The Mason Missile, January 21, 2021

Greetings, Americans!

The moment we’ve waited for has come-Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. is now the 46th President of the United States. Kamala Devi Harris is the first female, the first African-American, and the first Asian-descended Vice-President of the United States. We have hope once more for America.

I was appalled, disgusted, angry, over the raid of trump worshipers stampeding into the Capitol building as the members of both Houses were voting to formally confirm Joseph Biden and Kamal Harris as, respectively, President and Vice-President of the United States.

For weeks ever since he DID INDEED lose the election, trump and his minions, in Congress, in state legislatures, and in the right-wing media apparatus (Newsmax and One America), kept harping on the “rigged election” myth. (Doesn’t the party in power have the power to rig the system? Anyway…) Giuliani and the trump legal team kept going to the federal courts to somehow overturn the election results, complaining about the voting machines and blaming China for trump’s loss, as if the 81 million votes for Biden had nothing to do with it.

From the election to today, gangs of pro-trump mobs, some of them armed with assault rifles, have tried and nearly succeeded in raiding locations where votes were being tallied. The Oregon state capitol building in Salem was attacked by such a mob-there are pictures of a pro-trump legislator opening a back door for them to enter.

The mob that stampeded through the Capitol in Washington on January 6-I’m not trying to be nice about it here-threatened to kill Speaker Nancy Pelosi and hang Vice-President Mike Pence, over the count of the Electoral College vote; a crew of Senate clerks, God bless them, carried with them the leather box the Electoral College votes were stored with them to the secure location-true heroes in this tragedy. The mob urinated and defecated on the floor of the Capitol, and one genius stole a podium with the Speaker’s seal on it, smiling like he won a prize.

One Capitol Police officer, Brian Sicknick of South River New Jersey, was beaten to death by the mob-the same “Back the Blue” crowd who wanted the protests against police violence in minority communities repressed; this crew was dong the rioting, and they didn’t want “law and order” applied to them. Sicknick, may your memory be a blessing. (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/01/12/brian-sicknick-new-jersey-hometown-us-capitol-police-officer/6647020002/) Ashlii Babbitt, an Air Force veteran, was deeply involved in the “stop the steal” movement and the QAnon cult; she was in on the raid, trying to break down the doors into the Capitol, before she was shot fatally. (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/09/ashli-babbitt-capitol-mob-trump-qanon-conspiracy-theory)

Another hero in this episode is Eugene Goodman, an African-American Capitol Police officer who, when facing a herd of trump rioters, pushed one of them and they chased him, luring them away from the hall leading to the Senate chambers, saving their lives. He has since been appointed to the position of Deputy Sergeant-At-Arms for the Senate, and had the honor of escorting Kamala Harris during the inauguration. Bravo, Goodman! (https://www.newsweek.com/eugene-goodman-hailed-former-airborne-corps-1561455)

The raid was a serious threat to our democracy, an attempt to stop the peaceful, lawful transfer of power from one party to another in this country, which has been the admiration of the world; the loss of life was real and tragic, yet so many of them acted like it was some big party. I saw the clip of Elizabeth, from Knoxville Tennessee, walked away crying “I got maced!”, and her reason for being there was, “We’re storming the Capitol! It’s a revolution!” (https://www.wbir.com/article/news/twitter-reacts-to-elizabeth-from-knoxville-who-says-she-got-inside-capitol-in-viral-video/51-cda4bc47-66a2-4559-8caf-0dd872fb1c27) She was just so shocked-shocked I tell you! that the Capitol Police did their job-protect themselves and the building, and the people in it; she thought it was, like I said, some big party, not thinking of the consequences to themselves or to the nation.

We have to comment on the security preparations prior the rally and raid; there is no doubt that if this mob was comprised of people of color, the response from the police and security forces would have been violent, as with the police assaults on the Black Lives mater protests throughout the country last year. But these were white people, and the response initially was pretty mild; there was the shot of the police opening the gates to allow the mob through, and of one Capitol cop taking a selfie with them. And, instead of herding the rioters into the patty wagons and into the lockup, they just let them walk out, like they were tourists at closing time. The rioters had a great time in all this, posting themselves all over social media with their antics. 

