A Jaw-Dropping Two Hours

Yesterday afternoon, I spent just over two hours glued to my computer watching the latest of the January 6th committee hearings … one that had been called spontaneously just the day before.  Some of what we saw was not particularly surprising, in light of what we’ve already learned.  But some … was simply jaw-dropping.

The witness yesterday was Cassidy Hutchinson, who was an assistant to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.  She was in a position to see and hear a lot, and yesterday she told us some of what had transpired in the days leading up to and on January 6th 2021.  The first thing that really grabbed me was her testimony that before giving his speech at the Ellipse on January 6th, Trump looked at footage of the crowds and complained that there weren’t enough people.  He was informed that most people had declined to attend because it meant going through the magnetometers (called ‘mags’ for short) that would detect their weapons, and those weapons would then be confiscated.  Trump demanded that they remove the mags, let everybody in, for he said that “They’re not here to hurt me.”  He cared not one whit for anybody else’s life and was willing to let an angry mob carrying weapons of every sort from brass knuckles to AR-15s into the Ellipse.  Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed, and Trump did not get his way.

Then, Ms. Hutchinson testified that after his speech, he fully intended to go to the Capitol, but again the Secret Service intervened and told him no, they were going back to the West Wing of the White House, for they did not believe they could provide adequate security, given that there were already armed groups of rioters in trees outside the Capitol and an ever-growing armed crowd making its way toward the Capitol.  Trump again demanded, and again was refused, at which point he leaned forward and grabbed the steering wheel of the SUV he was riding in, saying, “I am the f*cking president, take me up to the Capitol now!”  Secret Service Agent Robert (Bobby) Engel, who was driving the vehicle, took Trump’s wrist and told him, “Sir, you need to take your hand off the steering wheel. We’re going back to the West Wing.,” at which time Trump went for Engel’s neck with his bare hand!  THIS, my friends, is NOT someone I want sitting in the Oval Office with the nuclear codes at his fingertips!  More and more I realize just how lucky we, as a nation, were to have survived four years under the rule of this madman!

One other thing, though, stood out in Ms. Hutchinson’s testimony and that was when he was so upset with former Attorney General William Barr for telling him the truth, that there was no evidence whatsoever of any election fraud that would change the outcome of the election, that Trump threw his lunch – dishes and all – against the wall!  But wait … worse yet, when Ms. Hutchinson was asked by Representative and Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney if there had been other instances of Trump throwing dishes, she replied in the affirmative and also said that sometimes he would just jerk the tablecloth off the table, sending dishes and food flying to the floor.  Even a four-year-old child knows better than this!

C’mon, Republicans … if anyone would still vote to put this lunatic back into the Oval Office, that person seriously needs psychiatric help, as Trump himself obviously does!

At the close of the hearing, Ms. Cheney showed some messages that had been received by various people who were testifying before the committee … messages containing thinly-veiled threats to “do the right thing.”  The right thing, in this case, of course not being that which is in the interest of the nation, but rather is in the interest of one person only:  Donald Trump aka the former guy.  This shows us that there is still a contingent out there who would prefer a maniac in the Oval Office destroying this nation in every way possible.

We dodged the bullet last time, my friends.  I don’t think we’ll be so lucky if there’s a next time.  Please, let’s make sure there is no next time!

Is “Infamy” To Become The New Normal?

Throughout history there are certain dates that stand alone, that in the retelling need no year for clarity.  December 7th, September 11th, and now January 6th … when we hear those dates, we automatically remember who, what, why, when, and where.  These three stand-alone dates all represent days when the United States was brutally attacked:  Pearl Harbour, World Trade Center/Pentagon, and the Capitol/Congress.  The first two differ from the third only in that Pearl Harbour and the World Trade Center were attacked by other nations or groups outside the U.S., while the attack on January 6th came from within, rather like having your son or daughter viciously burn your own house down with you in it.  In 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared December 7th to be “a day that will live in infamy.”  The same can and must be said about January 6th 2021.

So often we hear, “Well, whaddabout _____________?”, or “But both sides do it!”  And sometimes, to some extent depending on circumstances, that is true.  It’s call ‘moral equivalence’.  But there is not and cannot be any moral equivalency for what was done before, during, and after January 6th in an attempt to overthrow an election, overthrow a duly elected government, and destroy people’s lives.  This one, my friends, falls entirely on the shoulders of the Republican Party and their unofficial leader, one Donald Trump.  Kevin McCarthy said just this month …

“I think everybody in the country bears responsibility [for the January 6th attempted coup].

No, Mr. McCarthy … YOU, and Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Mark Meadows, Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert, Andy Biggs, Mo Brooks, and most every other Republican in and out of Congress bear the full weight of this one.

Not only did Donald Trump, as we now know, incite the riot at the Capitol on January 6th, but was also plotting numerous other illegal and unconstitutional tactics to overturn the election and overthrow our voices, our justly elected president Joe Biden.  Democrats did NOT do this, Independents did NOT do this – it was done by and at the behest of Republicans.

But as if that weren’t bad enough … the average John Doe Republican voter caught the spirit of the moment and set out to destroy … property, the nation, innocent lives, and more.  If you watched the four people who testified in yesterday’s televised hearing, you had to be moved.  All four told heartbreaking stories about receiving threats of violence, not only against themselves but their families as well.  You will have seen Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers testifying that until very recently Trump supporters would drive around his neighborhood and falsely announce that he was a “pedophile” and a corrupt politician. He recounted an argument between a neighbor and a man with a pistol, and also talked about the reactions of his family …

“At the same time, on some of these, we had a daughter who was gravely ill who was upset by what was happening outside and my wife, that is a valiant person, very strong, quiet, very strong woman. So, it was disturbing.”

He fought the tears that we could see in his eyes.  What he didn’t mention was that his daughter died of her illness shortly thereafter.  My own eyes were suddenly in need of a tissue, as well.

The last testimony of the day was from Shaye Moss, a young woman who had been an election worker for some ten years prior to the 2020 election.  Ms. Moss was falsely accused, along with her mother, of carrying out a fake ballot scheme and Rudy Giuliani started the ball rolling when he called them professional vote scammers, allegations that led to death threats and intimidation, and forced them into hiding for a period of several weeks.  Both Ms. Moss and her mother, Ruby Freeman, spoke at the hearing yesterday and told of the ways in which they have been tormented and threatened.

“This turned my life upside down. I no longer give out my business card. I don’t transfer calls. I — I don’t want anyone knowing my name. I don’t want to go anywhere with my mom because she might yell my name out over the grocery aisle or something. I don’t go to the grocery store at all. I haven’t been anywhere at all. I gained about 60 pounds, I don’t do nothing anymore, I second-guess everything I do.  It’s affected my life in a major way, in every way. All because of lies for me doing my job, same thing I’ve been doing forever.”

And her mother, Ruby, said …

“There is nowhere I feel safe. Nowhere. Do you know how it feels to have the President of the United States to target you? The President of the United States is supposed to represent every American, not to target one. But he targeted me, Lady Rudy, a small business owner, a mother, a proud American citizen who stand up to help Fulton County run an election in the middle of the pandemic.”

This, folks, is what everyday Republicans are doing – to their own!!!  The first three to testify, Rusty Bowers, Brad Raffensperger, and Gabe Sterling were all Republicans!  The elected officials on the Republican side of the aisle keep the populace riled with hate-spewing rhetoric, but it is the average everyday white Republican who is allowing themselves to be manipulated into this horrific behaviour aimed at the very heart and spirit of the nation.  And in the past 24 hours, since yesterday’s televised hearing, there has been an increase in threats of violence against the members of the committee, leading to a security detail being assigned to each member.

For the record, in case any Republicans, or any others who still believe the Big Lie and are enamoured of Donald Trump:

DONALD TRUMP LOST THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION!

Get over it and try to make something of your lives instead of living your life vicariously through your wishful dreams.

I hurt … I literally hurt for what this nation has become.  It’s like when Smokey the Bear used to say, “Only YOU can prevent forest fires” … only WE THE PEOPLE can turn this around.  And if we don’t, if we fail, then our children and grandchildren will pay the hefty price.  I leave it to your imagination to figure out what that price will be.

