X Close

The liberal fantasy of the Capitol coup Just like after 9/11, America's elites have weaponised their trauma

Not every day is Jan 6 (Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images)


January 6, 2022   5 mins

When, after 9/11, the neocons agitated for regime change in the Middle East, they believed that history was on their side: so they conjured up the existential threat of weapons of mass destruction, just in case history had other ideas. More than a decade later, this tactic has found favour with a wholly different tribe: America’s liberal establishment.

Just like the neocons before them, they are bewitched by the prospect of war with an enemy they believe poses a threat to their way of life. The only difference is that this deadly menace doesn’t live in some far-off land, but right at home. They might even live next door.

As The New York Times put it in an editorial last week, “the Republic faces an existential threat from a movement that is openly contemptuous of democracy and has shown that it is willing to use violence to achieve its ends”. And there is only one way to survive this threat: to “mobilise at every level”. The NYT was, of course, referring to the attack on the Capitol last January: “Jan. 6 is not in the past,” we’re warned. “It is every day”.

It is hard to exaggerate the feverish excitement with which many progressives responded to the Capitol riot. While the spectacle of hundreds of Trump supporters smashing their way into one of the sacrosanct sites of American democracy generated widespread condemnation, for many progressives the dominant emotional register was one of apocalyptic disgust — and arousal.

Here, finally, was irrefutable proof that they had been right all along: that Trump’s hateful rhetoric would finally become a hateful reality. Here, finally, was a war that could give their lives meaning. There were now Right-wing insurrectionists among them, and they would need to be fought. It was almost as if, on some deep level, they had wanted the Capitol siege to happen.

Suggested reading
The liberal fantasy of the Capitol coup

By Edward Luttwak

Every group that spoils for war needs a wound or trauma to mobilise around. For the neocons and the liberal hawks who supported them, it was the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. That wound would take a lifetime to heal; but it was also massively generative, filling a spiritual void at the heart of American life at the End of History.

In the half-decade prior to 9/11 one of the biggest political stories in America centred on President Clinton’s marital infidelity with a 22-year-old intern. Was a blowjob really an act that existed outside of the realm of “sexual relations”, as Clinton had sought to claim? And should his receiving them in the Oval Office warrant his resignation? In America, the period leading up to 9/11 was, in other words, one of monumental banality and puerility.

The instant the second plane hit the south tower of the World Trade Centre on 9/11 that period came to an abrupt end. America had entered, in Martin Amis’s expression, “the Age of Vanished Normalcy”: idle talk about illicit blowjobs would no longer cut it. This was a time of war, a clash of civilisations. Such was the level of danger that we could no longer wait for threats to gather, but would need to pre-emptively act to stop them from emerging.

It was all very dramatic and clarifying, as Christopher Hitchens acknowledged from the very start: “I am not particularly a war lover, and on the occasions when I have seen warfare as a travelling writer, I have tended to shudder. But here was a direct, unmistakable confrontation between everything I loved and everything I hated.” Hitchens, who confided that he felt “exhilarated” at the prospect of this confrontation, would soon go on to insist that it was a matter of moral principle for the US to topple the Saddam Hussein regime. He was less rousing and persuasive on whether it was the prudent thing to do, but prudence was never Hitchens’s metier.

The storming of the Capitol was to elite liberals what the destruction of the World Trade Center was to the neocons: a bracing vindication that they had been right all along, and a pretext for engaging in a battle that would give their lives a greater meaning and a chance to prove their virtue. What could be more exhilarating than taking on the historic forces of white supremacy now threatening to destroy the republic? And what could be more virtuous?

None of this is to deny the vast ideological differences between the neocons and modern progressives, the most salient of which is that the latter would never support an American-led occupation of a Muslim-majority country. Nor is it to make a false moral equivalence between the events of 9/11, where more than 3,000 civilians were murdered in carefully coordinated attacks, and the events of January 6, where the only person who was shot and killed was one of the rioters.

Yet the parallels between these two political tribes are striking. So keen were the neocons to invade Iraq that they had to drastically inflate the threat-level of the Saddam Hussein regime. They did so by arguing that the threat was “existential”: that if Saddam were to remain in power, he would not only continue to amass WMDs, but would likely use them to attack America. It later transpired that this argument was based on unreliable evidence: no major stockpiles of WMD were ever found and Saddam’s relationship with al Qaeda was overblown. But such was the war fever that had gripped the neocons that they were apt to ignore any evidence that contradicted their conviction.

Today’s liberals are similarly flushed with ideological fervour, believing that they are in a cosmic struggle of Manichean proportions: they are the elect, the chosen ones, and they believe that their responsibility to purge all traces of white supremacy and hateful extremism is a grave one. Indeed, such is their keenness to root out white supremacy that they are apt to find it everywhere, even where it patently doesn’t exist. They are equally apt to inflate its threat where it does exist, like comparing the storming of the Capitol on January 6 to the terror attacks of 9/11.

Note my use of inflate: no one would deny that there is a white power movement in the US, and there is much evidence to suggest that far-Right terrorism in America has increased markedly over the last few years. It is, however, important to maintain a sense of proportion: America is intensely divided right now, but the idea that the country is in the grip of a perpetual far-Right insurgency is catastrophic to a pathological degree.

In his 1989 article The End of History?, Francis Fukuyama declared that the great ideological battles of the 20th century were over and that Western liberal democracy had triumphed. This, he argued, was a good thing. But, concluding his essay, he lamented: “The struggle for recognition, the willingness to risk one’s life for a purely abstract goal, the worldwide ideological struggle that called forth daring, courage, imagination, and idealism, will be replaced by economic calculation, the endless solving of technical problems, environmental concerns, and the satisfaction of sophisticated consumer demands.”

More than two decades later, people in liberal democratic societies such as America enjoy a level of freedom, opportunity and material wealth unmatched anywhere else. And yet, as the response to the Capitol riot shows, they suffer from a deficit of meaning and spiritual fulfilment. This, as Fukuyama observed, fuels a sense of nostalgia for history and all its dramatic entanglements. “Such nostalgia,” he noted, “will continue to fuel competition and conflict even in the post-historical world for some time to come.”

So when The New York Times publishes an editorial on how “every day is Jan. 6 now”, it is hard not to see this as a form of nostalgia for the kind of historical drama and contention that is clearly missing from the lives of the comfortable, Ivy-League educated, New-York based journalists who wrote it and who represent the vanguard of what Wesley Yang calls the “successor ideology”. Their hysteria, then, says more about themselves than the events of last year.

In his memoir, the Vietnam War veteran Philip Caputo reflects on his motivations for enlisting in the war. Preeminent among them was the desire “to prove something: my courage, my toughness, my manhood, call it whatever you like”. For those Western liberals who secretly wish for an impending civil war at home, the thing they most want to prove is not their courage, and it certainly isn’t their toughness or manhood, something which they would no doubt contemptuously regard as toxically heteronormative. Rather, what they desperately want to prove is their virtue — even if it means engaging in irresponsible fear-mongering and flagrant exaggeration.


Simon Cottee is a senior lecturer in criminology at the University of Kent.


Join the discussion


Join like minded readers that support our journalism by becoming a paid subscriber


To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.

Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.

Subscribe
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

172 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Larry Decker
Larry Decker
2 years ago

Liberal outlets like the NYT continue their march towards irrelevancy by over-hyping and droning on about 1/6 like it’s comparable to a 9/11 type anniversary. The average American doesn’t care about 1/6. They care about the huge increase in the cost to fill their tanks, heat their homes, and feed their families. They care about the humiliation of the Afghanistan withdrawal being handled so incompetently that the British Parliament, our closest ally, censured our president for abandoning their citizens, along with our own, behind enemy lines. They care about their daughters being forced to compete with men in college sports while Liberals try to gaslight them into thinking this is fair. They care about the explosion in crime in major cities due to Liberal Soros bought DAs refusing to prosecute crime. They care about their grade school children being taught they are oppressors or oppressed based on the color of their skin – in addition to everything else Liberals do to fan the flames of racial hatred and grievance. They care about being fooled into having a president who is obviously in cognitive decline.

1/6 is the last thing on their minds.

Last edited 2 years ago by Larry Decker
Larry Decker
Larry Decker
2 years ago
Reply to  Larry Decker

I would just add that the Clinton impeachment was in regard to committing perjury in Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit. Up to that point Liberals had taken sexual harassment seriously.

James Stangl
James Stangl
2 years ago
Reply to  Larry Decker

Well said, sir!

Hersch Schneider
Hersch Schneider
2 years ago

It’s astounding that we’ve had two/ three years of constant protests, uprisings, BLM riots, looting, violence etc all fuelled by and cheered on by the left
And they now have the audacity to collectively feign shock, horror and indignance at what anyone could clearly see was a pathetically small, ragtag mob without any real plan or end-goal, storming the (unfathomably inadequately secured) Capitol for what, an hour?
It’s all felt a bit ‘false flag’ from the very start.

Warren T
Warren T
2 years ago

Evidenced by the lack of any meaningful criminal charges being filed against any of the ragtag, mom jeans wearing flag carriers.

John Wilkes
John Wilkes
2 years ago

Inadequately secured?
I said at the time and still believe that this may turn out to be a modern equivalent to the burning of the Reichstag, which will be used to justify ever greater repression of political enemies.

Rob Schellinger
Rob Schellinger
1 year ago

I think we’d be better off with buffalo hat guy in charge, IMHO.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago

“For those Western liberals who secretly wish for an impending civil war at home, the thing they most want to prove is not their courage, and it certainly isn’t their toughness or manhood, something which they would no doubt contemptuously regard as toxically heteronormative. Rather, what they desperately want to prove is their virtue”

There can be no greater perversion of truth than Liberals believing they are ‘Virtuous’. All which is decent they despise, and all which is degenerate they praise.

Comparing the ‘Great Selfie Riot’ of 1/6/21 to 9/11 and 3000+ dead civilians, (more than in Pearl Harbor 12/07/41, the only attack on USA which it compares to) shows how insane and delusional these Postmodernist, Neo-Marxist, Liberal-Left are.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

So it really is a new Holy War then. I’ve been saying for ages that the Woke Progressive movement resembles a cult more than a little.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

It also resembles a band wagon.

John McKee
John McKee
1 year ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

It sure does. Fact and logic are banned. Vehement “ad hominem” arguments, bordering on incitement to harm, are elevated to the pinnacle of public discourse.

Michael Cavanaugh
Michael Cavanaugh
1 year ago
Reply to  John McKee

The ad hominem has become not so much a logical offence as a positive Way of Life.

Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

“Which one of you here is Virtuous? If you make yourself known, the rest of you go free.”

