The Destructive High Water Mark of MAGA

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his food writing website Yonder and Home. Andrew is the host of Heard Tell podcast.

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299 Responses

  1. veronica d says:

    This isn’t the high water mark.

    In fact I’ll make a prediction: there will be a right-wing terrorist attack on the inauguration, and it will be encouraged by Trump — although his bootlickers will parse his language to a torturous degree to deny it. This attack will either succeed or it will be thwarted, but it will be attempted.

    Note my last prediction was that the US would hit a million covid deaths by end of year. The most recent forecast I’ve seen was that we will likely hit just shy of half a million by end of January. So I was half right and a month off.

    Let us hope my newest prediction is even more inaccurate.Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to veronica d says:

      Sadly, I think you are right, that such will be attempted. I’m betting all the Secret Service is bent toward not giving that a chance to succeed, but I will not be shocked should they uncover a plot, or stop an act.Report

    • North in reply to veronica d says:

      I think you may be off on this one. Trump is a coward and it’s been well documented. His behavior, since the riot, has been one of shocked dismay. He wanted to push this language, this story, but not to the point where his Troompa Loompas stormed the capitol. Elements of the the GOP are turning on him now and he knows he’s gone over the line which is why he literally pledged there’d be an orderly transfer of power. While he’s still claiming he won he’s dialed his rhetoric down a lot. I certainly hope there’s no terror attack on the inauguration but you can bet money that Trump -really- hopes there isn’t one. The cowardly old blowhard has discovered he’s much further out on the limb than he wants to be.Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to North says:

        Too late, the unhinged have been set loose.

        The lesson Trump, the GOP, frankly all of our politicians need to remember is that in a country of 300+ M, with very poor mental health care, the number of persons looking for a cause to latch on to and go crazy with is >>>> 0. Fiery and overheated rhetoric might sure play well on the news and stir up the base, but that isn’t all it stirs up.Report

      • Philip H in reply to North says:

        He dialed way down because Twitter suspended him for 12 hours. Trump has been Trump for decades. This doesn’t end that.Report

      • veronica d in reply to North says:

        When a woman leaves a narcissistic abuser, she has to literally hide from him. This is why women’s shelters exist. (Although I firmly believe that men’s shelters should also exist.)

        A restraining order does absolutely zero to dissuade a narcissistic abuser. In fact, it often makes things worse.

        She must die. He must be the one to kill her. Nothing else matters.

        Trump is very dangerous right now. Count nothing out.Report

        • North in reply to veronica d says:

          That is a valuable insight, but I think it- paradoxically- gives Trump too much credit. I don’t think he’s a genuinely crazy narcissist; I think he’s merely an old delusional grifter who’s gotten away with his grift for too long. He’s an idiot lighting matches in an explosive storage.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to North says:

        Given the security around the event, I think the likelihood is low… that said, in my screenplay version the head of the Secret Service sits Trump down and very politely but firmly informs him that he has two choices: 1) Sit his ass next to the incoming president for the duration, or 2) wear this special device and hope that no one even faints in a dramatic fashion at the event.

        After the inauguration, his detail will remove the device. Enjoy your day, Sir… let us know which you prefer.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to veronica d says:

      Trump’s method of getting his Magats to stop was to basically say “Don’t. Stop.” and tell them how beautiful they were. The very night of the riot Rep. Matt Gas Mask of Florida was lying about their being antifa infiltrators among the Magats that encouraged this. Over a hundred house Republicans along with Senators Ted Crud and Josh Punchable Face went on with the nonsense about Trump’s sacred landslide. I’m really scared about the future of the country. There are lot of people who have been committing arson in the name of power since the day I was born in 1980. It doesn’t seem to be stopping. It seems to be getting worse. Many of the Trump freikorps are my age or even younger. Hawley is only a year older than me. This is terrible horrible problem with easy, good, or possibly even potential solution. How do you de-Nazify a big part of your own population without authoritarian control and measures?Report

    • Douglas Hayden in reply to veronica d says:

      My counter-prediction is that there won’t be: There will be too many Biden supporters at the inauguration, and the one thing they fear is being outnumbered by counter-protestors.Report

    • I’ll take that bet. There’s no big celebration, and the National Guard — at least the Virginia National Guard and hopefully the DC Guard — will be very visible around the edges of the places where gatherings can occur. Further wager: if Trump encourages things, it will be on-screen from far away. As of noon, Jan 20 he’s not the President, his only official protection is a limited number of Secret Service agents, and he won’t be anywhere close to any RWNJs crazy enough to push the Guard.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Michael Cain says:

        My question is where Trump will be on January 20. My guess is Maralago, enjoying the fourth day of lots of “calls and meetings.” He might even have already resigned to allow Pence to pardon him! (40/60)Report

  2. One thing I would add: Hawley sent out a fund-raising e-mail in the midst of the rioting. That was almost certainly a pre-timed thing, set to go out when he would be giving a dramatic speech in front of Congress about the election. It was a grift from beginning to end and he got caught out.Report

  3. Saul Degraw says:

    “Charlottesville didn’t presage this failure. It caused it. And the purpose of Wednesday’s march was not to take over government, not really. The purpose was to make precisely the point Nazis made three years ago in Virginia: that for white extremists, the streets belong to them, the Capitol belongs to them, and Nancy Pelosi’s office belongs to them, too. That they retain power even when they lose the majority. The fact that they were met by stunned Capitol Police who had no idea how to stop them was very precisely their point. And just as most of the organizers and participants in Charlottesville’s Nazi march swanned off with impunity and some fun selfies in 2017, so too the D.C. insurrectionists have no reason to fear that they will pay for their actions today. They were met with the very opposite of force. The police appear to have opened the gates for them. Why wouldn’t they believe the Capitol was theirs for the taking? It was. The gates are eternally open for an angry white man. “Report

  4. Saul Degraw says:

    comment in mod again. Can we fix this problem?Report

  5. North says:

    Beautifully written Andrew. It will be fascinating to see how long this will hang about the necks of the right and the GOP.
    In virtually every way they have demonstrated they are what they accuse their opponents of being. If it weren’t so fishing tragic I’d laugh really hard over it.Report

  6. Chip Daniels says:

    Echoing Saul above-

    People, people right here on this very blog, have argued that the purpose of the 2nd Amendment is not to actually overthrow the US Army, but to make the government hesitate, to intimidate it just a bit so as to make it reluctant and pause before enforcing a law.

    The purpose of events like yesterday is the same, to make it clear that any attempt by the people of America to install a democratically elected government which doesn’t meet with the Trumpists’ approval will be met with violence and chaos.Report

  7. LeeEsq says:

    My comment is in mod. Please rescue.Report

    • Michael Cain in reply to LeeEsq says:

      General information, the sequence n-a-z-i (without the dashes) in any combination of upper- or lower-case, or embedded in a longer string, currently gets a comment dumped into moderation.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Michael Cain says:

        I did Not See that rule.Report

        • Unstated policy, I suppose. Nevertheless, there is a set of strings that will get comments tossed into moderation. It gets changed from time to time. You’d have to ask the editors about how they decide what goes in there. I pointed this one out because it got both Saul and Lee today. There are other WordPress-isms. Eg, if you edit a comment with a link in it, the edited version goes into moderation, regardless of whether the link was changed or not.Report

  8. Jaybird says:

    I’ve said, multiple times, where I see this going and I’ve no reason to update anything.

    I’m keeping an eye open for the next time the voice of the unheard is made audible by people who have legitimate grievances and we need to keep in mind that while we do not condone violence, the best actions that we, as a responsible citizenry, need to take involve *LISTENING* rather than condemning.

    And seeing what happens.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

      Innocent people being shot by police, having to accept an election I don’t like…Y’know, these grievances should be treated alike.

      Things that are false, things that are true…When you stop and think about it, aren’t they really all the same?Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        Oscar Lee Stewart Jr. died because of George Floyd’s death.

        According to the medical examiner, he died due to “probable inhalation of products of combustion and thermal injury from an intentional building fire.” The fire was set during the protests that followed the death of George Floyd.

        George Floyd was shot?

        Things that are false, things that are true…When you stop and think about it, aren’t they really all the same?Report

    • greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

      Losing an election is a rather predictable grievance that pretty much everybody will have. It’s baked into being a democracy.

      Maybe the heart of the problem is pol’s who can grift off of inciting hate and anger and mobs. That doesn’t seem good at all. But yeah lets listen to people. And if people want to be listened to they should first shove their “civil war WHHHHooo Hoooo Funsies” “rope, tree, journolist” etc etc etc up their backsides.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

        Maybe the heart of the problem is pol’s who can grift off of inciting hate and anger and mobs.

        Oh, my gosh! I agree! 100%!

        I’m always interested in the mobs that are allowed to persist versus the ones that are not.

        I mean, if the police didn’t do anything and allowed the MAGAts to do their thing for a month or so… would you find that interesting? Worth condemning?Report

        • greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

          Well since i was against rioting in the summer nothing has really changed. Nor has the ever present BDSI. Gotta stop talking about the RW loons as quick as possible.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

            Greg, I think that the rioters yesterday ought to have the book thrown at them.

            Because I think that rioters ought to have the book thrown at them.

            But I also don’t have the memory of a goldfish.

            And if you normalize bad behavior, you’re going to get more of it.

            We’re reaping what was sown this summer.

            You’d better start believing in slippery slopes.

            You’re on one.Report

            • Philip H in reply to Jaybird says:

              there were hundreds of arrests of rioters last summer. SO far there have been 14 reported arrests from yesterday.

              Problem is you and whole bunch of other folks here STILL can’t tell rioters from protestors.Report

            • greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

              Ahh i see you are so committed to craptastic logic you are going all in. To hell with you slippery slopes. Tons of the protesters are using that same SS logic: “if a Dem is elected then the republic is ended, there will never be republican elected ever. ….OMG must panic now” The logic of SS is to always default to the most paranoid fear inducing hysterical reaction. How is that working for you? The magas and qberts are all about everything f’n thing being a slippery slope to hell.

              Riots are bad. As i remember they weren’t all that fond of the peaceful protests either. Nor has the hardcore right thought any protest against the cops has been justified.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

                As i remember they weren’t all that fond of the peaceful protests either.

                People are allowed to like/not like things. It’s the application of government force where things get fuzzy.

                Nor has the hardcore right thought any protest against the cops has been justified.

                You should see how even lefties feel about someone touching Police Unions.

                It’s like they see the word “union” and suddenly it’s a conversation about Union Theory instead of, you know, stuff that actually happens.Report

              • KatherineMW in reply to Jaybird says:

                I’ve seen a lot of left-wing discourse around BLM since this summer, and everyone I’ve seen agrees that the police unions are toxic, maintain a state of unaccountability for abusive behaviour, and need to dealt with.Report

              • Slade the Leveller in reply to KatherineMW says:

                I, too, am struggling with the whole “the Left loves police unions” thing. I literally cannot recall ever reading such a statement.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Slade the Leveller says:

                The really weird part is the eagerness to alienate the only portion of the political spectrum out there in the world that would be the least bit sympathetic to reining in cops and their unions.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Slade the Leveller says:

                Police Unions fall under the heading of Public Sector Unions, and PSUs are a “good thing”.

                The trick is finding a way to cleave Police Unions from PSUs.Report

              • Slade the Leveller in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                I would posit that PSUs are *not* a good thing. Police unions are an even worse subset of that.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Slade the Leveller says:

                I’m not a fan of PSUs, but I do hold that if we have PSUs, police get to have one.

                What I would do is pass a law that PSUs are not allowed to negotiate aspects of discipline that relate to interactions with the public.

