and he tried

Sometimes you have to say it like it’s three separate words. Not motherfucker, but muh thur fucker. Because it’s that bad. I’m talking about Kevin McCarthy here. We all know McCarthy is a sniveling coward entirely lacking in integrity, a pathetic soulless wretch with the moral fortitude of a runny blancmange. But even so, his conversation with Chris Wallace this morning was an embarrassing, humiliating display of spinelessness.

Wallace asked McCarthy about a phone call he’d made to Comrade Trump while the January 6th insurrection was in full swing. He asked Trump to call off the rioters, to help stop the violence. During the impeachment hearing–wait, sorry, I mean Trump’s second impeachment hearing–a GOP member of Congress testified under oath that McCarthy had told her Trump responded to his request for help by saying, “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.” Wallace asked if that was in fact what Trump said.

McCarthy tried to dodge the question, but didn’t deny it. First he said Trump ended the call by saying he’d put something out to ‘stop’ the rioting. Asked again, he refused to directly answer the question by saying, “My conversations with the president are my conversations with the president.” Which, let’s face it, is pretty much an admission that Trump said exactly that.

But let’s look at the transcript of the video Trump DID eventually release.

I know your pain, I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side.

“I know your pain.”

But you have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order. We have to respect our great people in law and order. We don’t want anybody hurt.

“We don’t want anybody hurt.”

It’s a very tough period of time. There’s never been a time like this where such a thing happened where they could take it away from all of us — from me, from you, from our country. This was a fraudulent election…

“There’s never been a time like this…”

…but we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home. We love you. 

“We love you.”

You’re very special.

“You’re very special.”

You’ve seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel.

“You see the way others are treated, that are so bad and so evil.”

But go home, and go home in peace.

“Go home in peace.”

In his interview with Wallace, McCarthy also said this: “I engaged in the idea of making sure we could stop what was going on inside the Capitol at that moment in time and the president said he would help.”

For once, I’m willing to take McCarthy at his word. I believe Comrade Trump DID want to help “stop what was going on inside the Capitol at that moment in time.” I believe that because what was going on in the Capitol at that moment in time was a GOP attempt to stop the Electoral College from confirming that Joe Biden had won the election. It was an attempt to prevent the peaceful transfer or power–an attempt made violently by the insurrectionists and bureaucratically by Republican members of Congress. They both had the same goal in mind.

McCarthy says Trump wanted to stop what was going on inside the Capitol. And he tried.

a strong adverse inference

Yesterday Congressman Jamie Raskin, the lead impeachment manager, sent Comrade Trump an email inviting him to testify at his impeachment hearing. The email was in response to Trump’s reply to the House’s trial memorandum (which I discussed earlier).

The email (which you can read here) began Dear President Trump, which I thought was nice. I doubt if Raskin really holds Trump dear, but the term is a traditional courtesy. And like my poor old momma always said, “It never hurts to be polite when you can.” Raskin then got right down to business. He wrote:

[Y]ou filed an Answer in which you denied many factual allegations set forth in the article of impeachment. You have thus attempted to put critical facts at issue.

You’re probably asking, “Greg, old sock, what critical facts would those be?” I’m glad you asked — although really, you need to stop calling me ‘old sock’. The trial memo basically said Trump “gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government” and “threatened the integrity of the democratic system” and “interfered with the peaceful transition of power” AND “imperiled a coequal branch Government.” He did all that by lying about the election results frequently and in public. Trump, in his response, basically said, “What? Me? No way. I didn’t do any of those things.”

“I swear that the evidence that I shall give shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. So help me God, help me.”

Raskin, in his email, responded:

In light of your disputing these factual allegations, I write to invite you to provide testimony under oath, either before or during the Senate impeachment trial.

Again, very nice. Very polite. Trump is offered the opportunity to present his side of the events and defend himself. He can explain how he actually won the election. He can explain his phone calls to the Georgia secretary of state; he can explain what he meant when he said he wanted to ‘find’ those extra votes. He can explain his call for Vice President Pence to “do the right thing” and refuse to certify the election results. All he has to do is show up and testify under oath.

But…and we all know that it’s what comes after the ‘but’ that really matters…Raskin also included a bit of iron fist inside that velvet glove.

If you decline this invitation, we reserve any and all rights, including the right to establish at trial that your refusal to testify supports a strong adverse inference regarding your actions (and inaction) on January 6, 2021.

