Let’s quickly recap the facts surrounding his terrorist assault on the United States of America, both to recall the truth and dispel the lies now being spread by the liars in the MAGA “prolife” cult.
John Podhoretz (not exactly a communist) summarizes who is responsible:
This rally itself happened because Trump called for it. The crowds gathered because Trump called for them. They moved to the Capitol down the Mall because Trump said they should. The breach of the Capitol is Trump’s fault. Some in the crowd have stormed the Congress.
Donald Trump unleashed a mob on Capitol Hill. What he has done is without precedent in American history. Even if he had seven minutes left in his presidency, he should not be permitted to spend another second as the President. Nancy Pelosi should call an emergency session of the House tonight and impeach the president, and Mitch McConnell should convene the Senate tomorrow and call a vote to remove Trump from the presidency.
For a slightly more detailed timeline, Sam Rocha provides a good summary which he posted the day after the terrorist attack:
MAGA BEFORE JAN 6: “On Jan 6th, we will #StoptheSteal in the largest demonstration in US history, there will be millions there, bring tents, bring buses! Send money!”
TRUMP BEFORE JAN 6: “Come to DC on Jan 6th MAGA Patriots, I will be there, it will be huge, we will #StoptheSteal!”
MAGA ON JAN 6: “We are here, we will primary the RINOs, we are going to #StoptheSteal!”
TRUMP ON JAN 6: “I will never concede! Go to the Capitol, make sure they do the right thing!”
CONGRESS ON JAN 6: *Begin a joint session of Congress to certify the ballots sent by the Electoral College as is their duty under the US Constitution.*
MAGA LATER ON JAN 6: *Does what Trump tells them by marching to the Capitol and, upon arrival, proceed to shit their pants through a sloppy insurrection, intimidating or fighting cops, occupying offices, looting rooms; one of them is shot who later dies, several are wounded, four die in total. A pipe bomb is planted and the dress code is tacKKKy or buffalo costumes and their language is profane and illiterate. They also take and post loads of phones pictures and videos of themselves proclaiming “We are in the building, we will be back!” and other fort-playing childish nonsense; some pose for selfies with cops and they do not wear masks for COVID or anonymity—one genius even wore his work badge and was fired the next day.*
CONGRESS ON JAN 6: *Forced into an emergency recess.*
TRUMP LATER ON JAN 6: “I love you and understand, the election was stolen, but you have to stop now and go home.”
CONGRESS LATE ON JAN, INTO JAN 7: *Certifies the Electoral College’s ballots, after a few objections that are voted down and many more that lack senate support are squashed upon arrival—even the senators who object do so with hesitation and others withdraw their objections entirely. Biden is officially elected president.*
MAGA JAN 7: “We weren’t even there, Antifa did this.” (This, by the way, is exactly what a child does when they blame their sibling or classmate for what they clearly are guilty for.
TRUMP JAN 7: *Lost all his social media privileges like a naughty child the day before and is also losing his cabinet through a series of resignations and issues a concession speech. (The ultimate effect of this Stop the Steal rally has been a total self-own: these idiots forced the president to finally concede the election.)*
CAPITOL POLICE OFFICER BRIAN SICKNICK ON JAN 7: Dies of wounds sustained being bludgeoned by a fire extinguisher by MAGA domestic terrorists. He was 42 years old.
To those who say “the media” gave me this narrative, I mostly watched this happen in real time from direct sources. I didn’t need to rely on journalistic reports. Also, many MAGA folks like to copy and paste long generic messages that they do not write themselves as a way of advocating for their own view. I didn’t do that. I typed every word myself. No one can weasel out of this through the usual methods. Sometimes, you just have to sleep in the bed you made.
Another notable contradiction is the present MAGA/Trump claim that the insurrectionists were Antifa while also trying to claim that the woman who was killed was a heroic MAGA/Trump supporter. If Antifa were the invaders then they would be the victims. This is not supported by the facts.
So, to recap, the people who assaulted the Capitol on January 6 were (we were told by MAGA) patriot heroes, beloved and encouraged by Donald Trump, who had just had enough of tyranny by the Deep State and bravely tried to Save America by stopping the final approval of the election of Joe Biden. Trump addressed them as his cherished ones: “We love you, you’re very special. We’ve seen what happens, you see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know you how feel.” What he did not say was “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Why? Because he knew the mob was MAGA and acting on his incitement.
That mob of killers was out for blood.
