WHAT THE HELL

Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Infamy

I hope you’ll forgive me a political diatribe the day after one of the most shameful events in American history. 

Some of us are political junkies, and I’ve had the unfortunate condition for going on thirty years now. Not only have I never seen anything like what happened yesterday, but I’d never seen anything like the four years that led up to it. Yes, it was completely predictable. In fact, it was probably inevitable. 

People who aren’t political junkies and who don’t really follow the news might have been shocked by the MAGA insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. But when you look back over the last four years and consider things like Charlottesville, “they’re murderers, rapists …,” the vehement reaction against Colin Kaepernick, the deaths of so many Black men at the hands of police, you see that this has all been stoked. And not just by Trump. Most Republicans, if they don’t buy the rhetoric completely, have played along for political advantage. Many of them, including seven U.S. senators, still tried to overturn the election after all the violence of the day. 

A woman was shot and killed while in the act of storming the Capitol. She was attempting to climb through a smashed-out window. She was a deluded Trump supporter who believed in QAnon conspiracies. 

The mob erected a gallows outside the building, complete with a hanging noose. 

The mob also commandeered a news crew’s equipment and tried to set it on fire. Inside the building, someone scrawled “Murder the Media” on a wall. 

Men occupied the president’s chair on the dais of the Senate and Nancy Pelosi’s chair. The latter SOB put his feet up on her desk. 

Few arrests were made. 

It appeared that any preparations for the day by the Capitol Police were inadequate, or that they were under orders not to use severe force on the mainly white mob. 

The President of the United States instigated the violence. 

What the day drove home to me more than anything is that one of our two political parties has repudiated democracy because it believes it can use the rage of irrational white know-nothings to achieve one-party rule. It feels tantalizingly close to it, with influence over the Supreme Court, complete control of many state governments, and right-wing media that is eager to disseminate whatever propaganda and lies are required to achieve the goal. 

Fortunately, the voters of Georgia have handed the Senate to the Democrats, who, as ineffectual as they’ve been since Johnson’s Great Society, represent the last bastion of democracy in this country. If we’re lucky—and that’s an iffy proposition—they will be able to reduce some of the intensity that Donald Trump has provoked and rebuild the institutions that keep a diverse society like ours from imploding.

Congress has now affirmed Joe Biden’s victory, and he will be inaugurated on January 20th. Eventually, yesterday’s shame will subside and a sense of normalcy will return to the workings of government. But I hope the men and women with R beside their names who encouraged this rebellion and sought to benefit from it will never live down their treachery. 

18 comments on “Infamy

  1. kingmidget
    January 7, 2021

    I really am gobsmacked by what law enforcement did yesterday. They either (a) were clearly unprepared for the day, even though anybody with half a brain should have seen this coming; or (b) had too many officers who were sympathetic to the protesters. There is something about haw law enforcement handled the situation that just doesn’t smell right.

    Meanwhile, I just posted something about this. While I agree that yesterday’s event was instigated by Trump and the MAGA crowd, I still believe that both sides have ownership over the sordid nature of the political climate in this country. Yes, Trump is the worst and how Republicans have kowtowed to him is beyond the pale. But Democrats haven’t exactly shone through the last four years either.

    There has been a complete breakdown and it will take both sides to fix it.

    • Kevin Brennan
      January 7, 2021

      I’m sorry, Mark, but I don’t buy the “both-sides-ism” on this front. I hear Dems and progressives decrying violent protest when it occurs; I hear the GOP and Trump calling extreme MAGA people patriots (till yesterday, anyway). Comparing the two when the difference in scope is so huge is just not realistic. Antifa, which isn’t even an organization so much as a set of ideas, is mainly a boogey man for the right to use as a cudgel. Look at how Bill Barr called all protesters last summer Antifa when they clearly were not.

      I can agree that it will take both sides to fix our national troubles, but what that really means is that Republicans have to stop encouraging extremists, i.e. the Trump base.

      One other thing I do agree with you on is that something was really fishy with the cops yesterday. And that is pretty frightening.

      • kingmidget
        January 7, 2021

        I don’t think we’re very far apart. I completely agree that Republicans have been far worse. But Dems over the last four years have started to act much like Republicans did after Obama was elected. They allowed the extreme Tea Party take over their party. Democratic elected officials have appeared far too willing to let the same thing happen with the Democratic Party. Yes, there is a clear difference, but the fact remains that America is not an extreme left nation. It’s not even a left nation. Unless both parties ignore their extreme wings, we wing be reaching any solutions any time soon.

      • Kevin Brennan
        January 7, 2021

        Something tells me we disagree on what’s extreme on the left and what’s not … 😉

      • kingmidget
        January 7, 2021

        That likely is true. I still love you though.

