The U.S. As Banana Republic

Chaos at the Capitol Building. Credit: Fox News

I’m breaking a cardinal rule of Bacon’s Rebellion that restricts commentary to Virginia public policy. The events occurring at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., right now are so unprecedented and so indicative of the political polarization in this country that I’m opening up this post to general commentary. — JAB

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175 responses to “The U.S. As Banana Republic

  1. Disgusting. The damage to the country is incredible. Putin is laughing. Xi is ecstatic. The Mullahs have their Friday sermons. The vote to affirm should now be unanimous.

  2. Ditto what Steve said.

    This is the inevitable consequence of investing in the politics of personality rather than the politics of policy.

    • “This is the inevitable consequence of investing in the politics of personality rather than the politics of policy.”

      I nominate this for “Comment of the Day”.

    • How did thugs get in so deep into capital so easily. Who were thugs? Were they pros with well rehearsed plan. Or most stupid jerks. Much we do not know. Recall C’ville.

      What do know is it disaster for trump, many of his supporters, a huge win for Dems, like C’ville. But we have much to learn how this breach occurred, why it was so easy, was it allowed, even hoped for? Dems learned a lot from C’ville.

  3. This is the equivalent of Lexington and Concord. The hard-working people of this country have been pushed to the wall over and over and have had enough.

  4. Police need to kick ass, take names, and restore order. It is totally unacceptable for mobs to rampage through the capital and disrupt the orderly transfer of power in American democracy. I know the protesters have a lot of grievances — and I am sympathetic to many of them — but this is no way to air them. This is the path to anarchy, which will justify the enactment of the very kind of dictatorial powers the rioters are raging against.

    • Not saying I necessarily support it, but I believe it is an accurate description.

    • What grievances? They had their day in court, many days in fact, and were turned down with scathing remarks, including by judges and Justices nominated by Trump. Apparently, he is now complaining that those Justices were not loyal to him. The federal departments of Justice and Homeland Security declared that there was no evidence of widespread fraud. (Those officials got fired for their honesty.)

      A fitting end to the Trump administration.

    • “Police need to kick ass, take names, and restore order.”

      Indeed they do. I think they should give an order to disperse, give the “protesters” about 30 minutes to disperses, and then start taking down whomever is still “protesting”.

      Large mob scenes can be chaotic, and I doubt EVERYONE there came with the intention of committing violence, but a half an hour is plenty of time for anyone who was actually there to engage in a peaceful protest to get the hell out. The rest of them can rot in hell as far as I am concerned.

    • Thugs have been roaming streets for years tearing apart and shutting down cities, and dc, including historic park and buildings around DC , beating up and intimidating citizens and where was all this outrage then? The hypocrisy of the Dems stinks to high heaven. GOP plays right into their hands. That does not excuse the few vandals, today, or Trump. But where is perspective here of clear headed adult people. There is none so far that I see. Just like C’ville. How naive we all are, a deer is headlight before, now wailing and thrashing and yammering.

      • Remember, people, the leftist thrive off chaos, they love it, and play off chaos to the hilt, and so often they through their goons induce chaos, tee it up like they did twice in C’ville, so as to milk it their own great advantage. So watch them milk it now, like the Va. Gov. is locking down Alexandria, to add to the confusion. What a blessing this debacle is for the leftists and Dems generally. And a dumb, clueless GOP rolls over yet again. Again the does not excuse Trump or the few vandals, but by now you’d think a few folk in the GOP would see the big picture know how to figure out big picture’s details, and demand to know how the US Capital fell to a few thugs like a house of cards, or water flushed through a hose, security wise, unless these thugs were awesome pros a with hell of a preconceived and executed plan. My God these people could have been Iranian Terrorists, blowing up the whole damn place. Absolutely amazing?

    • Which specific grievances do you find sympathetic?

  5. Well. So much for the peaceful transfer of power, eh? It’ll be interesting hearing each of the BR commenters, “take” on this.

    I have to say – I’m really not that surprised. Shocked – yes.

    Orange Man Bad!

    • Clearly the Capitol Police had orders to avoid lethal force. That made this breach and trespass much easier, although now most seem to be departing. One shot apparently. For a minute they are proud. But they have made Biden and Pelosi’s path so much smoother. Dumb. Dumb.

  6. This is on all republican redcaps. All of you.

  7. It will be interesting to see how conservatives respond to this. They were critical (and rightly so) of how the George Floyd riots and demonstrations were handled. Those were bad, but the mob action in the Capitol is worse — a direct assault on democracy. This will backfire badly. The mob, not election fraud, now will become the dominant story. The political elites will use this incident to justify the consolidation of their power.

    It also will be interesting to see if liberals look for “root causes” of this riot. My guess is that they won’t. They’ll blame it all on Trump (who deserves plenty of blame) without the slightest effort to understand why such a large segment of the electorate feels alienated enough to heed him.

    • Mr. Bacon it started in 2016 with the Resist protests in DC on inauguration day.

      Our adversaries had one goal, chaos. They wanted to make the people of the nation mistrust the election and the process to that election. They have succeeded in all ways and have been helped by the media in all aspects.

      If we want to play devils advocate, use the same talking point used for those riots. The violence was caused by outside influences which infiltrated the protests and caused problems.

      • Well, we’re gonna find out the guys who did this and who they are associated with, etc, et al.

        I cannot imagine a worse place for bad actors in terms of surveilance cameras.

        • If that were the case, there would’ve been arrests across the nation from the protests. NYC is wall to wall CCTV, how many arrests for looting and the like were conducted.

