I respect Marty Baron from his tenures as editor of the Boston Globe and Miami Herald, and The Washington Post has fewer Maggie Habermans on its staff than the New York Times, but I cringed reading his Trump post-mortem with Der Spiegel, in which, after a previous Republican administration’s perfidy in rousing the American public to war with Iraq, Baron insists he had an obligation to take a president at his word. Not just any president but Donald J. Trump, whose life in the public eye is a grotesque accumulation of grift, charlatanism, and racism. This was no non-entity, no Warren G. Harding or James Garfield. Continue reading
Just another day at an improvised insurrection, nothing to see here. Luke Mogelson:
“You are traitors to the country!” a man barked at the police through a megaphone plastered with stickers from “InfoWars,” the incendiary Web program hosted by the right-wing conspiracist Alex Jones. Behind the man stood Biggs, the Proud Boys leader. He wore a radio clipped onto the breast pocket of his plaid flannel shirt. Not far away, I spotted a “straight pride” flag.
There wasn’t nearly enough law enforcement to fend off the mob, which pelted the officers with cans and bottles. One man angrily invoked the pandemic lockdown: “Why can’t I work? Where’s my ‘pursuit of happiness’?” Many people were equipped with flak jackets, helmets, gas masks, and tactical apparel. Guns were prohibited for the protest, but a man in a cowboy hat, posing for a photograph, lifted his jacket to reveal a revolver tucked into his waistband. Other Trump supporters had Tasers, baseball bats, and truncheons. I saw one man holding a coiled noose.
“Hang Mike Pence!” people yelled.
The absurd meets the dangerous. Continue reading
And it gets worse:
On a private call Monday night, new leaders of the Capitol Police told House Democrats they were closely monitoring three separate plans that could pose serious threats to members of Congress as Washington prepares for Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration on Jan. 20.
The first is a demonstration billed as the “largest armed protest ever to take place on American soil.”
Another is a protest in honor of Ashli Babbitt, the woman killed while trying to climb into the Speaker’s Lobby during Wednesday’s pro-Trump siege of the Capitol.
And another demonstration, which three members said was by far the most concerning plot, would involve insurrectionists forming a perimeter around the Capitol, the White House and the Supreme Court, and then blocking Democrats from entering the Capitol ― perhaps even killing them ― so that Republicans could take control of the government.
What does the last idea look like?
Lawmakers were told that the plot to encircle the Capitol also included plans to surround the White House ― so that no one could harm Trump ― and the Supreme Court, simply to shut down the courts. The plan to surround the Capitol includes assassinating Democrats as well as Republicans who didn’t support Trump’s effort to overturn the election ― and allowing other Republicans to enter the building and control government.
I’ve expressed gratitude that I don’t suffer from anxiety. A historical consciousness feels as paralyzing, though. Keeping my eyes on a man for whom the act of gargling a Big Mac registers to his abased sycophants as an act of defiance against a hostile world, I’ve known Donald Trump capable of encouraging a civil war on his behalf but dismissed those sycophants as too busy performing their racism on Facebook to take seriously those encouragements.
The egg’s on my face now.
Rarely do I post accounts as long as Terry Bouton’s, but the historian confirms much of what we have seen reported about the afternoon Trump fans transformed into insurrectionists last week, including the calls to violence that weren’t hyperbolic ventilations. I nabbed his recollections from a Facebook group of which I’m a member. Continue reading
As the bells tolled on a new year, I found the source of a void in my life: I haven’t written about the Plankton with a Hairpiece in months, if not a full calendar year. The senior senator from Florida (the state with the prettiest name!) has done little to distinguish himself while the pandemic raged; the tergiversations required as a Republican in the Age of Trump have taxed his feeble political acumen. (Rick Scott, junior senator and sadist, has shown no such hesitation). Continue reading
If we were a country like any other, we would invoke an amendment purportedly in the Constitution and remove Donald J. Trump. If we were a country like any other, we would submit articles of impeachment in the House and the Senate would vote to convict. Continue reading
Earlier this afternoon, two miles from my apartment, at one of Miami-Dade’s largest parks, Trump supporters, most of whom, I assume, are Cuban American, waved MAGA flags, participated in a caravan, and encouraged the insurrections and rule-by-fiat for which they fled Cuba. On Monday morning, I overheard the library security guard snicker to an employee picking up books for interlibrary loan that, “Now they’re saying the president encouraged those Georgia people to find more votes.” The employee shook her head with a sad, weary smile. “They’ll say anything about him,” she said. Some of these people might even be uncles, aunts, mothers, and fathers of people I know.
The most oft-stated banality describing the DC insurrection — the culmination of Trumpism — obscures one chilling consequence of these long five years. Fascism. Riots. Treason. Sedition. Collusion. The outsized presence of Trump in our minds, the manner in which he took root in our imagination, has diluted my capacity to calling things as they are, for I reflexively imagine answering those uncles, aunts, mothers, fathers who no longer dare broach politics: their spurious, inchoate, and moronic arguments taxed my attempts at intellectual agility. This embarrasses a man who revels in arranging words. To care about words requires an equally devoted audience, however, and if conservatives since the Reagan era have pushed against Webster’s definitions; if they scoff at our attempts at precision; then my futility feels doubly poisonous.