We raise sons who are not weaned at age twenty-five, yet for some reason we have contempt for the old institutions that used to turn boys into men.

Anthony M. Esolen, Out of the Ashes

Listening to Alrich, Jenkins & Rorem: Mallet Concertos, featuring Dame Evelyn Glennie. I didn’t know she existed. I didn’t know she was profoundly deaf. I didn’t know anyone, ever, wrote Mallet Concertos. I learn things and discover delightful music on Primephonic.

One grifter down, N to go.

Winston Smith did not spend his days on BigBrother.com complaining that BigBrother.com had stripped him of his free speech rights. Suck it up, Chicken Little.

Insurrection and impeachment, yesterday’s All the President’s Lawyers podcast, is an extremely good discussion of the criminal law consequences and prosecutorial strategy surrounding last Wednesday’s insurrectionary Capitol riots. More than fun banter this week.

As of yesterday afternoon, Donald Trump is now the only cast member of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York to be impeached by the House of Representatives on two separate occasions.

Sometimes, the guys and gals at The Morning Dispatch are just too (pop-)culturally literate for me.

An anniversary and a testimonial is my meditation on “life verses,” which were an Evangelical thing in the 1960s. Note that it’s not current: I wrote it 19 months ago.

Vaccination now available for 70+ in Indiana. With two vaccination sites in the county, I almost gave up, thinking the site was broken, (nothing available every single day) but I finally found early evening slots 2/5.

What do you call it when rightwingnuts do something horrible and then pretend it was leftwingnuts conducting a “false flag” operation? Is that a “false flag false flag” operation?

One of our very best religion reporters, Julia Duin, covering some roiling charismatic backwaters: “New Apostolic Reformation” and others whose prophetic musings don’t even claim to be based on any Bible passages (and who have suspiciously poor records).

If you’ve been mucking around in QAnon (I’d be surprised if anyone I follow follows “Q”), now is the time to – how shall I put it? – cut the hell out. Nicholas Grossman, QAnon Woke Up the Real Deep State

I am grateful for Jay Nordlinger. He made me feel less alone today.

The Republican Attorneys General Association’s policy arm, the Rule of Law Defense Fund, authorized robocall messages urging “patriots” to join last Wednesday’s march to “fight to protect the integrity of our elections.

“Rule of Law Defense Fund.” Nice. They’ve gone Full Orwell.

Ohio State has no answer to DeVonta Smith. I can use the extra sleep more than I can use the second half.

Jake Meador’s After Evangelicalism will surely resonate with a lot of Christians ‘round here.

The Saints/Bears game is metaphysically closer than 21-3. I am a Saints fan, but the Bears have played a valiant game.

Optimism is a con man; Hope endures

“Optimism is a confidence-man, got up in the garb of hope. Pay him no mind. Some ages are more gullible that way than others, but surely anyone now who believes that we have cause for optimism must be the most self-deceived creature ever to wander across the face of the earth. Our schools do worse than fail to educate; they produce people who are ineducable, and proud in their ignorance. The arts are either dead and forgotten, in free fall, or in the stews, sweating. Our political elites are as tyrannical as Caesar, but nowhere near as capable or patriotic. Our churches are havens of heresy, and the more our leaders err and fail, the more committed they are to the same errors and failures, as witness those incorrigible sorts who wish to emulate every folly that has gutted the liberal churches, as if arsenic would be sugar if only we pretended hard enough.

There is no reason for optimism. There is every reason for hope.”

… “hope, resting upon our sense that the world is good, not evil, can rest in our hearts when optimism-the-confidence-man has been driven out into the darkness where he belongs. For hope, the theological virtue, rests upon what God has promised, and what God has done. His rod, His staff are there to comfort us.”

… “We have a chance then to bring to the world almost the only well-read people around; to save great works of art and human thought, not by drying and freezing them or pinning them to a wall in a museum, but by loving the unloved and keeping their memory alive. Someone must inevitably notice it, and say, “Whatever those Christians are reading, or listening to, or singing, it is more interesting than anything the rest of the world has to offer.””

Anthony Esolen, His Rod, His Staff: Every Reason for Hope

You might also enjoy Hope Surprises God, also via the Eighth Day Institute.

A Jewish publication blames Wednesday’s riot on post-Christian pagans.

Christian David French blames it on sorely misguided Christians.

I’m going to have to chew on this one a while.

