Filosofa Is Grrrrrrrrowling

Some days, you look at the news and you just want to punch something.  The ‘grrrrrrrrrr’ started this morning when I read that we the taxpayers are paying $3,000 per month for the Secret Service people protecting Ivanka and Jared to rent a bathroom in the house next door, because Jared & Ivanka don’t want them dirtying their house!  My first thought was that then they don’t deserve the protection of the Secret Service … and they don’t, for they are a couple of entitled snobs.  And then, the ‘grrrrrrrrrrr’ got louder as the day progressed.


Has he learned nothing?

rittenhouse-3You remember Kyle Rittenhouse, right?  He’s the young white supremacist punk who killed two and wounded a third with a gun at a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  As I wrote a while back, some influential people with more money than sense posted Rittenhouse’s $2 million bail last November.  Rittenhouse was arraigned January 5th on two felony charges of homicide in the deaths of two men and a felony attempted homicide charge in the wounding of another man.  Pretty serious stuff, yes?  You’d think a 17-year-old kid would be on his best behaviour, quaking in his boots at the thought of what could happen to him.  But not Kyle!

rittenhouse-2

Just 90 minutes after leaving the arraignment, Kyle and his mother were seen in a bar where he was drinking beer (the legal age limit in his home state of Illinois is 21) and flashing white supremacist hand signals to other people in the bar. What kind of mother takes her underage kid who has murdered two people to a damn bar???  Prosecutors have asked the Kenosha County Circuit Court to modify Rittenhouse’s bond conditions. 

rittenhouse-1The office is requesting that Rittenhouse be prohibited from possessing or consuming alcohol or being in any establishment that serves it; be prohibited from making any public display of any “white power” or “white supremacy” signs, symbols, or hand gestures; and not have any contact with any known militia members or members of any violent white power/white supremacist groups including the group identified as the “Proud Boys.”

This kid needs to be locked up for life, and his mother along with him!  And yet, to some he is considered a ‘hero’ … oh yeah, folks, don’t tell me racism isn’t alive and well in the United States … you need look no further than this little punk and those who applaud him.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


Franklin Graham once again proves his lunacy

More than a few times, I have criticized (that’s putting it mildly) various evangelical leaders, and Franklin Graham is the one who seems to cross my radar most often.  Now, let me state in advance that I am not a Christian, not religious at all, however I respect other people’s right to their beliefs as long as they don’t try to inflict them on others.  Franklin Graham is an idiot extraordinaire, and once again he seems intent on proving my point.

In a Facebook post yesterday, Graham wrote, in part …

graham“Shame, shame on the ten Republicans who joined with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in impeaching President Trump yesterday. After all that he has done for our country, you would turn your back and betray him so quickly? We have never had a president like him in my lifetime. He gave us lower taxes, a strong economy, and low unemployment. He made NATO take notice and pay their own way. He had the guts to take on North Korea and meet with their leader personally. He didn’t let China walk all over us. Just his Mideast peace initiatives in the last couple of months deserve a Nobel Peace Prize. He has defended religious liberty like no president before him, and that matters to all people of faith. He has worked to bring prison reform and secured our southern border. He defeated the ISIS caliphate in Syria, and he strengthened our military. He was also the most pro-life president we have ever had. But the House Democrats impeached him because they hate him and want to do as much damage as they can. And these ten, from his own party, joined in the feeding frenzy. It makes you wonder what the thirty pieces of silver were that Speaker Pelosi promised for this betrayal.”

Well, I wonder if Mr. Franklin has been living in some alternative universe?  The hell of it is, though, that with over 9.5 million followers on Facebook, some will undoubtedly buy into his trash talk and some will no doubt join the planned insurrection next week, fully believing that they are doing ‘god’s work’.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


And speaking of religious freaks …

brandon-burdonBrandon Burdon, pastor of Kingdom Life church in Frisco, Texas is less well-known that Franklin Graham, but no less a lunatic.

During a long rambling sermon just days after the Capitol coup, he told his (maskless) congregation to stock up on weapons, celebrated a God-ordained siege of Washington, spoke in tongues to give his statements added oomph, claimed Apple would create a national blackout, railed against FOX News and Mitch McConnell for not being conservative enough, urged everyone to stock up on generators and food, and said with absolutely certainty that Donald Trump would be president for eight straight years.

