The violence that lies aheadJune 20, 2022
J Michael Luttig/Bulwark (committee statement):
Democracy on the Knife’s Edge
Luttig: “The hour is late. God is watching us.”
Honorable Members of the House Select Committee —
A stake was driven through the heart of American democracy on January 6, 2021, and our democracy today is on a knife’s edge.
America was at war on that fateful day, but not against a foreign power. She was at war against herself. We Americans were at war with each other — over our democracy.
Watch The Damn January 6 Hearings
Miller: Here’s Liz Cheney laying it all out.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY): All Americans should keep in mind this fact . . . On the morning of January 6, President Donald Trump’s intention was to remain president of the United States despite the lawful outcome of the 2020 election and in violation of his constitutional obligation to relinquish power. Over multiple months, Donald Trump oversaw and coordinated a sophisticated land to overturn the presidential election and prevent the transfer of presidential power.
Former President Trump: And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not gonna have a country anymore. We will stop the steal!
J6 participant: You better run cops!
J6 participant: This is our capital!
The Robert Hubbell link from above (Changing the conversation about Trump) is a very good summary with some excellent links.
Walter Shapiro/Roll Call:
Egad! It’s a guide to the 2022 midterms
Democrats should look to this simple acronym
Egad is one of those fusty words that you associate with Dr. Watson in a Sherlock Holmes mystery or P.G. Wodehouse mocking the British aristocracy. But taken as the acronym EGAD, it becomes a handy guide to the 2022 midterm elections.
Just four months until early voting begins in earnest, the issue contours of the election are coming into focus. And they spell the letters in EGAD — the economy, guns, abortion and democracy.
A Gallup polling assessment by Jeffrey Jones and Lydia Saad, released Tuesday, concluded, “Americans’ dour evaluations of the president, Congress, the economy and direction of the country all suggest that the typical pattern by which the president’s party loses seats in midterm elections will hold this year.”
That assumes, of course, that 2022 will be a normal political year. But if the Democrats hold their own on Nov. 8, despite Biden’s poll numbers, you will know how to explain it. Simply say, “EGAD.”
Trump’s Dangerous Wannabes
Meet the ambitious mediocrities who almost brought down American democracy.
Donald Trump, a petty and small man, is nonetheless a larger-than-life public figure. Investigating his attack on our elections is like staring into a klieg light: It is unpleasant, doesn’t reveal very much, and leaves you temporarily blinded to everything around you.
The January 6 committee, however, deserves a great deal of credit for illuminating the dangerous mediocrities on whom Trump relied for his mischief—the men and women who were certain that their moment had finally arrived. These people—call them the Third String—thought that they were finally going to The Show, and they were going to burn the Constitution if that’s what it took to stay there.
The January 6 hearings aren’t acknowledging the elephant in the room
The committee’s core task is to investigate the January 6 attack on the US Capitol and what led to it, of course. But everyone who believes in democracy needs to recognize that, in a very concrete sense, there is a continuing insurrection that far surpasses Trump.
The committee’s strategy of building its case almost entirely on testimony from Trump people, Republicans, and conservatives, not Democrats, is certainly effective if the goal is to prove the nonpartisan nature of the proceedings. But it runs the risk of letting too many people besides Trump off the hook. The narrative is that there was a “Team Normal” in and around the White House that moved away from Trump as he went increasingly off the rails, isolating him and leaving him with only “Team Crazy” and the likes of an allegedly drunk Rudy Giuliani, a rather unhinged Sidney Powell, and a rightwing lawyer, John Eastman, who seemed entirely willing to invent pseudo-legal reasons to justify a coup attempt.
“We Have to Get Out of This Phase”: Ashish Jha on the Future of the Pandemic
President Biden’s COVID czar talks about his public-health philosophy, his Twitter threads, his unlikely path to the White House, and where we go from here.
Many experts believe that this, more or less, is our new normal: new variants, intermittent surges, breakthrough infections, occasional boosters, offices emptying out when cases rise—covid not as an emergency, but not something we can forget about, either. Is that the way that you see things? Are we condemned to repeat the recent past for the foreseeable future?
No, no, no. Might we have to deal with this for another six months or a year? Sure. But are we living like this three or five years from now? Absolutely not. We have hundreds of thousands of Americans getting infected every day. We still have a few hundred people dying of covid every day. I don’t think any of this is an acceptable normal for the long run. First, it is very disruptive. Second, we don’t fully understand long covid, but the idea of people getting infected over and over and over again—it’s just not great. Third is that this just continues to fuel more variants.
So, what’s going to change it?
What’s currently driving new variants is their ability to escape immunity. As we get more complex immunity—meaning that some people have immunity from the original vaccines, other people from newer vaccines, other people have immunity from infections with Delta and Omicron—you’re building a population immunity that gets harder and harder for the virus to break through. I do think there is a limit to how much the virus can keep evading.
As abortion ruling nears, U.S. Supreme Court erects barricades to the public
No members of the public have been allowed in the courthouse since COVID-19 pandemic precautions were implemented in March 2020. The scene at the court has become more tense following protests and threats against some of the nine justices prompted by the May leak of a draft opinion indicating they are set to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. The court has a 6-3 conservative majority.
The 8-foot (2.4 meters) tall fencing was erected in the days after the leak as the court ramped up security measures.
While the rest of official Washington, including other government buildings including the White House and Capitol, has reopened its doors to the public at least partially as the pandemic ebbs, the top U.S. judicial body remains in a form of lockdown with what appears to be siege mentality even as it wields huge influence over public policy.