Play Stupid games, get stupid prizes.
It was the dumbest attempted coup in history. Rabid, frothing Trump cultists stormed the nation’s Capitol building on January 6, 2021, in an attempt to thwart the lawful, Constitutional duty of Congress to certify the electors for Joe Biden’s win.
My initial reaction to the riot was anger, just as it is when I see any unbridled destructiveness. It doesn’t matter if it’s Black Lives Matter looting sporting goods stores, as if new Air Jordans will bring racial equality, Antifa burning police cars and smashing Starbucks windows – for who knows what purpose – or the arrogant thugs of MAGA attempting to enthrone Trump by force. None of it is right. All of those involved should be [rightly] viewed as uncivilized, criminal, and dangerous to a free republic.
The distinction between what happened on January 6 and with every other show of mob violence, however, is that this was not simply destruction of property. This was an attack on our Constitution and the core of our society.
Cities and businesses can rebuild. Broken glass can be cleaned up. Cars can be replaced. While the costs of rebuilding and replacing can take a toll on the law abiding citizens who suffer in the wake of these mobs, how much more costly would it be to lose our free republic? How much greater the threat to the nation, it its entirety, would it pose, had the MAGA mob been successful?
For months, President Trump has been promoting “the Big Lie,” that the election was stolen from him. Before social media outlets banned together and suspended his accounts, he used those platforms to whip up his base, make threats against lawmakers who did not acquiesce to his demands to overturn the results of the election, and spread untruths, in general. His Twitter feed was littered with notices from site administrators that what he was saying was disputed, or found to be incorrect.
On the day of the Capitol siege, he encouraged the pro-Trump crowd gathered in D.C. to walk to the Capitol building and make their voices heard. He said he would walk with them.
He didn’t. He ran to another location and watched the chaos on TV. Some of those present described his mood as “enthusiastic,” and went so far as to say he had lost his mind.
Now, even after all that has happened, there are still defenders who say he never meant for things to get out of hand, and that he even tried to calm the mob down. That’s just not true. When he was forced before the cameras later in the day, he gave a weak call for peace. Even then, however, he told the insurrectionists that he loved them. His speech was heavily laden with victimhood.
So did he encourage the mob, or not?
Well, as the FBI and U.S. Marshals do their work and are arresting and charging those involved in the attack on democracy, the once-bold MAGA marauders are pointing straight to Trump. What’s more, they’re expecting Donald Trump to repay their loyalty with pardons.
Jacob Chansley is the idiot seen on video with the furry, horned headdress, shirtless, joining the mob inside the Capitol building. His online persona is the “Qanon Shaman.” He’s one of those idiots that follows the Qanon conspiracy theories, believing Trump is about to drop the net on an international ring of satanic child-molesting pedophiles.
Chansley took his LARPer act onto government grounds, was easily picked out of the crowd by federal authorities (Gee… I wonder how?), and now sits in a Phoenix, Arizona jail cell, being held without bail, because of his participation.
I assume his costume choice and the moniker “Qanon Shaman” were meant to intimidate. If that doesn’t do it, the note he left for Vice President Pence – a presumed target of the rioters, some of whom were heard to say they wanted to “hang” him – should do the trick. It did for authorities.
“Chansley left a note on the Senate Chamber dais, where Vice President Mike Pence had been presiding over the session just minutes before, warning ‘it’s only a matter of time, justice is coming.’”
Prosecutors said that when the FBI questioned Chansley about the meaning of his words, he “went on a lengthy diatribe describing current and past United States political leaders as infiltrators, specifically naming Vice President Mike Pence.”
“He said that he was able to get into the United States Senate in D.C. ‘by the grace of God.’ Chansley said that he was glad he sat in the Vice President’s chair because Vice President Pence is a child-trafficking traitor,” the filing said.
Ok, so he’s a total whack-job, and should rightfully be considered dangerous.
With that in mind, should he have the right to ask for any concessions, or a pardon? I’d say not, but his lawyers and his mommy say otherwise.
Jacob Chansley’s lawyer sent out a press release Thursday asking the president to “pardon those of his peaceful followers who accepted the president’s invitation.”
The emphasis there is mine.
