We Pause This Blog To Watch Our Government Blow Up and Reassemble Itself.

It’s like a movie. This was always going to happen. Twitter has even suspended Trump. When Twitter says, “You’re inciting insurrection,” you’ve screwed up.

It’s going to be okay. I know I keep saying that, but in a way, this is one of the best things that could happen. Want to see how differently police treat BLM protesters from MAGA protesters? Want to see which side is the most violent and deranged? Want to see how bad it gets before even Ted Cruz starts backtracking? Yep, we’re there.

Just a note: None of these idiots wore masks or social distanced during the worst part of the pandemic. Karma is relentless these days,

feel free to discuss below, maintaining respect for your fellow commenters, please. You always do, that’s just managerial stuff,

62 thoughts on “We Pause This Blog To Watch Our Government Blow Up and Reassemble Itself.

  1. I’m just repeating “Extinction Burst, Extinction Burst,” as if it were a meditation or monastic chant. The wild and futile last struggles of something going extinct.

    And I’m trying to focus on the good — Warnock was elected, first Black Democrat ever; and Ossoff’s win was announced mid-insurrection.

    Although then I checked my facebook timeline (they’ve suspended the Occupant’s account too temporarily, and I do love the image of him trying to rant but not having a platform and there’s nothing he can do about it), and someone there was claiming that the insurgents were actually Antifa. So there’s still work to be done even as some extinction happens.

    1. This is an old post by this time, and I posted here on the day of the Capitol siege, but I spent yesterday evening and this morning watching more detailed news, with video, of the scenes on the Mall and inside the Capitol building, and I am really chilled. There were dozens — maybe hundreds — of people beating police officers with flagpoles (oddly enough, many of which were shaped like pool cues, with heavy, decorated, thick handles, rather than $3.99 Walmart flagpoles made of softwoods).

      I learned that the Capitol police officer who died was beaten to death with a fire extinguisher.

      I saw video of Trump and his three favored oldest offspring having a kind of giddy congratulatory party in the private area behind the rally stage on Pennsylvania Avenue where he was speaking on Wednesday morning (the giant stage banner read “Save America”).

      The early footage of the actual entrance into the Capitol building mostly showed a happy crowd holding selfie sticks and waving their iPhone cameras at one another as they experienced the thrilling adventure of being successful young revolutionaries.

      The footage out this morning showed scenes from the perimeter of the crowds, probably from news organizations covering things, and it was ghastly — groups of marchers cooperating to lift the metal pedestrian fences and bashing them down onto the heads of police, press photographers, and black marchers with BLM signs.

      The reports of the arrests (not very many, many 70 people?) given the size and violence of the crowds of thousands, detailed the things they were doing when arrested, nearly all of which involved attacks on individuals who were doing their jobs.

      This morning I also got an email from a friend which sent a link to an interview that was frank and intelligent and grim. I hope you watch it.


      — and I am Jinx, despite my new Argh identity

  2. Yeah, the MAGA hats and shirts are going to be a problem with that story. Also the Confederate flags.

    1. And their identification on social media and the things they said there make it very clear. So I suspect will their trials.

  3. Watching the news today has been just sickening.

    Cruz is not backtracking. He’s just voted not to accept Arizona’s electoral votes. We can only hope that Texans come to their senses next time he’s up for election.

  4. I think there’s good news ahead. Also, the coup so far hasn’t worked. And we got the Senate!

    I was utterly annoyed that my coworkers didn’t give a shit today and just kept wanting to focus on stupid work drama. Gawd.

    This was inevitable, but so far hasn’t worked. I highly doubt he’ll get impeached again (or have it stick) or 25thed or literally suffer any punishment besides having his social media taken away, but for today, I can vaguely pretend someone might do something!

    1. I sort of think losing his Twitter (and other social media) platform is going to be … well, not sufficient punishment, but at least something that will make him miserable. I’m somewhat optimistic that he’ll be banned permanently for subsequent rules violations, because he just won’t be able to stop himself. Meanwhile, I’m hoping that other forms of media (tv, talk radio) will be reluctant to let him rant on their platforms after today, and reluctant to cover any press conferences he tries to hold (some media has already stopped covering them live), for fear of inciting even more unrest.