One Thought …

I watched today’s January 6th Committee hearing in its entirety and … phew.  As I folded a load of towels after watching the last bit of it, the only thing I could think of was that if what was done to some of these election officials is considered ‘okay’, then democracy is dead in the United States of ‘America’.  If some 30% or more of the people in this nation believe that it’s okay to threaten a Secretary of State because he refused to change the votes of the people, if they believe it is okay to harass not only the election officials, but their parents, spouses, children and grandchildren … then folks, we are not “… one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” 

The Week’s Best Cartoons 6/18

Yet another week and more of the best political ‘toons from our friend TokyoSand over at Political Charge.  Time was that these would make me laugh … and I still take my hat off to the great talents of these cartoonists … but today they make me want to cry more than laugh.  Thank you, TS, for all your hard work!

Below is a small sample … be sure to head over to TokyoSand’s place to see … the rest of the story!

See all the ‘toons at Political Charge!!!

Ahhhhh … The Snarky Snippets Keep On Rolling

Sometimes I am focused on one particular topic or news story, but many times snippets of news draw my attention in many different directions.  Today is one of those days …


WHY???

Yesterday I signed up to follow a blogger I was only recently introduced to.  Why?  Not because I find any beauty or humour in his writing, and not because I find his words to be particularly intelligent or witty.  I disagree strongly with most of what he says and find myself growling by the time I’ve gotten halfway through one of his very wordy posts (4,000 words).  So … why did I sign up to follow him?  Is it because I went looking for an argument?  Do I not have enough angst in my life?  Or is it something more?  Is it that of late I seem to only read those opinions that are in sync with my own?  Do I read this man’s words seeking to find some common ground, a shred of humanity, or am I simply spoiling for a fight.  In truth, I do not know.


A ‘platform’ made from rotten wood

Every now and then, when they want to prove to the world just how stupid their political leaders are, the state of Texas threatens to ‘secede from the United States’.  The Republican Party currently has no platform, no set of goals and ideologies, but the Texas GOP settled on a ‘platform’ at the state party convention over the weekend.  Their platform is essentially, from all I can decipher, nothing more or less than the former guy’s Big Lie.  I plan to write more about this later, but the basis seems to be that they declare Biden did not win the 2020 election and they even refer to him as the “acting President”.  Their platform also includes statements about abortion (they intend to teach schoolchildren about “about the Humanity of the Preborn Child”), and the LGBTQ community (referring to homosexuality as “an abnormal lifestyle choice.”)

Senator John Cornyn, who had worked on the milquetoast ‘bipartisan’ gun legislation that passed in the Senate last week, was actually booed and “rebuked” by the party for his work on that bill!  I told you in a post a few weeks ago that they “eat their own”! The platform, such as it is, dismisses all gun regulations as a violation of “God given rights.” Wait, I thought it was the Constitution that gave “a well-regulated militia” the “right to bear arms”???  Now, I haven’t read the bible, but … does it even mention guns?  As I said, I plan to write more on this later, but for today, suffice it to say that I agree with columnist Michael Gerson that the Republican Party is in decay!


A boycott is in order

After the January 6th attempted coup, some 249 companies promised not to fund the 147 senators and representatives who voted against any of the results.  It didn’t take some of them long to break that promise, and today more than half are now back to funding those who played a role in attempting to undermine the election that day.  Among those companies are Toyota, AT&T, UPS, FedEx, Visa, Home Depot, GM, and Exxonmobil.  I don’t know about you guys, but I will boycott these companies to whatever extent is possible.  Our lives, the very foundation of our democratic republic, were on the line that day, but for these companies, obviously their profit is more important than our lives.


