Donald Trump’s presidency effectively ended one year ago today in the midst of a cockamamie riot in the US Capitol Building. On the evidence, it was essentially a happenstance outbreak of blind mob mayhem enabled by piss poor policing by the amateur cops who are pleased to call themselves the Capitol Police. Nothing that happened during that five hour melee remotely resembled the violent insurrection against American democracy it’s now cracked up to be.
But like in almost everything else nowadays, narrative has supplanted reality. Completely. Absurdly.
Consequently, the final spasm of the Trump Derangement Syndrome that engulfed the nation’s ruling elites and megaphones in the mainstream media on January 6, 2021 has spawned the Big Lie of the 21st Century. But not a bit of the Day of Infamy narrative is true, plausible or warranted.
In the first place, there was nothing organized about it whatsoever. What preceded the leaderless march of the mob to the Capitol was nothing more than a handful of rightwing whackadoos pinging each other on social media.
Even more surely, there was nothing armed about it, either. Among the thousands of yokels and diehard Trumpites who frolicked through the Capitol Building, law reinforcement has not identified a single man, woman or child who was carrying a gun, sword or even a stink bomb when the Capitol Police essentially stepped aside and gave them the run of the building.
Not surprisingly, therefore, the only blood that was shed during this faux “insurrection” and alleged attempt at coup d’etat was that of Ashli Babbitt, a decorated hero of America’s pointless wars and earnest Trump supporter. She was shot point blank without warning by a Capitol Police officer, who had a record of anger management issues that were hardly trivial.
Moreover, what kind of insurrection has no list of demands, no ringing declarations of purpose, no fiery ultimatums? In most of the hours upon hours of video footage available the meandering crowds look as surprised to be there as the dog who finally caught the car.
Likewise, the audio track of the event resembles nothing so much as the undulating din of a milling crowd. Even the normal menacing chants of a purposeful demonstration were few and far between.
The fact is, American democracy was not under fire that afternoon. It was not imperiled one little bit by the mayhem in the Capitol which briefly ensued after the Donald has dispensed his usual bombast, self-promotion and rhetorical incoherence to the hyped-up crowd on the Mall.
Still, the unfortunate acts of rowdyism, trespassing and property damage which did occur are the fault of first, the Capitol Police for opening the Capitol Building’s doors to an obviously unruly and ill-behaved mob; and, secondly, the Donald himself. Instead of watching the spectacle on his White House TV, he could have cleared the building in less than 30 minutes with a firm call for his misguided supporters to stand down.
As to the Capitol Police, the dirty secret of this age-old patronage operation was on full display that afternoon. For crying out loud, these were not trained police officers who could keep the peace even in Podunk Iowa. They mostly sit as desks examining IDs and directing tourists to the Visitors Galleries.
The fact is, what happened that day was the result of pathetically incompetent police work. Period.
That tens of thousands of agitated pro-Trump demonstrators had come to Washington was plain as day, as was the intelligence indicating that some among the estimated 30,000 horde gathered at the Ellipse for the Donald’s parting speech were planning to descend on the US Capitol Building where the electoral votes were being counted. The “attack”, therefore, was the very opposite of the hoary Pearl Harbor analogy proffered by shameless demagogues like Senator Chuckles Schumer.
Indeed, the “forcible entry” part of the narrative is even more threadbare than the utterly laughable “five deaths” canard. Besides Ashli Babbitt, it has been well established that three pro-Trump demonstrators died of a heart attack, stroke and drug overdose, respectively, and that the stricken police officer, Brian Sicknick, succumbed to a medical ailment, not an assault by a fire extinguisher.
Still, the forcible entry claim should embarrass anyone who has ever had a visitors pass to the US Capitol. The place is a veritable fortress with a few dozen very small entryways that can be readily sealed off by barricades and a decent supply of tear gas, bear spray and water canons.
If they didn’t want a disorderly and emotional crowd entering the building during the electoral vote counting pageant, then they could have closed the building to all visitors, invited or not, with alacrity.
Obviously, what happened was the opposite – a veritable Gong Show of confusion and random disorder.
From the law enforcement side, barricades were poorly placed, if at all; little attempt was made at crowd control via nonlethal deterrents like tear gas and water canons; the Capitol Police was not briefed and drilled for the event or given clear rules of engagement – even though it self-evidently promised to be the biggest, most fraught event in many moons at the US Capitol.