“We are locked and loaded at the Burden house.  We have an executive order — not from Congress or D.C., but from the desk of the CEO of heaven, the boss of the planet. He said from his desk in heaven, this is my will; Trump will be in for eight years.”

Is it any wonder that I often say religion is the cause of most wars and most hatred in the world?  I wonder how many people from Frisco, Texas will be among the gun-toting nuts planning to converge on D.C. next week?

A Peek Into Trump’s Future

Given that I have a serious case of mind bounce today, I have not been able to focus on any one thing for more than 20 seconds, so instead I will share with you Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin’s view of what Trump’s life may be like after he leaves the White House next week.  I take some satisfaction in knowing that it won’t be any bed of roses for him, and knowing that he brought it on himself with no help from anybody else.


Trump’s future looks rotten

Jennifer-RubinOpinion by 

Jennifer Rubin

Columnist

Jan. 14, 2021 at 9:45 a.m. EST

President Trump faces a horrid future. He is the first U.S. president in history to be impeached twice; he lost the popular vote twice; he lost both the House and Senate for his party; and more than 383,000 Americans have died from covid-19 on his watch. He has clearly sewn up the title of “worst president ever.” If found guilty by a soon-to-be Democratic-controlled Senate, he will be unable to run for office again and may lose his post-presidential benefits (e.g., salary, travel allowance). But that is far from his biggest worry.

Trump may be sued civilly or charged criminally for tax avoidance or other financial crimes that state prosecutors in New York are investigating. Depending on the charges, he could face significant fines or even imprisonment. (Trump has maintained that he has done nothing improper.)

Speaking of finances, Trump reportedly has more than $400 million in loans coming due. However, his banks are cutting ties. Deutsche Bank, which holds about $340 million of the debt, and Signature Bank do not want to do business with him. It is far from clear what lender is going to take him on as a client. He might need help from his overseas authoritarian friends.

Trump may also face a federal criminal investigation for seeking to change election results in Georgia during two phone calls with state election officials — one of which was recorded. In addition to potential federal crimes for election offenses, prosecutors will need to look at whether his vague threat of criminal liability in his call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger qualified as extortion.

That was all before we got to his Jan. 6 activities. Federal investigators and the U.S. attorney for Washington, D.C., as well as senior Justice Department officials will need to determine whether there is a basis to charge Trump with incitement to riot or conspiracy to commit sedition. They will look not simply at Trump’s remarks that day, but also his tweet calling for “wild” protests in the capital, his rhetoric after the election and his conduct during the siege, when he failed to issue a clear, unequivocal directive for his people to stand down. (That the president managed to issue a statement on the day of his second impeachment proactively calling for “NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind” makes his hours-long silence on Jan. 6 look even worse.)

Beyond criminal liability, Trump could surely be sued by the relatives of those killed or injured in the siege, or to cover the costs incurred to repair damage. He cannot be sued for “official conduct,” but leading a riot to overturn an election will be difficult to slot into the category of “official duties,” to put it mildly. It was a continuation of his campaign intended to give him a second term, not to effectuate any policy or interest during his existing term.

Even on the slim chance that Trump is never charged with any crime and manages to escape all civil liability, he will be deeply in debt (his original debt plus any costs to defend himself in court). He will also be a social and business pariah, banned from social media and unwelcome in most democratic countries. It is not clear how many people are going to pay to belong to a seditionist’s Mar-a-Lago Club or stay at any of his properties.

One can surely understand why the prospect of losing was so terrifying for him — aside from the humiliation. Quite simply, he faces a miserable post-presidency.

Snarky Is Baaaaaaack!

My snarky side took a bit of a break after the events in my own life on Monday night, but suddenly it has returned with a vengeance!  No point in holding it back, now is there?


Delusional bimbo

I had to laugh when I read that Kellyanne Conway said …

kellyanne“From the time the electors certified the results to the time the president leaves office should have been spent reviewing and reliving the policy accomplishments of his four years and reminding Americans we are more peaceful or prosperous.”