“I am Virtuous.”
“I am Virtuous!”
“I am Virtuous!”
“No, I am Virtuous!”
“The hell you are! I’m Virtuous!”
“In fact I’m the one you want. I, I! I am Virtuous!!”

Tom Krehbiel
Tom Krehbiel
2 years ago

LOL, is that a paraphrase of “Spartacus”?

Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
2 years ago
Reply to  Tom Krehbiel

Obviously!

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Alternatively how totally ignorant of actual (as opposed to their post modern versions) history they really are.

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
2 years ago

People on the left tell lies. People on the right do, too. The difference is that people on the left think they’re entitled to, after the Nietzschean fashion of the ubermensch. It’s for the greater good, you understand. So, when an anarchic mob crash into the Capitol, people on the left call this an insurrection. They know perfectly well it isn’t, but they calculate a greater advantage is to be had from lying than telling the truth. The rulers of states, as the man said, are the only ones with the privilege of lying.

Last edited 2 years ago by Francis MacGabhann
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago

The word for this is Taqiyya, religious freedom to lie if it promotes ones faith.

rick stubbs
rick stubbs
2 years ago

Yes, the NYT elite have no battalions so who will enlist in this deadly struggle struggle to secure their hegemony? The police in the hinterlands whom they revile as racists? We can be sure of one thing – the only service they willing offer to their country is their received opinions.

George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago
Reply to  rick stubbs

I wouldn’t be so sure they have no battalions, there is antifa and young aimless men as Philip Caputo says who are out to prove themselves in a fight, any fight will do. They also have the woke Gen. Paul E. Funk II in the US Army that the NYT believe the regular troops will follow in to battle to shoot up their own “racist” families and neighbours.
I think I take your meaning though, they don’t have enough willing fighters to win the civil war they are spoiling for. When the saintly NYT raises its flag to fight the deplorable MAGAer’s in the streets its going to find that never in human history will a cause have had more couch based tweets in support of it and fewer feet on the street.
To the twitter barricades eco-vegan, pacifist, non-toxic trans-masculine identifying pan-sexual’s!!! Give them a tweet storm, Give them cancelation, Give them your pronouns, GIVE THEM HELL!!! ( unless you find the concept of hell triggering, and privileging of white western Judeo-Christian values : in which case give them a secular unpleasant safe-space for detainment instead)

Last edited 2 years ago by George Glashan
Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

That call to arms is just brilliant.

More seriously, civil wars aren’t just spontaneous outbreaks of neighbours shooting each other. Civil wars involve organised groups, with identifiable leadership, funding and infrastructure, fighting over identifiable levers of power.

What could possibly trigger this in the US? Red states trying to secede – is that really a possibility? The federal government trying to enforce an edict on a red state using the army? Where does the National Guard sit? How well armed is it and who controls its elements?

Any journalist worthy of the name, who seriously thinks civil war is possible, should be analysing these questions not just pointing out there is a lot of political division.

If there is violence, a Northern Ireland style terrorist war seems more likely. The left have more experience at that. I’m sure there are elements of antifa in touch with the right people in the FARK, IRA etc and there will be no shortage of funding from China and Russia.

No doubt the same could be said of the proud boys etc but from this side of the pond they look more like beer monster bikers than any sort of organised political force.

As always, the media are failing in their main task of investigating and reporting, preferring to hypothecate and pontificate.

Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Perhaps Barbara Walter’s book: How Civil Wars Start, should be on our reading lists: especially in Book Clubs of the progressives.
If there is to be a civil war then one of its requirements is that the winners, at least, need to be “hetero-normative.” Congresswoman AOC had probably best not apply to be leader of the NYT battalion.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

The IRA and Farc reference dates you.

The actual funding of BLM etc is internal to the West. Often from billionaires, particularly tech moguls. Russia is accused of funding the other side.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago

I’m guilty of trying to make a point about the left and they were the only ones that came to mind.

In truth, anybody looking for advice on terrorist tactics, strategy, training and technical knowhow would be connecting with ISIS, the Taliban etc.

There are so many parties interested in seeing civil strife in the US, there’d be a queue of funders, internal and external.

Mo Brown
Mo Brown
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

The number of fighters on the left would be close to zero. On the right there would be many millions, armed and willing to take it to the limit.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
2 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

That battlecry is dangerously close to an example of Poe’s law. You could have copied that off an actual tweet, I’d never know.

The only thing your missing is that their battalions will be marching under unicorn emblazoned rainbow banners. At least until those carrying the trans banners turn on those carrying the feminist ones.
And that would be my strategy for fighting them, wait until the inevitable infighting starts that leaves us with a meta civil war.

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrew Dalton
Mo Brown
Mo Brown
2 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

I read Caputo’s excellent book years ago. Guys like him were nothing like these antifa losers, who only attack safe and soft targets and are fully supported by the establishment in the few deep blue cities where they operate. Antifa would be on the receiving end of guys like Caputo for about 10 minutes before disappearing to their safe spaces never to return. The leftist hysterics have no battalions here. They can only hope the existing forces can be made to do their will, however begrudgingly that might happen, under corrupt state actors like Milley. But this would be like Vietnam coming home to America, with an unending supply of invisible deadly insurgents and a constant shortage of body bags. I can’t really comprehend what the endgame is here for the left. They don’t seem to understand where this is going.

rick stubbs
rick stubbs
2 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

Thanks, That was good and provoked a lot of takes.

David McDowell
David McDowell
2 years ago
Reply to  rick stubbs

Interesting article. Who will fight the liberal elite’s battles once the gloves come off. The police won’t shoot their own kith and kin. Neither will the national guard.
That leaves the US army and the liberal elite arming itself. The latter would be incapable as Karl Rittenhouse demonstrated. Could the US army being coopted to murder its own citizenry?

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  David McDowell

Maybe the battle is psychological as much as physical.. In 1984 the endless war was mostly fought in the mind – doublespeak, wrongthink etc relentlessly driven by fear until you really love Big Brother. Power like that would be exhilarating.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

Very true, and this war they are winning.

Shooting is unlikely to stop that culture capture. The right needs a proper strategy for marching back into the institutions.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Not to worry. Voting with feet is taking place now. And 2023 Congress will produce the needed conflict.

Warren T
Warren T
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

That is their end game.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
2 years ago
Reply to  David McDowell

The supporters of antifa were clearly as tough or tougher than their opponents. The idea that conservative America is tough is misguided, it’s often older and fatter than any opposition.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago

‘The supporters of antifa were clearly as tough or tougher than their opponents.’

100% Wrong!

Antifa were some psycho youth out to terrorize and would be crushed in 1 minute by Conservative adults. The thing is the Conservative Adults are not out rioting in the streets – they have lives, families, they are not hopped up stoner psychopaths and will not break laws, not risk their future on some jury decision.

I work in the USA Deep South in construction. I would put an equal number of the guys I work with (all very conservative, even the Black and Hispanic – they work hard and believe in the way of hard work for one’s means, and in family.) against those anti fa A88holes any day – they would wipe them out hand to hand.

But Rittenhouse showed that fighting them is risking life in prison – he had all the proof it was self defense – videos, testimony, everything – but was just a juror away from life in prison.

That is why the real men in Conservative values stay away from a fight with the antifa filth. Not fear of those sociopaths, but fear of the Soros captured Justice System.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I expect some, if engaged, will employ the tactics of individual retribution. A home visit, unannounced, to render long overdue spanking can resolve the issue. Remove the group dynamic and the posturing evaporates among these children.

John McKee
John McKee
1 year ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

O so true! Very well put.

Mo Brown
Mo Brown
2 years ago

Lolz. You are from another country I presume, as you could not be more lost. The escapades of antifa in Seattle, Portland and a couple other places where they got a bunch of jackasses organized to attack randos on the street in downtown areas of deep blue cities have nothing to do with what would actually happen across the US if there were to come a real conflict.

Rob Schellinger
Rob Schellinger
1 year ago

Pantyfa only appeared that way because nobody was allowed to do anything. LEOs were ordered to let the world burn lest they be framed (even more) as racists.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
2 years ago
Reply to  David McDowell

By all accounts, most leftists specialize in hot-air production and are rather a lazy lot. I’m guessing they wouldn’t know where to begin.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
2 years ago

Was the NYT always this mad?

Maybe it was all along, and I didn’t notice.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
2 years ago

No, it wasn’t. There was a time when journalism was a blue collar trade, but over the 20th century it evolved into a white collar profession. There was a time when local advertising was important to the revenue stream. Now large chain advertising dominates. There was a time when corporate donations to newspapers was seen as bribery, and great measures were taken to maintain a wall between the every-day journalism and the editorial stance. The NYT lead the charge to tear down this wall. There was a time when activism was feared as detrimental to objectivity. The NYT said that because there is no such thing is perfect objectivity we shouldn’t try. There was a time when political reporting was all about getting what the politicians said and did in front of the public who could evaluate it. Now the NYT says that its job is to make sure that the correct people get elected, and to censor those who have views they do not like. In short, they have embraced a new future as the propagandists of their own class. It’s not about journalism any more. When New York Times Deputy Asia Editor Carlos Tejada died of a heart attack on December 17th, the NYT was at great pains to not mention that this was just hours after having received a Moderna booster jab. Former NY Times journalist Alex Berenson wrote on his substack after Tejada’s death: If this does not wake the NY Times, nothing will.
People interested in reading about how this happened will see it all laid out in Batya Ungar-Sargon, Newsweek’s Deputy Editor’s book — Bad News How Woke Media Is Undermining Democracy ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1641772068
— along with some remedies as to what can be done next as a profession.

Last edited 2 years ago by Laura Creighton
Michael Cavanaugh
Michael Cavanaugh
2 years ago

The idea of journalistic objectivity itself has a history (the distinction between yellow journalism and objective reporting is itself a 20th c artifact). That said, I too miss it. Timothy Garton Ash nails it: facts ARE subversive. The successor supposition that “because there is no such thing is perfect objectivity we shouldn’t try” harms us all.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 years ago

Perhaps the book is the reason Newsweek, alone, is permitting conservative editorials, at least on-line. Their magazine articles are still woke but less so.

John McKee
John McKee
1 year ago

Beautifully stated and entirely accurate.

AC Harper
AC Harper
2 years ago

 â€œthe Republic faces an existential threat from a movement that is openly contemptuous of democracy and has shown that it is willing to use violence to achieve its ends” – and we call them Democrats. Just ask the inhabitants of the 12 cities undergoing increasing levels of property destruction and murder, mostly run by Democrat administrations.

nigel roberts
nigel roberts
2 years ago
Reply to  AC Harper

“mostly”? How about “invariably”?

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 years ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Democracy gets lost if we can’t trust the election mechanisms and we don’t. Efforts to create more mistrust are being promoted by those who claim we should abandon trust.

