Monday Reads: Of Insurrectionists and Fools

Good Monday Sky Dancers!

Anita Malfatti, The Fool, 1913, (Museum of Contemporary Art of University of São Paulo, Brazil)

The Republican Insurrection Show continues.  Watching the Cult of the Stupid hurts my head but we must see these things. First up is what I consider a “big fucking deal”.  We’ve heard that many members of Congress and their staff felt that there were colleagues handing out free tickets and maps to the building.  CNN has evidence of it: “Video appears to show GOP Oregon lawmaker telling protesters how to enter closed state Capitol”.

An Oregon state lawmaker who has been charged after he allegedly allowed protesters into the closed state Capitol building during a debate over Covid-19 restrictions is seen in new video appearing to give insights into how to access the Capitol, which led to a scuffle between protesters and police.

Rep. Mike Nearman, a Republican, appears in a 78-minute video in which he is speaking to an unidentified audience about steps to take to set up “Operation Hall Pass,” according to a clip reported by Oregon Public Broadcasting that is posted on YouTube and says it was streamed on December 16, 2020.

It is unclear if he is aware he’s being recorded.

At the beginning of the video, Nearman tells the people in attendance this will allow them to “develop some kinds of tools as far as knowing what the legislature is doing and how to participate in what the legislature is doing.

Later in the video, the Oregon state representative and the audience were discussing people not being able to access the Capitol because of Covid-19 restrictions. He then begins to detail how to possibly get access into the building and whom to call.

“We are talking about setting up Operation Hall Pass, which I don’t know anything about; and if you accuse me of knowing something about it, I’ll deny it. But there would be some person’s cell phone which might be … but that is just random numbers that I spewed out; that’s not anybody’s actual cell phone. And if you say, ‘I’m at the west entrance’ during the session and text to that number there, that somebody might exit that door while you’re standing there. But I don’t know anything about that, I don’t have anything to do with that, and if I did I wouldn’t say that I did. But anyways that number that I didn’t say was … So don’t text that number but a number like that,” Nearman says to an undisclosed audience.

Franz Kline
Large Clown (Nijinsky as Petrouchka) c.1948

There’s more.  It’s becoming abundantly clear that this was a premeditated event, well planned, and included elected officials.

Amanda Taub and From Doomsday Preppers to Doomsday Plotters.  Far-right movements have long dreamed of a moment that ends society as we’ve known it. Now, experts say, so-called accelerationist thinking is proliferating in ways that could destabilize democracy.”

For QAnon it is “The Storm,” when mass violence will topple the elite cabal of pedophiles who they imagine to be running the government. White-power groups in the United States have long promised a catastrophic race war. And in Germany and Austria, neo-Nazis herald an imagined putsch on “Day X” — when the democratic order collapses and they take over.

All are examples of “accelerationist” ideologies, which promise a moment when the institutions of government, society and the economy will be wiped out in a wave of catastrophic violence, clearing the way for a utopia that will supposedly follow.

Accelerationism has long been a feature of white-power groups and other far-right militias. But now, experts say, accelerationist thinking is proliferating in ways that could threaten not just public safety, but the stability of democracy itself.

“In many ways we can see how Jan. 6 was a kind of loosely formed coalition around this idea of accelerationism,” said Cynthia Miller-Idriss, the director of the Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab at American University, said of the attack on the U.S. Capitol Building last January.

Mainstream leaders, she believes, are failing to heed the risk that coalition could pose. “My fear is that we are, as a country, starting to treat that like a one-time fluke rather than as a potential turning point.”

“I have thought a lot about the parallels with the Weimar Republic,” the fragile period of democracy in Germany whose collapse allowed the Nazis to take power, she said. It was marked by a series of attacks, failed coups and other efforts to undermine democracy. And even though actions like Hitler’s beer-hall putsch failed, German democracy was ultimately not strong enough to withstand the chaos.

The poor fool (c.1914-1915) – Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso(1897-1918)

CNN also reports that Congressman Eric Swalwell has served Mo Brooks with a lawsuit.  This is the lede: “Rep. Mo Brooks served with lawsuit related to his role in Capitol insurrection”.  This is a wild little story you can watch if you’d prefer.

Alabama GOP Rep. Mo Brooks was served with a lawsuit filed by California Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell seeking to hold him partially accountable for the January 6 insurrection, according to a tweet from Brooks and an attorney for Swalwell.

“Well, Swalwell FINALLY did his job, served complaint (on my WIFE). HORRIBLE Swalwell’s team committed a CRIME by unlawfully sneaking INTO MY HOUSE & accosting my wife!” Brooks wrote on Twitter.

Swalwell’s legal team had had difficulty serving Brooks and hired a private investigator to give him the papers, according to court filings. Swalwell’s attorney, Matthew Kaiser, told CNN Sunday that a private investigator had left the papers with Brooks’ wife at their home in Alabama.

CNN is unable to corroborate Brooks’ claim that Swalwell’s team committed a crime. CNN has reached out to the offices of both Brooks and Swalwell for comment.

The Swalwell legal team has not formally notified the court that Brooks has been served, but that likely will be coming soon. The process server will have to provide a sworn affidavit to the court, as is typical in this procedural phase of a lawsuit. Serving the papers is important because it starts a clock in court for Brooks, the defendant, to respond to Swalwell’s accusations, which seek to hold him, ex-President Donald Trump and others liable for the January 6 attack on Congress. If Brooks doesn’t believe he was properly served, he will have the opportunity to contest it in court. >

Outcast Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney is still at it. From Mychael Schnell at The Hill: Cheney compares Trump claims to Chinese Communist Party: ‘It’s very dangerous’.”

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) is comparing former President Trump‘s election claims to those of the Chinese Communist Party, concluding “it’s very dangerous and damaging.”

“When you listen to Donald Trump talk now, when you hear the language he’s using now, it is essentially the same things that the Chinese Communist Party, for example, says about the United States and our democracy,” Cheney said on “The Axe Files” podcast, which was released on Monday.

“When he says that our system doesn’t work … when he suggests that it’s, you know, incapable of conveying the will of the people, you know, that somehow it’s failed — those are the same things that the Chinese government says about us,” Cheney continued. “It’s very dangerous and damaging … and it’s not true.”

Cheney’s remarks come nearly one month after she was removed from her leadership position, in part because of her anti-Trump stance. She repeatedly called out Trump for his false claims of election fraud and refused to give credibility to his belief that the 2020 election was stolen.

Cheney was replaced by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) as House GOP Conference chair. Minutes after her ouster, Cheney vowed to “do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office.”

“In the Studio” (1975). Philip Guston

Well, that’s not subtle at all.

In other news, Dixicrat Joe Manchin continues his performance art as the last fool standing.   From WAPO and James Downie: “Joe Manchin’s mighty delusions”.

Sen. Joe Manchin III is at it again. In the Charleston Gazette-Mail on Sunday, the West Virginia Democrat announced his opposition to the For the People Act and doubled down on his commitment to keeping the Senate filibuster. He coupled the op-ed with appearances on “Fox News Sunday” and CBS’s “Face the Nation” — a media tour that cemented his status as the country’s most infuriating politician.

What makes Manchin’s stances so aggravating? It’s not that his views are insincere. Unlike with some other senators, there’s no doubting the West Virginia senator’s earnestness. He hasn’t changed from running as a Green Party candidate and ardently backing a higher minimum wage to merrily voting against it, as Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) has. He hasn’t consistently promised to put principle over party only to fall in line when Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) commands, like Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) or a number of other Republicans have.

Perhaps the issue is the laziness of Manchin’s centrism. Rather than a mix of substantive policy stances, some left and some right, Manchin simply takes the middle of the two parties’ stances. For example, President Biden wants a 28 percent corporate tax rate, while Republicans want 21 percent. So Manchin backs 25 percent. Democrats want a $15-an-hour minimum wage, while Republicans want $10? Manchin supports $11. One gets the sense that if Manchin were told one side believes two plus two equals four and the other side believes it equals eight, he’d conclude that it equals six — and that saying otherwise divides the country. But this approach is not unusual in Washington, particularly among media voices who cling to a “both sides” view of politics. So that is not the crux.

The rich fool
Original Title: De rijke dwaas
Date: 1627

The Supreme Court’s latest move as provided by NBC: “Supreme Court declines to hear lawsuit challenging male-only draft. Three justices said the court’s longstanding deference to Congress on military issues cautions against taking the case while lawmakers are considering changing the law.”

The Supreme Court declined Monday to consider the constitutionality of a federal law requiring men, but not women, to register for the military draft when they turn 18.

As is its usual practice, the court didn’t say why it wouldn’t take the case. But three justices, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Brett Kavanaugh, said the court’s longstanding deference to Congress on military issues cautions against taking the case while lawmakers are considering whether to change the law.

federal judge in Texas said the law violated the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection. But a federal appeals court overturned the ruling, concluding that it was bound by a 1981 Supreme Court decision upholding the men-only requirement.

One last thing and it’s your turn to respond and share!

So have a good week! What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

18 Comments on “Monday Reads: Of Insurrectionists and Fools”

  1. dakinikat says:

    There was this event in NC that made Trump look really bad but watching him still makes me vomit. So, here’s a highlight that he’s still pumping up the other traitors.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    I love the paintings!

  3. bostonboomer says:

    The Seth Abramson post is subscribers only. He’s not reliable anyway.

  4. quixote says:

    I feel oddly sympathetic to the Burn It All Down goons. I feel the same way. Sort of. The only difference is that I want them gone forever.


    (Plus I guess another difference is they don’t have to be dead. Just SHUT UP and stop trashing the world.)

  5. roofingbird says:

    Seriously, if you can’t pass the ERA, and the draft us one reason why we didn’t(Schalfly), why should women be drafted?

    • darthvelma says:

      I’m willing to put women into the draft on two conditions: 1) that they make abortion legal at any time without exception and 2) actually start doing something about rape in the military.

      Otherwise we’re being forced to defend a country that doesn’t consider us fully human AND being forced into an organization where we can be raped with impunity.

      What I’d prefer is that no one be subject to the draft. If you can’t get enough volunteers to fight a war then you don’t need to be fighting it.

      • roofingbird says:

        I take your point, but if we don’t have constitutional equal rights, those things are pieces of the whole. It’s not enough for me.

        • bostonboomer says:

          Luckily we don’t have the draft, and I doubt it would ever be reauthorized. The military doesn’t want it.

  6. palh says:

    If more bills depend on delusional Manchin’s support, Biden, we, and our Democracy are in deep trouble.

    • palhart says:


    • quixote says:

      That he and Sinema have not yet been forced to shut up and sit down terrifies me.

      (Plus I have this nagging resentment about why the Repubs never have to deal with that kind of thing. They can vote down the impeachment of a treasonous seditionist with barely a defection. The Dems can’t get the support for a completely obvious voting rights bill to fix what Roberts broke. /endless screaming/)