Still Recovering From The Hugs & Kisses …

Today, I would like to introduce you to two anomalies.  These are people, relatively young people, who serve in the U.S. Congress and are members of the Republican Party.  What, you ask, makes them an anomaly?  Two things:  they are intelligent and most importantly, they have a conscience.  Yes, a conscience … I know it’s hard to believe in this, the 21st century, the age of Republican far-right lunacy and conspiracy theories.  The two people I wish to introduce you to today are Liz Cheney, representative from Wyoming, and Adam Kinzinger, representative from Illinois.  They’ve both been in the news enough that you no doubt know their names.

They are, to the best of my knowledge, the only two congressional republicans who will be serving on the House Select Committee to investigate the events of and leading up to January 6th, the day insurgents attacked Congress and attempted to overthrow our election, our choice, our government.  Cheney and Kinzinger are not serving by appointment via House Minority Leader McCarthy, but they are serving voluntarily, because their conscience demands that they be a part of finding the truth.  Their goal is not, as Jim Jordan’s and Jim Banks’ would have been, to disrupt the proceedings, to whitewash the details, to bury the facts, and to play the “whaddaboutism” game, rather their goal is to find out who was involved in the planning of the attempted coup, who played a role in inciting and encouraging the ignorant masses who stormed the U.S. Capitol that day, and bring those people into the spotlight, bring them to justice.  Their goal is to ensure that such an event can never happen again, that the remnants of a democracy will not be turned to ash and buried.

As expected, GOP leaders, if they can be called such, are attacking Cheney and Kinzinger, accusing them of harboring an anti-Trump agenda and suggesting they’re just doing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s bidding. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy even debuted a new label on Monday, tagging Kinzinger and Cheney as “Pelosi Republicans.”  I wonder if he thinks this is funny?  If he does, then I am more convinced than ever that he has the mentality of a teenager sniggering behind the girls’ gym locker room.  Meanwhile, a growing number of House Republicans are clamoring for Kinzinger and Cheney to face internal consequences for accepting committee seats from Speaker Pelosi.  I guess in their case, political loyalties outweigh loyalty to country.

STOP!!!  This is not an US vs THEM contest!!!  Or is it?  The Democrats … nay, most of the people in this nation … want to know what happened, how it was that our very core of values, of governance, could come so close to toppling.  WE the PEOPLE want to know who, what, why, when, and HOW.  We want to know who in our government colluded, incited, and plotted against the voice of those of us who voted our conscience.  I think we can probably all guess most of them, but I want to see the irrefutable evidence, then I want the Department of Justice to see that they pay the price for their seditious actions.

On Tuesday, the select committee to investigate January 6th held its first hearings.  I haven’t yet watched the entire testimony of the four police officers who were called on to testify, but I have seen enough to break my heart.  In one clip I watched, Representative Cheney said, “You hear former president Trump say, ‘It was a loving crowd.  There was a lot of love in the crowd.’”  And then she asked Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, “How does that make you feel?”  His response …

“To me, it’s insulting, just demoralizing because of everything that we did to prevent everyone in the Capitol from getting hurt. And what he was doing, instead of sending the military, instead of sending the support or telling his people, his supporters, to stop this nonsense, he begged them to continue fighting. I’m still recovering from those hugs and kisses that day that he claimed.”

Officer Gonell stayed on duty, despite being injured, throughout the night, going home only after the votes were certified, around 4:00 a.m.  Despite pleas by his wife and his doctor, he continued to work for the next fifteen days, until finally his foot became so bad that he couldn’t get a shoe on, and then doctors had to fuse together the broken bones in his foot.  He will also need surgery on his shoulder.  Both of his hands were injured, and he suffered chemical burns on his skin from the spray that was used as a weapon against him.  And yet, he didn’t miss a day’s work.  Why?

“My sense of duty for the country, for the Constitution, at that time was bigger than even my love for my wife and my son.”

Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn said one group of rioters, perhaps 20 people, screamed the n-word at him as he was trying to keep them from breaching the House chamber — racial insults he said he had never experienced while in uniform. At the end of that day, he sat down in the Capitol Rotunda and sobbed …

“I became very emotional and began yelling, ’How the (expletive) can something like this happen?’ Is this America? My blood is red. I’m an American citizen. I’m a police officer. I’m a peace officer.

