The assault of January 6 on a sitting Congress was an exclamation point at the conclusion of four bizarre years in American democracy. It was the end point of a callous campaign by the nation’s highest elected official to incite insurrection among the lunatic fringe of his core supporters.
Like him, it failed, but it served notice. We should pay attention.
Since he was soundly defeated for reelection last November, the incumbent president has railed about the “theft” of his “landslide victory” and leaned on state election officials overturn the results of a free and fair election.
If he truly believes these fraudulent claims, he is mentally impaired. If, as is more likely, it is a calculated ruse to inspire the overthrow of our duly elected government, he is guilty of sedition. He should be removed from office and either treated or prosecuted, whichever is appropriate.
No one should forget the images of that assault on our elected government. If it weren’t so tragic, so damaging, so threatening, it would have been almost comical. Most of the insurrectionists who made it into the Capitol appeared slightly dazed by their access and uncertain what to do.
They took selfies, vandalized the offices, the art and antiques of the Republic, and moved aimlessly if menacingly though the building. It was equal parts Gomer Pyle on tour and Duck Dynasty on a bad acid trip.
But some among them were serious and very dangerous. They are the white supremacists, the fascists, the conspiracy theorists, the lunatic right wing. This was their moment. If they aren’t stopped they may be back for more.
There was nothing funny about the outcome. A police officer was killed, a demonstrator shot dead, pipe bombs were placed near party headquarters, and at least one insurrectionist was arrested with an assault weapon, ten Molotov cocktails in his truck, and two handguns in his pockets. Many more of them were clearly in violation of the District’s prohibition on firearms.
That the demonstrators met very little resistance in gaining access to the nation’s Capitol is worthy of serious investigation. Compared to the phalanx of riot police that staffed the Black Lives Matter protests last summer, the preparations for the well-publicized hostilities of January 6 were minimal.
A mob of the MAGA persuasion conducted a statehouse invasion
Though heavily armed they departed unharmed
And that’s how you know they’re Caucasian
——- Stephen Chilton Defty
It’s a terrible irony that the one piece of bipartisan legislation by this Congress was to override the President’s veto of the $934 billion Defense Bill, which passed for the 60th successive year and yet provided not a bit of defense from the enemy within.
Nor did the $54 billion appropriation for the Department of Homeland Security, whose officers were nowhere in evidence while the Capitol was assaulted. Perhaps their frantic efforts to secure the Nation’s southern border kept them otherwise occupied.
The Shakespearean tragedy of this Administration is nearing an end. Like Lear, the perpetrator in chief is finished. His legacy is an ugly scar on the presidency. His staff likely will be pardoned for their crimes of service.
But the sycophants among elected officials who indulged his egregious behavior in their craven desire for personal power remain with us. We should remember their complicity and use the power of the vote to send them packing. They deserve nothing less.