Those rioters, the bozos, were the ones who talked to the press, who waved gleefully to photographers, who selfied and streamed the entire afternoon, without even a thought that there might ever be consequences. They were doing it for the ’gram, and their story overwhelms the narrative because their faces and voices dominated the day.
But there were other rioters inside the Capitol, if you look at the images. And once you see them, it’s impossible to look away. The zip-tie guys.
Call the zip ties by their correct name: The guys were carrying flex cuffs, the plastic double restraints often used by police in mass arrest situations. They walked through the Senate chamber with a sense of purpose. They were not dressed in silly costumes but kitted out in full paramilitary regalia: helmets, armor, camo, holsters with sidearms. At least one had a semi-automatic rifle and 11 Molotov cocktails. At least one, unlike nearly every other right-wing rioter photographed that day, wore a mask that obscured his face.
These are the same guys who, when the windows of the Capitol were broken and entry secured, went in first with what I’d call military-ish precision. They moved with purpose, to the offices of major figures like Nancy Pelosi and then to the Senate floor. What was that purpose? It wasn’t to pose for photos. It was to use those flex cuffs on someone.
In October, the FBI and state authorities charged 13 men with plotting to kidnap Gretchen Whitmer, the Democratic governor of Michigan. Members of that plot attended protests at the Michigan Capitol in April, real planners of violence mixing easily with those for whom guns are fun protest props. The plotters discussed a summary execution—“knock on the door,” one wrote in the group chat, “and when she answers it just cap her”—but settled on a kidnapping, pulled off while police were distracted by a nearby explosion. Think of that plot, as these men surely did, as a dress rehearsal for what the zip-tie guys wanted to accomplish at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
They went into the Capitol, as Congress was counting electoral votes, equipped to take hostages—to physically seize officials, and presumably to take lives.
And that mob of killers, waving the Confederate and swastika banners, was praised by “prolife” doyenne Abby Johnson, compared to the oppressed peasants in Les Miserables by Raymond Arroyo, EWTN Boy Reporter…
…and egged on to war fever by Frank Pavone who boosted Lin Wood as “the best thing to happen to the GOP!” That would be the Lin Wood who was tweeting out calls for murdering Pence and other victims in Congress.
I’d share his crazy tweets, but Twitter permanently banned him on January 8. There are other bloodthirsty screenshots preserved forever by Google.
Likewise, also-now-gone-from-Twitter Rush Limbaugh praised the terrorists:
“There’s a lot of people calling for the end of violence,” Limbaugh said. “There’s a lot of conservatives, social media, who say that any violence or aggression at all is unacceptable. Regardless of the circumstances. I’m glad Sam Adams, Thomas Paine, the actual tea party guys, the men at Lexington and Concord didn’t feel that way.”
The point is the MAGA “prolife” cult encouraged this kill crazy mob. So did 45% of Republicans, though those numbers seem to be in freefall. Because they are not about the dignity of human life from conception to natural death. They are about using the unborn as human shields for their raw nihilist lust for ruthless predatory fascist power by any means necessary. And fascists believe in the Big Lie.
That is why, suddenly, when it all failed, the narrative turned on a dime using one of the most beloved lies of the MAGA cult: the “false flag operation”. It works this way: every time the MAGA cult thinks or does evil, they attribute the evil they cherish and commit to those they hate. You can watch it working over the years.
Liberals, they said, could not wait for death panels to snuff the weak. Now that Trump has plunged us into pandemic, they tell us that death is a part of life and granny just needs to accept her fate and not be such a selfish coward. “Herd immunity” is their “strategy”, meaning “Let everybody get COVID and let the weak die by the millions”.
When a gun nut slaughtered children at Sandy Hook, they accused the parents of the dead children of running a false flag operation to make them look bad and tormented them for years. Same after Vegas, when they threatened victims and accused them of a massive hoax. Same with Parkland, when they lied that the Parkland kids were “crisis actors” somehow committing a hoax.
And, of course, the claim of election fraud is itself a massive act of projection from the cult where accusation is always confession.
So, of course, MAGA now declares that for some reason all the kooks wrapped in Trump flags and flying swastikas and confederate banners were actually Antifa and BLM (the black faces in that mob can be counted on one hand) and the whole thing was actually a false flag operation to make MAGA look bad.
Their evidence? Nothing. Rumor. “A guy told me.” Blurry photos of unknown provenance purporting to be Antifa according to @AnonymousFreedomEaglePatriotQANONCommandCenter on Parler.
