Contemplating The Mob

It’s difficult–no, impossible–to describe my reaction to what happened at the nation’s capitol on Wednesday. I gave myself an extra day to process it, but I’m still unable to adequately convey my reaction.

Earlier in the day, my husband listened to the disconnected, angry “speech” delivered by soon-to-be-former President Donald Trump, so I couldn’t help hearing most of it–despite the fact that the sound of his voice makes me physically ill. If I had to characterize what I heard, I would use words like “incoherent” “self-pitying” and “delusional.” 

Trump’s interminable rant finally ended just before 1 p.m.,with his offer to lead a march to the Capitol, where Congress was assembled for the entirely ceremonial acceptance of Electoral College votes. He didn’t lead the march, of course–he went back to the White House–but a large number of those in his audience proceeded to march to the Capitol, where they toppled the barricades that had been erected, broke windows and breached the Capitol building.

Speaking of those barricades, there were fewer than usual, raising some ugly questions made even more concerning by the scarcity and restraint–and in some cases, what looked like participation– of Capitol police. Numerous people have noted that the slim police presence was in stark contrast to security during Black Lives Matter demonstrations last year, when more than 5,000 officers were deployed. There were only 115 on duty at any one time on Wednesday–even though police had ample warning; right-wingers had been engaged in online planning for weeks.

For the next four hours, as my husband and I switched between C-SPAN, NBC and CBS, we saw an attempted coup–and not a bloodless one. One person was taken to a hospital in critical condition and later died. Three others apparently died as well.

From what the television cameras showed, the mob was composed of Trump’s typical supporters– Proud Boys, QAnon conspirators, “good old boys” waving Confederate and Trump flags and toting guns, Neo-Nazis in MAGA hats. One shirtless thug displayed a Ku Klux Klan tattoo on his abdomen, another wore a “Camp Auschwitz” sweatshirt. We watched, astonished, as they took selfies and ransacked Congressional offices.

The Governors of Virginia and Maryland belatedly activated their National Guard units–reportedly, Trump had earlier refused a request to do so– and the Mayor of DC imposed a 6:00 pm curfew. 

An hour or more into the mayhem, in response to pleas from several Senators, Trump issued a statement that the mob should “go home”–but only after repeating his election falsehoods, telling them that he “loved them” and assuring them that he considered them “very special.” 

This riot (on behalf of the “law and order” party) can be directly attributed to Trump and the cynical and deeply dishonorable members of the House and Senate–including Indiana Senator Mike Braun– who had announced their intent to “object” to the receipt of Electoral College votes. Their unprecedented betrayal of their oaths of office finally drew bipartisan condemnation.

I was no fan of former President George W. Bush, but I applaud his statement that he had been “appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election.” Even Mitch McConnell–aka Mr. Evil–excoriated those who participated in what can only be considered a frontal attack on American democracy. And for the first time in four years, Mike Pence (reluctantly) declined to enable and defend one of Donald Trump’s multiple assaults on the Constitution.

As for Hawley, Cruz (and Braun), conservative columnist George Will said it best:

The Trump-Hawley-Cruz insurrection against constitutional government will be an indelible stain on the nation. They, however, will not be so permanent. In 14 days, one of them will be removed from office by the constitutional processes he neither fathoms nor favors. It will take longer to scrub the other two from public life. Until that hygienic outcome is accomplished, from this day forward, everything they say or do or advocate should be disregarded as patent attempts to distract attention from the lurid fact of what they have become. Each will wear a scarlet “S” as a seditionist.

It’s too soon to predict what the ultimate fallout from this appalling insurrection will be. For now, I’ll just share a message posted to Facebook by my friend Kevin Osborn–a message with which I entirely agree:

As the sun sets on this momentous day, I am thankful for Stacey Abrams and others in Georgia for their phenomenal work in getting out the vote. I refuse to let the actions of a relatively small group of treasonous domestic terrorists and their addled, unfit leader ruin the historic event that took place last night and that so many have fought and died for over many years. We will move forward from this treachery and those that cannot will be left behind in history’s trash bin.

Amen to that.


  1. Professor-from your heart….and George Will’s and Kevin Osborn’s. Thank you, all.

  2. The crazy people scare the hell out of me. I look forward to this being over. Just a few more days (I hope)

  3. “Speaking of those barricades, there were fewer than usual, raising some ugly questions made even more concerning by the scarcity and restraint–and in some cases, what looked like participation– of Capitol police.”

    Well gee whiz; they were white folks exercising their 1st and 2nd Amendment rights. Nothing to fear, no reason to protect Congress in our own Capitol Building. Right!!