  5. I woke up so happy this morning – Warnock had won and Ossoff was on his way to winning, and then all hell broke loose. I’m truly shaken by what happened today.

    Cruz and Hawley should be expelled from the Senate, and it feels like the 25th amendment should come into play, because we can’t take 2 more weeks of this.

  6. My mind keeps coming back to 4 people dying. One of them shot by police. And how woefully unprepared the capitol was for this very predictable action. And, of course, what an appalling person Trump is. I’m so sorry you have to have him as president for another minute but at least he’s nearly gone.

    As we say here after disasters: Kia kaha, stay strong.

    1. The woefully unprepared part really stunned me. They knew this was coming. Have known for weeks, if not months. How do they not prep for it? If I worked in that building, I would not be feeling confident right now.

      Heads need to roll. Lots of heads.

      1. I have heard, but not seen confirmed, that before the event the White house had told the DHS that it wasn’t necessary to deploy the National Guard.
        Then during the occupation of the Capitol, it was Pence who from within the Capitol ordered DHS to send the National Guard to support the Capitol police. The president did nothing to stop the riot or send assistance, except for some halfhearted tweets that encouraged the rioters as much as they asked them to ‘stay peaceful’.
        So is he now mad at Pence not just for accepting the electoral votes, but also for getting in the way of that halfhearted coup attempt, getting the rioters out sooner, and the sesdion resumed sooner, by getting the National Guard sent in?

        Why was the presence of a large and angry group of often armed far-right protesters, which intelligence agencies have rated as the greatest risk for committing domestic terrorist act not considered threatening enough to deploy more defenses? Just because they are Trump supporters, so he doesn’t feel threatened by them, should not have made any difference to an objective and reasonable tactical consideration.

        Compare it with the much higher level of preparation and deployment of those law enforcement officers, as well as much greater deployment of force by those officers, for the unarmed and mostly peaceful BLM protests this summer. There should be an inquiry into why this discrepancy was so great.

        Did Trump want a riot, or at least a big and unruly demonstration? Maybe to satisfy his ego, maybe because as a bully he hoped bullying Congress would get some to cave in to his demands, and maybe to distract from his latest election-tampering phone call – the exact reason isn’t really relevant.
        Did he order DHS not to comply with a request for preventative assistance, to leave the coast clear for his supporters to mass in protest and shout threateningly at Congress?

        1. You give Trump too much credit for planning. He doesn’t think like that. He’s always in the moment and it’s always about him. He didn’t win so it must be fraud. These people are angry because he told them to be, so they must be good people. He doesn’t need the National Guard because these people are just exercising their right to be angry for him. I’m pretty sure he loved all of it until so many people started turning on him and it became clear that this wasn’t a great show of his power, this was very bad for him, at which point he probably threw a tantrum and tried to ignore the mess. He’s mad at Mike Pence because Pence didn’t declare him President but did declare Biden. And now he can’t go on Twitter and tell everybody how great he is. And people are quitting because he did this instead of admiring him for having so much power. It’s all going WRONG, this was supposed to give him the Presidency back.

          He’s insane.

          1. If you haven’t read Mary Trump’s book, it gives some insights into the evolution of her uncle’s distorted reasoning and reactions. Trump’s father never really let Trump face the consequences of his failures and time after time bailed him out. And his mentor Roy Cohn (Senator Joe McCarthy’s chief counsel during the Red Scare) added to the mix by teaching him to punch back ten times as hard as he was punched. He has always been a bully who was never successfully held accountable.

            I think his reaction to his defeat by Biden was a continuation of what he has always done. Either sue and humiliate someone who he feels has wronged him or look to powerful people to take away what he feels was taken from him. Because of his fragile ego, he can’t handle the label of “loser”. I think he is as dangerous as a cornered rattler and the next thirteen days require vigilance on all levels.