We are neither more peaceful nor prosperous by any stretch of the imagination than we were before Donald Trump took office.  We are more divided than at any time in at least the last 150 years, as evidenced by the events of last Wednesday and the aftermath.  And prosperous?  All time record high unemployment numbers, people who cannot afford to pay their rent or mortgage, and between 3,000-4,000 people dying every day of a pandemic that was so poorly handled by the Trump administration that the world looks on in disgust. 

Sorry, Kellyanne, but your ‘hero’ is a big-time loser who has done more damage to this nation and its people than any other president in the history of the United States.  His ‘legacy’, such as it is, will be one of death and destruction.


Republicans and impeachment

I was pleased to see that 10 republican members of the House of Representatives voted in favour of impeachment.  Mind you, it’s too little too late, so I’m not going to propose that perhaps they’ve found a conscience and regret their prior sycophancy to Trump, but for this time anyway, they managed to do the right thing. 

I’m also pleased to read that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has condemned Trump’s actions of last week and said he ‘might’ even consider voting to convict Trump on the impeachment charges once the charges are presented to the Senate and they conduct a trial.  I’m not holding my breath, and again, it’s way too little far too late for him to redeem himself.  Best thing he could do after the impeachment trial would be to resign from the Senate … he’s way past his “best by …” date.  However, McConnell holds a great deal of sway with other republicans in the Senate, and if he votes to convict Trump on the charges, I believe that other republican senators will follow suit, which could result in the necessary 17 republican votes needed to convict Trump, thus ensuring that he can never again hold public office.  Not even as sanitation worker or dogcatcher. 

It’s interesting how some of the republicans are appalled by what Trump did, inciting a terrorist rebellion against the United States from within, but yet refuse to condemn him, saying that impeachment or any form of punishment would only further divide the nation.  WTF???  How can we get any more divided? 


As if

I hear Trump released a video of himself yesterday reading a statement that was obviously not written by him …

“In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind. That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers.”

Right, Donnie.  I read that Ivanka, Jared and others begged him to read the statement and record the video telling him that it would boost his image among republicans who were turning against him.  I actually wonder, reading those words, if somebody wasn’t off to the side with a gun pointed at his head, for this is a far cry from his words of a week ago when he said he would never concede and urged his terrorist supporters to ‘go to war’ for him.

If I had to guess, I would guess that through some other venue, perhaps one of his children’s social media accounts, he is talking out of the other side of his mouth, encouraging another terrorist riot similar to last Wednesday’s next week. 


Congratulations, Donnie …

Ol’ Trumpie always declares he is first, best, and any other superlative he can think of, like covfefe.  Well, he’s got his wish … he is the FIRST president in the history of the United States to be impeached twice!  Way to go, Donnie … we knew you could do it! 


Two worthwhile reads …

Two of my blogging buddies, Jeff over at On the Fence Voters, and Keith at Musings of an Old Fart, published excellent posts last night.  I wanted to re-blog them both, but had already started this post and … well, there are only so many hours in a day and only so much energy to expend, so instead I am including a link to both here and I really hope you will check them out … you won’t be sorry!

If You Still Think The Election Was Rigged  by Keith Wilson

The Big Lie(s)  by Jeff Marzick


Last but not least, Don Lemon hits the nail on the head with this one …

MOVING ON.

Sometimes we see other people’s problems more clearly than they are able to see them. About half of my readers are from outside the U.S. and it’s always interesting to get their perspective on what is happening here in the U.S. My special friend David, sickened by the events of last Wednesday at the Capitol in D.C., has written his take on our current situation, and in my book he is spot on. Thank you, David, both for this post and your (implied) permission to share!

The BUTHIDARS

It’s been just a week since one of the most sickening events in American History, some say since my lot were over there kicking ass before having our collective asses kicked. Whenever it was, and whatever it was are irrelevant as nothing in recent history compares to this. It was a definite attempt at a coup and there’s no denying that had the insurrectionists managed to get their filthy hands on certain people like Nancy Pelosi or Mike Pence there may well have been executions.

Mike Pence - Wikipedia

Whilst I don’t care for Mike Pence I think it ridiculous that he’s being targeted by Trumpites for letting Trump down. Firstly he obeyed the vow he’d made to the country-not to Trump- and secondly he did not have the power to do as he was asked anyway. What does leave me with a sour taste in my mouth and the obvious question, is why…

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Dr. Fiona Hill cautions all on civil unrest fomented by the outgoing president

Fiona Hill … a woman of great courage and one who remembered her oath to the Constitution and to the people of this nation when she testified before Congress in October/November 2019. Today, she cautions us, and we would do well to listen to her words of wisdom. Thank you, Keith, for sharing this!

musingsofanoldfart

Dr. Fiona Hill is one of the most credible public servants who risked a great deal by testifying of her concerns regarding the coercion of Ukraine to benefit the president.* In article called “Former Trump official Fiona Hill: ‘President’s actions have put us on the brink of civil war'” by Justine Coleman of The Hill, she cautions of more civil unrest. Here are a few paragraphs along with a link below.

Former Trump National Security Council member Fiona Hill on Monday said that President Trump’s ‘actions have put us on the brink of civil war’ after pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol last week.

Hill, who served as the senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council, called the Capitol raid a “coup” in aPolitico op-ed, saying that a coup does not need to be a ‘sudden, violent seizure of power involving clandestine plots…

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An Open Letter to the Republican Party

In my head, I was composing an “Open Letter to Republicans in Congress” that would have eventually become a post here on Filosofa’s Word.  But this morning, our friend TokyoSand beat me to the punch, and since her thoughts echo my own, I decided not to re-invent the wheel, but rather to share hers with you.  Thank you, TS!


An Open Letter to the Republican Party

writing-letter

Dear Republican Party members,

No, we will not be moving on.

We reject your attempts to change the subject and calls for “unity” because we see them for what they are: You’re desperately trying to escape accountability for the role you played in Trump’s Insurrection this past Wednesday.

As Thomas Paine said, “A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody.” And until you take responsibility, we do not trust you to do the job you were elected to do.

Lest anyone think I am only talking to Republicans in Congress, I am not. I am also pointing my fingers at Republicans in state legislatures as well.

For 4+ years, you either actively pushed lies spewed by Trump and his allies, or stayed silent in the face of those lies, which perhaps you now realize allowed them to take root and spread.

Taking only the most recent lie as an example — Trump pushing the lie that he won the November election in a landslide — you all helped him push that lie, and that took root in tens of millions of Americans, and radicalized many of them as you personally bore witness to on Wednesday.

Read entire letter …

Why do we protect and serve?

I first began to realize just how many in this nation are blatant racists when President Obama became the first African-American President, and everything that has happened since has reinforced the truth that this is very much a nation driven by racial hatred. I will have more to say on that soon, but for today, our friend Brosephus has written a post about Wednesday’s events that I believe is relevant to the topic of how racism has been fueled and how it ultimately led to the events of last Wednesday. Thank you, Brosephus, for this very thoughtful and thought-provoking post.

The Mind of Brosephus

 This was one hell of a week, right? I started this week off on a high, first enjoying the cockpit of a Gulfstream G7 (technically Gulfstream G700), a private jet with a starting price tag of $75 million give or take. That same night, I spent some time chatting with some Air Force guys responsible for shuttling around the presidential motorcade.

Gulfstream G700 cockpit via Gulfstream and not the actual one I got to see

After that night, my wife and I had a date morning where we cast our Georgia Senate run-off votes for eventual winners Senators-elect Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock. Seems like that string of good fortune ran out when we didn’t hit a single number in the Mega Millions lottery drawing.

Like millions of other Americans, I spent Wednesday glued to the news as a gaggle of morons, idiots, conspiracy theorists, and armed terrorists (fuck…

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Snarky Snippets Is Baaaaaaack …

I tried to do something humorous for this morning’s post, for my last several posts have been either rants or introspective critiques and I thought it was time to ‘lighten up’.  However, try as I might, it just didn’t work.  But I had no trouble whatsoever finding my inner snarky self … that is, apparently, the real me!


Censure???

The late Senator John McCain’s wife, Cindy McCain, has been ‘censured’ by the Maricopa County (Arizona) Republican Committee.  Why?  Because of her support for “leftist causes” like gay marriage, larger government and “others that run counter to Republican values.”  And also because she “failed” to support conservative candidates and has “supported globalist policies and candidates,” including Democrats such as President-elect Joe Biden.