Four officers testified on Tuesday, two Capitol police officers and two officers with the D.C. police force.  One of the D.C. officers was Michael Fanone, who has been vocal about the events of that day … understandably, since he was brutally beaten, thrown down the stairs, tased, and suffered a heart attack, among other injuries.  Officer Fanone was understandably hurt and angry during his testimony and at one point slammed his fist on the table in front of him.…

“What makes the struggle harder and more painful is to know so many of my fellow citizens, including so many of the people I put my life at risk to defend are downplaying or outright denying what happened. I feel like I went to hell and back to protect them and the people in this room. Too many are now telling me that hell doesn’t exist or that hell actually wasn’t that bad. The indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful.”

I began this post talking about the courage of Representatives Cheney and Kinzinger.  After Tuesday’s testimony by the four officers, Adam Kinzinger was so overcome that he was near tears when he gave a tribute to the officers’ bravery …

“You guys may like individually feel a little broken. You guys all talk about the effects you have to deal with and, you know, you talk about the impact of that day, but you guys won. You guys held. You know, democracies are not defined by our bad days. We`re defined by how we come back from back from bad days.”

This picture tells you all you need to know about Liz Cheney’s reactions to their testimony.

Representative Liz Cheney hugs Officer Dunn after his testimony

We must find out who played a role, no matter how small, in the storming of the Capitol on January 6th, and those people must be removed from Congress, indicted, tried, and imprisoned.  Nothing less is acceptable. Sedition is a serious crime and frankly, we aren’t out of the woods yet, for many are calling January 6th simply a trial run.  As for the Republican’s hateful rhetoric … the press needs to stop covering it.  Full stop.  In reporting Kevin McCarthy’s and Louie Gohmert’s and others’ every word, they are fanning the flames.  We don’t need that.  We don’t give a rat’s ass what they have to say … we’re more interested in getting to the truth.

42 thoughts on “Still Recovering From The Hugs & Kisses …

  1. The Nuremberg Trials demonstrated a bottom up defence, that the problem was always sheeted higher. The approach by the jurors was to treat each case on its merits, as should be the case here, those who enacted violence should be exposed and brought to justice, those who instigated it – the very same. To let it go will only embolden the insurrectionists.

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  2. Pingback: Still Recovering From The Hugs & Kisses … by Jill Dennison – DEEZ – News about Art, Books & more

  3. Thank you for the information, Jill! I can also say that you have the nicer, better-styled politicians. Lol They all come across as much more eloquent and younger to you. Take a look at ours. Jurassic Park would be an understatement. Lol xx Michael

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    • Ha ha … I love the Jurassic Park comment! But note that we have our share of oldies in Congress! Take Mitch McConnell, who is 79. The one I find the funniest, though, is Don Young, who is actually the oldest member of Congress at 87! In fact 4 of them are 87 and 16 of them are over 80. The younger ones … some are alright, but some are the radicals with the conspiracy theories. Sigh. xx

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  4. this was not an insurrection, it was mostly peaceful people going to make their voices heard on results they didn’t agree with. now, for the record, anyone who broke the law, which was a minority by the way, should absolutely be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
    they took their grievances to the seat of power, which is a better thing to do than, oh, I don’t know, burn buildings, attack people and steal, like blm and antifa did last summer causing around 2 billion dollars in property damage. The democrats in this hearing are just a bunch of crybabies, you can tell the emotionalism is all fake and for show. We weren’t an hour away from marshal law, AOC wasn’t fearing for her life since she wasn’t even there, this is just all lies and propaganda by the democrat elites and the media to paint every single republican and conservative as a brainless white supremacist and I am sick and tired of the intollerence from these elitists who believe the narrative and continue to give voice to their obvious disdain for anyone who may thing differently from them.
    It’s a free country and just as a progressive can say, write, and think anything they want, I have the freedom to disagree with those thoughts but it seems to me that it’s the democrats who are more intollerant than any conservatives I know.
    Watch the video starting at around 6:20 or so. I don’t know if it’s close captioned as I don’t know how much these services are implemented on youtube but if it’s not, let me know and I can see about getting a transcript.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Scott, as an independent and former Republican and Democrat voter, I strongly disagree with your assertion. I am sure there may have been some peaceful protestors, but Republicans whitewashing what I saw and heard these police officers testify is just not something I agree with. These police officers are still feeling the vestiges of PTSD and physical trauma. I also called Congresspersons Cheney and Kinzinger and thanked them for their political courage and seeking out the truth. I felt Cheney’s opening remarks, in particular, were on point.

