Five dead, one missing, and prominent among the wounded, our democracy.
A seditious crowd killed one Capitol police officer; a San Diego woman was killed by the police as she tried to force her way into the Capitol, and three other insurrectionists suffered fatal injuries in last week’s riot.
The President is MIA.
Would it shock and/or surprise you to learn that on Wednesday, Jan. 6, “A YouGov Direct poll of 1,397 registered voters who had heard about the event finds that most (62%) voters perceive these actions as a threat to democracy. Democrats (93%) overwhelmingly see it this way, while most (55%) Independents also agree. Among Republicans, however, only a quarter (27%) think this should be considered a threat to democracy, with two-thirds (68%) saying otherwise.” I am both shocked and surprised by this. I can only hope that this instant poll will be superseded by data garnered more recently, after more people have seen more video of the violent insurrection.
You know you’re done when the money bails. From Goldman Sachs and their Wall Street brethren, to the Koch brothers, to the Marriott Corporation, companies in all sectors cited violence at the Capitol and the constant barrage of lies about the election as their motivation to pull their campaign funding from the President and the Republican Senators and Congresspeople who voted to overturn the will of the American electorate.
I hope the Congress censures all who took a cynical stand against our election integrity. They figured it was a no-lose situation, one in which they could dissent for Breitbart, NewsMax, Talk Radio and Fox News, safe in the knowledge that the effort would fail, but be viewed by certain people as a valiant attempt.
As the doors were breached and the senators were being rushed out of the chamber, Mitt Romney yelled at the insurrectionist senators, “See you guys, this is what you get.”
They played with fire and they got burned. I have no desire to let them or President Trump off the hook. If inspiring armed insurrection by lying about voting integrity for months isn’t the crime of sedition, I don’t know what is.
And I fear we have not seen the end of this. It was foretold by the armed militias that intimidated lawmakers at the Michigan statehouse, some of whom went on to plot the kidnapping of Governor Gretchen Whitmer—a plot that was thankfully caught by the FBI before she was harmed. It continued through the weeks leading up to the Capitol insurrection. All one had to do was go to Parler to see the level of planning. Now web-host Amazon Web Services has knocked Parler off, and the social networks, in a horribly tardy acknowledgement that they have an obligation not to allow the fomenting of violent overthrow on their platforms, have removed President Trump.
Rupert Murdoch is hedging his bet: Fox News, with the exception of the opinion hosts in primetime, has back away from the conspiracy theories. His Wall Street Journal editorial page, a consistent Trump cheerleader has stepped away with a surprising (but not shocking) denouncement not just from star editorialist Peggy Noonan, but also in an unprecedented column by their editor-in-chief.
They had been supportive long after many of us had gotten off the bus, finally seeing the consistent and disturbing work to undermine the will of American voters as a bridge too far. Why it took so long for so many to recognize mental illness in our president is an enduring mystery to me. That nearly half his party either can’t see it still, or worse, sees it and doesn’t care, is devastating.
Many reasonable people say we should just let it go. That it’s better to heal the country by moving on than having a legal confrontation. I can’t see how turning a blind eye to insurrection helps us heal. If we really are a nation of laws, not men, we have an obligation to enforce our laws, lest we encourage more lawlessness.
The FBI says we must be on guard against right-wing extremists committing domestic terrorism. Before Parler disappeared, many individuals who call themselves Republicans simply because Trump does, were plotting violence against multiple statehouses and the upcoming inauguration.
I don’t know how long Trump’s influence will last, but with or without him, we have a significant portion of our population that is alienated. This is not news. Good manufacturing jobs went offshore, and in the process of “right-sizing” (how’s that for a euphemism?) people who made a decent living were cast off. They—and many of their values—were left behind in the transition from an industrial to an information economy.
Some—many—as witnessed by the riot in Washington, will resort to violence. We should be shocked, but not surprised.