      • I totally agree with you, Matt: The Democrats used the apparatus of the administrative state, the media, the FBI, and the Justice Department to try to nullify the election of Trump. The Trumpistas have none of those levers of power, so they resort to mob violence. The Democrats’ behavior four years ago was shameful, and what’s happening right now is shameful.

        • Absolutely correct, two wrongs don’t make a right.

          I wouldn’t say the FBI and Justice per se, but unelected bureaucrats who objected to very notion that the Nation elected Trump. Politicians for all intents and purposes do no change every day life, the career individuals whom wield the power over those politicians do (ie. Military Industrial Complex).

        • Wow! Glad I’m leaving on that one.

        • Exactly how did the Democrats use the FBI and the Justice Department to try to nullify the election of Trump four years ago? As I remember it, the Obama administration did not, to the consternation of many, announce that it was investigating the actions of Trump campaign operatives before the election. Conversely, it was the sudden, late-October announcement of the FBI director that the agency was re-opening the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s e-mail server that really hurt Clinton and, thus, helped Trump.

          • Sec. Clinton’s investigation was the result of an Congressional investigation. Crossfire Hurricane was the result of bureaucratic overreach, which has come under Judicial scrutiny in it’s wake.

            “Conversely, it was the sudden, late-October announcement of the FBI director that the agency was re-opening the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s e-mail server that really hurt Clinton and, thus, helped Trump.”

            That statement right there is utterly and complete garbage, Sec. Clinton hurt herself and it was long before October. There isn’t a person in the county who’s decision to vote was swayed by that release. To claim otherwise is just buying into and continuing Sec. Clinton’s 4 years of blaming everyone but herself for her defeat.

  8. Isn’t it mostly peaceful?

  9. Gotta wonder about the “peacful” folks. Do they realize the gravity of what is going down and still choose to still remain? Seems like smart folks would realize what is going on and how it is going to play out and get back.

    • Can’t wait to hear whether Amanda Chase joined with those who trespassed….she was so proud to be there when on WRVA this morning….

      Found it: Must be Antifa members dressed to impersonate Trump supporters! That’s her claim….

      • “Must be Antifa members dressed to impersonate Trump supporters! That’s her claim….”

        That would be funny if it were not so pitiful. I think she might be insane.

  10. Picked a good day to ban a critic, there James. No snark in this one.

    No, James, this is not a protest. This is the violent overturning of a duly elected government led by members of the Republican Party who have misled a mob by making them believe that they could, by action on the floor, void the count.

    This is not protest. It crossed that line.

    Anyway, G’bye all. Hopefully, the ban is on my alias, not my IP and I get this parting shot!
    Steve, keep warming the air. The world’s more fun with you in the CO2 loop.
    Larry, it’s all yours now.
    Wayne, see an optometrist and fix that eye.
    See ya Cap’n, you have a better chance at healthcare reform than CRT. CONCENTRATE MAN!

    Nancy,

    PS Reischstag day

  11. It’s interesting how disproportional the criticism of these mobs is to the reactions or lack of reactions on this BLOG to the mob which rampaged through the halls and even the elevators at the Kavanaugh hearings or Portland, Wisconsin, Richmond, et al.

    13 years of appalling extensive well-documented abuse of the Congressional oversight committees, Congressional immunity, the Special Counsel, Impeachment, DOJ, CIA, IRS, FBI, police powers, election laws, the Constitution and now proven electoral fraud on a massive scale in at least 4 states is OK.

    Nothing to see here. For the good of the Republic suck it up, be good sports, admit you lost and move on so we can do it on a much grander scale. And even if all that did happen, it was because of Orange Man bad who certainly deserves to be removed no matter what illegality is required.

    • I’m not sure to whom you were directing that comment, but I have no truck with any type of violent, destructive “protests” and no patience with those who engage in such behavior.

      I made that abundantly clear in the comments I made on this blog during the previous “protests” from those on the left. My criticism of these “pro-Trump” rioters is no more vehement than my criticism of the leftist rioters.

    • this is all about grievance? Lord!

      We impeached a prior POTUS over lying about a sexual encounter and didn’t storm the Capitol. No?

      God help us if this is the accepted reaction to political grievance or losing an election is storming the US Capitol. We truly ARE going 3rd world!

      Orangeman Bad does not just talk “bad”, he actually does things.. like this.

      Imagine what this country would have been like with 4 more years of him.

  12. A sad day, a sad spectacle for our country.

    Round up and arrest everyone who breached the Capitol. Read them their rights. Make them post significant bail; they are flight risks.

    Somebody, anybody, take leadership of the Republican Party and renounce the excesses and their direct cause.

    Start over.

  13. Maybe the Kavanaugh mobs were OK since many Democrat congresspeople arranged tickets and passes to get them inside.

    • Nobody has said the anti-Kavanaugh crowds were ok, but as I recall they came in lawfully. They didn’t assault officers at a fence line, break in windows or doors, or force both chambers to suspend. I know you’d like to think this was justified. I won’t give you that point.

  14. You conservative assholes on this blog have put me down for my warning. Now, you are in shock. And you are still assholes.

  15. CNN, 4:48 pm headline says Virginia State Police now at the US Capitol assisting with DC Police and DC National Guard to quell the seditious, Presidentially incited insurrection.

    So, there is your Virginia angle, JB.

  16. And leftist mobs such as the one which attacked Senator Hawley’s home and frightened his wife are just fine according to WAPO and others.
    But, oh my! Conservatives rioting? What an indictment of conservatives and Trump.