      We must get to the bottom or this and never let it happen again. It matters not to me which party benefits and which one suffers. We just cannot let one branch of government invite people to Washington, tell them stories that continue to be untrue and then sic them on the Capitol. I also feel that House members who did not vote to seat a nonpartisan committee to investigate this event was extremely poor stewardship.

      That is what I believe and I apologize for having to push back.
      Keith

      Liked by 2 people

    • I’m sorry, Scott, but yes, this was an insurrection. It was an attempted coup planned and incited by people in our own government. And it will happen again if we do not follow through, identify and punish both the masses who attacked the Capitol and Congress that day, and especially the people within our government who are guilty of sedition at the very least for their role in this day. Just because Dave Rubin and Tucker Carlson and Kevin McCarthy deny reality, ignore or hide facts, doesn’t mean we all have to. You say that it’s a free country where anyone can write or say anything they want. Well, that’s not quite true, but close enough … now, the question becomes, how long can it remain a free country if a repeat of January 6th is EVER allowed to happen again? If we turn a blind eye to the atrocities that are happening right under our nose, the lies being shoved down our throats, do you really think we’ll still have the right to free speech in another ten years? I don’t.

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  5. Jill, thanks for writing this. As I shared earlier, the testimony was riveting, as I watched all four officers give their account. And, they each still suffer today from physical and mental wounds. I also was moved by the remarks made by the two Republican legislators on the committee – Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. Even though they disagree with their Democrat colleagues on policy issues, they agree on supporting the constitution. Here are few thoughts from an old fart and former Republican (and Democrat).

    – the GOP cannot call themselves the party of the rule of law when they rationalize and whitewash what happened, which at least one did still after the testimony.
    – the GOP cannot call themselves the party of truth when it vilifies and lets people threaten the truth tellers and deifies the liars and bigots.
    – our country must get to the bottom of this and not let it happen again, regardless of what party benefits or suffers (to vote to not have a nonpartisan commission was malfeasance in my view).
    – the Democrats are not perfect and will make mistakes, but as a whole, I cannot say the party is built on a foundation of lies and cheating like I firmly believe the GOP stands for.

    I am tired of spineless Republican legislators in leadership positions covering for the most corrupt, deceitful and mow seditious acting president in my lifetime to garner votes. The question for people like McCarthy and McConnell, when you cover for a liar, what does that make you ? Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Keith. The little bit I heard and read of their testimony simply broke my heart … and that these brave men are being mocked and denigrated, infuriates me! And let us not forget Officer Brian Sicknick who died as a result of his injuries, and Officers Jeffrey Smith and Howard Liebengood who committed suicide as a result of what happened that day. Like you, I’m tired of the lies being told by Republicans in Congress as they attempt to cover their own posteriors. McCarthy and McConnell lead the pack when it comes to telling and covering for the lies. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What gets me, is that these officers were protecting people like McCarthy, like the rest of them. Not only are they doing these officers are disservice for that day, they do officers everywhere, all the over the globe, a disservice.
    “What makes the struggle harder and more painful is to know so many of my fellow citizens, including so many of the people I put my life at risk to defend are downplaying or outright denying what happened. I feel like I went to hell and back to protect them and the people in this room. Too many are now telling me that hell doesn’t exist or that hell actually wasn’t that bad. The indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful.”

    Liked by 4 people

    • I suspect for quite a few of them will be the extra shock of knowing that as Republican voters they received no warning, they were to be killed as easily as Democrat voters and it was pre-arranged that no support would be coming nor any riot gear. The first hard sign of just what the GOP has become.
      Hugs