In other words, put up or shut up. Trump has the absolute right to present his side of the story. But in order to do that, he has to swear to tell the truth. If he refuses to take advantage of that opportunity — if he refuses to make, under oath, the same claims he’s been making in public speeches — then Raskin (and the Senate, and the public in general) is free to infer that Trump was, as we say in the justice system, a lying sack of shit.

A few hours after he received the email, to nobody’s surprise, Trump declined to accept Raskin’s polite invitation to testify.

“Testify? Under oath? Like a loser? Naw, I don’t think so.”

You’re probably wondering, “Greg, old sock, can the Senate compel Mr. Trump’s testimony?” You bet your ass, they can. Once the trial starts, the Senate can vote to issue a subpoena to Trump (or any witness, for that matter). All it takes is a simple majority vote.

Let me amend that. I think he can be subpoenaed. Here’s the problem: in a criminal case, if the accused chooses to remain silent, the prosecution can’t call them as a witness; nobody can compel a criminal defendant to testify. In a civil case, defendants can be forced to testify. But an impeachment is neither a criminal nor a civil matter; it’s a legislative process. Trump hasn’t been criminally charged with a violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 2383, the federal crime of insurrection. But that IS the impeachment charge. So you bet your ass the Senate CAN subpoena him, but it’s not clear to me whether Trump could be compelled to actually testify.

My guess is that IF the Senate chooses to subpoena Trump (and I hope they do), his lawyers will do everything they can to quash the subpoena. That will require a hearing. Probably several hearings. And a lot of time — time that might be better spent passing President Biden’s legislative measures.

Would it be worth all that time and effort if Trump could be compelled to testify under oath? Historically, yes, absolutely. But is it worth it at the risk of disrupting Biden’s attempt to get the pandemic and the economy under control? Probably not.

I suspect we’ll be forced to settle for the ‘strong adverse inference’ that Trump’s refusal to testify under oath means he’s a lying sack of shit.

the looming repeachment

Comrade Trump has a new legal team. Another new legal team. A new new legal team. His original impeachment team declined to represent him in his repeachment, so he had to find a new legal team. Over the weekend, his new legal team walked away from him, which makes them his old new legal team. His new new legal team will probably defend him in his repeachment trial. I say ‘probably’ because this is Trump and who the hell knows?

The new new team revolves around two lawyers, David Schoen and Bruce Castor. These guys are taking a metric ton of shit about their previous clients and legal decisions. Castor, for example, was the prosecutor who initially chose NOT to prosecute Bill Cosby for drugging women and raping them. And Schoen? He represented Jeffrey Epstein, among others. He’s been quoted as saying the following:

“I represented all sorts of reputed mobster figures: alleged head of Russian mafia in this country, Israeli mafia and two Italian bosses, as well a guy the government claimed was the biggest mafioso in the world.”

Me, I don’t have a problem with that. In the US every accused criminal has the right to defend themselves, and every defense lawyer has an obligation to defend their client to best of their ability. The fact that Trump’s new lawyers worked with some other nasty folks doesn’t bother me at all. It’s the least interesting aspect of the looming repeachment.

I like the sound of that. The looming impeachment. [Okay, tangent: loom as a verb is entirely unrelated to loom as a noun. A loom, of course, is a weaving machine, and the term originates from the Old English geloma, meaning a utensil or tool. An heirloom is a crafted thing bequeathed to one’s heirs. Nobody is quite certain how loom as a verb meaning ‘to be imminent, especially in some menacing or threatening way’ came into being. Some folks think it’s from the East Frisian lomen, which meant “to move slowly” and was probably related to the way ships move in a harbor. Which is appropriate, since Trump’s repeachment is slowly coming to the dock — and lawdy, there’s another etymological rabbit hole.]

Comrade Trump, did you order the Code Red?

Anyway, what I find interesting about the repeachment is how Trump’s defense is being framed. Trump, it seems, wants his lawyers to focus on the same thing the rioters and insurrectionists focused on — the ridiculous claim that the election was stolen from him by fraud. That would require Trump’s lawyers to present a case based on lies, which would get them soundly spanked by the American Bar Association. Instead, Trump’s lawyers apparently want to challenge the constitutionality of the repeachment, claiming that it’s unconstitutional to impeach a president who’s no longer president. Most constitutional scholars describe that strategy as “a load of stinking bullshit.”