                If a PSU member (any PSU) regularly interacts with a member of the public, and does something to cause harm to that person that would be civilly or criminally actionable, the PSU is not permitted to get involved beyond offering legal aid. If the PSU member is part of an investigative body, that investigative body is not permitted to be involved.Report

              • InMD in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                See this is where we need that oh so rare thing in politics: willingness to do the right thing even when it is hard. Raising wages costs tax payer money which we know is always in short supply. One of the ways to negotiate compromises on pay with the union is to offer special legal protections that on the front end don’t cost anything from the public coffers and avoid tax hikes. It takes courage to take that bargaining chip off the table when all of the bad things are on the back end and the dots aren’t easy for the average person not versed in the issue to connect.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to InMD says:

                And of course now the police feel entitled to those legal protections, so they aren’t a negotiating chip anymore, except to expand them further.Report

              • I, too, am struggling with the whole “the Left loves police unions” thing.

                I just did a search for the string “loves police unions”.

                The only place I found it was in your comment here.

                Who were you quoting?Report

              • Slade the Leveller in reply to Jaybird says:

                “You should see how even lefties feel about someone touching Police Unions.”

                Did I read that wrong?Report

              • Dunno. Would you like to see how the argument over touching police unions went? Do so here.

                Don’t see it as “love” as much as “desire to maintain the status quo in the face of someone arguing that they are toxic and need to be abolished”.

                What’s weird is how police have 50%+1 cover for the stuff they do because, of course, “The Right” loves them some “Thin Blue Line” and “The Left” sees the word “union” and suddenly it’s a conversation about Union Theory instead of, you know, stuff that actually happens.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                That link doesn’t show what you say it shows.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Slade the Leveller says:

                I, too, am struggling with the whole “the Left loves police unions” thing. I literally cannot recall ever reading such a statement.

                I, am Spartacus! Union Lover!

                We did have a lot of discussion about police unions, which I initially supported and I came to change my position, that maybe on balance the good of collective bargaining by police outweighs the bad of protecting bad cops.

                I hold out hope that the good of bargaining over pay and benefits can be retained while unions be stripped of their power over discipline.

                But see, here’s the thing; Police Reform is going to be a really big basket of things, with collective bargaining being just a small component.
                Its going to involve confronting the toxic culture of racism in police departments, the militarized model, the underlying premises of “Law and Order” which drives voting patterns, and more besides.
                The solutions are going to involve things like civilian review boards and diversion of funds into mental health and homeless services.

                Threadjacking every discussion about police into Lefties Love Cops! is just a trolling tactic.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Would you like to read an essay that discusses Police Reform?

                I may have a link to one around here…Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Threadjacking every discussion about police into Lefties Love Cops! is just a trolling tactic.

                And to what end? Who, exactly, is likely in the real world to be receptive to any sort of police reform and who not? What is to be gained from trolling them, rather than those who really oppose it?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

                Well, CJ, imagine having a discussion about reforming the cops. And, like, mentioning that there are 4 or 5 or 6 different things that need to be done to reform them. Like, there isn’t any one single magic bullet to do it. It’ll take many different things.

                And people start arguing for maintaining the status quo for those things. Oh, getting rid of QI won’t do anything. Oh, there are reasons pot is still schedule 1. Oh, I haven’t seen any evidence that police unions contribute to toxicity.

                Can you see why someone might then say “here is some evidence for how police unions contribute to toxicity?”

                And then, for some reason, be baffled when that discussion turns into an argument over epistemic theory?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                For a guy who spends a lot of time talking about game theory and clever political strategy, you seem rather inept at forming alliances and coalitions.

                Liberals who support collective bargaining, but also support civilian review boards and detoxifying our culture of racism would seem your natural allies, yet you fixate on the one aspect of disagreement, to the exclusion of everything else.

                Between the Blue Lives Matter / Send In The Troops/MAGA flag waving crowd on one side and liberals who support public employee unions, your ire seems weirdly misplaced.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I think it’s the whole “oh, I have no idea how to read a paper written by academics” thing that still pisses me off.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Exactly. Jaybird remains unhappy with the response to his police union posts, ignoring his own responsibility for the turn the discussion took, and has responded by trolling the only people who might, in the real world, support at least some of his agenda. Assuming he has a substantive agenda and isn’t just lashing out.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

                Wait, wait.

                Is this the “I became a right-winger because the wokies offended me”, in reverse?

                Is “I abandoned the moral position because I was personally offended” a defensible position now?Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

                You tell us. You’re the one who has taken either a position or offense.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

                You’re the one who defended taking a position because of how I am, rather than how the cops are.

                Have you ever seen this Matt Bors cartoon? Pretty insightful!Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

                No, I didn’t. Your reading comprehension problem strikes again. What I did say was that you were, perversely, trolling potential allies, and that this was strange, possibly counterproductive, behavior. That’s about you do, not about what others should do. The last thing I would recommend is that anyone take your trolling seriously enough to influence their views on any substantive issue.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Jaybird says:

                Oh, I haven’t seen any evidence that police unions contribute to toxicity.

                As I have I pointed out to you a dozen times, the negative things that you complain police unions do could be done outside police unions.

                I.e., if the complaint is that police unions manage discipline, and don’t give any, so you dissolve police unions…what stops the police force from just inventing a discipline entity within the force that does the exact same thing? Or just…inventing the rights that unions currently negotiate for?

                Literally nothing you think is the problem with police unions has anything to do with the police union existing as a union, and everything to do with the fact that local government bootlick the police and let them do anything they want.

                And that’s not going to slightly change if you dissolve the union. The way to stop that stuff from happening is _by forbidding it_, not going after the union. Forbid governments from making such shitty contacts. By law. That’s the only way they’ll stop.

                And the annoying thing isn’t that I keep pointing this out. It’s that, that every time I do out, YOU AGREE.

                And then you immediately forget it next time police reforms come up, and immediately decide the problem is police unions, because you want to make a big point about the left not supporting police unions while supporting unions.

                And the entire thing falls apart when I step forward and say ‘Hey, I have no problem with police unions existings, I have a problem with a government that desperately licks the boots of police officers so much it’s willing to grant them near complete indemnity…and I don’t give a _damn_ it happens via unions. The unions are doing exactly what they are supposed to do.’Report

              • Jaybird in reply to DavidTC says:

                And that’s not going to slightly change if you dissolve the union. The way to stop that stuff from happening is _by forbidding it_, not going after the union. Forbid governments from making such shitty contacts. By law. That’s the only way they’ll stop.

                One of the things that keeps coming up is that there seems to be even less of a mechanism to make the government not engage in a bad contract than there is to make the union not protect bad cops.

                And then you immediately forget it next time police reforms come up, and immediately decide the problem is police unions, because you want to make a big point about the left not supporting police unions while supporting unions.

                There are actually about a half-dozen things that are the problem.

                Like, if we change any one of the six things, it won’t fix it. I don’t know that we’d necessarily even see a difference.

                If we change two of the six things, it won’t fix it. Maybe here is where we might start to see a difference.

                If we change three of the six things, it might get us to “not as bad as it used to be”.

                Arguing over whether we should get rid of unions or just fundamentally change them so that the only thing that they argue for is better pensions, better pay, better bennies, and more time off is something that would fix it too.

                Sure. Get me that on a ballot and I’ll vote for it.

                But, until I get that ballot, let’s get rid of the police unions.

                “The unions are doing exactly what they are supposed to do.”

                This is why I see “getting rid of them” as preferable to just making them be nicer.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Jaybird says:

                One of the things that keeps coming up is that there seems to be even less of a mechanism to make the government not engage in a bad contract than there is to make the union not protect bad cops.

                Less in what way? Neither of them are happening at all! How can one method be more or less successful than the other?

                And we don’t have to make the government ‘not engage in a bad contract’. We just need to make certain other things be the actual law.

                For example, if we create an independent commission where disiplinary action happens, the unions can’t negotiate that they are in charge of that anymore…or…I guess, could _also_ set one up for additional discipline, but whatever, who cares.

                Likewise, if we specify officers are fired for certain actions, it doesn’t matter one damn what the union tries to negotiate. Union contracts cannot override actual law.

                The problem is we don’t have any actual law, we let the police (and the police system, as in, the police+DA’s office) be completely in charge of policing themselves, and the unions are merely what they used to accomplish that in some ways. (But not all ways)

                Take the unions away, they will invent some other way to still be in charge of policing themselves. Probably just by…actually having the police department do it, they already do to a large extent.

                Like, it’s not police unions that stop police shootings from being investigated well. Or from being prosecuted. That’s the police department and the DA. And the police unions aren’t setting the rules of engagement that often cause deaths, that’s the police department.

                We don’t need to negotiate new contracts where the police don’t do those anymore, the ‘union contacts’ are only important because we’ve handed all responsibility over to the police, and then we…think we can make them do something else via contract? Huh?

                No. No. Don’t let the police do any of this, at all. Ideally, there should be a group that is not the police that functionally has full authority over the entire police, from top to bottom. (Assuming we’re not dismantling them.)

                As I’ve mentioned before, if the city garbage collectors union demanded the right to investigate and not charge themselves in deaths _they_ cause while on duty, we’d call this lunacy, but here’s the thing: We couldn’t actually grant them that right in contract negotiations anyway. The law simply doesn’t allow it.

                At minimum, _right now_, we need to disallow that for cops, at the Federal level. I’d prefer an independent commission for each force, but at minimum we need to have rules about suspensions, and tracking of bad officers and laws about hiring them, and require the next higher-up force investigate shootings. (State for local, Federal for state, and I guess different Federal agencies for Federal.)Report

              • Jaybird in reply to DavidTC says:

                Less in what way? Neither of them are happening at all! How can one method be more or less successful than the other?

                You’ve got a good point, there.

                It’s just that when we vote for Progressive Candidates, for some reason, they veto the bills that squeak through in the Progressive House.

                While when people call for just, you know, getting rid of police unions, the topic turns into how Unions are important, and, sure, maybe there are occasional problems with what progressive governments are willing to negotiate with police unions, but police unions are doing what they were designed to do.

                And the status quo, status quo, status quo remains the same.

                I wonder if there’s a point at which we can say “okay, we’ve tried voting for progressive folks who are bad at negotiation… maybe we should try something else?”

                If so, we’re not there yet.

                Maybe next year.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

                In that vein, here’s something to keep an eye open for:


              • KatherineMW in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                It’s not a small component. If you can’t fire an officer who kills unarmed civilians, or who beats suspects, then you can’t reform the police is any meaningful way.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to KatherineMW says:

                You’re right.

                And as has been the discussion here, police reform will consist of many separate things, all working in concert.

                Like, even if we had nonunion police, which police chief would actually want to fire the corrupt cops?

                So in addition to breaking the power of police unions, we need to fire the existing chiefs and install new ones.
                But then which juries would convict the accused cops?

                So we need civilian review boards with actual power.

                And so on and so on.

                So yes, weakening police unions ability to block discipline is important.

                But- and here is the thing for us in this discussion;
                A tepid opposition to one component of reform shouldn’t be characterized as “wanting to maintain the status quo”.

                This reminds me of the intra-lefty discussions where the slightest variance from dogma becomes “wanting to maintain the capitalist hegemony” or something.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to KatherineMW says:

                Oh, Katherine! Do *I* have a thread for you!

                We argued about whether it was possible to know if police unions were toxic. (The conclusions may surprise you!)

