Following the violent attack on Paul Pelosi, the midterms give voters the chance to rethink what kind of country they want to live in
Thanks for not taking the day off. I needed to hear your words today as I have been tortured all weekend by the attack on Paul Pelosi. Friday the press kept asking when Kevin McCarthy would make a statement. His office finally reported that he had called Nancy Pelosi and expressed concern for her husband's well being and wished him a speedy recovery. It took another day before McCarthy would speak in public. I guess he was afraid that denouncing the violence in public would insure the wretch of Trump and force him to go down to Mar-A-Largo and kiss the ring again. And as Swallwell said, and as Biden also said, it is not enough to condemn the violence, we must also condemn the rhetoric that incites the violence. Because if the rhetoric is still out there, those who need little inspiration to go violent, will take that rhetoric and run with it. And yet Greene keeps doubling down on her rhetoric. Using the word "treason" as an attack against Nancy Pelosi. Has she ever explained what she thinks the Speaker has done that could be defined as "treason". On the other hand, the cultists who follow 45 (you know I can't say his name) have no clue that their violent rhetoric is inciting violence. Or if they have a clue they don't care. Do they even recognize that the "Where's Nancy" when the intruder attacked Paul Pelosi mimicked the cries of the insurrectionists on Jan 6, and many of them, though not yet enough of them, have been convicted of crimes. Do any of the GOP elected officials who are either too afraid to say anything that might upset 45, or else have not achieved an adult level of ethical development (per my studies of Kohlberg as an undergrad and grad student, understand the laws of the US and understand what qualifies as treason. And each day I feel more and more stress, as we get closer and closer to the midterm elections. You tried to make me feel optimistic the other day with your "baker's dozen"; but then the Pelosi attack happened and I lost the little bit of optimism that your writing had given me. So, if/when the GOP take control of the House, are they going to bring charges against Pelosi, and Dr. Fauci, and Merrick Garland? And anyone else who they feel their cult leader wants them to impeach? And is Merrick Garland staying quiet because it's so close to the election; and will he bring charges immediately afterward, before the cultists take over Congress and totally ruin our country and destroy our domestic security as well as our international security. And how much leeway does free speech give these GOP cult people to speak in a way that is tantamount to yelling fire in a crowded theatre.
This is an outstanding commentary, Steven, about how America has been driven off the rails, by an ever- obsessing Republican engine, continually being stoked by the flames of anger and discord. I have less interest in media that covers politics of any stripe. Watching the History channel illustrates just how enterprising and resourceful Americans were, despite personal challenges, Wars and other events. It is time to rekindle that lost spirit. What seems to characterise these current times is the malice and ill will that people display towards each other, largely with no consequence. The attack ads by political parties should ALL be banned. Violent rhetoric leads to violent action. Power is the GOP's drug of choice, and apparently the most extremist among them are more than happy to stand at the bully pulpit, and disseminate their mantra of hate to the masses. This self-serving mindset is for the benefit of their political careers, at the expense of America, and all it stands for. The extremists are virtual emissaries of Trumpism; the front men and women who enjoy mobilising aggrieved individuals to act out, as in the case of the attack on Nancy Pelosi's husband. If the outliers were capable of self-analysis, they would realise they have weakened the foundation upon which their country was built. If it fails, so too will they. America's decorum, integrity and status on the World stage has been swept aside by quasi 'action figures' who seek political victory, at any cost. And once again, the social media giant Facebook, with its lack of checks and balance, continues to allow so much hate and misinformation to proliferate on its platform. It took an Insurrection at the American Capitol for Mark Zuckerberg to FINALLY ban Trump from his platform, and by then, so much irreparable damage had been done. META requires more official oversight and stringent regulation; with any Karmic luck, it will self-destruct. When a disingenuous businessman and former TV Reality Show actor, with no credentials to lead a Nation became President of the United States of America, it was a harbinger of what was to come.
I had high hopes for AG Garland. There are 115,000 members of the DOJ. The FBI with 35,000, answers to the AG. Isn't there someone who can do something? Where is today's Edward R. Murrow-We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason. Where is today's Joseph Welch, US Army counsel-Have you no sense of decency?
Perhaps Biden, Raskin, Porter, Schiff could hold daily press conferences, no questions asked, and call out the craziness going on. It would make the news cycles, overshadow trump nonsense. Fascist murder cannot be on the agenda.
What we have been witnessing in the country, since the day Trump took office, is the rule of the mob. Any threat can be made, or any lie can be spoken, without fear of reprisal as long as the perpetrator has enough like-minded bigots at his or her back.
What Merrick Garland needs to understand is that it is not enough for the DOJ to maintain a Sphinx-like silence while engaging in the process of building a watertight case to indict Trump at the juncture that he deems appropriate. He needs to understand that it is the responsibility of the Department to demonstrate that the rule of law matters on a daily basis.
Trump and the Republicans have blown away the guiderails for acceptable behavior in their pursuit of power at any cost. The DoJ must work towards reestablishing those guiderails immediately. Today would not be too soon. What will it matter if Trump is indicted after democracy itself has fallen off the edge of the cliff? It would be no more than lip-service to the rule of law. But that concept - the rule of law - will by then be meaningless.
We are begging you, Mr. Garland, please pay attention to the larger picture. We are in crisis.
DOJ and by extension Biden has allowed this to happen. Begging Republicans to do something about it is a fool’s errand. Republicans are not going to do anything, in fact they are going to fan the flames. The only path open to us is to exert pressure on Democrats. It sucks but what other option is there?
God bless America - that’s all I got.
As frightening and disheartening as it is to write this, I fear we do not get past this inflection point without bloodshed. The violent will not go quietly.
Our government must use the “tools” it has to beat back the mob...aggressively. Starting NOW. Giving Trump or his supporters any leeway or courtesy at this point is foolish. The right threw “courtesy” out the window and stopped playing by the rules & traditions long ago. What good is it to be bound by courtesy or to take the “high road” when we’ve got an entire political party trampling all over laws, rules & norms? We need to use the laws, rules and norms while we still can.
The DOJ & the Rule of Law are about all we have left to rein in this nightmare. It doesn’t matter anymore if DOJ has an airtight case, they have to stop the extremist momentum NOW. Not after the election. Not doing anything until after the election is courting disaster.
Almost the moment Elon Musk took control of twitter, extremists gleefully flooded it with bullying, false equivalences and blatant lies. Republicans running for office are now showing candidates holding firearms on tv and pictures. Extremists are signaling they intend to impeach President Biden immediately. As we know, Biden hasn’t done anything to warrant impeachment, but as we also know, it doesn’t matter! They will impeach him based on lies if enough republicans are elected.
Anyone who believes bags of money will stop the right’s momentum should think again. We have “tools” in the form of laws to stop them, but they have to be used. Endlessly investigating and allowing Trump to delay every legal process plays right into his hands. Forget about building the perfect case--ACT ON WHAT DOJ already has or it’ll all be over sooner than you think.
Yes … what you wrote (quoted below) is crucial. One of the things that distinguishes a malignant narcissist is the pleasure in other peoples’ pain, the sadism. That’s what these people have in abundance. Their vengeance and retribution will know no bounds because the more sadistic they are, the more pain they inflict, the more pleasure - even joy - they feel.
“That portends not just more of the same, but more explicit efforts to punch down, lash out, and perhaps even relish the response when once seen-to-be-random acts of violence happen more frequently. They have been showing how fear and intimidation are powerful weapons in the toolkit of rising demagogues and autocrats.”