This morning, the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol began its hearings with testimony from two Capitol Police officers and two Metropolitan Police officers. After Representatives Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Liz Cheney (R-WY) opened the hearing, Sergeant Aquilino Gonell and and Officer Harry Dunn of the Capitol Police, and Officer Michael Fanone and Officer Daniel Hodges of the Metropolitan Police, recounted hand-to-hand combat against rioters who were looking to stop the election of Democrat Joe Biden and kill elected officials whom they thought were standing in the way of Trump’s reelection. They gouged eyes, sprayed chemicals, shouted the n-word, and told the officers they were going to die. They said: “Trump sent us.”
I struggle with chronic depression. Yesterday's testimony made me understand that I have been selfishly consumed by my own sadness. I cried through parts of the testimony realizing that we are all living under a shadow. We are all struggling. We are all both affected and infected.
The disease is the stupidity of the truth skeptics led by masterminds who feed them lucrative juicy stories. Masterminds who, as one news commentator remarked, "sit smugly, vaccinated in their air-conditioned studios, spitting" on the the January 6th truth-seekers, calling them "actors." The disease is power money. The majority of our nation's problems arise from the business of lying to a single tribe, hiding behind the false mask of freedom of speech. For after all, aren’t the antifaxers, the COVID nonbelievers, the climate deniers, the white supremacists, the religious extremists, and the trumpers all one and the same tribe? The same disease?
For some inexplicable reason, I have found myself opening The Brothers Karamazov as a distraction to my depression and politics, bracing for a long slog. Instead of a distraction, I'm finding answers. At least answers on how to live my life. I’m calling it the Biden Solution. Forge through with eternal optimism. Use the superpower of democracy: the vote. Never deny truth. Because like the poem says, truth IS beauty - and the only way out of the mess this world and our country is in. Don't give in to the denier tribe. We are our only hope.
Big virtual hugs to the people who scared off the deranged idiots wanting to complain about arrested insurrectionist being "political prisoners," by calling Gaetz a pedophile & blowing a whistle to drown out their disgusting lies!
I was particularly impressed by Cheney and Kinzinger, the two committee members who will pay a price for their commitment to their country. They demonstrate that it's hard to do the right thing, when doing so will harm you - but they decided that the thing that would be harmed, the offices they hold, aren't worth holding if the price is your conscience and commitment to the ideals the country was founded on. The scum like the empty McQarthy, so consumed by his desire for "success" that he's willing to turn that possible "success" into ashes, or Scalise, who was memorably described by someone who knew him well as "David Duke without the baggage, or the conscienceless little striver Stefanik, who probably didn't have a soul to sell, are all whistling past the political graveyard. Next year isn't going to happen the way they think it will, and they're not going to realize it till the walls fall in on them.
Gaslighting is what worked for DJT so beautifully. It also made many of us who grew up being gaslit in our own homes (It’s not that bad; just don’t tell anyone; that’s not what really happened) SICK. Gaslighting —denying someone’s reality — evokes a special kind of toxic stress. We doubt our sanity. While we know emperor is naked, others proclaim him to be well-dressed. This crazy making is great for ratings; bad for sanity. It is outrageously abusive snd toxic. Like the rewriting of American history to deny Native American genocide or to portray enslaved people as happy and well fed. Truth heals. Thanks for sticking to it.
While I missed bits and pieces, I mostly heard the whole 3 hours on NPR. So many emotions ran through me - gratitude for these men, gratitude that the hearings are finally underway, gratitude that my WWII veteran father did not live to see what has happened to this country! Anger and disgust at the likes of McCarthy and Co.; all the nay-saying, weasel-worded, sniveling SOBs in whatever the hell the Republican Party has become-Party of Trump, Conspiracy Party, QAnon Party, whatever. Between them they don't have a true patriotic bone in their body politic.