                (Also, Also, Oscar had an awesome essay about changing how we think about policing. I think you’ll like it and won’t have more than a handful of quibbles with it.)Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to greginak says:

        I have to wonder if this isn’t a natural result of career politicians? If losing an election means getting knocked out of the probable pinnacle of your career, they have a strong incentive to attack the process once in they are seated.Report

        • Philip H in reply to Oscar Gordon says:


          • Oscar Gordon in reply to Philip H says:

            Obviously that runs up against the problem of term limits, etc. Term limits would deal with the problem, but it introduces other issues (knowledge management).

            Not sure how to best prevent attacks against the system by entrenched parties.Report

        • James K in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

          Plenty of other countries have career politicians without having these issues. Angela Merkel has been Chancellor of German for 15 years without them having this problem. And in this case we’re talking about the one office in the Federal government that has term limits.Report

          • Oscar Gordon in reply to James K says:

            I’m speaking about federal politicians in general, not just the presidency.

            And I’m not suggesting we do away with career politicians as such (to Lee’s point below).

            Just, how do we incentivize respect for the system by the party members? Is this a structural issue, or merely a profound lack of leadership by GOP leaders (Mitch and Co are not cracking the whip on members who attack the system)?Report

        • LeeEsq in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

          No, absolutely not as James K. pointed out. A lack of career politicians would make the situation even worse.Report

    • KatherineMW in reply to Jaybird says:

      But they are heard, Jaybird. They’ve been heard in numerous courtrooms throughout the country, and their problem is that they have no evidence for their views,. They’ve been heard for the last four years, and what they have to say is hatred for minorities and women, and unhinged conspiracy theories. That’s been clear since Charlottesville. It’s been clear since Trump’s election sparked a spike in hate crimes in the US and Canada alike. They’re not voicing any legitimate grievances.

      The problem is not that they’re unheard. The problem is that they are unwilling to tolerate any circumstance where they are not in power, no matter how conciliatory the Democrats attempt to be.

      These aren’t some conservative “equivalent” to BLM. They’re the ideological successors of the people who overthrew and massacred Black governments at the end of Reconstruction.

      When a group seeks civil rights, we can give them what they want. We cannot give this group what they want, because what they want is to terrorize and oppress.Report

      • Bill Blake in reply to KatherineMW says:

        My housemate is an alcoholic who recently fell off the wagon–drunk since the start of December. Drunk this morning, he told me that he intends to move to the other coast, traveling on an 1800 dollar electric bike he just bought, and asked if I would take care of this stray cat he keeps fed. I am without income or assets of any sort, and I don’t take welfare, on principle. What I have is from charity, and it doesn’t include any significant amount of cash. Like cash to buy cat food. I told him that I could not do it, that I would pass the responsibility to someone who could.

        My housemate then started saying foul things to and about me because he felt that I *had* to accept that responsibility, so I tried to close my door. He tried to hold the door open and I told him I’d call the police unless he let me close the door. He did, but kept yelling at me. So once again I had to invoke calling the police. He went away, muttering sullenly….and ten minutes later shut the power off. It stayed off for about six hours, until our case manager was able to get here and tell him to cut it back on *or else*. (I could have figured out how to cut it back on myself, but I’d have had to climb on stuff to get to the power box and I’d have risked a violent confrontation. So, I waited.)

        What, you ask, does my drunken housemate have to do with anything? The superficial answer is that he’s a MAGAt, fully invested in the lies told by right wing grifters, consumed with typical MAGAt self-righteous and ignorant arrogance. But the real answer is to be found in his conversation with our case manager.

        In that conversation, he went on and on about how he’d complained about me to all and sundry in the organization that provides our home and nothing was done. (Because his complaints were, to use the legalese, meritless.)

        The house we live in is provided by a charity that requires one to contribute to the rent *if one can*. He complained that I was a bad person because I contribute nothing. He felt that, because he did contribute, he was the owner of the place and could set the rules and that I was obligated to follow his rules.

        He whined, on and on, that I didn’t follow the rules he insisted on. (In reality, when he made reasonable requests and even a few unreasonable but easily accommodated ones, I acquiesced. I simply ignored the rest.) And, this being *his* home, he had the right to turn off the power if he felt like it, and he felt like it because he wasn’t getting his way. (He actually said that!)

        He was full of bogus self-righteousness and “alternative facts” and condemnations of things that were not his to condemn–and he felt that he was justified in *anything* he might choose to do. Oh, and he was still, and obviously, drunk.

        His drunken stinking thinking is precisely the thing that we’re seeing from trumpettes. If we’re to deal with them, we must not get trapped into conversations about whether they have legitimate grievances. Perhaps some of those grievances have a basis in reality, but that’s not the point of their grievances. The point of their grievances is *to rationalize anger*, to justify their hatreds, their condemnations, their violence. The cause of their actions is not anything outside themselves, it is their flat refusal to be responsible and decent human beings.Report

    • KatherineMW in reply to Jaybird says:

      If you would like statistics on the differences between police responses to groups like BLM compared to events like the attempted coup, police are consistently more likely to use force against left-wing protests than right-wing ones, irrespective of whether those protests are violent or not:

      Additionally, the analysis finds that 93% of the protests associated with BLM were entirely peaceful. Even looking solely at non-violent protests, left-wing ones were suppressed more often than right-wing ones.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to KatherineMW says:

        I’m 100% down with this. I think that the way the cops treated the BLM protests was execrable and made things worse. Like, a *LOT* worse.

        I am sure you are already familiar with examples of the cops breaking up peaceful protests but leaving the more enthusiastic ones alone. Here’s them busting up a violin protest in Aurora:

        I’m sure you’ve seen no shortage of the cops suddenly developing a case of the Blu Flu when something really interesting is going to go down. (It’s an interesting way to do leverage. “Let us do what we want or we’ll tell enthusiastic youths that we’re leaving these blocks alone for a couple of nights.”)

        The cops are, dare I say it, out of control and need to be reformed from the ground up.Report

        • KatherineMW in reply to Jaybird says:

          They do. In at least some parts of the US it seems like they need to be completely disbanded, because the whole department actively supports brutalizing peaceful protestors. They’re actively trying to turn people violent to make them look bad.

          I looked at your other links – interesting stuff! I’m not convinced pot legalization is a panacea (we’ve done it in the US, and we still have issues with seriously racially-biased use of police violence), but I think it’s a worthy idea in and of itself, and I think the US imprisons a lot more people for it than we did in the first place, so it may have a bugger impact for you. I want body cameras so that we can have clearer information because, in several Canadian cases, we’ve seen police consistently lying about events; but I’m not convinced they’d use them. We DEFINITELY need to get mental health calls dealt with by non-cops (e.g. mental health nurses with some experience dealing with patients at risk of self-harm), because we had several cases within a few months where the police showed up for mental health calls in response to the ill person or their family actively calling emergency services, and killed the person (at least 2 cases) or caused their death. Police simply aren’t suited to addressing those kinds of situations. (And yet, when a white guy goes after the Prime Minister with guns, they manage to bring him in nonviolently; it’s good that they did so, buy it reveals how far they are from treating black and brown people the same.)

          Then, we need a much stronger focus on rehabilitation generally.

          But that doesn’t deal with systemic racial bias within the police, and black people being disproportionately targeted. My pastor does implicit bias training with the Ottawa police; the police chief is black and says he wants reform; but it doesn’t seem to be happening, going by statistics on police stops. Black kids and black parents should not have to live in fear. I think the idea in the thread you linked of only having armed police show up when a violent crime is called in is a good one; but I’m not sure that the lower level of police, the patrollers, is something we need at all; I’d rather have people trained in social work and mental health care in that role.

          In general, the entire mindset of the police – I think more so in the US than in Canada, but probably here – is wrong; they see the public as threats rather than as the people to whom they are responsible, and power-tripping seems endemic. Any profession in which you get to hold a gun seems to attract bullies; clearly hiring needs to involve better vetting, but I think much more than that is needed.

          I think a lot of crime could be prevented by ensuring everyone had decent housing and basic needs, and better mental health care and addictions care; but there will also always be some level of crime so I don’t see any clear way of abolishing law enforcement entirely.

          This was rambly, but I don’t have the clearest ideas on policy solutions.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to KatherineMW says:

            Well, the big problem is that we *DO* need cops and we do need policing.

            This idea that we should abolish the police is a pipe dream. However. I do think that the way that cops exist *NOW* does need to be abolished. What to replace it with? Hyper-local policing, for one. On top of that, the War on Drugs ending will have a *HUGE* social cost. Seriously, it’ll make things worse for a bunch of people. But it will make things better for others and take away some of the worst avenues for abuse from the hyper-local cops (every time I hear of police protection rackets, I boil).

            I think it was after the Parkland School Shooting that I said “why in the hell do we have the police?”

            I mean, if they’re hiding outside and telling other cops to not go in until the school shooter is done… WHY IN THE HELL DO WE HAVE COPS AT ALL?

            I know that, for the most part, most cops are merely in the barrel and not, themselves, originally bad. It’s just that once you are put in a place where you’re covering for bad cops, or not cooperating with the people investigating bad cops, and keeping your head down because, hey, you’ve got a pretty sweet gig going… well, it’s hard to call such a person a “good cop” at that point.

            And after the cops get rid of the rookies that aren’t a “good fit” in the first six months or so, suddenly, the barrel smells pretty funky. Remember the cops who stood next to Chauvin and just watched him kneel on Floyd? Those cops were a good fit.

            I know we can’t get rid of cops entirely. But we could probably stand to rotate out 75% of the ones who are currently in uniform.

            And, yeah, come back every couple of years to make sure that cops aren’t regressing to previous patterns due to the whole issues that come from staring into the abyss. Because we need cops for a reason and those reasons suck really, really bad.Report

  9. greginak says:

    Great piece Andrew. So many of the blathering grifters care not a bit about this country other then how to use it line their pockets or fluff their egos.Report

  10. Douglas Hayden says:

    Beliefs like these are why you’re someone I highly respect and why you’d make a superb statesman. But I also know you’re smart enough not to go down the route of elected office either, so.Report

  11. Tom says:

    A comment goes hereReport

  12. KatherineMW says:

    Antifa is not an organization. Antifa is simply an abbreviation for antifascism.

    It’s nice that you condemn the rioters, but why are you deriding antifascism as being equivalent to a violent coup attempt? The attempted coup made clearer than ever that there are only two sides now in America – fascists and antifascists. Which one are you on?Report

    • Jaybird in reply to KatherineMW says:

      Katherine! Good to see you!Report

      • KatherineMW in reply to Jaybird says:

        Yeah, it’s been a while. Hope you’ve been keeping well during the pandemic.

        For the last four years I didn’t really feel like making nice with conservatives. Not with white supremacists in power in the US. Ordinary Times was built on the assumption of common ground, and it doesn’t feel like that assumption is still valid. World feels like it’s gone really off the rails. But even I wasn’t expecting things to go this far.

        A QAnon believer tried to assassinate our prime minister earlier in 2020.

        I’m seriously freaked out. How does the US function when at least a third of the country regards a valid election as fundamentally illegitimate, can’t be convicted otherwise, and is willing to overthrow the government by force?Report

        • Jaybird in reply to KatherineMW says:

          We’ve been holding it down, I guess. Maribou is working from home. I only have to go in 30-40% of the time. (Which is about 30-40% more than Maribou wants but we mask up, wear gloves, all the swiss cheese stuff.) I’ve relearned how to cook and that’s a delight.

          I hope you’ve been well.

          As to the answer for your question, I’ve gamed it out in my head and the main answer that I see is “Divorce or War”.

          Assuming that a return to Federalism For Real This Time isn’t on the table.Report

          • KatherineMW in reply to Jaybird says:

            Federalism for Real means abandoning African-Americans in the southern states to terrorism and disenfranchisement – as well as abandoning poor people in those states to be denied health care and basic necessities of life – so I have to agree that it’s not on the table.

