The (Sort Of) Final Word …

Did you watch the televised hearings, probably the last one, on Thursday afternoon?  In case you missed it, you can still see it here.  Dan Rather’s assessment of the proceedings is well stated, so rather than attempt to re-invent the wheel (mine would no doubt turn out square), I turn you over to Dan & Elliot from their newsletter on Thursday evening following the hearings.

Breaking The Republic

January 6 wasn’t an accident

Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner

(Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images)

“That, my fellow citizens, breaks the republic.” 

This was the chilling conclusion of Liz Cheney today at the January 6 hearings over what would have happened if the guardrails of our democracy, exposed for their frailty in 2020, had buckled to an autocrat determined to hold onto power. And the danger remains. “Without accountability, it all becomes normal, and it will recur,” Cheney warned. 

Cheney’s statement is striking in its simplicity and its power. Her audience is her “fellow citizens,” the ones who will be going to the polls in less than a month to decide who should lead this nation going forward. Her fellow Republicans have cast Cheney as a pariah for having the courage to state the truth: that their leader wanted to destroy America as we know it. 

What the committee presented today shed a spotlight on the authorship of this historic tragedy. It is Trump who is the playwright, conjuring and casting the roles of those who would act out his destructive intentions. It was he who dreamt up and directed a frontal attack on American democracy. But he couldn’t have done it without his willing accomplices. 

Today, we saw footage of members of Congress grappling in real time with a deteriorating situation on January 6 that could have ended with more bloodshed and the decimation of governmental order. We could feel a visceral fear in their actions and words, not only for their own personal safety but for the safety of the nation they had sworn an oath to serve. Those who could have intervened, starting with the president but including his top aides inside the White House, were absent. And that is just as the president wanted it. We heard today evidence that Trump knew he had lost, and he didn’t care what it would take to retain power.

This man who shamelessly pounds his chest with protestations of patriotism, who literally wraps himself in the American flag, who demonizes his political opponents as haters of America is really the one who views our imperfect experiment in self-governance with disgust. Elections. The rule of law. Peaceful transfers of power. The will of the people. These are the pillars of our nation’s foundation. But for Trump, that’s all just for suckers. He had the presidency, and he didn’t plan on relinquishing it, no matter what the voters or the Constitution said. 

January 6 wasn’t an accident. It wasn’t a rally that spun out of control. It was a dangerous and violent storm threatening our nation’s core principles and our whole system of representative democracy. Stop and ponder that. Then remember that it should have been no surprise. The committee has made clear that the plan had been on the radar for weeks. There was plenty of evidence in advance that Trump and his cronies were planning to disregard the verdict of the election if it went against him. 

But details and evidence uncovered since have been stunning, including documentary footage of longtime Trump loyalist Roger Stone played today. Here is what Stone had to say even before Election Day (excuse the language, please): “I say fuck the voting, let’s get right to the violence.” Was what we saw on January 6 a Plan B, or really a Plan A?

One of the great attributes of this committee is expert storytelling, laying out, with gripping detail, a narrative — a true story — about the attempted destruction of our democratic order. They have carefully traced the origins of this horror to before the election. They have shown the rising danger and threats of violence. They have identified villainy, led by the president. They have explained with breathtaking intimacy what took place on January 6. And they have made very clear that that day’s actions, while dramatic, were not a denouement. How this story ends is currently unknowable. We will have a better sense after the midterm elections and with the Department of Justice’s decision if, how, and whom to prosecute. 

There is a lot about what we heard today, and in the previous hearings, that is infuriating. It also is hard not to feel a deep sadness about the precariousness of our democracy. But we can find hope in the service of this committee. They are saying to all of us, “This happened. Let us not let it happen again. And let us hold those responsible, accountable.” 

They believe that most Americans cherish our self-governance, our stability, and our rule of law. They believe that if we know the truth, that we will do everything in our power, as a people, as a nation, to protect against its recurrence. 

Does that belief still hold? Or are we now so divided that we can no longer be sure? This is the overriding question as our beloved America evolves in the first quarter of the 21st century.