A bright side

More than 5,000 flights were canceled this weekend.  GOOD!  That much less CO2 being put into the environment, killing trees, killing us.  No, I don’t feel one bit sorry for the couple who was planning a vacation trip to Italy.  Yes, I do feel sorry for the woman who missed her mother’s funeral due to a canceled flight.  But for the most part, I would like to see all air travel limited to ‘emergency’ use only for the foreseeable future.  Just because we can fly doesn’t necessarily mean we should, especially in this time of severe climate change that is having a negative effect on most of the world.  People complaining about the price of gasoline and lettuce … well, think how much gasoline and lettuce you can buy for the price of that airline ticket!!!


They Are NOT Heroes

Suddenly I’m hearing Mike Pence, Bill Barr, Ivanka Trump, and others referred to as ‘heroes’.  I don’t see it that way at all.  At some point, they did step up to the plate and do their job for We the People, but for years before that, decades in the case of Ivanka, they failed.  Instead they licked the boots and played “yes-man”, enabling a lunatic who was intent on turning the United States into his own personal playground.  I am not alone in my view of these and other people, for yesterday Frank Bruni wrote of them in his column in the New York Times


Don’t Let Bill Barr and Ivanka Trump Visit the Reputation Laundromat

June 16, 2022

By Frank Bruni

The Jan. 6 committee’s televised hearings are many things: the coalescence of scattered revelations into a clearer, cleaner narrative; an unblinking appraisal of the madness of King Donald; an opportunity for Americans to reflect on how close things came, and might yet come, to falling apart.

But for Bill Barr, Bill Stepien, Ivanka Trump and others, they are also something else — something we should not be taken in by.

They are a trip to the reputation laundromat (or perhaps, for this crowd, the reputation dry cleaner). Donald Trump’s onetime acolytes are trying to expunge the stain of their sycophancy. And they’re betting that in a country and era of fickle attention spans and feeble memories, they’ll have more luck with that spot than Lady Macbeth did with hers.

Early this week, the committee showed testimony by Barr, the former attorney general, that he told Trump again and again that Joe Biden had won the 2020 election fairly and definitively. It showed testimony by Stepien, who was Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, that he was among a group of aides — “Team Normal,” he called them — who pushed back against Rudy Giuliani’s hallucinatory insistence that the election was being stolen.

And last week, of course, was Ivanka Trump’s star turn. That’s when we saw her testimony: that she said a big no to the Big Lie.

But her, Barr’s and Stepien’s words don’t amount to moral reckonings. They reflect professional calculations.

Team Normal? If you were still working for Trump by the fourth year of his presidency, there was nothing normal about you. If you served that campaign, during which Trump repeatedly telegraphed his intention to declare any result other than victory an illegitimate one, there was nothing normal about you. If you’d taken the measure of the man before Election Day 2020 and decided, yes, he’s fit to lead America, good for this country and worthy of my efforts and energies on his behalf, there was nothing normal about you.

And if, in the weeks after Election Day, you finally stopped abetting his delusions, midwifing his megalomania and whispering sweet reassurances in his ear, you weren’t returning to normal. You were simply cutting your losses. It was time to hitch your wagon to a sturdier, steadier horse, to find another patron and another payday.

Stepien, as my colleague Michelle Cottle wrote in The Times on Tuesday, “slunk away, coat collar flipped up and hat brim pulled low in the hopes that no one would notice him fleeing the spiraling freak show to which he had sold his services and his soul.”

Susan Glasser, in The New Yorker, also had it right. Reflecting on how Stepien and Barr are now styling themselves (and being showcased) as blunt tellers of Trump-foiling truths, Glasser wrote on Monday evening that they are “not only Trump’s accusers but also first-class enablers of Trump and his lies — until Trump finally found a lie too big for them to enable. Even when it came to their qualms about Trump’s ‘rigged election’ crusade, their outrage came conveniently after the fact, not when it might have made a difference.”

Amen. We can be grateful that Barr and Stepien didn’t travel the final autocratic mile with Trump and not discount their disgraceful road to that point. We can remember how Barr, in advance of Robert Mueller’s report, released a toned-down summary of it that was clearly meant to dull its impact.