    • Steve, You’re right — it was terrible for the mob to attack Hawley’s home. We know the Left sucks. We know the Left embraces violence. And we know the mainstream media looks the other way. That does not make it OK for conservatives (or should I say populists) to assault the Capitol! That is a huge escalation. You know the saying, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” You can bet the Dems will not let this go to waste. The Trumpistas will have no one but themselves to blame.

      • The “left” was protesting perceived racism, not believing a conspiracy theory about elections being stolen – stoked by the POTUS.

        In no way, shape or form, can you seriously equate the BLM movement with what this is about.

        In BOTH cases, there were peaceful protestors and some bad actors.

        But equating storming the Capitol and breaking into the legislative chambers and elected offices of the United States is in no way comparable to the BLM protests.

        These folks apparently believe the office of POTUS was stolen and were attacking the Federal Government itself.

        You had it right to start with. This is what happens in 3rd world countries.

        • From Wikipedia under the title, George Floyd Protests … “As of June 22, 2020, police have made 14,000 arrests in 49 cities since the protests began, with most arrests being locals charged with low-level offenses such as violating curfews or blocking roadways. As of June 8, 2020, at least 19 people have died during the protests.”

          Why can’t I equate what is happening in DC to what has happened across the country this summer?

          One group protested what they perceive to be systemic racism and the other protested what they perceived to be a stolen election. Both are serious things.

          In some ways the election was stolen. Not so much by pilfered votes but by ignoring the law. I thought this was a good article …

          http://thebullelephant.com/congressman-ben-cline-to-vote-against-certification-of-fraudulent-electors/

          • re: ” “But in the months preceding the 2020 election, those rules and procedures established by the state Legislatures were deliberately changed by a number of individuals, including governors, secretaries of state, elections officials, judges, and private parties. These changes are in direct violation of Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution. That usurpation of the Legislatures’ constitutional authority was a primary reason why the 2020 election became riddled with an unprecedented number of allegations of irregularities and improprieties.”

            What did the courts say?

            If the courts said no, do you still believe it was stolen and encourage protestors to come to Washington and storm the Capitol?

            Come on.

            Isn’t this kind of thinking why this is happening now?

            This is how folks are justifying this?

            Even as it is happening – they see justification for it?

            Law and Order?

          • You can’t equate the two, because the BLM/Antifa protesters burned and looted small business for no reason, causing millions of dollars in damage – these mostly peaceful protestors entered the institution it believes has marginalized it for the past 16 years.

            Also, the VAST majority of those arrested were not charged and let go — remember no bail prosecutors or bailed out the DEMS — will that non-profit help here?.

          • UpAgnstTheWall

            I don’t know, why can’t you compare the anger people have at the reality of cops killing their fellow citizens with the anger people have at the fantasy of this election having been stolen? Gee, why can’t we compare truth to lies? Fact to fiction? Why are we forced to contrast these things?

            Why can’t we just engage in rampant sophistry all the time? It’s not like it leads anywhere bad, like to a mob taking over the US Capitol after being egged on by the sitting president.

          • Dick Hall-Sizemore

            The courts of those states have ruled against claims that the elections were conducted contrary to laws set up by the state legislatures in turn. Cline cites the change in the receipt of mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania as backing for his stance. The Supreme Court has failed to take up the appeal on that case. The Court must not think that the state has violated the Constitution. Or perhaps the Justices realize that not enough votes are involved to affect the result of the vote in Pennsylvania. Either Cline does not realize that (he might not; he never struck as being too bright) or he is being disingenuous.

    • Where did the Post and and “others” say that the attack on Hawley’s home was “fine”?

      • And the video I saw involved maybe 10-12 people behaving like jerks out in the street. Not acceptable, but hardly comparable. The crowd that broke into Stoney’s apartment house last summer would be a stronger comparison. A plague on all your houses (0h, wait, there is one….).

      • Trump has encouraged attacks on public officials for four years. Why are folks surprised?

    • An alleged minor attack is the same as an assault on the U.S. Capitol? Stick with making custom signs.

    • An alleged minor attack is the same as an assault on the U.S. Capitol? Stick with making custom signs.

  17. Basically as Trump’s fixer Michael Cohen has said, Trump months ago new knew he lost election and swung into reinvention of himself (Trump) mode. The reinvented Trump is leader of this revolt event, and not just the event this militant new party.

    At the moment (last week), even as Mitt Romney has observed the Repubs are stuck with Trump as head of the Repub party, it is Trump who has the power. One wonders if the Repubs splinter into anarchists and the regular folks, but bottom line, a divided party. So our future choice is Liberal Democrat vs. Middle of the Road Democrat, which is maybe not so bad choice.

    • PS- Maybe the Middle of the Road Dems could pick a less divisive party name…like the “Washington football team”…and then we could not mind voting for Dems so much.

    • He’s still raising money. I bet the phone banks are up at the moment. Hey, he’s raised $60 mil since election day and it ain’t being used to pay lawyers.

  18. I see the incivility in The District had hit this blog as well. Nancy – WordPress is plagued by login problems. This is perhaps my fifth user name. If Jim blocked you I’m sure he’d say so.

    Peter – chill. This is not a civil war. This is a bunch of people protesting when some started behaving badly. They will be cleared by 6pm.

    The miscreants should be arrested. Just like they should have been arrested in Portland, Seattle, Kenosha, Chicago, New York City, etc. A civil society cannot condone violence.

    Everybody take a deep breath. I could bike into DC in about an hour and I’m not nervous. This will be over before dinner time. Well, at least this episode of insanity in America will be over.