18 thoughts on “The (Sort Of) Final Word …

  1. Pingback: The ( Sort Of ) Final Word.| | Ramblings of an Occupy Liberal

  2. I think I said it all in my response to David, but a few last thoughts. If America loses to autocracy/theocracy/plutocragy there will be a huge vacuum in world politics. The course of history from time immemmorial will be changed. Progress will become extinct. Devolution will be the watchword of the day.
    No, the USA is not the most important nation in the world, it is not the leader of the free world no jatter how much we are told it is. But losing it will upset whatever balance there is in the world of isms.
    This election you are about to partake in is not just about America. Know this, and please act accordingly.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing!!.. the events of Jan 6 was a desperate act by a desperate element of today’s society to prevent change, no doubt some thought they were overcoming a wrong and trying to right things and Trump (upset because he lost) took advantage of the circumstances and cheered them on hoping to return to the presidency… 🙂
    What we witnessed on that day makes headlines and sells newspapers, or in this case, websites… as great deal is quietly going on (not making headlines) as people are working together in the background to make changes and help preserve the democracy… as Obama said; “Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” ( Barack Obama )… we do not need the politicians to make a difference, but only if we wish to…. 🙂

    Hope all is will in your part of the universe and until we meet again…
    May love and laughter light your days,
    and warm your heart and home.
    May good and faithful friends be yours,
    wherever you may roam.
    May peace and plenty bless your world
    with joy that long endures.
    May all life’s passing seasons
    bring the best to you and yours!
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 1 person

    • The thing to always remember is that January 6th could have succeeded. What if it had? Could order have been restored, could our votes have been restored, or would that have been the day the democracy died. I don’t think we can move past that day until those who had a role in the attempted coup have been held accountable, especially those at the highest levels starting with Trump himself, working down through the ranks to Mark Meadows, Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Roger Stone, and many more.

      Yes, I’m sure you’re right that many are working behind the scenes … on both ends, I imagine … but I see it as critical that the events of and responsibility for January 6th remain a primary focus of our attention. To forget, to turn a blind eye, to simply move on, would be to almost ensure a repeat performance in two years.

      Thank you so much, my friend, for the Irish Saying. I hope all is well in your world as well … mine is a bit topsy turvy at the moment with some renewed health issues, but I’m still here, still stubborn as ever!


  4. Just my negative?( realistic) thoughts here.
    We will lose one or both the house or senate, so no riot here.
    Trump won’t be held accountable. So there will be no riot.
    The media has worked against Biden winning, so trump or DeSantis will be the next president, so no riot.

    Then in a short time authoritarianism will take over big time with controlled elections,pardons of the 1/6 insurrectionists, more religion in our government, more wealth inequality, cutting back on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Cutting of many more social programs for the poor, education, mental illness and asylum seekers.

    We will fall way behind in science, technology, biology, geology that isn’t faith based. There will be more drugs, petty crime, daily mass shootings and even a larger gun culture…

    The super wealthy will educate their children out of the country and will have second or third homes in other countries and also businesses out of the country. There will be a brain drain here and we will fall further back and down.

    China is licking its chops. And maybe India, Japan…
    The world is changing big time…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well, Mary, I understand your frustration, understand that some days it feels overwhelming, and even understand the negativity. HOWEVER … battles are not won by people giving up. I still believe there is a chance to protect our democracy, to stop the madman of Mar-a-Lago and his cronies, to return sanity to our government. I HAVE to keep believing that, and so do you … and the rest … for once we stop believing we can do this, then we stop trying. And once we stop trying, we might as well wave a white flag. Nope, we can take little breaks of a day or so to recharge our batteries, but then grab your “Can-do” attitude off the closet shelf, dust it off, and get back into the fight. Write, call, do whatever is in your power. If you can convince just one person … one person … to stop and think about what the current batch of candidates would do to our children’s future, then you’ve done a great job, made a difference. Even if you can’t … and we may never know who stopped and did some thinking after hearing from us … you’ve tried. We have to try, my friend, put aside our own angst, and keep on trying. Otherwise … we will have lost before we even started.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Please do something to aid our democracy | musingsofanoldfart

  6. Jill, sadly, these folks speak the truth. Yet, truth tellers have little voice in the Republican party as they call out those who don’t. Quite frankly, the former president has four legitimate crimes where he could be indicted and lose as the cases are good – seditious activities leading up to and on January 6, meddling in the election in Georgia, taking classified documents to his home exposing them to theft (that may be kind), and financial fraud at his companies. He already he as a Civil case against him on the last one and it should be noted the prosecutors declined to settle the case as it is strong. Note to Trump sycophants – these are not witch hunts. It is just his usual effort to distract you from his wrongdoings.

