I have been riveted, as I imagine most of the nation is, by the Impeachment Trial proceedings that have been live-streamed everyday. Wednesday, January 6th was hellish, but the following 24 hours became a Blursday as the world tried to comprehend the violations, assault and terror that reigned at the bequest of Trump.
The gravity of the Ex-President’s conduct (and there is some solace in being able to say, “the EX-President”), could not have been painted in flatter or more simple tones had Alex Katz wielded the brush. CSI couldn’t have documented clearer, more damning or more overwhelming evidence of what the Ex-President’s lies and propaganda wrought.
It was not the equivalent of “herding cats”. His was a serious call to arms. Playing a veritable Wicked Witch of the West, he directed his screeching forces of flying monkeys to attack. And attack they did. Feral Trumpeters, armed with steel bats and knuckles, tasers, guns, knives, zip ties and rope (for a hastily erected gallows noose reserved for Pence), marched in revved up masses to the Capitol, where they obliterated windows, doors and defending police or guards who stood in their way.
Globally, every major network is covering the trial live. Except Fox News, of course, who pulled the plug the second day in the middle of a House Manager’s testimony. Eric Swalwell, who chairs the Intelligence Modernization Subcommittee, was laying out compelling facts pointing to Trump’s complicity and austere control of the riot when Fox’s Tucker Carlson, like an embittered child who sticks his fingers in his ears and chants, “nah nah na nah”, chose to cut the broadcast off.
It is a sequestered mocking of the proceedings that fools no one. Fox has long been established as beholden and wed to Trump; it’s the main news network all his diehard supporters watch. The conspiracy theories, persistance of election fraud and unwarranted criticisms of the Democratic party have been fanatically propogated by the station’s coverage and devout allegiance to the Ex-President and Republican party. They would not want to bear witness to any averse information or reporting that opposed their views.
One of the most frightening scenes I’ve even seen in a movie occurs near the end of “Rosemary’s Baby”. Mia Farrow’s character, pregnant and having realized that there is a conspiracy of neighbors out to get her, runs into her apartment and locks the door. leaning on it, out of breath, sure she is safe; we see down the long hall behind her, all the people she is fleeing, silently tiptoeing in. It is a chilling moment that gave me nighmares for weeks. The idea of believing you are home, safe and protected. Completely unprepared or aware of an impending and threatening invasion.
Watching actual footage from the Capitol’s assault and rape, was no less terrifying. The empowered self-righteous crowd running like wild dogs after prey. The cat-and-mouse game of senators fleeing down corridors, only to pivot at the warning of a guard and charge back the opposite direction again.
The House Managers used red dots on projected diagrams to show where the throngs of attackers were, their paths and how close to the delegates and aides they came. I was a first-hand witness to the aftermath of 9/11, but unprepared for the trauma of this event. The havoc, abject fear, substained injuries and deaths that were intentionally triggered by the Ex-President, who watched the live actions from the sanctity of the White House, reportedly with glee. And chose not to intervene, to halt the destruction or aid those terrorized. Even after the impassioned pleas from Capitol police, struggling to contain the riot and protect the congressmen and women inside.
There is no misinterpreting the breach of his Oath of Office; his arrogant refusal to call off his “cavalry”, to put an end to the violence and destruction. It was Vice-President Pence who, ultimately, gave the orders to call in the National Guard that only then began restoring order. Pence’s noble demeanor and actions since the election results (refusing to accept Trump’s ludicrous and illegal demands), made him far more Presidential in behavior and bearing than his “boss”.
In his signature vindictive manner, D.T. then orchestrated the mob’s cries for Pence’s head. Recordings of the Tweets he sent and corresponding bellows from the crowds were part of the audio evidence presented. Had they found him, the falsely-enraged activists would have hung him from the gallows on the front lawn.
In his summary today, Lead House Manager, Rep. Jamie Rasking, quietly asked, “What is impeachable conduct, if not this?”