Meanwhile, one of the many thoughtful things the Huns and Visigoths who overran the Capitol did was a) refuse to wear masks so as to better spread Pandemic and b) copiously photograph themselves so as to make it extremely easy for employers to fire and police to arrest them. See, for instance, this story in three acts:
As of this writing 80 people are behind bars and there will be a lot more soon. And thanks to the interwebs we know everything about these people because they left long paper trails on social media, just as they left their fecal and urinary tract DNA all over the halls of Congress. They are the dumbest criminals in the world.
So there is no evidence whatsoever that this was an Antifa false flag operation and a shit-ton (almost literally) of evidence that this was pure MAGA Meal Team Six and Gravy Seal Potatriots all the way.
And yet, in the teeth of this evidence we find MAGA priests like the exquisitely-named Fr. Richard Heilman engaging in a spectacular display of cognitive dissonance as he morphs seamlessly from praising the Patriot Heroes who marched on en masse directly from Trump’s Nuremburg Rally to storming the Capitol–and then Heilman suddenly declaring the terrorist mob to be nothing but Antifa false flag operatives!
Before the rally, he’s all bellicose war talk in keeping with his militarist grift (cuz nothing says Grace like Force):
He knows that this is a gathering of the Holy Ones of MAGA coming to fight another Revolution against the Evil Ones:
He hails the insurrectionists and boasts their numbers:
But then, suddenly, and without any intermittent change, the self-same people he praised above as patriot sons of the Second American Revolution are instantaneously changed into Antifa:
How does he know? He just does, okay? Because he is, like all MAGA, a Good Patriot and therefore immune to all sin, both original and actual and facts are liberal. It just has to be true because MAGA cannot bear the cognitive dissonance of being the Bad Guys. Their towering pride rejects it. Sin is for their enemies, not themselves.
For Normals, the only prudent conclusion is that people spreading this nonsense are either liars or people so radically psychologically ill that they cannot be trusted since they are at war with reality. Either way, we cannot let them have access to the reins of power in this country, nor to control of any modestly organized scout troop or quilting bee. They should be under a doctor’s care at best or in jail for treason at worst. But they should not be in charge of anything. Unfortunately, many of them are respected Christian figures and social influencers.
And that is the grave danger the American Church faces. Because this violent, dishonest, and now demonstrably deadly sect, while not the majority of the Catholic communion by any stretch, is still a big, scandalous and deadly minority at war with the Pope, at war with the Magisterium, at war with nearly the entire Church both nationally and globally, at war with reason, at war with truth, at war with democracy, at war with America and, in the end, at war with God.
What to do about that? I will think about it and get back to you when I formulate my thoughts, likely in piecemeal fashion, as is my custom. Meanwhile, if you pray, pray for America as you have never prayed before, because while this coup failed and is already falling into fratricidal war within the Trump cult, we are not fully out of danger till Trump is gone. If you don’t pray, exercise the virtues of prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude and work for the common good.
At the same time, have hope. Trump and the MAGA fascists threw their worst at America in the biggest act of domestic terror since the Civil War and our institutions withstood the stress test. Better still, the good guys won in Georgia, Trump is silenced forever on Twitter, numerous other lying weirdos were likewise muzzled on social media, and there is a decent chance that this time, the corrupt GOP, for utterly selfish reason, will finally kick this terrorist to the curb and vote to remove him, thereby ending his hope of ever running again. That’s worth a toast.
So thank God and trust him–and be on your guard.
I had the misfortune of meeting Fr. Heilman roughly a decade ago while a student at UW Madison. He was at the Newman center there to give a talk to the young adult group. I don’t remember much about the talk, but I’ll always remember him strongly implying that Scott Walker’s recent election as Governor was in part a result of him praying at the state capitol building and lightly dusting some of the grounds with blessed salt. You know. To drive the demons out. Him going full MAGA doesn’t remotely surprise me
This was an actual coup attempt by Trump. The fact that it was a bumbling incompetent coup attempt does not make it any less real.
I am no longer confident that the US will last as a free, democratic country. Picture a future President, with Trumpian charisma and Trumpian ethics, but at least average intelligence and work ethic. Someone like that could have pulled it off.
My wife and I have been talking about what country we would move to if it happens.
Brilliant column, Mark. Should be required reading.
@Derrick. This is what I have been writing about for years. RELIGIOUS MEGALOMANIA. I am just like god. I am so god like that god believes exactly as I do, and will do whatever I tell him to.
@ Joel. We are also talking about it. My husband is European, and we could move there.