Worth a read (even though you must register): The Return of Paganism and the Desecration of Self-Government

About Wednesday again, but curated fairly carefully

I’ve been thinking a lot about the storming of the U.S. Capital on Wednesday. Most of my “thinking about it” has been reading various pundits.

There has been a firehose of information. I don’t want to add to it unduly. So I’ve curated some of the very best I’ve seen.


Scary, scary datapoints I don’t think have been emphasized enough:

[A]s a YouGov poll conducted on Wednesday made clear, roughly 45 percent of Republican voters approved of what happened in Washington [Wednesday] afternoon.

Damon Linker, The bloody power of symbolic gestures

I don’t know how reliable quicky YouGov polls are, but this is scary, and consistent with this:

77 percent of Trump’s voters—77 percent—say he was the rightful winner and that the election was stolen from him.

I don’t think that most of the people in the mainstream of American culture, who have viewed this week with horror, have any idea what they’re up against.

It Could Have Been Worse. - The Triad

“If our capable floor staff hadn’t grabbed them [the electoral college ballots rescued from the Senate floor], they would have been burned by the mob,” -

Senator Jeff Merkley, tweeting a photo of the ballot chests.


Republicans who object to the count will have to take the wild theorizing of Sidney Powell, the insane rants of Rudy Giuliani more seriously than they take official certifications of officials at every level in the six contested states. They will have to ignore the rulings of more than 60 courts. And they will use the bogus deceptions as the basis for throwing out the votes of tens of millions of Americans.

Charlie Sykes, I Wanted to Scream


Written before the notorious Wednesday events:

Trump is trying to set Pence up as a scapegoat for his own loss.

What is MAGA Nation going to do now? How is it going to avoid blaming Trump for costing the Republicans the Senate? I don’t know, but I am confident that they’ll find a way, probably involving faulting Mitt Romney and David French. Though the Trump era ends with a Democrat in the White House, and Democrats in control of both houses of Congress, one must never forget that Trump cannot fail; he can only be failed.

Rod Dreher


I’m skipping what I gathered on Thursday because I disgorged it all here.


True conservatives tend to have a particular understanding of the fragility of things. They understand that every human institution is, in its way, built on sand. It’s all so frail. They see how thin the veil is between civilization and chaos, and understand that we have to go through every day, each in our way, trying to make the veil thicker. And so we value the things in the phrase that others use to disparage us, “law and order.” Yes, always, the rule of law, and order so that the people of a great nation can move freely on the streets and do their work and pursue their lives.

To the devil’s apprentices, Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz. They are clever men, highly educated, well-credentialed, endlessly articulate. They see themselves as leading conservative lights, but in this drama they have proved themselves punks practicing punk politics

They backed a lie and held out the chimera of some possible Trump victory that couldn’t happen, and hid behind the pretense that they were just trying to be fair to all parties and investigate any suspicions of vote fraud, when what they were really doing was playing—coolly, with lawyerly sophistication—not to the base but to the sickness within the base. They should have stood up and told the truth, that democracy moves forward, that the election was imperfect as all elections are, and more so because of the pandemic rules, which need to be changed, but the fact is the voters of America chose Biden-Harris, not Trump-Pence.

Here’s to you, boys. Did you see the broken glass, the crowd roaming the halls like vandals in late Rome, the staff cowering in locked closets and barricading offices? Look on your mighty works and despair.

The price they will pay is up to their states. But the reputational cost should be harsh and high.

Bring the Insurrectionists to Justice – Peggy Noonan (emphasis added)

Noonan also calls for fast-track impeachment of Trump, resorting (uncharacteristically) to a reductio ad Hitlerum of Trump in his bunker, watching OAN and NewsMax, and seething with resentment about how America - damn them! - has failed him.


Before there was a single moment of violence [Wednesday], we were already in unprecedented territory: an outgoing president addressing his most deranged fans, continuing to insist that he had won an election that he had in fact lost by a significant margin (306 votes constituted a ‘landslide’ in 2016, according to the man himself), riling them up in a way that almost certainly led directly to what followed.

Yesterday was also about resentment in its rawest, least focused form. … [T]hese feelings have manifested, in Trumpism, more as a general confused populist lashing-out and desire for a heroic figure than as the embrace of any specific politics or policies per se … [T]heir political commitments start and stop at listening to Trump say mean things about the things they dislike and nice things about the things they like. They like Trump because he gives voice to their fuzzy resentments, fuzzily.

