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Post-Trump: III (decline, further tantrums, legal proceedings, book deals etc)

Discussion in 'off topic' started by Yank, May 19, 2021.

  1. Yank

    Yank Bulbous Also Tapered

    I'm not sure if Karl Rove's authorship lends credibility to this or undermines it.

    It may be of some import that WSJ usually hides all articles behind a pay wall but this one is available in full.

    I'll quote the piece in case it's not available outside the USA.

    Republicans’ Jan. 6 Responsibility
    The GOP has a duty to condemn the riot and those who refuse to acknowledge it.

    We’re in an acrimonious period of partisan tribalism and have been for some time. Both parties are guilty of overwrought denunciations of their political opponents. My criticisms are often aimed at Democrats; on the anniversary of Jan. 6, I’m addressing squarely those Republicans who for a year have excused the actions of the rioters who stormed the Capitol, disrupted Congress as it received the Electoral College’s results, and violently attempted to overturn the election.

    These apologists say those who stormed the Capitol were innocent patriots, tourists visiting the seat of the national government to petition their elected representatives peacefully. We’re told that these harmless, ordinary Americans are being persecuted as political prisoners.

    Let’s stipulate that while the thousands who went to the Capitol a year ago were wrong to insist the election was stolen, most weren’t violent as they exercised their First Amendment rights to gather peacefully on the Mall—just as I had seen liberals gather to protest both inaugurations of President George W. Bush.

    But last year there were several thousand protesters willing to use force to disrupt Congress in its constitutional duty to receive and certify the electoral vote. Some went to Washington with that purpose in mind. Others were swept up in the moment’s savagery, led astray by stronger wills with dangerous motives.

    The leaders of this group were intent on committing violence, some having planned to do so for weeks. Many wore tactical gear. Some came armed with chemical agents, flagpoles, batons and sticks. They broke through barricades and assaulted approximately 140 police officers, in some cases with an officer’s own shield or gear. They smashed doors and windows, illegally entered the Capitol, ransacked offices and searched for leaders of Congress, and made dire threats about what would happen if they found them.

    More than 725 people have been charged so far, and law enforcement is searching for hundreds more suspects who appear on video or social media, some recorded attacking police officers. At least 163 people have pleaded guilty, and 71 have been sentenced. Only one defendant’s charges have been dismissed. Many of the most serious trials have yet to be held, as lawyers prepare defenses or negotiate plea deals.

    So, on this anniversary, here’s a simple thought experiment: What if the other side had done it? What if in early January 2017, Democrats similarly attired and armed had stormed the Capitol and attempted to keep Congress from receiving the Electoral College results for the 2016 presidential election?

    What if Democrats claimed that Donald Trump’s razor-thin victories in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin resulted from extensive voter fraud and should be rejected, despite having failed to establish in a single court that extensive fraud had actually occurred?

    What if some of these Democrats breached the Capitol defenses and threatened violence against the Republican speaker, Paul Ryan, and Republican Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell ?

    What if they insisted that in his role as Senate president then-Vice President Joe Biden had sole authority to seat Hillary Clinton’s electors from any contested states and thereby hand her the presidency?

    If this happened, would some of my fellow Republicans have accepted it as merely a protest? Would they have called patriots those charged with violent acts against our country, its laws and Constitution? Would they have accepted such extralegal means to change the outcome of a presidential election?

    No they would not. I’m certain of that.

    If Democrats had done what some Trump supporters did on that violent Jan. 6, Republicans would have criticized them mercilessly and been right to do so. Republicans would have torched any high official who encouraged violence or stood mute while it was waged and been right to do so. Republicans would have demanded an investigation to find who was responsible for the violence and been right to do so.

    To move beyond Jan. 6, 2021, we must put country ahead of party. For Democrats, that means resisting their leadership’s petty habit of aggravating partisan fault lines by indiscriminately condemning all who came to Washington that day.

    We Republicans have a heavier burden. I’ve been a Republican my entire life, and believe in what the Republican Party, at its best, has represented for decades. There can be no soft-pedaling what happened and no absolution for those who planned, encouraged and aided the attempt to overthrow our democracy. Love of country demands nothing less. That’s true patriotism.

    Mr. Rove helped organize the political-action committee American Crossroads and is author of “The Triumph of William McKinley” (Simon & Schuster, 2015).
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2022
    ff1d1l and sean99 like this.
  2. Yank

    Yank Bulbous Also Tapered

    Is a Civil War Ahead?
    A year after the attack on the Capitol, America is suspended between democracy and autocracy.