Incredible, is it not?  I wasn’t quite sure what, in a case like this where the person being ‘censured’ holds no political office, what it even means to be censured.  Turns out, it means pretty much nothing.  According to Wikipedia …

“Censure is a formal, and public, group condemnation of an individual, often a group member, whose actions run counter to the group’s acceptable standards for individual behavior. … Like a reprimand, a censure does not remove a member from their office so they retain their title, stature, and power to vote.”

In response to the censure, Ms. McCain said on Twitter “I am a proud lifelong Republican and will continue to support candidates who put country over party and stand for the rule of law.”  Like her husband, Ms. McCain is a person of character … much more so than the buffoons who decided to censure her.  This is yet another example of the bigotry that has become the foundation of the Republican Party in the 21st century.


‘Patriot’???

More times than I can count in the past few days, I have heard the domestic terrorists who attacked the Capitol on Wednesday referred to as “patriots”.  Hearing this is like hearing fingernails running across a chalkboard … it sets my teeth on edge.

NOBODY who harms others and attempts to undermine or overthrow their own government can possibly be called a patriot.  Period.  A patriot is somebody who cares enough about their country to defend it against enemies, not someone who blatantly attempts to destroy their country from within!

John McCain was a patriot, President Barack Obama is a patriot, Senator Bobby Kennedy was a patriot, as were Martin Luther King and the late Representative John Lewis.  These thugs …

jerks-1jerks-2jerks-3jerks-4

… are not patriots, they are homegrown, domestic terrorists.  They are racists and homophobes.  They are fools, idiots and buffoons.  They are ignorant rednecks … but they are the furthest thing from a ‘patriot’.

Rather than defend their country, what they did, and what they are still planning to do, is to take away the will of the majority of people in this nation and impose their own brand of anarchy based on bigotry, based on racism and hatred.  No, folks, these are insurgents, they are domestic terrorists, every bit as dangerous as members of al Qaeda, and even less intelligent.  Do not make them heroes … call them what they are … the enemies of the United States.


Idiocy has a price …

In January 2019, Senator Josh Hawley, then 39 years old, took his seat in Congress for the first time as the Senator from Missouri.  It was likely the first and last time.  Hawley wanted to be the maverick, the one who gave voice to Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was somehow ‘stolen’ from him, was ‘rigged’, and so Hawley made great show of announcing that he would object to the electoral votes last Wednesday when Congress met to formally certify the electoral votes that declared Joe Biden the next president of the United States.

Yep, ol’ Josh was pretty proud of his sycophancy, pleased to be standing up for the voice of the electoral loser, thought he might even overturn the voice of the people.  And when terrorists gathered outside the Capitol building on Wednesday morning, Josh wasn’t concerned, in fact he waved and smiled, even gave them what I’ve come to think of as the Trumpian equivalent of the Nazi salute …

hawley

And then the shit hit the fan.  Those terrorists Josh thought he was bonding with stormed the Capitol building, disrupted the proceedings, caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage, and left 5 people dead.  And Hawley became an overnight pariah.  Former Republican Senator John Danforth, Hawley’s political mentor and a fellow Yale Law School graduate, stated that supporting Hawley in his Senate bid and his prior state attorney general role was the “worst mistake I ever made in my life”.

David Humphreys, who with his mother and sister donated more than $6 million to Hawley’s campaigns, called for Hawley to be censured, having “revealed himself as a political opportunist willing to subvert the Constitution and the ideals of the nation he swore to uphold.”  Hawley has since faced bipartisan calls for his resignation, to which he has responded that he “will never apologize”.  But in all likelihood, his political career is as dead as the fish we had for dinner last night.

Apparently ol’ Josh had written a book … “The Tyranny of Big Tech” … that was scheduled to be published in June by Simon & Schuster.  That has since been canceled, according to Simon & Schuster …

“We did not come to this decision lightly.  As a publisher it will always be our mission to amplify a variety of voices and viewpoints: At the same time we take seriously our larger public responsibility as citizens, and cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat.”

Fortunately for him, Hawley’s net worth is estimated at $1.1 million, so he won’t have to worry about finding a job as a dishwasher or truck driver anytime soon.