            It’s been a rough year. Working from home since mid-March, which is fairly isolating; I have actual in-person conversations a couple times per month, on average. Managed to fly out and visit my family in August when case numbers were low, which was a real bright spot in the year.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to KatherineMW says:

          Don’t listen to Jaybird on “divorce or war”, it is his monomania. The truth is that nearly every country is made up on disparate groups that do not get agree on much but need to find a way to get along. Even the deepest blue and red states are about 35-40 percent opposition. There is not going to be a mass migration or sorting. California’s conservatives are just as crazy as any other MAGAt. They generally just grumble and commit stupid pranks to “own the libs.”Report

          • KatherineMW in reply to Saul Degraw says:

            Hi Saul! I hope your are right, but Trump’s supporters being irreversibly convinced that Biden’s election was fraudulent, in the absence of any evidence of such, goes beyond normal political disagreement.

            Every single time in the last four years I have tried to think positively about American politics, every single time I have tried to give conservatives the benefit of the doubt, every single time I have thought “this is the lowest point; it can’t get any worse than THIS” – I have been proven wrong.

            As of the coup attempt, I am deciding that there is no length to which they will not go. I expect they will still find a way to negatively surprise me.Report

        • Pinky in reply to KatherineMW says:

          “How does the US function when at least a third of the country regards a valid election as fundamentally illegitimate, can’t be convicted otherwise, and is willing to overthrow the government by force?”

          You’re describing the last four years as much as the next four.Report

          • KatherineMW in reply to Pinky says:

            Democrats regarded Trump’s election as a crappy situation resulting from bad electoral design, but they did NOT systematically deny that he had, in fact, been elected and won the Electoral College. They did not attempt to overthrow the election in the courts using ludicrously bad attempts at evidence. They did not refuse to certify his electoral college votes in large numbers as the Republican members of the House have done with Biden. Democratic members of the House and Senate did not fabricate increasingly wild conspiracy theories.

            They opposed his policies and actions, and groused about the electoral college. They did not deny that he had won or attempt to overthrow the government. I cannot imagine what you mean by claiming a third of the country during the last four years has “been willing to overthrow the government by force” unless you mean Trump supporters were always willing to do it.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky says:

            This is a perfect illustration of my point, that Republicans consider any Democratic power to be illegitimate.

            Protesting in the street is no different than attempting to forcibly prevent Congress from functioning.

            Using the impeachment process in accordance with the Constitution and procedural norms is the same as using fictitious legal tricks to block the electoral votes.

            Lies are the same as truth, force is the same as argumentation.

            There is no possible level of political objection the Democrats can use, which they would grant as legitimate, and there is no level of force they can use, which they would grant to the Democrats.Report

            • KatherineMW in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              I know. That was obvious from the moment sports players quietly kneeling became “unacceptably radical and disrespectful”.

              It’s race as much as party. Any political action taken by black people – or by connection, anyone aligned with black people – is, to conservatives, inherently illegitimate. Even (or especially) voting, hence the unfounded claims of fraud.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to KatherineMW says:

      Protesting against injustice is exactly the same as protesting in favor of injustice.

      It’s in the BSDI style manual.Report

      • KatherineMW in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        Yeah, that’s the attitude that’s been infuriating me. There’s a fundamental difference between protests against injustice, even ones where deep-seated frustrations about being denied civil and human rights turn violent, and a violent attempt to overthrow the results of a legitimate election.

        Now, I can’t say there has never been anyone making trouble under the name of antifa – the Black Bloc try to coopt a lot of things, for example – but there is no antifa organization or leadership. It’s just a general label meaning antifascism, and no one operating under that label has ever done anything remotely on this level. So condemning a literal white supremacist (not hyperbole! there are photos of white supremacist leaders in the group! they had a confederate flag!) coup attempt by saying “they’re acting like antifa” is just ludicrous.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to KatherineMW says:

          I don’t even accept the qualifier of “violent” protest.

          Trying to overthrow the results of a legitimate and fair election is in and of itself, an attack on democracy. Even if it is peaceful even if no one breaks any windows.

          The goal of the protesters yesterday was unacceptable, not just their behavior.Report

          • KatherineMW in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            So, for example, calling a general strike in reaction to an election result you disliked would be an attack on democracy?Report

          • Oscar Gordon in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            Let’s have a hypothetical.

            Let’s say that, in GA, there was some kind of substantial evidence of voter fraud. Not rock solid (yet), but more than bad statistical analysis and fever dreams. And the SOS was hand-waving it away.

            What is an acceptable mode of protest?

            (Just to be clear, I’ve seen no evidence anywhere that any kind of coordinated voter fraud happened)Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

              There obviously isn’t some bright shining line that we can draw between Good and Bad protests;

              But we, as engaged citizens of the republic, can assess for ourselves the listed grievances, the remedies sought, the tactics used, and determine in our own minds whether the action was acceptable or not.

              In this event, the grievances were spurious, the remedies sought were destructive, and the tactics wholly unacceptable.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                As long as we aren’t engaging in absolutes, etc., that’s fine.

                Thing is, I’m happy with the results of the election, not so much because I like the Ds having control, but because at this juncture, the various newly elected Ds are far more preferable to me than Trump and his legion of GOP toadies who are eager to violate their oaths and align to the man.

                That said, I can see the point a lot of the protesters have, in that they truly believe there are irregularities in the votes (because Big Lies work), and they were protesting the places where they feel attention must be drawn (state election facilities).

                So up until yesterday, their protests were acceptable, if misguided*.

                *I do agree with you that those bringing guns to such protests are not helping their cause.Report

            • KatherineMW in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

              Take it to the courts, take it to the press, and hold demonstrations outside the Georgia government buildings. If they were doing that in this situation they’d STILL be wrong because they have no evidence and are simply trying to overturn democratic results, but they wouldn’t be seditious.

              All the evidence HAS been taken to courts, over and over and over again, and they have repeatedly found that it is completely baseless. Republican-appointed judges have found that it is completely baseless.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to KatherineMW says:

                Quick question, because someone else had brought it up to me on social media:

                How many cases were decided on the evidence or lack thereof, versus how many were dismissed on standing or other reasons not related to whatever evidence was brought forth?

                The argument being made was that most, if not all, such cases never heard evidence of fraud, and merely decided things on standing, etc. That doesn’t sound right to me, but I’ve long since lost track of these things.Report

              • This is the argument my conservative acquaintance puts forth. IANAL, but this is a gross misunderstanding of how the legal system in the US works. I am not allowed to say, “My acquaintance has moved 12 times in 14 years, there must be tax shenanigans,” and have the subpoena and other coercive investigative power of the government placed at my disposal.

                Plaintiffs arrive with 100 affidavits. Defense gets to respond and the court agrees: hearsay, hearsay, hearsay, conflicts with video from three different angles, hearsay, hearsay, hearsay, not a violation of the law which the witness would know if they hadn’t skipped the training session…” So far as I can tell, at least early on, the courts leaned over backwards, asking only that the plaintiffs show even a hint that a law had been violated and they had admissible evidence. Lots of arguments about what the law should be, not what the law is.

                After that, the claims got weird. Vote by mail is unconstitutional because X, even though it’s been done for 150 years. State legislatures may not delegate any authority, including popular vote. Texas voters are disenfranchised because of Pennsylvania election laws. If this chain of Y events happens — for pretty large values of Y — then an actual injury might occur.Report

              • Also, much of the “evidence” was generated during Rudy’s road show, and AFAIK never presented in court.Report

              • KatherineMW in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                There were some cases where the judges deliberately went through everything presented and outlined how all the evidence was terrible, in addition to the lack of standing and to the fact that the cases were brought far too late (if you have issues with the legal mechanisms by which an election is conducted, you bring those BEFORE the election; you don’t say “I lost therefore it’s fraudulent” after the fact).

                This judge went into detail about all the ways in which Trump’s lawyers had nothing to go on:

                But it’s understandable, when presented with a mess of idiocy, for some judges just to dismiss based on the most obvious reason rather that repeatedly detailing all of the different ways the claims are spurious.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                Thank you Michael and Katherine.Report

    • Reformed Republican in reply to KatherineMW says:

      And the MAGA people just want to Make America Great Again. It’s in the name. Why don’t you want America to be great?Report

  13. Ferny (y10nerd) says:

    These people knew exactly what was happening and what to expect. This is what conservatism is today.

  14. Saul Degraw says:

    Elaine Chao resigns. I predict that a majority of the Cabinet will choose resignation instead of invokimg the 25th Amendment. This is cowardly but might leave Trump essentially powerless (or all powerful).Report

    • Pihlip H in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      There’s two layers of political appointees below the Secretary level.

      She may be a one-off in as much as she’s married to Mitch McConnell who has no love for the president at the moment.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Profiles in Cowardice.Report

    • JS in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      These aren’t resignations. They won’t have a job in 13 days. This is a two week notice.

      These are people who just want to put on their resume “Resigned because I’m too moral for the Trump administration”, and damn anyone who accepts that.

      They rode this train all the way until two weeks before their job ended, and then suddenly had a conscience? No. Screw that.Report

    • Marchmaine in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Elaine Chao, cabinet member, resigning because Pence won’t invoke the 25th would be newsworthy… this is just meaningless positioning.Report

  15. Chip Daniels says:

    It’s not over:

    Trump greeted with cheers as he calls in to Republican National Committee meeting

    Trump briefly called in to the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting Thursday morning — and received a loud and overwhelmingly enthusiastic reception when RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel put him on speakerphone, according to people in the room.

    “We love you!” some in the room yelled.

    Trump, and Trumpists, aren’t going away anytime soon. They aren’t humbled, they aren’t dispirited, they aren’t backing down.Report

  16. Saul Degraw says:

    Some of our allies think Trump attempted the coup with some aide and abetting from federal law enforcement officials:

    • veronica d in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I find it entirely plausible that the executive branch deliberately fumbled the law enforcement deployments to help facilitate the coup attempt. However, we won’t really be able to investigate until Trump is out of office.

      One problem with that article. It quotes a supposed Nato official who claimed that Trump told supporters to “storm the building.” However, Trump never literally said that. One might argue that it was implied. Certainly the fash groups had been talking about doing exactly that since this event was planned, mostly on sites like Parler (and even more loathsome places). Trump was probably aware of this. It is easy to think that storming the capital was simply understood between Trump and the various fash groups. However, that point needs to be argued.

      The author of the article has a responsibility to fact check, even a quote. It would raise their credibility if they mentioned that this aspect of the quote isn’t literally true. Letting stand unchallenged feels like tacit endorsement, which lessens credibility.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to veronica d says:

        The most likely scenario is that this was a happy coincidence because many of our law enforcement officials have MAGA sympathies. It sure looks like coup from the outside.Report

        • veronica d in reply to LeeEsq says:

          Oh it was almost certainly a deliberate coup. It was unmistakably sedition, as the stated goal of the attackers was to seize the capital and stop the vote count in the futile hope that would keep Trump in power.

          The fact that this plan is idiotic doesn’t matter. They believed it would work. At least the hoped it would. They attacked congress based on these beliefs. They stated these beliefs in unambiguous language, some of them on camera. They violently stormed the capital while congress was in session based on these beliefs.

          The question is this: was the poor police response deliberately engineered by Trump, or was it an unhappy accident. This would clarify the shape of the coup, not its existence.Report

      • DensityDuck in reply to veronica d says:

        Oh, it’s just “fash” now? “fashy” is out of fashion?Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      The Trump crime family watched & supervised the violence on the Capitol from their own “Situation Room.” These chinless wonders of grifters are so pleased, Jr filmed it in real time, encouraging the violence, all overseen by daddy crime lord emperor conman DJTrump

      The video is revolting.Report

  17. Jaybird says:

    The House has adjourned until after the inauguration.