Dustin Needle
Dustin Needle
2 years ago

Thank you Simon for this article.
Had a fascinating visit to Washington a few years back. It was during the Brett Kavanagh / Supreme Court affair, so the pavements were full of people with placards and the inevitable Handmaid’s Tale fancy dress parade.
Hard for me to say whether there was an increase in security, but I spent another day visiting the Nasa Space Museum; it suddenly hammered down with rain and people started congregating in the entrance area for shelter. Security got VERY heavy – shouting “you can’t be here, you can’t be here” and marching towards us – and we were encouraged to wait outside.
Now thankfully none of us had malicious intent, the rainstorm passed and I’d forgotten the incident until the “insurrection”. My point is security clearly had their orders about potential risks, even in a low-profile target like a museum. Yet people in fancy dress can just barge their way through security into a building like Congress – significantly more important than a museum – in broad daylight, despite clear warnings that tensions were running high?
As with so much in the US in recent times, I feel there’s a lot more to 6th Jan than meets the eye.
Thoroughly recommend a visit to Washington by the way, especially if you are interested in politics.

Last edited 2 years ago by Dustin Needle
Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago
Reply to  Dustin Needle

I’m always reluctant to reach for a conspiracy theory, but the ease with which security was breached has always struck me as very odd.

I’m not really following the hype round what look very like show trials. Is responsibility for the lack of security being investigated?

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Mostly no. There’s a reason why the House January 6 Committee has only 2 Republicans on it, both appointed by Democrat Nancy Pelosi. Speaker Pelosi vetoed two Republican members selected by the Minority Leader, because they would ask embarrassing questions about why security was so bad. The Republicans also wanted to investigate the far more destructive, violent and widespread Antifa/BLM riots, which Democats approved of. Since Democrats completely control the January 6 investigations, only a few independent journalists are investigating the lack of security on January 6.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 years ago

The 2023 Congress will reopen the whole mess. Pelosi will wisely remove herself.

Andrzej Wasniewski
Andrzej Wasniewski
2 years ago

That was a coup like never before. In the country with approximately 300 million guns, all the coup participants, no exception, just forgot to bring their guns. Well we cannot know if the FBI infiltrators urging people to enter the Capitol, footage is available, were armed or not. Damages were unprecedented, at the scale of Pearl Harbor. The crew armed with vacuum cleaners, footage is available, worked all day to pickup the trash and move the furniture.
The heavy lifting was done by the corporate media, “Lies, only lies, and nothing but lies”, and Adam Schiff. It was well executed, the usual morons were whipped into their usual frenzy.

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
2 years ago

This analysis is completely off. The Democrats are trying to seize power by any means necessary. While they claim to be the force of democracy, Democrats are anything but that. After 4 years of attempted coup against the duly elected president by the intelligence community, FBI and Department of Justice, the Democrats have moved on to Latin American style riots and ruling by decree, based on fear mongering with Covid-19.

The key to understanding the situation is the Antifa/BLM riots. These riots have a banana republic quality to them. Democrats in control of local government order the police to stand down. They permit the rioting. If any rioters are arrested, Democrats don’t prosecute the rioters. They allow low bail, so the rioters are recycled back onto the streets. The mainstream media lies about the triggering event, like, “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!” which was a complete fabrication. The intent is to incite riots.

Antifa/BLM riots killed dozens, injured hundreds and destroyed billions of dollars worth of property. The riots were intentional political violence, to intimidate Republicans and make Trump look impotent if he did nothing, and authoritarian if he tried to intervene.

When Trump called Antifa/BLM riots an insurrection, many state and local Democrat authorities defended their right to permit riots locally, without federal interference. This further demonstrates Democrats wanted the Antifa/BLM riots.

The Capitol Riot is being used like the Reichstag Fire as an excuse to curtail the civil liberties of Democrats’ political opponents. Hundreds of people were arrested and held without bail until a federal appeals court ruled that bail had to be granted to nonviolent offenders. Twitter canceled 100,00 conservative’s accounts. News and social media used the Capitol Riot as an excuse to tighten censorship. This is an exact parallel to Weimar Germany. It’s a power play, not some noble crusade.

Jeff Carr
Jeff Carr
2 years ago

When are the Democratic Party going to be cancelled for historic support of Slavery?
It should be remembered that the Republican Party were founded to campaign against the expansion of slavery.
The cancellation of history is extremely selective and most organisations with roots in the early 19th Century could be at risk.

David Yetter
David Yetter
2 years ago

As I am fond of pointing out, when Democrats and the American media (but I repeat myself) say “democracy” , they do not mean rule by the ÎŽáż†ÎŒÎżÏ‚, they mean rule by Democrats.

Suzanne Sigman
Suzanne Sigman
2 years ago
Reply to  David Yetter

It would be really helpful IMHO if everyone would refer to America’s system of government as what it is (or is supposed to be): A REPUBLIC. Stop referring to it as a “democracy” which is nothing but majority (mob?) rule. Thus, the elimination of Federalism and the Electoral College, Federal control of all voting, etc are high on the far left’s to- do list.

David Yetter
David Yetter
2 years ago
Reply to  Suzanne Sigman

You are quite correct. The problem is that the part of the American body politic which is in control of the media and most of our cultural institutions is the part that wish the United States were a democracy. Or so they claim — the noisy supporters of “democracy” from Woodrow Wilson who dragged us into WW I to “make the world safe for democracy” have always really been in favor of technocrats running everything with elections serving only to provide a patina of legitimacy.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 years ago

Please observe many are still being held in solitary confinement without bail under poor conditions by jailers who detest their prisoners. Their trials may be held late this year after nearly three years in jail. Those pleading guilty are spared the worst abuse but can expect severe sentencing even after confessing to thought crimes. Past thought crimes will be used to enhance the sentence.
There remain people who imagine no punishment adequate to the offense of entering a building. They are offended that a grandmother of some age would have been there to walk in those sacred places. Tragic delusion.

Tony Taylor
Tony Taylor
2 years ago

The Times is the world’s most prominent professional pearl-clutcher.

John T. Maloney
John T. Maloney
2 years ago

Isn’t it odd that supposed “insurrectionists” and those hell-bent on a “coup d’etat” would apply, well in advance, for protest permits
These alleged “seditionistshad no weapons, no heavy tanks, no aircraft, and, above all, no junta to install
Yes, so-called “terrorists” were “armed,” but with “Approved permits for six demonstrations to be held on Jan 6, 2021.”
The permits were issued and signed personally by the Chief of the Capitol Police and its top intelligence unit. After an exhaustive investigation before the permitting, they concluded, “no adverse intelligence related to the upcoming event.” The Capitol Police, an organ of the U.S. Congress, found, “The Probability of acts of civil disobedience/arrests to occur as Highly Improbable.
Gee, is it now de rigeur for real terrorists to apply for a police permit before an attack? That’s what Speaker Pelosi and her degenerates want you to believe.  
​Remember, when a bunch of wholly *unarmed* diabetic geezers, w/ replacement joints, catheters, & colostomy bags, join a permitted 1st Amendment protest, it is hardly an “insurrection.” 
Of course, absolutely NONE of the 700+ people arrested will ever be charged with 18 U.S. Code § 2383 – Rebellion or Insurrection. Because the so-called Jan 6, 2021, “insurrection” is just another cruel, soaring farce by the disgraced Speaker Pelosi.
https://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/21059849/leopold-capitol-police-protest-permits-january-6-common-law-release.pdf

Jeff Carr
Jeff Carr
2 years ago

Very interesting article. As someone who does not read the NYT it was interesting to read that the editors believe “the Republic faces an existential threat from a movement that is openly contemptuous of democracy and has shown that it is willing to use violence to achieve its ends”.
I am increasingly coming to the view that the progressive minority who occupy positions of influence are the ones who are contemptuos of democracy. It seems to me that on both sides of the Atlantic the intellectual progressives are dismissive of the opinion expressed by the majority at the ballot box and revolted by the individuals that the majority of the populous vote for in democratic elections.
It is about time the intellectual progressives stood back and looked at their own attitude and respect for the views of the democratic majority and realised that they still have work to do to achieve democratic legitimacy. The denigration of ‘populism’ is symptomatic of their gut realisation that they do not have the mandate in our democratic societies.
This is not to say that I condone the behaviour of the so-called ‘far-right’ but I do believe that the outcome of the ballot box is one of the foundation stones of western liberal democracy.

Last edited 2 years ago by Jeff Carr
Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Carr

“Democracy only counts when people vote the correct way.’

David Jennings
David Jennings
2 years ago

The basic argument-that weak evidence is used to create a “wound” that is used to justify sanctimonious action by the “victim”, is sound enough. But since the challenge here is to require real “evidence”, the author should be more careful about the casual use of evidence in supporting his point. As another commenter has noted, Bill Clinton’s impeachment related to perjury surrounding sexual harassment of Paula Jones, not the inexcusable workplace “non-sexual relations” with a 22 year old intern. And the WMD claim by the US was not as far-fetched as the author suggests (relying on a Guardian article for proof?): Iraq had used chemical weapons during the Iran Iraq war, was found to have chemical weapons during the 1991 Gulf War, was found to have violated UN chemical weapons inspection requirements (eg, admitted in 1995 it had grown 19,000 litres of botulinium toxin, 8,000 litres of anthrax, 2,000 litres of aflatoxins, etc. etc.), and the UN weapons inspector in 1998 resigned due to the UN and the US not taking seriously his assertion that “Iraq retains the capability to launch a chemical strike”. Iraq prohibited UN weapons inspections from 1998-2002, and when finally pushed under the threat of invasion, the UN head weapons inspector in 2003 noted that Iraq had “not genuinely accepted UN resolutions demanding that it disarm.” Now I am not saying that there were WMD, but it is difficult to argue that the US was wrong to assert that, in light of Iraq’s previous actions and violations, WMD existed. That is a far cry from the author’s point about flimsy evidence used as a crutch to justify a war mandate- abroad or at home

Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
2 years ago
Reply to  David Jennings

Yes, the 1988 attack on the Kurdish town of Halabja springs to mind. Five thousand civilians were killed – asphyxiated. A certain “Chemical Ali” was not given his moniker for nothing.

Rob Britton
Rob Britton
2 years ago

I just heard Kamala Harris compare the storming of the Capitol to Pearl Harbour and 9/11. I thought: really!!!!!!

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
2 years ago
Reply to  Rob Britton

Kamala was oversold: She’s inconsequential, ineffectual and boring to boot.

