How To Begin Healing and Moving On

Republicans claim to be the party of morality and personal responsibility, yet Republican members of Congress are already insisting that Democrats let bygones be bygones. They say that holding our criminal president accountable for the insurrection by removing him from office would only antagonize the rabid, radical right, i.e. millions of Republican voters, which would lead to more violence. Fortunately, a few Congressional Republicans have announced they support impeachment, not appeasement.

Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post argues that there are several ways to unify the nation and begin healing:

The furniture the seditionists smashed in the Capitol has not yet been repaired. The trauma inflicted on those who experienced the event will not vanish for months or years. . . . And neither President Txxxx nor a single Republican lawmaker who held aloft the sedition banner in Congress by objecting to electoral votes has apologized. Nevertheless, Republicans are calling for unity and demanding healing, which entails “moving on” and forgetting about impeachment. . . .

Sorry, it does not work that way. Healing requires accountability and remorse from those who attacked our democracy, stormed the Capitol (or incited, funded or supported the mob) and set out to overthrow our democracy. The culprits do not get to set the timeline for reconciliation before they can be held responsible for their participation in an attempted coup.

Lots of things would be unifying or provide healing. Let’s start with these:

  • The House and Senate could unanimously affirm there was no irregularity or fraud in the election that would have changed the outcome of the presidential vote one iota.

  • The House could impeach Trump, and the Senate could come back in session to hold a trial and remove him swiftly.

  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who pulled his caucus over the cliff in the desperate hope to maintain the Big Lie and cater to Trump, could resign.

  • A combination of Democrats and all Republicans who voted to certify the electoral college results in the House and Senate could expel or censure members who objected to certification. As my colleague Michael Scherer writes, “The central question now hovering over America’s political landscape is whether one of its two major parties will allow itself to function as an extension of QAnon and other online conspiracy theory movements that have taken hold with a vocal segment of the GOP, or if it can emerge from the Txxxx era as a potential governing coalition built around ideas and some shared agreement on facts.” This action would help settle that question.

  • Corporate donors could permanently cut off support for anyone who objected to the electoral votes, an attack on our democracy.

  • Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms could volunteer to make entirely transparent how they “curate content” and how their “algorithms decide what speech to amplify,” as Yaël Eisenstat, a former Facebook executive, suggests. We should find out how they “nudge users towards the content that will keep them engaged … [and] connect users to hate groups, who recommend conspiracy theorists.” The companies could also agree to follow the guidelines recommended by the Stop Hate for Profit campaign headed by the Anti-Defamation League and major corporate advertisers.

  • A nonpartisan commission could determine the extent to which state and federal law enforcement has been infiltrated by adherents of violent extremist groups. (The Post reports, “At least two U.S. Capitol Police officers have been suspended and more than a dozen others are under investigation for suspected involvement with or inappropriate support for the Wednesday demonstration that turned into a deadly riot at the Capitol, according to two congressional officials briefed on the developments.”)

  • Right-wing media outlets, pundits, talk-show personalities and TV hosts who perpetrated the lie that there was widespread election fraud could retract their statements and affirm there is no factual basis for these assertions.

  • The voters in the 18 states whose attorneys general filed a brief to throw out other states’ electoral votes could recall or vote out these officials.

That should be enough to get us started. Beyond that, there are many good ideas for enhancing civics education, media literacy and access to voting on a permanent basis (e.g., pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act; make available universal, secure voting by mail). You can never have too much healing.

Unquote.

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee today released a 70-page document, “Materials in Support of H. Res. 24, Impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for High Crimes and Misdemeanors”. It says “Impeachment is not a punishment of prior wrongs, but a protection against future evils” (which would include Donnie being president again).

The third-ranking House Republican, the ultra-conservative Liz Cheney, released a statement:

Much more will become clear in coming days and weeks, but what we know now is enough. The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.

I will vote to impeach the President.

Also today:

The acting US attorney for the District of Columbia, Michael Sherwin, has indicated that many amid the hundreds of pro-Txxxx rioters who violently invaded the US Capitol  . . .  are suspected in a “mind-blowing” range of crimes, including felony murder and sedition and conspiracy.

There are at least 160 federal criminal cases open. [He said the FBI and other agencies] are ready to track down individuals all across the country, apprehend them wherever possible and arrest hundreds if not thousands of people.