    It’s good that Congresspeople can go home to their families at this troublesome time.Report

  18. Swami says:

    It is well past time that anybody who ever voted for this despicable monster do some serious soul searching. What were you thinking?

    It is not like his recent behavior is out of character. When you vote for someone with no respect for democratic transition, what did you think you would get?

    Several regulars here tried to make a case for voting for this sad joke of a human being. I would love to hear from them now on the situation.Report

    • Philip H in reply to Swami says:

      Well George Turner seems to have vanished into the ether, and Others seem to be BSDI the whole thing so they can avoid complicity.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Philip H says:

        George Turner seems intelligent enough to realize that his usual shtick will not be tolerated at this momement and he is giving us a brief respite. If we are very lucky, he might even by having a Road to Damascus moment.Report

      • Swami in reply to Philip H says:

        How about the usually brilliant Kristen? I was shocked to read she decided to eat the Republican dog food. I would really value her perspective now.Report

  19. DavidTC says:

    So this article and some people here try to compare protests to this and BLM, and there’s a very large difference that I think people are missing: The left and right protest different things. Not different results, that too, but they attempt to change the system at different points.

    The left: The left, via protest, tries to make people aware of a problem, and inconvenience the citizenry in general. That’s how their protests work. Even when they protest a part of the government, it generally isn’t the actual voting part. They protest a police station, or an ICE transfer station, or whatever.

    The right: The right REALLY likes to protest voting, and lawmaking. Not only here, but there was protests outside voting counting-centers, the ‘Brooks Brothers’ riot was this, etc. And when they aren’t protesting voting itself, they’re ‘protesting’ the legislature or the executive.

    And not just by getting the way, but by fear. Roaming the halls of a legislature with guns is an example that springs to mind….and people think I was walking about yesterday, but I was actually talking about Michigan, where they did the same thing, but legally, and shut that legislature down.

    Now, this isn’t completely, 100% accurate all the time.

    The right _sometimes_ does those sort of the sort protests that the left favors, like their pro-Covid protests, although they often fall completely flat because…often no one likes their very stupid idea. But I will admit, their ratlicking protests or their weird Dreamer protest where they went after that bus ages ago…or even their Tea Party rally things, those are…perfectly fine. I’m not complaining about those. Even the moronic driving protests.

    And, there _have_ been deliberate ‘protests’ by the left to target lawmakers. But these usually function by a few specific people flopping down on the floor of the lawmaker’s office, and refusing to leave without being arrested. A ‘sit-in’. To, again, specifically dare attention to what is going on. Not interfere with anything. Making it very clear they are no threat at all, what they want is a few inches of newspaper article.

    Should we treat those two forms of protest the same?

    Voting is a right. The public expression of its will. We specifically restrict other rights around voting, so it can happen without threat. We don’t let people ‘protest’ there, we don’t even let people have _free speech_ there. We have required set-backs for fricking political signs. Because the right to vote outweighs the right of freedom of speech, at least in that small area at that specific time.

    Meanwhile, lawmaking, while not a ‘right’ (?), is the actual process of Democracy. The mechanism by which the people selected to do the will of the people actually do that will.

    Should we treat those as the same thing legally? Morally?

    One of those is trying to get the public to change their position, via general awareness. To change the public’s will.

    The other is trying to either ignore the will of the people, or to…get the who were people selected to embody the public’s will to do something besides what they want.

    One of those is part of the implementation of Democracy. The other is literally the opposite.

    (I’d really like my comments not to come in in the wrong place if I click reply to something, and then change my mind and make it a top-level comment, and it still ends up posting as a reply. Ugh.)Report

    • DavidTC in reply to DavidTC says:

      And, as a conclusion of this:

      When left protests gets out of control, we get…extreme ‘inconvenience’ to the citizenry. More than an inconvenience, actual real harm done. Stores set on fire, looted. Sometimes even street violence. This is bad.

      When right protests get out of control, we get an attempted violent coup! This is, and I don’t think I need to say this, somewhat worse.

      One of those results in property damage. The other results in fascism.

      And the first person to point out that the rise of Hilter started with the first of those fails. Yes, maybe it did? I guess? And then it moved to the second.

      The left’s form of protest is something that can go too far by letting it operate out of control long enough that it moves into the next stage.

      The right’s form of protest is the next stage. Already. Because their demands are already undemocratic.

      (And, this is actually because the party’s ideas are _vastly_ unpopular, and there’s no way they can get the population behind them, so this method of protest is the only one that can work for them. But I’m not here to talk about the reasons.)Report

      • North in reply to DavidTC says:

        Good points. There is also the point that when left wing protests get violent or out of hand it’s contrary to and despite the denunciations and protests of Democratic Party actors and politicians whereas when the right wing protests get violent or out of hand it’s surprisingly often with the acquiescence, urging or even full out incitement of Republican Party actors all the way up to and including the Republican President of these United States.Report

        • DavidTC in reply to North says:

          Yes. And that’s because of different incentives. Protestors aren’t magically on the same page, and any of them can end up at: ‘We are mad as hell at you, and if you don’t do what we say, we will hurt you’. Or even do that.

          Except…that doesn’t work against random people on the street. They just avoid you. Or…nodded quickly and leave. People aren’t going to vote for politicians who support BLM because BLM seemed threatening months ago. That’s not how it works. If anything, they’ll vote against that!

          OTOH, if you aren’t trying to change how people feel, but directly alter who they vote for (Or if they vote at all.), then acting threatening, acting like you are _very close_ to hurting them, does work. Same with vote-counters and politicians. Threats do work, in the very short term.

          This is literally why we have a secret ballot. And then…people figured out they could threaten people whose vote they can guess into not voting at all. And we had to stop that, too.

          And recently people have figured out that it doesn’t matter how people vote, if they can intimidate the people counting the votes, or the people who are actually voted into office and make the laws.

          Basically, the level of indirectness the left does incentives the protestor does to _not_ be violent. It is a plea for people to make long-term changes in how they feel and think about issues. Politicians who are involved in these protests know this.

          The level of directness the right has incentives the protestor _to_ be violent. It is a plea for them to change what they are doing right then…and it’s very very easy to add ‘…or you will get hurt’. Either explicitly or implicitly. Politicians who are involved in these protests know this also.

          And we need to, at some point, step back and say ‘Wait, this isn’t covered by the first amendment either’. You don’t get to implicitly threaten _these people_, by large shows of force, just because you didn’t actually point a gun at them. In the same way we don’t let a group of hooded Klansman protest outside the door to a voting location as long as they don’t explicitly issue any threats.

          Whereas we _don’t_ need that for BLM, because when BLM does that sort of thing, when they run around threatening people, _they lose_. It doesn’t work for those sort of indirect protests. So they are often desperately trying to _stop_ it from happening.

          1) I want to make it clear: This is not something that is magically linked to the left, nor is the other thing linked to the right. These are two different forms of protest, one of which happens to be mostly (But not solely) used by the left, and the other that happens to be almost entirely used by the right. In America, I can’t speak for other places.Report

        • InMD in reply to North says:

          North, I don’t see it as a moral equivalent to what happened two days ago but I think that’s only partly true. We had a number of mayors over the summer who acted as enablers (Durken, Wheeler, to lesser degrees di Blasio, Bowser, and others). I’m also certain we could find plenty of tweets from the Squad and other reps and operatives about rioting as the voice of the unheard or the prioritization of ‘white property over black lives.’ Maybe that doesn’t justify violence and destruction but it certainly minimizes it.

          And again, not the same as actually inciting a physical attack on another branch of government. All the usual caveats apply. Violent parts of the left are in my experience only weakly connected to the Democratic party and often hate them as much as any right-winger. The Ds who do this are certainly more marginal in the coalition and a far cry from the de facto leader metaphorically leading the charge like Trump did.

          Still that’s a difference in degree (definitely a bunch of degrees) but not entirely in kind. And in the age of social media it does help feed the perception that politicians everywhere are throwing red meat to mobs. Twenty years ago no one would hear about the quips of some mayor out west or a first time rep from an ultra blue district. Now we have twitter and politicians doing personal branding online. And that doesn’t even get into what’s going on in all of our woke, D aligned newsrooms.

          So yes, party leadership and your average Democrat denounces it but that’s not the entirety of what people are seeing.Report

      • KatherineMW in reply to DavidTC says:

        Excellent comment, David, and excellent addition by North.Report

      • DensityDuck in reply to DavidTC says:

        “When left protests gets out of control, we get…extreme ‘inconvenience’ to the citizenry.”

        You can absolutely explain Tuesday as “lawmakers were briefly interrupted by protestors who entered the building and damaged some of the fixtures; the police chased the protestors out and Congress continued with usual business after this minor inconvenience”.

        Oh, but that’s glossing over many important details about motivations, and refusing to discuss the implications, and straight-out ignoring the actions of the protestors and what they were meant to communicate? Well. Yes it is.Report

    • DavidTC in reply to DavidTC says:

      Also, BTW: This actually a lot worse than it looks, a lot of stuff happened out of sight and didn’t really make the public consciousness here yet.

      Up to 15 police officers were hospitalized and 60 injured, often hit in the head with lead pipes. Lead pipes, a totally innocent thing to be carrying around.

      There were at least two pipe bombs that were discovered.

      Now, again, I don’t trust cops exactly, and maybe those are lies, or exaggerations, or whatever.

      But there were a few people wandering around looking for Congresspeople, holding zip ties to take them hostage, clearly saying what they were intending to do on camera. Like, there’s video of this.

      There were actually sorta three groups of people inside the Capitol. The extremist Youtube idiots who thought it was awesome that they’d managed to get in, plus a few very confused ‘normal’ protestors who happened to be towards the front and got in too, not really understanding what was going on. Like, there’s a spectrum there, a gradient of stupidity to confusion, different levels of intent.

      And, of course, there’s the group wearing all black, with full face masks, carrying weapons, pipe bombs, and zip ties, and hunting for Congresspeople.

      FOR SOME REASON, we are not talking about that last group.

      This wasn’t a protest that got out of hand. This was a deliberate coup attempt.

      Yes, it was a very very stupid coup, but it wasn’t _accidental_. It wasn’t a protest that got out of hand. It was a protest used as a cover for an actual coup attempt.

      The only actual questions we have are ‘How much did the president know?’, and ‘How much did law enforcement know?’ and ‘Did either of them deliberately work to make these things happen?’Report

    • DavidTC in reply to DavidTC says:

      Heh. Erza Klein is talking about this right now.Report

  20. Bill Blake says:

    “Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”Report

    • KatherineMW in reply to Bill Blake says:

      “The best lack all conviction and the worst are filled with passionate intensity,” is pretty much my go-to description of the Democratic and Republican parties respectively. The Dems tend to react to conflict or defeat by moving rightward (centrism) and the Republicans react to it by also moving right (reactionary). It’s been the trend for the last 40 years.

      I also used the quote in a high school essay on pre-WWII appeasement, and I wish that didn’t feel so apt right now.Report

      • Bill Blake in reply to KatherineMW says:

        To me, even more, I think we should be considering what rough beast, gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, is coming to ascendance. The beast is called many things, but its name is Tyranny, and both left and right are rocking its cradle.Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to KatherineMW says:

        The Dems tend to react to conflict or defeat by moving rightward (centrism) and the Republicans react to it by also moving right (reactionary).

