Mumblypeg ~ A playground game where boys stand with their feet shoulder width apart whilst throwing a pocket knife point down between their own feet. The boy who gets closest wins. Getting the knife in your foot is an automatic win.
It’s over, but it’s not. It won’t take days or weeks or months for the final speck of dust from the insurrection attempt of January 6th, 2021 to settle. Years at the very least.
I posted a piece that day; a post overflowing with the anger that consumed me as I watched events unfold. There were moments of sadness. There were moments when tears welled up. There was concern for those who were inside and under siege. What I never felt was fear that the insurrection would succeed. I was certain that in the end the mob would fail.
That January 6th post was filled with so much rage that I considered just trashing it and writing a post at a later time when I could present something in more measured tones. In the end I published my fury, albeit somewhat toned down. This site is my own story, a journal of sorts and it only seemed appropriate to publish a post that honestly reflected my feelings on one of America’s darkest days.
Today, January 9th, the fear that I didn’t feel three days ago is starting to percolate. I’m finding myself in a dark cold shadow of foreboding as details of what happened on that day of infamy become clearer with reports of five dead and many others injured. Apparently the mayhem that characterized January 6th may not be over as threats of what might come on inauguration day are being revealed.
To be clear, I’m not afraid of what Trump will do. Stripped of his social media accounts, no way to communicate with his herd of sheep, and being abandoned by cabinet members and members of the White House staff, he’s cornered, apparently hunkered down at Camp David.
Trump may have his extremist cohorts like Stephen Miller and the whack job hangers on like Giuliani all whispering in his ear but my sense is that the people who really count, the ones who could put bizarre Trumpian orders into action will all have the resolve to do what’s best for the nation and the world. This includes the Joint Chiefs and those gutting out the last few days in order to keep the flames from going completely out of control. White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, comes to mind.
After seeing two days worth of footage and hearing about the chatter that’s still going on in right wing circles, I find myself concerned about the chaos and violence that Trump nation seems capable of and willing to unleash; mayhem that won’t be confined to the next eleven days.
Scenes that have emerged in the wake of the Capitol riot are chilling; scenes you might see in an episode of Designated Survivor and dismiss as something that would never actually happen in America.
A noose hanging from a scaffold outside the Capitol building.
A mob running through the Halls of Congress yelling “Hang Mike Pence.”
A Capitol Police Officer being crushed in a doorway by a mob trying to break into the west entrance.
A man wearing tactical gear, carrying zip ties, gun on his hip and looking for all the world like he’s hunting people.
As the images, videos and reporting from that sad day continue to emerge one of the most disgusting for me, one that will forever be branded in my memory, is of the traitor (and I don’t use the word lightly) carrying the Confederate Flag through the halls of the Capitol Building. In 1864 the Confederate Army got within six miles of the Capitol but no further as the rebels were rebuffed by the Union Army at the Battle of Fort Stevens.
So it took a two bit insurrectionist goaded on by a con artist turned president to carry that traitorous rag into the Halls of Congress. That symbol of white supremacy, of a despicable and ultimately doomed culture of the southern states was carried through the very halls where John Lewis used to walk.
The infuriating irony of that photo is that the seditionist carrying the flag is standing in front of a portrait of abolitionist Charles Sumner who was attacked with a cane in that very building by South Carolina Congressman Preston Brooks in 1856, after Sumner delivered a speech decrying slavery and the slave state of South Carolina. Certainly the yahoo who carried that flag during the recent rebellion had no clue of the disgusting symbolism of the moment.
The members of the mob that stormed the capitol were certain that they would have the four square backing of the man who had incited the chaos they were wreaking. Reality would set in on some of them a mere 24 hours later.
“The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy. To those that engage in the acts of violence and disruption, you do not represent our country. To those that broke the law, you will pay,” said Trump in a taped statement a day following the melee.
With that statement, made some 24 hours after the mob went to the mattresses for him, Trump dropped a dime on them. All those duped men and women who worshipped Trump, who risked their safety, their jobs (some have already been terminated by employers) and their freedom (as some will undoubtedly serve jail time) have discovered for themselves that their hero tosses people out like chicken bones once he’s satisfied himself with the meat.
They fancied themselves to be Trump’s Paul Reveres and George Washingtons only to find out that Trump would be their Benedict Arnold. These people are all in very august company; John Kelly, a former four star general and Trump Chief of Staff; Jeff Sessions a former Senator and Attorney General; Rex Tillerson a former Exxon exec and Secretary of State; Kirstjen Nielsen former Secretary of Homeland Security. The list goes on and on and on of people who Trump has used and then discarded.
It would be reassuring if all of the Trump cult came to the same realization that they had been scammed but unfortunately some have become addicted to the snake oil. As soon as Trump’s video was released the hardcore conspiracy theorists, the diehard mesmerized, conjured the theory that the video was faked.
Trump wasn’t the only actor scamming Trump nation.
There was the court jester, Rudy Giuliani who spoke to a crowd in front of the White House before the insurrection at the Capitol. “Let’s have trial by combat,” he cried. The next day Rudy shamelessly tweeted, “This violence is condemned in the strongest terms. Our movement values respect for law and order and for the Police.”
How shameless was Rudy? While the enemy was at the gates of Congress, Rudy was placing a call to a hunkered down Senator Tommy Tuberville to ask the legislator to stall the electoral vote count.
At the same pre-riot rally, Don Jr. issued a thinly veiled threat to Republican members of Congress just up the road. ”“we’re coming for you, and we’re gonna have a good time doing it.”
After all hell broke loose Donny tweeted, “Be peaceful and use your 1st Amendment rights, but don’t start acting like the other side. We have a country to save and this doesn’t help anyone.”
And then there was Ted Cruz, trying and failing miserably to look professorial and cultivated with his salt and pepper beard. Speaking in Georgia just prior to the Senate runoff election Cruz riled up a crowd, vowing to “stand shoulder to shoulder” as “we defend the United States (and) The Constitution.”
In the same speech Cruz issued the warning that “we will not go quietly.” A day after the riots, a day too late – four years too late – Cruz tweeted, “The attack at the Capitol was a despicable act of terrorism and a shocking assault on our democratic system. We must come together and put this anger and division behind us. We must, and I am confident we will, have a peaceful and orderly transition of power.”
Yes four years too late. The attack on America’s Capitol didn’t hatch from the bullshit that followed the November 3rd election. The assault has been brewing for over four years; in fact since before the presidential election of 2016.
The gaslighting began when Trump first floated the idea of rigged elections as early as August of that year when Trump warned supporters “I’m afraid the election is going to be rigged, I have to be honest”. On Fox News Trump said, “I hope the Republicans are watching closely or it’s going to be taken away from us.”
America has been subjected to lies, baseless accusations of unfairness, conspiracy theories about a “deep state,” demonization of the press and a laundry list of dangerous inflammatory rhetoric; a four years long fuse leading to the powder keg that erupted on January 6th.
Key members of the Republican Party had the chance to tamp out that lit fuse at any time during those four years but they chose to ignore it, to pretend that there would be no forthcoming explosion.
Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Chuck Grassley, Susan Collins, Joni Ernst, Lisa Murkowski and a score of seemingly responsible Republican members of Congress rode the Trump train figuring that the Donald would deliver them to some political Eden at the terminus. Well the end of the line came and as it turned out it wasn’t at the political promised land that they’d sought. Fools.
It was all a dangerous and disgusting game of who could use who before discarding the leavings. Those Republicans who backed Trump held their noses through a four year shit show figuring that they could use the Trump influence until it flamed out. Instead of flaming out it flared up. They were playing against the master of bullshitery, Trump himself, who’s made a lifetime career of using and then discarding people. And the endgame? Everyone, including and especially the American people lost.
These legislators, governors and camp followers defended the brute for four years if not deluding themselves, deluding their constituents with calming shibboleths like the classic, “Once he takes office he’ll be presidential.” After what’s happened, that dashed hope almost seems quaint.
Now that the wrath of a nation is crashing on them they’re frantically rewriting history and trying to walk back the enabling in panicked attempts to salvage reputations that are now so much refuse. Maybe the most breathtaking walk back was Cruz’s claim that he’s “disagreed with the president’s language and rhetoric for the last four years.”
Hopefully the result of this disaster will be the immolation of some venal political careers; Cruz and Hawley who’ve likely had their presidential aspirations dashed; Graham who’s spent four years lying and flip-flopping over Trump; Tommy Tuberville whose sole qualifications to be a United States Senator from Alabama are that he coached football in the Southeast Conference and is a dyed in the wool Trump acolyte and Mitch McConnell whose tenure as Senate Majority Leader has been to head up a Senate that’s been a do nothing wasteland where legislation goes to die. McConnell, who did Trump’s bidding and rammed through a bunch of ideologues into the courts, some who are woefully under qualified to sit on the bench, unless it’s a park bench. The Trump bootlickers like Governors Kristi Noem and Ron DeSantis, whose laissez faire treatment of a pandemic has led to out of control cases and thousands of deaths in their states, will hopefully be seeing the end of their Trumpist careers.