Then I realized that no matter how eloquent, truthful, forceful, and heart-wrenching these men's testimony was - and it was all of that - it will not mean a GD thing to any Trumpster who managed to let a word of it into their brain. They are too far gone down the rabbit hole. But if there are any fence-sitters still among them, I don't see how they could remain unmoved and unconvinced that Dear Leader is a fraud and a failed path, and if they are smart, they will abandon that path immediately.
If Jan. 6th's insurrection is allowed to go unpunished, we are truly lost. If the McCarthys and Jordans and their enablers and goaders at Fox and News Max, etc., 'win', we are truly lost as a nation. Our world will end, not with a bang, but with a whimper.
Morning, all!! Morning, Dr. R!!
So much can be said about what we heard at yesterday's January 6 hearing.
Here is but one that resonated for me: Rep Murphy(CA) recounted that she could hear Officer Hodges screaming as he was being squeezed by rioters against a door jam some 40 paces away from where she and a fellow rep were hunkered down in the basement of the Capitol. She wanted to let him know how grateful she was that because of him she was able to go home that day to hug her family.
These first responders served to remind us they were there that day to "protect and serve" even the rioters who were beating them. There is a part of me that would have loved to have had Jim Jordan be at the hearing and have to come face-to-face with these four brave men while trying to downplay their heroic actions.
Some quotables from yesterday's hearing...
Sgt. Gonell: "I'm still recovering from all those hugs and kisses."
Officer Hodges, in response to a question from Rep. Raskin about some lawmakers referring to MAGA rioters as just tourists: "...I can see why foreign countries don't like American tourists."
Most Republicans do not want the country to get a second look at, a grim reminder of, Jan. 6th. And they certainly do not want a public airing of minute-to-minute communications within the White House and within the offices of several Republican lawmakers. A second look at the legislators who acted as tour guides for protestors "casing the joint" in the days leading up to the insurrection will not play well either.
The person who willfully inspired, those who aided and abetted the Jan. 6th insurrection at the US capitol building, must be known. Their actions, or lack thereof, in support of a coup attempt must be made known. The perpetrators may escape legal prosecution today, but they must not be allowed to escape the judgement of history. For that alone the House investigation must carry on to wherever the evidence leads.
Imagine people risked their lives to protect you from being attacked, was seriously hurt, and you cannot express gratitude! Cannot even make the time to listen to them relate their experience! The disrespect takes my breath away. And if Republian lawmakers feel no regard for these men, you can imagine how inconsequential is the ordinary American citizen. Only the almighty dollar can get these people’s attention. Greed. Thats why it rates as one of the Seven DEADLY Sins
Another good article.
The thing is, we DO know. We know the causes and we have video of what took place. What we lack is confirmation and usable proof.
The rioters themselves said "Trump sent us"!
Finding out who gave the orders to withhold support from the National Guard, or to reinforce the Capitol police, or who helped set up the other circumstances that left the capitol defenseless is what remains to be seen. From the gyrations people like McConnell, Gym Jordan, McCarthy and the other "Movement Conservatives" (aka Trumpists) they're very scared that the truth will get out.
I suspect the new government took over before they could cover their tracks entirely, and knowing the evidence is lying there waiting to be put on display has them shivering in their boots.
If you are puzzled sometimes, as I am, at the many people in this country that remain in the throes of an alternative reality, occasionally tune into the Tucker Carlson show. I did so last night to get a sense of the story they are being fed by Fox News. I'm not easily shocked but I was flabbergasted by the lies and disinformation that spewed forth from that man's foul mouth. If he was your primary source for what happened on Jan. 6 and what it meant, you would be outraged by the evil doers in the media, the left wing and those in the Congress that continue to support "the steal". One example will have to suffice, though the entire hour, or what I watched of it, was filled with bile, falsehoods and distortions. The one example: videos of the Capitol Building during the insurrection were shown from time to time and they 100% reflected calm normal-appearing people harmlessly strolling around the Capitol Rotunda. In the meantime, Carlson is commenting about media exaggerations, as if the his videos told the whole story.