  19. Oh the drama! Too bad bananas just don’t taste as good as they used to

  20. The DEMS and LEFTISTS made me do it! I’m not responsible!

  21. This just in … our incompetent governor just agreed with half-wits in Alexandria and Arlington by issuing a curfew for Alexandria and Arlington. It starts at 6pm and ends at 6am. The geniuses issued the order at 5:32pm. So, people working in Arlington / Alexandria or people coming home to Arlington / Alexandria had 28 minutes to make the trip – assuming that they heard about the curfew the minute it was issued. I guess the governor doesn’t spend a lot of time north of Richmond. Otherwise, he’d understand it can take 28 minutes to travel a mile on the state’s horrific roads in NoVa. What the anonymous bureaucrats in Arlington and Alexandria were thinking is extremely hard to comprehend.

    https://www.wsls.com/news/local/2021/01/06/gov-ralph-northam-issues-new-curfew-state-of-emergency-in-virginia/

    • I used to think these people’s elevators didn’t go to the top floor.

      Then my brother advised me that their elevator doesn’t even leave the lobby.

    • Stupid and cynical political posturing by a man who I am starting to believe might actually be stupid.

      At the very least he is a dumb ass – even smart people can be dumb asses.

    • Theres an outbreak in north Virginia, so I supposed he’ll lock-down the rest of the state shortly

  22. Thanks Republican voters.

    No wonder all the conservatives here were cagey about who they voted for.

  23. Also, stop with the false equivalence. The gulf between people erupting in outrage because the police keep killing unarmed American citizens and people storming the Capitol in a misguided attempt to forestall the democratic process because their guy lost soundly in a free and fair election is huge.

    • There’s no false equivalence to it. There are people in this country who apparently believe that the police kill innocent people for no reason or, worse yet, because they are minorities. I personally don’t believe that but I can see how it would outrage people. There are people in the country who apparently believe that the presidential election was stolen through fraud. I personally don’t believe that but I can see how it would outrage people.

      Yesterday, prosecutors in Wisconsin declined to file charges against any of the police officers involved in the Jacob Blake shooting saying it was incontrovertible that Blake was armed with a razor blade type knife when he was shot. I guess the outrage over police shooting an UNARMED American was misplaced in that case. But 2 people were shot dead during the riots in Kenosha.

      You ideas suffer from the typically liberal belief that your outrage is justified while others’ outrage is not.

      Nobody’s outrage should spark riots and cause deaths. That’s the true equivalence between Kenosha and DC.

      • It’s not about belief, it’s about reality versus conspiracy.

        I watched the video of Tamir Rice being shot for no reason. I watched the video of John Crawford being shot for no reason. I watched the video of Daniel Shave being shot for no reason. I watched the video of Eric Garner being choked to death for no reason. I watched the video of George Floyd being choked to death for no reason.

        I don’t believe the cops are getting away with killing unarmed citizens, I see that cops are getting away with killing unarmed citizens.

        Contrast that with claims that this election was stolen. There is not a shred of evidence. Not one iota of proof. Nothing that has stood up to even the barest of legal scrutiny. They don’t see that the election was stolen, they believe it.

        There is seeing. There is believing. There is fact. There is fiction.

        The two sides are not the same. Conservatives have gotten so used to having been set free from the constraints of living in the reality-based community by the Bush administration you can no longer tell the difference between real and imagined.

      • Oh, you mean the state believed the state actor who said there was a knife? Wow, that’s super incontrovertible there…prosecutors never go easy on cops to make their own jobs smoother down the line! And golly, I didn’t know Jacob Blake – such a threat he had to be shot seven times in the back (which all those westerns I watched growing up taught me was a coward’s shot) – was the only American citizen shot by the police!

        “But two people were shot dead during the riots in Kenosha.”

        Nice use of the passive voice. Right wing murderer Kyle Rittenhouse crossed state lines to kill protesters in Kenosha.

        • FYI – An independent investigation by a former member of the Obama administration recommended no charges against the officer, and all but cleared him of wrongdoing.

          • UpAgnstTheWall

            Since Rusten Sheskey is the only man with a badge to shoot an American citizen this is meaningful!

        • You’re sorely mistaken in all of your statements. Mr. Blake admitted to having the knife, what you’re spouting is conspiracy theories you’re condemning others for.

          “Nice use of the passive voice. Right wing murderer Kyle Rittenhouse crossed state lines to kill protesters in Kenosha.”

          Kyle Rittnehosue will spend the vast majority of the rest of his life behind bars, and it has nothing to do with Jacob Blake admitting to having a knife.

          You’re deflections are just that.

  24. Jim,
    Did you see anything in my posting suggesting I do not condemn the violence?

    The Democrats have been using violence, arson, and intimidation throughout the country for the past four years in a scale far grander than what you are seeing in the capitol. And they continue to do so. Didn’t the Mayor of Portland just recently have to recant his position on the leftist mobs which have terrorized his city. And the Democrats and the media have apologized for and even outright endorsed it– up to and including Biden.

    Violence begets violence. Lawlessness begets lawlessness. Our ever scatological DNC clone’s partisan’s disgusting comment notwithstanding, his party has been made this tactic the new norm for expressing discontent.

    • Wow. What a great site. I take it that they would hold a right-leaning media outlet’s feet to the fire just like they do for left leaners?

      • … while ignoring any other point of view. They call themselves AllSides, then rate on a left-right scale. I guess we do live in a 3d projection of a 2d reality.

