Thursday, January 06, 2022

Things not seen

"We saw with our own eyes:  rioters menaced these halls, threatening the life of the Speaker of the House, directing to hang the Vice President of the United States of America.  What did we not see?  We did not see a former president, who had just rallied the mob to attack, sitting in a private dining room off the Oval Office in the White House, watching it all on television and doing nothing for hours as police were assaulted, lives at risk, the national Capitol under siege."

"Defeated former president."  "Self-seeking autocrat."  "His bruised ego."  "He can't accept he lost."  You better believe the loser listened to every word, enraged at not hearing his name EVEN ONCE like he's some contractor staring at unpaid bills or a greenskeeper without a green card.  Spare a thought for the cleaner who has to scrape cheeseburger excreta off the walls of the Florida Shite House.

It was a noble speech despite being given at nine o'clock in the morning -- does no one in this administration understand the concept of messaging?  It was a speech ready for prime time.  Did they think Jane Scratchcards wouldn't understand the reference to Clio, Muse of History?  (I heard a backhand slap at the red-state racists passing laws against teaching what happened between 1619 and the murder of George Floyd.)

Politicized?  You bet your pearls, Lindsey.  "What brazen politicization...I wonder if the Taliban who now rule Afghanistan...are allowing this speech to be carried."  Who cares?  Probably busy hanging gay people.  There's an issue you might want to tweet about.  Maybe not.  "Was the speech political?  God, I hope so," wrote Charlie Pierce.  "The president's trade is politics.  What did people expect, a novena?"

Graham worries about the response of foreigners but Biden touched on that, too:  "We're living at an inflection point in history, both at home and abroad.  We're engaged anew in a struggle between democracy and autocracy...From China to Russia and beyond, they're betting the democracies' days are numbered.  They've actually told me democracy is too slow, too bogged down by division to succeed in today's rapidly changing, complicated world..."  

Where have I heard that before?  In Ben Urwand's The Collaboration:  Hollywood's Pact With Hitler, the most startling passage concerns Joseph Goebbels's admiration for Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.  Frank Capra thought he had made a movie about the lone hero who succeeds against the odds because he has the people behind him, through democratic ideals and a pure heart -- he's the real American.  Goebbels saw in it confirmation that parliamentary democracy was corrupt and impotent.  Could they both be right?  What the world is noticing right now is a dearth of Republicans at the Capitol commemorations --basically Liz Cheney and her father up in the gallery.  Not even a minor Bush.  (If the Communists and the Socialists in the Reichstag had voted together they could have kept Hitler from becoming chancellor, but that's for another day.)

It's considered a good joke to put Merrick Garland's face on milk cartons to dramatize frustration at the slow pace of his investigations, but yesterday he gave what was essentially a "get off my back" speech.  Thorough work is slow but necessary.  "We will and we must speak through our work.  Anything else jeopardized the viability of our investigations and the civil liberties of our citizens."  Which is to say there will be no "LOCK HER UP" from this crowd, no encouraging physical violence of the sort that gave Trump a rise as long as he could duck behind two big Secret Service agents or hide in the White House bunker.   Or enjoy it from the dining room next to the Oval, as Biden reminded us today.  (Stephanie Grisham told CNN he "kept hitting rewind.")  So while most small-fry Trumpanzees are getting little or no prison time, it's early days compared to Watergate and the best is yet to come.  



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