No, what happened in the Capitol was not a coup
Wednesday's insurrection may even prove beneficial to the United States
Insurrections are common but yesterday’s aborted insurrection on Capitol Hill was unique, because the purpose of mobilising a mass of people and deploying their sheer momentum against the edifices of power — a Royal or Presidential Palace, or a Parliament — is of course to take power through the very act of seizing that iconic building.
But that is logically quite impossible when the ruler is not the enemy to be replaced but rather the intended beneficiary of the insurrection.
Like what you’re reading? Get the free UnHerd daily email
Already registered? Sign in
What happened was certainly not an attempted coup d’état either. By their very nature coups are subterranean, very silent conspiracies that only emerge when the executors move into the seats of power to start issuing orders as the new government —a very large, very noisy and colourful gathering cannot possibly attempt a coup.
There have been quite a few cases around the world of what is best described as mass intimidation directed against Parliaments — but in all such cases it was some specific law that was wanted or not wanted, which legislators under the gun might then vote for, or against. For that to happen, the legislators have to be all gathered in the legislature — and kept there to be coerced, because no crowd can vector physical pressure in many different directions. That conspicuously did not happen yesterday because it was a crowd that invaded the building, not snatch teams sent to seize individual legislators to be cajoled or forced into their seats.
Given all these exclusions, only one thing remains: a venting of accumulated resentments. Those who voted for Trump saw his electoral victory denied in 2016 by numerous loud voices calling for “resistance” as if the President elect were an invading foreign army — voices eagerly relayed and magnified by mass media, emphatically including pro-Tump media.
Then they saw his victory sullied by constantly repeated accusations of collusion with Russia from chairmen of Intelligence committees, and immediate ex-Intelligence chiefs who habitually signalled that they were accusing Trump of being Putin’s agent because they had secret information, which alas they could not disclose. What they did do was to deplore Trump’s “subservience ” to Putin on a weekly basis for four years, while refusing to entertain the possibility that in a confrontation with China it might be a good idea to overlook Putin’s sins, just as Nixon embraced Mao to counter the Soviet Union.
A venting of resentments can be a healthy process, and when Biden is inaugurated, as he will be, on January 20, on schedule, yesterday’s events may prove to have been beneficial. Biden’s own conspicuous refusal to adopt the language of resistance back in 2016, and his abstention from false accusations of collusion with Russia (even under extreme provocation regarding his son) makes it that much easier for the new President to be healer he convincingly promised to be.
Overwrought talk of a coup attempt, or of an insurrectional threat, or even a military coup d’etat seems to induce a pleasurable shiver (the French frisson) in some people but on Wall Street the market was supremely unimpressed: stocks went up, strongly, because they too know that it will all be over by January 20th.
Edward Luttwak is a strategist and historian known for his works on grand strategy, geoeconomics, military history, and international relations. He is best known for being the author of ”Coup d’État: A Practical Handbook’.
For we lifelong Democrats who switched parties only after Obama spent 8 years persuading us the Democratic party was corrupt beyond reason, it’s been an interesting 4 years watching every means the Dems could find to destroy the Trump presidency. Finally, early 2020, BLM was called in, and Antifa, and every disaffected college student, to trash the cities in the cause of the Left. Of course, the Marxist BLM carried with it the piety of Belief, sanctifying the beatings and window breaking and destruction of people’s livelihoods in the name of . . .what? Retribution? We Trump supporters, new and old, watched as daily the ‘peaceful protests’ were celebrated against the backdrop of burning cars. Congress remained silent or spoke in support of the chaos and destruction. When the sh** hit the fan last night, the pathetic self-interested Congress folk scurried to safe holes where they may remain until the Inauguration . . . to recover from the trauma of experiencing their sins come home to roost.
(MAGA Mr President, you are a National Treasure! 2024 is coming and USA needs you back)
Bham! hit it right on the head!!!! There were no fires; no burning police vehicles; no barracades; no molotov cocktails. This was not a “mob”. Not “thugs”- except perhaps the Antifa plants that may have initiated the break-in. “String them all up!” is that call from left and right. Wait, what happened to “Innocent until proven guilty”? The left needs to calm down and get all the facts…
“For we”? Is this an example of your language skills? They do not impress.
Biden is a corrupt creepy old paedo who will be got rid of as soon as the weight of sleaze gets to him and Kamala installed in a great day fopr identity etc. As for healing. You really are kidding yourselves and or not fooling anyone.
