If you haven’t seen this 15 minute video at the Washington Post, it’s necessary to understand the terror of January 6th. The Washington Post put together videos from a variety of sources to create a timeline of events. Everything unfolded with astonishing speed; the Post’s video is a third as long as the actual events in real time.
I can’t embed it; here’s the link:
Let there be no doubt: Many of the rioters were absolutely out for blood. The term “banality of evil” of course comes to mind; every one of the rioters will seem as familiar and “knowable” as family. It’s not just banal, it’s uncomfortably close. This is, literally, who we are.
As such, I think there will be calls for light prosecution. Absolutely this has a racist valence to it: A mob of Black rioters would face the absolute worst the legal system could throw at them, cheered on by the President, every Republican in Congress, and probably more than a few Democrats. These rioters knew what they were doing; the act was premeditated; they weren’t ashamed. In fact, they took copious, self-incriminating video. (The rioters were not aware of, or thought themselves immune to, the Stringer Bell rule.) The Post put that to good use, as will prosecutors, I trust.
I believe in repentance. I believe in the morality of the Prodigal Son. Former Olympic swimmer Klete Keller took part, and now seems deeply ashamed of himself. That can be taken into account, though he should still face legal jeopardy. Contrast this to the Dallas realtor who simply is asking Trump for a pardon – ie impunity without repentance. Throw the book at her.
Can you imagine your neighbor, your crazy uncle, your Facebook “friend” that posts right-wing memes with a hint of menace, rioting at the Capitol? In other words, following through on the language of Trump, amplified by a pathologically greedy and destructive rightist media industry? Well, they did, and they filmed it themselves.
I am getting so tired of the self-flagellators saying the insurrection on January 6th is who “we” are. The reason it has been nearly universally condemned is that it is very much not who we are. “We” are a country of free, fair, and accepted elections which resolve our disputes at the ballot box. The whole reason this is newsworthy is because it is an aberration. As it is what I’m hearing are calls for strenuous prosecution as it should be. In the spirit of Bill Maher I propose a new rule – you don’t get to call for unity unless you first acknowledge Biden’s legitimate victory.
If this had been a mob of BLM protesters, they would have been mowed down with automatic weapons before reaching the first steps of the building. I’m not saying that should have happened here. I am instead saying that this striking absence of force is itself rightfully the subject of intense investigation.
I’m glad that the bulk of the necessary investigations will occur in the Joe Biden administration, so that there is no risk of pardons for the seditious criminal co-conspirators.
Each morning I force myself to watch FOX News for a few minutes to see what the other side is thinking. At the moment, they are trying desperately to convince their viewers that the mob attacking the Capitol was not in any way representative of the Trump base or the Republican Party.
Today, I watched a FOX talking head say that the announcement that all National Guard troops would be vetted is a slap in the face of our brave men and women in the military and illustrates the contempt that Biden and the Democrats have for them.
Finally, I watched as Mike Huckabee referred to the “cult of the left” and its efforts to de-program Trump voters with a barrage of falsehoods.
I think George Orwell would want to re-write 1984 as it seems rather tame by todays standards.
Steve Consilvio says
Denial is the most predictable of all human responses. -The Architect, in The Matrix
Some good advice about what to do about that fear: https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/01/19/hold-on-to-that-fear/
Will the new administration take that advice? I’m not optimistic.
Better advice about fear: