Thursday, February 11, 2021

Not a finale but an opening act

     Stacey Plaskett, a Democratic House impeachment manager, a delegate from the U.S. Virgin Islands, presented her case coolly and carefully Wednesday, like the former assistant district attorney she once was. 
     At one point she used the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks as a metaphor, focusing on Flight 93, the passengers who fought back, forcing their plane down near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
     "Forty-four Americans gave their lives to stop the plane that was headed toward this Capitol building," she said. "Those Americans sacrificed their lives, for love of country, honor, duty, all the things that America means. The Capitol stands because of people like that."
     She was trying to appeal to a sense of Republican decency that just isn't there. She might as well be painting a picture in ultra-violet light. If they could see it, we wouldn't be here.
     The rest of us, we can see it all too well. It's been a relief to stop seeing it, this past month.
     For all the shock of the storming of the Capitol Jan. 6, the scenes of rioters surging through the building pales in horror compared to the yawning indifference of the bulk of Republican lawmakers. To be honest, that is worse. That the lawmakers can, at their leisure, contemplate what Donald Trump wrought, and still support him. Out of fear. Out of confused self-interest. Out of cold political calculation, that standing up for our country might make their deluded voters look askance at them. Looking to their futures. Confident that this is the path upward. For them.
     How could they close their eyes to chaos, lawlessness and mob rule? The endless lying necessary to grease the skids of that wreck? How can they rationalize it and shrug it off? I guess because it works, for them, and they expect it to continue to work. It is like, on Sept. 11, surveying the damage done to our country, and not only wishing you could be in some cave in Afghanistan, washing the feet of Osama bin Laden. But traveling there and doing it. This is passivity made active. They conjured up the Beast. And now they serve him.


  1. Compare Representative Plaskett and Josh Hawley. One protecting democracy, one mocking democracy. Rarely are the forces of good and evil so clearly drawn. When Plaskett gave her presentation I felt a sense of hope for the country. She is not just brilliant, she has a clear sense of ethics and morality and right and wrong - and an understanding of the fragility of our democracy. That sense is pathetically lacking on the GOP side. Thank you for this column.

  2. The Republicans, riding the Tiger and thinking they won't be next on the menu, should look back to July 1, 1934. On that day, Ernst Rohm, leader of the SA Brown Shirts, outlived his usefulness to Adolph Hitler, but he didn't out live that day. Loyalty to Hitler was not reciprocal, Trump acolytes should understand that concept. Just ask Mike Pence.

    1. "You think your boss sucks?

      Mike Pence once walked out of an NFL football game in his hometown despite having great seats because his boss asked him to and that boss STILL tried to have him killed."

    2. I look forward to Republicans eating their own. Am I a bad person?

    3. They just aren't bright enough or have the self awareness to understand that!

  3. “‘The result of this trial is preordained,’ Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, said flatly. ‘President Trump will be acquitted.'”

    Even after all we’ve seen, I just don’t get why this, on the front page of the New York Times yesterday, is considered acceptable by *anybody*, least of all the “law and order party” patriots.

    The Senators are essentially the jury for this case, right? Ted freaking Cruz is a lawyer who went to Harvard, right? If somebody was a juror in the most low-stakes case imaginable and took the trouble to announce to everybody that the defendant would be acquitted, before the trial, would that person remain a juror in any court in the land?

    One of many whom the Big-time Loser-in-Chief ridiculed and attacked who now grovels before and serves him pathetically. As if there weren't already plenty of reasons to despise Traitor Ted before!

  4. I thought all the House 'managers' were good, but should I find myself in the dock for some crime or other, I would want Jamie Raskin to be my advocate.

    Probably few Republicans will vote to convict, but the powerful use of television footage by the prosecution at a time when a majority of the population is home with little to do but looking at their sets will put a heavy burden on their political futures. It is a crime scene like no other.

    It occurs to me that having been at crime scenes adds something to one's understanding. Some years ago I visited colleagues on the fourth floor of the Murrah Federal Office building in Oklahoma City. I once enjoyed an overpriced lunch at the Windows of the World restaurant atop one of the World Trade Center Buildings. And when I worked for the Army, I sometimes attended meetings in an office on the east side of the Pentagon that a few years later became a 9-1 bullseye. And now I recall spending an afternoon wandering around the halls of the capital. Because I was in uniform and carrying an official looking sheaf of documents I was allowed entry into places that would certainly be barred to me in these more security conscious times.


  5. Republican decency is in limited supply, unlike their capacity to ignore violence against the seat of government. Barring a February Surprise, they are about to absolve Drumpf of his vilest transgression, a whisker shy of his boast to commit murder in public with impunity. Our long national nightmare is not over and my fear for our future well being is undiminished.

    1. Republican decency? Those two words don't go together.

  6. "The decency that just isn't there" Says it all. About millions of Republicans. Sad and very scary.


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