Brad Mountz
Brad Mountz
2 years ago

I’m having a hard time understanding the virtues they wish to defend or validate. It would seem distruction of all Founding principles, institutions and history is their objective. It is classic Elitism that progresses to radical Marxism using critical theory as it’s doctrine. This is the educated, elitist agenda found in academia intended to despise religion, break up family, change the origin of gender and focus us on identity. There is no virtue in this. There is the ruining of a civilization. And there will be a civil war because America is made up of working class people who can only be misguided for so long.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago
Reply to  Brad Mountz

The idea is to reduce us to simpering idiots enslaved to a tyrannical government that permits us to safely play out our vices and sexual perversions. By giving these kind of people rights all in the name of tolerance and social justice, governments are ‘morally’ equipped to mete out harsh punishments to those who dissent from the officially approved narrative. It’s already happening in the way ordinary folk are being painted as far-right villains.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago

Why always so hostile?

Whiling away your dotage setting the world to rights is hardly new and the price of an Unherd subscription is considerably less than a couple of pints at the pub everyday.

Since our times are fated to be affected by the US, it’s also interesting to hear from the people on that side of the pond. They’re not usually in the pub and, who knows, maybe you’ll get better advance warning of when to head for the hills than you’re likely to from the beeb.

It may be slightly less productive than knitting, as a pastime, but much more fun.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Nah, just you 🙂

Emre Emre
Emre Emre
2 years ago

It’s worth trying to delineate why both sides of the aisle in American politics are shouting “Democracy is in danger!”. I think it all comes down to the advent of social media and internet. It’s had a fundamental impact on politics comparable to the advent of the printing press or television.
Taking the latter, TV gave a lot of power to the “media”. It used to require a large investment to create a national TV channel, and therefore allowed the establishment a great degree of leverage on politics.
Social media and internet liberated all previously suppressed viewpoints making it virtually free to reach out to an audience bigger than CNN! Being used to their former level of influence, the establishment sleepwalked into the election of Trump who used social media masterfully to create a populism brand of his own.
When NYT here, or people like Liz Cheney, warn about the end of American democracy, they are referring to a retrenchment of the franchise back to the wealthy since the mob can no longer be trusted.
It’s worth remembering Liberalism has always been an elitist project that extended the rights incrementally with hesitation to the whole population. The last time there was a populist in power in America it was right after when suffrage was expanded to most white men in 1828.
When Trump supporters talk about a danger to democracy in contrast (e.g. a stolen election), they’re referring to their new-found awareness of how politics works – which arguably has been that way for a long time.

Last edited 2 years ago by Emre Emre
Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
2 years ago
Reply to  Emre Emre

Democrats are not in favor of democracy or the rule of law. Democrats want the rule of “experts,” unlimited by any Constitution, checks and balances, or rule of law.

Democrats think government by “expert” bureaucrats is superior to government by the consent of the governed. Democrats think the people are too stupid and ignorant to give informed consent to be governed. That’s why Democrats run bait and switch campaigns.

Where’s the outrage at the 4 years of lie after lie, starting with the Russian collusion hoax? Trump’s obvious personality flaws are relatively minor by comparison. Democracy dies in darkness, and mainstream news and social media are determined to keep the country in as much darkness as possible. Just because the Ministry of Truth is privatized, it doesn’t make it any more acceptable. News and social media censorship is a threat to Constitutional government.

When Democrats say Republicans are authoritarian, they’re projecting. Who censors your news? Who mandates vaccines for the naturally immune without any scientific data to back them up? Who rules by edicts from “experts,” contrary to law?

Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
2 years ago
Reply to  Emre Emre

“I think it all comes down to the advent of social media and internet”

I agree that social media and the Internet (BTW. ‘Internet’ and ‘internet’ are different words, with different meanings, something apparently unknown to those who started the ‘internet’ fashion) have had a big impact (and not just in politics), and helped accelerate the process, but I think the growing ideological divide in the US pre-dates them.
Like the Israelis and Palestinians, the root of whose division dates to the 1880’s, and got worse as each one reacted to the other, in a spiral descent, the progressive/conservative split can be traced a long was back, with each reacting to the other. E.g. the impeachment of Nixon – which can be said to be, in part, revenge for Helen Douglas – was merely one step in a process. And Robert Bork was but one step down the road to a completely politicized Supreme Court – a man rejected not for poor legal thinking, or personal character defects, but simply because of disagreement with his ideas.
Noel

Emre Emre
Emre Emre
2 years ago
Reply to  Noel Chiappa

I see impeachment of Nixon as a major milestone in the American progressive/conservative divide myself. Following that event “bipartisan” thinking died never to come back again. Incidentally, Nixon was the last president to be elected before the complete domination of TV in American politics, and he spent the rest of his political life complaining about media. I suspect the role of the media in impeachment also put the conservatives on a war path against the media leading eventually to the creation of Fox news.
But there’s more to what’s happening today than the progressive/conservative divide. Both parties had major populist insurrections (Sanders and Trump respectively), and the Democratic establishment managed to stand (likely due to the different rules for primaries), and the Republican establishment fell. Today’s Democrats are really a combined progressive/conservative establishment fighting for its survival under the one Democratic Party roof.
As for Internet vs. internet, I think it’s one of those things. For example, is it far-Right, or far-right, or far right? I recall the time when internet was always capitalised, but at least in Britain the capitalisation tends to be dropped these days.

Last edited 2 years ago by Emre Emre
Richard Aylward
Richard Aylward
2 years ago
Reply to  Emre Emre

The level of discourse in the Unherd comments is exceptionally high. I’m sure most of y’all are way smarter than me.The divide as I see it is not Republican/Democrat Nor do I see any moral equivalence between the 2 sides of this divide. One side engages in critical thinking and sense-making. It abhors the level of corruption pervading our institutions.It respects our history and is able to place our past transgressions in context, It believes in some degree of American Exceptionalism. It understands the a priori nature of the rights of the individual. At the same time it is aware that those individuals are, by nature, flawed, It remembers when – just a few years ago – that treating people differently because of immutable characteristics was wrong. And then there is the other side….

Emre Emre
Emre Emre
2 years ago

This is something of a cliche by now, but I believe it’s more or less true. America has two tribes now: the globalists and the America-first, and corresponding ideologies. You’ve a fine description of the America-first above. I see that globalists have all turned progressive now after the Iraq and Afghanistan experience; as they realised America’s hard power is limited, and that their best chance to continue to hold power at home and have a level of American world-dominance (e.g. against China and Russia) is to focus on soft (progressive) power. I think ultimately this is deluded (anyway as deluded as it was to invade Iraq the way it was done), and indeed there’s a part of this that has to do with the evolution of elite ideology from Calvinism to the more secular version that’s Wokeism.
Having said that, I’m merely an external observer of American politics who enjoys discovering and learning new things here. I find UnHerd striking a great balance in giving voice to diverse and heterodox views, and remaining truly liberal. With such good articles, it’s also valuable to engage with other readers, I agree with you, so thanks for your reply as well.

Last edited 2 years ago by Emre Emre
Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
2 years ago

Water cannon would have ended the assault early, being such a cold day. The heavily padded rioters would have struggled to move. Is water cannon illegal in gun-mad America? Had water been used over the steps up to the Capitol, the night before, an ice rink might have been gained, leading to the funny scene of the rioters slipping about all over the place (like the barefoot, armed Arab attackers in their hordes yelping up and down at the entrance to the Foreign Legion fort where Laurel and Hardy mistakenly opened boxes of tacks thinking they were ammo boxes, in Beau Hunks). The whole thing, Jan 6th, was like something out of The Simpsons. There’s always a rabble-rouser-in-chief in The Simpsons, isn’t there? A Paisley-ite figure, who gets events rolling, and that would have been Trump egoistically calling off his unruly underlings. How stupid they all were! Did they not see how utterly unprepared against a riot the Capitol building was? How easy it was going to be for the attack dogs of the media who were waiting to pounce and nail this down as another Day of Infamy!!!! THE Day of Infamy. Pearl Harbor has been pretty much forgotten now, sadly. But all in all it was a Day of Infancy. A year of infancy, prior. In fact!! Americans wasted the whole world’s time with its amoral antics. As Maggie Thatcher might have said, A riot is a riot is a riot. Shame on all of you!!

David McDowell
David McDowell
2 years ago

Interesting article. Who will fight the liberal elite’s battles once the gloves come off. The police won’t shoot their own kith and kin. Neither will the national guard.
That leaves the US army and the liberal elite arming itself. The latter would be incapable, as Karl Rittenhouse demonstrated. Could the US army being coopted to murder its own citizenry?

Last edited 2 years ago by David McDowell
Rob Britton
Rob Britton
2 years ago
Reply to  David McDowell

It seems that the Democrats have already declared war on fifty percent of the American citizenry.

Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
2 years ago

The 2003 US invasion of Iraq was the completion of the 1991 Gulf War retaking of Kuwait by the “coalition of the willing”. The U.N. had kept the military response against Saddam to a minimum, as far as the US hawks were concerned, in early ‘91. Although US tanks did cross into Iraq in order to encircle the retreating Iraqi army that would flee Kuwaiti soil (sand). No doubt there were American generals who thought that as “all the way to Berlin” was only right in WW2, “all the way to Baghdad” would only do, too. Had that happened, and America had decided so alone, as in 2003, that opportunity in 1991 would have been before the rise of al-Qaeda in the mid-Nineties and before the rise of the cult of the suicide bomber that did so much damage in Iraq, against mainly Shias, in 2004 to 2006, such that the level of hostility and revenge was stoked to peak levels. In other words, Saddam probably saw his survival after 1991 down to the international community’s cowardly reluctance to retake Iraq itself, as it were. Both Iran and Iraq were weak following the long Iran-Iraq war. A 1991 invasion of Iraq, moreover, would have warded off the situation that did subsequently happen: the sanctions against Iraq that the Islamist terrorists used as propaganda against the West because they killed, the Islamists claimed, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi babies: an easy recruitment drive for the terrorists.
Iraq was clearly a rogue state. It had used gas against its enemies in the 1980s, notably the Kurdish civilians who were gassed to death at Halabja in 1988. The Basra uprising of 1991, put down without mercy by Saddam, showed that ordinary Iraqis wanted out of tyranny. Moreover, SCUD missiles were fired at Israel in 1991, and reached Israeli territory.