  25. Twitter kicks off Trump! So does Scotland. How about Bacon’s Rebellion?

  26. Has Bacon’s Rebellion been kicked off Twitter?

  27. Did anyone here ever poke a hornets’ nest for several years. If so, were you surprised when hornets finally came out? Then you are a moron.

    There are crazies on both sides. Prodding them to see how they react is a fool’s game. Both sides’ crazies need to be constrained by law enforcement. Remember law enforcement?

    From my perspective, the only good result of today is that Donald Trump will lose his position as kingmaker in the Republican party. That is an unalloyed good thing.

  28. I saw a miracle today. I watched bone grow. Republicans grew spines today.

  29. Given most scholars agree that Atchison really wasn’t “Queen for a Day”, good ol’ Mike Pence may very well lay claim to the shortest term as president.

  30. I hurt myself today…

    Now ain’t that strange?

    • Hooray! You’re back. That “Goodbye_Girl” person claiming to be you was a real jerk…

      😉

      • She was right about one thing. Geez man, fix that wonky eye.

        • It’s too late – that sucker is long gone.

          In all seriousness, though, I’ve been a little surprised that no one has ever asked where that photo was taken. Does everyone here paddle the James River enough that they already know?

          • Well, given visible rocks, above or around Richmond. Certainly above the Pocahontas

          • It’s about two river miles downstream from the Rt 15 bridge in Fluvanna County, which I think puts it +/-75 river miles upstream of Richmond.

            It’s a water storage tank that was washed downstream from the [now defunct] Bremo water treatment plant during the flooding from Agnes in 1972. I’m not sure why it was not removed shortly after the flooding subsided, but at this point it is one year shy of qualifying for classification as an historic landmark. I’m thinking about nominating it. 🙂

  31. Be curious to know if everyone’s opinions today are the same as they were yesterday.

    • Mine changed. The Capitol Police were complicit, not just overrun.

      If I were one of them, I’d be scrubbing my hard disk. Time for on OS reinstall with a dozen, or so, reformats.

      • That was one of the more curious elements of yesterday. I’m not intimately familiar with Capitol Police, but I worked under a fair number of former USSS people in college. Uniformly pro-Trump. I know the agency is working on retooling their leadership with staff from Biden’s old VP detail, but my suspicion is that the rank-and-file have a degree of sympathy for MSGA (Make Skyrim Great Again). Wouldn’t be surprised if the police and ATF/FBI SWAT are the same way.

        Pictured below: Making Skyrim Great Again

        https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ErGRk-GXIAMUgJv?format=jpg&name=small

        • Easy solution, the Roman approach. There is a clear discernible feature. Line up the white (and overweight, might as well improve the overall health too) Capitol Cops and fire every forth one. Replace them with minorities.

          It’s not certain, but highly probabilistic that you’ll balance the subversives.

          • I thought the Roman approach was one in ten (decimation).

            Why the escalation to, I don’t know, would it be “quatuormation”?

          • Because we’re only firing them, not firing AT them; a “firing” squad, not a firing squad.

  32. Storming the Capitol during EC certification is exactly the sort of thing to make process fetishists desire a Patriot Act 2.0. No es bueno. It’s really something to watch left-liberals suddenly start cheering the same LE agencies that spent last summer kicking the crap out of street demonstrations, but…it’s far harder to hew to abstract principle when you have material enemies.

    The fact that both sides approach one another as material enemies rather than wayward violators-of-principles scares me more than anything. I don’t think large-scale violence is likely, but further disengagement from civic life surely is. How do you secure a rapprochement when everybody thinks there’s a bomb beneath the table?

    If there’s anything good emerging from 1/6, it’s a certain clarity within the discourse on American political norms. The general guidelines for American civic engagement are in tatters. Raising said tatters as a battle flag will only carve a deeper chasm between the winners and losers of 2020, but it’s obviously the most attractive option for Biden and Congress. Starting today, “repairing norms” is off the menu.

    • S&P 500 Index 3,748.14 arrow_upward 0.57%+21.28 Today
      As of Jan 6, 4:58:18 PM UTC-5

      Dow Jones Industrial Average 30,829.40 arrow_upward 1.44% +437.80 Today
      As of Jan 6, 4:58:18 PM UTC-5

      So, who really cares?

      • The fact that early morning traders can chuckle “lol, f***ing rubes” the day after Congress is breached is as powerfully illustrative of our weak, decadent elite as anything I’ve ever seen. The New Madrid Fault could slip and the first thing they’d do is check their screen to see how far the line went down. “Looks like my Maersk put is coming in handy today!”

        When you occlude power and responsibility so thoroughly that the most immediate reaction to material mayhem is to kick back in the La-Z-Boy and play with numbers on a screen, yeah, it’s no wonder that American civic life has rotted away.

        • Down? Sucking the white burden of the flyover Red states into an abyss would send it soaring.

          • Pretty sure the seismic zone is disproportionately black, but go off king!

            Market nihilism + High Victorian attitudes toward the unwashed masses is a dope way to run a republic; I wish you and your favored elected officials the best of luck.

          • “One Dot Per Person” has it mostly white. Some concentrations of minorities in the basin, but by in large, it’s white. And thus, mostly those with “god-given Capitol Passes”.

        • That sounds like a better use of MY time…Dow did hit a record high yesterday. I see Jim got the account posting again….

          • Yeah, kinda weird. It was just THIS WordPress site. Others were fine.

            BTW, TMO, buy the dips.