Steve Bannon, Trump’s recently-pardoned former adviser, has been suggesting Trump should lead the defense team himself. It’ll never happen, but lawdy, there’s part of me that would love to see that, because there’d be a really good chance of a Colonel Jessup / A Few Good Men moment. “You can’t handle the truth! We live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns!”

But no, that’s not going to happen. Still, what’s interesting is that neither defense approach really addresses the crime with which Trump is charged: incitement of insurrection. The sole article of impeachment accuses Trump of engaging “in high Crimes and Misdemeanors by inciting violence against the Government of the United States.” Claiming “the election was stolen from me” may speak to Trump’s motives, but it isn’t a defense against inciting violence against the government. Claiming it’s unconstitutional to impeach a former president isn’t a defense against inciting violence against the government either; it’s just an argument saying the Senate isn’t legally authorized to rule on Trump’s behavior since he’s no longer in government.

On February 9th Democrats are going to say, “Trump incited a riot.” Trump wants his defense team to argue, “The election was stolen from him; he was just trying to get it back.” His lawyers want to argue, “Y’all aren’t authorized to decide whether or not he incited a riot.” It appears nobody will be arguing, “No, Trump didn’t incite no riot.”

“Yeah, I incited a riot. And I grabbed women by the pussy, cheated on my taxes, and gave intel to Russia. What’re you gonna do about it?”

That’s because Trump did, in fact, incite a riot. To be clear, he hasn’t actually been charged with the federal crime of inciting a riot. I’m not a lawyer, but I suspect you could make a case that Trump violated 18 U.S. Code § 2101 in that he 1) traveled interstate, 2) told his supporters the election had been ‘stolen’ from him…and from them, 3) encouraged them to travel to DC, 4) on a specific date, where 5) he told them they had to “fight like hell” to stop Congress from ratifying the Electoral College results, and then 6) told them to walk to the Capitol building.

He may not have specifically told them to riot, or to break into the Capitol building, or to harm anybody, but he created the conditions that inflamed the crowd, then he pointed them in the direction of the Capitol, and told them to fight like hell. Which they did.

Of course, that doesn’t mean Republicans in the Senate will vote to find Trump guilty. They’ll probably never find him guilty of anything. Republicans have proven themselves to be invulnerable to evidence.

fucking democrats, i declare

Here’s a headline in today’s Washington Post:

Democrats consider one-week impeachment trial, censure resolution after GOP signals likely acquittal of Trump.

And here’s the lede:

Bracing for the prospect of a likely acquittal, Senate Democrats are eyeing a rapid-fire impeachment trial for former president Donald Trump — as short as one week — while also contemplating alternatives such as censure that could attract more support from Republicans.

Fucking Democrats, I declare. This is the sitch: 1) the former president, having lost the election, after repeatedly making blatantly false claims of fraud, tried to stop the certification of the fairly elected new president by inciting a riot IN the US Capitol Building, which directly threatened the life of his own vice-president AND the Speaker of the House–a riot in which people died. 2) Democrats in the House filed an article of impeachment. 3) Republicans said “Nuh uh, not gonna happen.” 4) Democrats acknowledge defeat, consider censure instead, hoping for support from Republicans.

Democratic leadership, you guys suck. Don’t look for support from Republicans; look for support from the people who fucking VOTED FOR YOU. The Republicans are right not to respect you, because you don’t respect yourselves. Worse, you don’t respect us, the people who voted for you. We voted for you to stand up and do what’s right, to fight for what’s right, even if you might lose. Even if you know you’re going to lose. You guys think it’s somehow better to negotiate a surrender than take a chance on losing a fight.

You can’t negotiate with terrorists. Jesus suffering fuck.

A couple of days ago, Mitch McConnell, who is no longer in charge of the Senate, made this threat: “I made clear that if Democrats ever attack the key Senate rules, it would drain the consent and comity out of the institution. A scorched-earth Senate would hardly be able to function. It wouldn’t be a progressive’s dream. It would be a nightmare. I guarantee it.”

This guy? You’re letting this guy intimidate you? This pale, pasty, withered old fart? Fucking Democrats, I declare.

He feels confident enough to guarantee it because he knows you guys crumple like tissue paper when confronted. This is the same guy who openly pissed all over the key Senate rules. He reduced the hearings on Trump’s judicial appointments from thirty hours to two. Two hours to debate judges, some of whom the American Bar Associate said weren’t qualified. Two fucking hours. He got rid of the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations, which gave us Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett. He used the reconciliation process to pass Trump’s tax break for the rich legislation. And now he’s threatening Democrats if they attempt to do the same thing?