      Liked by 3 people

    • Exactly! That’s the part that is so heartbreaking … instead of being thanked and commended for the job they did, risking their own lives, they are being mocked and denigrated. And why? Because if the Republicans admit that this was, in fact, an insurrection, an attempt to overthrow an election and in the process, our government, then they will have to admit that they own this, that they were in one way or another to blame for the events of that day.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Personally, I don’t care much what happens to the foot soldiers of the Jan. 6th attack on your government, they were a bunch of yahoos brought together by false pretenses, and the rhetoric of supposed officials of that government. They were worked into a frenzy by their leaders’ hatred and vitriol, and they turned into a mob. There is a phrase, mob rule, that describes the fact mobs lose their humanity in the rush to act the way their leaders want them to act.
    Don’t get me wrong, I do not condone what they did, many of them planned ahead to do something–they just had no idea what. They were incited to riot, so they did.
    The people who should be facing this committee are not the rank and file, but the ones who incited this whole action, starting with then-president Donald J. Trump, and working downwards from there.
    Starting from the bottom up is just wrong. Indict those whose plan it was to incite! The little guys can be rounded up later. Start with the real criminals. Stop babying them just because they are from the elite. They knew better, and they did it anyway. They carry the most guilt, including the guilt of murder!

    Liked by 5 people

    • The whole damned lot need to feel the hand on their shoulder but you’re right, from the top down is the way to go. There’s proof enough Trump set hem in motion on the day and It was Marjie I think who texted out where Nancy Pelosi could be found as well as Matt Gaetz’s and his little solidarity wave to the masses. But also they need to clarify who refused riot gear or any help when asked and whether any police did willingly open up their gates. Was it pre-arranged and if so by who? The answers must be found and the criminals made to pay in full. New legislation needs to be drafted that no criminals can stand for election so that Trump could never stand again….if he is ever released for an act of insurrection.
      Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

      • I would not not go so far as no criminals, that is a wide blanket that leaves no room for atonement and change, especially those convicted of simple drug possession. But certainly those convicted of treason, incitement to treason, or other serious anti-democracy crimes.
        To say a convicted protestor cannot run for office goes much too far, in my mind. They might make some of the better politicians, because they stand up for what they believe in.

        Liked by 3 people

    • While I would agree that the highest priority is to find the people who instigated, who even played a very minor role in helping launch this insurrection, especially those working in our government, and punish them to the fullest extent of the law, I also think it is imperative that every single person who participated be brought to trial and pay a price determined by the extent of their role. To let them slide would be to say that it’s okay, that they can try again and even kill people and there will be no retailation. That simply won’t work out well for any of us.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The downfall of the, Republican Party, started, when Trump became, president, and, he had, ruined the U.S., for four whole years, and now, the Republican Party is, merely, experiencing, the, aftermath, nasty, clean up of the, huge,mess, that, Trump left, behind, for them. When the head of a party is, completely, corrupt, all of the, lower members, of that political party, still, stand behind the individual, because, the person, is, a representative, of, that particular, political, party, and, they’re all, following their, leader, blindly.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Oh, I think perhaps the downfall of the party began even before Trump came on the scene … it’s been building for a while, and Trump was just the catalyst that energized the masses. We will never fully recover from the damage that Trump did, I fear.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Very powerful testimonies indeed! While I’m sure their experiences on the day were very painful, I suspect what’s even more painful is knowing that many of those in positions of power continue to deny the reality of those experiences.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, I think you’re right. As one officer said, he risked his life to save theirs, and now they are saying it was no big deal. How that must hurt. Two of the officers defending the Capitol that day have since committed suicide … I think I understand.

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  10. I was very emotional testimony to nobody’s surprise. There will be more of it. But there will also be much more of the scum who cheered that day claiming it was a sightseeing tour, a walk in the park, Pelosi’s fault etc. Anything to downplay their part in an insurrection or to cover remarks made since that day that cover for Trump. I am sure that no-one will be fooled by the Republicans, especially after more testimony is heard. I fully agree with you, every last seditionist, Trumpist, insurrectionist must be found and made to pay for what the 6th of January did to the American Nation.
    Cwtch

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    • It definitely was. It tore at my heart when I heard the one officer say that he was hurt that the very people whose lives he risked his own to save were now saying it was no big deal. How that must hurt.

      I’m already sickened of the voices that claim it wasn’t an insurrection, it was just peaceful people wanting their voices hears, and that we are overreacting. Sadly, far too many people have already been fooled into believing the Republicans’ lies about the events of that day. Far too many cannot seem to see that they are protecting themselves, for most of them stand to lose a lot once the full story is known.

      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

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