    As for the outcome of this Trump ordered deadly insurrection in an attempt to halt Congress carrying out one of the responsibilities of their Oath of Office to uphold the Constitution; the 25th Amendment will never be carried out by Pence. He is simply too weak and in Trump’s thrall. Both houses of Congress need to stop empty threats of a 2nd impeachment and actually file the formal action NOW; they have FOUR YEARS of evidence against Trump, culminating in fomenting insurrection resulting in deaths.

    Stacey Abrams’ job is done for now; Democrats are the Senate majority, but she can do nothing about removing Donald Trump from OUR White House. If he is not removed Constitutionally; he will have the legal right to run for president again in 2024, that is why impeachment NOW or enacting the 25th Amendment is vital NOW.

  4. Anyone who thinks this is a one-off event and will soon be behind us is kidding themselves. Once again, the Dems will fall into the trap of a) blaming everything on “this president”, and b) thinking they can reach out to the Republicans because ‘we have lot of work to do’.

    First off, the words “this president” should not be uttered without “and the Republican Party” when talking about what went on at the Capitol as they are as much, if not more, culpable than the mentally ill person in the White House. And second, thinking they’re going to work with Republicans is about as naive and dangerous as inviting the Taliban to lunch in the hopes they’ll convert to Christianity.

    I hope the country, or at least the Dems, see this for what it truly is: a cancer on the body politic which is much more dangerous and destructive than a few boneheads breaking into a building. When half of a country’s political landscape is intellectually, morally, and ethically bankrupt, said country is in big trouble. And, when the other half of that landscape doesn’t realize it, heaven help us.

  5. What Richardallen said. I can only add a question: It’s been two days since the 45th President of the United States instigated his insurrection, so why is he still President?

  6. Well,

    I guess my statements saying that “There Will Be Blood” was fairly accurate! Although it was almost 2 years ago, and reaffirmed on and off till the actual incident on 6 January, who was not difficult to predict. It was the logical culmination of inflammatory hate speech and continuous lying.

    When we turned on Fox news to see what they were saying during this insurrection, we witnessed the woman getting shot! The woman who was killed was drinking the Kool-Aid for sure if you had an opportunity to look at her social media. She definitely self-deluded herself. Then you had others who were crying because they got maced! One woman was saying that she couldn’t understand it, and that all they were doing, was being part of a revolution? And through the tears and shock that she seemed to be wallowing in, she talked about it like she was maced at a weenie roast.

    Then you have the officer that was killed by being suffocated with a chemical fire extinguisher! And, that’s a really bad way to go. Imagine inhaling a box of baking soda! And then the 3 medical emergency deaths outside from more idiots thinking they were going to a Trump picnic!

    Any wonder how this type of thing happened in Nazi Germany close to 100 years ago? They had plenty that just went along with the program, without really knowing what the program was. And then you had those who like the individual Sheila mentioned, wearing the Auschwitz hoodie, and that others that had Nazi tattoos and sported the 6MWE (6 million wasn’t enough) paraphernalia!

    This has the potential for being much worse! If the military had any stones at all, they would physically remove Trump and send him to Gitmo, where he belongs! The pressure should be on right now not to accept any pardons put forth by this administration. Anyone who leads an insurrection should not be allowed to pardon anyone!

    After Trump would be removed by the military, he could be tried for crimes, high crimes and misdemeanors! Since he is commander-in-chief, maybe a military tribunal would be the way to go! A public trial!

    The enablers would suffer the same fate. The excuse of cluelessness is ridiculous. When they were trying the Nazis at the Hague, many of them were saying, ” they were only doing their job!” And they said it all away to the gallows!

    Blood has been shed in an insurrection, concocted by, a mentally unstable authoritarian narcissistic criminal and it didn’t take much for him to acquire boot polishers.

    It goes to show that education doesn’t actually equate to intellect.

    And, if you’ve never seen the movie “There Will Be Blood” I would suggest you do so, it’s quite enlightening!

    The whipsaw effect because of this is going to be dramatic, and there’s going to be a lot of whining, a lot of gnashing of teeth! And I imagine it’s going to change the landscape of American government for the rest of its existence. It definitely will add a lot to the history books.

    As FDR said on December 7, 1941, “This Is A Date Which Will Live In Infamy” there is no doubt about that.

    And, the name Trump will take its place alongside that of Benedict Arnold!

    And, I believe Gerald Stinson said yesterday, Stacey Abrams should be running the DNC, absolutely!

    Make no mistake, the amount of Bibles being held up at that insurrection showed how much religion was involved, and, the reckoning is very soon.