Whether Trump’s actual intention was to incite his mostly ignorant followers or not, some clearly took his words as direct orders to overthrow the United States government, and they acted on them.
Laughably, Chansley is on a “hunger strike” in jail, because his delicate stomach demands only organic food.
The press release went on to read, “Mr. Chansley is an American; he served honorably in the U.S. military. He has zero criminal history. He is a lover of nature, routinely practices meditation is an active practitioner of yoga, and eats only organic food. He took seriously the countless messages of President Trump. He believed in President Trump. Like tens of millions of other Americans, Chansley felt — for the first time in his life — as though his voice was being heard.”
So he went from zero criminal history to attempting to overthrow our government, in order to install an authoritarian ruler. He faces a 6-count federal indictment, with a possible 20 year prison sentence attached.
As for his hunger strike and need for only organic food, someone should have warned him that federal prison isn’t Burger King. He doesn’t get it his way.
Revolution ain’t pretty, boy.
Along with Chansley, there is Jenna Ryan, the Texas real estate agent who flew a private plane to the riot. She, like so many other of the unamerican dullards of that day, was kind enough to put her face and full confession on video for authorities.
Here is Jenna Ryan of Frisco Texas admitting that she will be breaking windows! pic.twitter.com/cFmf1s9pqz
— Zoey (@maveryleans) January 7, 2021
Ok. So that, with other images of her entering the Capitol building, posing by broken windows, smiling as if she wasn’t part of a terrorist attack on our nation, should make this a pretty clean case for authorities.
Ryan’s tone, however, has changed. She, like the other entitled members of the mob, expects certain things from the outgoing president. There is to be payment made for her loyalty.
“I would like a pardon from the President of the United States,” Ryan said in a Friday interview with KTVT-TV in Dallas/Ft. Worth. “I think that we all deserve a pardon; we — I’m — I’m facing a prison sentence. Um — I think that I do not deserve that, and I think every person — you know — from what I understand — everyone’s going to be arrested that was there. So, I would — I think everyone deserves a pardon and I would ask the President of the United States to give me a pardon.”
“For me, personally, I do not feel a sense of shame or guilt from my heart from what I was doing,” Ryan told the station. “I thought I was following my president; I thought I was following what we were called to do.”
“I was displaying my patriotism when I was there, and I was just protesting,” she said further. “And I wasn’t trying to do anything violent, and I didn’t realize that there was actually violence, and it went way out of proportion, and I would like to apologize for all the families that are affected by any of the negative environment.”
“Patriotism” does not include rioting to overturn a lawful election, you bubbleheaded ninny.
“He asked us to fly there; he asked us to be there,” Ryan continued. “So, I was doing what he asked us to do. So, as far as in my heart of hearts, do I feel like a criminal? No. I’m not the villain that a lot of people would make me out to be or maybe think I am because I was a Trump supporter.”
Again, emphasis is mine.
Ryan, among other worries, is concerned about her career as a real estate agent. She should be. No freedom-loving, law abiding citizens should ever employ her, again. She, along with every other rioter, should be seen as the pariahs they are.
And what of the Pied Piper of seditious morons? What should become of him?
Donald Trump, because of his incitement, has now become the first president to have been impeached twice, and he did it in a single term.
It is unlikely that the Senate will take up the articles of impeachment and vote to remove him before Joe Biden’s inauguration, but there will still be a price to pay.
Donald Trump’s brand is now in the toilet. Businesses and banks are dropping association with the Trump Organization en masse.
The PGA, Deutsche Bank, and a host of others have turned their back on the would-be despot.
What began as a cynical ploy to increase his fortune and promote his brand has resulted in certain ruin. Nobody will touch him, after this inglorious display. He, and his brood of grifters, should be jettisoned from polite society into the stratosphere of historic opprobrium.
The Southern District of New York sits on “Go,” with a host of charges against Trump. With his presidential immunity gone, the next chapter of his life will be played out in a Manhattan courtroom.
And he deserves nothing less than the full penalty for his crimes.
As a nation, we should pray this period will be remembered and taken as a lesson. Had we heeded the words of Samuel Adams in 2015/16 – “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.” – how much better off would we be today?
We can now only speculate of what could have been, and begin the process of rebuilding our republic on decency and idealism, rather than corrupt intent and rancor.