“The range of criminal conduct was unmatched,” Sherwin said. He warned lawbreakers “You will be charged and you will be found.”

Yes, let the healing begin!

Another Republican Draws the Line

A small number of Republicans have condemned the attack on the Capitol and the lies that led up to it, but as far as a I know, not a single Republican politician who claimed the election was stolen has apologized and admitted the election was fair. If any of them really wanted to unify the nation, that’s what they’d need to do.

Still, it’s heartening to hear that some Republicans have had enough. Politico describes one:

A top Republican congressional aide is resigning over his party’s support for President Dxxxx Txxxx’s bid to overturn the 2020 election after it fueled deadly riots at the Capitol.

In a scathing resignation letter obtained by POLITICO, Jason Schmid, a longtime senior House Armed Services Committee staffer, slammed the GOP members of the panel who objected to President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win, particularly after a mob incited by Txxxx stormed the Capitol last Wednesday and left five people dead.

“Anyone who watched those horrible hours unfold should have been galvanized to rebuke these insurrectionists in the strongest terms,” Schmid wrote in a letter addressed to the committee’s top Republican. “Instead, some members whom I believed to be leaders in the defense of the nation chose to put political theater ahead of the defense of the Constitution and the republic.”

That included 13 members of the Armed Services Committee, where Schmid has worked for four and a half years as a top policy staffer. The panel’s incoming top Republican, Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama, was also among that group.

Ultimately, 138 House Republicans — more than half the GOP Conference — voted against certifying Biden’s Electoral College votes from Arizona, Pennsylvania or both states based on unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud that were parroted for months by Txxxx and his allies.

The full text of Schmid’s letter:

Ranking Member Rogers and Members of the House Armed Services Committee,

All who serve this nation swear an oath to defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic, and to bear true faith and allegiance to the same. Republican members of the House Armed Services Committee have led Congressional efforts to defend the nation and its Constitutional principles from foreign enemies since the establishment of the committee. Year after year, under Republican and Democratic Chairs, the committee has set aside factious contemporary events in the name of national defense. This is a legacy that I am extremely proud to have supported.

The sad, incontrovertible truth is that the people who laid siege to the Capitol were and continue to be domestic enemies of the Constitution of the United States. A poisonous lie that the election was illegitimate and should be overturned inspired so called “patriots” to share common cause with white supremacists, neo-Nazis and conspiracy theorists to attack the seat of American government. Anyone who watched those horrible hours unfold should have been galvanized to rebuke these insurrectionists in the strongest terms. Instead, some members whom I believed to be leaders in the defense of the nation chose to put political theater ahead of the defense of the Constitution and the Republic.

The decision to vote to set aside legitimate electors harmed the ability of every service member, intelligence officer, and diplomat to defend the nation and advance American interests. How are they to effectively defend American democratic ideals when the entire world saw so many members disregard those same ideals for cynical political purposes? Regardless of the motivations behind the vote, these members bear the consequences that the men and women in harm’s way will face for many years to come. I cannot imagine any series of events more damaging to the already fragile US led post-World War II order that has brought more peace and prosperity to the world than at any other time in history. These self-inflicted wounds are a gift to autocrats who seek a diminished America and are fundamentally inconsistent with the responsibility to provide for the common defense. Foreign intelligence services were likely on the scene and will certainly capitalize on the crisis it has caused – our people will pay a steep price. Congressional enablers of this mob have made future foreign conflict more likely, not less.

Going forward, the Committee must play a role in the accounting of this horrible chapter in our history. It is very disturbing that currently serving members of the armed forces participated in this. It is vitally important that the Committee hold the Department of Defense accountable for bringing any participants to justice. These extremist influences are a grave threat to our ability to defend the nation, and they must be expelled from the force immediately. I deeply regret some members may no longer have the credibility needed to accomplish this work.

All of our words and actions in the coming weeks and days will reveal those who believe in defending the Constitution, and those who stand only for self-interest and sectarianism. There can be no reconciliation and healing without accountability. While it is my hope the Committee finds a way yet again to legislate in a bipartisan way for the men and women in uniform in the 117th Congress and beyond, the failure of so many Republican members of the Committee to put the nation ahead of electoral politics compels my resignation from the staff. It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve the men and women in uniform, their families, and the civilians who also serve the Nation. I am proud of the things we have accomplished on their behalf, and the work we have done to strengthen national defense.