Listen, you won the election. I shouldn’t have to repeat that, but I will. YOU WON THE ELECTION. We have a Democrat as president. Uncle Joe may not be the greatest, but he’ll do the damn job IF YOU HELP HIM. You have a majority in the House and you control the Senate. I’m going to say it again. You won the damned election. ACT LIKE IT. Impeach the motherfucker. Put the entire Republican Party on trial, since they supported him. Put them on record as supporting an insurrection. Get all the evidence out, let the people know what happened. If it takes two weeks–if it takes a whole month–to get all the evidence out, then do it. Don’t back down just because you’re afraid of losing. And pass Biden’s proposed legislation, even if you don’t have any Republican support (and c’mon, do you really expect you’re going to get much Republican support?). When Republicans whine about ‘unity’ don’t even bother to remind them of what they’ve done in the past. Just fucking ignore them and do your goddamn job.

There MUST be consequences. Consequences for the violence, consequences for the racism, consequences for lies, consequences for the hypocrisy, consequences for the misogyny, consequences for attempting to overturn the election, consequences for pissing all over representative democracy.

If you’re unable to see that FAILURE to hold these fuckers accountable will only insure that they’ll continue to pull the same shit again and again and again, then you’re useless. If you can’t see that, then you’ve wasted our votes. And there WILL be consequences for that. Count on it. The consequence may be that you’ll lose your seats in Congress, but if you won’t do your job, that’s not much of a loss. The real consequence–the consequence that matters–will be that you contributed to the death of democracy in the United States.

the gutter of rancor and vitriol

Yesterday all one hundred members of the United States Senate were sworn in as jurors in the historic Repeachment trial of Comrade Donald Trump. A short time later, 45 of those senators–all Republicans, of course–voted against holding that trial.

That vote came about because Rand Paul, the weasel-ass Republican from Kentucky, had raised a point of order on the constitutionality of the repeachment trial. Although the Senate doesn’t have any legal authority to decide on the constitutionality of any issue, Paul suggested the trial would be unconstitutional because Trump is no longer president. He said,

“Private citizens don’t get impeached. Impeachment is for removal from office, and the accused here has already left office. Hyperpartisan Democrats are about to drag our great country down into the gutter of rancor and vitriol, the likes of which has never been seen in our nation’s history.”

Rand Paul, if you haven’t figured it out yet, is a lying sack of rancid horseshit. Private citizens DO get impeached IF they’re former federal officials. There are several examples of this, though not at the presidential level. And if Rand Paul thinks a repeachment trial is dragging the US “into the gutter of rancor and vitriol, the likes of which has never been seen” I’d suggest he visit YouTube and watch some of the videos of the January 6th Insurrection. There’s some solid rancorous, vitriolic gutter-work there.

Senator Rand Paul (Weasel-ass, Ky) addresses the United States Senate.

The fact is, it’s not just Trump who’ll be on trial during the repeachment. The entire Republican Party will be on trial. Trump may have lit the fuse that caused the explosion at the Capitol, but the GOP either applauded him or stood quietly by while he did it. A hundred and forty Republican members of the House attempted to block the electoral college from certifying Biden’s election on the day of the insurrection. Yesterday, forty-five Republican senators supported Rand Paul’s objection to the repeachment trial. Republicans are actively working to prevent Trump from being held accountable for any criminal act, mainly because it would implicate them in the crimes as well. In doing so, the GOP is undermining representative democracy.

I’m of the opinion that any senator who believes the election was rigged or who refuses to acknowledge that Uncle Joe is the legit president, should be disqualified to act as a juror. In fact, here are some questions I think all one hundred senators should be asked–and required to answer under oath–during the repeachment trial:

  • Do you believe the 2020 election was rigged against Donald Trump?
  • Do you believe there is evidence of massive voter fraud in the 2020 election?
  • Do you believe Joe Biden is the legitimate president of the United States?
  • Do you believe Donald Trump disseminated a lie when he repeatedly told his followers the election had been stolen from him?
  • Do you believe Trump bears any responsibility for lying about the election?
  • Do you believe the invasion of the Capitol Building would have taken place if Trump hadn’t lied to his supporters about losing the election?
  • Do you believe the invasion of the Capitol was justified?
  • Do you believe the safety of VP Pence and Speaker Pelosi was at risk during the invasion?
  • Do you believe your personal safety–or the safety of your staff–was at risk during the rioting?
  • Do you believe the rioters should be held accountable for their actions?