Again ,a lot of allegations but no evidence.The type of post one seen on US sites. If you have evidence post it
A case of to much Kool aid .
There was plenty of evidence, the problem is the system is fundamentally corrupt, top to bottom and therefore none of it was heard.
By the way it TOO not TO, learn to spell.
Your comment is straight out of the Trump playbook.Blaming the system is just a way of blaming the system is just a way of saying you can’t make your argument stand up.
Blaming the system is indeed a way of blaming the system. Wise words
There is endless footage of Biden stroking and sniffing young girls, and the evidence of corruption against various Biden family members is overwhelming. But so is the evidence against pretty much the entire political class in the US.
See both my comments above.
Your posts above fail to acknowledge the fact that Biden has been caught on camera on several occasions sniffing girls’ hair and otherwise behaving weirdly. Women have complained about this unwanted attention.
I don’t know about the evidence or lack of evidence of corruption with regard to Biden’s family.
But even if Biden does behave creepily sometimes and is corrupt – I think most US politicians are – I’m still glad he beat Trump.
Many were afraid they would be the next to be exposed
And trump is proven to have attended gatherings with Epstein and together they raped a 13 year old girl. So…
It’s ‘for’ not ‘fopr’ – learn to spell.
You really are kidding yourselves and or not fooling anyone.
Perhaps some punctuation would make some sense of that last sentence.
On the other hand, perhaps you should make sure you have not made a keyboard error before correcting others’.
A level headed analysis.
This is the last thing Trump wanted. The stolen election myth was pay back for Russian collusion conspiracy, undermining the new administrations legitimacy, in the same way they undermined his, but it went too far. The mob got out of control and has destroyed his chance to continue to hold sway over the Republican Party in the future. He’ll be black balled from all its institutions and his family will be unable to set up the Republican dynasty he was probably hoping for.
This was a gross miscalculation not an attempted coup.
I think his supporters will be there for him after Jan 20 wearing their Trump2024 hats! I hope so.
I have been blocked returning to the old family home in London (from USA) because of the 2 week quarantine, but when I do get back look forward to trying my MAGA hat at speakers corner and telling how it really is in the world.
Bring a witness.
You’ll need to be extremely lucky to do that, speakers corner has been taken over by the left and their favoured Islamic ‘gate-keepers’ & preachers.
You cannot really ever know what the crazy Trump wants, this is one reason I really like him. Most politicos say just what the voters want, and do what the elite tell them to do – Trump can just can go wild as he owes no one. Trump is the one Politician who did not sell their soul to the ‘Donor Classes’ who finance every aspiring political youth running for office from the first, till the last time, they run. Republican and Democrat, it does not matter, from first to last you only get on their ticket, and then the massive funds for campaigning, if they utterly own you.
You just saw the last Politician who is their own man get a coup attempt against him, it is by the Dems who are actively trying to unseat Trump and harm his reputation with the less sharp centrists. The MSM/Democrat/Donors all are using this built up anger at Trump having the election stolen to make it seem insurrection and treason!
The Mad Polosi has said the VP either invokes the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from office NOW, or she will begin a second Impeachment!
It is a coup, but against Trump, not Biden, and it is not fought with weapons, but by the MSM, lies, and trickery. This is through the looking glass political action where the wronged is made to seem the one doing wrong!
MAGA Mr President! 2024 and you will get a last chance to save the Nation, and thus the West, from the commie/Liberal self loathing puppets.
There is much truth in what you say about the donor class, which also includes big corporations who get their lobbyists to write the laws they want which is why we need politicians, both right and left to only accept support from people and reject big money. Let the right and the left grass root at least agree in this and get citizens united to be overturned with primary legislation, then we’ll have a federal matching scheme such that each $ an American donates is matched x10 from the Fed (up to the current max of $2,500). This way the politicians will not be beholden to their doners, but to their electorate.
Limit what they can spend in an election campaign. Oh hang on, that’s good business for some people, isn’t it.
You cannot really ever know what the crazy Trump wants, this is one reason I really like him.
I think it’s pretty clear what the crazy Trump wants: he wants to stay in the White House so he doesn’t have to face any investigations or prosecution.
He wants power, money and adulation. He’s probably going to be disappointed how that works out.