        FYI, Republicans say exactly the opposite. Democrats don’t compromise, and Republicans have no spine. On what specific issues have Democrats moved towards the center? Marijuana legalization? LGBT issues? Abortion? Crime? Racial issues? Student loan bailouts? Health care?

        One that I can think of is that with a few dishonorable exceptions, there isn’t much desire to move back to the ridiculously high top marginal rates of the 70s and earlier. But effective tax rates for the top 1% are still about where they were in 1979, and Biden is campaigning on pushing them even higher. The other is gun control. They keep half-heartedly pushing it, but they know it’s a losing issue, since people who are going to vote for them no matter what love it, while swing voters don’t.

        But overall, Democrats have been moving left for decades.

        Regarding Yeats, your partisanship is showing. The worst are the populist wings of both parties. The Trump-Hawley wing of the Republican Party and the Sanders-Warren wing of the Democratic Party are both truly execrable, and indeed are filled with a passionate intensity. I’m not sure I’d want to call the establishment wings of each party “the best,” but they’re definitely better. The actual best are probably in the private sector.Report

  21. Saul Degraw says:

    “This is not America,” a woman said to a small group, her voice shaking. She was crying, hysterical. “They’re shooting at us. They’re supposed to shoot BLM, but they’re shooting the patriots.”

  22. Fish says:


  23. Jaybird says:

    Just so you know: The woman who was shot in the neck by the cops?

    She was no angel.


    • KatherineMW in reply to Jaybird says:

      She also once participated in an attempt to overthrow a democratic government by violence, which is rather more pertinent.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to KatherineMW says:

        I heard she reached for her waistband.

        Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.Report

        • KatherineMW in reply to Jaybird says:

          I don’t comprehend how you can equate things like the police shooting unarmed black people like Breonna Taylor (among many others) with them firing on a member of a group composed in large part of white supremacists who were storming the Capitol to prevent a democratic transfer of power and potentially take Congressmembers hostage.

          I thought you were better than this. This kind of thing is why I don’t want to talk to conservatives any more.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to KatherineMW says:

            See it as similar to this joke by Debra Messing:

            Are prison rape jokes funny?

            What if you’re making them about someone who is bad?

            I’m not a fan of cops shooting unarmed women in the neck. Even if they are asking for it.Report

            • LeeEsq in reply to Jaybird says:

              So if I’m reading this right, a slightly impertinent and imperfect comment by a liberal celebrity means that an attempt to overall a democratic election by Magat Freikorps isn’t really that bad?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to LeeEsq says:

                Not quite.

                It’s that if rape jokes aren’t funny, then they’re not funny when you’re making jokes about your enemies being raped.

                It’s the same for police shooting unarmed women in the neck. It’s bad even when the shootee was accused of property damage. (If you read through the story, she was found not guilty.)

                Though the point of the original comment was “person shot by cops, journalists report on shootee’s criminal history”.

                It’s a play that you’ll recognize when you see it often enough.Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to Jaybird says:

                A bad joke demonstrating poor taste and a bit of hypocrisy shouldn’t be used as a way to engage in whataboutery when it comes to sedition and treason.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to LeeEsq says:

                I think she should have been arrested.

                I do not think that she should have been shot.

                If you’d like to argue that her acts deserved the death penalty, I’d like to have that conversation. Seriously.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Jaybird says:

                Jaybird, this idiotic moral equivalence is, well, idiotic.

                There is a difference between shooting a random unarmed person walking down the street and shooting a person literally trying to break into a room with government officials during an insurrection who later turns out to be ‘unarmed’. (BTW, we actually don’t know she was unarmed. There was so much chaos a weapon could easily have been taken.)

                What’s next, you complaining that someone who tried to enter Area 51 and refused to turn back got shot?

                There. Are. Certain. Places. In The. Country. You. Are. Not. Allowed. To. Be.

                You. Will. Be. Shot. If. You. Persist. In. Attempting. To. Go. There.

                You get a warning or two(Which she got), but you will be shot if you do not stop.

                There is nothing wrong with this. Some places in America are off-limits, and you obviously cannot go there, and you will end up dead if you kept trying. Now, someone will often manage to stop you without killing you, but..that’s mostly if you’re alone and it’s very clear they can do it without risking. If you show up with an entire angry mob where parts of it are armed…yeah, you’re going to get killed.

                This is not the same as the police shooting random unarmed people.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to DavidTC says:

                “There. Are. Certain. Places. In The. Country. You. Are. Not. Allowed. To. Be.”

                Nevertheless, she persisted.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to DavidTC says:

                Putting a pin in this.

                We can come back to this in a few months.Report

          • veronica d in reply to KatherineMW says:

            This is JB’s entire schtick. It’s all he has.

            Homicide, genocide, stubbed toes, nerds feeling left out — all the same.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to veronica d says:

              You know the thing in sci-fi stories where a mad engineer creates a monster and then loses control of the monster even after saying “no, I’ve got this under control”?

              My schtick is noticing that the engineer is misapprehending the skills needed to keep the monster under control.Report

            • LeeEsq in reply to veronica d says:

              I’m a nerd that feels left out and I don’t support Freikorp coups and the subversion of the democratic process.Report

            • JS in reply to veronica d says:

              His schtick is that he has married reflexive contranisism with what he imagines the Socratic Method is, and precedes to use that amazing teaching tool to enlighten us poor, foolish peons. I can only assume he thinks this is deeply intelligent and helpful to discourse.

              It works about as well as you can imagine when someone has to keep sliding from position to position, often contradictory ones, while claiming he’s just misunderstood.

              So instead he hits a conversation in the same way antimatter does matter. He destroys it, leaving only chaos and confusion in his wake.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to JS says:

                Not exactly. It’s that I find myself objecting to miscategorizations of matters of taste and matters of morality.

                Matters of taste have plenty of room for disagreement. Some people prefer snails, some prefer oysters. Some people are mayo people, some mustard. It doesn’t matter. I mean, it might matter to the individual (I always am irritated when I forget to ask for “no mayo” on my burger and it comes out with it) but it isn’t something to base policy around.

                But there are also matters of morality. Those have a lot less wriggle room.

                (And there are weird dynamics where making a mustard person eat mayo can veer off into “matter of morality” even though the choice between mayo and mustard contains no moral content in itself. But that’s another rant for another day.)Report

              • North in reply to Jaybird says:

                Mustard is vegan acceptable- mayo is not! How could you not acknowledge that you moral monster!?!?!Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

                Can we now say once and for all that disgust with Trump isn’t a matter of aesthetics?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling says:


                He’s a buffoon and a dangerous buffoon who, so far, has the blood of 4-5 people on his hands from this week’s bullshit on top of the thousands dead from his failure to come out and say “wear a mask, take this seriously” on a regular basis this spring and summer.

                (But if people point out that Fatty Small-Hands got his twitter account yanked, lol, I find myself wondering whether there are more who need to be told that disgust with Trump isn’t a matter of aesthetics.)Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                Yep. Just like all the people who voted for Trump because of “Butter Emails” were thinking substantively about policy in a super serious manner.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                They weren’t thinking substantively about policy.

                They were, 100%, thinking about other things.

                Remember back when people were arguing that Trump wasn’t going to be particularly Fiscally Conservative and were wondering why any Republican could possibly vote for him?Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                So maybe the “Fatty Small Hands” people (none of whom I’ve seen… and I’m on Twitter now) were also thinking about other things.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                Let’s be real here. Trump supporters just committed one of the grossest acts our nation has ever seen and Jaybird wants to split hairs based on how people who are less the virulent Trump supports are talking about it on Twitter.

                Jaybird, you’re gross and expose yourself as such. It’s sad that your bullshit continues to be tolerated here. You’re smart enough to stay just on the right side of the line but somehow not smart enough to not be a full blown dumbass asshole.

                OT, ban me if you want. Show your colors.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                Kazzy, if you want me to condemn Trump, I have. I’ve been against him since 2016.

                But I also hold the opinion that there are reasons that Trump won in 2016 and that his opponents haven’t really ever demonstrated that they understand why or how he caught on.

                I, personally, find that troubling.

                I wish that Trump had better opposition.

                I will continue to work towards the goal that what he represents gets some.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                I hold that there are good reasons the Kansas City Chiefs lost the conference championship in 2016, and they still have no idea why they lost or how to win a football game.

                I find it troubling that the Kansas City Chiefs don’t listen to me as I explain to them how to play football, and I fear this bodes ill for their prospects next year.Report

            • Brandon Berg in reply to veronica d says:

              His shtick is calling out hypocrisy and holding people to their own standards. I can see how you might find that objectionable.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Brandon Berg says:

                Because he is, of course, perfectly consistent.Report

              • Brandon Berg in reply to Kazzy says:

                On this particular issue, I think he’s generally been pretty consistent in his harsh criticism of police who shoot unarmed people.

                Personally, I don’t think “unarmed” means not a threat, and also think we should account for the fact that police are making high-stakes decisions with limited time and information, but most BLM supporters have not demonstrated the ability to reason with that level of nuance up until now. It is a bit suspicious that they’ve suddenly reached that developmental milestone at such a politically opportune time.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Jaybird says:

      She was attempting to impose dictatorship on the United States and overthrow the Constitution in a violent sedition against the democratic process. When you try to have a revolution, the people in power generally fight back. That is what happens in revolutions. All told, the Video Game Freikorp managed to get away with a lot more damage than the most peaceful of liberal protests. This is like Saint Elizabeth of Knoxville, a venerable Joan of Arc, crying after she was pepper sprayed on the same day because she attempted to rush a barricade.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to LeeEsq says:

        If I had to guess, I’d say that, come summer, we’ll see enthusiastic protests again.

        Hey, it’s something to do after being cooped up all winter/spring before getting the shot.

        And a lot of local restaurants won’t have reopened.

        So… what rules are you hoping to establish, Mister Rawls?Report

  24. Jaybird says:

    There were reports that a police officer had died.

    At first it was after he got hit in the head with a fire extinguisher.

    As it turns out, it was a stroke.

    And, as it turns out, he is not dead.

    There’s a lot of info going around and “first” is still seen as better than the other options.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

      You posted those out of order. Why?

      Are you certain they all referred to the same officer?

      An officer is dead. He was previously on life support. Earlier reports — some with conflicting, named sources — were inaccurate and subsequently corrected or updated. Some of these Tweets had follow ups correcting or clarifying inaccuracies.

      What’s your point here? Sometimes the news and/or Tweets are wrong? Kinda like how you posted these Tweets by different people out of order but act like they show a single sequence of info?Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Kazzy says:

        When Jaybird posted, the story had seemed to be retracted. The final confirmation that Officer Sicknick had passed away came later, after the above post.

        (I too thought the earlier reports were eroneous based on my ‘realtime’ twitter feed. It is possible they actually were, because one story I saw this morning said that he passed away at 930 pm. There was a similar weird problem with the reports when Tanya Roberts passed away earlier this week.)Report

        • Kazzy in reply to Kolohe says:

          I noted that early reports were inaccurate.

          But Jaybird is attempting to construct a narrative that even his own construction does not support.

          A Tweet at 6:45 followed by a Tweet at 8:26 followed by a Tweet at 7:07 followed by a Tweet at 8:02. The presented order of the Tweets was not the actual order. Further, they were all posted by different people who have no real responsibility to account for what other people (whom they may not even be aware of) have Tweeted.

          Sterling had two more Tweets in that thread updating the situation. Those were available to Jay… he chose not to reference them.

          Petra doesn’t seem to be any of any actual official significance. The article they linked to was updated.

          Leshan later Tweeted a correction and apologized for his rushed earlier Tweet. Reading that, it appears the officer’s condition was such that he could not be saved and they kept him on life support long enough for his family to arrive.