    By David Remnick

    January 5, 2022

    The edifice of American exceptionalism has always wobbled on a shoddy foundation of self-delusion, and yet most Americans have readily accepted the commonplace that the United States is the world’s oldest continuous democracy. That serene assertion has now collapsed.

    On January 6, 2021, when white supremacists, militia members, and maga faithful took inspiration from the President and stormed the Capitol in order to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential election, leaving legislators and the Vice-President essentially held hostage, we ceased to be a full democracy. Instead, we now inhabit a liminal status that scholars call “anocracy.” That is, for the first time in two hundred years, we are suspended between democracy and autocracy. And that sense of uncertainty radically heightens the likelihood of episodic bloodletting in America, and even the risk of civil war.

    This is the compelling argument of “How Civil Wars Start,” a new book by Barbara F. Walter, a political scientist at the University of California San Diego. Walter served on an advisory committee to the C.I.A. called the Political Instability Task Force, which studies the roots of political violence in nations from Sri Lanka to the former Yugoslavia. Citing data compiled by the Center for Systemic Peace, which the task force uses to analyze political dynamics in foreign countries, Walter explains that the “honor” of being the oldest continuous democracy is now held by Switzerland, followed by New Zealand. In the U.S., encroaching instability and illiberal currents present a sad picture. As Walter writes, “We are no longer a peer to nations like Canada, Costa Rica, and Japan.”

    In her book and in a conversation for this week’s New Yorker Radio Hour, Walter made it clear that she wanted to avoid “an exercise in fear-mongering”; she is wary of coming off as sensationalist. In fact, she takes pains to avoid overheated speculation and relays her warning about the potential for civil war in clinical terms. Yet, like those who spoke up clearly about the dangers of global warming decades ago, Walter delivers a grave message that we ignore at our peril. So much remains in flux. She is careful to say that a twenty-first-century American civil war would bear no resemblance to the consuming and symmetrical conflict that was played out on the battlefields of the eighteen-sixties. Instead she foresees, if the worst comes about, an era of scattered yet persistent acts of violence: bombings, political assassinations, destabilizing acts of asymmetric warfare carried out by extremist groups that have coalesced via social media. These are relatively small, loosely aligned collections of self-aggrandizing warriors who sometimes call themselves “accelerationists.” They have convinced themselves that the only way to hasten the toppling of an irredeemable, non-white, socialist republic is through violence and other extra-political means.

    Walter makes the case that, as long as the country fails to fortify its democratic institutions, it will endure threats such as the one that opens her book: the attempt, in 2020, by a militia group in Michigan known as the Wolverine Watchmen to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The Watchmen despised Whitmer for having instituted anti-covid measures in the state—restrictions that they saw not as attempts to protect the public health but as intolerable violations of their liberty. Trump’s publicly stated disdain for Whitmer could not have discouraged these maniacs. The F.B.I., fortunately, foiled the Wolverines, but, inevitably, if there are enough such plots—enough shots fired—some will find their target.

    America has always suffered acts of political violence—the terrorism of the Klan; the 1921 massacre of the Black community in Tulsa; the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Democracy has never been a settled, fully stable condition for all Americans, and yet the Trump era is distinguished by the consuming resentment of many right-wing, rural whites who fear being “replaced” by immigrants and people of color, as well as a Republican Party leadership that bows to its most autocratic demagogue and no longer seems willing to defend democratic values and institutions. Like other scholars, Walter points out that there have been early signs of the current insurgency, including the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, in 1995, which killed a hundred and sixty-eight people. But it was the election of Barack Obama that most vividly underlined the rise of a multiracial democracy and was taken as a threat by many white Americans who feared losing their majority status. Walter writes that there were roughly forty-three militia groups operating in the U.S. when Obama was elected, in 2008; three years later there were more than three hundred.

    Walter has studied the preconditions of civil strife all over the world. And she says that, if we strip away our self-satisfaction and July 4th mythologies and review a realistic checklist, “assessing each of the conditions that make civil war likely,” we have to conclude that the United States “has entered very dangerous territory.” She is hardly alone in that conclusion. The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance in Stockholm recently listed the U.S. as a “backsliding” democracy.
  3. Hook

    Hook Blackbeard's former bo'sun.

    For a long time, I simply assumed that the US would experience slow, incremental progress towards a more just society. I’ve long envisioned a future that would be less controlled by old, conservative white men. I assumed that educated people from more diverse backgrounds would commit to a life of public service. But after listening to a discussion about education and politics on NPR, I am not as confident as I once was about the country’s future.