Trump’s Republican promoters apparently never stopped to think that the four year debacle they allowed to continue would end with a runaway train. How could they not see it? After seeing all the reasonable Republicans refuse to get on board along with Democrats who saw a disaster coming? Anybody who wasn’t a Trumpist could see nothing good could come of a Trump presidency. How could the Trumplicans not see it indeed. They were too busy worrying about feathering their own nests,
It seems like an age ago that the last election was called for Biden. Like much of America, I breathed a sigh of relief thinking it was the end of the reign of terror. I celebrated with a Champagne toast even though I had the cold sweats thinking about what Trump might do until inauguration day.
For four years a party of self dealing profiteers played a high stakes game of mumblypeg with the Constitution and in the end they were left with blood on their hands.
5 thoughts on “Cut by the Knife of Corruption”
It was a tragic moment in our history. The attempted forceful coup was threatened, forecast and ultimately incited by the US President who was encouraged for over four years by sycophants who had only self interest on their minds. As they recanted and reframed their rhetoric hours later there was no admission of shame for their previous actions, only relief that they escaped injury by the mob of thugs they promoted.
That they gained access to the capitol at all is largely because they were white. Police and other law enforcement who normally are present to protect the three individuals who are next in line as successors to the president were conspicuously absent. If the individuals in that crowd had black or brown skin–even if they were peaceful in every way, believe me, the situation would have been very different. What we saw that day was white supremacy reigning supreme and blatant racism evident in scarcity of men in blue to control them.
Hmm. History. Who will remember, for how long and with what slant to the story.
Perhaps we’ll have a way to measure four years from now when we see who is re-elected.
I must say that the ass covering and the rewriting of history by Cruz, Graham et al is epic. While I’m ecstatic that the careers of some Senators are probably dashed I’m worried about who will replace them. Graham’s goose isn’t just cooked, it’s burned beyond recognition and that’s largely because the Trump GOP is done with him, as witnessed by the scene in an airport the other day. So who will take that seat and the seats of those who the Trump nation thinks betrayed the Donald?
Do rational Republicans outnumber the cultists? I certainly hope so.
I’ve heard reports that the FBI suspects some insider complicity with the insurrectionists. How did the rioters so easily find the offices of Jim Clyburn and Nancy Pelosi?
As for history, there have been many times during these past four years that I’ve commented to Cora that I hope I’m around and lucid ten years from now so that I can read the history books.
Happy Sunday Paul,
Excellent piece, measured, honest, heartfelt, and sprinkled with just a hint of humour — a necessary salve for the parade of bad news.
This really resonated with me >>>> “So it took a two bit insurrectionist goaded on by a con artist turned president to carry that traitorous rag into the Halls of Congress. That symbol of white supremacy, of a despicable and ultimately doomed culture of the southern states was carried through the very halls where John Lewis used to walk.
The infuriating irony of that photo is that the seditionist carrying the flag is standing in front of a portrait of abolitionist Charles Sumner who was attacked with a cane in that very building by South Carolina Congressman Preston Brooks in 1856, after Sumner delivered a speech decrying slavery and the slave state of South Carolina. Certainly the yahoo who carried that flag during the recent rebellion had no clue of the disgusting symbolism of the moment.”
I think these two paragraphs speak volumes to how Jan. 6th happened. tRump has lived a-historically with no sense of the sacrifices and injustices suffered by those who came before him. He was born into privilege, has led a life of whiteness, entitlement, corruption, wealth, and disdain for others, and he’s sold these “values” to his followers.
He’s lived *his* American dream; he’s just never had to work for it.
Now, he wants to blame everyone else for taking it away from him.
The seditionists might like to claim they were part of a revolution, protesting a “stolen election,” but in the end, they were rudderless—rebels without an ideology. And like their leader who has no vision greater than himself or what his supporters project upon him, they ended up accomplishing nothing but destruction and death.
As a final note, I doubt that tRump ever played tiddlywinks, let alone mumblypeg. I’m sure his bone spurs would’ve excused him from the game.
That Confederate battle flag being paraded through the Capitol will always stay with me. I have a sort of history with that flag that I’m going to write about sometime soon.
I’m very worried about the days, weeks and months to come. It looks like the crazies aren’t going to peacefully go back under the wet rocks whence they came.
Have a good week. Stay safe.
And it feels more and more each subsequent day, with more and more threats…