Had no idea that some can read minds! I don’t really think Trump worries much about prosecution nor about money. I do agree he want adulation. He never used the power of the Presidency so that’s not his goal. He enjoys the crowd and the performance.
I never claimed to be able to read minds.
I was merely expressing my opinion on Trump’s most likely motivation, based on what I’ve seen of him over the past 5 years.
I suppose it’s possible he’s really keen to face investigations and prosecution.
“actively trying to unseat”?
“Russia if you are listening…” from the mouth of Donald Trump.
Anyone who frequents unherd would have bet big money that TDS victim #1 would appear here…
are you worried about your Big Daddy Trump?
TDS victim #1 is Donald J Trump surely?
The last thing he wanted? Are you that daft? He is on video literally inciting them to do this.
Then he thanks them for it.
But hey, people like you don’t traffic in fact.
The stolen election myth was pay back for Russian collusion conspiracy, undermining the new administrations legitimacy, in the same way they undermined his, but it went too far. The mob got out of control and has destroyed his chance to continue to hold sway over the Republican Party in the future.
Do you think Trump is interested in holding sway of the Republican Party? I think he really did want the election result overturned – he’s tried everything else, after all.
That can only be because either i) he can’t face the idea of being the most famous loser in the world; or ii) he’s terrified of facing investigation and prosecution for a range of alleged crimes. It could be both at the same time, of course.
It was such an obviously doomed venture, such a desperate throw of the dice, that I think he’s terrified of what will happen when he leaves the White House. But I think it was only an attempted coup in Trump’s mind – in reality there was no way that he was going to bring about any kind of change at all.
It’s quite certain that Antifa lead the way to the capital break in. It was an otherwise peaceful protest
Of course. The media ranted around because it felt called upon to comment and most of the commentary was repititious and inane. The mob that entered the capitol consisted of gawkers who had no idea why they were there– they just knew that they like lemmings had to follow the most aggressive in the pack. Some took pictures of statues, some pulled papers out of files, some used their miliitary training to climb ropes, one stood on the House dais wearing fur and horns and some smashed windows or furniture. A coup it was not. It consisted of angry rabble, .0000015 of the country who came from Montana and Arkansas to prove that the little man cannot be ignored. And he wasn’t. We’ll talk about him for weeks. It’s who we are.
This was how it looked to me. A slightly more aggressive hero worshipping cosplay convention stunt. I couldn’t believe that, even retrospectively, no one put out even a manifesto of demands. In fact the general consensus of the people who were represented by the marauding rabble seemed to be ‘nothing to do with us, that’s all Antifa. But did you see the signals Dear Leader sent us to hold the line?’
The manifesto was put out by Trump – “overturn the election”.
I feel a bit sorry for them. They’ve been lied to for years but they chose Rush and Hannity and ultimately Trump. They rejected truth, reason and even the morality of their religion. The first lesson taught to Christian children is to run from evil – An evil tree bears no good fruit”. Once you accept someone saying “alternate facts”, you are doomed.
Short memory you have there. Can’t even remember as far back as 2016?
The images were poignant: the mob could not have done anything, and anyway, the Government is already taken, bought and sold by corporate lobbyists (many of them private military contractors). Watching these people from the American middle and lower class ranging through the halls of what is supposed to be a place that represents their interests, I thought of the scene from ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ when the farmer whom the banks have foreclosed on when the dustbowl happened is walking through the wasteland holding his gun, asking where the person is who has done this to him.
The Democrats have conducted a continuing campaign against Trump since he stepped up to take on Hillary Clinton for the Presidency. Massively assisted by the extremely biased MSM which denied Trump a fair hearing, Trump relied upon social media, which the Woke have sought to deny to him.
Now the woke Democrat hard left have shut Trump and his supporters out – Cancelled at last.
The riotous supporters were unwise to perform as they did, but their desperation to be seen and heard may have played a role.
Regrettably lives were lost, and this could cause further hardening of opinions.
Biden calling for healing, whilst Pelosi tries to con the VP into impeaching his President shows no consideration for the 70 millions of their American citizens who voted for Trump.
History tells US the outcome could include civil war.
The Dem campaign was nothing compared to the campaign from day one against Obama and the smear campaign against HRC went on for decades.
I’m all for the parasitic Red Sates making their own country. Good riddance to them. I feel a bit sorry for them, but life is tough. They listened to Rush…
Losers Consent is clearly becoming a contested concept within US democracy.