    Back in the 1980’s, the federal government set our educational priority on standardized testing for reading and math. A huge amount of time and teaching effort went into test preparation. Schools that didn’t produce good test results were shut down, and kids who did not score well did not get into the college of their choice. The problem was, and still is, that all of this focus on reading and math testing has come at a cost. K-12 schools now only rarely provide something resembling a broad-based liberal arts education. And missing completely is the teaching of civics.

    When I was in school, civics was a major priority. We were taught not only US history, but how the government was organized and how it actually worked. Now, don’t get me wrong. At the time, I was a rebellious punk with zero interest in anything beyond sports, girls and, er, merry making. I remember complaining how teaching civics was merely a form of government brain washing. But in retrospect, a lot of those fundamental lessons did stick with me, and I remained interested in politics and current affairs as I grew older.

    Kids today are not learning about civics in school, which means they are not learning about it at all. Starting back in the 1980’s, it appears we moved from educating future US citizens to educating future workers for US industry. Looking back, I am convinced this move was very deliberate. Republicans, especially, were only concerned about having a productive labor force. Far too many disadvantaged kids were never given a chance to broaden their interests, and instead placed on a so-called “McDonalds track”. Critically, kids are also not being taught how to think critically! Is it any wonder that so many of them have grown up incapable of telling truth from fiction? It it any surprise that some of them grew up to become the assholes who stormed the capital on January 6th? Nope and, er, nope.
    Covkxw, James, MikeMA and 6 others like this.
  4. Yank

    Yank Bulbous Also Tapered

    Absolutely. The Republicans have been playing the long game for decades.
    PsB likes this.
  5. sean99

    sean99 pfm Member

    Lol !!!! Beautifully put, and applies equally to the delusions of grandeur exhibited by some Brexiters.
    Nic Robinson, rtrt, tonerei and 2 others like this.
  6. sean99

    sean99 pfm Member

    Perhaps all American citizens should be required to prepare for and pass the citizenship test (like I did about 10 years ago) ;).

    More seriously - I agree - I'd like to see both the teaching of civics and the reinstatement of some form of national service that forces us to travel to a different part of the country and mix with folks with whom we will never otherwise mix. Heck - I'd be up for it.
    Hook likes this.
  7. Mullardman

    Mullardman Moderately extreme...

    The UK could do with a dose of Civics teaching too.
    Rob998 and MikeMA like this.
  8. Hook

    Hook Blackbeard's former bo'sun.

    Me too!
  9. PsB

    PsB Citizen of Nowhere™

    Yes, essentially to reverse the rot* that started in the 60s and early 70s.
    Come to think of it, it couldn't have been much fun being a conservative on campus in those years. They were probably mocked horribly during their formative years. Scarred for life...

    *in their minds
  10. wacko

    wacko pfm Member

    ^ it is all about maintaining white privilege. By people who deny it exists !
  11. tones

    tones Tones deaf

    The ABC (the one Downunder) programme "Four Corners" does some excellent stuff. Here it digs up the dirt on The Dirty Digger:

  12. sean99

    sean99 pfm Member

    To the GOP the "rot" began in the 1930s with FDR's new deal, and continued to the 1990s via the 1960s voting rights act. I think the GOP would like to take us back to the early 1900s both in terms of wealth concentration, and in terms of women and non-whites "knowing their place".

    And in some of their minds the "rot" began in 1865 when the Union defeated the Confederacy.
    PsB and TheDecameron like this.
  13. matthewr

    matthewr spɹɐʍʞɔɐq spɹoɔǝɹ ɹnoʎ sʎɐld

    The modern variant of the GOP can be dated to 1951 and William F. Buckley's "God and Man at Yale". History could have been so different if only he had got laid :)
  14. Yank

    Yank Bulbous Also Tapered

    Other milestones include the Powell Memo, the formation of the Heritage Foundation (essentially an organization to turn the Powell Memo into public policy), the Reagan years, the rise of Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, the triumvirate of Ralph Reed - Grover Norquist - Jack Abramoff...
  15. Hook

    Hook Blackbeard's former bo'sun.

    Not to forget Falwell’s “Moral Majority”. They were, of course, neither.
    sean99 likes this.
  16. Yank

    Yank Bulbous Also Tapered

    And that's a descendent of the rise of the "religious right" in the early 1970s, which first coalesced in order to oppose school desegregation.
    PsB likes this.
  17. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Is this all there is?

    Jimin and Yank like this.
  18. tones

    tones Tones deaf

  19. NeilR

    NeilR pfm Member

    The first sedition charges have been filed against organisers of the Jan 6th riot. This is a big deal as it is against someone who wasn’t in the capitol building and shows the investigation is taking a new turn.

    Durmbo likes this.
  20. SteveS1

    SteveS1 I heard that, pardon?

    Suffolk Tony likes this.

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