June 27, 2022

And so, where are we now?

A time of great hope. “For lo, the days are hastening on by prophets’ bards foretold when with the ever-circling years comes round the age of gold, when peace shall over all the Earth its ancient splendors fling and the whole world give back the song that now the angels sing.”

As I write the committee looking into the events of January 6, 2021, have been going public with their hearings.

Many Republicans have claimed that this is all a democratic hoax and a witch hunt, that the Democrats need to get past it and move on.

And ever since those events about a year and a half ago, Republicans have been attempting to whitewash what happened in the Congress on January 6, 2021.

They claimed that day was like any other day in Washington, just a group of tourists visiting the Capitol, that in speaking to his rally, Trump was simply exercising his right to Freedom of Speech, and that the events that kept our elected representatives hidden away in different rooms of the Capitol for their own safety, weren’t so bad after, all, and so, onto the Mid-terms.

The only way the Democrats and America can get past it is to know exactly what took place on January 6, and both before it and after it.

Even the Supreme Court claimed the need to deal with those events, by denying Trump’s bid to keep his papers and phone calls secret. They said at any other time they would have supported such a bid, but the events of January 6 were so serious that the American people had the right to know the truth.

And so, we have just heard the first five hearings and my sense of Americans and indeed the whole world who is watching are in shock.

It began with opening remarks by Benny who said: This is not about past events; it is about present threats to American democracy. And then Liz Cheney laid out in meticulous detail, what amounted to a prosecutor’s arguments in court, about Trump’s responsibility for in sighting an insurrection, a blatant attempt to overturn the election that he lost.

Long before the election itself, when Trump’s handlers told him his numbers were slipping in the polls Trump said: If I lose the election, it will be because the election was rigged, a case of fraud. And since the election he has been claiming the election was stolen from him, referring to it as “the big lie.”
And the Republican Party in general has been supporting his claim that the election was stolen. In order to be a Republican, it was necessary to believe “the big lie.”

The first hearing began with videos of the mob who stormed the Capitol, looking for Nancy Pelosi, chanting hang Mike Pence, carrying weapons and ammunitions, looking for elected representatives everywhere.

Only the quick thinking of a few Capitol aides who hide our elected reps in different rooms of the Capitol saved our government that day. And that first hearing included photos and an interview with a policewoman who helped fend off the mob that day. She herself suffered a concussion, and the footage shows that this was nothing like an ordinary day in the Capitol. The mob was bent on destruction. All that saved the members of Congress was the courage, the bravery of a few policemen who risked their lives to save the lives of political reps, by leading the mob away from the rooms where they were hidden. This was not a day like any other day in the Capitol. At one point, the mob were about 40 feet from the room in which Mike Pence and his family were hidden. This was an armed insurrection on the part of Trump inspired supporters.

And surely democracy had a Guardian Angel looking after it that day, because all the disasters that could have happened did not.

And so, the hearings have unfolded. Immediately after the election Trump and his allies were determined to overturn it, by arguing fraud.

What is amazing in these hearings is a kind of detailed evidence coming out about Trump and his allies tried to overturn the election, late night phone calls, recorded videos, interviews with witnesses. And this is not at all a democratic hoax, virtually all of the witnesses are Republicans, and they are senior Republicans at that.

Almost immediately after Trump the election and began to try to overturn it, his Republican team in the White House, beginning with Bill Barr, the head of his Department of Justice, told him that he had lost the election, that every case of fraud they looked into was a lie, that the election was fair, Trump had lost it, he now needed to concede it, and enable a smooth transfer of power to the new government.

All of them claimed that the election was not stolen, and in his many talks with Trump in early December on, the country witnessed Trump becoming increasingly delusional, to the point where Bill Barr doubted Trump’s connection to reality, and thereafter resigned.

All of Trump’s team were senior Republicans, they endorsed Trump, supported Trump, hoped he would win the election.

But when they heard the kind of criminal practices that Trump and his allies were using to claim the election a fraud, they told him no, you cannot do this. The election was not stolen. You lost it, now move on.

The American people heard the former President making endless phone calls to State Republican officials in Georgia and Arizona, leaning on them, thinly veiled threats of danger, in order to force them to change the votes. And they refused. The whole country heard the former President, almost hysterical in tone of voice, trying to force state reps to do his bidding.

The committee also heard about the kind of pressure Trump and his allies used on Mike Pence to get him to falsify the votes of the Electoral College, to scrape the certified vote, to get the state governments to submit a different slate of voters in support of Trump.

This was the plan of one of Trump’s lawyers, to enable him to claim fraud in the election.

We also heard the ways Trump attempted to force his own new Department of Justice heads to overturn the vote: Just say the election was corrupt and I and the Republicans will know what to do about it.

His top officials threatened to resign, along with all of the other members of this Department of Justice, if he tried to do anything like this. And then, with the help of a p Republican politician, Trump attempted to put in place a different head of the Department of Justice, who was not qualified for the job whatsoever, and who was quite willing to write a letter to all of the state’s political figures proposing this effort to falsify the vote already certified, in a free and fair election, to claim that Trump after all had won the election.

And so, the people who came forward as witnesses were Republicans, and indeed, those on Trump’s election team. They supported Trump’s bid for the presidency, but when he lost, they refused to endorse his blatantly criminal attempts to overturn the election.

And that, in fact, the election was not stolen at all. There is no big lie, the election wasn’t stolen.

So now, where are the Republicans? They made themselves the party of the big lie, that was the most important credential for being a Republican.

And now, despite their attempts to show a unified front, the Republican Party is split. There are Republicans who support Trump no matter what he does, and there are Republicans of great integrity who refuse to engage in this kind of essentially criminal activity Trump is demanding.

And now, wither the Republican Party?

Republicans supported Trump in the election of 2016 because he was popular in the polls, his ratings were high, they believed that he could serve their desires to be reelected.

What has happened is that they gave away all of their power and policies to become the party of Donald Trump: Yes Donald, of course Donald, whatever you say Donald.

They became a party of wimps never daring to speak out against Trump’s opinions or practices, because they knew he would insult them publicly, and they would lose their seat in government.

In recent months, there are Republicans tiptoeing away from Trump, hoping he will not see them, supporting other candidates from those endorsed by Trump.

And now what? Liz Cheney made a decisive comment: Trump will one day be gone, but the Republican Party will never survive their shame.

Now, after the first few hearings polls across America indicated that 60% of Americans thought Trump should be indited.

We live in scriptural times, where what is said in the dark will be heard in the light. We have heard Trump’s personal phone calls, and his threats to state officials, to his own Department of Justice, and now according to the commission, more and more people are coming forth as witnesses to what happened, how Trump and his allies were conniving and scheming to overturn the free and fair American election. For many Americans, the mob of Trump’s supporters storming the Capitol, was the last straw given the sacred significance of the Capitol in governing American democracy and find all the criminal intents to overturn the election, quite frankly: Revolting.

And so, there is no big lie, the election was not stolen, it was free and fair according to the Republicans themselves, and so now what? The party is split, all that unites it is “whatever the democrats propose, we will block it.”

They have no policies, to offer the American people and they can no longer unite behind “the big lie.”

I end with a reference to a conservative Judge, Michael Luttig. The committee asked him to close the hearing, he preferenced his remarks by saying: I never thought I would be saying words like this. It was a short quote that baffled many people, but in his own deposition to the committee, he gave a striking testimony. He warned about the war. There is a war going on in America, we no longer share values, senses of right and wrong, political discourse have degenerated into name calling, and increasingly violent words and actions. He called for a new emergence of unity.

Yes, there is a war, there has always been a silent civil war and now it is out in the open. There has been a silent civil war between the rich and the poor, the haves and the have nots, men and women, cops and People of Color, and those who are skimming the cream of the system versus those completely marginalized by the system.

And the good news of these times is that this silent civil war is now out in the open, so we can finally deal with it, and its basic terms and causes.
My belief is that in fact there is a tremendous sense of shared values among young people. They prescribe to gender equality, racial equality, and economic equality. And they want to see the Earth nurtured and cared for, a world based on the Truth of ecology, the Truth of the Earth.

And so, Judge Luttig calls for a new unity to emerge everywhere. By talking to one another.

Forget the endless name calling, the violence and virulence of all discourse, and the death threats, even now being made to the committee. We need to talk to one another. And he proposes that this begins with leadership, that what is left of the leadership of the former regime, the Republican leadership, needs to come out of the woodwork and to work with the Democrats.

That the problems now facing both Americans and the whole world are so great that they require everyone to go beyond Democrats vs Republicans, I would call it simply: People helping people, people helping the Earth.

What is left of the old Republican leadership needs to get past it. It is not the Democrats who need to go beyond the events of January 6, but it is the Republican Party itself.

A great many ordinary Americans find all of this criminal activity, supported by Republicans at many levels and depths, is revolting. The Republican Party is split at this point, between those who continue to echo the big lie in favor of Trump, and Republicans of great integrity, putting the truth of the constitution and American democracy and how it works, before Trump’s refusal to give up power, his determination to stay in power, by any means possible. And so, when legitime elections fail him, he resorts to violence.

And so, the Republican Party is split. It needs to return to the drawing board and reconstruct itself, from the ground up.

At this point, the Republican Party is in deep trouble. No plans, no policies, and no Trump.

The Republican Party needs to rethink itself from the ground up and it needs to change.

The Mitch McConnell’s of the world need to cross the aisle and say to the Democrats: We will work with you.

And so, wither the Republican Party? Most Americans are quite disgusted with this endless TV reality show about Trump and have simply moved on.

And now, the Republican Party needs to catch up.

And so, stay tuned.