  33. Remove Trump from office today. It can be done.

    • I agree although the easiest way to do it would be for Trump to resign and Pence to pardon him for any acts done during his presidency. That requires two people having a discussion. It also gets Trump out of the limelight. His supporters would see this as cowardly and move on to something or someone new.

  34. Friends, as many of you already know, Trump is a sorry excuse for a leader. However, I argue he is a symptom of the rot in our ruling class rather than the cause of this problem. The objective of the Democrats and the Republicans is to maintain power, and they’re OK with sharing it with each other. Both the Democrats and the Republicans have worked diligently to maintain their hegemony by pimping themselves out to big business- making sure they were at the beck and call of their lobbyists. Trump was someone that wouldn’t play their game to their degree of liking, and they couldn’t control him. So many of the folks in the “flyover” part of the country (including most of rural Virginia) have felt left out for years. He didn’t speak their political doublespeak, he spoke in a very brash, unpolished manner, and these people loved that.

    I’m typically one to overlook this argument, but in retrospect, the rich have been getting richer (the poor have as well, but not at the same rate). To what degree is this due to favorable governmental rules and regulations I’m not sure, but I bet it plays significant role.

    In my opinion, this goes further than the political parties. The mainstream media are complicit, as well as the military industrial complex. Mind you, I don’t believe that this is a grand conspiracy where a bunch of folks met in a smoke filled room to plan this all out. Rather this an amalgamation of incentive structures that cause individuals to make decisions that have lead to this.

    So, go ahead, continue to deride each other for being on the left or on the right. That’s just what your ruling class overlords want you to do so you’re not noticing how they’re screwing you over. They really appreciate all of the useless idiots serving to keep them in power while doing what benefits them best.

    If we really want to fix this, “We the People” have the power to do so. The first step is for Democrat citizens to forget about what Republicans are doing and watch their Democratic elected officials like a hawk, and hold them accountable. The first step is for Republican citizens to forget about what Democrats are doing and watch their Republican elected officials like a hawk, and hold them accountable. The longer a politician holds office, the more suspect they should be, and the less support they should get in the next election.

    It will be interesting to see how many citizens will work to right the ship, and how many will continue to propagate this mess until it really boils over. What we have been witnessing for some time (and yesterday was certainly an escalation) will continue to fester until the **** really hits the fan unless we fix the root problem. If we think yesterday was bad (and it certainly was), just wait to see what happens next.

    • Comment of the day.

      • I’ll second that.

        • Meghan McCain has recently made comments to this effect above, and I sympathize with some of the concept.

          As Dan Rather said on Jimmy Fallon last nite, Biden needs to decide if he is going to try to consolidate and unite America, and be a “transitional” president, or move forward with the progressive agenda and be a “transformational” president.

          Fingers crossed but it will not be easy to get Humpty Dumpty back together again.

          As far as Banana Republic, yes, social media and wealth stratification has been a set back for America. But as usual we are ahead of the curve, wait until China people get woke.

    • I’m sure some of those in that crowd thought they were holding Dems and GOP accountable, no?

      • No, they were lashing out irrationally because it has been condoned for nearly a year at this point.

        • If you talk to THEM – and they do get interviewed on TV, do they sound irrational and unhinged?

          careful. that might be a trick question.

          If they were BLM/Antifas and broke into the Capitol ?

          • Yes, they are irrational and unhinged, they are the extreme right. Just like the extreme left are irrational and unhinged.

            “If they were BLM/Antifas and broke into the Capitol ?” The same would occurred, in case you weren’t aware or noticed the vast amount of destruction that took place at the hands of those media described “protests”. They were riots just like yesterday was a riot. It’s called calling a spade a spade, but that’s not what has happened.

          • Were the GOP Congressmen/women who agreed with Trump on the election also rational and saw what Trump was doing with his supporters as rational?

            They still do right? They still say the elections were done wrong and that’s why Trump lost.

            Correct?

          • “LarrytheG | January 7, 2021 at 8:45 am |
            Were the GOP Congressmen/women who agreed with Trump on the election also rational and saw what Trump was doing with his supporters as rational?

            They still do right? They still say the elections were done wrong and that’s why Trump lost.

            Correct?”

            I don’t particular care what Trump does nor the Congress members who joined with him, I didn’t vote for any of the above.

            However, if you want to discuss the legal issues with the election we can.

            1) Trump wasn’t a party to most of the lawsuits
            2) Lin Wood and Sydney Power are not now nor were they ever election lawyers. The went after the low hanging fruit that could’ve been and was easily brushed aside.
            3) None of the suits were heard on merits, but rather dismissed procedurally.
            4) If they wanted to find issue with votes, it would’ve been in Georgia. It would’ve been a hand recount and signature match. That wasn’t conducted.

            Trump and his supporters had valid legal reasons to make complaints and dismissed through procedural motions (ladders, latches and the like).

            Storming the Capitol building (or any other building) and destruction of property is now and always has been wrong.

          • Quite a few of the lawsuits were done by Trump supporters and proxies…

            If you think all of them were wrongly turned down on procedures, what does that mean? All those courts were wrong?

            Does it sounds like a conspiracy like Trump claimed and his supporters and some Congressmen implied?

            The correlation between Trump and his supporters and Congress is real – it does not matter if you did not vote for any – do you think it was real and had a role in fueling the break in?

          • Larry,

            Actually, no they weren’t. His campaign was party to two, in New Mexico and PA only.

            I said they were dismissed procedurally, which means they weren’t heard on their merits. So nothing was ever reviewed, so you cannot conclude if there was malfeasance or not.

            “Does it sounds like a conspiracy like Trump claimed and his supporters and some Congressmen implied?