  7. Most of those taking the high road after the attempt to overthrow our government should not be praised. They should have TOO LITTLE TOO LATE tattooed on their foreheads. They have playing the long game of voter suppression, white supremacy, rhetoric and gaslighting with only their “prize” in mind without thought of the flip side. Now they are resigning as though the didn’t condone what happened, when they are just hoping to save their butts and reputation. They act as though they are appalled, I’m having a hard time believing it. They got what they wanted. Now they get to ride off in the sunset?

  8. Let’em get their monies worth—hundreds of millions of dollars to these yahoos with the right-wing media playing it all 24/7. Give’em a brick to take home.

    I’m still wondering while none of the A-team reporters have been sent to Belmarsh prison to talk with “one of their own” about him be tortured for telling the truth. LOL

  9. I’m still trying to get my head around the events of Wednesday.
    I spent much of yesterday trying to understand what my country had become which got me wondering if I ever really saw it the way it was in the first place.
    There was a long phone conversation with a good friend about the 70 million plus Americans who voted for Trump this last time. What do they see that I do not see? What is it that they want? Can any of them put their vision of the Country’s future in plain words?
    The insurrectionists are another matter. Angry white men. High on testosterone. Looking for a fight. Each emerging from a different ideology, one as delusional as the next.
    And the insurrectionists inside of the Congress. Is there some kind of secret cult within the Republican Party that is Nazi in its aims?
    A German professor of political history spoke yesterday of the insurrection being like the Nazi Putsch of 1923. While that rebellion was put down, the leader Hitler sent to prison for awhile, the movement grew and grew until it was reborn in the late 1920s and took over all of Germany.
    I can see that today will be spent mulling over all of this again… in fear.

  10. My eyes can’t believe that I saw the privileged middle and upper-middle class whites rally and protest because they didn’t have “enough,” Do they want it all or do they not want certain others to have anything?

  11. The governors of Maryland and Virginia were thwarted from sending in their NG units because the “acting” Sec.Defense wasn’t taking any calls.

    No, this is not over. It’s just the beginning. Even when Trump and his gits get sent to prison, he will still rave and rant and rally his equally deranged cult followers.

    Yes, the capital police were poorly prepared and equipped to deal with something they KNEW was coming for weeks. Why were only 500 of their force of 2,200 on duty? It’s good that the chief resigned as well as the sergeants at arms. They should be tried for criminal negligence… apart from the implicit racism of the cops on station.

    Where was the Sec. Defense? Of course, Trump is a psychopath. Of course he will still goad his cultist followers. It’s what psychopaths do.

    And yes, we MUST work with those Republicans who still have a mind, a soul, some character and some honesty. The 143 slugs from the House, including McCarthy and Gaetz are complicit in sedition and treason. The 7 Republican Senators who didn’t blink at the attack and conducted business as usual for their own benefit should never, ever be allowed into the halls of Congress even as tourists.

    This event shows how rotten we are at our core. The insurrectionists on Wednesday are merely the tip of the iceberg of ignorance, white privilege, white grievance and intellectual vacuousness. Did you see that asshole with the bison horn headdress? Really? He had more ink on his body than I have in one of my books.

    I’m glad I’m old.

  12. We need to be prepared for anything and everything on January 19-20 . If trouble occurs , and police and military are not “prepared “ to handle it , we’ll have an even deeper hole to climb out of than we do now . I am not optimistic. When the type of actions that were allowed , yes , allowed to take place occur , strong correct response is needed . Any thinking individual knew trouble would occur that day . Trump and his cult had spoken of it publicly. All the signs were there .
    Where were the defenses that should have been in place , and why is our response ( so far ) so impotent?
    I , for one , think a much larger problem will rear its ugly head closer to the inauguration . I certainly hope I am mistaken .

  13. “All we have to fear is….” Folks, you are are either “with ’em or agin” ’em” – if the latter, then dry your tears and get “Abramsesque”. Time to organize the at least 32% of eligible voters who didn’t vote in 2020 to become part of the solution.

    Many of the turncoat Representatives and Senators will be up for re-election in 2022. Even if yours isn’t, time to see that your personal action borders are the whole country. Thanks to Sheila’s kindness, I will post an “ad” later today here for the effort I am involved with, CommonGoodGoverning which has just that focus.

  14. Sedition: “Conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch.” (Oxford dictionary ). Is there anyone who does not believe that the orange menace’s speech at the rally of his troops Wednesday afternoon meets that definition? We might also include the twelve senators and 147 representatives who decided to carry on with objections to the electoral college vote count.