    People who take Trump at his word are on a fool’s errand. Too many who have flown to close to the Trump sun have had their reputations burned. I have long believed that what lied beneath the surface is far worse than we could have imagined.

    Our elected Republican officials need to grow a backbone and speak out against this effort to support voter and rights suppression to enable seditious actors like Donald Trump to win. Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, et al are on the side of the angels. I ask each of us to write and call their legislators asking them to act. Then, do it again. I also encourage all Republicans to vote against anyone who advocates for the Big Lie or the former president. They are in the wrong and are harming not only the GOP, but America. Democrats are not perfect, but they at least are focusing on real issues rather than self promoted wedge issues that don’t matter a whole lot.


    Liked by 3 people

    • When he responds to a subpoena with a 14-page rambling rant, you know he is out of realistic options, he is losing ‘bigly’ and he knows the odds of him coming out unscathed this time are slim-to-none. My hope is that if/when he goes down, so do the rest in the GOP who have sold their souls in exchange for a place by Trump’s side.

      If Trump is allowed to skate free this time, it will be a signal to future presidents that no matter what they do, they will not face consequences. That is a very dangerous precedent to set. We cannot let the threats by some deter us from pursuing justice.

      I have written more than a couple of times to my legislators on this matter. I don’t call because of my near-deafness, but it’s rare that I get a response that actually addresses the issue I wrote about. Still, I keep trying.


      • Jill, I sent you an email. In essence, I left a message with Congresswomen Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert asking them to reduce the temperature on the rhetoric. We are too much at odds with each other. It is OK for us to disagree on issues, but we must have civil discourse to solve problems. I did say I see more of this on the GOP side as the truth tellers seem to get vilified. That is unfortunate. So, I beseeched them to help cool everyone’s jets. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • Email received and replied to, but you already know that! Yes, we are too much at odds and the louder one side gets, the louder the other gets until pretty soon we have nothing but a senseless shouting match going on. Nothing was ever resolved in such a manner. If enough people reply to them as you did, perhaps they will tone it down, but the problem is that this high-decibel fighting seems to appeal to many of their followers. The louder, the more obnoxious, the happier the followers are. Just look at footage of a Trump rally … the more he turns red in the face and screams and uses those facial contortions, the louder the people cheer. Sigh. I don’t get it … I just don’t get it.


    • Agreed. And, if there are no consequences, future presidents will do the same, maybe even worse, knowing that the precedent has been set, that presidents are, in fact, above the law. That is NOT a nation I wish to live in.

      Liked by 1 person

    • QUICK, Keith? Quick happened a long time ago, considering the pace of modern society. If not for this committee Jan. 6 would barely be a memory. Even with the committee there are lots of people who just want it to be over. It’s already history!
      And nothing happened, in Quick Time. A few arrests that are still moving through thr courts almost 2 years later? That is probably the weakest response to a major act of insurrection in the history of the world. I’m sorry, Keith, but quick doesn’t cut it.
      Now, after all this time, the response has to be severe! Trump has to be severely treated in his sentence. Life in solitary, with no chance of even appeal. Remove him from anyone who would sit and listen to his complaints about witch hunts and “I was the President. I still am the President. They can’t do this to me!” No biographers, no pity-partiers, no nothing! Not even lawyers! He isn’t going to last long anyway. His body will not be able to survive on jail fare.
      Do I really mean this? I do not believe in prisons, or punishments just for the sake of punishment. I believe in rehabilitory justice, what the indigenous people of Turtle Island now known as North America call Restorative Justice. Everyone deserves a chance to reform themselves. Everyone deserves the chance to become a better person! That is what I believe.
      But Donald Trump does not have enough time, no matter how long he lives, to become a better person. Nikolas Cruz can become a better person. Alex Jones might be able to become a better person. But there is no way Donald Trump will ever become a better person! I have three words for him.
      LOCK HIM UP! (And don’t even make a key!)

      Liked by 2 people

      • Oh, damn, this was directed to David, not Keith. I apologize to both. My mind played a trick on me, and I totally screwed up. Jill, please change the names to protect the innocent! Arghhhhh!

        Liked by 1 person

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