            The correlation between Trump and his supporters and Congress is real – it does not matter if you did not vote for any – do you think it was real and had a role in fueling the break in?”

            Conspiracy is two or more people agree to commit a crime.

            “The correlation between Trump and his supporters and Congress is real”

            No, no it’s not.

  35. re: ” “The correlation between Trump and his supporters and Congress is real”

    No, no it’s not.”

    wow!

    • Stop. Stop now. The sound you will continue to receive is nothing like a song.

    • You replied to the wrong Matt, Larry.

      What is the mutual relationship between Trump his wackadoo followers and Congress?

      In your own words without using vague language, make the correlation.

      • The connection is obvious from the rally’s and his twitter account and Congressmen and Supporters who say they AGREE with his contention that that the election was stolen.

        The proof is in front of you in spades.

  36. During Bush’s 2nd term, the FBI announced that Right Wing Extremists groups posed the greatest terrorist threat to the US and the Republican Party slapped them silly. You guys were too busy trying to get these people in your tent. Well, they’re all yours now Bubba. They’re in your tent.

    The greatest failure in 911 was one terrorist saying to one flight instructor, “I don’t need to learn to land the plane,” and when informed, the FBI failed to follow up.

    These guys have been plastering the equivalent statement all over social media for a month and the FBI didn’t warn anyone. Congrats Republicans, you’ve destroyed the “Deep State” and our protection against home grown terrorists.

    • The greatest failure in 911 was intervening in the business of other sovereign nations, causing death and destruction among people who felt powerless to protect themselves through traditional means. Put yourself in their shoes- if you traced all the money and weapons that killed several members of your family to the US, might you not harbor enough ill will to take some drastic measures?

      The “Deep State” is alive and well, and there are incentive structures in place to keep it that way when we’re all pushing up daisies. The “Deep State” is not an organized conspiracy, but rather individuals who have power in the government who are doing what they feel is the “right thing”. There are no incentives for these individuals to share or give up that power, and sometimes the “right thing” is to do whatever necessary to maintain that power.

      It seems that the “Deep State” is so powerful that it has a great deal of power over our presidents. Remember when Obama ran on open and transparent government and promised to protect whistle blowers? When he got into office, he seemed to allow quite a bit of prosecution of whistle blowers, media, and etc. Trump was no different. He promised to bring our troops home, but when he got into office, for some reason that campaign promise went unfulfilled.

      There are certainly some who don tin foil hats and believe that the Illuminati members run the “Deep State”, but it’s not as cool as that- just individuals incentivized to maintain their power, making decisions that all too often end up making things worse for our people, and those around the world. The bad thing about it is that the incentive structures of these folks tend to align with big business (part of which comprises the military industrial complex) and the corporate media.

      For a society to function, members of the society have to forfeit some liberty in order to stave off complete chaos. I argue that we have forfeited too much and the powers that be will continue to be confiscated. Whenever there is a crisis, such as 911 or the storming of the Capital, our betters in power will never let that opportunity pass them by to further subjugate everyone in the name of safety. Those idiots who stormed the Capital screwed us all by giving the State a reason to further cement its power. This will have bad consequences for all of us little people.

      • Interesting comment Matt. Would like to futher discuss but fear the discussion would get out of hand.

        • Hell, everything’s already out of hand, and has been so for a while. It’s just becoming more apparent to more people. We collectively need to do something as voters, I’m just not smart enough to know what. I think we just need to limit terms, if not by code, then by the ballot box. While some politicians seem a little more principled than others, I seem to detect that the higher the office and the longer one submits themselves to the political machine, the more corrupt they seem to get.

          Just think about this aspect- how many politicians at the highest level get out of the game with less money than they had when they went in? Democrats certainly don’t have the market cornered on this, but how much did Obama pay for his newest house in Martha’s Vineyard? How does someone make that much money when they are working full time for “We the People”. Please keep in mind that Republicans are just is guilty, and I really don’t care to make this a tribal argument (“No your side sucks more!”). Please keep in mind that we don’t want to be useful idiots.

          • I feel your pain! 😉

            It’s why I support rank choice balloting and why I opposed redistricting run by Dems/GOP and if you go to VPAP, you’ll see that almost every citizen chosen by Dems and GOP make more than 200K a year!

            But as frustrated as we get, what happened the other day is not the answer.

            We do have a process and if we truly feel that term limits are needed, we actually do have that ability!

            I will say this – it seems ironic that at the same time some want to limite the power of the Governor , they want the POTUS to be have more? I dunno… confusing , maybe just to me.

          • I guess some folks are foolish enough to think that their party has gained power, and will maintain hegemony forever. If that’s the case, we certainly want our person to have all of the power.

            I agree with you, what we saw this week is certainly not the answer, but it may be our future. If we can’t lower the stakes of these elections, we are doomed to that future. When folks feel pushed to the wall and there’s no option for recourse through the system, to some folks violence starts to seem like a viable option. Unfortunately this is not just a symptom of the right.

          • Unfortunately, some days, I share some, not all, of your pessimism.. other days, I have hope.

          • Would you please bottle some of that hope and send it to me? I could sure use some now.

          • Matt,
            Bottled Hope. Papa’s Pilar rum, Hendrick’s gin, Reyka vodka. Mix ’em.

            Does make ya wonder what Dick Cheney was doing in Afghanistan in the spring of 2001, eh?

          • re: “bottled hope”.

            when I get some extra?