A Perfect Ending To The Trump Presidency - Singal-Minded


Mere minutes after the motley crew of Proud Boys, militia members, and other MAGA faithful were evicted from the Capitol Wednesday, a false narrative had already begun going viral among Trump supporters on social media. The people who stormed police barricades by force at the Capitol, the story ran, had actually been Antifa interlopers posing as supporters of the president.

Never mind that the crowd had come to D.C. and marched to Congress at Trump’s explicit request; never mind that some of those filmed trashing the place were well-known alt-right personalities; never mind that others interviewed inside were perfectly chatty about who they were and why they were there; never mind that the only “evidence” provided for this theory was a couple screenshots of misidentified faces and tattoos. Boosted by credulous and sloppy right-wing web media, loose-cannon MAGA celebrities, Fox News hosts “just asking questions,” and even members of Congress, the theory that the Capitol insurrection had been instigated by false-flag leftists almost immediately took over the pro-Trump internet.

Startlingly, even Trump supporters who had been physically present at the riot—who had personally stepped across crumpled barricades, pushed through smoke and tear gas over the Capitol lawn and onto the steps of the building itself, and seen the breach with their own eyes—had come around to this narrative by the following day. On Thursday, your Morning Dispatchers interviewed more than a dozen who had returned to the National Mall for a second consecutive day. Nearly all insisted—without any prompting—that the only people who had been truly violent the day before had been covert Antifa operators.

“The whole thing was set up,” said one South Carolina woman who declined to give her name. “They wanted the people to get pumped up and do that. … The picture of the guy sitting on Pelosi’s desk or whatever? I guarantee you he was working for Antifa—or whoever it is, whatever organization.” (It was, in fact, Richard Barnett from Gravette, Arkansas. The FBI reportedly visited his house yesterday.) 

“There was, you know, a window was broken,” said Christian, a protester who had driven up from Texas earlier this week and said he had witnessed the break-in but not entered the Capitol himself. “Some people were kind of doing it—either they were overzealous or there were some agitators within. It looks like some people have identified a few likely Antifa members based on their tattoos and stuff … For the people who were genuine Trump supporters, which there probably were a few, I don’t know if they were the first in—maybe they just tagged along.”

The Morning Dispatch: Aftermath


Sarah Isgur and David French note that the “patriots” who invaded the Capitol Building were trying to take down American flags and replace them with Trump flags.

What more do you need to know that “patriot” is a delusional claim.


Never has vindication tasted so bitter.

David French, an original Never-Trumper. He might have said “felt so hollow” or something like that. It was a podcast and I’m not going to try to ferret out his ipsissima verba.


Josh Hawley is lying about Simon & Schuster assaulting the first amendment. Soon, it will be newsworthy if Hawley lets a day go by without shamelessly lying.


Trump is now and always has been delusional. He lives in an imaginary world. His insistence that he won the last election in a “landslide” is psychologically indistinguishable from his declaration on his first day that his Inaugural crowd was larger than his predecessor’s. For four years, the actual evidence did not matter. It still doesn’t. Any rumor that helps him, however ludicrous, is true; every cold fact that hurts him, however trivial or banal, doesn’t exist. For four years as president, any advisor who told him the truth, rather than perpetuating his delusions, had an immediate expiration date. For four years, an army of volunteer propagandists knowingly disseminated his insane, cascading torrent of lies.

And Trump really believes these fantasies. He is not a calculating man. He is a creature of total impulse. As I wrote almost five years ago now, quoting Plato, a tyrant is a man “not having control of himself [who] attempts to rule others”; a man flooded with fear and love and passion, while having little or no ability to restrain or moderate them; a “real slave to the greatest fawning,” a man who “throughout his entire life … is full of fear, overflowing with convulsions and pains.” For the ancients, a tyrant represented the human whose appetites and fantasies had no form of rational control.

Quotes For The Week
“After this [rally], we’re going to walk down [to the Capitol] and I’ll be there with you. … We’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of [the senators] because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong,” - insurrectionist leader Donald J. Trump, just before the violent assault on the Capitol.

“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done,” - Trump.