To say that “in America, the period leading up to 9/11 was, 
, one of monumental banality and puerility” is itself banal and puerile. The Kosovo Conflict of 1999, four years after the massacres at Srebrenica in Bosnia-Herzegovina, was an American (and British) action that saved Europe’s face. Never had the EU itself looked so utterly impotent. Clinton was lambasted by the international media for daring to fire cruise missiles at Afghanistan and Sudan at al-Qaeda bases, in 1998. That’s when Bin Laden first came to the world’s attention proper. That American action was in response to the huge truck bomb blasts against two American embassy compounds in Nairobi, Kenya and in Tanzania. More than two hundred Africans, mostly poor office workers, were wiped out by the no-warning bomb attack in the Nairobi blast. Murdered, you know. Dispensable, in al-Qaeda’s eyes, you know. Yet the world lambasted Clinton for trying to knock out the al-Qaeda bases. There must have been a sense in 1998 that the terrorists were getting bolder and bolder. This sense was only further felt when a top American warship was blown up at a Yemeni port in 2000: the USS Cole attack. The banality and puerility would come much later, in 2020, when Americans thrashed themselves for being awfully sinful, sinful people, burning their cities down in total, total disgust at themselves. As if all along the world has been waiting for America to pull up its socks and get with the programme. But that’s been a cunning flip of the truth of the situation. Identity politics has been the malign catalyst for that flip. But really America is the place that had been waiting for the rest of the world to pull up its socks and get with the programme. America has got so tired waiting, so tired, that it’s taken its eye off the ball for a little bit and somebody has a fair few times now manufactured to veer it into America’s eye (or its two front teeth: the famous Twin Towers). A propaganda battle has only intensified in the internet age.

I think it was Tony Blair who said that had the 9/11 terrorists been in the possession of a nuclear device in New York or Washington, they would have used it. Had the 9/11 terrorists attacked not America, but London and Paris and Berlin that day, don’t you think the psychology and the fear of Europeans might have mirrored that of the Americans? Nobody could account completely for every weapon after the collapse of the SU in 1991. Do you recall in the news the truck bomb attack in the basement of the WTC in 1993? Every attack was a precursor, it seemed, for a bigger attack. Ideas were floating round inside the heads of terrorists. Reasons to be fearful.

The sexual peccadilloes of a world leader were a distraction, maybe led to some officials taking their eye off the ball. But the banality and puerility of much of identity politics today is definitely going to distract from protecting and shoring up Western Civilisation, if the West is as vain in many ways as it was back in the late 90s.

Last edited 2 years ago by Dustshoe Richinrut
Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
2 years ago

“Smash their way into 
”. Already wrong. The Capitol Hill police removed barriers and opened the doors, then walked around with the crowd like tour guides.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago

I was pretty young and green when the Iraqi war came about. Despite my political naivety even I strongly suspected that claims of WMDs were pure fabrication. This was further confirmed when weapons expert Dr. Kelly was found to have taken his own life under what I consider very suspicious circumstances.

agsmith.uk
agsmith.uk
2 years ago

Changing the voting system to allow mail-in voting helped Biden win. There was evidence of fraud and this is what caused the anger amongst Trump supporters. There is culpability on both sides.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  agsmith.uk

Most likely. On the other hand, Gerrymandering and years of overzealous pruning of voter lists and making it harder to vote have helped republicans win. Culpability on both sides? Sure. Evidence of fraud? Show me a reputable source,.

Michael Coleman
Michael Coleman
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

“overzealous pruning of voter lists”? Surely you jest. Hundreds of US counties have more registered voters than adult citizens- Judicial watch has numerous successful lawsuits to force cleanups:
https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2020/01/07/five_states_face_federal_lawsuit_over_inaccurate_voter_registrations__142089.html#!
Regarding fraud – this is first Google link:
https://www.heritage.org/voterfraud >1000 convictions!
fraud that is caught is likely miniscule compared to total amount- especially when signature envelopes are illegally thrown out or as happened in 2020 election officials turned off signature verification

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

This is the third time I am referred to that heritage.org link. And it is useless. All it proves is that fraud occasionally happens – which I do not dispute. It does NOT even suggest that fraud is an actual problem for any election larger than Podunkville. The first time I looked at it, and noticed that it covers all elections in the US for 30-40 years, including electing selectmen in Podunkville and collecting signatures for ballot initiatives in California. Whhat seems to be a majority were either cases like “NN used her cousin’s voting card to cast an illegal vote”, which do not scale and cannot make a difference to a presidential election. Or perfectly valid voter registrations that were illegally allowed in after the deadline, which concerns people that actually had the right to vote, but had got trapped at a bureaucratic hurdle. If you want to get anywhere with the argument you need to demonstrate that electoral fraud is an actual problem that makes a difference to results. For that you need to show how it happens and that it is common enough to make a real difference. Instead you are just saying that it can happen, and you assume it happens a lot more than there is evidence for. Sorry, but no dice

Michael Coleman
Michael Coleman
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Fraud requires proof of intent which is damn hard to prove- that is why I prefer the term illegal voting. It appears we agree there is illegal voting – it’s just a question of magnitude. Your standard – that enough fraud (not illegal voting) be found to overturn an election ignores the NEED for defeated parties to accept result of election. Anger seen on 1/6/21 is a real manifestation of lack of faith in integrity of our election. Instead of addressing the need for election integrity that ALL sides trust the Democrats in the house try to federalize elections with provisions to block important safeguards like voters needing to identify themselves with government issued ID – there is no legitimate argument by Democrats for getting rid of ID requirements since most Ds now support having to show your vaccine papers to perticipate in society – except to allow more illegal voting!

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Not fraud but it was ‘rigged’. Recommend a book of the same name by Molly Hemingway.

Jonathan Seymour
Jonathan Seymour
2 years ago

The riot of 6 January 2021 disrupted the program that Republicans had planned in the Congress that would have lead to 12 hours of public live TV time of parallel debates in the House and Senate for the 6 contested battleground states regarding evidence of alleged election fraud. The Left has always sought to suppress any exposure of the details of these allegations. The riot has also been used by the Left as a political weapon ever since.
There remain many questions surrounding 6 January. Such as why were the National Guard not deployed despite repeated requests? Why was security so lax – a few tame barricades easily dismantled and guarded by under resourced Capitol Police officers? Why were FBI informants and agents in the crowd and clearly orchestrating part of the riot and specifically the dismantling of these barricades around the Capitol while Trump was still speaking? The FBI have used this play book of entrapment repeatedly – and there is plenty of evidence it was used again on January 5 and 6.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/25/us/politics/capitol-riot-fbi-informant.html
https://www.revolver.news/2022/01/the-essential-revolver-news-january-6-reading-list/
https://www.revolver.news/2021/12/damning-new-details-massive-web-unindicted-operators-january-6/

William Cameron
William Cameron
2 years ago

The Rioting in the Capitol was not a coup . It wasn’t even an attempted coup. It was a disorganised riot . That dissipated as quickly as it arose.
It suits the left – who caused it- through their generation of decrying order truth and discipline -to characterise it as a coup -to give them powers to abuse society.

Michael Loudon
Michael Loudon
2 years ago
Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael Loudon

Thanks for that. As with all these things, there’s enough hyperbole for you to dismiss this view, if that’s your start point, but there is enough undeniable fact to force an acknowledgment that there’s fault on both sides.

“Taking the mote out of thine own eye” tends to make for clearer vision.

Neven Curlin
Neven Curlin
2 years ago

The neocons and ‘liberal elite’ are the same thing. They both serve the same master: Wealth concentration.

The whole left vs right dichotomy is a sideshow to distract the masses.

john zac
john zac
2 years ago

A lot of noise for simply manufacturing consent to turn surveillance inwards towards its people. 9-11 started this process as the Terrorist Surveillance Program started immediately thereafter. Now with this hilarious Jan 6 act, they can attack or legally investigate any Trumpie with justifiable cause. The judges will go along as they are mostly a bunch of pansies shopping for a comfortable life but the US continues its slow slide into the oblivion of fallen empires. It is precisely this space that Freddie Sayers et al, have to focus upon. Where does Europe fall as the empire disintegrates?

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago

Great article

Michael Cavanaugh
Michael Cavanaugh
2 years ago

I gots two woids: Outrage Porn.

Kiat Huang
Kiat Huang
2 years ago

That “what they desperately want to prove is their virtue” rings so true.

David Batlle
David Batlle
2 years ago

“The nation is haunted by the siege of Capitol Hill.“

No it’s not. Generally nobody cares. It’s just the Democrats and their media lackeys milking it to the point where nobody takes it seriously anymore.

Last edited 2 years ago by David Batlle
Justin Clark
Justin Clark
2 years ago

strange comment. most know that the invasion was already determined, just lacked substance and so that needed to be created, from scratch.

Julie Blinde
Julie Blinde
2 years ago
Reply to  Justin Clark

How do you ‘know’ this Justin ?
I suspect its a ‘fact’ you would like

Last edited 2 years ago by Julie Blinde
Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
2 years ago
Reply to  Julie Blinde

Who knows what the politicians believed but somebody knew it was a fraud.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
2 years ago

Either the CIA knew it was a fraud, and told Bush so months before the invasion, or this article lies.
https://www.salon.com/2007/09/06/bush_wmd/

Last edited 2 years ago by Laura Creighton
Julie Blinde
Julie Blinde
2 years ago

Yup, I’m afraid so.
And how can anyone know and prove that something does not exist ?
God is safe

nigel roberts
nigel roberts
2 years ago

If you’re going to cite a source please cite a primary source not a secondary source, least of all one as risible as Salon.

john zac
john zac
2 years ago

Look, its also a smokescreen, a nothing occurrence that they can weaponize at a later date. No one can stop these people so its best to walk away.

Mark Vernon
Mark Vernon
2 years ago

In his book, The End of History and the Last Man, Fukuyama draws on Nietzsche’s idea of the “last man”. In societies where biological needs are met, and higher goals such as found in religious traditions are optional extras, human beings come to be treated as little better than “a fearful, needy, instinctual, physically determined animal’. (Think of the dominant official messaging around Covid.) This rapidly becomes intolerable, prompting all manner of violent, exaggerated, moralising and perverse reactions.

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
2 years ago

“There is no politics without an enemy.” Curtis Yarvin got this from Nazi Carl Schmitt, who wrote that the political is the friend vs. enemy distinction.
Do you see that if you want to Do Something in politics you cannot even get started until there is an enemy. And if there is an enemy, why we’d better start arming up, and calling all good citizens to arms and go out and defeat the enemy.
Otherwise there is nothing for people in politics to do.
And that would be sick and wrong.

M. Gatt
M. Gatt
2 years ago

Poor old Hans Blix. No one believed him either.

Michael Cavanaugh
Michael Cavanaugh
1 year ago

Outrage. Porn.

Mikey Mike
Mikey Mike
2 years ago

Anyone wearing a black turtleneck who claims “neocons…conjured up the existential threat of weapons of mass destruction” lives in a fantastical world that I don’t understand, where the over-educated vape between sips of their soy lattes, immovable in the certainty of their super-smartness. The neocons may have been wrong – and dramatically so – but the immediate post-9/11 threat of future (and worse) attacks was real. At the time we didn’t know that Saddam was hiding his nuclear program, refusing UN weapons inspections, because he didn’t want the Iranians to know that he didn’t actually have a nuclear program. Alright, get back to your gluten free muffin.

