by John Walters
Yes We Klan!
What. A. Day.
–I won’t game-story it. You all saw it. The White Lives Master march. I was out shopping (picked up a sweet Nirvana t-shirt at Target) and swimming laps and when I emerged from the pool saw someone tweet, “Is this the worst day since 9/11?” Unaware of the gravity of what was transpiring, I nearly tweeted as a reply, “Since the Bush Push.” But I’ve grown up a little (I said “a little!”) and let discretion be my guide. Did not tweet.
–No AP calculus-level math needed here. On sites such as Parler and others, MAGA folks gathered online for weeks plotting this day. Trump invited a member of Proud Boys into the Oval Office. He used yesterday’s rally on the National Mall as an excuse to gather them all (when has a lame duck president with two weeks remaining in office ever needed to stage a rally?). Then he gave them their marching orders, chiding them with “you will never take our country back with weakness.” And Rudy G. added a Game of Thrones reference, suggesting “Trial by combat.” And then it was a short mile or so walk across a rectangular lawn to the Capitol. If that isn’t inciting a riot, actually, inciting sedition and treason, I don’t know what is.
–My query today is how complicit the top ranking folks at the Capitol Police were with this attempted coup. And that’s what it was, make no mistake. Stephen Sund heads up this unit and he’s got some ‘splainin’ to do. Here’s what I wonder: Did they know this was coming (only a fool wouldn’t have) and decide, from up top, that there would be no guns drawn except in a last-ditch effort inside the Capitol? Because it sure seemed as if there were more than enough reasons to use lethal force outside the Capitol building and these cops never did more than fight back with fists? Were they scared? Were they sympathetic? Or were they following orders from above?
–As easy as it is to vilify the Capitol Police today, let’s look at it from the other side. No one in Congress was abducted or killed. Only one protester was shot, and there’s no video footage of that (yet). MAGA did not get the Kent State moment it wanted, its “Remember The Alamo” moment. Which is maybe what Trump and Giuliani (and where were they?, you wonder. Well, of course, they’re not going to personally get their hands dirty) wanted, an armed conflict around which MAGA could rally for years (They shot innocent protesters on the steps of the Capitol in cold blood!). So, taking the long view, maybe the restraint was, while seeming craven in the moment, the right thing to do from a long-term perspective.
–The FBI will easily be able to locate and/or use facial recognition to arrest hundreds of these criminals. They should and they will. As soon as Trump leaves office. President-elect Joe Biden may want to soothe the nation’s temperature and prevail on us to unite, but there needs to be a reckoning for what happened. People need to go to jail. For a long time. Lock them up.
–Josh Hawley. Ted Cruz. Lindsey Graham. Rudy Giuliani. Matt Gaetz. Every Senator and Congressman who objected yesterday on the grounds that (my quotes) “we didn’t like the outcome.” All of these men and women’s names must be remembered and repeated and placed along that of Benedict Arnold.
–There have been terrible days in these United States, from Pearl Harbor to 9/11 to two high-profile presidential assassinations. There has not, in my memory, been a more shameful day. Even Richard Nixon and Watergate and the resignation, that was just a handful of people led by an amoral president drunk with power (psst: He was ahead in the polls anyway and he still authorized the break-in).
–If you have traveled around the country, or even just wandered out beyond your New York/LA/San Fran bubble the past decade or two, you’ve met these people. You’ve spoken with them or had encounters with them. They are overwhelmingly white, male, facial-haired losers. They believe the apotheosis of existence is owning a Ford F-150 and being able to shoot something and playing tough guy around women or men physically smaller than they are. They’re proud of not being well-read or yelling “FUCK YOU!” at an NFL game or MMA contest. They look forward to a road-rage incident. They are angry, though about what exactly they cannot quite articulate.
So kudos to Donald Trump. He found a way to rally them and organize them as a political bloc the way no major politician had before. And yesterday, after years of suppression and muttering under their breaths what they’d like to do, they went out and did it. And yes, it might have been much, much worse. Now it’s time to stuff their asses in a garbage can and jail them.
–Oh, and by the way, a record number of Americans, nearly 4,000, died from the coronavirus yesterday. So I’ve got no fucks to give for the stupid woman who charge police inside the Senate chamber after being warned to retreat and got her ass shot to death. She had it coming.
–You can always count on Rudy to be mind-numbingly stupid. He’s the Slim Pickens of the Trump cabal.
–Cards on the table, bottom-lining this thing: It’s White Supremacist America vs. Everyone Else. That’s all any of this is. There’s a bunch of people who believe their ancestors came to this country and settled it and that they then imported thousands of African slaves to facilitate growth. And when that president from Illinois emancipated them, well, those slaves were supposed to know their place, keep their damn mouths shut, and just be happy we weren’t lynching them or sending them back to Africa. This is how these people honestly feel. Democracy is cool, sure, as long as we all remember that white people are in charge. The second people of color organize and become a political force to be reckoned with (thanks, Obama), then the Constitution and the rule of law no longer matters.
–Donald Trump should be removed from the White House today and charged with conspiracy to commit treason. As many have noted, he’s been banned from Twitter and Facebook but he still has the nuclear codes? Oh, and maybe now you see why he fired those important people in charge of the Dept. of Defense and other agencies and installed lackeys in their place.
–This isn’t over. He’ll never “learn his lesson.” It’s all about how much worse it needs to get before he is removed from office, forcefully or peacefully. If I had Donald Trump’s brain and utter lack of ethics, and if I saw that yet again no one was moving to strip me of power, I might send out a signal to all those racist Duck Dynasty types who stormed the Capitol yesterday and invite them to a sit-in at the White House on January 19th. You want to evict me? You’re going to have to deal with my militia first. Don’t bet against it.
–Finally, I believe in metaphor. I believe in micro leading to macro. I believe in the smallest incident being a wonderful indicator of who a person is and how his or her actions will translate to a larger stage (e.g., George Bush was a guest on Letterman once and they cut to the show during an extended commercial break where you, the viewer, are supposed to get a look at what it’s like when they’re not “on” and it’s supposed to keep you from changing the channel; Bush (43) can be seen reaching to clean his glasses and using the hem of Letterman’s female assistant’s sweater to do so; told me everything I needed to know about him). Anyway, I believe that yesterday Donald Trump grabbed America by the pussy. He let us know that this is who he was four-plus years ago, it’s on tape, and too many people forgave it. This is always who he was. He grabbed America by the pussy. The question now is, Will America just let him get away with it?