Of course we saw it in an embryonic form in the UK too regarding the EU Remainer backlash but at least that resistance to democracy was conducted within legitimate democratic/constitutional processes, just about.
And was in response to a once only vote that changed everything. Not something you can do something about in just two years.
What you focus on are tactics rather than the substance of the act. At the moment the mob stormed the Capitol, Congress was in the process of formalising the transfer of power in accordance with the Constitutional mandate. The mob, no matter how chaotic and disorganised, was attempting to thwart that process, to keep Trump at the head of the government. The coup was not against Trump, but rather the institution and process of government for which Trump is only an agent. Your argument that it could not be a coup attempt since the leader was the intended beneficiary would be accurate if the leader and the government were one and the same, but they are not.
Very good article. The hysterical talk in all the media about a putsch is over the top. Even the DT closed the commentary section, afraid that some people will contradict. It was a rabble rousing crowd out of control, very likely instigated by Trump’s speeches and conspiracy theories. So far I haven’t seen guns on the intruders and was shocked how Congress was so purely guarded. The tragedy of all of this is that 5 people had to pay with their life.
I have deleted the Telegraph and Mail Online. Even The Critic has a ridiculous article today criticising the BBC coverage as being not critical enough and asking if these protestors had been BLM would they have been treated with kid gloves as the BBC treated the Trump supporters? It is Through the Looking Glass territory.
There was notably little heartfelt criticism of the worst excesses of the BLM protests, both in some media and by some politicians.
The footage of the TV reporter standing in front of a burning building saying the protests have been “largely peaceful” or something will go down in history alongside Comical Ali from the Iraq war. The same indulgence was afforded to the BLM protest in London: “largely peaceful” reported the BBC about a demo when 36 police officers needed medical treated for injuries.
Biden, to his credit, did condemn the excesses quite strongly, as far as I remember.
Also, how much genuinely critical coverage did the CHAZ/CHOP affair get? After all, that involved an actual local coup: the seizure and occupation of an entire city neighbourhood, including the police station if I remember rightly. This was treated as a quaint or quirky incident, rather than the non-democratic usurpation of power it was.
I assume you mean “poorly” and not “purely” guarded…
Yes, spell check does that to me some time. ðŸ˜‰
I seem to recall Heather Mac Donald saying that America had a national nervous breakdown after Trump was elected. This is the latest eruption of that breakdown and perhaps the last, or let us hope so. E Luttwak’s article is, as one would expect, a very clear analysis of this particular incident. The reaction of the markets is encouraging, but I would be concerned about the immediate future for the following reasons. Joe Biden seems to be a decent man, who genuinely wants to unite Americans, but his age is against him. I just wonder how he will sustain being woken in the middle of the night with news of the latest incident in Afghanistan. He seems frail for 78, an age at which David Attenborough was travelling the world making nature documentaries. Should he die in office or become unfit to govern, he will be replaced by Kamala Harris who seems likely to irk conservatives and the flyover states. What is needed is an energetic and authoritative figure in the prime of their life, with ample experience as a state governor for instance, who will govern from the centre and command wide respect. And of course avoid obvious mistakes, such as getting involved in unwinnable wars. But perhaps the US is too divided to be reconciled as easily as that.
I don’t disagree with you except on the wonderful David Attenborough. Being president of the US is a tad more taxing than making animal documentaries.
A young centrist governor would be great. We just didn’t have any to run against Trump. Yes, the US is divided, always has been, always will be. You really can’t have a country as diverse as the US in every way and not be divided on any number of issues. If we were not a republic with states managing most things in every day life, there’s no way it would work. We can thank our Founding Fathers for the wisdom of setting it up as a federal republic. Probably no one smart enough to do this today.
I think I remember reading his book on the later Roman Imperial Army – applying NATO doctrine to their system?
He fought for the British Army in North Borneo aged sixteen in 1958..
In 1968 he published an amusing work entitled
“Coup d’Etat: A Practical Handbook “ to widespread acclaim.
Had it been Rome the Viking Q Shaman would have been inaugurated as Emperor Q.
Four people dead, but just a “venting of resentments.”
Precisely! Three of them were overweight bumblers who got heart atacks in the excitement and one was an extremist from Los Angeles who like the rest had no idea what to do next. Her death is a tragic result of extremism in the U.S.