Let’s face it; the entire GOP is guilty of dragging our great country down into the gutter of rancor and vitriol. Many of them were complicit in Trump’s attempt to overturn the election. The repeachment trial is as much a trial for the Republican Party itself. Will the GOP acknowledge its guilt and try to atone for it, or will they compound their guilt by denying it?

The truly sad thing–and I genuinely mean this makes me sad–is that they’ll almost certainly try to pretend they’re innocent.

yesterday was a peach bellini

Comrade Trump is gone. Uncle Joe Biden is the prez, with Kamala Harris as veep. Democracy has been resurrected. Winter will end. Bluebirds will sing again. Flowers will grow unbidden where Amanda Gorman walks. The breeze will be warm (or cool) and scented like apricots. All small towns will be called Bedford Falls. A cup of coffee will only cost a nickel.

Okay, maybe there’s some wishful thinking in there. But that’s sort of how it felt yesterday. That feeling won’t last, of course. Reality is a merciless sumbitch (as QAnon believers discovered yesterday); the Covid pandemic is still killing thousands of Americans every damned day, the climate is still massively fucked, and it’ll take a generation or so before anything like real racial/gender justice takes firm root.

But we deserve — hell, we need — a few days to just let the feeling that good things can still happen roll over us. Yes, there’s a LOT of work to do, but let’s not allow necessity to cast a shadow over the multitude of ways yesterday was special. Just one example: the undiluted joy of seeing the first woman — a woman who is black AND Asian — sworn in as Vice President of the United States by the first woman of color appointed to the US Supreme Court with her hand on a Bible that belonged to the first black man appointed to the US Supreme Court. That’s some serious history, right there.

So let’s not make a fuss about which particular bit of history yesterday was the most significant. It’s not a contest. And let’s not scold or castigate (now there’s an interesting word; it’s derived from the same root as ‘chaste’ and it originally meant ‘to make someone pure by correction or reproof’) other folks for enjoying a fashion decision, or an internet meme, or the selection of an entertainer that seems trivial compared to the magnitude of yesterday’s events. And for fuck’s sake, let’s not be assholes about ‘winning’. A bit of gloating is understandable and forgivable (did I spell that right? It doesn’t look right), but even though Trump and his followers treated us as the enemy, we shouldn’t prove them right.

I’m NOT saying we need to forgive and forget. Fuck that. But I am saying unity is important. There are people who ought to be investigated; if found responsible for awful behavior, they need to be held accountable. NOT for our pleasure or amusement, but because that’s how society is supposed to work. (On the other hand, if we get some measure of pleasure and amusement out of it, that’s gravy and we needn’t deny ourselves of it.)

I guess what I’m saying is this: yesterday was a good day. A really good day. Let’s not make any more of it than what it was, but let’s also not diminish or minimize any part of it. Yesterday was…let’s say yesterday was a peach Bellini. A cool, stimulating, mildly alcoholic cocktail with a delightful but subdued color palette. Was it a great peach Bellini? No, not really. Ideally a Bellini would be made with Prosecco and white peaches. Maybe this one was made with champagne instead of Prosecco, maybe with yellow peaches instead of white. But it was a very good Bellini, served properly, and at exactly the right moment.

Drink it, don’t diss it for not being perfect, don’t overstate its fine qualities, just enjoy it for what it is. Fizzy, refreshing, sweet, mellow, but stimulating.

caught up in the moment

You know that guy playing ninja during Comrade Trump’s RiotFest? The one in the photo, hanging from the balcony of the Senate Chamber, that guy? His name is Josiah Colt (and by the way, that’s a great name for a fictional character, isn’t it?). He’s 34 years old, from Boise, Idaho (also by the way, the ‘s’ in Boise is pronounced like…well, an ‘s’ not a ‘z’; you call it Boyzee folks will know you’re from out of town — just so you know).

Our boy Josiah left Idaho and went all the way to DC, nearly 2400 miles, to support Comrade Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election. He wants you to know he’s sorry. In an interview with CBS news, he said,

“I love America, I love the people, I didn’t hurt anyone and I didn’t cause any damage in the Chamber. I got caught up in the moment.”