“Media: quit labeling DC protestors ‘Conservatives, Republicans, Tea Partiers, Trump Supporters, etc’ LOOK IN TO WHO THESE PEOPLE ARE who’d choose an apparent leaderless insane swarm to create a perception of condoned violence. KNOCK IT OFF. And to any insincere, fake DC ‘patriots’ used as PLANTS — you will be found out,” - 2008 veep nominee Sarah Palin, implying that the deadly attempted coup at the Capitol was a false flag operation.

“Destroying property, which can be replaced, is not violence,” - Nikole Hannah-Jones, on the rioting and looting this past summer.

“What’s the downside for humoring him for this little bit of time?”- a senior Republican official quoted in the WaPo on November 9, two months before the deadly attempted coup at the Capitol.

This Is The Face Of The GOP Now - The Weekly Dish (emphasis added)


“People were willing to die for this man and he just threw them all under the bus. That’s the only thing that’s shameful about the events of the past 36 hours,” Nick Fuentes, the host of the America First podcast and the unofficial leader of the white nationalist Groyper Army, angrily tweeted, shortly after Trump released a video Thursday night in which he conceded that Biden would be the next president and called for political reconciliation.

Cassandra Fairbanks, a prominent MAGA activist, tweeted: “[He] tells angry people to march to the capitol [and then] proceeds to throw his supporters under the bus.”

Politico


Wrap-up thoughts:

  • Nobody can successfully run a conspiracy as broad and deep as stealing an American Presidential Election - administered by 50 sovereign states with varying procedures and machinery, and tested by some 60 federal and state courts - without defectors, whistleblowers, forensic evidence and such. There have been no defectors and whistleblowers, have there? Ergo, the election theft conspiracy is nonsense.
  • The idea that Wednesday was a false-flag Antifa operation is sheer madness! When did you last see Antifa maskless, smirking and taking selfies?
  • Did those “thrown under the bus” just now notice that Trump is a toxic narcissist for who loyalty is a one-way street?! Sheesh!
  • Look at my initial datapoints again. I see no reason, except that the alternatives are all patently insane, to think that those who drank the Trump Kool-Aid are going to spew it out and live again, or that as zombies they won’t be back with more violence, better organized. I take comfort that Facebook, Twitter and the others have muted their deranged leader for a while.
  • I wish I would never have to look at Josh Hawley or Ted Cruz again. They have proven evil and profoundly dishonest. I once hoped Hawley might be special, but Cruz was introduced to me, essentially, as a cynical power-seeker. But realistically, they’ll be around a few years. So my realistic wish is that they be shunned like lepers until they convincingly and publicly repent, howling and wailing, of the evil they’ve done in the last 9 weeks. Then they can be accepted back into the human fold but denied all power for a several-year period of penance. They cannot be trusted until they’ve proven again that they can serve without power or glory.
  • “Gird[ing our] waist with truth” (Eph. 2:14) is essential for all the faithful when we live in a world flooded with lies. We know that “from the beginning” the devil is the father of lies (Jn 8:44). He deceived our mother Eve with a lie (“You shall not die” – Gn 3:4), and now all the descendants of Adam die (1 Cor 15:22). Dynamis Devotional for 1/9/21
  • Live Not by Lies

How to make a birthday unforgettable

Preface:

My main computer with my blogging software, MarsEdit, is out of commission temporarily, so I’m posting this, uncharacteristically, on Micro.blog, which I usually use for shorter stuff.

The topic, of course, is why my kid brother will never forget his 70th birthday, 1/6/21, no matter how hard he tries.

Trump the Man (and his sycophants)

Donald Trump has been deformed and deranged for much of his life. It has been the pattern of his life to lie and to cheat, to intimidate and hurt others, to act without conscience, to show no remorse, and to make everything about himself. None of this was a secret when he ran for president, and certainly none of it was a secret once he became president. His viciousness, volatility, and nihilism were on display almost from the moment he took office. As president, he has acted just as one would have expected. He has never deviated from who he is.

Peter Werner, Republicans Own This Insurrection - The Atlantic


There is no excuse for political violence, and Trump, admittedly, did not ask anyone to engage in violence. However, if you tell people that their votes didn’t count, that the election was a sham, that the election you lost wasn’t even close but in fact a landslide in your favor, it’s only natural to expect that some people will be inclined to resort to violence, because the whole point of elections is to settle political matters without violence. If the election process is a total fraud, then violence is to be expected.

Even in the face of the violence yesterday, Trump, while telling the rioters to go home, also continued to insist that he really won in a landslide, thus continuing to foment violence. He is unfit to be president.