LCarey Rowland
LCarey Rowland
2 years ago

Simon, your point here is certainly well-stated and accurate. But methinks you have minimized the tragedy of our two-century American argument, which goes back to Constitutional days.
In Section 2 of Article 1 of that, our founding document, the very breaking point of our egalitarian resolve was implanted.
Representatives . . . shall be apportioned . . . according to their (each State’s) respective numbers, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, three-fifths of all other Persons.
Our great American divide is thus, foundational. It has doomed our efforts toward true equality and justice in so many applications of government, federal, state and local, most notably now in law enforcement and law interpretation.
Dred Scott, Civil War, Plessy v. Ferguson, Ross Barnett, George Wallace, Byron de la Beckwith, Derek Chauvin and many more manifestations of white supremecy have obstructed our vision for an egalitarian nation throughout our entire history, even now.
The liberal journalists, editorialists, academics, eggheads, idealists who campaigned as Abolitionists before our Civil War are now represented as the Eastern Establishment: aka (formerly) liberals, now progressives. Their presence and their impact on Law and public opinion goes back over a century and a half.
Your points above, Simon, are all valid. Nevertheless, we do have a deep chasm of contention here in the land of the free and the home of the brave. This enmity will not disappear by itself.
Now, because the immediacy and oversimplification of social media are disabling forever whatever Constitutional agreement and compromise we had managed to attain . . . before the self-glorifying demagogue came along and used his mussolinnic rhetorical alchemy to totally corrupt our nation’s (formerly conservative) conservatives . . . we are at a chasm that will not be crossed without serious trouble and more bloodshed.
Those who warn of the dangers to come are not playing chicken little. Our sky is not falling. The ground beneath us is erupting; we are about to descend into a chasm of contention that is unlike any we have ever seen, but nevertheless imitative of the war that divided us in 1860, but without the simplifying factor of a Mason-Dixon line.
There is only one way out. In God we trust.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

Before getting into these hysterics, one might consider that Trump (yes, Trump) refused to acknowledge the result of the election and made a serious attempt to steal the presidency. That a mob rioting through the Capitol is actually quite important. That a vocal group of Republicans are speaking openly of civil war (‘Lock and load’ anyone?) That the Republican ledership refuses to acknowledge facts or back democracy, and that a large proportion of Republican voters seem ready to heartily back any attempt to ‘steal back’ what they claim they lost in the first place. None of which speak well for the future of US democracy. Even if NYT rhetoric is a little overblown that is surely a sideshow compared to the real problem.

If anything this reminds me of the (woke) Guardian talking about the right dishonestly ‘stoking’ a Culture War – as if the actions of the left were not the main contribution to bringing that war about in the first place.

Last edited 2 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
Saul D
Saul D
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Around 75% of Republicans think the election was stolen – still now. About 40% of the US population. The strong, predictable counting swings from the switch of tallying of in-person to mail-in votes made the results look off. The following apparent unwillingness to do due diligence to confirm the result, had incensed Trump supporters – justifiable or not. To them, the election was stolen. Democracy was at threat. They were the ones supporting the consitution, calling for a pause until an audit was done. To them the Democrats and Deep State were stealing America – the same way they had tried to do with the Russia collusion enquiry, the lame Ukraine impeachment, the unwillingness to prosecute Antifa riots.
And challenging elections was nothing new. Neither was demonstrating at or inside the Capitol. Neither was violence protest. Neither was political actors spinning up fake stories about the opposition. And despite this none of the protesters was armed (Lock and Load is a figure of speech, not a call to action).
That the riot/rampage was immediately turned into an attempted coup, an insurrection, an attempt to overturn democracy is all gas-lighting for political ends. Far easier to create a demon from the smoke and brush election concerns away (the Big Lie). However, things haven’t gone away. Support for Trump remains high. Skepticism about government authoritarianism has been amplified, not reduced and the Big Tech-Big State link has proven to be true. Instead of healing, the divisions are stronger and fiercer. I can’t see it was a threat to democracy, when it just looks like a normal piece of rough and tumble democracy in action.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

If you think it is part of ‘democracy’ to pressure election officials to declare a result that is in conflict with the tally of counted votes we have very different ideas of democracy. Unless there is some degree of agreement about the rules, elections are just civil war by other means.

‘To Republicans’ the election may have been stolen, but if there are any reliable facts that point in that direction I have yet to see them. Could you point me to these facts – or at least admit straight out that Trump *lost* and that the people denying it are deluded? Basically, republicans have chosen to believe in a comforting lie, urged on by their leadership, which lets them claim the right to win every election regardless of the vote count. If baseless grievances get rewarded with power, that just means that all sides will indulge in ever more outlandish grievances and expect to be rewarded. Do you want the US government to be chosen on the basis of democracy and votes – or do you not?

Justin Clark
Justin Clark
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

The voting technology was highly suspect. First these devices had network ports that could be connected to the internet (?!) – and claims they were. Second, they had a USB port that exported the summary of data to a usb stick (?!) – and claims were made of usb device data manipulation and third there were a few examples online of how people had actually hacked these specific models of devices – a clear How To real-time demonstration. Combine that with the lack of enthusiasm for Biden vs clear enthusiasm for Trump plus how Trump was clearly winning until the final hours when the counts were paused (?!) and then Biden achieved success in the final stages… Yep I think there was something very suspicious and coordinated…FBI not keen on Trump were they…
Well, the people will have their vote in 2024, and as Larry Decker points out so clearly, Americans are not happy at all.
I think Republicans will restore balance to Make America Great Again (neat slogan eh!). May not be Trump but I suspect it will be.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Justin Clark

Thanks for giving an answer – but I submit this is not enough.
Having electronic voting machines is probably a bad idea, as they are more vulnerable to both interference and to being discredited. But the time to complain about that was *before* the election, not after you did not like the result. All you have is a suspicion of a vulnerability; what you need to make headway is evidence on who did it, where, how, what the real result should be. And there was a large and bipartisan machinery of election officials, democrat *and* republican, who oversaw the counting and who found no evidence of tampering. Raffensberger, for instance.

So your argument comes down to enthusiasm for Trump, lack of enthusiasm for Biden, and Biden votes surging late in the count. The enthusiasm part is not convincing 1) because nobody is likely to get a fair picture seeing that you are likely to live in a neighbourhood and follow media that reflect your own politics 2) because Trump did inspire an unusually fanatic following – but also an unusually fanatic opposition, who might well be quite happy to get any dull candidate who was not Trump. That might be why Republicans seem to have done rather better in Senate and House elections, where there is the same incentive for fraud. As for the voting surge, that was discussed at length *before* the election: Biden voters are known to be much more likely to vote by mail than Trump voters, and mail votes are counted later. In short, it went exactly as neutral experts had predicted ahead of time.

It is not enough with vague, generalised suspicions – otherwise no loser would ever concede. Unless you have some actual evidence for large-scale fraud, you would have to accept the result.

Alex Tickell
Alex Tickell
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

In today’s society the whole ethos of “postal voting” is dangerous. Populations are crammed into city areas where they become prey to intimidation and vote harvesting. This suits Democrats in America very well as many of these poorer immigrant populations have language problems and are often defenceless against violent intimidation.
President Trump incessantly warned against this long before the election.

The fault lies with the lack of adequate policing in America's inner cities.
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex Tickell

Postal voting does indeed have its problems, as it becomes easier to condition the vote. On the other hand, it is also problematical to make voting too inaccessible for large groups to make use of. With good will on both sides this problem can be dealt with. A nice compromise might be to limit postal voting to cases where no good alternative exists , for instance the housebound and those who are away on election day, and to make sure that voting in person is easily accessible in other ways. In exceptional cases – in the middle of a pandemic, for instance – the accessibility might count for rather more.

In addition: 1) If you try to ban postal voting while also making other ways of voting *less* accessible, you will be deemed to be doing partisan vote suppression rather than fraud prevention. 2) Whatever your doubts about postal voting in general, it would require *specific evidence of significant problems* before you could cast doubt on the result of a vote.

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

They were preparing their own narrative if they lost, remember the mailboxes being removed by the postal service? Perfectly routine but many articles claiming disenfranchisement and nefarious intent by trump.

Warren T
Warren T
2 years ago
Reply to  Justin Clark

Not to mention the State laws that were either ignored or completely subverted by judges to suspend them due to Covid.

Saul D
Saul D
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

We get the Democrat view – “This was an illegal protest against a valid election” contrasting with the Trumpian view that “This was a valid protest against an illegal election”. The root of the disagreement is the election. How do you prove to the 40% of Americans who still believe the election was tainted that the votes were true votes?
The purpose of an election is to demonstrate probity and that due process was carried out to prove the votes were valid to the losers. My guess is the election was fair, but it is also massively important that all elections are openly shown to be fair.
Here, the losers felt their challenges and queries were dismissed out of hand (often as ‘moot’ or too late), and ran out of institutional options – they felt justice turned a blind eye. In democracies when due process is felt to break down, people turn to protest against what they believe is institutional injustice, and that can end up with violence. So it comes down to how do you ensure you can prove the vote is true?

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

You can never prove the vote is true. You have procedures to follow to count the vote, and people from both sides to count and check and double-check, but ultimately you either trust the process or you give up on elections. The thing is, you set up the rules and procedures and vote counters ahead of time, as indeed the US did, and then you promise to abide by the result. What happened here was that the election followed all the rules, was validated by all the agreed procedures and republican representatives, and then Trump and followers decided that because they did not like the result there had to be fraud. Without giving any evidence on where, why, or how. I agree that it is crucial, and can be hard, to convince people that the result is right even if they do not like it. But the starting point would have to be that responsible people said clearly that the rules had been followed and that the result was legitimate – then you can see how to ensure greater trust next time. If one side chooses to discredit the election without evidence just because they lost, they are effectively opting out of democratic elections.

Saul D
Saul D
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

The argument is that there were complaints before the election. Rules were changed due to Covid. Complaints were made before the election, during the election (eg observers) and after the election. Strange things happened during the counting. Complaints were thrown out before being tested in court.
People believe the election didn’t follow the rules. And in an election, the burden of evidence is on the electoral procedure, not the complainant – eg on chain of custody, counting procedures, ID checks etc.
You can argue as to whether the complaints were valid or not, but the problem is that they undermined the election for pro-Trump voters. An election needs to show it was fair. Adherence to the rules needs to be demonstrated openly and transparently. Due process needs to be demonstrated.
You might think everything was done correctly, but the emphasis of the process is to convince the losers of this too. The Trump side believed they had evidence of malpractice, and while you personally might disagree, that doesn’t take away the grievance felt at the time. They felt it was an ‘illegal election’ with no recourse left but protest. To convince them otherwise, at the time, the system should have ensured it could demonstrate the grievance was false – not merely moot.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

The troubhle with that is that it encourages people to manufacture outrageous grievances and refuse to accept evidence that contradicts their case. Imagine some BLM-related group claiming that US elections were inherently racist and demanding that before they can be expected to accept the election result it must be proved – according to the tenets of critical race theory which are the only ones they accept – that the result was fair. You would never get anywhere.