In Service, Jason Schmid

Some of Them Are Merely Religious Fanatics

One of America’s leading villains is Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri. He’s well-educated and apparently smart. Nevertheless, he insists the election was stolen. That’s him giving a fist of solidarity to the seditionists before the riot.

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Katherine Stewart, who has studied the religious right for years, explains why he’s willing to tell big lies. In addition to his political ambition, he’s serving what he sees as a higher truth:

In today’s Republican Party, the path to power is to build up a lie in order to overturn democracy. At least that is what Senator Josh Hawley was telling us when he offered a clenched-fist salute to the pro-Trump mob before it ransacked the Capitol, and it is the same message he delivered on the floor of the Senate in the aftermath of the attack, when he doubled down on the lies about electoral fraud that incited the insurrection in the first place. How did we get to the point where one of the bright young stars of the Republican Party appears to be at war with both truth and democracy?

Mr. Hawley himself, as it happens, has been making the answer plain for some time. It’s just a matter of listening to what he has been saying.

In multiple speeches, an interview and a widely shared article for Christianity Today, Mr. Hawley has explained that the blame for society’s ills traces all the way back to Pelagius — a British-born monk who lived 17 centuries ago. In a 2019 commencement address at The King’s College, a small conservative Christian college devoted to “a biblical worldview,” Mr. Hawley denounced Pelagius for teaching that human beings have the freedom to choose how they live their lives and that grace comes to those who do good things, as opposed to those who believe the right doctrines.

The most eloquent summary of the Pelagian vision, Mr. Hawley went on to say, can be found in the Supreme Court’s 1992 opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Mr. Hawley specifically cited Justice Anthony Kennedy’s words: “At the heart of liberty,” Kennedy wrote, “is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” The fifth century church fathers were right to condemn this terrifying variety of heresy, Mr. Hawley argued: “Replacing it and repairing the harm it has caused is one of the challenges of our day.”

In other words, Mr. Hawley’s idea of freedom is the freedom to conform to what he and his preferred religious authorities know to be right. Mr. Hawley is not shy about making the point explicit. In a 2017 speech to the American Renewal Project, he declared — paraphrasing the Dutch Reformed theologian . . . Abraham Kuyper “There is not one square inch of all creation over which Jesus Christ is not Lord.” Mr. Kuyper is perhaps best known for his claim that Christianity has sole legitimate authority over all aspects of human life.

“We are called to take that message into every sphere of life that we touch, including the political realm,” Mr. Hawley said. “That is our charge. To take the Lordship of Christ, that message, into the public realm, and to seek the obedience of the nations. Of our nation!”

Mr. Hawley has built his political career among people who believe that Shariah is just around the corner even as they attempt to secure privileges for their preferred religious groups to discriminate against those of whom they disapprove. Before he won election as a senator, he worked for Becket, a legal advocacy group that often coordinates with the right-wing legal juggernaut the Alliance Defending Freedom. He is a familiar presence on the Christian right media circuit.

The American Renewal Project, which hosted the event where Mr. Hawley delivered the speech I mentioned earlier, was founded by David Lane, a political organizer who has long worked behind the scenes to connect conservative pastors and Christian nationalist figures with politicians. The choice America faces, according to Mr. Lane, is “to be faithful to Jesus or to pagan secularism.”

The line of thought here is starkly binary and nihilistic. It says that human existence in an inevitably pluralistic, modern society committed to equality is inherently worthless. It comes with the idea that a right-minded elite of religiously pure individuals should aim to capture the levers of government, then use that power to rescue society from eternal darkness and reshape it in accord with a divinely-approved view of righteousness [“be faithful to Jesus or to pagan secularism”].

At the heart of Mr. Hawley’s condemnation of our terrifyingly Pelagian world lies a dark conclusion about the achievements of modern, liberal, pluralistic societies. When he was still attorney general, William Barr articulated this conclusion in a speech at the University of Notre Dame Law School, where he blamed “the growing ascendancy of secularism” for amplifying “virtually every measure of social pathology,” and maintained that “free government was only suitable and sustainable for a religious people.”

