Republicans testify, Trump fumes, as the J6 Committee stalks the perpetrators of the Big Lie…
Pass the Popcorn…
I went to the movies with a friend who could recite lines from each of the previous Jurassic flicks. I remembered only one from the first film in the JP franchise. It has stuck with me only because it perfectly framed the hubris of those who caused the chaos:
“Your Scientists Were So Preoccupied With Whether Or Not They Could, They Didn’t Stop To Think If They Should.”
— Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park, the movie
As serial sequels go, Jurassic World Dominion is in my opinion notches below the Michael Crichton original. After more than two hours in the theater, I realized that this version seemed to be just a tad longer than the Jurassic era it references. As I sat in my movie recliner and fended off a nap, I couldn’t help but be reminded of our current political theater. The J6 Committee hearings are just another series of events that have uncovered the perils the Trump Administration had visited on us. Each new witness who testifies before the panel reveals another dark chapter, another threat. Trump and his mutant followers are starring in a horror flick with a plot conjured by his crooked inner circle to enable the former president to deny Joe Biden his electoral victory. There were no twists and turns, just theories without evidence as Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani reported to a state official he was attempting to corrupt. As investigations and court judgments swatted away each new accusation of election fraud, a new theory would appear-ersatz- to continue the Trump team’s illusion of stealing the election.
In the hearing room, we heard Republicans, many of whom served in the administration, disprove the more mundane scenarios. The latest hearing featured an acting AG, his deputy, and the head of Homeland Security scouring the internet to shoot down a theory involving Italy, satellites, the UK’s MI6, and the CIA directing voting machines to switch Trump votes to Biden. Like the cloned dinosaurs of Jurassic World Dominion, the Republican Party has treated us to unrelenting peril for the past 6 years. They have succeeded in taking us back in time, and have cloned the worst monsters of our past. The new versions of Republicans are pre-enlightenment in their views on race, religion, and human rights. Their view of America is dark and foreboding. The evolving storyline being written by their testimony before the Committee demonstrates the breadth of their ignorance and the lengths they would take to undue modern American history. Like raptors threatening all the main characters, the goons posing as Republican legislators, lawyers, and political functionaries try to infuse our body politic with their seditious DNA. Jeff Goldblum’s Malcolm character, a proponent of the chaos theory, could well reengineer his stinging criticism by noting that Trump’s minions were so sure that they could, that they forgot or didn’t care to think whether they should.
Richard Donoghue entered the Oval knowing what was in the offing. He came prepared and listened and took notes. One quote stands out for its sheer lunacy. These words were actually uttered by a president of the United States:
“You guys may not be following the Internet the way I do”.
Former Assistant AG Richard Donoghue in an exchange with Adam Kinzinger about a YouTube conspiracy video touted by Trump stated the obvious:
ADAM KINZINGER: Mr. Donoghue, what was your reaction when you watched that entire 20 minute video?RICHARD DONOGHUE: I emailed the acting attorney general and I said pure insanity, which was my impression of the video which was patently absurd.
The video referenced here was part of a conspiratorial confection furthered by two firms owned by a Virginia “businesswoman”, Michele Roosevelt Edwards, nee Michele Ballarin, and a staunch Trump supporter. To truly understand the deeply suspicious origins of the “Italygate” video, one needs only to look into Ms. Ballarin’s history here and here (use google translate). It would seem that provenance matters little because the willing former president scours the internet for breadcrumbs spread there by QAnonish operatives. The theories are not proof of potential wrongdoing by anyone other than those who perpetrate them and then wait as the demented loser clicks and scrolls away in a darkened White House late at night. What is yet to be proven is whether Trump himself has not authorized the proliferation of conspiracy theories in order to fuel the doubt fomented by his Big Lie.
The Environmental Lawyer
“You’re an environmental lawyer. How about you go back to your office & we’ll call you when there’s an oil spill.”
Richard Donoghue delivered this unsubtle insult to the ex-president’s suggestion that Jeffrey Clark be appointed AG, replacing his current boss Jeff Rosen. Donoghue asserted his status as Clark’s boss as Trump quickly became undecided about making the power-hungry bootlicker head of DOJ. The put-down clearly established for the chicken-bully president that there was an alpha male in the room who was marking off his territory- he easily identified the criminal incompetence he detected in the room. The impact of the insult was both immediate and chilling on a decision that seemed preordained. Clark was out-but that didn’t stop Trump. There is always a new plan, a new peril to avoid.
With the evolving scheme to vitiate the constitution and install himself as president-for-life finally unraveling, Trump continued his game of Whack-A-Mole. He ordered voting machines seized without evidence of fraud, threatened state and local election officials to “find” votes, defamed local election workers, and plotted to submit alternate elector lists from states he clearly lost. All would fail but not for lack of trying. In the end, Trump turned his tantrums into a storm. On January 6th he stepped in front of a mob he assembled and urged them to violence. He stopped with the niceties. He would no longer ask or plead for the votes he needed to steal an election. Trump along with his lawless cohorts demanded the presidency for himself. In an unprecedented call for the violent overthrow of an election, the petulant loser set them on the Capitol to harm all his enemies, including his Vice-President. Then, he sealed himself off in the White House and cheered on the assault on the Capitol. He watched with glee as the MAGA-inspired mob beat and threatened Capitol Police as the militia he called up sought out Nancy Pelosi, Chuch Schumer, and any other Democrat that could lay their hands on. As frightened legislators including those in his party called and asked him to call off the mob, Trump either insulted or ignored them, Clearly, Trump was enjoying the show.
A Smoking Gun
‘just say it was corrupt, and leave the rest up to me’
While Trump may have thought he was writing the script, it would seem that Bennie Thompson, Liz Cheney, et.al, had other thoughts, their carefully laid-out hearings tell the true story. His words leap from the transcript of the latest J6 Committee hearing. Their witnesses, most of whom are Republicans and former allies reveal what was said behind closed doors. Trump said the quiet part out loud. Counting on his own depravity and that of his corrupt friends in the Congress, Trump gave his critics the ammunition that should end his run. “Just say it is corrupt” is an admission that it wasn’t. For prosecutors and posterity, there are court cases, recounts, and administration officials’ statements that refute his order.
Like the puppet-model Jurassic beasts conjured up by Hollywood for spectacle and entertainment, Donald Trump conjured up the worst among us to unleash his war on democracy. Out from under the rocks that hid them came the white supremacists, the anti-semites, racists, and anarchist militias in support of their idol. And then on January 6th, as he finally decided to call them off, he couldn’t resist his true feelings for them. He asked them, politely, to go home. Their work was done for now. His tweeted message to the mob was an acknowledgment that they belonged to him:
“I know your pain, I know you’re hurt. But you have to go home now, we have to have peace. We have to have law and order, we have to respect our great people in law and order.”
In a follow-up tweet, he justified their actions that day and tied their crimes to his wagon:
“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”
Until Trump is dealt with legally for the crimes he inflicted on the nation, the peril continues. There cannot be a sequel to this horror show. Trump will reap History’s ignominy but deserves far worst. Lock him up. The party that allowed him to prosper in return for power, the rotted leadership who traded their party for political power should be destined for extinction.