    As for the traitors who forced their way into the Capitol and are now trying to blame Antifa, most of them crossed state lines to commit their crimes. That, in itself, is a crime and I hope every US Attorney in every state, brings charges against them. They committed a misdemeanor trespass, but IMHO they also committed felony treason in seeking to overthrow the result of a lawfully conducted election. The fact that 4 people are dead after their gambit might lead to them being tried in DC courts for felony murder.

    As for the lack of response to the obvious need for more troops on the ground, when it was clear Capitol police were being overwhelmed, blame for that goes to both the President and his Secretary of Defense, who was conveniently MIA. Maryland’s governor said he couldn’t reach SecDef, despite several attempts to gain authorization to send his guard troops across state lines into the District. He finally received a call from the Secretary of the Army, who authorized it, even though he probably legally wasn’t authorized to authorize.

    Now back to reality. I’m reasonably certain nobody will be punished for any crimes committed on Wednesday. That will lead to more of the same after the next election that doesn’t go their way. Keep in mind that these are people who didn’t accept the fact that 60 different courts threw out the suits brought on behalf of the moron in chief, including courts presided over by judges appointed by the moron himself. That’s hard core. Get ready for 2022.

  15. I have not felt this level of moral outrage since Tim McVeigh murdered 168 people by bombing the OKC Federal Building. It was difficult to contain my feelings due to my PTSD. Fortunately I have had many hours of one on one counseling and group therapy to teach me how to cope.

  16. Stan Lightner – now the whole country has a small idea of what PTSD is…be strong.

  17. Words matter, even in the midst of chaos. From an expert in coups:

    “In our struggle to name the horror that befell the Capitol on Wednesday, word choice matters, says Clayton Thyne, chair of the political science department at the University of Kentucky and co-creator of a database of coups around the world.

    What we saw Wednesday in the Capitol was shocking. It was unprecedented. Was it also a coup attempt?

    No. Not at all.

    Why not?

    So there are three main things when we are looking for a coup. First, who did what to whom? Perpetrators for a coup must come from the elite members of the state apparatus. And we are almost always talking about generals when we are talking about a coup attempt. Here we didn’t have any elites. It was just civilians, not members of the state apparatus.


    The second thing: Did what? A coup must attempt to overthrow the chief executive. And this wasn’t an attempt to really overthrow anything. There wasn’t an organized idea that they are going to overthrow Congress and take over Congress and dissolve Congress, or anything like that. And even if they had, it’s still not a coup, because we aren’t talking about the chief executive. We are talking about the legislative branch.

    And so the final part: To whom? It kind of meshes with the second part. The target wasn’t [President Donald] Trump. The only person that could be overthrown in the United States is [the president]. Biden’s not the president yet. And Congress obviously isn’t the chief executive.

    What was it, then?

    It was a riot. It was trespassing. It was a mob that got out of hand. People are using the word “insurrection.” Maybe, except I just don’t think the goal was to overthrow the government by any means. It was disgusting. It was awful. But it just wasn’t an organized attempt to really do much, except express displeasure. I think it’s important to be careful with our language. We can get beyond this with good leadership. I think that’s why these words are so important.


    Contrast what happened in Washington, then, to what you would call a real coup.

    What I would point to is Egypt in either 2011 or 2013. For us to have had a coup, what would have happened is the military would have stepped in, and they would have said this is out of control and we’re going to overthrow Trump, and we are going to take control of this country. And that is exactly what happened with Egypt, twice. And that is how you lose your democracy.

    One of the shining moments Wednesday was that the military . . . wanted to make sure that we saw civilian governance from beginning to end. Clear civil-military separation [is] a hallmark of democracy. It’s something we shouldn’t take for granted. I think we should be really proud of that happening — but also vigilant that it remains that way.”

  18. Per Alex Beam in the Boston Globe – someone our age who was contemplating what to say to his grandkids and recalling his writing postcards to voters in GA…

    “So thank you, Donald Trump. I owe you a huge debt. Because of you, I will be able to look my grandchildren in the eye and say, “A lot of people got involved, and it made a difference.” I’m proud to have been one of them. Now, vamoose.”

  19. I’m just going to say it: The storming of the Capitol was just another of the series of necessary wake-up calls we’ve been getting. Completely predictable to anyone paying attention. The ugly underbelly of America, which has been with us since the first white invaders came to these shores and never been overcome, is now out in the open where it is much harder to ignore. Over a year of these times of reckoning – on white violence, on fascism, on a runaway economy destroying the planet, and more – is helping more people see the danger.
    Yet it’s still far from enough. Too many millions still think the problem lies with the white rioters and that once Trump is gone we can start to get back to “normal”. But normal is a deeply destructive economy and public policy that enables a few to continue reaping enormous wealth from the labor of the rest of us, all the while poisoning us and continuing to unleash firestorms, floods, and unrelenting steady encroachment by rising oceans.
    It’s just getting started folks. Nor can it be stopped – it’s too late for that. But it can be mitigated IF the race to shift to green energy, regenerative agriculture, and regenerative economics can be accelerated. The good news is that we now have clarity about these solutions and how to implement them. Now we have to work harder than ever to convince enough people to fight for them. This crisis is not going away – we’re in it for the rest of our lives.