          So, what exactly is Jaybird’s point here? A shot at the media? Well, one of those people doesn’t appear to be from “the media”. His representation of things is misleading at best. The criticisms stand. I’m sure he’ll respond with some nonsense about how OF COURSE he isn’t saying anything, he’s just showing what OTHER PEOPLE are saying and, hey, interesting how what they’re saying changed.

          This is nonsense. Plain and simple.Report

          • JS in reply to Kazzy says:

            He’s weirdly gone increasingly non-verbal the past few years.

            Perhaps it’s performance art, randomly posting tweets as some sort of installation piece to talk about fragmented discourse, or the complete lack of thought one gets by getting all your news from curated twitter feeds.

            Ah, I kid.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

        Oh jeez. That was in the order I saw them.

        I regret the error.

        My point, for what it’s worth, is that the police are going to release a lot of information.

        And, as new information comes out, it’ll be revealed that the police did not, in fact, give all of the information they had. They released self-serving information.

        “An officer was shot during the protest!”, for example, might be said instead of “a policeman shot another policeman”.

        The first sentence is absolutely true. But what was the image in your head?

        So too for these protests.

        My point is that the cops are exactly as trustworthy in January 2021 as they were in June 2020.Report

    • Brandon Berg in reply to Jaybird says:

      My understanding is that he suffered a stroke as a result of blunt trauma to the head from said fire extinguisher. With the caveat that there’s always a lot of misinformation floating around.Report

  25. Mikkhi Kisht says:

    Two takeways (of many) from this travesty.

    There are far too many adults (via chronological age) that can’t deal healthily with a simple, honest ‘no.’

    They also have little to no tolerance of facts or truths.Report

  26. Kazzy says:

    Trump has announced he will not attend the innauguration. Sour grapes is the easy explanation. But I sincerely worry he knows of or anticipates an attack on the event and rather than take action to prevent it, will simply keep himself safe.Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to Kazzy says:

      Also there were many piles of bricks in Washington DC in areas that were not at all scheduled for construction, there was CLEARLY a plan for some kind of right-wing street violence!Report

    • JS in reply to Kazzy says:

      FWIW, I sincerely hope no one tries anything at the inauguration. The Secret Service does not mess around, and even the most MAGA friendly cop is very likely not gonna wanna stick his hand into that meat grinder, not after this week.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to JS says:

        Oh, of course. I hope the innauguration is boring as shit.

        But given reports that Trump was calling Senators to vote against certification mid-seige, nothing seems impossible.

        I hope I’m wrong. I want to be wrong.

        With any other Prez, not attending the innauguration would get them identified as an asshole.

        With Trump, maybe I’m crazy, but it makes me wonder what he knows or suspects or hopes…Report

  27. Marchmaine says:

    Harkening back to way back, hmmn, Weds, and our discussion on how quickly Impeachment might happen… the Intertubes say that an Impeachment vote is being planned for mid next week? And that strikes me as about as fast as these wheels can turn… but by the time it gets to the senate? That’s why I thought the 25th is/was the only viable path… in this case the cumbersome mechanisms of the 25th work just fine with playing out the clock.

    On a purely tactical note it is still the case that the only impeachment that would possibly work is one that is Republican backed… I’m hoping that the early reports that AOC had been delegated the task were media hype of AOC usurping the task and that this is what Politico is signaling:

    “Two sets of articles of impeachment have already been drafted, and Democratic leaders have coalesced behind those led by Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee.”

    Given the simple framework of the scenario: Incitement to Riot and the Georgia Post-Election Stuff [insert appropriate legal term here]… would even recommend giving the drafting to any republican who would do it.

    There mighn’t be any… but if there is, then step aside.

    My fear would be that the temptation would be to try to write some sweeping indictment of Trump, the Party, voters, any one who clicked on his election website, people who use facebook and some folks on twitter… you know who they are. Instead of keeping it tight and defensible (enough) for some Republicans to do the right thing.Report

    • veronica d in reply to Marchmaine says:

      My imperfect understanding, based on my possibly incorrect reading of various lawyers who post on Twitter, who may or may not be correct, is this: provided the house passes articles of impeachment while Trump is still in office, the senate is then free to consider them after he is out of office. Why bother? Because one of the allowed penalties of impeachment is to ban the impeachee from holding office again.

      I have no idea if this is a good idea. My desire to see Trump impeached now is to prevent him from issuing pardons to those involved in active sedition. Regarding further steps, I support them in principle, but I can’t really comment on their political implications.

      The big picture is that Trumpism isn’t limited to Trump.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to veronica d says:

        Yes, the big picture is that even now, even after all this, Trump could still plausibly win election in 2024.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to veronica d says:

        Thanks… I was wondering if an impeachment could continue after the person no longer held the office.

        Politically this only really works in a small window… once Biden is already president and Private Citizen Trump is tweeting in Mar-a-Lago… you’re playing the calculus of whether disqualifying Trump is better for some subset of Senators and whether there are enough ‘other’ Senators who will work with the Stabby Senators to do the Stabbing so those other Senators can pretend not to stab.

        Plus, absent the immediacy and ‘over lawyering’ the case will simply deprive those factions of the plausibility cover they would need to act… so I don’t see anything happening at all in, say, April. In fact, by April I’d see a backlash.

        Might not like the calculus, but that’s what it would be…Report

        • North in reply to Marchmaine says:

          Ok, so let’s suppose Trump is very swiftly impeached and there’s indeed a backlash from the Trumpian right come April. What form would that take? Demonstrations? Violence? Just anger?
          I may not be understanding you. Are you concerned that it’ll lead to violence and outrage or are you speaking purely politically that this would toss a grenade into the GOP’s lap and they might be unable to finesse the juggling act between their Maga contingent and their sane conservative contingent? If it’s the former I don’t think that there’s a lot to fear and if it’s the latter then I’m playing the worlds smallest violin for those poor conflicted Republican politicians that the tiger they’ve been riding is starting to look over its shoulder at them with a hungry glint in its eye.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to North says:

            … and there’s indeed a backlash from the Trumpian right come April. What form would that take?

            A giant orange Stay-Puft Marshmallow man.Report

          • Marchmaine in reply to North says:

            I probably wasn’t clear… by swiftly I meant in the next 14 days +/- … If we’re “debating” the matter in April I’d suggest it’s a dead letter and the backlash would be in the form of Senators refusing to vote for it since removal is already done and enough time would have passed that disqualification would seem like a political vendetta. That’s what I mean by backlash in this context.Report

            • North in reply to Marchmaine says:

              That’s a backlash I’m quite fine with. If impeachment is issued by the House and fails in the Senate because the GOP lines up lockstep to oppose it I’ll be pleased as punch; only slightly less pleased than I’d be if they found a spine and voted in the Senate for removal. They all richly deserve to have having to take that vote hanging around their necks.Report

        • veronica d in reply to Marchmaine says:

          My assumption is that even if we block Trump from running, then some other fascist demagog would just step into his role. We act as if he is uniquely terrible, and he is terrible, but his role was produced by terrible social fragmentation in our society, and there are 300 million of us. There are many others ready and willing to be an authoritarian leader. At least some of those will have the right combination of charisma and narcissism to become Trump 2.0.Report

          • Pinky in reply to veronica d says:

            I’m sure in 3.5 years we’ll be hearing that [X] is worse than Trump.Report

          • Marchmaine in reply to veronica d says:

            Eh, I’m post-Liberal enough to think that Liberalism itself is trending towards an authoritarian future… so sure? But part of my (self-)interest in impeaching Trump is recognizing we’ll need to possibly impeach future President X (could be D or R or Other). I want the impeachment gears well oiled and functioning…Report

          • North in reply to veronica d says:

            True, but it’s possible that two or more of them will have the necessary charisma and then Trumpism fractures when they can’t coalesce behind a single personality.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to North says:

              One of the stresspoints I noticed over the last whatever was that the iron grip on the votes of minorities is not quite as able to handle wriggling as we had thought.

              Maybe it’s regression to the mean… but maybe it’s merely a nickel grip. Dems need to do some patchwork lest it become a bronze grip.

              The singular personality of Trump did a lot of work for, yes, Both Sides. When Trump is defeated and humiliated and out of the picture… he won’t be a Schelling Point anymore. Now that the dragon is slain, can we talk about Black Lives Mattering? Oh, after brunch, you say?

              Biden was the Trump-slayer. Biden, bless him, is not the future of the Democratic Party. Neither is Pelosi for that matter.

              I don’t know who *IS* the future. Is it AOC? She’s charismatic as Hell and commands quite a following. If it’s not her… who is it?

              I don’t know what tomorrow’s Democratic leadership looks like beyond a broad outline.
              I don’t know what tomorrow’s Republican leadership looks like.

              But, today, the dragon is slain.
              Tomorrow comes the battle of the five armies.

              And, jeez, that was the crappiest movie out of all six of them.Report

              • InMD in reply to Jaybird says:

                Andrew Yang, yo. Just has to get that whipped cream thing under control.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to InMD says:

                He was too pure for 2020.Report

              • InMD in reply to Jaybird says:

                Maybe too pure for this plane of reality.Report

              • North in reply to Jaybird says:

                Mmhm, as is to be expected, the serious question is how the Democratic Party will survive the crushing stress of having elected one of their candidates as President and seized control of the Senate. No doubt the Dems should be running around in horror at the idea that Trump got larger (not 20% of course but larger) percentages of certain minorities. I’m baffled why they aren’t; probably their larger take of suburban white voters is lulling them into a false sense of security- then again those probably don’t count; they don’t fit the narrative of liberals in disarray. I am going out on a limb here but I suspect the Dems will survive the crushing blow of this moderate electoral success.

                Black Lives do matter. The Dems in DC will likely push on with it as much as they can- which isn’t a lot, of course, since Police are primarily administered at the municipal level. The new admin will probably do a few things, I’m sure they’ll resume CRT training. That won’t suffice to make Ibram Kendi happy, but Kendi’s job is to be unhappy about race matters so that’s not much of a target. This will be a problem for the Dems, of course, because Biden campaigned hard on defunding the police, supporting Antifa and abolishing capitalism.. uh… *checks notes* oh wait, no Biden didn’t campaign on any of that stuff; he campaigned against it. In that case the Dems can do probably will be ok.

                You made an interesting comment in this post: you observed that you know the broad outline of what tomorrows leadership will be but made no similar comment about the GOP. I think that’s an interesting point, one I agree with. I also have no clue what the GOP is going to look like next cycle (though I’d bet good money the plutocratic republitarian pets will remain well funded and influential). Cuts against the idea that the Dems are in a real pickle though. Remember all the times we talked about Biden and you observed that there is probably nothing to worry about? Turns out you were right on those.

                Are we gonna do a retrospective on our elections predictions? I feel like I did pretty well this time. I mean I didn’t predict Georgia but I think I did predict Florida right. Or did I just manage to completely miss it?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to North says:

                I don’t think that the dems are in a pickle and I don’t think that they’re in disarray.

                But the Trumpslayer was Biden. (Well, Biden and Pelosi.)

                There was something that I remember from 2016 (or 2015?) from one of the alt-right guys who said “I want to murder the GOPe. Trump is the murder weapon.”

                The GOP is defeated.
                The Republicans are humiliated.

                I’m very interested in seeing what the Democrats do with the license to govern.Report

              • North in reply to Jaybird says:

                Oh it will be. But it remains to be seen if they have a license to govern. If Mitch says “2019&2020 was a great stunt, I’m doing that again” then Biden gets judges, executive appointments, 2 (3?) reconciliation bills and that is it before 2022.