When Are We Going to Admit that Trump is Unfit to be President? – Reason.com


David French @DavidAFrench

Tell me again that character doesn’t matter.

Tell me again that the only concern about Trump is with his “manners.”

You monumental hypocrites and cowards. Look what you’ve done.


I won’t try to summarize Alan Jacobs’ frivolity, partly because it seems to be growing with Updates. But I’ll say that because he’s a literary guy, he opens with a paragraph about Dostoyevsky’s Demons, a major figure in which is guilty of frivolity, as is Sen. Josh Hawley, a self-shipwreck who hasn’t yet sunk from sight.


When challenged on Fox News on Monday that under the Constitution, the Electoral College result would have to stand, Hawley said: “My constituents expect me to have the right to say ‘I have a problem’” with the claims of electoral fraud.

Activists Defend Josh Hawley House Protest: ‘It Was a Candlelight Vigil, Snowflake’.

Wut!?

  • My constituents expect me to
  • have the right to say
  • ‘I have a problem’” with
  • the claims of electoral fraud.

Pardon me, Senator Emptysuit: What [epithets omitted] is that supposed to mean?

  • That your recklessness is the fault of you constituents?
  • That someone has denied you your right of free speech? Who?
  • That you disbelieve (“have a problem with”) the claims of election fraud (but want to muddy the waters to make it sound as if you believe them), or
  • that you believe there was election fraud (i.e., you lie)?

The only part I can agree with is that you’ve got a problem. The rest of it is unintelligible. And when cheap, manipulative politicians start talking nonsense, I check the security of my wallet.

The Events of January 6

Trump goosed his own mob of supporters in DC this morning, saying in a speech:

“All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by emboldened radical Democrats. We will never give up. We will never concede. It will never happen. You don’t concede when there’s death involved. Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore.”

He said: “We will never take back our country with weakness.”

And then they went in and invaded the Capitol …

Rod Dreher, Trump’s Weimar America


Unlike so many other disturbances over the years, the events at the Capitol yesterday did not represent a policy dispute, a disagreement about a foreign war or the behavior of police. They were part of an argument over the validity of democracy itself: A violent mob declared that it should decide who becomes the next president, and Trump encouraged its members. So did his allies in Congress, and so did the far-right propagandists who support him. For a few hours, they prevailed.

Anne Applebaum, What Trump and His Mob Taught the World About America - The Atlantic

What was wrong about what happened?

The rioters:

18 USC §2384—Seditious Conspiracy
If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.(Emphases added)

What Is Seditious Conspiracy? – Reason.com

This was not simple trespass. Some of those people need the full 20 years, starting with Q Shaman, a QAnon leader/celebrity.

Trump:

The problem here is that it’s Trump’s job to prevent and stop rioting, especially rioting against federal institutions. He’s supposed to prevent and stop such behavior even when it’s promoted by total strangers to him. He has a special responsibility to prevent and stop such behavior by people who are on his side, since those are the ones whom he can most effectively try to calm even when they’re already in a rioting mood.

He most certainly isn’t supposed to say things—even constitutionally protected things—that are pretty likely to cause harms of the sort that we hired him to stop. The incitement test, which applies equally to all speakers, doesn’t capture this factor, nor should it. This factor is all about the special responsibilities of government officials (Presidents, governors, mayors, police chiefs, legislators, and the like). Such officials are supposed to be politically savvy enough to know what’s likely to produce (even contrary to their intentions) criminal conduct, and are supposed to organize their speech and action in a way that minimizes this, rather than making it especially likely.

Trump’s failure was a failure not as a speaker, of the sort that strips speakers of First Amendment protection. It was a failure, a massive and unjustifiable failure, as a public servant.

Incitement and Ordinary Speakers; Duty and Political Leaders – Reason.com

Especially shameful by Trump and his little leg-humpin’ friends:

  • Trump immediately went after the most loyal ally he’s had the past four years: “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.” Marc Short, a top aide to Pence, confirmed that he was denied entry into the White House last night because Trump blamed him for Pence’s “betrayal.”
  • These walkbacks are, without question, a welcome development. But they are also evidence that the legislators’ planned objections were never really about correcting widespread voter fraud—they were about political expediency. Theoretically, nothing that transpired on Wednesday should have changed anybody’s mind about the existence of voter fraud. But it sure heightened the political ramifications of continuing to go along with the mob.

