What exploded in our Capitol on Jan. 6 is an outrage, a desecration of America’s democratic ideals.
I don’t merely mean the ransacking and terrorizing of our Capitol by violent Trumpeteers who were deluded by the lying, megalomaniacal president into thinking they could throw out the votes of 81 million citizens. Rather, let’s also shine a light on those pious establishment peers who’ve practically knocked one another over in their rush to the microphone so they could assail the mob and call for decorum and healing of the angry political division in our society. For example, the GOP’s Senate leader, Mitch McConnell, called the invading horde “thugs” and prissily lectured, “Self-government… requires a shared commitment to truth and shared respect for the ground rules of our system.”
Excuse me, Mitch, but for the past four years, you have been President Donald Trump’s most destructive Machiavellian monkey-wrencher in Congress. You’ve relentlessly stomped on truth to amplify Trump’s lies, and you’ve recklessly rigged legislative ground rules to ram his plutocratic, autocratic agenda into law. You even stoked his depraved narcissism: For weeks after it was clear that Joe Biden had won the presidency, you cynically fed Trump’s fantasy that he had won, helping spread a furious disunity across America. The mob that you deplore for rampaging into your inner sanctum of power and privilege is of your making — they’re your angry political chickens coming home to roost.
It’s a scream (and a disgrace) to see not only McConnell but also self-aggrandizing icks such as Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Ted Cruz now posing as righteous statesmen, clucking somberly about the sad excesses of Trump. The reprobate Cruz, for example, unctuously proclaimed, “we must come together and put this anger and division behind us.”
Yes, legal authorities should investigate and prosecute the orchestrators and perpetrators of the mob violence, but the perpetrator in chief must be the first one called to account for his desecration of American democracy, along with McConnell, Pence, Cruz and the other fawning elites who selfishly enabled his madness.
You can’t poke into any issue in Congress without stumbling over sacks full of corporate campaign donations, and the recent eruption of pro-Trump mob violence inside the U.S. Capitol exposed the boodles of that special-interest cash to public view.
Much to the embarrassment of major Wall Street banks, Silicon Valley tech giants and CEOs of brand-name corporations, hundreds of thousands of their political dollars were traced to the mayhem in our Capitol. Specifically, their money was going into the coffers of 147 Republican lawmakers who backed the fraudulent Trumpster’s attempt to overthrow the presidential election. Acknowledging the damage these revelations did to their public image, the corporate funders responded forcefully. How? Well, many issued press releases firmly condemning violence and anti-democratic mobs. Wow… that’ll make things better!
OK, in fairness, quite a few firms added a bit of bite to their bark by suggesting that maybe they wouldn’t be so cavalier about tossing out political contributions in the future. Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs announced they would “pause” donations to all candidates. Blue Cross Blue Shield, Marriott and Dow Chemical said they were “suspending” donations to the 147 congress critters who voted to reject the people’s choice. Delta, FedEx and Walmart declared they are “monitoring” the situation. And 3M said it is putting a hold on its political giving.
Notice the profusion of wiggle words in these professions of corporate principle. The executives are really not biting the system but merely gumming it for a while. … Then, once public attention has drifted, the corporate-congressional complex will be back to business as usual. After all, while they deplore Trump’s racism, sexism, xenophobia and overall immorality, the profiteers have gleefully taken it all to the bank, rationalizing and legitimizing his corrupt presidency.
It’s not armed rioters from outside the system who are the main threat to our democracy but the insiders who keep manipulating the system to take more money and power at our expense.