Is an “extremist” someone who disagrees with you?
The woman of whom you speak was executed at close range in the head. Her death at the hands of one of the few policemen in attendance was filmed by a black lives matter leader who uploaded the footage to the internet and sold his story to the Daily Mail, who reported he was not there as part of the protest but did not inquire or explain why he was there and why he thought it acceptable to film an execution of an unarmed female.
As Mark Steyn pointed out if a member of the American military had executed an unarmed protestor, shooting into a crowd at close range we would never have heard the end of the outrage, but Trump supporters are subhuman to people like you and seemingly deserve their fate, because they spread conspiracy theories. You should be deeply ashamed of your outburst above.
One of the bumbling fatties who died of a heart attack, of whom you speak was a policeman, on duty. There have been no other confirmed reports of who died.
An “unarmed protestor” – the outrage would have been heard only if the “protest” was from the Left, as BLM or Antifa. I presume that’s what you meant, I’m just making sure. Indeed, shooting of armed protestors will occasion much fury from the Left, provided it was one of their comrades who was injured or killed.
She was murdered by a panicky policeman who should never have been allowed to hold a gun.
A clear case of lack of proper training, coupled with a deficiency of moral courage.
Hardly new. We have had dozens killed in the BLM “peaceful protests” over the last year.
God its going to be dull now for at least 4 years !
The force and light of the omnipotent and omnipresent creator of the universe can be ‘dulled’ by … the loss of a serial lying grifting morals flouting con man in the elections of an individual country on planet earth? Can’t be much of a God…
I doubt it. We all probably have the spectacle of Biden being removed from office for mental deficiencies sometime in the next few years to make way for Kamala Harris. There’s little chance that Joe can go four years, the only real question is when it will be undertaken. Likely before his third year in office to give Harris two years to cement her status as the incumbent. Or maybe his fourth year to avoid too many people getting too close a look at her. In the meantime, we can look forward to Biden press events, if he has them, for entertainment. They’ll have to keep the questions simple, like “Mr. president, can you tell us what you had for breakfast this morning?” Or “what color is your favorite, Mr. President?” If that’s too tricky, they can always simply stop holding them. The media won’t complain. Kamala can’t fill in because, well, the cackle.
We will also likely have some new and shiny military adventures to look forward to. We can’t have too many troops at home looking for jobs and crashing the unemployment numbers. We will have to keep them busy elsewhere and give the Pentagon a nail to swing that hammer at. A few new pallets of cash forwarded to the Iranians should be helpful here.
The attack on Congress is a symptom of something much deeper. Even if Trump died tomorrow, many millions of Americans – the people who followed him – would continue to feel they had been excluded from their own country. The next four years will just be four more years of deep division, fuelled by appalling inequality and racism, and aggravated by the violence which is endemic in gun-carrying American society. America is what a failed society looks like, on a huge scale. We must look elsewhere for our model of how to live peacefully and prosperously.
Sounds like Sarah Palin’s comments about ‘REAL Americans’. You say that ‘…many millions of Americans – the people who followed him – would continue to feel they had been excluded from their own country.” Sure, but what about the millions MORE who did not follow him, and felt like his ‘America First’ America isn’t THEIR America. The demographic analysis shows that he’s supported in the hinterlands of the US, while Democrats are supported in the cities and coasts. The problem the followers of Trumpism have is that those same demographics are not in their favor, that the America of “Leave it to Beaver” and “Father Knows Best” is gone and will never return. Time only goes in one direction, and the US body politic has changed. To decide who leads the nation, every 4 years there is an election, and the losers ALWAYS feel that their America isn’t represented by the winner.
That’s the way it’s worked for 235 years, and hopefully 235 more.
The only thing new here is that for the first time ever, a losing candidate refuses to accept his loss. Were he a ‘normal’ person, none of this would have happened.
Well, it isn’t really the first time ever. Hilary Clinton didn’t accept her loss either. And we all know what sort of problems that led to.
There, finally someone said it! American culture has become a disease, and american self-centrism prevents americans from occasionally checking-up with the other people living in the planet.
If they ever care to notice, the world’s perception of americans is quite clear: they are either laughing stock or villains. It is about time that america looks itself in the mirror!
Are you feeling neglected by Americans? That we are somehow missing how great you are?