            😉

  37. Matt Hurts comment above is extremely wise and insightful. It’s key paragraph is this one:

    “The “Deep State” is alive and well, and there are incentive structures in place to keep it that way when we’re all pushing up daisies. The “Deep State” is not an organized conspiracy, but rather individuals who have power in the government who are doing what they feel is the “right thing”. There are no incentives for these individuals to share or give up that power, and sometimes the “right thing” is to do whatever necessary to maintain that power.”

    The key sentence in that paragraph is:

    “The “Deep State” is not an organized conspiracy, but rather individuals who have power in the government who are doing what they feel is the “right thing”.

    One of the most powerful drives in our human natures is to cover our tracks, however self-serving and/or evil those tracks are, and so to convince ourselves and others of our GOOD INTENTIONS.

    This powerful instinct is multiplied, sometimes exponentially, in group dynamics, especially those groups led by demagogues. This has been proven again and again by history and by scholars in many disciplines. See for example works of Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971), and Doris Lessing that I have discussed at length on this website.

    Another wonderful exposition of the human compulsion to cover one tracks with vast claims of GOOD INTENTIONS is contained in John Steinbeck’s first great novel Tortilla Flat (1st ed. 1935) and his last great novel The Winter of Our Discontent (1st ed 1961). If you read both novels closely, you will come to understand the depth, scope and development of this great novelist’s understanding of the powerful roll that “good intentions” play in the actions of each of us, those actions that are both good and evil.

    This understanding then will help us to better understand the powerful forces at loose for better or far worse in our world today.

    • “The path to Hell is paved with good intentions”. I really don’t think that there have been many of our government officials, either elected or of the bureaucracy, that have worked to destroy the Republic. However, history is rife with examples of these folks watering down the Constitution, and I don’t mean by the amendment process. The Constitution is not perfect, but it is the MOST perfect governing document of which I am aware. We screw that up at our peril.

      Activist judges, legislatures who gladly hand over power to the executive branch so they don’t have as much of a record to piss off voters, and the recent marriage of the Fourth Estate to our ruling class is bringing about circumstances that we will all regret. Unfortunately I do not see this ending well. The violence of 2020 and the storming of the Capitol are harbingers of horrors to come if we allow this to continue.

      • I agree, Matt. And I would add that now, unfortunately, we have a fifth estate in the mix, one that now maybe the most powerful and unaccountable of all time, America’s modern day all powerful oligarchy, its new oligarchs of high tech. The wars there have already started with some Dems in Congress threatening some high techs, arguing that they didn’t move fast enough to shut down their conservative opponents rights of free speech. Expect a free for all there too.

  38. So now it appears, apparently, that there is a second and very different opinion of who (also?) broke into the Capital Building this week. Take an look at this UTube Video while it lasts.

    https://youtu.be/BUE4TCLlv-c:

    • Just read the interview of the BLM/Antifa member who participated in the ‘mostly peaceful protest’ at the Capitol Building.

      And reportedly Google/Apple has kicked Parler off of its App sites —- guess it was taking too much business from Twitter.

      And still not a word about the killing of Ashli Babbit. If it had been a Black BLM protestor DC would still be burning.

    • kls59 – thanks for your response.

      Concerning this very concerning matter, I don’t know where the full truth lies, nor can anyone else, until there is a full, fair, and impartial investigation by a neutral process seeking only the truth without political motivations. At the moment, given the actions, accusations, and claims by many of our leaders that process seems highly unlikely. Instead there appears on the part of some in power to be a lynch mob mentality bent on the destruction and erasure of an entire political movement, indeed of even an entire political party that received nearly 75 million votes in the last presidential election. As a result, citizens are scared. For example, note the slow response to my posting the link to this video. I do not know it’s real reliability, other than it surely seems to have been filmed on site, and surely the audio and much else needs to be fully invested technically, and against all other evidence involved, especially given the current rush to judgement, despite huge stakes involved or indeed perhaps because of those stakes.

      I deplore this violence at our Capital Building, it’s damage to all us, our country, and security, and our system of government, those injured and those killed, or who otherwise died, and all this makes it even more important, critically necessary, to get to the full truth of happened, and render judgement and justice fairly. If we fail in so doing, we risk destroying our entire system of government, and all our children’s future in whatever follows and takes its place. Huge risks of all sorts are now everywhere. Our entire nation is at stake and at risk here. We all need to calm down, and think, and work for the whole nation and its survival intact. Where is our Abraham Lincoln?

    • Someone I know personally was there and said he was arrested for unlawful entry after walking in and ROR with a citation to pay by mail. He did not engage in any violence or vandalism, but said that in the paddy wagon, three who were fighting and pepper sprayed were dismissed without charge. Those he believed were Antifa.

  39. Here is an entire article on Babbit, her so so career as an USAF airman, how she became radicalized into the Trump death cult, and how she was the first one through the door taking a bullet in the neck for her mis-guided and deadly seditious actions.

    In the MSM Washington Post. You may want to try some other media sources. https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2021/01/09/ashli-babbitt-capitol-shooting-trump-qanon/

    • I’m not understanding. You’re in a mob breaking into Congress and the folks on the other side have no idea if you armed or out to commit violence?

      If this person was coming through your door at home, would you shoot?

      • Apparently the Capitol Police shot through a window – there are photos and video. Police have a very strict protocol as to when they can discharge their firearm. From the eye witness account – none of those standards were present…. but we’ll see if there is a full investigation….but compare this police death to any of those which happened this past summer.

        And those present or hearing about it didn’t burn down the city over the shooting like so many have in other cities…..an interesting dichotomy.

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