@ mark. this little coup is the event that he planned, coordinated, and promoted for weeks. He set the itinerary, called his supporters to D.C., said it would be “wild”. He gathered the crowd, stood in front of them and gave them a conspiracy theory-laden speech to rile them up. He told them to fight and be tough. Then he sent them marching to the Capitol Building. He said he would go with them, but of course, did nothing of the sort, Within two hours it was on lockdown and one of his supporters was dead. Six people died, including two police officers. Trump doesn’t get to pretend anymore. He incited an armed insurrection. That is treason. He should be immediately removed from office and charged.
As i wrote in my very long essay on the election, this violence was expected. Who we are as a country will be determined by how we deal with this.
The problem of the crimes of the Abby Johnson‘s of the world, and the “pro” “life” bowel movement have been laid bare – YET AGAIN!!! – By her one simple comment: “We now know that some of the people who led the group that stormed the Capitol were ANTIFA.”
They simply cannot help themselves, can they? There’s always a money shot, and this is it, Because somewhere in that mountain of self-serving immorality still lies just the faintest spark of a decent human being. Or maybe I’m an optimist, and Ikm trying hard to read something into it that simply isn’t there.
First, of course, we don’t know that at all. The FBI has already said no, that isn’t the case. What We do know that everybody that has been identified so far has been a right wing Trump supporter. The first woman who died, whose name was Ashli, was QAnon amd Trumpenliebling all the way. So she lied, but what else is new when it comes to right to life Qhristians and trumpenlieblings? Ashli to ashes, dirt to dust, as the good book says. And at least two of the anti-democracy revolutionaries have tried tasting a new whine once they were caught. “That isn’t who I am.” Who and what? A terrorist, or caught and jailed and facing the consequences of who you are?
Even right wing pundit and part-time Pillsbury doughboy Erik Erikson disputes this. Senator Josh Hawley’s terrorist fist bump salute to the “protesters“— thugs, terrorists, insurrectionists, are much better words – are evidence against it. In his inciteful speeches, before and after the attempted terrorist coup, Trumpdemort admits it.
Lest we forget- i certainly won’t: This was the event that he planned, coordinated, and promoted for weeks. NOT ANTIFA, but Jabba the Trump. He set the itinerary, called his supporters to D.C., said it would be “wild”. He gathered the crowd, stood in front of them and gave them a conspiracy theory-laden speech to rile them up. He told them to fight and be tough. Then he sent them marching to the Capitol Building. Within two hours it was on lockdown and one of his supporters was dead. Now two police officers are dead. A woman wearing a shirt saying DON’T TREAD ON ME was trampled to death. Karma is the irony of the poorly educated. Trump doesn’t get to pretend anymore. He incited an armed insurrection. That is sedition, perhaps even treason.. He should be immediately removed from office and charged.
Oh, yes! the money shot! I almost forgot! “Some“ of the “protesters” were antifa. SOME!!!!!!!! And what were the rest of them, the hundreds or thousands of people who actually stormed the capital, who threatened the lives of representatives and senators and staff and capitol police? “We’re poor little sheep who have lost our way. Bah! Bah! Baaaaaaaaaaaaaad. And our Lord Trumpdemort is our shepherd.” Sure, it was antifa. They were The ones who wanted to hang Mike Pence, who perhaps is finally understanding the price of his association with Trumpdemort by realizing that as much as the leopards who eat people’s faces are concerned, he isn’t a leopard. they were Trump supporters. I’m sure many of them would describe themselves as “Bible believing Christians” who missed the part where the Bible says “obey the civil authorities”. I’m sure Many would describe themselves as right to life Qhristians, despite the number of dead people and the potential for so many more.
Those dead people will be MAGAt food fer shur. Why, they even erected a cross! It probably gave them one hell of an erection.
I would like to say I’m surprised, but I am not. I have been listening to right wing Qhristian garbage for 50 years, and fighting against it for almost as long. This is my statement to American Qhristianity: you built this. You built it on the lives of innocent gay people. You built it on the lives of women who want to manage their own families and not have strangers make decisions for them. You’re trying to build it on the lives of trans people. You built it on the lives of Black people, brown people, Muslim people, Jewish people, liberal people. It has been going on ever since I was a little boy, and saw the hate and the Qhristian love of the segregationists on our little black and white TV.
And you have been oh so very proud of it, proclaiming your godliness and holiness and goodness. At least, for once, have the integrity to own it.
It is pack mentality. Trump is their Alpha. Limbaugh is the former alpha.
I don’t think Qhristian America will own it in my lifetime.
They will literally go to their graves clinging to their delusions.
I went over to CRISIS, which used to come in print form to my parents’ home when I was young –I used to read all of those magazines, cover to cover. Why was I surprised when I saw In the comments section they were not even back peddling. They were actually angry at Austin Ruse for trying to distance himself safely from what happened, but without conceding anything about his dear leader.
So I wrote a comment to Ruse, telling him that my sister and her husband –who homeschooled her seven children are pretty sick with Covid right now because they believed Trump when he said it was “no big deal”. (If you recall, Ruse had written a piece about how he didn’t even know he had Covid because it was “no big deal”.)
Anyway, you think you can present facts, and even go so far as to say–“hey, I used to count myself in your numbers decades ago, and hey–I’m the mother of eight–(no– even more than eight because of miscarriages.)
Instead of considering one thing, or even manifesting the slightest amount of humility–They told me that no, that I am a *man* impersonating a Catholic woman and that I’m a liar. He enjoyed every taunt
Without giving them too much credit, I’d have to say that last weekend was one of the lowest moments in my life as a Christian; certainly not because of Christ–no, my faith has never been more raw to me–but because of their duplicity. One of them would say “God Bless!” after every insult and writes “JMJ” like he is their spokesperson. It made me utterly sick. He reminded me of every single pompous ass man and woman that have tried to convince me of their holiness. He even threw out a reference to the Little Flower like he has some direct line to her
At dinner the next evening my sister couldn’t understand why I even cared. When I asked her, “but aren’t you devastated by….” I tried to frame it using concrete examples of bigotry and unChristian behavior–The guy who founded all of the schools that said…!” She waved me away– laughed about her silly husband being a big Trump enthusiast (of course he is). Her response was, “we’re worried about you because you care too much, and it’s really no big deal, then she laughed and said “sheesh, you and Mom are crying about the exact opposite things!”
She can’t see it.
Every time you write about your family, I cringe. Not that I want you to stop writing about them, of course. But I’m cringing for you. I just took a long walk with my friend Dave this morning, who comes from a very tight and close Midwestern family. He is the original corn fed guy. He has a very difficult time with his brother because his brother is a Trumper.
My first thought after reading the story of your sister was that she was trying to distance herself, because as with Mark in his new column, she was realizing what she was supporting. I am always reminded of a line that was in a movie some years ago called I think, “doing hard time on Maple Drive.“ The son of this perfect suburban family was gay, and they were letting him know what they thought about it. He said to his mother, “we know what we want to know.”
Your sister knows what she wants to know. But it’s just getting more and more difficult for her to know it.
I agree with you that this scandalous event was “planned, coordinated and promoted for weeks” but I doubt it was by Trump – he does not have the mental abilities to do it. His secret handlers did it. I have some idea who it could have been, but I won’t write it here for fear of starting one more conspiration theory… Time will tell.
I agree with you, Marthe. Trump didn’ t plan it. He has the attention span of a gnat on Adderall. But I’m sure he thought it was a great idea, and went along with it enthusiastically.But that thought makes me wonder if perhaps someone was not setting him up, someone who wanted some revenge for some bad treatment and understood how easy he is to influence.
Maybe you should read this…
Remember, this is in Nov 2019, after forcible family separations, locking kids in cages, stoking racism and demonizing refugees. After Trump and his MAGA cult was exposed as to what kind of movement it was, the CATHOLIC BISHOPS SIGNED ON TO SUPPORT TRUMP by a vote of 143-69 in the USCCB meeting (please spare me the pabulum about they were choosing life, and not Trump )
More than 2/3 of the Catholic Bishops in this country are in full support of TRUMP. This has been amply substantiated by the ACTIONS of the Bishops.
If at all, only about half of the laity support Trump/MAGA, which is an improvement over the US clergy and hierarchy.
The responses to this
is illuminating. Its America magazine – which it does not need to be said, will not touch Trump/MAGA with a 10-foot pole – trying to distance the Church and pro-life movement from Trump/MAGA.
But Catholics as a whole just cannot walk away from accountability for the actions of their Bishops and policies, and should not be allowed to do so.
All faithful Catholics should hold their Bishops to own up to what they did Until then, there will not be any change. True repentance needs acceptance that you have sinned, and accepting responsibility for it.
I will bet my life that the USCCB will not do so. These are the people who wiggled through after diddling children for 25 years.
Happy New Year.
Happy new year to you as well. It’s got to be better, because it certainly can’t be a lot worse.
Let us hope it is a Better 2021, and not a case of 2020 won.