I’m sure plenty of other people are writing similar things. I haven’t been able to focus since I was told to look at the news yesterday afternoon. An angry mob pushing their way into the halls of Capitol Hill, handled with kid gloves by the same law enforcement that beat so many over the summer, attempting to disrupt and undo the peaceful transfer of power that our democracy is built on…
Side note: I don’t want more people shot by law enforcement. I do not think more of yesterday’s mob should have been shot or beaten or anything else. I just want the phenomenally more peaceful protestors of color, those arguing for less police violence who have been treated so much worse over the last summer in the same city, to be handled with more generous restraint.
Resignations of Trump’s Cabinet members at this point are fervently clutched fig leafs, unless they come with something like the following statement: “I was unable to convince a majority of fellow cabinet members to invoke the 25th amendment. As such, I am resigning instead of continuing to support President Trump. I recommend that the President be removed from office immediately, by impeachment since none of the remaining cabinet will speak out.”
Society is a collective agreement about reality. Our democratic republic relies on that consensus reality being broadly shared by a sufficient mass of citizens. Without that shared reality, democracy fails.
Trump and his abettors have been working for years (decades in the case of Fox, conservative talk radio, and now their more radical news network and podcast heirs) to carve away enough people from that consensus to cover their own autocratic impulses. In many cases, this means working hand in hand with fascists and racists. The preponderance of Proud Boys and neo-nazi affiliated groups in the mob yesterday have been there all along (in case no one remembers Richard Spencer yelling “Heil Trump” after the 2016 election). They aren’t a majority, as our elections have amply demonstrated, but they sure can make a lot of violent noise.
Speaking of which, it seems strange that there’s so little coverage of the makeshift bombs found at DNC and RNC headquarters in DC yesterday.
Regardless, there must be consequences of some sort for these actions. Inciting violence and insurrection is bad. And letting people (Trump in particular) get away with it is worse. He’s reopened a wound in American society, or perhaps simply pulled off the pus-laden bandage and gleefully rubbed shit in it until it became gangrenous.
Ignoring gangrene in hopes that “time will heal all wounds” is an excellent way to die.
Chao is the only cabinet resignation I have seen. The social secretary for the West Wing, for example, is not a cabinet level post.
And usually, law enforcement and intelligence try to not discuss bombs in active situations. This is perhaps the rare case when the media will understand why political terrorism should not be discussed in detail as it happens, for fear of encouraging copycat events.
Make no doubt, this is still an active situation until at least the 21st — many of those people have plans to be in town until after inauguration day and the curfew has been extended to the 21st.