We can remember that before Mike Pence patriotically refused Trump’s order not to certify the election results, he pathetically performed the role of Trump’s evangelical beard. And don’t get me started on Ivanka. I’ve spent ample time in her temple of self-celebration, as have others. She and her husband, Jared Kushner, will always do what’s profitable for them, and if that occasionally intersects with the public interest, well, accidents happen. We can think a word of thanks without uttering a syllable of praise.

There were Republicans who took a chance on Trump at the start and got out fast, accepting that either he’d fooled them or they’d kidded themselves. There were Republicans who signaled that much was amiss. Those who didn’t — including Pence, Mike Pompeo and others with presidential aspirations in 2024 — forfeited the moral high ground and can’t credibly reclaim it now.

Nor can they pretend that they were anything other than transaction-minded actors in the most transactional administration I’ve observed. When they benefited from their proximity to Trump, they held their noses, bit their tongues and cuddled close. It’s possible they persuaded themselves that his flaws weren’t so different from any other vain leader’s, that politics is invariably messy and that their compromises were “normal” ones. That’s awfully convenient. And utterly absurd.

Kevin McCarthy Is NOT A Good Man

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is a real piece of work, as they say.  If the ‘man’ has a compassionate bone in his body, I have yet to find it.  He whines incessantly and his values, such as they are, are so skewed that it’s impossible to determine what they are, for they may vary from one day to the next.  He had one single moment of dignity on the 6th of January, 2021, when he said …

“Let me be clear to you, and I have been very clear to the president. He bears responsibility for his words and actions. No if, ands or buts. I asked him personally today if he holds responsibility for what happened, if he feels bad about what happened. He told me he does have some responsibility for what happened. But he needs to acknowledge that.”

Just a few weeks later, McCarthy visited Trump at Mar-a-Lago and pandered to him in order to get back in his good graces and likely apologized for his earlier comment — a comment which he now tries to deny having said, though it was recorded and has been verified more than a few times.

So, we know he is not an honest man, not a principled man, and cares more for his own political future than for our lives.  But of late he is outdoing himself in the ‘whine-and-blame’ department.

Yesterday, he tweeted multiple times about gas prices having hit $5.  I finally responded to him asking him if he had a point to make, and also whether he had checked fuel prices in other countries, for it is the same around the globe.  The rise in fuel prices is caused by a combination of the war in Ukraine, an excess of demand over supply as people begin traveling more in these ‘post-Covid’1 summer months, and the blatant greed of the oil companies who are seeing remarkably high profits of late (profits on which they pay relatively little taxes).  Canada, Australia, the UK … all report high fuel prices just as ours are.  But ol’ McCarthy wants to point the finger at President Biden and tell the maga crowd that it’s all Biden’s fault.

The thing that got me the most about McCarthy in the past week or two, though, is illustrated by this tweet he made yesterday …

“For the 3rd time in a week, I’m calling for a vote for stronger security for Supreme Court Justices—ALL of them. This isn’t partisan. The threat is real. Why is Speaker Pelosi blocking something that the Senate has already passed unanimously?”

This is a result of the arrest of a man last Wednesday who, while he didn’t actually attempt it, considered murdering Justice Brett Kavanaugh.  He thought better of it and called the police, acknowledging that he was having suicidal thoughts and wanted to kill Kavanaugh because of the pending Roe v Wade decision.  Okay, one man with a mental health issue who didn’t even follow through with his threat, and ol’ McCarthy has tried to pass bills three times within a week to protect the nine Supreme Court Justices.  Don’t get me wrong here … I do not deny that we need to put in place some additional security for the justices if they’re going to keep making anti-humanitarian decisions, and I do NOT wish to see any of them murdered.  However …

On May 24th, a teenager with an assault rifle brutally massacred 19 school children – 4th graders – and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.  In addition to that horrific event, there were a number of other mass shootings including one ten days before Uvalde, where 10 people were killed by yet another teenager with a military-style assault rifle at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York.  The rise in mass shootings is the stuff nightmares are made of, and so once again the members of Congress who are people of conscience proposed new gun legislation.  The proposal passed the House (but with much watering down when it finally passed in the Senate, to the point that it is not much of a help at all).  But to my point … guess who voted AGAINST that bill in the House?  You guessed it – good ol’ Kevin McCarthy.