  7. Respect for the other side may be difficult for me right now. Anyone who thinks what happened today was a good thing needs to go live somewhere else. Fascism is not what I want for my country.
    I knew that that man would try something and I’m worried tbat if they don’t use the 25th on him – well, he’s got two more weeks. And that means two more weeks of pardons (yes, he could pardon all those insurrectionists with the time he has left). And Kellyanne Conway – said she saw the video ahead of time and it was good – her idea of good is to rile them up further – WTF is wrong with her? WTF is wrong with all those in the GOP who thought letting him run amok was a good way to go? He is not going to go quietly. There may/will be more to come. He is unfit.
    And Teddyboy – I’ve been sending him emails the last few days asking him why he was helping out with the coup. He’s my senator (well not really – he doesn’t “represent” me) he’s there until 2025 – but I’m going to do my best to see he’s not there after that.
    Pardon my rant – but as a Southerner it really riles me up to see neighbors (& some family…) think 1930’s Germany is a good idea.
    In other news, I got an e-reader and bought all the murderbot books – I think I’ll go read!

    1. I can’t figure out how Kellyanne and George co-exist, let alone stay married.
      I think a lot of the GOP is now backing away because this really was beyond the pale. The NYT live section tonight said that some people in the cabinet are talking about the 25th amendment, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

      1. I thought George and Kellyanne separated after Kellyanne resigned.

        I was a little nervous about how Susan Collins would vote yesterday after she didn’t vote for the impeachment, but at least on this vote she didn’t pretend that things were normal. What I wonder is, why didn’t we see this coming after Charleston? And why is murdering the opposition okay when done on the street, but not in the Capitol?

  8. I spent most of the afternoon watching the news and muttering, “My God, My God”. I’m trying to believe that, at some point, sanity will prevail.

  9. Well, we have Warnock and Ossoff, so there’s that. And I think that Hawley’s political career is tanked, especially as all his opponents will have to do is blow up the picture of him outside the Capitol throwing the power-fist up for the protestors. And Cruz — who is supposed to be bright — may want to reconsider trying to take over “Trump’s Base.” In fact, all the far-right types who were thinking of co-opting that base for a 2024 presidential run should be thinking twice.

    My favorite legal podcast had an emergency episode this afternoon, and the podcaster’s friend at the DOJ reported that while a LOT of attorneys want to be sworn in as AUSA’s in DC to prosecute the bums, there were enough AUSA’s already in the area to cover the need.

    I try not to give in to my overwhelming desire to punch a MAGA in the teeth. That’s where covid quarantine really helps.

  10. I have sworn to protect the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Retiring from federal service did not relieve me of that oath. I would happily have stood in the corridors or on the steps and kept the insurgents from interfering with congress, but that was not within my gift.

    I am trying to remain calm about the entire issue. I believe all the MAGAts should have been arrested and held in close confinement without immediate bail. The trespass and assault and battery charges were all federal crimes. I’m trying not to be vindictive enough to wish them all unemployable for life. The loss of life boosts the misdemeanors to felonies.

    God rot the instigator-in-chief.

    1. Again, considering they were breathing heavily unmasked close to each other while the new super-fast spread Covid is raging, I think Karma’s going to take some of them out.

      1. Is it wrong of me to hope huge swaths of them die of COVID? Even worse, to be the people who are considered unlikely to survive in triage so they don’t even get any healthcare. I can’t believe they weren’t arrested in masses. I need to know how they got so close and got in. I want to know why some of the cops opened the barricades to let terrorists into the Capitol and why at least one of them took a selfie with a terrorist. Seriously.

        1. Latest reports say there were so few cops at the barricade they backed up to save lives and the terrorists moved the barricades. Which makes sense. Since they’d reduced the protection to hardly anyone already.

          1. There is video at one barricade of the COPS moving them out of the way and just letting people in. Insanity.

        1. They’re going to take down anybody so damn dumb they’re still not wearing masks.

          At some point, Darwinism just takes over.

    2. Gary, I wondered too about that oath. I’m sure there were many now domestic terrorists after yesterday who served and our now guilty of insurrection. After all the oath should be for a lifetime. Including the one who started it all.