And most crucially, the videos make damn clear that many of the Capitol Police officers sympathized with the demonstrators and were likely Trump voters. So when the crowds surged toward a number of entryways, the officers simply stood aside and let the demonstrators enter the “people’s house” unimpeded.
On the other side, the so-called Trump “insurrectionists” mostly meandered randomly about the interior of the Capitol Building, surprised to find themselves in Nancy Pelosi’s unlocked office or the Senate Chamber which had earlier been vacated.
That is to say, that didn’t come with a plan to “occupy” it, nor did they posses any of the hallmarks of insurrectionists trying to seize and hold power. Not only were they bereft of the aforementioned weaponry, but they also brought no communications equipment other than standard cells phones, no food and canteen supplies and no protective gear.
To be sure, these citizens behaved rudely, disgracefully and irresponsibly once they stumbled into the Capitol and should have been charged with disorderly conduct, trespassing, destruction of public property and fined to the gills.
But, actually, that’s just the point. This was not a coherent political force that threatened anything other than the paperweights on Nancy Pelosi’s desk. It was actually just a disorganized mob of 5,000 to 10,000 mainly yahoos, yokels and societal riff-raff, who originated on the margins of the political system and streamed into Washington on whims and wild-ass distaste for their societal bettors.
Overwhelmingly, they were not experienced GOP political operatives, elected officials, leading citizens or people of any means at all. They did not come to the nation’s capital city the way real power-seekers do – in troop transports or corporate jets. They couldn’t have seized and held power if Donald Trump himself had led them into the Situations Room.
In short, the year ago riot was not remotely the Day of Infamy that now forms the core of the January 6th Insurrection narrative. To the contrary, it was merely an accidental moment of rank police incompetence that enabled a few ruffians and a large, naive crowd of surprised pro-Trump demonstrators to have their proverbial 15-minutes of fame, milling around the Capitol Building with no purposeful intent other than to vent their anger that the Donald was driven from office by a mere 48,000 votes in three states out of 157 million cast around the nation.
Yet the liberal elites and their progressive-left allies have turned this great big nothing-burger in the annals of actual historical putsches, coups and insurrections into a putative assault on American democracy ranking way above Shay’s Rebellion and nearly at the level of the South Carolina militia’s firing on Fort Sumter; and they did so largely in the course of a single afternoon during which the mainstream media confected this blatant fiction from the pointless contretemps unfolding inside the Capitol.
Still, the January 6th Insurrection narrative could never have gained traction absent the Trump Derangement Syndrome. That’s because the everlasting irony of Donald J. Trump’s presidency is that he had all the right enemies, but virtually without exception made all the wrong decisions during his hapless four-year sojourn in the Oval Office.
The list of his enemies is enough to make any right-thinking supporter of peace, prosperity and liberty proud. That starts with the TV networks and print organs of the mainstream stenographers club, who peddle the state’s propaganda and call it news. This most especially includes the masters of mendacity at CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post.
It also includes the bipartisan national security mafia, the climate change howlers, the race card hondlers, the Russophobes, the Neocon War Brigades, the NATO/IMF/UN acolytes, the Washington nomenclatura, the careerist racketeers of K-Street, the beltway shills of the Lincoln Project, the Silicon Valley thought police and the celebrity scolds of entertainment and media, among others.
With so many worthy enemies it is amazing that the Donald managed to do so little good and so very much wrong. But there is really no mystery to it when you cut to the essence of Donald J. Trump, the POTUS Poseur.
That is, the Donald was a principle-free Caesarean nationalist whose overriding objective was his own personal power and glorification. His route thereto was inflaming a superficial nationalism that allowed him to pose as the defender of the flag, the military, the borders, guns, domestic jobs, policemen, firemen, law and order, religion, middle-class probity (sic!), the right to watch politics-free football games and, above all, to stand tall in the face of foreign malefactors and plunderers of America’s wealth.
Alas, as much merit as might lie among this pastiche of groups, things, purposes and symbols, the Donald’s form of bombastic knee-jerk advocacy added up to nothing that was coherent, urgent or ameliorative of what really ailed the nation, and which had caused the desperate citizens of Flyover America to cast a 63 million-vote Hail Mary during the 2016 election.
So in the end, therefore, the Capitol riot of January 6, 2021 was the pitiful denouement of a world class narcissist and bumbling Cesarean who never should have crossed the Potomac.
Reprinted with permission from David Stockman’s Contra Corner.
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