The Morning Dispatch: A Dark Day on Capitol Hill (emphasis added)

What does this say about America?

“This isn’t who we are as Americans,” the president-elect insisted. Yes, old men are entitled to their delusions, but the rest of us are not obliged to share them. Biden could not be any more wrong: This is exactly who we are.

“We must not normalize Donald Trump!” A hundred thousand variations on that sentence have been published in the past four years. It is a stupid sentence. Donald Trump does not require normalization. He is as normal as diabetes, as all-American as shooting up your high school.

The Trump presidency began in shame and dishonesty. It ends in shame, dishonesty, cowardice, and rebellion against the Constitution. For the past few weeks, the right-wing media, including the big talk-radio shows, has been coyly calling for a revolution. Of course they never thought they’d actually get one: That kind of talk is good for business — keep the rubes riled up and they won’t change the channel when the commercials come around on the half-hour. I never had much hope for the likes of Sean Hannity, tragically born too late to be a 1970s game-show host, but to watch Senator Ted Cruz descend into this kind of dangerous demagoguery as he jockeys to get out in front of the Trump parade as its new grand marshal has induced despair.

On May 4, 2016, I posted a little note to the Corner, headlined: “Pre-Planning My ‘I Told You So.’” It reads, in part: “Republicans, remember: You asked for this.” The path that the Republican Party and the conservative movement have taken in the past four years is not one that was forced on them — it is the product of choices that were made and of compromises that were entered into too willingly by self-interested men and women seeking money, celebrity, and power.

Of course it ends in violence — this is, after all, America.

Kevin D. Williamson


Matthew Continetti nails to core flaw of the moral idiots who want to excuse Trump because of a couple of his accomplishments (and re-elect him in hopes of more):

None of his policy achievements outweigh the paranoid extremism he has directed like a missile at the constitutional order. Pointing to his “enemies” does not excuse his behavior.

Capitol Hill Protests: Trump Must Pay | National Review

In other words, we’ve become a bunch of damned ideologues who can’t see past our issue checklists to meta-issues, such as “this candidate ticks all the right boxes, but he’s a toxic narcissist and lifelong philanderer and con man. Pass.”

So what?

UPDATE 10: John Podhoretz, just now in Commentary:

Fully endorse. Do it now. This has to end. This Trump garbage not only has to end, it has to be utterly and decisively repudiated by Congress. This is for history.

These MAGA idiots just handed the Left a gift that it could not possibly have earned on its own. A political scientist friend says that the Georgia vote gave Democrats control of Washington, and the MAGA riots gave Democrats a mandate.

Trump’s Weimar America


There will be time to sort through the wreckage of the conservative movement and the Republican Party. There is not as much time — a little less than 14 days — to constrain the president before he plunges the nation’s capital into havoc again. Incitement to trespass, harassment, and destruction cannot go unanswered. The Constitution offers remedies. Pursue them — for no other reason than to deter the president from escalation. There must be a costS for reckless endangerment of the United States government. Trump must pay.

Matthew Continetti, Capitol Hill Protests: Trump Must Pay | National Review


Unfortunately, Donald Trump has been playing with fire ever since he launched his first presidential campaign. Since he lost his bid for reelection, he has only intensified his efforts to subvert American democracy. The events of today are both shocking and yet all-too-foreseeable, and the president bears substantial responsibility for what has transpired. Moreover, he has shown no leadership since the attack on the capitol. His behavior is disgraceful. What is more, it is conduct completely incompatible with the duties and responsibilities of the office of the presidency. The president should resign in disgrace, but of course he will not.

The House should impeach the president for high crimes and misdemeanors as soon as is practical. The Senate should hold a trial and vote to impeach and remove the president from office as expeditiously as possible. The House should request that the Senate bar the president from holding future federal office, and the Senate should vote to apply that constitutional penalty upon conviction.

This need not be a lengthy process. The evidence of the president’s actions are clear and available to all. The House does not need an elaborate inquiry. The Senate does not need a lengthy trial. House and Senate members need only determine whether they believe that the president’s words and actions rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors and whether Donald Trump can be safely left to exercise the powers of the presidency until the scheduled inauguration of his elected successor. That does not seem like a difficult question, and the members of Congress should go on record with an answer to it.

