They came to Washington D.C. in the days before January 6 to fight like hell against a stolen election. Trump and his dark money allies had spent $50,000,000 on ad buys hammering home the infuriating message that, like the lying Black guy before him, Biden was an illegitimate lying bastard fake presidential cuck. Trump himself tweeted this invitation:
On the morning that a Black pastor and a Jewish journalist replaced two die-hard Trumpist senators from Georgia, giving the illegitimate Sleepy Joe a razor thin majority in both houses of Congress, Trump’s most passionate people were there, fired up and ready to be wild and Stop the Steal.
What most in that large MAGA crowd did not know was that Trump had been meeting with a group of elected GOP representatives and senators, working the phones to state officials, threatening and cajoling state election board members, including a few he summoned to be his guests at the Trump Hotel.
They also probably had no idea he’d been working tirelessly to convince the DOJ to release a statement indicating widespread voter fraud, even though none was found, had considered replacing the acting AG with an American Eichmann-type, an ambitious weasel named Jeffery Bossert Clark willing to do whatever it takes, had wildly right-wing lawyer (John Eastman) writing a literal script for Pence to nullify Biden’s victory under bizarre, even absurd, constitutional claims.
They didn’t know Trump’s inner circle, Steve Bannon, Rudy, felon Bernie Kerick, John Eastman and others were in a war room at the Willard Hotel, paid for by the Trump Pence 2020 campaign, providing tactical support while the Stop the Steal rally and the MAGA riot were taking place.
They knew Mike Flynn, Rudy and Sidney Powell were in and out of the Oval Office, along with the MyPillow guy, in the days leading up to the Capitol riot, that Trump was capable of any lie that could possibly benefit him. Many in Trump’s crowd may even have known there was no evidence to establish any detail of Trump’s lie about a stolen election, a conspiracy in which Democrats and treasonous Republicans, including Federalist Society judges he had appointed for lifetime tenures on the federal bench, had worked together to victimize Trump.
If they had known all that, it would have made no difference to people eager to fight for the higher truth. Trump may be a compulsive liar, but he also knows exactly what his audience wants to hear to fire ’em up.
On the Opposition side, the Democratic party, we have incomprehensibly spineless leadership. The party’s hand-wringing leaders have been in deadly embrace with corporate titans and their legions of lobbyists, in spite of almost half of its shaky House majority Progressive Caucus members. This collective lack of spine and corporate dependence was accelerated by Bill Clinton, a people pleaser and the greatest Republican president of the twentieth century, under whom the corporate donor grip on the party was cemented. Clinton and the DNC were handsomely rewarded for the party’s unapologetic move to the political right, in terms of corporate generosity. Obama opted out of public financing of his first presidential campaign since he had out raised McCain by a good margin, largely from the financial sector.
In the swamp that is Washington D.C., where a coal lobbyist like Joe Manchin III, as chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee, freely casts the deciding vote on whether to mitigate looming, easily observable Climate Catastrophe, the Democratic party has had the same corporately beholden leadership for decades. Leadership that, while making sure corporate donors are never alienated, has allowed the GOP to exercise almost total control over framing public debate, legislation, judicial appointments, war making and every other function of government, whichever party is in power.
Do the Democrats have a problem with messaging? They certainly do, with the excuse that their message, like their policies, is nuanced, takes complicated realities into consideration. Do Americans understand that we are the only wealthy nation that provides no paid family leave to new parents? Do Americans know that we pay the highest rates in the world for prescription drugs made by our own pharmaceutical companies? Do Americans know that the world is on the edge of literal destruction, mass extinctions and the destabilizing dislocation of millions made homeless by rising sea levels caused by global warming? That our billionaires, required to pay less tax than their counterparts elsewhere, can easily evade most tax on their income and wealth? The some of our largest corporations not only pay no tax, but receive generous government handouts, funded by tax dollars?
On the GOP side you have the dozens of well-funded academic and policy initiatives by the Koch network amplified through Rupert Murdoch’s relentless media blitzkrieg, using simple, enraging arguments, often based only on strong opinions, to convince half the country that the Democrat [sic] party is a bunch of radical Communist puppets who work for, as Florida senator Marco Rubio accused them the other day, Marxist corporations here in the USA. Last week Little Marco told a conservative group:
“They are the product of decades of anti-American indoctrination at our elite universities and they feel no obligation to America or its national interest,” the Florida senator said of America’s corporate leaders. “I’m not here to tell you big business is the enemy. But I’m here to tell you big business is not our ally in the fight against socialism.” . . .
. . . “The real fight isn’t about the tax rate on billionaires,” Rubio said. “The real fight is about a small, radical, but incredibly powerful minority that wants to… erase our culture and traditions, throw away our values, and walk away from a free enterprise economy that is still the envy of the world.”
We all know the real enemy here, don’t we?
So, like I said, don’t blame MAGA nation for being good and goddamned mad.