We watched the first congressional hearing about January sixth with great interest. I think quite a few people did but I have no way of knowing. Tucker Carlson’s show ran opposite it on Fox and he’s pretty popular I understand. I don’t know if his show ran two hours that night- special show to counter the hearing of an event that Tucker calls unforgettably boring or something clever. They thought it might be safer to run Tucker’s show with no ads so nobody watching Fox News would take a minute to channel surf and maybe latch onto the hearings. They were pretty riveting. They brought back the memory of that day which I feel almost universally horrified everyone. But then the spin machine started up and that’s what I don’t like and don’t understand well so I want to write about it. I didn’t watch any news yesterday, so I don’t know what is happening in reaction to that event. I know Republican party line is to want that day to go away. It was no big deal. Families touring the capital wearing their son’s team’s red baseball hats. Good hearted protesters. Love in the air as Trump put it. You could just feel the love in the air. A remarkable thing. A remarkable thing alright. It didn’t look like love in the air when you watched the video footage. It didn’t look like love int the air when every senator was huddle in fear behind locked doors as a mob roared outside. It looked like a bunch of rowdy and sort of organized people getting worked up to the point where they started to do some serious damage: windows broken, people getting hit with poles, squashed, shoved, punching and kicking and shouting, building breached, chants of “Hang Mike Pence”- oh my!, a woman knocked down whose head hit the steps and who then went unconscious. Luckily she had a thick wool hat on or it might have been curtains for her. As it was she’s been out of work since that day, but showed up at the hearing to testify, as did the documentary film maker who was there on January 6th shooting footage the two gangs, the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys. They showed up early, those two gangs. They never even went to Trump’s speech that day. They felt they’d been invited for different reasons. That’s pretty interesting. The tweeting Trump did was provocative. Unseemly for a president, and very suggestive. It’s how Trump works. Were there other communications between Trump and them? That’s a scary thought, isn’t it? So there is some stuff going on that the Republicans don’t want revealed. A number of Republicans who were involved asked Trump for pardons right after January 6th. That’s interesting.
So spin. Orwell writes about it. He’s got a character in Animal Farm, is it Napoleon, the pig in charge, who dances about engagingly, wags his tail and who says preposterous things: black is white, white is black. When I was younger and teaching that novel, I thought that was a little overdone. No one really says something that is the total opposite of what happened. That’s not overdone. That stuff is being said right now, and that is what I presume is happening with the Republicans now. They’re out there right now telling us what to think about events that they want us badly to forget and we will forget eventually. Some of us. Most of us? One of the classics of dystopia, Brave New World, Aldous Huxley has giant wall screens where Big Brother can communicate directly to all of the populace. And there’s a drug called Soma. it helped you forget. You could exist in a pleasant way- half asleep, watching the news. Is spin getting people to think the way you want them to? To believe something other than what they might think after seeing something? Manipulating what they think and feel? Are there some who would have you half asleep all the time, just going numbly about our daily lives, offering no resistance to the party line? No discussion. No argument. No thinking. No supposing. No debate. No voting. No public meetings? No freedom to let what’s on your mind out for fear it might be different? Is different bad? Different thought. Different attitudes. Different color? Different hair?
Are we there? Is Fox News that powerful that enough of us will just write off the events leading up to January 6th, and that horrific day itself will just be sloughed off as a few good intentioned patriots exercising their right to protest- no big deal. The election was stolen? Can’t blame them?
A fellow I taught with, Bob Perry, a science teacher, had a bumper sticker on his truck: If you aren’t outraged you aren’t paying attention. I thought that was a little over the top, back then, too.
What will happen with these hearings? I’ll watch more. And many people will. But there will be serious push back. Does Trump have that kind of power? Does this man child who can’t stand to lose and who throws temper tantrums to get his way really control that many people? He seems to have the Republican party by the balls. If there are any balls in the Republican party. And there are. Liz Cheney’s message to her fellow republicans, that Donald Trump will someday be gone, but that your dishonor in defending the indefensible will stay with you was a tremendously powerful statement. There will be some Republicans, who heed that. How will it surface? A different vote here and there? A comment made that changes someone’s mind. A move toward listening a bit more instead of talking over, shouting over your opponent? Jim Jordan loves to shout. I can’t stand it. It strikes me as a strategy. Mo Brooks showed up on the news the other day; he’s the one who was urging people to go “Kick Ass” at the rally before they went and kicked ass. Chris Hayes had asked him if he felt anything watching the mob kick ass after he had urged them to do just that. A chance to say something human? Are we hoping he’d feel some remorse? He’d say, oh gee I didn’t really mean that. I guess we are. He didn’t. He said he was addressing RINO’s. RINOS’s? Where did that come from. This was at a Trump rally. These are die hard Republican Trump supporters. They are not RINO’s. RINO’s was a term invented to denigrate any Republican who dared to think differently from what was becoming “standard issue” Republican thought. Someone who could listen. Someone who could think about what was being said, Someone who could diverge from the plan to consider something else. When did those become bad things? When there is an agenda hatched somewhere that is being forced is where that comes from. Just say this repeatedly. Stick with it. We’ve got this. Liberals are weak: they listen. They think. They change. We’re strong. Just say it. No matter what. United we can pull this off. Stick with it. Don’t waver. Never quit. We’re right. They’re wrong. Don’t listen. Just shout them down. Say they’re being lied to. Shout fake news. Keep it up. People are too stupid to follow a logical argument. Just push. We’ll make it. We’ll get to the promised land: A white male dominated, hypocritically religious, anti gay, anti black, anti Hispanic, anti immigrant, anti education, anti union, anti journalism, antic regulation, anti taxes, anti environment, anti government, anti human rights pro business paradise for us- us being rich Republican males who keep their women and children in check. The world belongs to US!
Nixon made a comment to some of his henchmen after he got caught at a much less grievous offense than what Trump and the Republicans are doing now, back in the Watergate hearings that if they’d had a tv station, they might have gotten away with it. Well let’s see what happens now. They’ve got their tv station.