Monday, January 11, 2021

029 The Erickson Report for January 7 to 19, Page Two: Five Things Noted in Passing about January 6

029 The Erickson Report for January 7 to 19, Page Two: Five Things Noted in Passing about January 6

There is so much more that could be said about this. Every time I see a news item about it, I find something else that deserves comment. It's impossible to cover it all so I think I'm going to wrap this up with some quick takes. Consider it a focused version of Five Things Noted in Passing.

The first, it's been only lightly noted that there were Tweetie-pie-supporting rallies in lots of places outside of DC. Most were peaceful, but not all:

- In Los Angeles, Tweetie-pie troops clashed with police, who declared an unlawful assembly.
- In Olympia, Washington, the governor and his family were moved to a secure location after yahoos broke into the grounds of the governor's mansion.
- In Salem, Oregon, state police declared an unlawful assembly to keep Tweetie-pie acolytes away from the state Capitol.
- In Phoenix, the crowd tried to break into the locked capitol building, smashing a window in the process, while another group brought a guillotine with a letter saying they are ready for war.
- In Atlanta, senior staffers, including Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, had to be escorted out of the state capitol building
- And Georgia, Texas, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, and Utah took precautionary measures such as closing their state legislative buildings for the day.

Second, remember that I referenced the "unfocused rage burning" in Tweetie-pie's supporters. We would be wise to remember that some, maybe a lot, of these folks have genuine grievances, that they are no less liable to economic strains and stresses than the rest of us, that they are no less worried about their futures and the futures of their families than we are about ours. The reactionary corporate elites that dominate our economic lives have long excelled at taking that justified anger and directing it toward someone, anyone, other than them, that is, at getting people to blame the wrong targets.

Around 1998 I think it was, Bill Clinton of all people offered an image of a stereotypical family - working father, stay-at-home mother, couple of kids - with the parents pursuing the idea of a "good life" of sending the kids to college followed by a comfortable retirement.

But now, he said, the father hasn't had a raise in a few years and thinks he might be laid off at any time, and he looks at his family and feels he let them down, wondering "What did I do wrong?"

It's easy, Clinton said, for that sort of person to respond to a hot 30-second ad saying "You didn't do anything wrong. 'They' did it to you." The point being that the "they" here surely is not the corporate bosses.

The particulars may have changed in the last 20-plus years, but the game is the same.

Third, in line with Rule #13 of my "Rules for Right-wingers," which is "When all else has failed - and even when it hasn't - lie," we find various right wing flakes and Faux News hosts claiming that the mob that invaded the Capitol wasn't made of Tweetie-pie supporters, it was actually Antifa in disguise.

Fourth, one good thing - I suppose I can call it that - that came out of January 6 is that it has seemed to break the spell that Tweetie-pie had maintained over a major part of the GOPper party. People are breaking away from him, quitting the administration, openly criticizing him in a way that did not seem possible literally days earlier. It may that they thought it would never go this far, that the forces they unleashed could be contained in a way beneficial to them, or it could just be a calculation that he won't be as potent a figure post-presidency as had been thought.

In either case, it may not seem like much since it'd just mean we'll be dealing with ordinary reactionaries instead of fanatical ones, but I'll take what I can get.

Finally, we end with a Clown Award, given as always for meritorious stupidity. The winner this time is AFP, the French Press Agency.

The picture to the right had been going around to illustrate the difference in Washington DC security between that on January 6 with that, shown here, for a Black Lives Matter protest in June.

An AFP fact check declared the image "misleading" because it was labeled as security for the Capitol when in fact the BLM demonstration was at the other end of the Mall from the Capitol and the photo was the security for the Lincoln Memorial.

And so the Clown Award goes to AFP for noteworthy achievement in straining at a gnat and utterly, utterly, missing the point.

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