Pat Byrnes sets the scene for tonight’s broadcast of the Jan 6 Committee hearing, and it does indeed promise to be a delightful, infuriating production, at least for those who (A) tune in and (B) tune in expecting to see what happened and hear why.
Today’s headline comes from a fellow who worked at an amusement park one summer and said the most maddening part of his job was hearing, every three minutes for 12 weeks, someone say “Here we go!” as he threw the switch to start the ride.
So here we go.
Well, some of us do. As noted, not everyone will tune in and not everyone who tunes in will be doing so expecting to see facts unveiled.
As Chris Britt (Creators) suggests, the MAGA crowd will be over at Fox, watching counterprogramming intended not simply to distract from the hearings but to implant disinformation, and their audience has been softened up and prepared to believe what they’re told.
It’s not just JFK Jr in the pizzeria, but it is that. The build up to that demented absurdity has been spin about immigrants, false claims about Benghazi and outright lies about pedophilia and groomers.
It’s a matter of conditioning people to believe the unlikely and only then unleashing the absurd.
RJ Matson raises the interesting point that the Republicans, through their media allies, are not only working to put voters in a bubble but are encasing themselves as well.
To what extent are they purposefully spreading lies and to what extent are they genuinely high on their own supply?
One factor is that the new Congress had only been sworn in three days before the insurrection, so that the Boeberts and Taylor Greenes and other frosh had no institutional memory to draw upon. It’s easy to lie to people with no frame of reference and have them believe you.
And we can’t expect a lot of deep thoughts even from someone like Louie Gohmert (R-Tx), who was entering his eighth term that day, but has not yet figured out that lying — under oath to Congress or when questioned by the FBI — can get you in trouble regardless of your political party.
There is no intelligence test required to run for office and voters like Good Ol’ Boys.
But what about the party leadership?
When you ask “What did they know and when did they know it?” you have to consider that there was a point when OJ Simpson and Jeffrey MacDonald knew who did it, but then they blocked it out of their minds.
However, neither of them made speeches revealing what they knew before they stopped knowing.
“We cannot just sweep this under the rug. We need to know why it happened, who did it, and people need to be held accountable for it. And I’m committed to making sure that happens.” — Kevin McCarthy, R-CA
Tonight may include a few clips revealing how many narcissists can dance in the halls of Congress.
MacDonald was convicted while a jury chose to disbelieve the evidence against Simpson, so place your bets.
The most realistic hope is that the hearings will remind moderates of what happened. Jeff Stahler (AMS) posits a couple, one of whom is dubious and one of whom remembers, and what divides them is that year and a half.
As noted yesterday, a rush to prosecute would have run the risk of acquittal, since hastily prepared accusations are often vulnerable and our system properly protects criminals against repeated attempts to convict for the same crime.
But the flip side of that is a drawn-out process in which the public loses focus. We’re seeing it now as the gun lobby and their Congressional minions delay and deflect the outrage over Uvalde, hoping — knowing — that if they stall long enough, passions will fade and they can resume business-as-usual.
A year and a half is a long time in the public consciousness, and not only has the horror of those scenes worn off, but we’ve heard enough chatter and blather that what actually happened that day has blended in with wishful thinking and purposeful spin.
Matt Wuerker (Politico) offers a hopeful vision in which he enlists a quote from General Winfield Scott about the counting of electoral votes in 1861.
It’s a helluva good quote, but we shouldn’t forget that, even when the electoral college votes from 1860 were fairly counted, not everyone agreed with the outcome.
Specifically, seven states seceded between the counting of the votes and Lincoln’s March inauguration, four more followed and 750,000 Americans died in the resulting unpleasantry.
The nice thing about that little kerfuffle being that most of the people who followed the flag lived in one part of the country and most of the people who defied the results lived in another.
I don’t think we can hope for that kind of geographic separation and demarcation if it happens again.
The New Confederacy is all around us, and their beliefs are being actively fed. There is a sizeable group who go along with AF Branco (Creators)’s contention that the hearings are a fake to distract voters from the failures of the Biden administration, which include his failures to bring down gas prices worldwide and to fight local crime.
Branco knows his audience. He and other rightwing cartoonists invariably show Biden with a sippy cup, because they’re playing to an electorate who honestly, sincerely believe that he’s the president who was barely able to drink from a glass using two hands.
They are the people Trump had in mind when he said he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any votes.
Laugh as you will about Jewish Space Lasers, but he wasn’t wrong and he’s got plenty of people, in the media and in Congress, willing to promote his cynical take on reality.
F’rinstance, Elise Stefanik, #3 Republican in Congress, has endorsed a candidate who says Buffalo and Uvalde were false flag operations targeting the 2nd Amendment.
These people vote.
Conservatives are celebrating the results of this week’s elections in San Francisco, but only a quarter of registered voters showed up. Guess who?
By comparison, 81% of voters made it to the polls in 1860.
Watch tonight’s hearings, but keep your expectations reasonable and your powder dry.
7 thoughts on “CSotD: Here We Go!”
Said sippy cup have been stolen from Clay Jones, who drew it years before in the hands of Trump. There’s homage, and then there’s laziness…
JP beat me to Branco’s theft of Jones’s sippy cup. He even colored it the same. Shame on him.
The San Francisco DA recall was a local dust-up that’s being made too much of. It’s not a repudiation of liberalism or a sign of anything bigger than itself. But, to fine tune your point, SF party affiliation is about 90% Dem and 10% Rep, so Boudin couldn’t have been recalled without a lot of votes from Democrats as well as Republicans. Folks are just sick of having their cars broken into and he–rightly or wrongly–took the hit for it.
Re: the Hearings, I’m reminded of the Saturday Night Live sketch in which TV pundits react to every Trump outrage with, “He’s in real trouble this time,” to which Kenan Thompson always answers, “Ain’t nothing gonna happen.” I hope for the best, fear for the worst. But at the very least it’ll be On The Record, so that future historians wondering what the hell happened will know that some people were paying attention.
Wow, I did not expect that SNL link to show up as an embedded video. It didn’t used to do that! Sorry for hogging the space, but if that’s a new capability of the software upgrade, I like it.
“It’s a matter of conditioning people to believe the unlikely and only then unleashing the absurd.”
Remember: “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” (Voltaire)
I see the sippy cup as projection. Trumpy right-wingers have taken that as their sole language. Everything is projection. If Trump is shown with something in a portrayal of a negative quality of his, a MAGA-friendly cartoonist will show that as Bidens. Probably helps that both are elderly man prone to gaffes.
Gotta read these before posting them. Especially when the keyboard letters are so faded. So much of typing stuff onto the internet is constant typo correction these days.
Should read as “Biden’s”, and “men”, not “man”.
In 1860, the ones who didn’t like the outcome of the election knew damn well that it had happened.
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