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Musing on January 6th

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It's been less than a year since Jan. 6, 2021, and we have not even declared it a national holiday. That could be because there's nothing to celebrate. Plus, there's a bunch of long weekends already squeezed in a short space of time. Besides, we'll get to a four-day workweek soon enough, and then what? A three-day workweek on holidays?

Besides, sentencing has hardly started for the alleged Jan. 6 insurrectionists. In fact, the investigation hasn't concluded for the mass crime that some dare call treason and some, particularly Republicans, dare call a bunch of innocents who, while taking a tourist trip to the Capitol building, were met with a fusillade of law enforcement overreaction. But if you believe the polls, only the partisans would have such flights of fancy.

Those include devoted followers of Donald Trump, the former president -- and current president, if you really believe that he had the chief executive job stolen from him by Joe Biden. Most people don't really believe that, save for the hundreds who stormed the Capitol, particularly those who are among the 695 arrested and, as I said, just a few sent behind bars. Many of the rest have not even been arrested as prosecutors sift through the gazillions of images on social media. There are 78 people behind bars, hundreds out on bond, and one of the most bizarre ones of all got his judicial comeuppance recently.

Forty-one months was the sentence handed down by the judge to Jacob Chansley, better-known as the "QAnon Shaman" or the guy dressed in skins and horns carrying a spear, who seemed to be seen everywhere. Two weeks after he was arrested, he was still defiant, saying, "We shall have no real hope to survive the enemies arrayed against us until we hang the traitors lurking among us."

He was singing a different tune in court, describing himself to Judge Royce Lamberth as a "good man who broke the law."

The man he was pledging allegiance to, Donald Trump, is himself still under investigation in a variety of venues for participation, directly or indirectly, in planning the Jan. 6 event.

 

One would think that Republicans had learned a lot since then, but one of the Republicanest of all, the hardest of the hard right, Rep. Paul Gosar from Arizona was censured in the well of the House of Representatives and removed from his membership on two committees. Censure is the lesser in severity only to expulsion from the House. The discipline was determined after he posted on his Twitter and Instagram accounts photoshopped satires of him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the leftist of the left. He went on in the same video by attacking President Joe Biden, the middlest of the middle.

There was wide sentiment, especially among Democrats, to remove him from Congress, but Gosar was only censured. There was a time when the shame of censure would cause him to slink away in embarrassment, but the state of politics these days is such that he probably will be considered a GOP hero. But then, it would be unthinkable in years past that a mob of mutineers would storm the Capitol building in a deadly riot only because a sore loser was able to convince millions of Americans that one of the most carefully planned and fastidiously run elections in recent memory had been part of a "big steal." And that instead of creeping off in disgrace, the man at the head of this huge cabal, Donald Trump, is the leader of his party with a good chance of winning reelection the next time around.

If that happens, it will be the end of the United States of America. There won't be a national holiday for the demise of what was once the very proudest nation of all.

(c) 2021 Bob Franken

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

 

 

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