  20. John, the only thing in your comment with which I can disagree is your wish for the military to intervene. I think that that would be another Rubicon we should not cross. Pence, on the other hand, is still trying to understand why his 4 years as a lackey for Trump have not spared him from the “bad” list. The fool does not realize that Trump has no loyalty to anyone but himself…MAYBE his family.
    I still do not understand why no one has been pointing out Rudy’s “Physical Combat” comment to the rally goers. He, and the others speaking at the rally need to be charged with incitement to riot.
    As others have stated, I too, was amazed that some in congress, who clearly do not belong there, went ahead with there protest of the EC votes, including Rick Scott, one of my two poor excuses for a senator.
    The ludicrous, but venal, combination of political and religious delusion displayed at the riot, is indeed, very scary, and will not go away. The reporter for the “Atlantic” was told by a rioter that “Trump is in the Bible,” and that this is all connected to the “fact” that “The End times are coming.” Christopher Hitchens’ comment that “Religion spoils everything,” is alive and well in the current underbelly of the nation. Theresa’s reference to the German professor of political history, is chilling. We can not afford to forget that the future is written in the past.
    Lastly, Trump had to have had a hand in arranging for the absence of uniformed “Law and Order” folk. Some elderly fellow, living in my development, in Florida, so it’s no surprise, has 2 bumper stickers on his pick-up truck: “Jesus is my Savior/Trump is my President,” and “Law and Order/Vote Trump.”

  21. Sheila: This abomination was utterly foreseeable. I issued a Tweet at 7 a.m. on the 6th praying for peace. I knew that this would happen. Anyone on social media knew this would happen. None of us are stupid. The lack of security preparation at the Capitol will be proven to have been intentional. I have no doubt. I remain confident in the ability of the FBI to ferret out what happened here and to trace it back to the planners. It may not be immediate, but I bet we will learn a lot in coming days. I also suspect that some of America’s best investigative reporters are working on the back story of what happened here, and they will trace things back to the planners.

    The big issue for me is how to begin even the smallest effort to heal division. We know that the white supremacists and hate groups cannot be changed. But there may be part of the 35-40% who may have had their eyes opened. There may be a few of the GOP “leaders” who may now have the backbone to speak frankly to the Trump/Tea Party group and shave off some of them to a more moderate view. As much as I would like to see the president removed in the next 12 days, that would further stoke the fires of resentment. So, I urge all of the so called “guardrails” who are left in Washington to stay close to POTUS and defuse anything more that he may do.

    I also pray that POTUS will not pardon all of the rioters as his last act on his way out the door.

  22. This attack on the Capitol by a mob has been brewing for sometime. We have seen the Camouflage gun toting vigilantes strutting their stuff for several years intimidating and threatening those outside their groups. Little is done to contain them, lax gun laws and open carry give them a license to bully.

    This was an incompetent Coup attempt by a mob encouraged by Trump and his stooges to physically threaten the Legislature in DC into declaring Trump the victor in the 2020 election. It was a storming of the Bastille Moment that failed like Hitler’s attempt in 1923 in the beer hall.

    Even after this shocking assault the GOP still went ahead with their version of the Election Fraud Fantasy Scenario. A sizable number of the GOP base still believe the election was stolen from Trump and Pastor Pence. They have no solid proof. Proof is not needed, belief Trump’s (pun intended) Facts every time.

  23. Way back in 2016 there were many here shocked and saddened over that election who predicted these times and way worse. We seemed to be in agreement about the downfall of the country.

    The years since have shown few structural guard rails were available to protect the Republic and how grossly inadequate our laws were for dealing with the pseudo election of a tyrant.

    The prediction that Hillary Clinton made labeling this faction “deplorable” has been confirmed and validated.

    We have so much to fix, so much to do.

    Fortunately, the result of this election empowers Democrats to take charge of their endless task of cleaning up Republican messes.

    The question is will the next term be effectively used by Republicans for cleaning up their internal mess at the same time?

