It was another powerful day of testimony at the scene of the January 6 crime: the United States capital. I had a wicked case of insomnia last night and am enervated by the hearing and the heat, so I’ll keep this entry relatively brief. I’ll take another bite at the hearing apple tomorrow unless it’s too wormy.
A few thoughts about the second half of the hearing. Two ordinary guys testified: Steven Ayres and Jason Van Tatenhoven. The latter used to be a spokesman for the Oath Keepers. He may be the most heavily tattooed person to ever testify before Congress. I’ve been calling him Jason Van Tattoo all day. His testimony, however, was deadly serious.
Van Tattoo described the ambitions of Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes to become an American Ernst Röhm who was the leader of the Nazi storm troopers. The name was unspoken but Rhodes saw the Kaiser of Chaos as his ticket to fascist glory. Van Tattoo left the Oath Keepers in disgust after learning the group was laced with Holocaust deniers. That was a bridge too far for him. He is profoundly worried about the 2024 election if people continue to swallow Team Trump’s “lies, deceit, and snake oil.”
There must be consequences for the Fuhrer wannabe Trump and the Röhm wannabe Rhodes. The latter should remember that Hitler turned on his old comrade when it was expedient to do so. Trump only cares about himself. The Oath Keepers and Proud Boys are tools to be used then discarded. If they’re guilty of seditious conspiracy so too are Donald Trump, Mark Meadows, John Eastman, and Rudy Giuliani.
Steven Ayres took part in the riot, entered the Capital, and pled guilty to insurrection related charges. He feels duped by the Impeached Insult Comedian. Ayres lost his job, home, and reputation. He became addicted to right-wing pro-Trump social media and paid a heavy price for his addiction.
Ayres has gone from rioter to victim. He’s genuinely contrite and no longer believes the BIG LIE. He volunteered to testify hoping that his appearance would get others to kick the Trumper habit.
Stephen Ayres is an example of how gullibility can lead one astray. He’s a simple working man who believed Trump’s lies. Former President* Pennywise destroys everything and everyone he touches. All he cares about is himself, not the supporters he claims to love. It’s astonishing how much havoc one man’s selfishness can wreak.
Liz Cheney dropped another bombshell at the end of the session. The committee has been informed that the Dipshit-in-Chief tried to contact a witness. They wisely did not answer the call. It’s a sign that Trump feels the walls closing in on him. He usually delegates witness tampering. Stay tuned.
The post title is a paraphrase of comments made by Stephen Ayres. He told the country that he felt he was wearing horse blinders in his time as a Trumper. He hopes that others will not make the same mistake.
I’ll have more tomorrow about the first half of the hearing in which Pat Cippollone made his first appearance.
The last word goes to Robert Cray: