Quote for the day

The practical effects of the fascist occupation of the U.S. Capitol building were quickly undone. The symbols it left behind are indelible.

A Confederate flag waved in triumph in the halls of a building never taken by Jefferson Davis. Guns drawn to protect the floor of the House of Representatives from violent attack. A cloddish barbarian in the presiding officer’s chair. The desecration of democracy under the banner “Jesus Saves.”

[ … ]

The coming weeks will see a gradually arriving reckoning. Political leaders who sought access and influence over the past four years through a political alliance with insurrectionists and domestic terrorists are responsible for unleashing insurrectionists and domestic terrorists. This is true of some Federalist Society conservatives, who cared only about judicial appointments. It is true of some economic conservatives, focused only on tax and regulatory policy. And it is true, above all, of Trump evangelicals, who sought to recover lost social influence through the cynical embrace of corrupt power.

Michael Gerson, Washington Post

Gerson is correct: Wednesday’s mayhem is who the Evangelical Right really is. They are not part of the decent, educated world; they are who the decent, educated world has been fighting for uncountable millennia.

They mewl piteously about religious freedom — and support a man who proposes religious tests as a condition of entry to the United States. They claim to have birthed America’s ideals and to love the Constitution — and spread feces through the halls of the world’s oldest Constitutional government.


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You read (much of) it here first

W-a-a-a-y back in 2016, I ventured some predictions about the incoming administration. Overall, I think I did pretty good.

If we assume — reasonably, I think — that his fans were more energized on election day than Clinton supporters, then he governs with a significant minority and from a position of popular weakness.

Just wait, then, till even the pea-brains figure-out that he lied to them, too, and that he really is just a plaid-suited carnival barker with the mean streak of a cheap thug.

This one I got wrong; as we saw Wednesday, the pea-brains never did figure it out.

My bad. I over-estimated their intelligence. And though I never spoke directly to the likely conduct of the GOP, I under-estimated their whorishness. Certainly, if I’d been asked, I would have said it would need less than ordering a mob assault on their offices to turn them against him. Again … whoops.

The courts in general, and the Supreme Court in particular, aren’t going to want to be closely associated in memory with the catastrophe of Donald Trump and the wholesale dismantling of more than two centuries of jurisprudence. He will inevitably win a few, but if I were a betting man I’d put my money on a lot of stony glares when the Trump administration swaggers into court to demand this and demand that. After all, even the most reactionary of courts can be expected to protect its own independence and prerogatives.

Correct. Trump and his sycophants have been laughed out of court after court.

Third, 81% of white evangelicals voted for Trump, and that will eventually sink into public consciousness, as in, Wait a minute! What are you saying? The church people gave us that piece of sh*t p***y-grabber?! Yep, they did — and that will be the tale of how the Evangelical Right and ‘movement so-called conservatism’ committed political suicide. They might make some noise, occasionally score a small victory … but they are done. The Trump administration, with its inevitable serial indecencies and corruptions, is their achievement, and they will never live it down.

Correct. Ain’t nobody rushing to kiss Franklin Graham’s or Albert Mohler’s ass nowadays.

Last, Trump has signaled plainly that he intends to neuter the media …

The bottom line here is straightforward: Neither the courts nor the press are going to be bullied into submission …

Correct. The press has done heroic work protecting the country the past four years, and exemplified the reason for their First Amendment protection.

Overall, not too bad.

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Plenty of warning

I suppose the D.C. police, and the Capital police, and the Sergeant-at-Arms will have their apologists but, honestly, I don’t know what to make of their failures yesterday to protect the Capital but that …

  1. Their respective leadership is grossly incompetent, or …

  2. They were cooperating with the insurrection.

After all … I knew that yesterday would be violent.

Somebody named Melissa Ryan knew yesterday was going to be violent.

I had a text discussion with my brother and nephew yesterday morning, and they knew yesterday was going to be violent.

But the pros, the people who draw a salary for protecting the District of Columbia … they didn’t see it coming?

I reject without equivocation any suggestion that nobody imagined Donald Trump would incite violence against another branch of government. He was inciting violence at his rallies w-a-a-a-y back in 2016, and he specifically threatened violence in connection with the Congressional certification of the Electoral College’s vote count; that what it means to say that the Deplorable One-third “… won’t stand for a landslide election victory to be stolen.”

Again, then, we are talking about gross incompetence, or cooperation with the Insurrection. In either case, there needs to be a wholesale cleaning of those organizations’ management ranks.

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Never forget: Y’all are no damn good, ctd.

Bruce Gerencser has published a post revisiting Christianity’s degradation of its followers; start here and be careful to read all the comments.

According to the Bible, we are the lowest of low, little more than dung beetles, slugs, or worms. Thanks to Adam and Eve eating fruit from a tree in the Garden of Eden, all human beings are born depraved sinners — haters of God worthy of having the judgment and wrath of God poured out on their heads. None of us can escape this condemnation. As soon as the egg unites with sperm in the womb of a woman, a new vile and repulsive sinner is created. We don’t become sinners, we are sinners. Or so says Christianity.

I occasionally marvel that devout believers seem to be oblivious to the abasement at the heart of Christian thought; it seems to be the sort of thing you can hear, or you can’t hear — and that’s that.

I am sure of this much: Once you have heard it, you can’t sit through a sermon and not hear it.

It has some ugly implications, too, and chief among them is that, in order to eat, Holy Men need for you to be miserable and convinced that you’re no damn good. Why else, after all, would you belong to his club? Because you love to listen to the bad soloists?

Emphatically, this is not to say that Pastor Bubba knowingly makes his flock miserable; I think, rather, that Pastor Bubba has bought into, and sincerely promotes, a belief system that if taken seriously can have no outcome but human misery. Think of all the times you’ve heard some preacher howling and bellowing that you must aim to eliminate self-interest and self-direction from your life because all your desires are evil, because whatever originates within you is evil. Think of all the times you’ve heard some preacher say you’re not the parent you should be unless pleasing Jesus is more important to you than your children, that you’re not the spouse you should be unless pleasing Jesus is more important to you than your spouse.

Family values, my ass. Christianity is innately hostile to the instincts of healthy life.

Self-loathing is not innate to any of the other Abrahamic faiths, but is at the center of Christian thought. Why? Where does that come from? Honestly, I don’t know, but the most plausible explanation I’ve ever encountered is in Bishop John Spong’s suspicion that Paul was gay.

Paul was a student of the Law. If homosexuality was his condition, he knew well that by that Law he stood condemned. His body was a body in which death reigned. He lived under that death sentence. What Paul knew himself to be, the people to whom he belonged and the Law to which he adhered called abominable, and Paul felt it to be beyond redemption. Is it not possible, even probable, that this was the inner source of his deep self-negativity, his inner turmoil, his self-rejection, his superhuman zeal for a perfection he could never achieve?

We’re never going to know the truth about what turned Paul on but, yes, it’s a plausible idea that explains a lot. And, frankly, it tickles me to imagine that, after millennia of Christians tormenting gays, it may be the case — granted, inadvertently — that gays have returned the favor.

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Delusional tweet of the day

No. The electors were certified by their respective states, and Vice-president Pence does not have the power to alter that; his role tomorrow is purely ceremonial.

Surely there are people around Trump who can tell him that? Or he has heard that said by some Constitutional scholar on television?

There is nothing to believe here but that Trump is deliberately sowing confusion. But why? No explanation presents itself but that he hopes to ride an enraged mob to a second term. Tomorrow, then, when D.C. is expected to host a slew of demonstrations, will be a critical day for the life of the country.

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