Christian nationalists’ acceptance of President Txxxx’s spectacular turpitude these past four years was a good measure of just how dire they think our situation is. Even a corrupt sociopath was better, in their eyes, than the horrifying freedom that religious moderates and liberals, along with the many Americans who don’t happen to be religious, offer the world.

That this neo-medieval vision is incompatible with constitutional democracy is clear. But in case you’re in doubt, consider where some of the most militant and coordinated support for Mr. Txxxx’s post-election assault on the American constitutional system has come from. The Conservative Action Project, . . . which serves as a networking organization for America’s religious and economic right-wing elite, made its position clear in a statement issued a week before the insurrection.

It called for members of the Senate to “contest the electoral votes” from Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and other states that were the focus of Republicans’ baseless allegations. Among the signatories was Cleta Mitchell, the lawyer who advised Mr. Trump and participated in the president’s call on Jan. 2 with Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state. . . .

Although many of the foot soldiers in the assault on the Capitol appear to have been white males aligned with white supremacist movements, it would be a mistake to overlook the powerful role of the rhetoric of religious nationalism in their ranks. At a rally in Washington on Jan. 5, on the eve of Electoral College certification, the right-wing pastor Greg Locke said that God is raising up “an army of patriots.” Another pastor, Brian Gibson, put it this way: “The church of the Lord Jesus Christ started America,” and added, “We’re going to take our nation back!”

In the aftermath of the Jan. 6 insurrection, a number of Christian nationalist leaders issued statements condemning violence — on both sides. How very kind of them. But few if any appear willing to acknowledge the instrumental role they played in perpetuating the fraudulent allegations of a stolen election that were at the root of the insurrection.

They seem, like Mr. Hawley himself, to live in a post-truth environment. And this gets to the core of the Hawley enigma. The brash young senator styles himself not just a deep thinker who ruminates about late-Roman era heretics, but a man of the people, a champion of “the great American middle” . . . and a foe of the “ruling elite” . . .

Yet Mr. Hawley isn’t against elites per se. He is all for an elite, provided that it is a religiously righteous elite. He is a graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School and he clerked for John Roberts, the chief justice. Mr. Hawley, in other words, is a successful meritocrat of the Federalist Society variety. His greatest rival in that department is the Princeton debater Ted Cruz. They are résumé jockeys in a system that rewards those who do the best job of mobilizing fear and irrationalism. . . .

Over the past few days, following his participation in the failed efforts to overturn the election, Mr. Hawley’s career prospects may have dimmed. Two of his home state newspapers have called for his resignation; his political mentor, John C. Danforth, a former Republican senator from Missouri, has described his earlier support for Mr. Hawley as “the biggest mistake I’ve ever made”; and Simon & Schuster dropped his book. On the other hand, there is some reporting that suggests his complicity in efforts to overturn the election may have boosted his standing with Mr. Txxxx’s base. But the question that matters is not whether Mr. Hawley stays or goes, but whether he is simply replaced by the next wannabe demagogue . . . 

Make no mistake: Mr. Hawley is a symptom, not a cause. He is a product of the same underlying forces that brought us President Txxxx and the present crisis of American democracy. Unless we find a way to address these forces and the fundamental pathologies that drive them, then next month or next year we will be forced to contend with a new and perhaps more successful version of Mr. Hawley.

Unquote.

Some of them believe white people, especially men, own America. Others believe lying isn’t a sin if it helps their religion own America. It’s important to know your enemy, but I can’t think of any other encouraging words.

Is It a Political “Lord of the Flies”?

We human beings like explanations for strange phenomena. The way one of our political parties has become incredibly extreme is one of those strange phenomena that cry out for an explanation. I’m sure there is no single, simple reason, but Prof. Paul Krugman gives it a shot:

There have always been people like Dxxxx Txxxx: self-centered, self-aggrandizing, believing that the rules apply only to the little people and that what happens to the little people doesn’t matter.

The modern [Republican Party], however, isn’t like anything we’ve seen before, at least in American history. If there’s anyone who wasn’t already persuaded that one of our two major political parties has become an enemy, not just of democracy, but of truth, events since the election should have ended their doubts.