                Still it’s a huge opportunity. If Biden gets the vaccines out fast to as many people as possible, fires/ignores anyone who suggests a foreign entanglement, restores baseline decorum to foreign relationships and makes the media types cry into their drinks about how easy it was to sell clicks during the Trump era vs now then he has really excellent odds of the economy roaring back and a refreshed and grateful nation rewarding him in 2 years. As baselines go those are really achievable ones- Obama didn’t have baselines that sweet; nothing close.Report

          • JS in reply to veronica d says:

            Except, and this is sort of important, you can’t just whistle up Trump 2.0.

            You can’t just find an empty suit to mouth the words. How many decades did the GOP spend trying to reanimate Reagan into every candidate? Or Democrats with JFK?

            You can mouth the words, but it just doesn’t work.

            That Raniere guy recycled stoned frat-boy philosophy and volleyball, and somehow created a sex cult. You could find someone with none of his flaws and try to repeat the whole process, and he wouldn’t be a tenth as effective.

            The whole “Trump but competent” thing runs into the problem of “It he was competent, he wouldn’t be Trump.” And you might say “Well, incompetence wasn’t the draw” — well no, but the things that were the draw with Trump lead inexorably towards incompetence.Report

            • Oscar Gordon in reply to JS says:

              …but the things that were the draw with Trump lead inexorably towards incompetence.

              I think I know where you are going with this, but could you unpack it a bit more?Report

            • James K in reply to JS says:

              You’re right that Trump isn’t easily replicable. You’re wrong about incompetence being a required part of a Trump. New Zealand had a competent version of Trump for decades.Report

          • Oscar Gordon in reply to veronica d says:

            The trick will be getting the parties to deny demagogues their support just so they can get the win.

            Maybe Trump 2.0 shows up, but if neither party is willing to let them into the primary, then they are going solo, and that’s a hell of a thing.Report

          • Bill Blake in reply to veronica d says:

            I suspect that the Rs have learned from their mistake with Trump. Just as the Ds sabotaged Sanders, the Rs will sabotage any future Trump.

            We’ll get a demagogue sooner or later, but it’ll have to wait until there’s some serious crisis. Like the Greater Depression we’re going to get if we don’t immediately address our profligate ways.Report

            • Brandon Berg in reply to Bill Blake says:

              The Republicans tried to sabotage this Trump. They backed him after he got the nomination, but the establishment tried to stop him from winning the primary, and there was even talk of trying to find some way to overturn that. If they couldn’t stop this Trump, what makes you think they’ll be able to stop the next one? Or that Democrats will reliably be able to stop left-populist trash like Sanders?

              IMO we need to abolish the primary and put the grown-ups back in charge of choosing the nominees.Report

          • DensityDuck in reply to veronica d says:

            “My assumption is that even if we block Trump from running, then some other fascist demagog would just step into his role. ”

            I think everyone’s forgotten how much everyone hated every Republican in 2015. Go back and read the site then and you’ll find people confidently declaring that Cruz was a corporatist bootlicker, that Rubio was a retarded rodent, that Carson was a religious zealot, that Walker was a racist meathead. People suggesting now like they were interested in Republican alternatives to Trump are kidding themselves.

            Although, as usual, everyone assumed that it didn’t matter what the Republicans did because it was Her Turn, it was Her Turn, we’d elected America’s First Black President(tm) and it was time for America’s First Female President(tm), who was gonna finally get the chance that the uppity, um, fellow had denied her in 2008. So everybody was happy to just unload on the Republican candidates because hey, what did it matter? None of them would mean anything after November 2016.Report

        • Bill Blake in reply to Marchmaine says:

          Trump’s been banned from twitter. As I expected, his behavior is not tolerable in polite society, and he’ll be relegated to the fringes. The question is how much damage he can do from the fringes? Will his amplifiers in the media continue or will they move on? I expect the latter, so I think Trump himself is a spent force. But not the forces that gave rise to him. That’s a whole ‘nother problem.Report

          • Pinky in reply to Bill Blake says:

            It’s like Twitter and Facebook are daring him to start a news network. If they’d given him a microphone and let him wander away, there’s a chance he’d be forgotten, but by blocking him from any mainstream system they’re ensuring he’ll take them on.Report

            • Bill Blake in reply to Pinky says:

              Trump is not a builder; his thing is destruction. If he starts a news network, he’ll find a way to mess it up. So that’s the least of my concerns.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Bill Blake says:

                His thing is self-promotion, the kind of thing that would help with starting a network. I’m sure it will crash, but in the meantime it’ll be greater exposure and attention.Report

              • Bill Blake in reply to Pinky says:

                Assuming, that is, he can find anyone fool enough to get in bed with him. Neither his business history nor his political history would be a positive there!Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Bill Blake says:

                There’s always a disturbing number of people with money eager to get in on the grift.Report

              • Bill Blake in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                True. But how many of them will spend the money needed to start a network, given Trump’s history with his business “partners”? How many of them have the needed expertise? While Trump may *try* this, I very much doubt he’ll get anywhere.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Bill Blake says:

                CNN was founded by a grandstanding billionaire. Fox News was founded by a grandstanding billionaire. MSNBC started out as MS-NBC, a joint project between Microsoft and NBC. Nothing but billionaires with high name recognition.Report

              • Bill Blake in reply to Pinky says:

                I think you’re missing my point. Trump is not simply a grandstanding (not really) billionaire. He’s a known bad actor. While there will be people who think they can take advantage of that anyway (the whole Republican party!) I think the pool is rather small and maybe nonexistent. We’ll see.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to veronica d says:

        Washington Post is reporting that McConnel has informed the Senate that absent 100 unanimous votes to reconvene, the earliest the Senate could receive the Articles of Impeachment is Jan 19 and the earliest it could begin the trial procedures would be Jan 20/21…

        Interesting read on the Parliamentary processes and rules we were wondering about.Report

    • North in reply to Marchmaine says:

      Your analysis looks about right to me. The Dems are proceeding with impeachment but are loudly signaling that they’d prefer the Trump resign or be removed via the 25th amendment (personally I don’t think the 25th is a viable route).
      Constitutionally all that is required is that the House vote to impeach and the Senate hold a trial that is overseen by the Chief justice. That procedure could be done relatively quickly and still be constitutional though it might not be in keeping with how impeachments have been conducted previously. Still, no past President has done anything this openly seditious or idiotic before so the circumstances are unique.

      You’re quite right that without Republican support the impeachment would not go anywhere. That’s simply all the more reason to impeach- let the GOP put their money where their mouth is and demonstrate where they stand on this matter. It would be illuminating and that’d be useful even if they didn’t vote to remove Trump.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to North says:

        Yes and no… that’s sort of my point… it would be really easy to write articles of impeachment that would actually give cover to R’s for *not* voting to impeach. The harder route is not doing that. Have to find the, what, 16 Senators that might be persuadable and write it exactly to their specifications. And, as I note above, it’s also time sensitive.

        But if the goal is rhetorical… then it’s still only effective as I describe above.

        Anything else would only be rhetorically effective for the same tribe.Report

        • Marchmaine in reply to Marchmaine says:

          ooops… probably should have clarified that I was specifically referring the the last two sentences:
          “let the GOP put their money where their mouth is and demonstrate where they stand on this matter. It would be illuminating and that’d be useful even if they didn’t vote to remove Trump”Report

          • North in reply to Marchmaine says:

            For political obsessives like you and me? Sure I suppose so. But for most of the population it’s not very complicated. “Trump ginned up a mob and they busted into the Capitol and disrupted the certification of the last election results.” Having the various respective GOP politicians being on record voting for this to be an impeachable offense or not is useful. Also having new impeachment proceedings in process is also a very bloody severed horse head to leave on Trumps bed for the next two weeks to remind him that he needs to behave himself for the remainder of the term.Report

            • InMD in reply to North says:

              That horse-head is the under-discussed part of this. His ass needs to be given every incentive to stay locked up in Mar-a-Lago, not talking to anyone, or doing anything else, save praying he doesn’t end up in prison.Report

            • Marchmaine in reply to North says:

              I guess I don’t see Impeachment as a bloody horse head. It’s a terrible threat because the runway is too long, so it doesn’t compel good behavior just a sort of modulation to play against time.

              I suppose its the professional experience in Sales that makes me extremely sensitive to time… time kills all deals is a common saying for us. You have to execute while you have focus, energy and support… all those things ebb away with time.Report

              • North in reply to Marchmaine says:

                Impeachment has a long runway, agreed, under normal circumstances but these are not normal circumstances. Trump knows he overshot his mark, you can see it in what he’s communicated and how. Having an impeachment debate hanging over him for the next two weeks could be very focusing for him- any time he starts getting obnoxious the impeachment process speeds up. If it runs out of time and Trump is out of office without further incident then yes, then it’s up to the GOP to weigh whether it might not be good for them to have Trump legally barred from running in 2024. The point is he’ll have been ushered out of office without causing further trouble.Report

        • Philip H in reply to Marchmaine says:

          Rep Omar’s articles are blunt and to the point. I haven’t seen the other yet.

          Pelosi and Schumer tried to get Pence on the phone to take their call RE the 25th Amendment. He wouldn’t. SO Pelosi is working the caucus this weekend to start the impeachment next week.Report

          • Marchmaine in reply to Philip H says:

            I haven’t seen either, so will withhold judgement on which might be better… but my point stands, if the goal is removal/disqualification it doesn’t matter whether the articles make *us* feel good, it only matters if they make 16 R’s feel good enough to vote yes. That’s the only audience that matters.

            I don’t mind Pelosi/Schumer calling Pence… heck they should be calling all R Senators too… but the *if* clause she was throwing around was stupid. If Pence doesn’t invoke the 25th…? From the Speaker of the House? That’s weak sauce. If she lost even a day with such nonsense (no idea if she did) then that’s just on her.

            I have a suspicion, though, that Congress as an institution really doesn’t like Impeachment… I think it’s sort of an inherent institutional bias… but I think it’s real. I also think institutionally there are lots of things Congress can do, but doesn’t like to do.Report

  28. Brandon Berg says:

    A fable:

    Adam Weinstein of MSNBC had this to say about Tom Cotton:

    219 days ago, when the targeted crowd was… different— Adam Weinstein (@AdamWeinstein) January 8, 2021

    See, he advocated using the military to get the BLM/Antifa insurrection under control, and obviously he wouldn’t do that in this case, because they’re white and he’s a racist, like all Republicans. Gotcha!

    The impact of this most excellent zinger was only slightly diminished by the fact that just the day before the Wall Street Journal had run an op-ed from Tom Cotton that started like this:

    Over the summer, as insurrection gripped the streets, I called to send in the troops if necessary to restore order. On Wednesday insurrectionists occupied the Capitol and disrupted the proceedings of Congress.

    These groups waved signs with different slogans, but our response must be the same: no quarter for insurrectionists. Those who use violence to advance their agendas must be stopped with the full force of the law.

    When this was pointed out to Weinstein, he immediately expressed regret over the error he had made in his excitement over—nah, just kidding. He mockingly posted a gif of people saying “To be faaaaair….” You know, on the off-chance that anyone had mistaken him for the kind of journalist who cares about facts and boring stuff like that.

    Moral of the story: Your imagination is not high-quality evidence. You can’t just imagine what would happen in a counterfactual situation and use that as evidence to support your position. Especially when the counterfactual situation has actually occurred.Report

  29. Stillwater says:

    For anyone interested in a first hand account of the “planning” (scare quotes!), execution, and cops response to the siege of the Capitol on Wednesday, here’s a long twitter thread with commentary and accompanying video. I found it illuminating. It begins here: