“These people don’t look like Trump supporters. Trump supporters don’t do these things.” — a look at conservative pundits denying Trump supporters were behind the assault on the Capitol last week. No surprise: whenever I wrote about right-wing terrorism as a newspaper columnist, I could count on angry Republicans writing it to declare no way, it’s all a left-wing/Islamofascist thing. Never mind the concrete examples I posted. After last week I think I see why: they support terrorists, as long as they’re on the correct side.
Similarly Rod Dreher thinks this is bad only because Democrats will use it to oppress freedom-loving Trumpers. Michele Bachman blames the left. Rush Limbaugh does too, while supporting the sedition and encouraging more (a terminally ill man has nothing to lose if everything goes to hell). Kellyanne Conway concludes the solution was for more people to vote Trump, then his efforts to steal the White House won’t be necessary. Clarence Thomas’s wife Ginni was cheering them on. Steve M. points out this fits into Republican rhetoric going back years.
Ezra Klein emphasizes the GOP’s role: “The Republican Party that has aided and abetted Trump is all the more contemptible because it fills the press with quotes making certain that we know that it knows better. In a line that will come to define this sordid era (and sordid party), a senior Republican told The Washington Post, “What is the downside for humoring him for this little bit of time? No one seriously thinks the results will change.” What happened on Wednesday in Washington is the downside. Millions of Americans will take you literally. They will not know you are “humoring” the most powerful man in the world. They will feel betrayed and desperate. Some of them will be armed.” Paul Krugman points out that Republicans have been ignor
Nevertheless the guy who occupied Pelosi’s desk is not an antifa plant. And social media is turning up even more hard-core right wingers. If your right-wing acquaintances are writing about the facial recognition company that identified antifa militants in the crowd, well, it’s not true: “the company does not seem to have any relationship to the facial recognition industry or academia. Unlike many other companies operating in the space, it has not published research publicly, it has not seemed to appear at recent academic conferences, it does not appear to have public federal government contracts, and it does not list any information about clients or its technology online.” And the company, XRVision, says it never claimed to have identified anyone. But never fear, QAnon believers have a theory that explains everything: it’s a conspiracy organized by … Italy?
It seems the revolutionaries were blatant about what they were doing and posting it on social media because they really never imagined they’d face any consequences. They seem shocked it didn’t work out that way. Paul Davis, a Texas attorney for an insurance form posted a photo of himself online; he’s now been fired. And apparently he’s quite stunned. So is the woman who said “they’re shooting at us. They’re supposed to shoot BLM, but they’re shooting the patriots.” And there’s the young woman sobbing that “it’s a revolution” and wondering why the cops maced her. Doesn’t mean some of them weren’t ready to kill. Does explain why the Proud Boys and other right-wing groups are switching from Blue Lives Matters to Blue Lives Only Matter When They Support Us.
On the plus side, there are at least some consequences. That attorney got fired. Shopify has shut down two Trump stores. Simon and Shuster has canceled Josh Holloway’s book. Other terrorists are losing their jobs. A lot of them need to see jail as well; as Paul Krugman says, “Once again the attempt to appease fascists will surely end up encouraging them. So far, the lesson for Trumpist extremists is that they can engage in violent attacks on the core institutions of American democracy, and face hardly any consequences. Clearly, they view their exploits as a triumph, and will be eager to do more.”
It’s probably a good thing the Capitol Police chief has resigned. Some of last week’s security failures may be explained by bad planning — it seems they didn’t anticipate a crowd, let alone a violent crowd — but still, to have the Capitol Police out without even riot gear? Luke Russert imagines what could have happened with foreign agents among the terrorists. It’s hard not to notice that Vanilla Isis got kid-glove treatment compared to Black Lives Matter. The DOD’s claim it worried about the optics wasn’t in evidence when BLM was protesting; is it that getting tough with white people looks worse? Or was the Trump administration deliberately holding back. The Maryland governor says he asked for permission to send in the National Guard; the DoD said no.
Personally I think Trump’s a threat as long as he’s in office, but apparently talk of the 25th amendment or new impeachment charges is going nowhere. Instead, his top security officials are trying to negate the threat by staying away so he can’t give them any illegal orders. Pelosi’s discussing what to do if Trump orders a nuclear strike somewhere. And looking at impeachment, though I doubt even last week’s attack will budge the Senate.
But here’s something amusing: Eric Trump says he’ll personally “work to defeat every single Republican Senator/Congressman who doesn’t stand up against this fraud – they will be primaried in their next election and they will lose.” The amusing part being that a)Trump would ever work that hard and b)that anyone would care who he supports once his father leaves office. Hell, they don’t care now.
Even more amusing, Military Times mocks the terrorists’ combat gear (“The mismatched camouflage from all eras of combat dating back to Vietnam, the red, white and blue dog tags, the flak jackets — all perfectly curated items that came together to serve as the official uniform of the surplus store Army.”).