America is at a crossroad/fork-in-the-road, yet we try and maintain a sense of normal in the chaos: Comfortable and nice this early-evening Tuesday here in California’s Central Valley — another sunshine sparkled day without even a slight hint of that shitty tule fog.
This being the Left Coast, some things come naturally.
In other places, a bit short on the draw.
Meanwhile back east in Louisiana, Democrat Gary Chambers Jr., candidate this year for US Senate in an attempt to unseat asshole John Kennedy, kicked off his campaign today with a video clip of him smoking a doobie, calling for the legalization of marijuana.
Nutshell via ABC News this morning:
Chambers, who is Black, opens the new ad titled “37 Seconds” by lighting and smoking a joint as a stopwatch clicks in the background.
He says someone is arrested for possession of marijuana every 37 seconds.
“Black people are four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana laws than white people. States waste $3.7 billion enforcing marijuana laws every year,” he goes on.
In 2021, a Louisiana law decriminalized the possession of up to 14 grams of marijuana. The fine is now $100 or less and no jail time.
Also last year, the New Orleans City Council pardoned 10,000 cases of marijuana possession for anyone convicted after 2010.
Chambers, who has never been arrested, ended the ad saying, “Most of the people police are arrested aren’t dealers, but rather people with small amounts of pot, just like me.”
He talks like an average American nowadays, though, he most likely won’t get elected. America is in a bad place right now, and no matter the popularity of anything, the problem is that doesn’t really matter. In our current situation, the coming November election might be once again a big-time deal. If the Republicans win back control of Congress we’re f*cked in the daytime for a long while.
It’s a wonder, however, how a horrifyingly criminally corrupt set of people can get away with it. If as the shape of our nation continues in its present motion, the future is shitty.
And Republicans are cruel, nasty assholes who shouldn’t be trusted at all, period. And we need to go after their asses, too. Yet apparently we’re in a web of brutish threats to keep the lid on the worse conduct of a US political administration/operation in all of American history.
The House January 6 select committee might be stepping back from going after T-Rump’s allies in Congress — nasty-ass Republican threats of retaliation:
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) January 18, 2022
Shitty details from Hugo Lowell at the Guardian this afternoon:
The House select committee investigating the Capitol attack is weighing whether to subpoena some of Donald Trump’s top allies on Capitol Hill as it considers its options on how aggressively it should pursue testimony to move forward its inquiry into the January 6 insurrection.
The Republican House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, and Republican members of Congress Jim Jordan and Scott Perry may have inside knowledge about Trump’s plan to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s election and whether it was coordinated with the Capitol attack.
But the outright refusal of McCarthy and the other Republican lawmakers to testify voluntarily with the investigation has intensified discussions among the panel’s members and investigators about whether to force their cooperation.
The select committee is undecided on whether to take that near-unprecedented step, in part because of one major concern that has emerged in recent days, according to two sources familiar with the matter: Republican retaliation against Biden and Democrats in future inquiries.
But the one major recurring worry raised in discussions, the sources said, is that subpoenas might create moral hazard of Republicans plotting an onslaught of partisan investigations into the Biden administration should they retake the House after the 2022 midterms — as many observers think likely.
Republicans in Congress have openly floated the prospect in recent days of launching political investigations into the Biden administration’s coronavirus response, the withdrawal from Afghanistan, the personal life of Biden’s son Hunter, as well as an impeachment inquiry.
In response, some members and investigators on the select committee have quietly raised the possibility that if the panel declines to subpoena Republicans now, then a Republican majority might not subpoena Democrats in the future, the sources said.
This is just part of a much-deeper and more serious problem with Republicans’ anti-democratic bullshit — the general public has no real idea of the precarious shape of the country right now. If the GOP does retake Congress we as a nation for the past 250 years or so will be toast, and most-likely T-Rump taking back the White House in 2024, an event which would be beyond horrible, in so many different ways and levels.
In contextual politics, Amanda Marcotte at Salon, also this afternoon, explains the state of affairs with rank-and-file Americans not paying close attention to the reality of details:
The problem is that the voters who are swinging hard to the GOP know basically none of this. Instead, they assume that the Republicans are a normal political party.
There are lots of people to blame for this, of course. Biden and Democrats didn’t do themselves any favors by spending the past year talking up “unity” and “bipartisanship,” instead of focusing like a laser on the fact that the GOP is actively conspiring with Trump to cover up for January 6 and perpetuate his war on democracy.
The media also plays a role, exhibiting an unwillingness to challenge Republicans directly about their anti-democratic ideology.
But, ultimately, the biggest problem is the utter lack of accountability for any of the prominent Republicans involved in Jan. 6. Neither Trump nor any Republican leader has been arrested for their efforts to steal the election that led up to the Capitol riot.
So far, the only people who have been arrested for the Capitol insurrection have been the people who actually stormed the building or far-right militia types who coordinated their actions that day. So that ends up reinforcing the impression, especially with people who don’t follow the news very closely, that the riot was a result of a bunch of self-directed fringe characters, and has nothing to do with the mainstream Republican Party.
Unless the cuffs start coming out for Trump and his fellow elite Republicans, it will be hard to convince these voters to see the insurrection as anything but an anomalous event, instead of part of a larger anti-democratic conspiracy.
The logic of the typical low information voter isn’t all that hard to parse: If Trump and other Republicans had actually tried to commit a coup, then why aren’t they in jail for it? It’s a serious crime, after all.
The lack of arrests sends a strong signal that it must not be that important. Most people tend to consume a lot more “Law and Order” than they do investigative pieces by the Washington Post.
They likely won’t read the umpteenth investigative piece on this complex coup.
They would, however, notice Trump and GOP members of Congress getting arrested.
But, by definition, low information voters aren’t going to get into the weeds on this sort of thing. They glance at the headlines, see Trump is still free, and assume therefore that he didn’t do anything worth arresting him over.
They continue to view him as a jackass and not a criminal. Unfortunately, “jackass” is someone that a lot of people will vote for, as previous elections and current polls showing Trump neck-in-neck with Biden demonstrate. Without the public perp walk, a significant number of people won’t see Trump as the mastermind behind Jan. 6.
So Democrats will continue to fail to paint Republicans as the authoritarian insurrectionists they actually are.
Maybe those public Jan. 6 committee meetings this year will fight a fire. Hope so.
Yet the sticker:
Once again, though, here we are…