It’s Not Over Yet …

Three days ago, Trump supporters stormed the Capital building in Washington, destroyed public property, and caused the deaths of five people.  They were a mob, they fit every definition of domestic terrorists.  A few were arrested, and dozens more have since been identified and arrested, including the jerk who so proudly posed for a photo with his feet on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk.  Many have lost their jobs, as their employers saw their pictures or were informed of their unconscionable acts.  However, Wednesday was not the end, the movement has not been stopped or even slowed by the public condemnation or the relatively few arrests.

Yesterday’s headline …

terrorism

According to the article

Parler, Telegram chat rooms and the platform TheDonald.win were all used to plan and coordinate the Jan. 6 rally that turned into a riot. Posters explicitly stated their intentions to “occupy” the Capitol. QAnon conspiracy theorists and people associated with militia groups had a visible presence in Wednesday’s crowd.

“Round 2 on January 20th. This time no mercy. I don’t even care about keeping Trump in power. I care about war,” an anonymous person posted on the platform TheDonald.win, which is filled with comments posted by people who lauded those who rioted Wednesday as “heroes.”

Law enforcement is scrambling to identify those who broke into the Capitol building, and are worried about the inauguration as another target.

“There is growing concern that violent extremists are emboldened by the breach of the Capitol, which means the clock is ticking on taking down the most influential incites of violence before they act again,” said Frank Figliuzzi, former FBI assistant director and NBC News national security analyst.

The Secret Service, which is supervising security for the inauguration, could not immediately be reached for comment. The Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the Secret Service, referred NBC News to the Secret Service.

According the National Park Service, which handles permits for rallies in D.C., there are seven First Amendment permit applications in process that overlap with the inauguration date, one of which is clearly for Trump supporters.

Over the years, I have often argued that the time has come to put some limitations on the First Amendment right to free speech.  Every ‘right’ comes with an associated responsibility, in this case the responsibility to act peacefully.  Those who would come to Washington to do harm, to kill and destroy, are taking their ‘right’ to free speech several steps too far and must be stopped within the next 11 days, else the eagerly anticipated inauguration day will become a bloodbath and the start of an internal war in this nation.

My first question is, if the organizers of Wednesdays riots were communicating their plans on the aforementioned websites, then the FBI and Department of Homeland Security surely knew of their plans, so why wasn’t there a heavy law enforcement presence surrounding the Capitol, rather than only a handful of Capitol Police, some of whom were actually seen helping the terrorist enter the building?  This is a question that MUST be answered … immediately!  Did Donald Trump somehow interfere or stop law enforcement from interrupting the plans of the terrorists?  Is the leadership in our security forces as corrupt as that at the head of our government?  We need to know, and somehow the plans for Joe Biden’s inauguration must be changed, must be made as secure and as private as possible.

If our own security forces have been compromised, as I believe may be the case, then who can we turn to for help?  I’ve lived on this earth for 69, almost 70 years now, and I’ve learned that fear is immobilizing, better to be angry than afraid.  And I am angry, but today I am also afraid.  I am afraid that in less than two weeks, this nation may be shattered like the windows of the Capitol were on Wednesday.  I’m afraid that our government is no longer functional, can no longer maintain a nation of law and order.  In fact, it would seem that many within our government are a part of the movement that seeks to overthrow it.

There are many who must share the blame for what happened Wednesday and what may yet happen in the coming two weeks, but the time for blame and punishment will come later.  Right now, it is time to work to ensure the safety of the incoming administration, of our lawmakers, and of the people of this nation.

For some time now, I have hoped that this nation could be reconciled, that the Great Divide between right and left could somehow begin to heal, but today I see no common ground to work with.  In my book, those who would destroy this nation with their racist, bigoted views are not of the same species as the rest of us and I think this nation may well be beyond repair.

Wiser Words Than Mine

I find myself tonight in a strange place, a place where I can find no words.  I have much I would like to say, but I cannot get the words to move from my brain to my fingers.  My head and heart are still reeling from the dark chasm into which I was forced to look on Wednesday, and when I try to write my thoughts, no words will come.

Fortunately, not everyone has been struck silent in the wake of Wednesday’s terrible tragedy, and New York Times columnist David Brooks has written my post for me tonight, far better than I could have done even were I at my best.


