January 6 Itself
We got one! We got one! Kill him with his own gun!
On January 6th, I was at home doing applications to master’s degree programs. In 2020, I had worked on the Biden campaign. I was drawn to the election by Bloomberg’s wages; but I was also delighted to help fire Trump. Ironically, I had worked for Trump and Mark Burnett on The Apprentice, as an on-camera driver for season six. In any case, I blithely aware that the vote on Biden’s victory was occurring. When I saw the rioters enter the Capital I was more impressed more than anything. I did not think they had the coordination talent or the balls.
Digression on Fascism
The strangest thing about fascism in America today is that American fascists are so dumb, they don't even know they're fascists. They don't even know what the word fascism means.
Oliver Markus Malloy, writer extraordinaire*
[History] does not repeat. But it does offer us examples and patterns, and thereby enlarges our imaginations and creates more possibilities for anticipation and resistance.
Timothy Snyder, Yale historian
Early on I compared January 6 to the Beer Hall Putsch of 1923 Germany. It’s a facile comparison, as so much is different. Dylan Matthews has an article on Vox that surveys 8 experts to surmise that he is not a fascist in an academic sense. Still, Trump would rob his mother and fuck his daughter if you helped him hold one of them down. But that makes him a grifter and daughter fucker, not a fascist. Besides he is cunning enough to occlude his nascent fascism.
Timothy Snyder has argued that Trump would attempt something akin to the 1933 Reichstag Fire. His followers seem to have more guts than he actually does. He is not a rational actor in a revolutionary sense. He enjoys whipping up the crowd but doesn’t really know what to do with them. His skill base is limited to dialing people up on the phone.
In the end, Trump is still sufficiently reckless and unfit for presidency that the real question is how to end his political career through isolation or prison. Some forecast doom in 2024. Snyder is among them, according to a nightmare scenario he cooked up on Substack this year. The J6 commission is a first step in getting some potential justice.
It was Mike Pence who they had come to hang. It was Mike Pence who refused to commit a crime for his boss.
Shouldn’t he testify, under oath, about the events of January 6? Don’t we deserve to hear from Pence what his conversations with Trump were like in the lead-up to that day?
…The notion that a man who committed the acts Pence has accused Trump of should be given the opportunity to ascend to the presidency again is beyond explanation.
…Mike Pence has the opportunity to put a stake through the heart of the man who abused him and left him for dead. That chance is right now. Before this committee.
Tim Miller, former Jeb Bush Comms. Director and RNC Spokesman
Jan 6th Committee is doing something. It is, and I would never discount its historic work. And yet really doing doing something is up to Merrick Garland — prosecuting the coup attempt. I use the Committee as an example of how shocking it is these days when institutions work at all.
The J6 Commission aims to outline what happened and suggest policy and, if it wished, refer crimes to the Justice Department. It’s an important two or three tasks but it could set the scene for another Washington DC nothing burger. I just read a good Wapo piece by Amber Phillips; and, if you read the comments, you’ll see other people with the same sentiments as me.
To quote myself from my 'Putin’s War' blog: “I am always shocked in the ability of major leaders and experts to resist progress. It seems people will go to great lengths - even subverting their own presumed or stated principles - to avoid change and avert risk.” I have no anxiety about whether the commission or Justice Department will drop the ball. I am expecting it. And I don’t blame Republicans, voters, and perhaps not even the Dems. I blame the listless culture that always find a way to forgive itself without learning a lesson. I simply don’t expect a former president, even Trump with his scuffled veneer, will find justice.
Michael Cohen is a nice exception to my prejudiced assessment. He pleaded out in 2018 to unrelated crimes. Maybe Steve Bannon will follow the same fate for his contempt of Congress before the J6 Commission. Mark Meadows, former Trump COS, remains in limbo. Jeffrey Clark, former of the JD, has likely avoided matter in saying would plead the 5th. Perhaps there are others - beyond Representative Perry Scott and Jim Jordan.
I am not taking away from the good work that the commission is doing. I’m simply modulating my expectations and then heaping those expectation on Merrick Garland, who can then fall on his face like Robert Mueller sorta did. Let me at least offer my brand of hope. Many people contend that humanity is in the midst an ascension process. I have addressed it elsewhere on the blog. A sufficient cadre of people everywhere want real peace and progress. They may not care that Trump faces justice. But they don’t want the drama of Western political violence. People have an appetite for something better. Ascension is the term we use on TikTok and before that on YouTube and before in books and before that in conversation.
* The quote is amazing and continues: “They vaguely know that it had something to do with Hitler and the Nazis, but that's it. They have no idea that the first words of the Nazi anthem were "Germany above all else" which was their version of "America first." And the way Nazis demonized jews was no different than the way American fascists demonize liberals. Hitler promised to "make Germany great again." And Hitler denounced the newspapers, which exposed him for what he really was, as "Lügenpresse," which is German for "fake news."
If the German Nazi party still existed today, they would look exactly like the Republican party under Trump. Hitler's rallies looked no different than Trump's rallies. And Hitler would absolutely love a well-oiled propaganda outlet like Fox News.”