I get that. I really do. I’ve experienced that. I’ve been caught up in the moment and done stuff that I regret, stuff I knew was wrong, stuff I’d never do ordinarily. I suspect many of us have had similar moments. We found ourselves caught up in the moment, and afterwards wondered, “What the HELL was I thinking?” We got caught up in the moment at an auction and bid too much money on something we didn’t really want. Or we got caught up in the moment and got a tattoo. On our ass. That says ‘Mom’. Or we got caught up in the moment and agreed to volunteer to knock on doors for a cause. Or we had sex with somebody wildly inappropriate. Or we came home from the market with a tin of sardines in mustard sauce.

Being in the moment is a good thing. Getting caught up in the moment is a risk; it can be good or it can be an utter fucking disaster. Hell, sometimes getting caught up in the moment is absolutely glorious even as it’s turning into an utter fucking disaster. I’m pretty sure our boy Josiah was having a great time being ‘Josiah Colt, American Ninja’ starring in the action movie Capitol Building Takedown. I’d be willing to bet my modest income that a LOT of the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol Building were like Josiah, folks who just got caught up in the moment.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m also confident that many of the insurrectionists knew exactly what they were doing, knew exactly how criminal it was, and were genuinely trying to destroy the government. Those people were just using the Josiah Colts as unthinking camouflage and cannon fodder. Which, let’s face it, is what they were.

Josiah also said this:

“I sincerely apologize to the American people. I recognize my actions that have brought shame upon myself, my family, my friends, and my beautiful country. In the moment I thought I was doing the right thing. I realize now that my actions were inappropriate and I beg for forgiveness from America and my home state of Idaho.”

I believe him. Well, I believe he actively regrets what he did. I appreciate his apology, though I question its sincerity. Maybe at some point in the future, I’d be willing to forgive him and his fellow ‘in the moment’ insurrectionists. But not now. It’s too soon. It’s not too soon for me to forgive him; it’s too soon for him to apologize sincerely. He hasn’t had enough time to truly consider what he and his fellow insurrectionists have done.

The problem with — wait. This is going to seem like a tangent (yes I’ve a history of wandering off on tangents, so I don’t blame you for being suspicious), but it’s not. Okay, I want you to think for a moment about the Japanese tea ceremony, cha no yu. You’ve probably seen it in movies and there’s a fairly good chance you thought it was lovely but relatively ridiculous. I mean, it’s a lot of time and effort just to sip a cup of tea. But here’s the thing: all that effort, all the meticulous preparation, the cleaning of the path to the tea room, the washing of the implements and the teapot, the arrangement of the flowers, the slow process of making the tea, the ritual of how to handle the cup — all of those things are done for a very simple reason: to create a quiet, meditative state of mind which allows the host and the visitor to be in the moment — that one particular moment — when the tea is sipped. There is a singular, beautiful purity in that moment.

Josiah and his fellow insurrectionists went through a somewhat similar process, although it’s the polar opposite. There were a LOT of steps involved in getting them to DC, all of which contributed to creating the proper frame of mind to try to overturn the election. Every step along the way fed their purpose — the constant barrage of presidential tweets, the echoing claims of fraud, the commitment involved in traveling to DC, the speeches given that morning, the chanting at the rally, the excitement of the crowd, the thrill of feeling powerful, the violence. All of those steps helped create and nourish the frame of mind needed to experience that one particular moment when the mob breached the Capitol. There’s a singular, awful purity in that moment.

Of course people got caught up in it. It took time and a lot of emotional spade-work to achieve that moment. It’ll take an equal amount of time and spade-work for Josiah Colt to truly comprehend what he did in that moment, the gravity of his offense. Unless he’s able to do that, his apology won’t truly be sincere. Until his apology is actually sincere, there won’t be any forgiveness. Not from me.

The same goes for everybody involved in the insurrection, from the most insignificant and lowly flag-waver to the elected representatives in Congress. They all willingly took that path. They have to willingly retrace their steps if they expect any sort of absolution.

that lying fucker is fucking lying again

Did you see Comrade President Trump’s ‘concession’ video? I watched it last night. I knew it would be full of lies, because…well, Trump. But Jesus suffering fuck, it was like thirty pounds of lies packed into a twenty pound lie-sack. You’d need a goddamned abacus to count all the lies. Almost every sentence was a lie.

Let’s just look at the first three lines. “I would like to begin by addressing the heinous attack on the United States Capitol.” Bullshit. There is NOTHING he liked about addressing the attack. He no more wants to address the attack than a toddler wants to begin potty training. And I seriously doubt he considers the attack heinous. Having to deal with the aftermath of the attack, that’s heinous for Trump.