  24. This is going to be a big story for a long time. The lack police presence in the Capital is going to be a major story, if it was really intentional, or if it was racially biased. It is gratifying that somebody like Mike Braun finally realized that words do matter, but maybe only as he was being escorted out of the Senate. Again, too little, too late.

    I saw a Reuters story that was saying that Trump may FINALLY be so tainted that he has no political future. Amen. If we are lucky this has tainted the Republican brand badly enough that we do see a real split in the Republican Party, but again, that may be another wait and see. We might not see that until mid-terms in 2022.

    Lastly, the few Trump supporters that have not unfriended me on Facebook are still firmly stuck in the right wing echo chamber repeating , “I heard these were all ANTIFA pretending to be Trump supporters”. Even if the Republican party splits, there will still be the large hard core radical right wing constituency looking for a voice.

  25. I’ve been wondering about these Cabinet members who are resigning…(particularly “Mrs. Evil.”) Do you suppose…NO…CAN’T BE….they might be trying to save themselves from having to vote him out via the 25th amendment? It’s a fine way to keep approval of the cult while not having to risk the disapproval of its leader.

  26. You know this is a bit laughable in a gallows humor way. Novelists and Film Makers devise all these complex plots for some nefarious sorts to enter into some building to “take out” the leaders. WOW, all that thinking and writing and filming and all they need to do is dress-up in MAGA Gear to get in the front door.

    Think of the casting call for the movie – We need a bunch of fat asses and people who call yell, hold up the bible or some dog eared copy of the constitution and slobber all over themselves.

    There was an interesting comment I read elsewhere that the failure by the Capitol Police and other Organs of State Security was massive. If there was a group of “real terrorists” bent on political assassination they could have walked through the front door with no one to stop them. Just dress-up in MAGA Gear.

    You have to wonder if someone told the Organs of State Security to stand – down.

    Rather than going off on another futile effort at Impeachment, let’s find out the Who, What, When, Where and Why our Security at the Capitol was so lax.

  27. I know I was not shocked by the mob–I am hearing some alarming loud whispers from a retired Capital law enforcement who worked in his position for 37 years and former General Honore has loudly alluded too a very high possibility that Capital law enforcement leadership may have assisted in the breach–he called it complicit. I know this has come to my mind watching the images and seeing the reports of some of the rioters who have stated they have Capital policy/leaders on their ‘side’.

    I know I have stated here that around 10 years ago I kept stating we are traveling towards a social civil war. It started w/ the tea baggers and then with the election of Trump I knew with certainty that something of a civil war will break out. I have also said for years that I believed the Republican party was no longer for democracy but has had autocratic intent for quite some time. The Democrats have been naive to think the Republicans have been playing by the same ‘play book
    as them but the signs have all been there growing over many, many years but has certainly sped up in the past 6 yrs.

    We are long over due in this country for a reckoning. What I saw and continue to see is not shocking–it was inevitable and that is what is sad.

  28. I was certain that some terrible act of violence would occur at some point after Trump invited these violent right wing people in. This is almost as bad for me as when President Kennedy was assasinated. I was 12 years old and my school helped us cope with this as did my mother(God rest her soul). The woman who was killed was an Air Force veteran. I don’t know anything about her military discharge.

    We had windows that would not break on a psych unit at St. Vincent’s Stress Center on the adolescent unit. A boy lifted a chair and hit the window with it, but it did not break. They need these sorts of windows put on the capital building and the White House.

    Merrick Garland will hopefully go after these white supremacists and extreme right wing militias along with the new National Security staff of Biden’s administration.

    I commend Sen. Ben Sasse and all the people in Congress who did their constitutional duty and approved the electoral college count. I was deeply moved by Sen. Duckworth’s speech. For once Mike Pence demonstrated some integrity. I thank all the police who tried hard to contain this mob even though they were grossly understaffed. Part of the tragedy is that they had plenty of forewarning via social media that this would occur and did not adequately prepare.

    We are much more likely to be wounded, maimed, or killed by a domestic terrorist than an Islamic terrorist. We not only have a viral pandemic but we have a gun violence epidemic in this country. Trump’s hateful, divisive rhetoric and his failure to create an effective response to the pandemic, has led to more violence and murder in our country. I really don’t think owning a gun should be a “right”. I think it should be a licensed privilege like nursing is.

    Every nursing student in Indiana is finger printed. Every nursing student has an FBI criminal background check completed before being allowed to take the NCLEX.( the nursing board’s exam). And these are people who want to TREAT THE SICK not people who want to OWN A WEAPON THAT CAN KILL SOMEONE.
    What happend to “March for Our Lives” ( my computer refuses to put on a question mark)

    I don’t think the interpretation of the 2nd amendment is correct. It had to do with militias not individual citizens. All the conservatives(including the judges) who call themselves constitutional originalists fail to use that sort of interpretation with the 2nd amendment.

