So over the weekend, I had a disagreement with a friend about mask mandates and I bear-sprayed them and hit them with a metal pole.
Actually, that never happened. But last week, the Republican Party declared such actions “legitimate political discourse.” This was part of a resolution censuring Shred-of-Decency Holders Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, who are the Republican Congresspeoples now on the outs with the Grand Old Party for being part of an investigation into an insurrection.
It’s a pretty shocking statement to come from a major political party, and of course, Head GOP Bullshitter Ronna McDaniel leaped in to say “we were talking about the peaceful protestors who are being persecuted for their beliefs, actually” and there’s scant evidence this is what they meant. Of course, evidence, nor reality, really matter anymore as much as muddying the waters.
They do this because it works, and it doesn’t seem to hurt them. They can be open about wanting to ruin democracy, and not lose voters. In fact, starting around mid-November, they’ve taken the lead in the 2022 generic congressional vote. A lot of that, of course, has to do with inflation and COVID, the latter because now we as a nation appear to think telling a virus “lol whatevs, so over you.”
Meanwhile, the Crazy Former President is continuing to not just saying the quiet part out loud, but screaming it. Even the New York Times, which often makes you wonder if they are clueless about Trump or really want Trump as our Dear Leader for Life, recently expressed reservations about his rallies. Trump is outright telling his minions that if they dare try to prosecute him, then it’s go time. I’ve seen more than a few sad naive souls claim that Trump is just telling his followers to protest and march, but we’ve already seen the results of that when he called for protests in December 2020 over the election. Trump is also promising pardons for January 6 rioters.
Trump also yelled at Mike Pence last week when he said at a Federalist Society event that Trump was wrong, that the vice president had no right to overturn the election. Pence was doing this in response to Trump’s claim that he could have overturned the election but chose not to because he’s a big meanie or something. A CNN reporter at the event noticed that Pence’s statements didn’t get a warm reception, in fact, quite the opposite.
And I almost forgot, Trump was trying to have voting machines seized by the military, which sort of came and went and people seemed to be more worked up about a third-rate comedian being “censored” on his podcast where he spreads COVID conspiracies. Amidst all of this, a lot of Americans, the ones who are not insane or apathetic, wonder where the calvary is.
Unfortunately, the wheels of justice turn slow in America and I don’t have a great feeling despite the reassurances that at some point, The System will save us all. I don’t have a great feeling because we heard this about Robert Mueller’s investigation. I haven’t forgot the breathless assurances that Trump was going down due to Mueller’s meticulous bloodhound-like pursuit of Trump’s wrongdoings (and bizarrely, some moderate Dems convinced themselves that Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Corso were also going down because Mueller would reveal them as being Russian tools or something?).
So a lot of us are a little (a lot) antsy that Garland and the January 6 Committee are moving a little slow. Trump’s strategy with legal issues always has been running out the clock. If this investigation and hearing last until November, if the Democrats lose Congress, it’ll stop and we’ll turn our attention to impeaching President Biden (which they are open about doing). The timeline for prosecuting and sentencing someone like Trump is always slow, and that timeline opens up the possibility of a GOP president pardoning Trump and he gets away with it.
The history, needless to say, of allowing people to get away with something like an insurrection is not good. Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch was a prelude to the Reichstag Fire a decade later, and there’s a chance we’re on that trajectory, except much faster. The right is using the system’s weaknesses against us. Ironically, a good example is McConnell’s refusal to hold hearings for a potential Supreme Court Justice Garland when Barack Obama nominated him. He broke no Senate rules other than “gentleman’s agreements” about how to use the power of the Senate leader. There is no comity just around the corner.
Instead, we have a world where not the random right-wing nutjob at the diner counter is arguing that beating people over the head and bear-spraying them is a legitimate expression, but the head of one of our two major parties. They are doing it because they think they can, and they appear to be right. Every time they step over a line, they draw a new one, and step over that. While basically not caring if anyone sees them doing it.
The last word goes to the Rolling Stones, which is as legit as any political discourse.