Darkness already this early-evening Tuesday here in California’s Central Valley — despite it being night-like outside, darkness has been known to lie.
Even when it’s obvious:
This is the threat we face. It is not theoretical, it is not academic, and it is not off in the distant future.
Congress must pass the Freedom to Vote Act now. https://t.co/nu8adOZ4v4
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) January 4, 2022
A crucial point from Wendy Weiser, vice president for democracy at the Brennan Center for Justice (NPR this afternoon): ‘I am worried that if we don’t pass federal legislation, if we don’t put in place strong protections against election sabotage, that we are going to see a repeat of January 6 and that this movement’s not going to go away.‘
In a similar sense, Olivier Knox at The Washington Post yesterday:
Still, far from receding in history’s rear-view mirror, the story of the events leading up to the insurrection, the West Wing response, and the Republican party’s reaction to what has come to be known as Trump’s “Big Lie” that he was cheated out of a second term has only gained importance.
Away from what I have dubbed “crass politics,” the insurrection has had significant human costs, with many of those traumatized by the day’s events quitting jobs in which they had found considerable pride, my colleagues Paul Schwartzman and Peter Jamison chronicled this weekend.
They quoted one police officer, anonymously, saying that one thing that has made it hard to recover is the way Republicans have played down the insurrection — in some cases after fueling it.
“‘You see people don’t even appreciate what you’ve been through,’” he said.
“You’ve got people that we protect that were literally out there pumping the crowd up. What the f—?’”
Further, Eric Lutz at Vanity Fair, also this afternoon, described the cradle of violent lies:
In its immediate aftermath, the Capitol attack put the radical right on its heels. According to an Atlantic Council report out Tuesday, domestic extremist movements faced increased scrutiny following the riot, with social media cracking down on dangerous users and content and an ongoing parade of arrests of those who stormed Congress as it sought to certify Biden’s victory.
But, as the report also found, the right-wing extremist movements didn’t go away amid all that pressure.
They’ve simply adapted, finding or creating new platforms to spread their message; focusing on the grassroots level; and insinuating themselves into the mainstream of Republican politics.
“The domestic extremist landscape was battered by January 6,” the report’s author, Jared Holt, told NBC News.
“But extremism is dynamic and fluid. It is always trying to adapt to fit the container that it’s in.”
Such adaptations could make the January 6 extremist movement even more insidious; it’s easy to spot insurrectionists when they’re taking the Capitol by force, but harder, perhaps, when they’re entering with a lawmaker ID badge.
Congress is already home to something of an insurrectionist caucus, with figures like Marjorie Taylor Greene, Paul Gosar, and Lauren Boebert — three of the 139 House members who tried overturning the election — using their national platform to spread conspiracy theories, erode faith in the democratic process, and threaten political opponents.
The party has largely swallowed Trump’s election lies, with 71-percent of Republicans telling pollsters that the ex-president was the rightful winner of the 2020 election.
In the same Ipsos/ABC News poll, 52-percent of Republicans said the Capitol rioters were actually “protecting democracy,” a warped version of the events of January 6 that fits with what CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan recently heard from Trump supporters.
Yet they’re most likely lying about the lies, and the reality of them really believing that shit. In a sense, wing-nutters/MAGA hatters are just like the T-Rump, who lives to lie, and is actually built into the soul, the flesh/fabric of right-nuttery politics, from GQP assholes to pure-driven fascist thugs — always lie.
Even to pollsters:
Lots of polls out recording what Republicans *say* about January 6. But what they say should not be conflated with what they believe or think. Because bad faith is central to authoritarianism — not just for the leaders, but the everyday Republicans. https://t.co/ApHAc4K5YD
— Amanda Marcotte (@AmandaMarcotte) January 4, 2022
Amanda Marcotte at Salon, also this afternoon, the lying on a lie and its effect on the brains of one MAGA liar and how it infects them all:
Of the 725 people arrested so far for the January 6 insurrection incited by Donald Trump, perhaps one of the most telling stories is that of the very first person sentenced, Anna Morgan-Lloyd.
On Facebook, Morgan-Lloyd’s attitude about participating in a violent attempt to overthrow democracy was jubilant, declaring it the “best day ever.”
But, when faced with the possibility of prison time, she masterfully escaped punishment by pretending to be reformed.
After talking up all of the studying she did in jail about the importance of democracy and evils of fascism — she even claimed to have watched “Schindler’s List” — Morgan-Lloyd turned on the waterworks.
The act worked. Morgan-Lloyd was let off with a slap on the wrist, getting probation with no prison time. The judge seemed to sincerely believe her tale of being fooled into fascism and finding redemption through the magic of learning.
This is why he was furious later to learn that Morgan-Lloyd’s gut-wrenching show of remorse was all nonsense.
Indeed, it was only a day after she was handed her light sentence that Morgan-Lloyd was telling lies on Fox News, saying “we see nobody damage anything” and the rioters were “actually very polite.”
So was Morgan-Lloyd just delusional? Did she not have eyes in her head? Was she unable to see the violence plainly visible in the overwhelming amount of video and photographic evidence of the day?
No, of course not. As the judge who sentenced her later noted when issuing a harsher sentence to another rioter, hopes that her contrition was real were quickly “dashed.”
The lesson here is clear and should remain clear: Fascists lie. That is the nature of the authoritarian ideology, which doesn’t value good faith discourse in a democracy.
Indeed, they spit on democracy, or, as rioters in the Capitol reportedly did, they shit on it. All that the fascist respects is power and domination.
Lying, if anything, is valorized in the authoritarian ideology because lying is an expression of power. To lie to someone else — a judge, a journalist, randos on social media — is a display of dominance over them and contempt for their petty attachment to Enlightenment values.
Conclusion on this shit:
That’s why it’s so critical to abandon the hope that Republicans are merely delusional when they parrot the Big Lie. As the judge who sentenced Anna Morgan-Lloyd learned to his regret, authoritarians will say whatever they feel they need to in order to evade accountability, whether consequences come in the form of a prison sentence or merely having someone point out that they are racist.
Fascists lie, especially to pollsters, who are viewed as part of the “elite” class of pro-democracy forces they are trying to destroy.
Seeing them for who they are is the first step of fighting back effectively.
Liars will always be liars, GQP style. And to fight these assholes effectively it must be at the ballot box with strength and reality.
Even in song:
Here we are, once again…
(Illustration out front is of a New York state high-school student exhibit: ‘The piece was displayed during student-driven art show at Shenendehowa High School. It consisted of at least 12 identical black-and-white pictures of Donald Trump. There was also a sign above the pictures that read, “Draw on Me.” Using markers from the art classroom, some students opted to scribble critical messages and profanities on the pictures‘ — and found here).