What is astonishing is the depth of deception. It depends on his audience's complete dependence for the news on him and his cohorts. They must be completely in his thrall. The least exposure to the real story would expose his falsehoods. Certainly, adults are responsible for taking the small steps that are required to find out the truth. Even so, the depth of his deception, his willingness to depart so far from the truth, is frightening. The depth of his own depravity in doing so is also deeply disturbing as is our willingness as a society to allow a major source of news to spew such venom, and such lies apparently with impunity. It is a major story in itself and is not covered by the mainstream to the extent it should be.
"House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) both said they had been too busy to watch the hearing."
Reprehensible. Irresponsible. Unconscionable. And a display of disregard and disrespect for the officers, for their oath of office, and for the nation. They should be removed from their posts if they fail to respond or try to invoke 5th Amendment protection.
We should look upon these hearings with the same gravity as the Nuremberg Trials. While there's no comparison with the horror and loss of life for which Nazi leaders were tried, it's easy to see how the GOP leadership was just as prepared to look away from an attack on our political system and, in some cases, were probably directly complicit in undermining the rule of law in this country. For all of our historical flaws as a nation, dismantling our system of government has not been one of them. Until the reign of Donald Trump.
Follow the hearings of the January 6 Riot Investigation Select Committee closely. Listen to the testimony and learn the truth. The findings will be published and include recommendations to prevent this from ever happening again. It is not unlikely the Committee will make criminal referrals to the DoJ. Support those referrals. We cannot allow the Rule of Law traditions of our democracy to be subverted by anyone. This should not be a political partisan issue. There are no sides to defending democracy or our Constitution. You are either on team democracy or team autocracy. Choose wisely.
Please keep writing Professor Richardson.. it’s very anxious making but our capitol police and all the armed forces that finally showed up almost too late, need an opportunity to speak the truth of their experiences during that frightening melee Jan 6, 2021. And your writings help so many of us learn not only ‘the truth’ but also how to talk about it w friends, neighbors, relatives, even coworkers…to help all of us ‘make sense’ of what happened that day — and what could happen still if we are not willing to learn and plan to protect our governing bodies from armed insurrection.
I never thought I would agree with any Cheney, but I whole heartedly agree with Representative Cheney about the subpoenas. My only concern is who exactly, will enforce the subpoenas? Time and time again over the nightmare of one term twice impeached fake president subpoenas were simply ignored by members of the GOP. Will someone actually arrest these people and drag them to the committee hearings? I know that if I ignored a subpoena there would be armed officers banging on my door. Are the GOP insurrectionists above the law?
As I watched excerpts of yesterday's testimony, I felt myself becoming filled with rage and anger. That the majority of the Republican Party is treating January 6th as a joke is incomprehensible to me. That the Republicans would hold this nation a hostage to insurrectionist violence speaks volumes about their hatred for our country, our Constitution and our rule of law.
The security officers who testified yesterday are heroes in the eyes of many, myself included. That ANYONE can make light of this assault against our democratic Republic colors them as an enemy of the United States of America, a democratic Republic. Republicans, lock, stock and barrel are the enemy of the United States of America. They cannot be and must not be regarded as anything less. They are a threat -- a monstrous, terrifying threat to our way of life and our national security. This is a moment that must be embraced with the gravity it deserves. Sitting back and hoping "this, too, will pass" is NOT an option.
I was glued to the TV yesterday morning. I have been watching congressional hearings since Watergate. I don't recall any hearing that was conducted more respectfully. I cried when each of the panel members shook hands with the officers testifying. I did not get watch in the afternoon, however I caught the clip of the one of congresswoman sharing her story on one of the evening shows. She shared that she heard the officers trying to hold the line, so that she and others could get to safety. She was grateful she was able to go home to her children thanks to their bravery.