      • Kevin Brennan
        January 7, 2021

        🤗

  2. Marie A Bailey
    January 7, 2021

    Thank god for Georgia. At least now the Biden Administration will have a real opportunity to start cleaning up the mess tRump left. I also don’t buy the idea that both sides are to blame. Dems and progressives have fighting for a better quality of life for everyone. You don’t have to agree with their goals but at least they have a moral compass. The Rs generally have none. Even those Rs that changed their minds and chose not to challenge the electors did so only out of self-interest (looking at you, Kelly Loeffler). That’s what led us to this point: too many Republicans willing to sacrifice our democracy for puny self-gains. Dems and progressives aren’t perfect but they haven’t been Gerry-rigging (aka stealing) every local and state election possible. They haven’t been undermining every single civil right gained since the Civil War. What they need to do is make inroads at local and state levels. The Dems especially too often are only focused on high offices such as the presidency. In Florida, we sadly do not have many if any Democrats to run against Rs in local and state elections. That’s why we wound up with Rick Scott for 8 years (plus low voter turnout and apathy).

    • Kevin Brennan
      January 7, 2021

      This is definitely the way I see it, Marie. The GOP is all about getting and keeping power. They don’t care about the needs of the people. (See relief bill, part deux). No moral compass is the perfect description, and for the most part they’re all Christians!

      • Marie A Bailey
        January 10, 2021

        The Rs are definitely a big problem but the QAnon conspirators are as opposed to the Republicans as they are to the Democrats. They are really starting to scare me because they are getting a foothold into state and federal government.

    • S.K. Nicholls
      January 10, 2021

      Absolutely, Marie. I have neighbors down here in SW FL (more than one) that register Republican although they claim to me that they are Democrat and many even flew Biden: Harris flags on this street that has a Trump flag on every other house.

      They tell me that they register Republican for the sole purpose of being able to vote in the candidates on a local level that they feel will most likely support their causes because it’s impossible for a Democrat to hold office here.

      • Marie A Bailey
        January 15, 2021

        Wow, I never thought of voting Republican simply because a Democrat can’t keep office. Eh, I wish Florida would birth some strong Democrats. I love Val Demings. I wish we could clone her 😉

      • S.K. Nicholls
        January 17, 2021

        Val Demmings and Buddy Dyer…I would vote for either one.

  3. Ilona Elliott
    January 9, 2021

    You’re right Kevin. This was completely predictable and could have been avoided if the GOP had not allowed Trump to wrest control of the party. But the machinery of the movement is much bigger than the party, and that is what concerns me. The way conspiracy theories are spun as fact and the organized efforts to distort the truth to control the electorate by far right interests is quite disturbing. Couple that with the astounding reach of social media, and it becomes far too powerful to fight in just the political arena. There are too many arms to this monster: the Evangelical church, conservative media outlets, social media, dark monied political pacs, even so called 501C charitable organizations that don’t have to report their donors are involved. At this point, it’s a freaking Kraken.

    • Kevin Brennan
      January 9, 2021

      This is the scariest thing about our present situation, that disinformation is so easily spread. It’s like the frickin’ coronavirus! Except there’s no vaccine to protect susceptible people from it.

      My biggest fear right now is that the movement will grow after Trump’s departure because of the things you mentioned–church, media, money–and a much bigger disaster awaits.

      And we thought 2020 was bad!

      • Ilona Elliott
        January 11, 2021

        We need to brace ourselves for certain. Stay well and safe and sane Kevin.

      • Kevin Brennan
        January 13, 2021

        You too, Ilona! The sanity’s the hard part lately tho … 😉

  4. S.K. Nicholls
    January 9, 2021

    BLM and other factions have been warning about the power vested in “law enforcement” and it’s abuses of power for decades. I’m not at all surprised by what I saw. Absolutely disgusted, but not surprised.

    I’d like to see mass incarceration halted and people of lesser crimes released. How the community can reabsorb them with these power abuse systems in place is beyond me. I fear we will be cast back into the “War on Drugs” era when women of color raised their babies alone…not because daddy was a deadbeat, but because the cops were crooked.

    Ahhh…but I hail from Stacy Abrams territory where strong women fight back

    • Kevin Brennan
      January 10, 2021

      You’re so right, Susan. It’s been bad for a long time, and there’s plenty of reason to think it’s not going to get better in this environment. Though it was surprising to hear the mob shouting at cops “F*ck the Blue!” Maybe there’s a crack in the wall …

Chime in

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on January 7, 2021 by in Et alia and tagged , .
%d bloggers like this: