January 6, 2021, will be always be known as the day that internal enemies of the U.S. staged a bizarre coup d'etat attempt that incredibly was led by a sitting president. The hallmark of that president - idiocy, chaos and malevolence - characterized the insurrection.
Trump obviously played a critical role in assuring that no significant measures were taken to secure the Capitol area on Jan. 6. He had been spreading specious election-rigging claims for two months - priming his supporters for a "protest" that he announced on Dec. 19: "big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!". Trump tweets on Dec. 27, Dec. 30 and Jan. 1 also referenced the Jan. 6 "protest". It seems highly unlikely that he didn't act directly to clear the way for the "wild" incidents of that day.
Like all Trump events, Jan. 6 was meant to be a nihilistic celebration of grievance, scapegoating, and delusion. This event's defining difference was its ultimate goal - to somehow install Trump as dictator-for-life. Predictably, the proceedings turned ugly - five completely unnecessary deaths (remarkably, not many more) - and, all laid directly at the feet of Trump, Trump Jr., Giuliani, Hawley, Cruz, and miscellaneous traitorous Republican sycophants in Congress. There is mounting evidence that, previous to the riot, some Republican House members may have given tours to individuals participating in the riot.
Any discussion of Trump and Trumpism has to begin with the obvious: the idea of a Donald J. Trump presidency was always a grotesque and absurd notion, and from his campaign's inception should have been treated as a sick joke. Nonetheless, it wasn't, and the nation has arrived at a completely predictable crisis as a result.
Only in a Trump presidency could the nerve center of a government that spends north of $700B per year on defense be left completely vulnerable to a motley crew of seditious dead-enders.
Only in a Trump presidency would 1.3M active-duty soldiers become irrelevant in protecting our democracy from a violent coup attempt at the behest of a desperate and treasonous president.
Obviously, some national soul searching is required.
The default Democratic response when presented with previous lawless Republican administrations - most recently Bush II's and its Iraq fiasco - has been to "turn the page" and "move on". What was the lesson learned by Republicans? Apparently they learned they could get away with anything. No surprise, they stepped-up their game - culminating with an all-out assault on democratic norms and the rule of law, and a coup d'etat thrown in for good measure!
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