The Hearings opened well. Now the challenge is to keep to this tone and substance and press the facts and the crimes they implicate.

Pressure and more pressure, through the recitation of events, evidence, perpetrators and crimes committed, until the Attorney General wakes each morning with his ears ringing.

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Though not as strong as we would like it to be, that our democracy still has a pulse is reassuring. Thank you, Heather, for today's Letter.

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Isn't it amazing that when voter fraud happens, its always by Republicans AND unlike their whining about the democrats, THERE IS EVIDENCE, something the Republicans are woefully short of.

My favorite quote by tRUMP was "I didn't know about the hearing and I told everybody not to watch it. DJT logic and intelligence (?) in a nutshell (nutcase?)

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“They simply want a fight,”

This has been the GOP strategy since Reagan at least. Republicans embraced the self righteous racist right wing religious extremist anti government resentments of the slave states - where poor whites went to the mats for their 'right to work' for 'slave wages' and created the 'party of god, guns, and greed.'

Besotted Palin fanboy Bill Kristol put his locked and loaded 'GOP Barbie' on the McCain ticket - announcing that Republicans had moved from taking metaphorical and logistical aim at the US government, to threatening a militia based shooting war. Trump and the Republican insurrection was in the stars and in the cards.

Onward Christian soldiers!

'The sleep of reason breeds monsters.'

Fallacious rhetoric. False equivalencies. Misappropriations. All play their part. The Spirit of 1776. Trump as Christ's herald. Republicans are very good at this. And although Trump stuff is being discounted on Amazon - we'd be foolish to grasp at straws. From big mouth Marjory Taylor Greene to mealy mouthed Susan Collins - McConnell et al are still hedging their bets on an American Orban, no matter the cost.

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Jun 11, 2022·edited Jun 12, 2022

I watched the two hour committee presentation, and then watched an hour of commentary on MSNBC. I think that Liz Cheney provided the steel backbone on which the rest of the presentation rested. She did a marvelous job, and the live witnesses gave compelling testimony that underscored the need for a full airing of what happened on January 6. Other than claiming that the committee hearing was unworthy of watching, Trump supporters offered no evidence that countered either the basic thrust of the committee's narrative, or any of the detail. I spent a moment watching Donald Trump, Junior's rant. He sounded like a used car salesman down on his luck trying desperately to unload the junkers that he had on the company lot.

It's going to take a few months for the committee's counter-story to sink in and gain traction. Televising key portions of the witness depositions in which they admit to facts and circumstances that President Trump and his circle of advisors have routinely denied is likely to persuade those who might be reachable. Watching Trump supporters behave like apoplectic wild men is not going to be persuasive to those willing to take a few moments to think about where the competing narratives differ in substance and likelihood that one side is telling a story that is more likely to be true then the story put forth by the other side. If the next hearing sessions are as well assembled as the first one, this will certainly have greater impact than the Senate Watergate Hearings that I watched in 1973. Back then, Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina chaired a bipartisan committee that alternated and taking turns asking questions of witnesses that appeared before the committee. The sessions were long and somewhat tedious, as every senator on the committee wanted his chance to question witnesses and 'showboat' a bit; but that's part of being a politician.

This time is likely to be much different. The committee has interviewed more than a thousand witnesses, a few of whom will be invited to testify before the committee; and I suspect that the pace of questioning will be a lot quicker than it was, say, on June 25, 1973, when John W Dean gave his leadoff testimony accusing the president, Richard Nixon, and participating in a criminal cover-up of the Watergate burglary, and other criminal acts committed by operatives working for the Committee to Reelect the President. On that day I was sitting in the gallery not ten feet away from him. All of that was great political theater; especially when the FAA Administrator, Alexander Butterfield, revealed the White House taping system.

It's not going to be the same way this time, because this is about President Trump refusing to accept the results of the election, and his spreading the Big Lie about a stolen election. Instead of a simple cover-up orchestrated from the Oval Office, what we will be treated to is the substantive equivalent of a spy thriller where the Trump people cobble together a seven part plan to corrupt the vote counting in individual swing states that would've been necessary to go for Trump in order for him to receive an Electoral College majority. The plan largely relied upon Trump operatives being able to browbeat local election officials into substituting false results favoring Trump, and suppressing vote tallies that showed that Joe Biden was the winner. The plan very nearly succeeded; but when it didn't succeed, as was the case in Georgia, with Trump failing to persuade Georgia's Secretary of State to come up with '11,780 votes for Trump', or as in Arizona where a group of Trump supporters created forged election certifications that they forwarded to the national archives, the stage was set for a showdown on January 6, in which Trump announced that there would be a huge rally in Washington coinciding with the counting of the electoral college votes by the two houses of Congress assembled for that purpose, and that Trump would unleash his minions on those members of Congress in order to disrupt the vote counting.

