Reprinted from www.dailykos.com by Mark Sumner
On Wednesday, supporters of Donald Trump pushed through police lines, stormed the U.S. Capitol, smashed windows, broke open doors, and went prowling through the halls with flexi-cuffs seeking congressional hostages. In the following hours and days, Republicans have expressed shock at this totally unexpected event, and Trump-appointed Pentagon officials have stated that the violence was "beyond their wildest dreams." But Republicans have had over four years to understand exactly who Donald Trump is, what he is capable of doing, and who his followers are. Law enforcement officials at every level had not only a very good idea of the scale of this event, but the amount of violence it would bring.
The nation may be shocked by the visuals of what happened on Wednesday. People wearing horned helmets, T-shirts with Nazi slogans, and waving Confederate banners through the halls of Congress, made some draw parallels to the sacking of Rome by barbarian hordes. However, two days after this spontaneous event, the thing that's become most clear is that it wasn't spontaneous at all. It's not just the culmination of everything Republicans have been doing for decades, it's also an event that was launched, intentionally, as an insurrection against the United States.
Trump has been laying the groundwork for this moment from the beginning
Trump's encouragement of violence from his followers goes back to before he began occupying the White House. That includes encouraging people to beat up protesters at his rallies, calling for and then deploying active military forces to face immigrants seeking asylum, praising Nazi marchers at Charlottesville who were complicit in the murder of a peaceful protester, and repeatedly making threats of violence against Black Lives Matter protesters and others. Trump has made it absolutely clear to his followers that violence-including deadly force-is perfectly acceptable, even encouraged.
Even if Trump had lost in 2016, he had already prepared his supporters to use violence as a means of overturning the results of the election. The same claims of election fraud and polling fraud had already been laid then, because Trump expected to lose. And the same calls for his supporters to carry out violent response and "monitor" the polls with armed poll-watchers had prompted the nation for widespread violence that was only halted by Trump's surprising win.
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