Saul D
Saul D
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

The complaint was that the election in places didn’t follow its own rules, and that new rules were added unlawfully, not that it didn’t live up to some externally demanded artificial paradigm.
The election has to prove itself to the standards laid out – chain of custody, identification of voters, security of the ballots, polling opening hours, presence of observers, record keeping and voting logs, tally consistency, preventing double voting, rules about ballot harvesting etc. In January, Trump supporters believed they still had claims for electoral impropriety but that these claims were being ignored or steamrolled out of the way – a grievance that drove the protest.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
2 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

Given the high degree of uncertainty, and given what you have already said about the importance of elections in reaffirming belief in the system, it seems evident to me that a rerun of the election would be appropriate, at a minimum. With no postal ballots, and we impartial, outside scrutiny at every ballot station.

Saul D
Saul D
2 years ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

Too late for that. The world has moved on.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

It is notable that you, like all the others, keep going on about the beliefs of the Trump supporters. Personally I do not see why your beliefs should be enough to determine whether you get a re-run of an election you lost. Can’t we just discuss what irregularities there were, and whether they were grave enough to invalidate the election? If, of course, you have any evidence worth looking at. If we stick to belief I can assure you that US Democrats have a strong belief that they won the election, and would have an equally large grievance if normal procedures were waived to assuage the feelings of the Trumpers.

Saul D
Saul D
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I’m trying to explain the reason for the protest. It wasn’t to stage a coup, or an insurrection to overthrow the government. Or a strike against democracy. For many of the protesters, it probably wasn’t even a direct push to reverse the election. Much of the focus was on seeking a delay/audit of the certification of the election. But they had run out of road, and a protest at the certification was the only way left to challenge what they saw as an illegitimate transfer of power. They believed they were supporting democracy. Regular people – not enemies of the state – who believed irregularities meant Democrats had cheated their way into power.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

There is already talk of implementing an Anti-Racist committee that operates outside of governmental and legal frameworks:

To fix the original sin of racism, Americans should pass an anti-racist amendment to the U.S. Constitution that enshrines two guiding anti-racist principals: Racial inequity is evidence of racist policy and the different racial groups are equals. The amendment would make unconstitutional racial inequity over a certain threshold, as well as racist ideas by public officials (with “racist ideas” and “public official” clearly defined). It would establish and permanently fund the Department of Anti-racism (DOA) comprised of formally trained experts on racism and no political appointees. The DOA would be responsible for preclearing all local, state and federal public policies to ensure they won’t yield racial inequity, monitor those policies, investigate private racist policies when racial inequity surfaces, and monitor public officials for expressions of racist ideas. The DOA would be empowered with disciplinary tools to wield over and against policymakers and public officials who do not voluntarily change their racist policy and ideas.

Ibram X. Kendi

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Mamma Mia! Surely nothing less than a civil war would get that one passed.

Kevin
Kevin
2 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

What do you say to the Republican secretaries of state in, for example, Georgia who oversaw the election and affirm that the election was fair?

Saul D
Saul D
2 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

Given the inability of Trump supporters independently to find actual physical evidence since the election, Raffensperger was probably right. However, at the time a number of videos and reports were circulating that seemed contrary to his statements. Done properly, due process should have tested and cleared those issues because they hung around like a bad smell – the failure to remove suspicion contributed to the Jan6 protests.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

This is where we disagree. No process could have cleared suspicion, mainly because Trump and his fans would refuse to accept testimony from anyone who was not one of their allies. As I remember, several states ran independent audits, called in a bunch of cowboys, and still did not find any serious evidence. The game plan is only too obvious. First you force a special investigation, which is taken as proof that the election result was unreliable. Then you just keep shouting so there is no agreed result, and ‘unreliable’ remains the final verdict.

Saul D
Saul D
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

You’ve convinced yourself Trump supporters are nefarious and not fair-minded. With that view they can only become a mob intent to stealing the country, never accepting the vote. You half-say Trump stole the 2016 elections, below, by manufacturing an email scandal. But the 2018 election was accepted. And no-one rioted over the first manufactured impeachment trial. They didn’t even take guns into the Capitol.
You haven’t noticed that the Trump side is really quite naive politically. They are American first – they abide by the constitution, and separation of powers, and legal judgements even when they don’t go their way. They complain loudly, but travel meekly. It’s very unlike the left for whom the constitution is something to be worked around, where political action and violence is encouraged to create change, where institutional powers can be used to target opponents, where the law is a weapon of war, and where boycotts, cancelling and smearing are normal behaviour. Instead they are Regular Americans. So why wouldn’t they accept due process?

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

Trump did manufacture an email scandal, and it did help him win. Just like he did openly solicit, and get, help from the KGB. Neither means that he stole the election. Dirty propaganda tricks are part of politics (regrettably) from both sides. Which is why, as you said, the 2016 election result was accepted by those who lost. Dirty legal tricks are also used by both sides – see for instance Mitch McConnells shenanigans to get Trump three Supreme Court nominations, or the recurring threat of closing down the government and make the US default on its debts. Neither side is clean.

The point is: Trump did get due process. All the normal procedures and safeguards were followed, complete with republican checkers. Court challenges were dealt with properly by the courts, which are full of republican-nominated judges. And the result was that Trump lost. He then chose to whip up a frenzy among his followers that he actually won – without presenting any reliable evidence. And his followers chose to believe him at his word – again without reliable evidence. Since Trump and his followers manufactured the entire problem out of thin air, why would you expect them to accept any result that they did not like? After all their reaction to losing the first time was to go outside the rules and demand an extraordinary replay.

Last edited 2 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

Actually, given you are both sincere and persistent I owe you a somewhat more measured reply than I have given so far.

What kind of due process could have convinced the Trump voters that Trump lost fair and square? The republican estanlishment already had its say through embedded checkers etc. and OKed the result. That was not enough. The courts had dealt with all challenges in the normal manner. That was not enough. Who would be believed? An investigation run by Trump partisans? Would even Rudy Giuliani be belived if he said that Trump had lost – but Trump himself insisted that he had won, and Giuliani had been subverted by the democrats? And if you left it to Trump supporters to investigate the result, how likely is it that they would come up with a fair verdict – or that anybody else would have trusted their decision? Meanwhile the US presidency would be up in the air, normal agreed procedure would have been left behind, and the chaos and confusion could have been used as a further argument that the election was not fair and the result was not binding.

Last edited 2 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
Saul D
Saul D
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Really? Trump asked the KGB for help? Mueller must have missed that one.
And you know the email scandal had been bubbling for years – the missing emails from the rogue Clinton server, that the FBI was investigating for security breaches (so potentially pretty serious) dates from 2014. The existence of a private server story broke in 2015 in the New York Times – that strongly pro-Trump newspaper – all long before the Wikileaks revelations clouded discussion confusing people as to which email scandal. Trump bigged it up, but he didn’t manufacture it.
On due process, pre- and post-election stuff was popping up from grass-roots claims that Trump then latched onto. A day in court, a proper expert debunking and case closed. Make the claim look stupid if that’s what it is. Instead many Trump supporters felt the evidence was never tested, and dismissed on technicalities as moot or lacking standing and that partly drove their anger.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

Trump in 2016:
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,”
“I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let’s see if that happens. That will be next.”
“They probably have her 33,000 emails that she lost and deleted … I hope they do … because you’d see some beauties there.”
So Trump asked Russia to deliver. And Russia delivered.
The quote is from the Guardian, which is not the most unbiased source, but surely Trumps words speak for themselves.

Saul D
Saul D
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Ahh the joke in the middle of a speech to a large audience. The one mocking how insecure Hilary had left her server so even the Russians might have copies of the emails that were not released… Read more widely.

Saul D
Saul D
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

And you’ve mixed up Clinton’s missing emails from 2014 – the one’s Trump was referring to in his joke – which have never seen the light of day, with the emails of the DNC and Podesta which were new and unexpected and may or may not have had a Russian source.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

As for this being a ‘joke’, that is really too easy. If he is also joking when he says the election was stolen or that his presidential rival belongs in jail, he is the best comedian since Al Capone (who had a rather similar style). If he did not want his words to be taken seriously, maybe he should not have run for president.

But OK, I did confuse the emails: Trump got his email trove from the KGB first, and asked them for more afterwards.

Saul D
Saul D
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

You have actually watched the video of him making the remarks – not just read the quote? Mueller had the quote too and didn’t see it as ‘collusion’. Only in left-wing press is it pretended to be ‘evidence’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kxG8uJUsWU
The DNC email trove (not a Hillary Clinton leak) by the way went to Wikileaks. The only people who said it was a Russian attack was a DNC contractor. The FBI didn’t examine anything, and Assange said it didn’t come from the Russians. The most damning revelation from that leak was the DNC acting against Bernie Sanders. Aaron Mate has done some deep dives for more than a Guardian talking-point.

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

It wasn’t fair but it was probably legit.

Rob Schellinger
Rob Schellinger
1 year ago
Reply to  Saul D

All’s I know is that the left spent the last two decades plus telling us that electronic voting machines could not be trusted. This included congressional hearings where the CEOs of the companies refused to provide evidence that they were secure. MSDNC, DNCNN, and especially Sen. Ron Wyden had reported extensively on the lack of security and how easy it was to hack them. Stories about this subject ran throughout 2020 right up until election day.
Then, overnight, we were told to shut up and never ask questions.
You’re telling me that an actual racist, sexist, segregationist, plagiarist, stuttering buffoon, who never accomplished anything, and never really campaigned got 81,000 votes? Really?

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

This is absolutely nothing like 2016, where even before the election, the Clinton Campaign paid Chris Steele and others to invent a Russia connection for Trump. They then passed it to the FBI, which started an investigation. Then, they got the Pravda Press to say the FBI was investigating Trump’s Russian Connections. The FBI used the phony Steele Dossier to justify 4 FISA surveillance warrants on Carter Page, which allowed them to bug the Trump Campaign, and pass the information to the Obama Administration. After the election, FBI Director Comey forced a special counsel investigation of Russian Collusion. Mueller found nothing. However, the DOJ Inspector General found 17 errors in the 4 FISA warrant applications, all missing the fact that Carter Page wasn’t a Russian asset. He actually worked for the CIA.