So, let’s get this straight … he is driven to devote all his time, day and night, to getting a bill to protect the nine members of the Supreme Court passed and is downright nasty when he doesn’t get his way, but he cannot be bothered to vote for gun laws, milquetoast though they are, when thousands of people are dying from senseless gun violence, hundreds of them children, every damn year?  Hmmmm … the only conclusion I can draw here is that Kevin McCarthy does not care about the people of this nation, nor does he care about our children.  I think that Kevin McCarthy is NOT a nice man, not a man with a conscience or the capability for humanity, for empathy.  I hope the good people of California think long and hard about his skewed priorities and vote to replace him in the U.S. House of Representatives in the November election.


1 Although mask mandates, vaccine mandates, social distancing requirements and other Covid restrictions have largely been lifted, we are NOT “post-Covid” by any stretch, with the nation still seeing hundreds of deaths daily, but some large portion of people have convinced themselves that Covid is gone and it’s time to PAR-TAY!

The Capitol Police Gave Their All

Our friend Annie penned this beautiful poem that I thought deserved to be shared. It honours the Capitol Police who gave their all on that fateful day, and specifically Officer Caroline Edwards whose moving testimony last Thursday night brought a tear to many an eye. Thank you, Annie, for sharing your talents and this moving poem with us.

annieasksyou...

Image from Georgia Recorder(*)

In Honor of Caroline Edwards, Witness at the January 6th Committee’s First Public Hearing, and Her Colleagues

T he lovely, nails-tough cop described the
H ell raining down upon them.
E nduring torment, taunts, and trauma, they

C ontributed their very lives to save
A building, institution, lawmakers—all
P rey to a mob of fury-blinded
I nsurrectionists whose Chief insisted
T hat it was they who were in the right.
O nly now do we fully see the brilliant
L ight their heroism shone as trained thugs

P ressed against them,
O verwhelmed them.
L isten to her searing words:
“I t was carnage, it was
C haos…I wasn’t trained for warfare.”
E xcruciatingly, she detailed the horrors,

G raphically told of slipping in her fellows’ blood
A nd wiping clean their spray-pierced eyes til
V eils of spray descended on her own,
E xhausting…

View original post 68 more words

History Repeats Itself … If We Let It

As I so often say, and as many with better minds than mine have long said before me, if we fail to learn the lessons of history, then we are destined to repeat our mistakes.  In an article in The Guardian, Steve Philips writes about the lessons we need to have learned from the post-Civil War era and what our future holds if we fail to heed those lessons …


If America fails to punish its insurrectionists, it could see a wave of domestic terror

Steve Phillips

We must not repeat the mistakes of the years after the 1860s war for white supremacy that we call the civil war

The last time the United States failed to properly punish insurrectionists, they went on to form the Ku Klux Klan, unleash a reign of murderous domestic terrorism, and re-establish formal white supremacy in much of the country for more than 100 years. As the House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack begins televised hearings this week, the lessons from the post-civil war period offer an ominous warning for this moment and where we go from here.

It is often difficult to sustain the requisite sense of urgency about past events, however dramatic and shocking they may have been at the time. Memories fade, new challenges arise and the temptation to put it all behind us and move on is strong. On top of all that, Republicans quickly and disingenuously called for “unity”, mere days after failing to block the peaceful transfer of power. If we want to preserve our fragile democracy, however, Congress and the president must learn from history and not make the same mistakes their predecessors did in the years after the 1860s war for white supremacy that we call the civil war.

In 1860, many people believed that America should be a white nation where Black people could be bought and sold and held in slavery. The civil war began when many of the people who held that view refused to accept the results of that year’s presidential election. They first plotted to assassinate president-elect Abraham Lincoln (five years later, they would succeed). Then they seceded from the Union, and shortly thereafter started shooting and killing people who disagreed with them. By the end of the war, 2% of the entire country’s population had been killed, the equivalent of 7 million people being killed based on today’s US population.

