Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Thoughts on the Invasion of the US Capitol

 It’s all happening as I write, but here are a few reactions:

1. Fortunately we see Q-Anonics, Loud Boys and other right wing crazies invading the Capitol Building and not Black Lives Matter or the Left.  Think how many lives would have been lost if it had been the other way around.

2. It will be interesting to see how deeply investigators will delve into the lax security preparations for today’s senate meeting.

3. In the end, it all comes down to one question: where do the loyalties of the police and armed forces lie?  That is always the bottom line, but we can go for decades without confronting it directly.  When the left challenges state authority the issue is never in doubt, at least in the U.S.  When the challenge comes from the right we have to hold our breath.  There were video images a few moments ago of police gently escorting Trumpists out the door and down the stairs with no apparent thought to arresting them.  This indicates at least some softness toward the cause on their part.  On the other hand, I don’t expect there will be military or police resistance to the eventual securing of the building.  If the folks in uniforms were to go over to the other side, that would be the end of the political order.

This has happened in the past.  The end of Reconstruction was marked by white mobs that assaulted elected Black officials and were backed by “law enforcement”.  That was a counterrevolution that succeeded.  Around the world it has been a general rule: civil rebellions succeed if and only if the police and military are turned or at least neutralized.  It all comes down to that and always will.

4. Invading and shutting down the capitol makes sense if you think that a demonstrably fraudulent election has been imposed on the public.  If crooked election officials had doctored the results, those trying to stop the process would be heroes.  Actually, I wouldn’t want to live in a world in which people meekly assent to real evidence of stolen elections.  What makes today a travesty is that there isn’t a shred of evidence to support allegations of fraud; it is a product of cynical disinformation sponsored by people who believe honesty is an unnecessary constraint on attaining and exercising power.  Anyone who has propagated this disinformation is responsible in part for what has now happened: an insurrection is the predictable end product of widely-disseminated claims of electoral fraud.

The same goes, incidentally, for those purveying baseless claims that the coronavirus is a hoax imposed on us by Bill Gates, George Soros and their puppet Anthony Fauci.  If there really were a fake public health crisis seized on by governments to permanently regiment their citizenry, storming state capitols would be justified.  Disseminating disinformation along these lines is assuming responsibility for potential insurrectionary responses or violent attacks on public health and other officials.

The heroic defense of democracy and the fascist putsch take the same form, invading and occupying places of government and disrupting its operations.  The difference depends entirely on whether the motives derive from genuine evidence of wrongdoing or cynical, power-hungry bullshit.


Jerry Brown said...

Yes. To all your points. How is it even possible that this right wing mob was able to break into the Capitol? There is something very different in how the police reacted to this. And Trump needs to go immediately.

Anonymous said...

The terrible invasion of Washington is precisely what the United States repeatedly encourages and supports in other countries or territories. This is the American fostered color revolt abroad over and over. Were this Hong Kong, American legislators and the media would be fostering and cheering and looking to sanction China for stopping the illegality, the violence.

This attack on the American government is just what has been cheered by American legislators and media in Hong Kong, no matter the illegality and violence in Hong Kong. Will Yale be looking for students among the Washington attackers, as Yale welcomed a Hong Kong government attack leader? Hong Kong government attack leaders were welcomed in Washington.

Fred C. Dobbs said...


(Perhaps it would not have gone this way had
Trump not been unhinged by events in Georgia.
Time to invoke the 25th Amendment?)

Electoral Count Is Completed Despite Mayhem Incited by Trump

Vice President Mike Pence made Joe Biden’s victory official
early Thursday morning after objections from Republican lawmakers.

The normally ceremonial ritual in Congress was disrupted Wednesday when
Trump loyalists stormed the Capitol. One woman was fatally shot by the police.

President Trump, who stoked his supporters’ anger, said in a statement
that there would be an orderly transition. ...

Congress certified the election of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. early Thursday, hours after loyalists urged on by President Trump stormed and occupied the Capitol, disrupting the final electoral count in a shocking display of violence that shook the core of American democracy.

Mr. Trump, who spent months stoking the anger of his supporters with false claims that the election was stolen and who refused to condemn the violent protests on Wednesday, said early Thursday that there would be an orderly presidential transition this month.

“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” he said in a statement.

The statement, which had to be issued through surrogates since Mr. Trump’s Twitter account was suspended, came moments after Vice President Mike Pence affirmed Mr. Biden as the winner of the presidential election shortly before 4 a.m. after the final electoral votes were tallied in a joint session of Congress. ...

