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Does The Country Care about the January 6 Hearings?

June 11, 2022

Jan 6 hearing

Will the January 6 hearings make any difference? I hope they will, but I am very doubtful. Last night’s opening provided compelling detail–some of it new–but what we saw was not all that different from what was presented during Trump’s second impeachment a year and a half ago, and we all know what happened then. Nothing.

The truth has been in full view for any who have eyes to see. On various occasions during the 2016 election campaign and during his presidency, Trump was asked repeatedly whether he would accept losing an election. His response was always evasive, which clearly signaled that the true answer was “No”.

When it actually happened, he did everything possible to overturn the election and stay in power illegally. A few Republican “leaders” like Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy initially expressed shock and dismay calling Trump’s actions “unacceptable”. Simultaneously, however, eight Republican senators and 139 Republican representatives voted against certifying Biden’s election on January 6—AFTER THE INSURRECTION. When it counted–at the impeachment trial–every single Republican senator except Mitt Romney voted against impeachment, thus signifying that what had happened was, in fact, acceptable. And, indeed, something to be defended.

Since then, the Great Lie about the “stolen election” has had a year and a half to metastasize and become a battle cry in MAGA land. Cults are impervious to reason and facts. Faith doesn’t demand proof; the faithful just believe. The Republican Party’s position is absolutely clear. Whose mind is going to be changed now?

I vividly remember watching the Watergate hearings in the summer of 1973. It was a different country then. Americans might have been divided over Vietnam, but they still found Nixon’s actions shocking, even though what he did was utterly trivial compared to staging a coup in order to remain in power. The country paid attention, in part because there were only three networks and all of them broadcast the hearings live.

I don’t see that happening now. Where’s the outrage? Where’s the mobilization against the fascist direction that the Republican party is trying to take us? The mood of the country seems to me to be one of sullen, cowed resignation. There are too many distractions available. People don’t want to be bothered. Everyone expects the Democrats to lose the midterms. Biden is unpopular and has become a late-night punching bag. Gas costs too much! Nobody cares that every day isn’t a new scandal like it was when Trump was in the White House. Maybe we kind of miss it. At least it was entertaining, and entertainment is what we all want. Does anyone think Trump wouldn’t win in 2024? If not Trump, then there are plenty of Trump Mini-Me clones waiting in the wings.

We don’t believe that government can work for the people anymore, because it doesn’t. We can’t even raise the legal age to buy AR-15s to 21 following two horrific massacres—that would be too “radical”. The campaign waged by Republicans (with some Democrats’ assistance) for the last 50 years to discredit government has succeeded. The MAGA crowd has been convinced that the last election was rigged, and Republican-dominated legislatures across the country have been working diligently to insure that the next one WILL be rigged—in their favor. Then elections won’t even matter anymore.

I think we are living in an American version of the Weimar Republic, when our democratic institutions are perilously fragile and vulnerable and everyone is too distracted or exhausted or just trying to get by on crap wages to give a shit. We are getting dangerously close to the black hole of fascism and may already have passed the point of no return. I really hope I’m wrong.

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