Disappointed Democrats then proceeded to impeach Trump not once, but twice. In neither impeachement did Democrats produce any evidence that would be admissible in a federal court. The second impeachment occurred after Trump left office, which was an unconstitutional Bill of Attainder against a then private citizen.

With all this chicanery from Democrats, you have the chutzpah to complain when Republicans notice you change voting processes all over the country in ways to make vote fraud easier? At least Republicans have actual facts, not lies, to base their suspicions on. At this point, anything Republicans do to Senile Joe can be justified by the 2016 precedents.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Imagine thus was any third world banana republic:

– One party which is of the wealthy and controls the media
– Says pretty clearly they are not willing to accept the opposing candidate
– Suppresses negative news about their candidate
– Dilutes voter ID laws and makes it easier to do postal voting that is difficult to check or cross verify
– looks to be behind and losing the ejection until suddenly, late at night, all the votes in a few swing states appear to be for their candidate
– And keep getting votes for days, with no defined end date, until their candidate wins with the most votes in their history
– They then make it illegal to question or raise concerns. Any discussion around the elections are banned

You wouldn’t be wondering if the elections were rigged.
You would be pointing and laughing at them, and mocking them for being a joke of a country with an open sham of an elections.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Precisely. I was shocked and dismayed at the voting ‘blackout’ that took place. Trump was clearly winning beforehand, and then afterwards Biden had miraculously sprung to the lead.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

You are missing several points. The election machinery is bipartisan. There were republicans all over the place, well placed to notice and denounce fraud. None of them did, which is why the Trumpers had to call for ad-hoc extra checks afterwards. The late swing to the democats had been predicted and repredicted well before the election – democrat voters use more postal votes, and postal votes are counted later. It would have been suspicious if there had *not* been a swing towards the democrats. As for the media, Trump got several billion of $ free advertising from the MSM, plus support from Fox news etc. That really would not have happened in Russia or Checheniya.

For the rest, both sides are at it. Trump won in 2016 largely because he managed to smear Hilary with the completely invented email scandal, which was relaunched just before the vote. When he tried the same trick again, just before the 2016 vote, with Hunter Bidens laptop, the media decided they did not trust him and refused to play. OK, it was genuine the second time, but they have no obligation to cooperate on the media strategy of a candidate they do not like. As for saying democrats were not willing to accept the opposing candidate, I believe it has been done before. By republicans. ‘Birther movement’? ‘Lock her up’? You should not dish it out if you cannot take it.

Last edited 2 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I tend to agree. To assume 63 court cases, across multiple jurisdictions, were all “fixed” in some way, just beggars belief.

The article linked by Michael London below is a bit too hyperbolic but contains enough truth to back up your Guardian comparison.

That said, the voter turn out was just astonishing and seems to be attracting no comment or investigation by the media.

Postal voting is clearly more susceptible to fraud and hugely susceptible to influence (your spouse, boss, clan leader whatever can never know how you vote in a private booth).

In short, there probably is reason to tighten up the system in the interests of making the outcome of a vote more difficult to question. Democrats attempts to paint red states efforts to do so as “voter suppression” only lends more fuel to the bonfire of distrust and suspicion.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Most of the court cases were dismissed because of a lack of standing.

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Why is it impossible to get Democrats to admit to any 2020 election irregularites? Before the 2020 election, courts and election officials made numerous changes in election procedures, contrary to state law. The US Constitution says state legislatures set the conditions for the selection of presidential electors. During the election, unsolicited mail in ballots were sent to all registered voters, dead or alive, resident or moved, in many states contrary to law. Many of these votes were harvested by Democrats who watched voters fill out the ballots to make sure they voted for Democrats. During the vote counts election night, counting was suspended in several swing states, then massive numbers of added votes were suddenly posted with 99% plus of the votes for Biden. In several Democrat stronghold cities, Republican poll watchers were expelled during the vote count. In Atlanta, poll watchers were told there was a water main break, and counting was being halted. There was no water main break, and counting continued without the poll watchers. In many counties, rejection rates for mailed ballots dropped over 90% from 2016.

The recent Maricopa County, AZ, election audit found over 50,000 ballots that had problems, including 11,000 ballots cast by people who weren’t registered to vote on Nov. 3.

Republicans can’t prove beyond a shadow of a doubt the election outcome was changed. We were denied court hearings on a number of pretenses, mostly because Republicans have no legal standing in any vote fraud case. It might be that Biden actually won in very suspicious circumstanses. We will never know.

Just because all of the facts were censored by news and social media, aka the Ministry of Truth, doesn’t make them non facts. It just makes the Democrats who run news and social media big liars who don’t believe in Freedom of Speech and the Bill of Rights.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

If you have convincing data, it should be possible to write them up calmly, provide references, invite and deal with the arguments of the opposite side, and come up with something that might convince a neutral person. Your post has enough serious claims to raise a lot of doubts – if they can be substantiated that way. Surely someone has tried? My apologies, but I am not into this full time, so I cannot undertake to read an obviously hyperbiased account and do my own research to disprove it.

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

For a complete account of the 2020 election, please read “Rigged” by Mollie Hemingway.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

Sorry. From what reviews I could see, that book is so partisan that I would not trust anything it said. So, admittedly, is the Guardian’s review that said it was rubbish. But I am still not putting in the time and money.

To be convincing, a source has to follow some facts, and to give the impression that if the facts had been different they might have reached a different conclusion. My guess would be that Raffensberger or Liz Cheney would have called out blatant voting fraud by the democrats – if there had been any serious evidence for it. I am certain that no amount of evidence would convince a pro-Trump fanatic that Trump might actually have lost.

Last edited 2 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Partisan it may appear but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s all lies.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Kat L

Of course not. It might be true. But it does mean that it is completely untrustworthy as evidence. As Mandy Rice-Davies said “She would say that, wouldn’t she?”

Saul D
Saul D
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Strange to rely on the Guardian’s description of Trump supporters, while being unwilling to read an account from the pro-Trump side to find out what they are actually saying or thinking. Surely if you want to know the Trump-side arguments for what happened, then you would read what they say, rather than take it secondhand from a partisan opponent? Otherwise you end up trapping yourself in a bubble of confirmation bias.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
2 years ago

Interesting to observe as to how on the comments below, American’s use of English, vocabulary, articulation and terminology is so limited: is it any wonder that the country had a Trump, a Biden and a Q Anon?

David Batlle
David Batlle
2 years ago

And what’s the reason the highly edumacated Brits elect so many wankers??

Kevin
Kevin
2 years ago

I’ve tried to wean myself off American news sources since moving back to England so I’ll take your word for it on the NYT editorial but your article seems to conflate the (overrated) threat from white supremacy with the threat from the large minority of Republican voters and politicians who are still vaguely in support of the assault on the Congress. Maybe the NYT does too. Shame on them if they do.
The threat from wokeness is real but it is not just people on the left who are appalled by this assault on democracy. Many stalwarts of the GOP are too. It’s a travesty to pretend otherwise.
The parallels aren’t exact but would we be so sanguine if a gang of UKIP supporters stormed the Palace of Westminster to overturn the results of a general election, encouraged by the sitting prime minister?
The assault itself was appalling but the reaction from the GOP is just jaw-dropping. Nothing to see here. Let’s move on and change the voting regulations so we don’t lose the next one.
The comments about the NYT elite having no battalions are just inane. The actual Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of Defence took measures to prevent President Trump from holding into power illegally.
The unruly hooligans dressed in black are a distraction. It’s shameful and irresponsible to pretend that they are in any way equivalent to a sitting President trying to hold onto power by inciting a mob to storm the Capitol.
The Cheney Doctrine (if there’s a 1% chance of a catastrophe, we have to react as if it is a certainty) was used to justify torture, war crimes and a 20-year war. What are the chances that Trump (or a more competent future Trump-alike) will try to repeat the assault on Congress and be successful next time? I put it at more than one percent. That doesn’t justify torture or a war on white people but surely it justifies a proper investigation into the events of last year and measures to make sure that they are not successful next time.

Last edited 2 years ago by Kevin
Julie Blinde
Julie Blinde
2 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

useful comment thank you

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
2 years ago

Listen to Gabriel Gatehouse’s BBC broadcast ” The Coming Storm”about Q Anon, if anyone had even a scintilla of doubt about the mesmerising ignorance, gullibility, naievity, and crass stupidity and ignorance of a frightening number of people in today’s USA: the mere fact that they support, let alone worship Trump, treated as an embarrassing joke everywhere else on the planet, and who has the vocabulary of a limited 12 year old, and is intellectually virtue sub normal, says it all…. aside from the fact that Biden and his administration are nearly as shockingly useless, for different reasons… all truly horrifying

D Ward
D Ward
2 years ago

A whole page devoted to this programme on today’s Terriblegraph and it wasn’t a good review.

Robert Kaye
Robert Kaye
2 years ago

“the only person who was shot and killed was one of the rioters.”

This is disingenuous – a police officer was killed by the rioters, he just wasn’t *shot*.

Aidan Trimble
Aidan Trimble
2 years ago
Reply to  Robert Kaye

No Robert, he wasn’t.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago
Reply to  Aidan Trimble

I noted at the time the coverage kept going on about 5 deaths but was very vague as to who or what had caused them, bar the protester who was shot.

Is that information now available?

nigel roberts
nigel roberts
2 years ago
Reply to  Robert Kaye

Wrong, per the autopsy and inquest.

Helmut Sassenfeld
Helmut Sassenfeld
2 years ago

What is the point of this article -that people get worked up over issues? Guilty. I thought I would read some argument as to why Jan. 6th wasn’t a watershed event in US History. All that was provided was a simple hyperbolic sentence “…the idea that the country is in the grip of a perpetual far-Right insurgency is catastrophic to a pathological degree.” Some of us, unfortunately not enough of us, do see great cause for concern that the Republican Party has become a cult of a pathological liar who values loyalty to him over all else, who exhorts his followers to disbelieve the election results, who actively encouraged a rowdy mob to violence and to attack the capital, who tried and plotted by every conceivable means to overturn the results and seize power. It is small consolation that the former president is a pathetic human being and a moron. He still is very dangerous and corrupt to the core. He’s coming back and he’s putting everything in place to be successful, not at the ballot box but at the coup.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago

What you say may very well be true. I voted for him, not because I need someone to follow, but because I’d much rather vote for a man everyone hates than a political party that hates me for my gender and skin tone.

Marek Nowicki
Marek Nowicki
2 years ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Me too. The January 6th events point to the motto popular among movements which ultimately broght down the communism:” don’t burn the (party) committee buildings, build your own” . loosing legitimacy by the government is the most powerful tool at the “we the people” disposal.