It’s not just that a majority of House Republicans and many Republican senators are backing Txxxx’s efforts to overturn his election loss, even though there is no evidence of fraud or widespread irregularities. Look at the way David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are campaigning in the Senate runoffs in Georgia.

They aren’t running on issues, or even on real aspects of their opponents’ personal history. Instead they’re claiming, with no basis in fact, that their opponents are Marxists or “involved in child abuse”. That is, the campaigns to retain Republican control of the Senate are based on lies.

On Sunday Mitt Romney excoriated Ted Cruz and other congressional Republicans’ attempts to undo the presidential election, asking, “Has ambition so eclipsed principle?” But what principle does Romney think the [Grand Old Party] has stood for in recent years? It’s hard to see anything underlying recent Republican behavior beyond the pursuit of power by any means available.

So how did we get here? What happened to the Republican Party?

It didn’t start with Txxxx. On the contrary, the party’s degradation has been obvious, for those willing to see it, for many years.

Way back in 2003 I wrote that Republicans had become a radical force hostile to America as it is, potentially aiming for a one-party state in which “elections are only a formality.” In 2012 Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein warned that the G.O.P. was “unmoved by conventional understanding of facts” and “dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition”.

If you’re surprised by the eagerness of many in the party to overturn an election based on specious claims of fraud, you weren’t paying attention.

But what is driving the Republican descent into darkness?

Is it a populist backlash against elites? It’s true that there’s resentment over a changing economy that has boosted highly educated metropolitan areas at the expense of rural and small-town America; Txxxx received 46 percent of the vote, but the counties he won represented only 29 percent of America’s economic output. There’s also a lot of white backlash over the nation’s growing racial diversity.

The past two months have, however, been an object lesson in the extent to which “grass roots” anger is actually being orchestrated from the top. If a large part of the Republican base believes, groundlessly, that the election was stolen, it’s because that’s what leading figures in the party have been saying. Now politicians are citing widespread skepticism about the election results as a reason to reject the outcome — but they themselves conjured that skepticism out of thin air.

And what’s striking if you look into the background of the politicians stoking resentment against elites is how privileged many of them are. Josh Hawley, the first senator to declare that he would object to certification of the election results, rails against elites but is himself a graduate of Stanford and Yale Law School. Cruz, now leading the effort, has degrees from Princeton and Harvard.

. . . These aren’t people who have been mistreated by the system. So why are they so eager to bring the system down?

I don’t think it’s just cynical calculation, a matter of playing to the base. As I said, the base is in large part taking its cues from the party elite. And the craziness of that elite doesn’t seem to be purely an act.

My best guess is that we’re looking at a party that has gone feral — that has been cut off from the rest of society.

People have compared the modern G.O.P. to organized crime or a cult, but to me, Republicans look more like the lost boys in “Lord of the Flies.” They don’t get news from the outside world, because they get their information from partisan sources that simply don’t report inconvenient facts. They don’t face adult supervision, because in a polarized political environment there are few competitive races.

So they’re increasingly inward-looking, engaged in ever more outlandish efforts to demonstrate their loyalty to the tribe. Their partisanship isn’t about issues, although the party remains committed to cutting taxes on the rich and punishing the poor; it’s about asserting the dominance of the in-group and punishing outsiders.

The big question is how long America as we know it can survive in the face of this malevolent tribalism.

The current attempt to undo the presidential election won’t succeed, but it has gone on far longer and attracted much more support than almost anyone predicted. And unless something happens to break the grip of anti-democratic, anti-truth forces on the G.O.P., one day they will succeed in killing the American experiment.

Unquote.

Krugman offers two explanations: (1) Republicans are living in a closed, right-wing information loop and (2) most Republican politicians never face serious electoral competition from the left — they fear competition from radical Republicans who are even further to the right. Maybe reason (1) is the explanation for reason (2)? It’s only because of the closed information loop that members of the party move further and further to the right.

But why is there this closed information loop? My guess is that Republicans hate the reality of contemporary America so much — uppity women, uppity Blacks, immigrants from Latin America, professional people who tell them uncomfortable truths, a society and a culture that become less traditional every day — that they much prefer news and information that isn’t based in reality. If you can’t stand the reality of the modern world, avoid it as much as possible. People like Rupert Murdoch and Rush Limbaugh (and Mark Zuckerberg) then come along and see how much money they can make propagating a right-wing fantasy world millions prefer to live in. The result is a vicious circle. The fantastic media feeds the masses and the masses demand media that’s ever more fantastic. Down and down the spiral goes and it still hasn’t hit bottom.