    For myself, I thank God I have friends and family who support me in times like this.

    Lester, thanks for inviting me to join your Common Good Governing group and for helping candidates who want to be servant leaders not slaves to political ideologies.

    And in the meantime, I am again singing songs like “We Shall Overcome” to lift my spirit. Music can and often does unite people. It would be good to have musicians singing around the capital now with songs of hope, unity, and patriotism.

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  30. It may not be a proper comment to this particular thread, but I think this episode must as quickly as possible prompt a very careful look at The 25th Amendment, and in particular its lengthy and somewhat complex Section 4. It’s too long to incorporate here, but it begins: “Whenever the Vice-President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit ….[to Congress]….their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the duties of his office……..”

    I understand that the framers of this Amendment purposefully made the section somewhat vague so as to supposedly make it applicable to a fairly wide range of possible situations. How far this can go beyond physical incapacity, through mental instability, to criminal but still sane action or intent remains undefined.

    In addition, was the choice of the Vice President, who is essential to the process, the best one, given the type of circumstances that Mike Pence (or any VP of the same political party) is in? Only another Constitutional Amendment would be able to resolve that issue, and that is a long and cumbersome process.

    As to who are “the principal officers of the executive departments” are (just the Secretary/head of each or perhaps a larger group?), what happens in the case of acting folks, or the majority requirement /quorum requirements in case of resignations? Who knows for sure? Fortunately, the “such other body as Congress may by law provide” can eliminate such uncertainties, and a law passed by a a House and Senate under Democratic control *hopefully aided by a responsible GOP minority, and signed by Joe Biden could put those questions behind us.

    Stay tuned.

  31. Don Sherfick; as a matter of fact, I copied Section 4 of Amendment XXV on my Facebook page this morning. Those who commented had no problem understanding the language; there is one major problem with that section and it is that it appears to REQUIRE the Vice President take the lead in this action. But he can, in writing, submit the petition to either cabinet members OR Congress; it appears currently that remaining cabinet heads are “acting” level. The same problem requiring action by the Vice President is found in Article II, Clause 6 of the Constitution.

    Does Mike Pence realize that Trump, Trump, Jr. and Rudy Giuliani sent those 2,000 or so insurrectionists after him as well as both houses of Congress and all aides?

  32. Would we achieve “unity” by pardoning Trump and others who were involved in orchestrating and carrying out the insurrection of a few days ago, or by so doing are we signaling to future wannabe dictators that there are no consequences for whatever it is they want to do (like abolition of the Congress and our judiciary)? Stated otherwise > How much more can our democracy withstand? When, if ever, are we going to draw the line?

    I think it’s now. I think we should throw Trump out of office, indict him, sue him in tort for damages he caused (including now wrongful death) with his invitation to thugs to trash our capitol. So he’s demented? So was Hitler. It’s crunch time; time to defend our democracy, and from the trenches if necessary. Now is the time for every good man (and woman) to defend our flag (lest there be no flag to defend if we don’t). Better to have it out now than later, and we should utilize every resource in removing this piece of fetid protoplasm from the Oval Office. Today.

  33. Can this be true?

    Dateline December 17, 1773:
    Today, only 15 hours after Colonial insurrectionists boarded three East India Company ships in Boston Harbor and threw 342 chests of British tea into the harbor, Samuel Adams, presumed leader of the insurrectionists, spoke to reporters. Adams claimed that the culprits who threw the tea into the harbor were actually British agents disguised as Colonists disguised as Indians. “We Colonists are not to blame,” Adams said. “We are, yes, a little wrought over some things, but we cannot be held accountable for the actions of secret agents of the King, determined to start a war.”

    So there you have it. Totally ludicrous. One of Americas so-called Revolutionary heroes, Samuel Adams, is caught covering his complicity with all the cowardly aplomb and absurd lies that you would not expect to come floating down the currents of time until, say, January 7th, 2021.

    It cannot be true.

  34. I fear for what damage #45 can do to this country in the two weeks while still in the WH. I doubt the VP will take action to initiate the process of the 25th Amendment. Don Sherfick makes a good point questioning how it can be applied viably under the present circumstances. I fear for the “peaceful transition of power” on January 19-20. What new insurrections will be perpetrated by domestic terrorists? On Wednesday, this country conveyed the image of a banana republic. The ideals of democracy that this nation represented to the world since its conception will be forever tarnished. And, as Shelia said, “… I’m still unable to adequately convey my reaction.“

  35. A. J.> I fear for the damage Trump may do if we DON’T confront him NOW! We saw how Hitler was supposedly appeased after his annexation of Austria and a chunk of then Czechoslovakia. Such unconfronted success only whetted his appetite for more, resulting in WW II. This is not a time to pull a Chamberlain who said when returning from Munich that we have “peace in our time.” That was in 1938, and you know the rest of that story. The lesson? Confront would be dictators early, frontally and forcefully.