6MWE — six million wasn’t enough. Not convinced this guy was motivated by election integrity.

“Like all Americans, I am outraged by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem.” Bullshit. Trump has a history of encouraging violence, lawlessness, and mayhem if it’s done by his followers at his campaign rallies. Or if it’s done by gun-toting right-wing teenagers defending gas stations in Kenosha. Or if it’s done by local law enforcement officers against ‘thugs’. Or by federal agents or the National Guard against BLM and Antifa. Or by the military (or private military contractors) against Muslims. When used by his people against people who oppose him, Trump eats up violence, lawlessness, and mayhem with a spoon.

That’s part of the reason Trump’s followers love him. He allows them to hate the people they want to hate. He let’s them enjoy their hate, and feel proud of it. All those people storming the Capitol Building on Wednesday, does anybody really believe that was about election integrity? Naw, that was mostly his followers getting a chance to let their hate run free. It didn’t matter if the hate wasn’t actually directed at the specific groups they hated, it was a chance to break shit and feel good about it. It was venting without consequence. It was a physical manifestation of their Twitter/Parler feeds. Let loose, tear shit up, have a laugh.

“I immediately deployed the National Guard and federal law enforcement to secure the building and expel the intruders.” Bullshit. Massive bullshit. Trump, who was puppy-dog eager to deploy the National Guard against BLM protests, did fuck-all on Wednesday. Trump even blocked the DC National Guard from being issued riot gear or being deployed without the direct approval of…whoever the fuck the current Acting Defense Secretary is (seriously, I pay attention to this stuff, and I don’t have a clue who is in charge of the DoD at the moment; Trump spent recent weeks hollowing out the leadership of the Pentagon, replacing career people with obscure but virulent Trump sycophants). So no, Trump didn’t authorize the deployment of either the DC or the Maryland National Guard; he did everything he could to disrupt any National Guard response.

How could anybody predict rioters would breach the Capitol Building perimeter by 1:30?

What Trump DID do, though, was tell the rioters that he understood them, that he loved them and thought they were special. He actually said that. Then, in his bullshit ‘concession’ speech, he said “emotions are high” as if the storming of the Capitol Building was some sort of spontaneous emotional outburst.

It wasn’t. It was planned well in advance. Trump even announced and promoted it himself on multiple occasions. Big Protest in DC on January 6th. Be there, will be wild! His followers organized rides to DC, they published lists of what to pack (toothbrush, gas masks, a sweater in case it gets chilly, zip tie cuffs if you intend to take prisoners, charger for your cell phone), they arranged meeting locations, they created and sold event merch. There was nothing surprising or spontaneous about this.

Who could have predicted there’d be a MAGA Civil War on January 6th?

Trump’s ‘concession’ speech wasn’t a concession speech at all. It was a grudging, weak-ass, pathetic attempt to dodge being impeached for a second time. It was Trump’s version of the kid who murdered his parents asking a judge for mercy because he’s an orphan. It was Trump doing the spouse abuser apology (I’m sorry I hit you, but you made me so mad, here are some carnations I picked up from the gas station, I love you). It was Trump saying all he did was set off some celebratory fireworks, it’s not his fault there was a drought, who could predict there’d be a forest fire, and why didn’t the fire service respond sooner?

It was Trump sacrificing his followers to save his own ass. He said, “[T]hose who engage in the acts of violence and destruction: you do not represent our country, and to those who broke the law: you will pay.” This is what Trump does. If it turns out that somebody has to pay for the awful shit he’s pulled, he makes sure it’s not him. Or his feral children (although if they have to be sacrificed, we all know Eric goes down first).

The stupidest thing is, Trump probably believes his ‘concession’ speech will work. He probably believes it’ll get him off the hook. It’ll save him from impeachment. He’s said some of the words his people have told him he needs to say, surely everything will be okay now. That’s how it works, right?

Sadly, that IS how it works. At least it’s how it’s always worked before. If history is any indication (SPOILER: history is almost always an indication), there’s every reason to believe Trump will skate on this. There’s every reason to believe he’ll manage to remain POTUS until his term expires. There’s every reason to believe he’ll never be held fully accountable for his many crimes.

But we have a new president coming in, with a new Congress that’ll be controlled by Democrats, and a new Attorney General. So while there’s every reason to believe Trump will skate, there’s also reason to hope this time will be different.