But the consequences were real, as real as the injuries and deaths at that time. Several of the people in the mob were identified, and have since lost their jobs and were arrested. In the lead-up to the rally and raid, the participants communicated their positions all over Parler and Gab, social media sites favored by the farthermost right-wing. For its role in the raid, Parler was removed from the web-hosting systems of Amazon, Google, and Apple (https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/09/tech/parler-suspended-apple-app-store/index.html)- but not before Parler’s data, including the locations of the Capitol raiders, was “scraped” out of the site, (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/01/12/cybersecurity-202-parler-scrape-puts-some-capitol-rioters-legal-jeopardy/, https://techbeacon.com/security/scraped-parler-data-reveals-countless-capitol-perps) , thus providing a goldmine of information to law-enforcement agencies to track them down.

And trump himself? He spoke at the Save America” rally prior to the riot, still denying to the crowd and himself that he lost, with the slogan “Stop The Steal,” complaining about “weak Republicans” (the ones who kept telling his Biden won, and there was still no voter fraud) and threatening to “primary” them in two years; demanding that Vice-President Mike Pence “come through for us” and invalidate the Electoral vote count (he has no such authority,   https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/trump-insists-that-pence-can-decertify-results); cursing his favorite scapegoat, the news media, “the enemy of the people”; saying “We’re gonna walk down to the capitol” (he didn’t join them; we watched the whole disaster on TV) and adding, “You’ll never take back your country with weakness, you have to show strength.” (https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/watch-live-trump-speaks-as-congress-prepares-to-certify-electoral-college-votes-for-biden) After the rampage he instigated, trump nicely tells the crowd, after repeating the “stolen election” myth, “But you have to go home now. We have to have peace, we have to have law and order” (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-01-06/trump-says-stay-peaceful-after-urging-supporters-to-protest), denying any responsibility for the disaster.

Trump had his enablers, such as Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, who kept perpetrating the “voter fraud” story and demanded an investigation to unfounded and unspecified instances of such fraud, and scapegoating Facebook and Twitter. (https://apnews.com/article/election-2020-joe-biden-donald-trump-michael-brown-josh-hawley-8d868c985792e932f9bc527ec2f2ab30)

Another lackey is Ted Cruz of Texas-you remember, trump insulted Cruz’s wife’s looks, and slandered his father as an accomplice the JFK assassination; he also joined Hawley in the chorus of lies and willful misinformation. (https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/cruz-leads-11-gop-senators-challenging-biden-win-over-trump) There are demands that these two, along with House Republicans who pushed this fraud, thus undermining confidence in the electoral system and encouraging the raging mob that could have killed them and their colleagues, to resign, and I’m for this.

Now, the trump rioters are being identified, thanks to their social media postings showing them having fun trying to wreck the democratic process; and Biden and Harris are now sworn in to their offices. Now, Republicans, including such trump enablers as Congress-mess Jim Jordan of Ohio, have been pleading for all of us to forget the raid, with its deaths and damage, forget the lies and slanders leading up to the raid, and put it aside for the sake of national unity, and not impeach trump. (https://www.rawstory.com/jim-jordan-impeachment/). The tough-on-crime, law-and-order party can be pretty flexible when people in their administration’s get into legal trouble. Not at all! True healing can’t happen if the perpetrators of these crimes are running loose, getting ready for another assault on our democracy (such as it is).

Conservatives and Republicans have always felt themselves privileged to get away with any crime against democracy, from Gerald Ford pardoning Richard Nixon after Watergate, through George Bush the First pardoning the masterminds of the Iran-Contra affair, to the Bundy family raiding federal facilities, to the “militias” raiding state capitols in attempts to stop the count of Electoral College ballots. The end of this nonsense starts NOW.

We, the American people, have made the democratic system work in this country; and so people who have been on the margins of our society-African-Americans, Native-Americans, women, LGBTQ people-and taking their place in the political process. Real and serious issues can now be addressed; but we must keep on Biden, Harris, and their team to make the change we need, for the good of the people. We have shown we can do it, and we’ll keep on doing it.

Stay safe, stay strong, and stay together! America will be free! Bye!     

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