      1. There are oath takers and oath breakers. I’m sure many of those with whom I served felt that the oath lasted until mustering out, and not a moment more. Some took the oath with fingers crossed because patriotism is a dirty word. It happens. Some even consider themselves superpatriots. Those might have used the oath to justify being in the mob. That’s just not how I roll.

        1. I have on occasion futilely reminded Mitch McMinority that he took that oath–which since he is still in office _must_ still apply–in my attempts to remind him to represent me.

          The census oath of silence explicitly says it is a lifetime obligation to keep information private.

    3. “protect the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. ” I, too, have sworn that oath (which surprised and delighted me at my census job swearing in) and would gladly have stood in the way of those trying to (and temporarily succeeding in) disrupt the constitutional process.

  11. Not rocking the boat at family dinners needs to end today.

    Giving equal time to “both sides” needs to be destroyed as media policy.

    They HAD the law enforcement means to stop the attempted coup. THEY DIDN’T. The call was coming from inside the house. THE SYSTEM WORKED AS IT WAS DESIGNED TO.

    Do NOT let your representatives come up with stringent legislation against protests and riots because it will only be used against Indigenous, Black, and other peoples of colour.

    It will be used to shoot rubber bullets and teargas at peaceful minority protestors. People protesting against oil pipelines that damage water security. People protesting knees to necks of a man crying out for his mother. People protesting for Breonna Taylor who was at home in her apartment.

    These are the fruits of inaction of people who refused to vote in 2016, because “they were both bad,” and frankly they should be ostracized in every setting.

    1. I don’t think there’ll be legislation against protests. We have the first amendment for that and the ACLU alone would be on that before it got anywhere. I don’t see Schumer or Pelosi or ever McConnell letting something like that come to a vote.

      The thing that reassures me a little is that so many people in power are appalled and angry. McConnell, limb of Satan, was furious. I thought Romney was going to stroke out. Even Lindsey Graham said “Enough.” This went too far and it’s directly attributable to Trump who sent them to the capital. This and the override on Trump’s veto and the results in Georgia are just hammering at his power, not to mention Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram banning him for twenty-four hours. Plus it was so nice of the protesters to carry the Confederate flag into the capitol, just in case we were wondering if they were racists.

      1. I heard on the news that the orange insurrection instigator’s Facebook and Twitter accounts are suspended until after the innaugeration.

      2. I watched C-SPAN after they resumed the count, and the entire time Hawley was talking (it was appalling), I just watched Mitt Romney stare daggers at the back of his head.

        1. He just lost his book contract with S&S, and his home town newspaper, the state capital newspaper, just denounced him completely. And that picture of him raising his fist in solidarity with the protestors? Yeah, that’s gonna be a big help to his challenger next election.

          1. Now Hawley is crying that this is an assault on the First Amendment. You would think a Senator would know what the amendment actually says. It specifically applies to the Government not passing laws to abridge our stated freedoms. This means the government – not private enterprise (which I’m sure he supports.)

            Nobody said his book can’t be published elsewhere. Simon & Schuster just doesn’t want it and I’m sure there is an ironclad contract escape clause protecting them from a lawsuit.

            The Josh Hawley saga has become highly diverting.

      3. Several States are considering or have already put into law rules that make protesting much more difficult and dangerous. After the pipeline protests they wanted to block almost all ways to legally protest that might slightly inconvenience anyone. These are horrific, from laws that grant immunity to drivers that mow down protesters if the protesters are in a roadway, to laws that state that anyone who was present at the planning of a demonstration is liable as part of a criminal organisation if any crime happens at that demonstration, even if it’s an outside agitator who commits the crime – including any house where people met and talked about organising the demonstration being taken as asset forfeiture.

        The ACLU will be fighting against those laws in courts where a lot of partisan judges have been appointed over the last years. Reckoning that the Trump administration alone has now appointed 1/4 of all federal judges, and heavily gerrymandered Republican state houses have also been packing their courts for years, I’m not so sure some form of those laws will not be allowed to stand.

    2. I was pleased to hear many officials making a clear distinction between protesting and the assault on the capitol yesterday.