This Is When the Fever Breaks

Wednesday was a moral exposure, and a turning point.

david-brooks-thumbLarge-v2By David Brooks

Opinion Columnist

Awe and reverence. I remember the first time I entered the U.S. Capitol. I was 14 or so. I came down from Pennsylvania by train, and I was overwhelmed by the glory of the place. This was where Lincoln and Henry Clay had worked. This was where the 13th Amendment was passed, the Land Grant College Act, the New Deal, the Civil Rights Act. It was such a beautiful building, I was stunned.

I got inside, found the tunnels and explored the complex. I figured if I walked really fast, people would think I belonged there, so I trucked along as fast as my little legs would carry me — heart racing and imagination aflame.

It’s decades later. I live a few blocks from the building now and have been inside thousands of times. The awe and reverence have never diminished an iota.

The people who work there have their human frailties, but at moments of great crisis, like 9/11 or Wednesday’s mob rampage, most of them show a devotion to our common enterprise that makes me cry with admiration.

Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio once took me on the Senate floor and showed me how generations of senators had carved their names in the drawers of the desks — ancient hands with their penknives scratching away in the wood, a centuries-long parade of lives dedicated in their imperfect ways to our country.

That is why the Capitol, not the White House, is the altar of our democracy, the sacred gathering spot of those who served, strove and died building this nation.

One day in 2013 a freshman senator named Ted Cruz shut down the government. He was months into his first term, a time when his eyes should have been wide with wonder and his heart full of humility. Instead, he co-opted the Senate, with no realistic prospect of serving any cause, but simply for the purpose of making Ted Cruz famous. He gave a 21-hour filibuster speech on the Senate floor that riveted right-wing media for a news cycle.

I was in the Senate Dining Room shortly afterward when he walked in. The emotional temperature plummeted. Everybody, of both parties, despised Cruz for putting himself above the Senate, for his own arrogance and narcissism.

But it worked. Cruz became a prominent G.O.P. figure, a fund-raising machine. The model of being a Republican lawmaker changed. It was no longer somebody who passes legislation; it was someone who pulls a publicity stunt that owns the libs. Millions of Americans felt scorned by a cultural and media elite. They were willing to follow anybody who could make himself despised by the people they felt despised them.

Donald Trump came in the wake of that. And then, this week, Josh Hawley. As of Wednesday morning, Hawley was the model of what a Republican senator was going to look like in the post-Trump era. He cannily understood what the party faithful wanted. Publicity stunts. Owning the libs.

But there are dark specters running through our nation — beasts with shaggy manes and feral teeth. They have the stench of Know-Nothingism, the hot blood of the lynchers, and they ride the winds of nihilistic fury.

Read the history books. They have always been lurking in the shadows of our nation’s greatness. Hawley didn’t just own the libs, he gave permission to dark forces he is too childish, privileged and self-absorbed to understand. Hawley sold his soul to all that is ugly for the sake of his own personal celebrity.

Human beings exist at moral dimensions both too lofty and more savage than the contemporary American mind normally considers. The mob that invaded that building Wednesday exposed the abyss. This week wasn’t just an atrocity, it was a glimpse into an atavistic nativism that always threatens to grip the American soul. And it wasn’t just the mob that exposed this. The rampage reminded us that if Black people had done this, the hallways would be red with their blood.

We are a flawed and humiliated nation, but when well led, we can be more self-sacrificial than we have any right to expect. I despised the sight of the Confederate flags being paraded through Capitol halls, but I loved everything Mitt Romney said and did on Wednesday. Romney showed what moral leadership looks like, and how just a few voices can shift a herd.

Leadership matters. Character matters. The thousands of people who work in the Capitol complex were chased from their chambers or barricaded in their offices by the furies that are ravaging this nation. The shock of this atrocity is bound to have a sobering effect.

I’m among those who think this is an inflection point, a step back from madness. We’re a divided nation, but we don’t need to be a nation engulfed in lies, lawlessness and demagogic incitement.

We look to you, our 535 representatives, to simply do the people’s business, to cut deals so people can stock their pantries and school their kids, and so that a 14-year-old, or a 59-year-old, can enter your building with eyes of wonder, awe and devotion.