Yesterday, Friday, I spent several hours watching the PBS show Frontline, consisting of a recorded interview with J. Michael Luttig, a former federal appeals court judge who found himself called upon to provide legal counsel to Vice President Mike Pence's White House staff and legal counsel on an emergency basis, culminating in judge Luttig, for the first time in his life, posting a multi-thread Twitter message, definitively stating that the Vice President of the United States had no authority to change or disregard certified Electoral College results from any state during the official counting of the votes; and that the Vice President owed his loyalty to the Constitution, and not to the President, for the purpose of the completing the ceremonial (and official) counting of the votes by Congress. Judge Luttig went on to say that this was the most serious constitutional crisis faced by the American people and their government since the founding of the country, and it was a circumstance that the Framers of the Constitution could not have imagined would have happened. He basically said that if the insurrectionists succeed, the America we know would be destroyed.

I posted a link to this interview on my Facebook page, writing in part, "This is quite long, but it is well worth your time and attention… I sat watching this interview for several hours.… (Judge Luttig)… Is a smart, careful, and thorough jurist…" His remarks were picked up by the New York Times on January 5, 2021, and were mentioned by Congresswoman Liz Cheney in her opening remarks this past Thursday. Judge Luttig is expected to testify in person at one of the sessions that January 6 committee will hold this month. Having seen the complete Frontline interview, I would urge everyone who can do so, to tune in to hear his live testimony.

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Just followed the link to the New York Times article to find out more about the pro-democracy groups. https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/are-crossover-efforts-to-defeat-extreme-republicans-gaining-ground In the group called Renew America Movement (with a Ram as a very appropriate mascot), I found Theodore Roosevelt IV, the great grandson of Teddy, like Teddy a conservationist. Have been wanting to find the Teddy Roosevelt of our time to blow up the big tech and other monopolies and to conserve the planet. Also, see Bill Weld is also among RAM's leadership. I've voted for him three times now -- twice as a Republican Governor of Massachusetts and once on the Johnson - Weld Libertarian ticket in 2016. So, I'm going to support this movement. Take a look at: https://renewamericamovement.com/ Their watchlist of candidates lists both Renewers who are pro-democracy candidates and Dividers who are those who are dismantling democracy. Nice to have a non-partisan list of pro-democracy candidates. We, the People, all of us this time.

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It was reassuring to see the number of viewers watching the opening of the hearings but not enough as most watching were probably already on board with the fact this was an insurrection and set up by Trump and his sycophants on the extreme right. Everyone of us believing in the rule of law and the pursuit of democracy must push the narrative outlined in these hearings to show just how much our country is in danger if you do not shout and vote down candidates espousing these views. Thank you once again for outlining the facts Heather.

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It is interesting that you, HRC, found out about 20 million were watching the hearings. I wonder if that figure includes those who live overseas. Regardless, the hearings are necessary and very important to those of us who believe in justice and democracy. I also want to comment on that Don, Jr. video…made me ill. He is as big a blowhard as his dad. Chip off the old block, eh?

At this point, I just want Garland to start grabbing these stone-cold criminals by their starched collars as soon as possible!!!

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[Trump] "...refused to intervene to protect lawmakers, law enforcement officers, or the law."

Or his own vice president. After four years of Pence's obsequious, groveling loyalty, on Jan. 6, when Pence indicated there was a line he could not cross, the former president hinted that hanging him wasn't a bad idea.

After all, personal integrity is for losers.

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I have been trying to figure out how the present state of postwar Republican decline is tied into the "passionate intensity" (Yeats, "The Second Coming") the exhibit, pathetically, in their violent effort to cling to political power, by whatever means, in spite of having no developed vision of a shared world that has been growing global since about the time of the rise of the Roman Empire. Our "community of concern" has become a global collection of extra-national states because of climate change linked to unhinged productivism, because of nuclear materials not stopped by mountains and oceans, and, more positively, because the future as a framework of opportunity has expanded to suit new conditions impacting the division of labor and has conquered the terror of material scarcity. As I argue in a comment I wrote today in response to an article in The Washington Post, seeking why some Republicans reacting to the House Committee investigating the events of 6 January 2021 at the Capitol say they want to "move on" and forget about the assault on the Capitol. I argue that this desire to look this way at the attack on the Capitol is similar to how an abuser seeks by threat to intimidate his victim into silence. Here is my text.