No Annette, I am just concerned with self-centered morons like Donald Trump having access to nuclear weapons and being applauded by a significant proportion of a population who are somehow convinced that they matter more than the rest of the planet’s population. Hope I have succeeded in answering your question.
Not really, no. You seem oddly unaware that perception is a two-way street and that you don’t speak for the “world’s perception”. Perhaps it’s your perception that is inaccurate.
In addition, some would say your comments are uncivil. I believe under your definition of the Founding Fathers ideals, which oddly include some vague concept of civility, that would mean you should be banned.
Well Annette, you just managed to get blocked by my personal filter. What a great invention! Goodbye.
May I suggest China?
Seriously, you need to calm down. The US has always been a very divided country, that’s the nature of a country formed from many different races, religions, cultures. And yes, the next four years the country will be deeply divided. In fact the next forty years the country will be deeply divided. It’s always been that and always will be.
As for gun violence, it isn’t legal gun owners perpetrating it. You also seem to miss that violence isn’t widespread, where I live we have almost no crime or violence at all. That’s why I live there. Sure, violence is horrendous in places like Chicago and NY but that’s because they aren’t well managed cities. Neither is London and violence is rampant there as well. We have cities in the US where local leadership is trying to eliminate the police and overlook crime if the right people commit it. How do you think that will work out for the poor sods who live there?
If racism is so bad, why does the US have a parade of white people masquerading as black and brown people? You’d think it would be the other way around.
Might I respectfully disagree? I wrote here (https://thethoughtsofchairm… that the key risk for America going forwards is that the Democrats take Biden’s victory as a a sign that their loss in 2016 was solely down to Hilary Clinton and they can safely ignore the legitimate concerns of the “left behind”. I think recent events make that more likely as it is easier to write off Trump voters as weirdoes and thugs who can and should be spurned.
Meh. What those idiots did is illegal on so many levels, and the capital police should have open fired on all of them as they breached the building. And they got people killed.
But yeah, defend that, by all means.
These delusional and misguided cult members that support Trump are so easily lead to their own demise by believing in unfounded claims that only a complete idiot would support.
I think any school child can tell who can be blamed just by using the logic “he who smelt it dealt it.” Trump set this up months before by repeating the unfounded lie that the election was rigged. No proof. Just him covering his ego for when he would lose, which seemed inevitable.
But i understand, all the sad white men who can’t understand why they keep failing as others are allowed into the arena need a place to vent. So vent away. It’s healthier than doing what those idiots did.
Yeah, right, ask Mike Pence what he thinks of it all or even McConnell.
This article is just a typical right wing white wash and fabrication. Nothing more, nothing less. It is this kind of fabrication that convinced those people that Trump won the election and they had to do something about it. They went there from the White House rally, where Trump told them to “surround Congress”, because they wanted to ensure that the Electoral College votes could no be officially tallied. You seem to forget Trump telling Pence to change the outcome of the Electoral College. You seem to forget the hour long phone call of Trump demanding the Georgia results be changed. Oh, you didn’t forget… you Republicanized. Hopefully they can impeach Trump quickly before he can do any more damage and to ensure that his reputation in history is that of a criminal.
He’s not responding to those events.
No, it wasn’t a coup… it was an ATTEMPTED coup. It was an effort to overturn a fair, free election and deny the will of the voters. Full freaking STOP! That’s what it was, an attempted coup, and anyone who now wants to soft-soap and soft-peddle the truth is lying to themselves for their own unknown purposes. Ask yourselves, what was Trump trying to do if not stop by ANY MEANS POSSIBLE the confirmation of the electoral votes by the house and senate, and thereby overturn the constitutional order of the Democracy?
As to the outcome of the coup attempt, very hard lessons to be learned that will be based here: this from the “Unintended Consequences and Bitter Ironies” file, Trump’s tweet from June 2020 regarding his signing of the Monuments Act:
“I have authorized the Federal Government to arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the US with up to 10 years in prison. This action is taken effective immediately, but may also be used retroactively for destruction or vandalism already caused. There will be no exceptions!”, and this, from July:
“Anarchists, Agitators or Protestors who vandalize or damage our Federal Courthouse in Portland, or any Federal Buildings in any of our Cities or States, will be prosecuted under our recently re-enacted Statues & Monuments Act. MINIMUM TEN YEARS IN PRISON. Don’t do it! @DHSgov
” Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2020″
Crowd of people, some violent, some with weapons tries to effect change of government away from the one just democratically chosen to the one which they prefer.
