Where there's smoke, there's insanity

Ghosts of Insurrection Past

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The United States is finally reigning in the masterminds behind the January 6th terrorist attack on The Capitol. I always make sure to use that language because we shouldn’t forget to call it what it was. Had they had things their way, a full-on, fascistly enforced coup would have taken place and the orderly transfer of power would have been interrupted and, in fact, end entirely with Donald Trump.

Step back a moment and remind yourself where you were in 2004. The Summer Olympics were happening in Greece that year, the Boston Red Sox win the World Series, and…… The Celebrity Apprentice enters its second season. The second season was when the show really picked up steam with its audience and found its base. Who could’ve ever predicted the star of that show would be wind up being more consequential than everything else happening that year rolled into one. At the time, we were still wrestling with the idea of celebrities in politics, squabbling over Arnold Schwarzenegger who’d just started serving as California’s Governor (2003-2011), directly following Jesse Ventura’s term as Minnesota’s Governor (1999-2003). How foolish those squabbles seem in retrospect, compared to the fact of Trump being elected president. It still boggles the mind. It seems to me like a rip in the spacetime continuum that I just somehow managed to survive through.

As the U.S. Department of Justice begins to show the fruits of its investigations and process the gooey mess of bugs and worms found living under the big rock they turned over. Even Ghostbuster’s “Slimer” would nod to how gross it’s getting, though. Between the amount of people complicity involved to the sheer depth Trump was willing to go to accomplish his means, Democrats find themselves in the awkward position of thanking longstanding Republican villains like Attorney General William Barr and Vice President Mike Pence for their defense of democracy, and for the fact their testimonies at the Jan. 6 hearings have been the most damning so far to Trump.

  • Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers and (by video) Pennsylvania House Speaker Bryan Cutler detailed pressure from Trump and his team to find ways to overturn the election results in their States.
  • Former Trump administration officials Hershmann, Rosen and former Attorney General William Barr have delivered devastating testimony on how Trump was repeatedly told he had lost the election but that the former president pressed ahead with efforts to overturn it. Even Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump has not been a big help to her father, testifying that she trusted Barr when he said there was no widespread voter fraud.
  • Former Vice President Mike Pence, the hearings have found, was stalwart in refusing to deny President Joe Biden his earned victory in the 2020 election, even though marauders calling for his hanging were just 40 feet away during the Jan. 6 insurrection.
  • GOP Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger —the only two Republicans on the committee— have been unabashed in making their case against Trump, even though Cheney is suffering for it in opinion polls and Kinzinger is leaving Congress after this term (Source US News).

Even ‘Slimer’ would nod to how gross it’s getting.

Then, there’s the circus outside the hearings. Ambassador John Bolton’s advice to William Barr on CBS News to speak candidly to the investigative committee is high humor, for example, considering Bolton refused to talk to investigators during the impeachment process (opting to include everything exclusively in his book for sale).

I do hope this really matters to people. It happened so long ago, and a year and a half ago is a millennia for most American attention spans. It worries me some of the most egregious attacks on our democracy, the rule of law, the orderly transfer of power, and the entire spirit of our Constitution may go unpunished. What gives me hope is the devastating testimony so far, the meticulous and strategic way the Justice Department is processing the case, and the way it’s being choreographed with the public at large.

It’s quite apparent the Jan. 6 hearings have the advantage of being orchestrated by a former TV producer. They ran an easily digestible 2 to 2 1/2 hours, with the first hearing held in prime time so more Americans could watch. Videotaped testimony was shown in snippets that illustrated a particular point, instead of as full-length interviews, much like an episode of “60 Minutes” or “20/20.” (Source US News).

Now, if only they could fit it all into a TikTok……..

By Adam Schuster
Where there's smoke, there's insanity

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