Thursday, June 9, 2022

Anticipating the hearing

Contempt for Peter Navarro ought to bring us all together, don't @ me. Photo from the Irish Independent.

Shorter David F. Brooks, "The Jan. 6 Committee Has Already Blown It", The New York Times, 8 June 2022:

We don’t need a committee to simply regurgitate what happened on Jan. 6, 2021. We need a committee that will preserve democracy on Jan. 6, 2025, and Jan. 6, 2029. How on earth would knowing what happened on Jan. 6 2021 help us prevent it from happening again?
Brooks is really more interested in concern trolling the Democrats on their hopes of using the coup attempt as a campaign issue, as reported in The Times by Annie Karni and Luke Broadwater, who also tells us that

Republican lawmakers have already begun pushing a counternarrative to dismiss the hearings as nothing more than political theater at a moment when Americans are more concerned with kitchen-table issues like the rising price of gas and a baby formula shortage.

On the part of the usual suspects, such as Marco

and of course enlisting Brooks himself in the effort:

Using the events of Jan. 6 as campaign fodder is small-minded and likely to be ineffective.

(Which makes me—I know Steve is right and these hearings are not likely to have any direct effect on the coming election—feel that there is something in the Committee's work such people are afraid of. Not that I can say yet exactly what I think that is.)

Brooks, of course, using his own preferred technique of arguing that the real issue is that we must totally transform the moral and intellectual character of our degenerate society, just as usual—as soon as that's fixed, we'll be able to stop worrying about the Capitol:

The core problem here is not the minutiae of who texted what to chief of staff Mark Meadows on Jan. 6 last year. The core problem is that there are millions of Americans who have three convictions: that the election was stolen, that violence is justified in order to rectify it and that the rules and norms that hold our society together don’t matter.

From which it emerges, in the first place, that Brooks doesn't know much of anything about what happened—because that conviction that the election had been stolen came from somewhere; in a process that really began in November 2016 (when Trump began fulminating about millions of fake ballots cast by illegal immigrants in California) and ground into high gear in August 2020 with Trump's advance announcement of his forthcoming defeat as "the greatest fraud in history" and the massive multilayered effort backed by the Murdoch media and operated by an army of Trump loyalist lawyers and henchmen, at the same time as the other conspiracies focused on the idea of stopping the certification of the electoral votes by some supposed constitutional means and retaining Trump in office. And now more or less openly endorsed by practically every Republican candidate in the 2022 election. 

The 27% crazification factor we have always had with us, but it's never been tied so intimately to political power as during the last six years, and never so close to taking over in its own right as in January 2021; it's always been subordinate to the conservatives proper, the ruling class intent on preserving its privilege against democracy, and now it's got the conservatives proper bowing in submission.

And really, if the election actually had been stolen in the way they claim to believe it was, wouldn't they indeed be justified in contemplating a popular uprising, as in the Philippines in 1986 or Ukraine in 2004? (Both against Manafort clients, heh.) Wouldn't it be a case of the rules and norms failing to hold our society together?

But everybody in the orbit of Trump power knew or should have known very well that the election had not been stolen; they just kept working to make it look that way to their chosen audience, through the flooding-the-zone strategy, with their 60 lawsuits and security camera videos and itinerant ballot inspectors and repeated fraudits and Tucker and Sean and Laura. Everybody in the orbit of Trump power knew or should have known that the constitutional theories of canceling the election results or replacing the electors was legally unsustainable, but they worked to make it happen anyway. Everybody in the orbit of Trump power knew that the military shouldn't be brought in to the resolving of political differences but Trump kept trying to make it happen. Everybody should have known that the Trumpy paramilitaries were primed for combat with "antifa" or with police officers or congressmembers, they didn't much care which. These matters aren't "minutiae".

Brooks thinks he already knows what happened on 6 January 2021, so he doesn't need to see it "regurgitated". He hasn't been paying attention to the Meadows leaks (except probably the comic relief of Mrs. Thomas) or the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys indictments, or the peculiar confessions of Peter Navarro and evasions of Jared and Ivanka and general disappearance of Giuliani and Stone. 

It's not likely he'll be watching very attentively tonight, since he's so confident he knows everything already, but I hope somebody from the newspapers will be, and getting a better sense of how audacious these people were, and how many of them, especially at Fox and in Congress, are still working at it, preparing for next time with the profound instability they created then as an environment in which it could really happen. 

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