Keith Whittington, Impeach and Remove – Reason.com

Nancy Pelosi apparently intends to impeach if Pence doesn’t pull the 25th Amendment trigger.


This attack wasn’t just foreseeable, it was foreseen. At The Dispatch, we have been warning about the possibility of serious political violence for months. The president and many of his supporters have falsely claimed that the presidential election was stolen and have trafficked in transparently ridiculous conspiracy theories. They have told bizarre tales about false and even impossible schemes to corrupt the vote. And they’ve done this while speaking in apocalyptic terms about the fate of the nation.

Impeach Donald Trump, Remove Him, and Bar Him From Holding Office Ever Again - The Dispatch. Note the “bar him from holding office again” part.

This is from a conservative publication whose purpose is not “Never Trump” but whose sanity and decency has pretty well rooted it in that camp even as it casts its issue nets more widely.

Miscellany

One group of demonstrators carried an ecumenical Christian flag with a sign quoting Ben Franklin: “We have a republic if we can keep it. Let’s make sure we keep it!”

US Congress certifies Biden as president after mob carrying Christian symbols storms the Capitol.

For the record, I wasn’t familiar with any “ecumenical Christian flag.” Further inquire discloses that they’re referring to a confection I’ve never seen other than in an Evangelical Church, though it appears that others have been known to touch it. For decades now, I probably would have walked out of any Church that insisted on displaying it.


In the past eight months, two Capitol Hills have fallen. Two shocking events symbolize the abdication of authority by America’s ruling class, an abdication that has led to what can be described, not without exaggeration, as the slow-motion disintegration of the United States of America in its present form.

The first occurred on June 8, 2020, when the Seattle police evacuated their East Precinct building in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Left-wing rioters stormed the police headquarters and looted it. For 24 days, Seattle’s government allowed would-be revolutionaries to create an anarchist commune, acting out the fantasy of “abolishing the police” embraced by much of the American left as well as liberals who should have known better. This anarchist commune, created in the midst of nationwide protests against the death on May 25 of a Black Minnesotan, George Floyd, in police custody, was the scene of the fatal shootings of two Black men before the police finally shut it down on July 1.

On Jan. 6, 2021, America’s elite abandoned another Capitol Hill to rioters. After President Donald Trump stirred them up in an incendiary address in which he claimed that Joe Biden had stolen the presidency from him, a mob of right-wing radicals broke into the United States Capitol, where the certification of the results of last November’s election results was taking place. Like the leaders of Seattle in June, America’s congressional leaders abandoned their posts and fled. In the ensuing chaos, the Trumpist rioters, mostly men wearing MAGA hats or more exotic outfits, posed for selfies in the well of the House chamber or in the legislative offices they broke into. A police officer killed a female rioter. Three others died as a result of “medical emergencies.” As in Seattle’s Capitol Hill, so in America’s: The forces of legitimate authority and coercive order for a period were nowhere to be seen.

What is the meaning of these dystopian scenes? Many Democrats claim that Republicans are destroying the republic. Many Republicans claim the reverse. They are both correct.

The leaders of both parties have weaponized anarchic mobs against their rivals ….

Michael Lind, The Five Crises of the American Regime via Rod Dreher. I have not read it fully, but I will, because that opening is strong.


Mike Pence is surely correct that he lacked the power to disregard certified electoral votes.

But I’m going to play Devil’s Advocate here. How about primaries? Why do we activate the machinery of government to help an extralegal political duopoly pick its respective standard-bearers? Why, especially after one of them got boxed in by primary voters to Donald Trump (and the other has twice flirted with Bernie Sanders, not even a member of the party), don’t we tell them to take their private business back to some private place - even a smoke-filled room?

Could they have done worse than Trump if they’d done that?

Please don’t ask why there have been so few arrests. If they so much as identify them, Trump can pardon them. Look for identification and arrests to start 1/20/21.

I have fallen off the wagon. I’m watching CNN, knowing it is shamelessly partisan (because … Don Lemon and Anderson Cooper) but enjoying it anyway after this afternoon), and drinking unusual amounts of bourbon.

I wish the press would stop talking about Congress being prevented from discharging its “sacred” duty. I will settle for solemn duty.

The late 1990s, my wife’s car bore a bumper sticker saying “My Disgust With the Current Administration Cannot Be Expressed Here. I wish I had one of those bumper stickers now.

My main blog is the Tipsy Teetotaler, http://intellectualoid.com.