Fred C. Dobbs said...

With whataboutism, denial and excuses, Trump’s allies are still defending him

NY Times - January 7

Even as scores of President Trump’s usually unfailing loyalists condemned him for failing to call off the swarm of lawless demonstrators storming and ransacking the Capitol, many of his most vocal and visible defenders still could not bring themselves to fault the president for the surreal and frightening attack carried out in his name.

They played down the violence as acts of desperation by people who felt lied to by the media and ignored by their elected representatives. They deflected with false equivalencies about the Democratic Party’s embrace of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Some even tried to dispute the fact that Trump supporters were actually the true perpetrators, suggesting that far-left activists had infiltrated the crowd and were posing as fans of Mr. Trump.

“To any insincere, fake DC ‘patriots’ used as PLANTS — you will be found out,” wrote Sarah Palin, the Republican Party’s vice-presidential nominee in 2008, who demanded that the media look into the identities of the people who smashed their way into the Capitol.

Responses like these — full of whataboutism, misdirection and denial — sounded almost like typical fare coming from stalwart defenders of a president who considers admitting fault to be a sign of weakness. That they persisted regardless of such an extraordinary and unsettling strike on the seat of American government is a sign of how premature it may be to conclude that Mr. Trump’s iron grip on his followers is at last loosening.

These were not isolated or trivial assertions from little-known people on the fringes of Mr. Trump’s movement. Rather, they came from some of his highest profile allies in conservative politics and media who helped enable his rise in the Republican Party and have aided him in his unrelenting assault on anyone who questions his actions. ...

Fred C. Dobbs said...

"Et tu, Lindsey?'

'Trump and I Had a Hell of a Journey. But Enough Is Enough.' via @YouTube

Fred C. Dobbs said...

Senior officials have discussed removing Trump under the 25th Amendment

Washington Post via @BostonGlobe - January 7

Hours after a pro-Trump mob incited by the president stormed the Capitol, dozens of Democrats demanded that he be removed under the 25th Amendment - an unprecedented option being seriously discussed late Wednesday by senior administration officials alarmed at Trump’s conduct.

The amendment, which can remove a president "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office," has only been used briefly for medical events, as when President Ronald Reagan underwent colon surgery.

But some politicians and experts argue that Trump has met those standards by encouraging violence through his incendiary rhetoric and by refusing to accept the reality of his defeat.

"President Trump revealed that he is not mentally sound and is unable to process and accept the results of the 2020 election," Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee wrote to Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday. "President Trump's willingness to invite violence and social unrest to overturn the election results by force clearly meet this standard."

Although the amendment has never been used in these circumstances, some experts say it could provide a faster and more realistic path than impeachment to quickly remove Trump from power. That would all depend, though, on the backing of Pence and the Cabinet. ...

That's not to say that Pence or the Cabinet would ever embrace removing Trump under the 25th Amendment. While senior aides did discuss the option on Wednesday, those talks were informal and no concrete plans were in the works, The Washington Post reported. ...

Fred C. Dobbs said...

Pelosi, Schumer call for Trump’s removal from office

(Along with Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.)

AP via @BostonGlobe - January 7

WASHINGTON — Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Thursday called for President Donald Trump’s immediate removal from office, either by his Cabinet or through impeachment, describing the violence at the Capitol on Wednesday as “an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president.”

Pelosi’s remarks came a day after a violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, forcing the building into lockdown. Trump called them “very special” people and said he loved them.

She said at the Capitol: “The president of the United States incited an armed insurrection against America.” Pelosi said he could do further harm to the country: “Any day can be a horror show for America.”

“What happened at the U.S. Capitol yesterday was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president,” Schumer said in a statement. “This president should not hold office one day longer.”

Schumer said the “quickest and most effective way” to remove Trump would be under the 25th Amendment.

Under that process, the president can be removed from office by the vice president plus a majority of the Cabinet, or by the vice president and a body established by Congress, if they determine he “is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

“If the Vice President and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president,” Schumer said.

The Democratic-led House impeached Trump last year related to political overtures to Ukraine, but he was acquitted by the Republican-led Senate.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., called for the 25th Amendment to be invoked against Trump, becoming the highest-profile Republican to press for the president to be relieved of his official duties.

“Sadly, yesterday, it became evident that not only has the president abdicated his duty to protect the American people and the people’s House, he invoked and inflamed passions that only gave fuel to the insurrection that we saw here,” Kinzinger said in a video he posted on Twitter on Thursday morning. ...