Senate elections too. Demanding Mike Pence throw out electoral votes while presiding over their counting. Publicly calling him a coward for refusing to thusly act unconstitionally. Then today’s speech by this “law and order” president inciting his mob to attack the capitol. Later calling for peace even while (mostly) hammering the stolen election lie. “A landslide” he dementedly claimed. Actually justifying the insurrection.
Leaderless, the law enforcement response to it was largely absent. What if it were BLM protesters storming the capitol?
President-elect Biden pledges efforts to work with Republicans, and heal our partisan divisions. Lord knows that’s desperately needed. But good luck. They’ve long been demonizing Biden as a corrupt fool fronting for socialist radicals and even Satan himself. Now furthermore declaring his election an illegitimate fraud. So far out on a limb they can’t climb down.
The Tea Party savaging Obama was a tempest in a teacup compared to what Biden faces. Thank goodness these criminal seditionists have lost control of the Senate, limiting their mischief-making power. But they’ll still try to sabotage Biden so Republicans can run in 2022 and ’24 calling Democrats do-nothing failures. Contrasting Trump’s “achievements!” (Forget a half million dead and a vandalized capitol itself.) Make America great again again !
And they will insist that sliming Biden, obstructing him, even denouncing his legitimacy, is merely fair turnabout because that’s what Democrats did to Trump. Well, they did resent his winning the presidency while losing the popular vote. But no one denied he was properly elected under our constitutional system. Hillary Clinton graciously conceded right away. Did not falsely cry fraud and launch a blizzard of phony lawsuits. Her supporters did not vilify and even threaten election officials doing their jobs. Democrats did not vote in Congress to overthrow the election. Or refuse transition cooperation, or talk about martial law, while Obama remained president. Nor stormed the capitol!
They did criticize many Trump actions and policies. That’s normal politics in a democracy. They also did investigate wrongdoing. Such governmental accountability too is part of democracy. Do we want a country without those things? Like China or Russia?
The Russia investigation (launched, don’t forget, by Trump’s own Justice Department) was no “hoax.” Proved Russia did mess with our 2016 election — with the connivance of Trump operatives (like campaign manager Manafort, convicted of a slew of crimes). The impeachment was no hoax. Proved Trump did improperly withhold military aid, trying to extort a bribe from Ukraine’s president in the form of smearing Biden.
The Republican counter-narratives are simply counter-factual. No excuse for yet more denial of reality, regarding Biden’s legitimate election. Taking our political polarization to a new level of crazy; aggravating the pre-existing condition of Trump cultism. Today was its long-feared gotterdammerung.
Shouldn’t this Republican assault upon democracy itself delegitimize them forever? But their diehard adherents, almost half the electorate, are unfazed. They don’t need to fool many others to win. In 2020 they came frighteningly close to re-electing Trump. While actually increasing their strength in statehouses, gaining yet more control over gerrymandering and ways to make voting harder.
Will today’s historic vandalization of democracy — both by the Trump-incited mob, and the Congressional Republican majority voting with them — prompt any GOP officeholder to cry “Enough!” and leave the party? Probably not. That’s how extreme our partisan division is. There’s no hope of Republican redemption.
Meantime, a future Kamala Harris candidacy — brown-skinned, and female, and more to the left — will unhinge them even more. Trump could conceivably return. Even more dangerous would be a Trump clone without all his ugly baggage and handicaps of incompetence and mental illness.
Most Trump voters are good decent people. Except when it comes to politics, not a big part of their lives. People can be 98% rational, but that other 2% is a killer. And when the political insanity bears its ultimate rancid fruit, it will be too late. We’ve seen that befall too many other countries. God does not make America somehow immune.
In two weeks we will have, at long last, a decent, honest, capable, experienced, sensible president, conscientiously public-spirited, who is sane, who will undo much of the damage, especially to our global standing, rescuing our democracy. Yet I am under no illusion that it’s a final victory. The war of reason against unreason continues.