This isn’t a coup attempt?
It might have been organised by Coco the Clown (or maybe the same master strategist who booked “The Four Seasons” for a press conference), but if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is usually a duck.
Trump is in office. If it was a coup, it would have been against Trump.
Is that you Rudy?
No, it’s me, Miriam. Webster.
Tee Hee – I like that. Seriously then, I think this is a bit of a technicality. I’ve seen various definitions and descriptions of “coup” – this attempt fits some and not others. Generally, a coup is about over-throwing the government. The President is not the government. – he is but a part of one of its 3 branches (legislative, executive, judicial). Here the rioters were opposed to the legislative and judicial branches and most of the executive (including the VP who some of them wanted to hang apparently). That’s close enough for me.
Oh undoubtedly some will call this a coup. I merely pointed out that it does not meet the definition. A coup, by definition, is intended to replace government personnel, not to change the actions of those personnel. Being opposed to any branch of government, or the actions thereof, is not a coup. The closest we have had to a coup recently was actually the actions of James Comey, Hilary Clinton and assorted others who did seek by nefarious means to unseat a sitting president.
Well we’ll just have to differ on this.
Happy to differ. The evidence will not lead to charges of mounting a coup in any case. There would undoubtedly be such charges if there were any way to make them.
Is that in the US criminal code “participating in a coup”, “mounting a coup”, “inciting a coup”? I’m not a lawyer. Probably they put on the charge sheet whatever is sufficient to get a conviction and an appropriate sentence. I understand charges for the offences against one prominent insider are going to be brought today by the House.
It would be incitement but then they would have actually have had to incite riots. And therein is the problem for those that want charges.
I’m not from the US but I grew up believing that America stood as a force for good, a haven for those oppressed and a home for those willing to build a better life. Yes there are problems, no nation state is problem free.But the recent events should worry all Americans. and the wider world. What happened at your Capitol may, for most, have been an expression of frustration by people who genuinely feel locked out of and let down by the system But for some it was clearly more than that.
Call me to trusting if you will. I’ve always believed that if something looks like, smells like and behaves like, in this case, an. attempted coup then chances are that’s what it is. In this case aimed at keeping Mr Trump in power
This, at least in the minds of a few of those who took part in the capitol debacle.
Accepted that there were people who genuinely think that somehow the election was stolen, (although their only proof of systematic fraud, is the lack of proof, as in ‘just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there.’ They were just there to protest peacefully. But then you have the conspiracy believers the deep state subscribers. Given the chaotic nature of administrations and the political class in general, the reality is more likely to be that Mr Trump lost the election fair and square, Because he probably hasn’t done that which he promised and because daily people are confronted with the realities of the pandemic, which realities seem to elude Mr Trump. it seems to me bonkers, to claim some massive conspiracy try keeping such a thing secret given the general lack of continence in todays systems it would have lasted about two minutes. as a secret.
No what happened was the ugly and tragically cost lives.Those present on the day are culpable for their actions but so are those who distorted reality stoked the fires, and stood unleashed it.
Thoughtful comment. I’m not sure what you mean by the US standing as a “force for good” but I certainly agree that it has been a home for those willing to build a better life. And still such people pour into the US every year to do exactly that.
I think it’s important to remember that in the US, presidential elections are state elections rather than national elections. Each state regulates their own election and changes to election rules do not occur frequently and when they do, it’s an orderly process. In 2020, several states made serious changes to election law right before the election and not all of those changes were made legally. So, if state election law is changed right before an election and says that ballots may be counted even if cast days after the election, or that ballots may be accepted unsigned or undated, that seems problematic at the very least.
In the matter of the pandemic, again, the US response is a state response. All the federal government could really do is speed the vaccination efforts, which it did. It also sent federal assets, such as medical ships to various cities in the worst shape, like NYC. The federal government has no ability to determine state shut-downs.
I agree that the Capital riots were untenable. But so have been riots all across the country all year. We have had whole cities impacted with some parts taken over by rioters who threw the police out. And that was allowed by local law enforcement. We have had millions of people’s lives and employment impacted by rampaging mobs trashing businesses, looting, tearing down statues, brutalizing federal property, marching through neighborhoods with bullhorns at night to intimidate those who live there and many, many deaths, all permitted by local law enforcement. And all the while we have been told by the media as we watched buildings burning in the background, that these were peaceful protests. So far, not any of the perpetrators have been held responsible and in fact, some prominent politicians have excused this, egged it on and have encouraged legal aid funds for the people who committed these acts while people whose livelihood was destroyed simply had to accept it.
