This was a night unlike any other in American history.
Even if we already knew most of what we heard, the horror remains just as palpable and present.
I have lived a long life through several eras of American history. This, my friends, is one I never could have imagined. And it is one we must never forget. For the danger remains clear and unforgiving. The lies at the heart of this story — which culminate in the Big Lie — are now the official mantra of most of the Republican Party. Whether this corruption is due to cowardice, true belief, or cynical calculation doesn’t matter.
Our beloved United States, its foundation based on law and free and fair elections, was attacked in a manner meant to exploit its greatest vulnerabilities. And the motivation? An incumbent president's desperation to retain power despite a decisive defeat. As tonight's hearings illuminate, the words and actions of the former president indicate a total disregard for the wellbeing of the American people and government. He turned to the playbook of dictators, appearing unaffected by the prospect of a mass casualty event at the Capitol. He even put his own vice president into the sights of the bloodthirsty thugs.
Our national story contains many dark days and other moments when the very future of our country balanced precariously. Most of these instances occurred amid war: British troops burning Washington during the War of 1812. A tsunami of fascism in World War II. And the moment the Cold War almost exploded into global annihilation during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
In all these examples, the enemies were foreign. But there is one particular exception: the Civil War. It is fitting that tonight's opening statements began with a look back at another time when domestic enemies violently attempted to destroy our constitutional order.
Congressional hearings are often stages for grandstanding and histrionics, soundbites and political point scoring. The tenor tonight was thankfully, and effectively, devoid of that. The committee members know all too well that these events speak for themselves. The facts would be considered fantasy if they weren’t so well documented. The video presentations were devastatingly effective, as was the witness testimony of the brave officers who tried to hold the line. How can anyone who claims to care about law and order not be disgusted?
Is this really what happened? We know it was, and yet we are still stunned into disbelief. Are we remembering clearly the fear of that moment? The footage sickens us once more. The fear has never left.
Can the country endure if this travesty is sidelined in our national consciousness? A resounding no.
The juxtaposition of President Trump's words with images of violence make clear that this was not a mob, but a mission. The insurrection was premeditated, and we are lucky that it wasn’t a lot worse, for the lives of those being hunted and the continuation of American democracy.
More hearings lie ahead. And there will be time to parse carefully what we heard tonight, and what we might learn in the days to come. But unlike many Washington scandals, this one doesn’t demand we untangle a web of confusing details. The flow chart is pretty simple — as are the means and the damages.
The president knew what would happen, because he wanted it to happen. So he planned for it to happen. Others aided him, sharing his desire for the end of America as we know it.
In these difficult times when we are riven by division, it is tempting to say that none of this will matter. Until proven otherwise, I choose to believe it does. I yearn for our nation to repudiate this injustice and hold those responsible accountable.
Tonight, I hold fast to a favorite quote of mine from Alexis de Tocqueville that I have found to be true more times than imaginable:
"The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults."
It's pathetic for Barr to sit their and joke about how bonkers Trump's idea was, yet where was her? He knew that millions of MAGA dupes believed that lie, so why didn't he step up and appear in the media to refute the lie.
Meanwhile another lie goes unchallenged....the 2016 election was not fair, had many anomalies that have never been investigated, nor dealt with. For example, why did FBI partisan hack Comey not get fired in disgrace or charged with a crime for interfering in the election? The entire FBI should be investigated for corruption for him doing that.
When Trump called certain Governors and asked them to "find votes" that is a reference to how Ex-Gov Walker had stolen 5 (at least) elections for himself, Kleefisch, a recall that millions signed, and 2 seats, in two elections that actually belonged to Russ Feingold but was given to corrupt Ron Johnson. How did he do that? Well the Koch Bros have a money machine for Republicans to draw from, Reince Priebus, ect. On two occasions the Walker campaign initially lost a seat, Kleefisch suddenly came up with the exact number of votes to become the winner on her personal computer 7000+ votes. Not once, but twice this happened.
Now, there is no way in hell.....that was legit. Yet nobody did anything about it, to my disgust. This happened in two different elections. I don't believe in coincidences, but I definitely don't believe in two convenient votes found after they were losing by GOP candidates. That reeks of corruption.
Mr. Trump's actions showed the planet that we are a third world country. One that had a wannabe dictator for a president. This is NOT the Country whose Constitution I swore to "protect and defend", when I took my oath of office as an officer in the United States Air Force. And, it is not the Country that I was fighting for when I flew combat in Vietnam. January 6 made me ashamed to call myself an "American". I hope we can repair this grievous fault and become the leader in the World again.