Ref: The Washington Post : "Fox News didn’t just ignore the Jan. 6 hearing. It did something worse", analysis by Philip Bump, National correspondent, dated June 10, 2022 at 7:00 a.m. EDT


I have searched for what explains the hostile Republican resistance to strong objections, or condemnation, of the insurrection or coup attempt of January 6, 2021 at the Capitol, and suddenly it came to me how rapists and abusers present the same hard face and glazed-over eyes to their victims, showing no remorse and daring them with barely contained anger to oppose, object to or show any sign of objection likely to attract negative public attention.

Abusers self-hate for being weak and fear being outed because it would likely bring social death on them; what makes them very dangerous is their willingness to dehumanize another person who it excites them to control and very really deprive of autonomy.

When a Bill Cosby, a Harvey Weinstein or Larry Nassar (gymnastics) puts on the abuser's mask, the victim is often made to feel blamable for causing herself her own abuse. An attack on one's autonomy as a moral person is quasi mortal because it requires at least a showing of willing complicity with the attacker to avoid the attacker's likely violent death-defense response.

When targeted by an ardent abuser, a victim does not see the sheepish Larry Nassar or lovable, big-daddy Bill Cosby seen in custody, she sees a wild monster. The abuser has mastered the ability to grant himself permission to selectively engage with a state of temporary insanity, allowing him to resist with impunity the normal fears of social exclusion.

The Trump-model Republicans, increasingly loosing relevance, which they quite objectively see as existential death, have no tools of persuasion left and feel compelled to resort to the violence of mocking character assassination, undisguised dehumanization, and intimidation to further their pipe-dreams of righteous salvation. A baseball bat, not words, is the arm of choice of defense (figurative) for anyone caught in the crosshairs of such a transformable brute who looses, at will, the skills of principled self-governance, moral compass.

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'Eric Trump Asks Dad Whether He Can Have Ivanka’s Room Now'

'PALM BEACH (The Borowitz Report)—Hoping to capitalize on Donald J. Trump’s annoyance at his daughter for her testimony before the January 6th committee, Eric Trump requested that he be given Ivanka Trump’s room at Mar-a-Lago.'

'According to those familiar with the exchange, Eric Trump’s campaign for his sister’s room began just moments after her testimony aired on Thursday night.' (Satire,NewYorker)

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It's hard to wait four days until the next hearing. This is a show I want to binge watch! I wonder what it would look like for a representative to do a 180 and suddenly say that the election was not rigged. It's hard for these guys to ever admit they were wrong or apologize, and this is a big one. How would they actually do that? I wonder if they went along with it thinking it would all go away in a matter of weeks and here we are, still getting it shoved in our faces. And will history continue to carry this stance of theirs as an important part of their legacy, as Liz C. said? I hope so. I heard one of them on PBS last night saying we should be looking, first and foremost, into how the Capitol Police weren't able to hold of the rioters and it reminded me of the gun issue. Don't do anything about the real problem but just work on protecting yourselves. Arm teachers, build a better Capitol Police force...Their bread and butter must be protected over everything: our democracy, children's lives, our freedom to move about safely in this country, our feeling safe. So much anger/hate/fear in that party. It's a tough way to live, and the opposite of what our founders intended.

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Anyone want to make a bet that Donald Trump watched it? It was all about him after all.

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Thank you Heather.

I was wondering how long it would take before Trump turned on his daughter. Shorter time than even I anticipated. I hope the Committee plays even more video of her. Let him squirm.

As difficult as it was to watch, the upcoming rollouts need to hit just as hard as the first one. Eventually, the GOP crap spewing machine will run out of material to counter with.

The Emperor has no clothes, that was evident the other night.

Be safe. Be well.

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1) Kevin McCarthy is a spineless, feckless cretin. That’s about the nicest thing that I can write about him.

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Another superb piece but here's a perhaps important quibble. Dear Professor, you write: "it is at the very least a problem that he has refused to recuse himself from cases in which her activism might have caused a conflict of interest." The recusal issue does not concern only cases arising from past events. Her alignment with the independent state legislature theory specifically, with the Trump wing of the Republican party generally, creates grounds for recusal as to all cases now and in the future that have an impact on the outcome of elections. Already, husband Clarence Thomas is ruling on cases where he should be recused, and the ISL claim very likely to be made in 2024 isn't one he should rule on. Furthermore, if he followed appropriate ethical principles, the conservative majority would discover that Chief Justice Roberts is the determinative swing vote, rather than the current situation where Thomas leads the pack far to the political right.

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