Annette Thank you for your response.’A force for good,” whether in competition or out od idealism, America played a significant role in the decolonisation of Africa and the demise of the European empires.
Having read your comments I have a better understanding of the American electoral system and can understand the disquiet sudden changes generates. As to other riots and public order offences. Equality under the law should mean what it says, all should be prosecuted equally. Protest in a democracy is healthy but when that tips over the line into mayhem. and violence it should be confronted. How that is achieved is always subject to differing opinions. Looking at it from over pond I can see that, (and forgive me if I’m wrong on this), the main difference between the US & UK seems to be the propensity of Americans to resort to using guns. We have our share of irresponsible citizens and our police have had to deploy in large numbers to confront and try and arrest the ringleaders and gather enough evidence to. allow trials.
I think that the issue that confronts our democracies relates to the loss of a unifying narratives. You had the ‘American Dream.’ This sadly ground to halt, To my mind. best described by George Packer in ‘The Unwinding.’ When I read it I could understand the attraction of Mr Trump for. so many. We had Empire and the erroneous belief that ‘We Won the War.’ Any number of instances have dented our narrative.
However correct they were, both provided an exception-list narrative. ‘ We both also had largely patriarchial societies, which we rightly dropped but have not replaced with anything approaching coherence. Instead we have fragmented ‘identity narratives’ and what the American poet activist Robert Bly. characterised , as the ‘Sibling Society,’ in which parents want and crave ‘friendship with their offspring and don’t grow up. The privileges of being citizens of the most prosperous societies in history demand two interrelated qualities, personal and responsibility to our neighbours. This is not some hippy nonsense but a prerequiste of a civil society. Both seem to be in sad decline. So our internal and societal maps no longer relate to the terrain we inhabit
Our political class are, in my view, bankrupt of both ideas and morals.
Little wonder some feel emboldened and overstep the bounds. They a responsible for their acts, those that incited them should also face up to their responsibilities.
Great comments. Not sure I understand how the US led to the demise of European empires, I rather believe that colonies themselves did the heavy lifting on that.
Interestingly in the 570 violent riots across the US this year, there were fewer gun deaths than knife deaths in the UK. I do appreciate that most Europeans, although not all, share a belief that citizens should not have access to guns. Americans do not generally share that belief and see the vast majority of gun crime committed by those not in legal possession of a firearm. Disarming the law-abiding public does nothing to prevent that. While not a gun owner, I am a strong supporter of the 2nd amendment. People intent to do harm and deprived of one weapon will simply choose another. In addition, I believe that trust in ones government is higher throughout Europe than it is in the US. Lastly, gun crime is fairly uneven across the US. Where I live it’s almost non-existent, which is why I live here. Other places like Chicago it’s out of control and political leadership can’t figure out why. People must choose where and how they want to live.
I guess the American Dream can have as many definitions as there are people. To me it means that opportunity abounds. That hasn’t changed. It has never meant that all are equal in outcome, to me in any case. Perhaps it should be viewed through the lens with which you define it.
The identity narrative you so rightly disparage was a large part of the reasoning behind many votes for Trump, mine included. I don’t want people sorted out by race and gender. I’m one of the people who doesn’t give that info out even on census surveys. Many Americans don’t really know the extent of their racial backgrounds anyway. My main reasoning though was I wanted US troops brought home, unemployment for lower income Americans addressed and energy independence. The only individual offering that was Trump.
Gawd, you people are bloody awful.
This pearl from a ‘Sharon Johnson’ illustrates the political awareness, and the prejudice. – “Finally, early 2020, BLM was called in, and Antifa, and every disaffected college student, to trash the cities in the cause of the Left. Of course, the Marxist BLM carried with it the piety of Belief, sanctifying the beatings and window breaking and destruction of people’s livelihoods in the name of . . .what?” –
Something about black skinned people being killed, with impunity, by policemen. ‘Called in’; where do you get your political education from?
“Killed with impunity “
Yep, cops storming libraries to kill blacks doing their homework. Nothing to do with criminals resisting arrest.
Join the discussion
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