  12. I don’t live in the District, but I live close enough that I could hear the booms and the sirens.

    What I can’t get over is that the insurrectionists who broke into the Capitol were allowed to just walk away. I get that they’re white so they didn’t get shot on the steps, but they should have been zip tied and hauled to jail.

    1. This. How on earth were they not all arrested for breaking into a government building (my housemate says years ago she went on a tour and they threatened to arrest her for leaving the group!), destroying things, trespassing, threatening the lives of Senators and everything else? How were they not all taken away in buses to jail? The ones who did get arrested mostly were taken in for freaking breaking curfew. And yet at BLM rallies, all peaceful, people were teargassed and arrested.

      WTF, DC?

      1. I believe there will arrests to come, courtesy of the FBI and the helpful posts, videos, and photographs that the gleeful idiots have dropped on the net.
        Also, there were thousands of them, so I get the why not all, but there should have been more than the 70 or so people they nabbed, I agree.

        1. There are security cameras every two feet in the Capitol complex. Facial recognition software and the outraged public are going to help the FBI identify and prosecute a lot of those folks. I know of at least two that already lost their jobs.
          So getting out of the building isnt exactly getting away with it.
          Especially for the idiots who helpfully live streamed it on Facebook like the W V state legislator.
          The federal prosecutors say they are investigating and will charge everyone involved — and they said that in response to a question about Trump. (Who loses any protection being President may give him in 12 days.)

  13. I keep thinking about how when I (briefly) interned on capitol hill, I was proud to walk into that building. Obviously the U.S. is flawed in a million ways. And there are ways in which it’s just another office building. But there are also ways in which it felt like a symbol of the best parts of the U.S. The idea that a government should be open to its citizens. That change CAN happen for the better, without bloodshed. That we can come together to do good.

    And then there’s the personal level. Two of my friends would have been at work in that building today if not for the pandemic. Most of the people I know in D.C. moved there in part because they want to pitch in and help make the world better (as reporters, as hill staffers, as nonprofit workers, as librarians, as medical professionals, as nonpartisan government workers). It’s a city that draws people who believe in getting involved, and at least TRYING to solve problems and be of service. And I am so, so sick of watching selfish, reckless, racist people use this vibrant city and the very real people in it for target practice.

  14. Can you picture what an ER in D.C. is like. Protesters showing up refusing to wear masks, coughing after the teargas. Patient’s are supposed to wear masks if staff is in the room. What a nightmare.

    I imagine a bunch are flying out tomorrow. Picture on the plane.

    Where do you put the ones that are arrested? My mind boggles.

    Bright spot: most did not wear masks and everybody seemed to be filming and probably posting on social media. If they are found guilty of a felony, they could lose the right to vote. Karma.

  15. I agree with all that you guys have said.

    Prior to 1 pm yesterday (1/6/21) I was reveling in the success of Warnock in Georgia and beginning to hope that maybe Ossoff would pull it off too. Stacy Abrams belongs in the position of head of the Democratic National Committee. What a woman she is and what a great team of get-out-the-vote people in Georgia.

    At 1 pm, my husband, daughter, and I started watching the joint session of Congress. Then Trump’s insurrectionists stormed the Capitol. There have been few days in my life when I was more horrified.

    Sure, this was Trump’s moment, but it was also another sign of decades of increasing bad faith, hyperbolic and hate-inciting language, and antipathy towards democracy and democratic institutions. Trump could not have achieved this without the support of the Republican party. While Mitch McConnell has been an enabler for Trump, Mitch himself is an outgrowth of Newt Gingrich and greedy, inhumane political positions that go back to Barry Goldwater.

    Those who truly care for the USA and its democracy need to become involved right away. Cleaning up our country after this debacle is going to take the rest of our lives.

    I’m going to buy a Stacy Abrams’ romance right now. That flippant remark aside, I’m very moved when you Arghers write about what you do to help our country (in many ways).

  16. What scares me the most is how young the rioters/insurgents were. The extinction burst is going to take a lot longer. There’s a lot of self pity there.

    The rest of my thoughts are just senseless screams and fear and shame at how deeply entrenched white privilege and power are. There would be so many more black and brown bodies.