Don’t Ever Call Them “Conservative”

It’s not a new idea, but Margaret Sullivan of The Washington Post points out that there’s nothing conservative about today’s radical right (i.e. most of the Gruesome Old Party):

You hear the word “radical” a lot these days. It’s usually aimed like a lethal weapon at Democratic office-seekers, especially those who want to unseat a Republican incumbent. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, the Georgia Republican, rarely utters her challenger’s name without branding him as “radical liberal Raphael Warnock.”

Such is the upside-down world we’ve come to inhabit. These days, the true radicals are the enablers of President Txxxx’s ongoing attempted coup: the media bloviators on Fox News, One America and Newsmax who parrot his lies about election fraud; and the members of Congress who plan to object on Wednesday to what should be a pro forma step of approving the electoral college results, so that President-elect Joe Biden can take office peacefully on Jan. 20.

But instead of being called what they are, these media and political figures get a mild label: conservative.

News outlets that traffic in conspiracy theories? They’re branded as “conservative.”

Politicians who are willing to bring down democracy to appease a cult leader? . . . Just a bloc of “conservatives.”

As the Hill put it in a typical headline Monday: “Cotton breaks with conservative colleagues who will oppose electoral vote.”

In applying this innocuous-sounding description, the reality-based media does the public a terrible disservice. Instead of calling out the truth, it normalizes; it softens the dangerous edges.

It makes it seem, well, not so bad. Conservative, after all, describes politics devoted to free enterprise and traditional ideas.

But that’s simply false. Sean Hannity is not conservative. Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama are not conservative. Nor are the other 10 (at last count) senators who plan to object.

“There is nothing conservative about subverting democracy,” wrote Tim Alberta, the author and Politico correspondent. He suggests “far right” as an alternative descriptor.
Not bad. But I’d take it a step further, because it’s important to be precise. I’d call them members of the radical right.

Txxxx knows no limits as he tries to overturn the election.

My high school Latin comes in handy here: “Radical” derives from the concept of pulling something up by the roots, which seems to be exactly what these political and media types seem bent on doing to democratic norms.

The dictionary definition says radical means “advocating extreme measures to retain or restore a political state of affairs.”

Bingo.

Members of the radical right won’t like this, of course. They soak in the word “conservative” like a warm bath. Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan — extreme even among the extremists — leans heavily on the word in his official bio. . .

The language problem here points to a larger, more troubling issue: The radicalism of the right has been normalized. It’s been going on, and building, for decades. Don’t worry, this mind-set reassures, it’s all fine. There are different ways of looking at the world, liberal and conservative, and they are about equal.

That, of course, is misleading hooey.

Heather Cox Richardson, a history professor at Boston College, used a more precise phrase as she recently assessed what has transpired over many decades to culminate in today’s election denialism: This is “the final, logical step of Movement Conservatism: denying the legitimacy of anyone who does not share their ideology. This is unprecedented.” She called it “a profound attack on our democracy” and predicted that it wouldn’t succeed.

“This tent that used to be sort of ‘far-right extremists’ has gotten a lot broader,” Georgetown law professor Mary McCord, a former federal prosecutor who oversaw terrorism cases, told NPR. Now, the line between fringe extremists and mainstream Republican politics and right-leaning media is so blurred as to be almost meaningless.

Too much of the reality-based media has gone along for the ride, worried about accusations of leftist bias, wanting desperately to be seen as neutral, unwilling to be clear about how lopsided these sides are.

On Jan. 20, we can still presume, Txxxx will be gone from the White House. But his enablers and the movement that fostered him, and that he built up, will remain. That’s troubling.

We should take one small but symbolic step toward repairing the damage by using the right words to describe it. It would be a start.

Unquote.

The mayor of Washington D.C. has activated the district’s National Guard in advance of Wednesday’s pro-sedition, Txxxx-encouraged protests: “’We will not allow people to incite violence, intimidate our residents or cause destruction in our city’, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said.”

You don’t need the military to protect life and property from conservatives. You do need it for the radical right.