Despite the rampant treason and extraordinary carnage of the war, the country’s political leaders had little appetite for punishing their white counterparts who had done their level best to destroy the United States of America. After Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth successfully assassinated Lincoln in 1865, Andrew Johnson ascended to the highest office in the land. Johnson, a southerner who “openly espoused white supremacy”, “handed out pardons indiscriminately” to Confederate leaders and removed from the south the federal troops protecting newly freed African Americans.

The historian Lerone Bennett Jr captured the tragedy of the moment in his book Black Power USA: The Human Side of Reconstruction, 1867-1877, writing: “Most Confederate leaders expected imprisonment, confiscation, perhaps even banishment. Expecting the worst, they were willing to give up many things in order to keep some. If there was ever a moment for imposing a lasting solution to the American racial problem, this was it. But the North dawdled and the moment passed. When the Confederates realized that the North was divided and unsure, hope returned. And with hope came a revival of the spirit of rebellion … this was one of the greatest political blunders in American history.”

With that revival of white supremacist hope came ropes and robes and widespread domestic terrorism. Mere months after the ostensible end of the civil war in April 1865, half a dozen southern young white Confederate war veterans gathered in Pulaski, Tennessee, in December 1865 to discuss what to do with their lives, and they decided to form a new organization called the Ku Klux Klan. The first Grand Wizard of the KKK, Nathan Bedford Forrest, was a Confederate general who had been pardoned by Johnson. In less than one year, Forrest would go on to orchestrate “336 cases of murder or assault with intent to kill on freedmen across the state [of Georgia] from January 1 through November 15 of 1868”.

The effectiveness of the domestic terrorism in crushing the country’s nascent multiracial democracy was unsurprising and undeniable. In Columbia county, Georgia, 1,222 votes had been cast for the anti-slavery party in April 1868, and after the reign of terror that year, the party received just one vote in November .

Lest we think this was all a long time ago, the House committee hearings are about to remind us all that we had an insurrection just last year. Not only did a violent mob attack the country’s elected leaders and attempt to block the peaceful transfer of power, but even after the assault was repelled, 147 Republicans – the majority of the Republican members in Congress – refused to accept the votes of the American people and attempted to overthrow the elected government of the United States of America.

And far from being chastened, the enemies of democracy in the Republican party have only become emboldened, like their Confederate counterparts of the last century. Just as happened in the years after the civil war when the prospect of large-scale Black voting threatened white power and privilege, the defenders of white nationalism have engaged in a legislative orgy of passing pro-white public policies – from trying to erase evidence of racism and white supremacy from public school instruction to laws making it increasingly difficult for people of color to cast ballots. As journalist Ron Brownstein has warned, “The two-pronged fight captures how aggressively Republicans are moving to entrench their current advantages in red states, even as many areas grow significantly more racially and culturally diverse. Voting laws are intended to reconfigure the composition of today’s electorate; the teaching bans aim to shape the attitudes of tomorrow’s.”

All of this is happening because the insurrectionists have not and believe they will not be punished. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Democrats control Congress and the White House, and they can take strong and decisive action to ensure appropriate consequences for people who seek to undermine democracy. The House of Representatives impeached Donald Trump in 2021 for incitement of insurrection, and Congress can still invoke the 14th amendment’s provision banning from office any person who has “engaged in insurrection”. All those who aided and abetted Trump’s insurrection should face the full force of the laws that are designed to protect the multiracial democracy that the majority of Americans want. The fate of democracy in America is quite literally at stake.

The Week’s Best Cartoons 6/11

There always seems to be one topic at the forefront that gets the most attention from the political cartoonists, and this week it is no surprise that it’s the televised hearings of the House Committee that has been tasked with investigating the events leading up to and during the attempted coup on January 6, 2021.  And the second most popular topic, again understandably, is the gun insanity that has swept this nation.  As she does so brilliantly every week, TokyoSand has gone through them and selected the ‘pick of the litter’ for our cartoon viewing pleasure.  Please do click on the link at the end of this post to see all the cartoons, for what I have here is but a small sampling.  Thank you once again, TS!


Here’s how editorial cartoonists covered the start of the January 6th Committee hearings.

be sure to check out the rest of the ‘toons!