  17. Oops, Selena Montgomery’s romances do not appear to be available currently. So I ordered Stacey Abrams’ most recent book instead. Probably this is better for me.

    1. I got two of Selena Montgomery’s romances from the library, which had a short waiting list.

  18. I feel very much as I did after 9-11. How in heaven’s name could this happen?

    Some random observations:

    Beaucoup bucks were spent on post 9-11 security upgrades to federal buildings – why did they not consider home grown terrorists? Remember Oklahoma City and Timothy McVeigh in 1995? And how about the Marine barracks bombed in Lebanon in 1983? Didn’t anyone consider that someone in the U.S. might try the same thing? It seems to me that strategically placed barricades could have helped fragment the crowd and slow their progress. Perhaps it might not have helped, but then again it might have. For heaven’s sake, they move sanitation trucks and concrete barriers to prevent truck bombers to attack crowds at parades, but we leave one of our most important buildings as a sitting target. Jesus wept.

    Also, I watched the Capitol windows easily smashed by the insurrectionists. I know it would cost a boatload of money, but hurricane impact glass would have slowed the entrance to the building. I know it works as we have all impact windows in our house. Or roll down shutters on the interior that can be activated when needed. Yes, it’s a beautiful historic building, but if it isn’t protected from modern threats, it can be destroyed by modern means.

    Also, why are there not better doors that can be shut from the inside of existing historic exterior doors and the doors to chambers where members of Congress meet? Keep the beautiful historic doors, but add security doors that can be closed to rioting insurrectionists. If exterior doors and windows had been secured on ground level as soon as the crowd formed, things might have been different.

    Before 9-11 aircraft cockpit doors were flimsy partitions that a two year old could have breached because no one saw what might happen. Then the world changed and so did cockpit doors. Let’s hope Congress demands better protection for their chambers. That picture of Capitol police with guns drawn standing at the chamber door behind furniture placed there as a barricade says a lot – brave people offering their best defense to protect and serve our legislators.

    Also, is there a reason why water canons could not have been used when the perimeter around the building was compromised? As cold as it was in DC, I would think that quite a few of the crowd would have left if they were soaked.

    This has been extremely long. Sorry about that. Thanks to Argh for giving me a chance to unload these thoughts. I feel better for venting my spleen.

      1. The people in charge have resigned or been fired, and I think there will be more to come, but yes, huge dereliction of duty there. Some of the cops were taking selfies with the protestors. I would suggest they go first.

  19. Oh, folks. I sit in my safe bubble in Canada and think: no, no, it couldn’t have happened in America. The same feelings I had when I first heard of the 9/11 – fear and dismay.

  20. So much to do. I hope the new Democratic congress starts acting like they’re Republican winners and pass the legislation we need. Starting with a voting rights act and a good panemic relief bill and a domestic terrorism act. And, investigations, Benghazi-like investigations as to how this breach of the Capitol happened.

    Actually, they need to start with immpeaching and convicting and removing Trump. The feckless VP and cabinet are going to leave the action to Nancy, as usual.

    1. …with cowardly cabinet members resigning rather than facing their duty and declaring Trump unfit.

  21. My great grandfather jumped off a boat to get into Australia. His ship was bound for Boston, but he dove into Sydney harbour on a refuelling stop and swam ashore. Watching your politics for the last four years, I have never felt more grateful to my ancestor for this act. Yesterday was surreal. I am trying to learn from what’s happening there so I can do my part to make sure it never happens here. Stay safe, Argh people. And for the love of cats, keep voting.

  22. The AP had a story this morning that three days before the insurrection, the Pentagon asked the Capitol Police if they needed the National Guard and were refused. And the day of the mob storming the Capitol, the Justice Department offered FBI agents to the Capitol Police and were turned down. It seems the Capitol Police were expecting a “peaceful protest”. But for the BLM protests, they had the National Guard out, barricades, the works.

    I’m so appalled at the stupidity and callous, blatant racism that I don’t know how to process all the failures and venality of the decision makers at the Capitol Police.

    As Pogo once said – “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

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