It was visceral. Gripping. Echoing within the otherwise deathly silent Senate chamber, the voice over the radio was strident, strained, alarmed almost to the point of panic, the officer shouting above the fray that his unit was being overwhelmed. We’re taking projectiles! Let capitol know they have breached the scaffolds! They are behind our lines…We’re flanked! 10-33! We have been flanked and we’ve lost the line! This wasn’t the sort of stuff that eavesdroppers would have expected to hear over their police band radios. It was beyond shots fired, beyond even officer down. It was more like an echo from the jungles of South East Asia, as if a routine patrol had gone disastrously wrong, and now frantic calls for artillery support were crackling over radios at the remote fire base as it dawned on the queasy commanding officer that one of his companies had stumbled into an ambush and was about to be annihilated by thousands of NVA, massed somehow where nothing approaching that sort of force was supposed to be. 10-33 the cop shouted, the police code for emergency, but it might just as well have been broken arrow. It might just as well have been coming from Ia Drang, or Dak To, somewhere from which an anguished radio call like we have been flanked and we’ve lost the line wouldn’t have run so jarringly counter to the presumed context.
This is where Trump and Trumpism had finally left us. The crazy fuckers waving their MAGA banners and Confederate flags were kicking in the doors at the Capitol, the thin blue line was collapsing, and you could feel it, you could hear it in their voices, the fear, the confusion, the sweaty disoriented disbelief. There’d been warnings of agitation to come on the sixth, and maybe the cops on duty were expecting some sort of trouble, but whatever they’d conjured in even their darkest imaginings, it wasn’t this.
The Republican reaction? Josh Hawley, he of the clenched fist, made a show of being elaborately bored, his feet up on his desk as he pretended to read something irrelevant. Others looked at their shoes, or doodled. Many napped. Rand Paul got up and left for a while. When the day’s presentations were over, Lindsey Graham, still, apparently, in the thrall of his tangerine monarch-in-exile (or at least terrified, as ever, by The Base), had this to say:
So much for coming to Jesus.
When this is over, and Trump has once more been acquitted, a few things simply have to happen. First, America needs a new political party. The GOP needs to be left behind to become the rump organization of enraged Caucasian idiots and MAGA monsters, while the few sane Republicans regroup to form something principled and genuinely conservative. Meanwhile, the Democrats need to take charge. They need to nut up. In the wake of this fiasco, they have to move fast to fix everything that’s wrong, and part of that means abolishing the rancid filibuster once and for all before ramming their so-called “progressive” agenda right down the miserable bastards’ throats, just like they rammed theirs down ours. There can be no compromise, no negotiation, and no wavering. If that means somebody has to take Joe Manchin out back and show him the light of sweet reason by way of an aluminum baseball bat, good, and let’s get on with it.
America is burning, Trump is cackling and planning his next move, and the insufferable reactionary cretins across the aisle aren’t a political party – they’re a crime family. They’re a bike gang, the KKK without hoods, the Michigan Militia in suits and ties, and the only way to save the Republic is to reform it, root and branch, before it’s too late. That means electoral reform. It means campaign finance reform. It means tackling gerrymandering and voter suppression, reviving the Civil Rights Act, legislatively overturning Citizens United, granting statehood to D.C. and Puerto Rico, expanding the Supreme Court, rewriting immigration laws, changing the tax code, and passing reams and reams of legislation to strengthen the social safety net and undo decades of Republican vandalism, right across the board from health care to labour laws to climate change to public investment in infrastructure and scientific research and development. The more those pasty-white pricks in the Freedom Caucus howl, the better. The Dems have got to go in there, every day, day after day, and shit-hammer the bastards with one bill after another until the Mitches and Lindseys and Teds are all hoarse from screaming and convulsing in fits of frustration, and they have to do it in time to prevent the next mid-terms from being rigged by State-level organs of the GOP, which are everywhere bringing in new laws to curtail voter registration, mail-in voting, and anything else that makes a fair election that actually reflects the popular will possible. Step one should be an absolutely ruthless and expedited use of the reconciliation process to enact all $1.9 trillion worth of Covid relief. Then the filibuster, and then everything else.
For the love of Christ, Donkeys, get on the stick. The bastards remain faithful to the witless autocrat who sent his mob to kill them all, not just you. The insurrectionists sacked the joint, put them all to flight, and came within a stone’s throw of lynching the Vice President, and still they don’t care. They sat there, listening to the tapes of the overrun Capitol Police making frightened pleas for help, and all but yawned while painting their toenails. They aren’t worth talking to. You have the power. USE IT. Time for an end-run that flanks them right back, and hear this: you may never get another chance. If all is lost now, that’s on you.