  36. I saw a statistic this morning that reported that 41% of Americans supported that those who invaded the Capitol building. For those Republicans who want to capture the support of Trumpsters after he’s gone, and who will give him yet another free pass for causing this insurrection, consider this: some of those losers wore “Camp Auschwitz” sweat shirts, and some wore shirts reading “6mne”, something with which I wasn’t familiar. “6mne stands for “6 million is not enough”, meaning the 6 million Jews murdered in the holocaust weren’t enough. They are Neo-Nazis and are advocating for killing more Jews.

    So, when pundits like Jonathan Turley criticize Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post who wrote a piece published today calling for the impeachment of those Republicans who lodged baseless objections to the Electoral College votes, they should understand whom they’re in bed with. Those members of Congress who refuse to stand against Trumpsters, who objected to the Electoral College, and won’t vote to impeach him stand in solidarity with the “6mne” bunch, so they, too, must be considered Neo-Nazis.

    Neither Trump nor his Republican enablers should get a free pass.

  37. I read responses to Sheila’s blog very intently. Lester Levine I believe is on the right track. What happened on the steps of our nation’s capitol and intrusion into the halls and offices of our Congress, if not a coup attempt, was an event even more sinister. This who said ‘this is not over’ … I believe are correct. No one in this blog today mentioned:

    Oath Keepers
    3 Percenters

    Antiifa and Proud Boys mentioned more often are not their allies. These are not idiots and/or ignorant folk. The founder of Oath Keepers graduated from Yale with a law degree.

    There will be an investigation of the unusual restraint demonstrated by the Capitol Police and I will not be surprised if Oath Keepers have infiltrated the ranks. The founder of Oath Keepers is a county sheriff in South Texas and has quietly pursued recruitment for membership who subscribe to a ten point oath among the ranks of local law enforcement, military and other law enforcement agencies nation wide. There is a thorough investigative expose in The Atlantic Monthly, November 2020, edition.

    Steve Miller and his tribe knowingly connected Trump to this group and positioned our President as their guy in The White House. When you hear shouts: “WE are taking our country back” … it is code … The White House was stolen from us in a fraudulent general election.

    This is not over. This is beyond liberal progressive exercises of intellectual self gratification. Our military leaders are on alert. Core leadership of groups like Oath Keepers and 3 Percenters are intelligent and well read. Those who are surveilling them and collecting intelligence regard these groups with due respect for their strategic capability. It is now in the fish bowl for the first time and it is not just about Trump. Who do you think called Trump to stand down and soften his position? It was not just from a group of Republican Senators. Trump would have just ignored them. But if it was a call from among the billionaires who funded Trump’s intervention since the election, like Sheldon Adelson, you better believe even Trump knows which side of his toasted rear end is buttered up good.

  38. Natacha: Amen! I am not going to be a “good German” who watches this budding dictatorship continue without confrontation. This affront to our democracy has to be nipped in the bud, like yesterday, taking no (political) prisoners.

  39. I just hope that we don’t soft-pedal this or plead that we should all “make nice” and everything will be fine. These are anti-American seditionists of various flavors.

    Lester – sorry, but I find your definition of coup attempt too narrow – these people went to the Capitol building, to the seat of our government, intent to overthrow the election results – to overthrow the election and the Constitution – just because the army didn’t join them, they are totally delusional, and they don’t understand how thinks work, their intent was a coup.

    Add the people with zip ties, the chants to lynch Pence, and the various attacks that occurred in several state capitols, and we have a real problem – soft pedaling it is how we got here – I don’t want this to be Turkey, Hungary, or 1930s Germany.

    We need to prosecute the perpetrators, their instigators, and declare a virtual persona non grata status on the rest of their ilk. I would love to argue that we spent almost a century since WWII convincing the world that we were champions of democracy and a better way of governing and that all of that work was destroyed by this crowd – thus they should pay 80 years of US tax revenue in restitution — but I doubt that this argument would get anywhere – in fact, I’d probably get hit with a frivolous lawsuit fine.

  40. For three days I’ve been watching this and reading the chatterati. Here’s my distillation of what matters:

    Thank god SOMETHING scared the crap out of the legislators!

    That is all…

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