Jan 6 GOP gulped Trump's poison Kool-Aid
They willingly followed Trump to political death and betrayal of oaths
Republicans had one chance to do the right thing in January 2021, and they went for the poison Kool-Aid instead of choosing to live. There’s really no more powerful evidence of this than Trump’s reaction to panicked texts from his own political supporters.
Marjorie Taylor Greene—yes, her—texted Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, “Please tell the President to calm people.” She added, “This isn’t the way to solve anything.” That’s the voice of fear. Fear of the people she calls her own, when they’re armed, wound up, and set loose on her own ground. MTG had been sworn in as a Representative for all of three days.
Greene had bought in to the political plan to seize power. The one where legal fabulist John Eastman hatched a fool-proof plan to transmogrify a ceremonial session of Congress into a Constitutional crisis.
So here’s the scenario we propose:
1. VP Pence, presiding over the joint session (or Senate Pro Tempore Grassley, if Pence recuses himself), begins to open and count the ballots, starting with Alabama…
2. When he gets to Arizona, he announces that he has multiple slates of electors, and so is going to defer decision on that until finishing the other States. This would be the first break with the procedure set out in the Act.
3. At the end, he announces that because of the ongoing disputes in the 7 States, there are no electors that can be deemed validly appointed in those States… [magic happens] There are at this point 232 votes for Trump, 222 votes for Biden. Pence then gavels President Trump as re-elected.
4. Howls, of course, from the Democrats, who now claim, contrary to Tribe’s prior position, that 270 is required. So Pence says, fine. Pursuant to the 12th Amendment, no candidate has achieved the necessary majority. That sends the matter to the House, where the “the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote . . . .” Republicans currently control 26 of the state delegations, the bare majority needed to win that vote. President Trump is re-elected there as well.
5. One last piece. Assuming the Electoral Count Act process is followed and, upon getting the objections to the Arizona slates, the two houses break into their separate chambers, we should not allow the Electoral Count Act constraint on debate to control. That would mean that a prior legislature was determining the rules of the present one — a constitutional no-no (as Tribe has forcefully argued). So someone – Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, etc. – should demand normal rules (which includes the filibuster). That creates a stalemate that would give the state legislatures more time to weigh in to formally support the alternate slate of electors, if they had not already done so.
6. [A heap of nonsense here]…The fact is that the Constitution assigns this power to the Vice President as the ultimate arbiter. We should take all of our actions with that in mind.
Were this to even come within a light year of working, Trump’s plan was to order his military to put down the inevitable massive violence in response to his fait accompli, in violation of literally hundreds of laws at the federal, state and local level.
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Where in states like Georgia, secret cabals of fake electors met in the State House under false pretense where they signed fraudulent documents which were then submitted to the Archivist of the United States, making it look as if there were competing slates of electors, though the states in question approved no such thing. But in Trump’s fantasy, all of those details—a slapped on coat of legal paint—could be worked out as he consolidated power by a move of the vox populi.
Soon-to-be former Congresswoman Liz Cheney’s statement to the Jan 6 Committee last December set out the moment when Trump’s Kool-Aid, chugged by his remaining entourage inside and outside the White House, turned to poison.
-"Hey, Mark, protestors are literally storming the Capitol. Breaking windows on doors. Rushing in. Is Trump going to say something?"
-"We are under siege up here at the Capitol."
-"They have breached the Capitol."
-"There's an armed standoff at the House Chamber door."
-"We are all helpless."
Dozens of texts, including from Trump administration officials, urged immediate action by the President:
"POTUS has to come out firmly and tell protestors to dissipate. Someone is going to get killed"
-"Mark, he needs to stop this. Now"
-"TELL THEM TO GO HOME"
-"POTUS needs to calm this s*** down."
Trump’s intention was not to calm it down. His intention was to find someone to incite such a riot that it would catch, inflame the nation, and result in the American Carnage™ he vowed to end in his inaugural address. Trump wanted the outnumbered Capitol Police, or the coterie of heavily armed Secret Service protecting Vice President Mike Pence to open fire on the crowd. He wanted a bloodbath for all to see, his supporters dead at the hands of the government. It was only after 187 minutes when it became clear Trump wasn’t getting the result he wanted, that he finally issued a weak “go home.”
Yet, the GOP still chose politics. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would not support conviction of a slam dunk betrayal of Trump’s oath of office. He felt he didn’t have the political juice. It took nearly two years before Congress, in a largely unneeded show, issued a memo to the DOJ that Trump probably committed crimes. As if the DOJ didn’t know this.
Despite the worst economy in 15 years, a bungled and humiliating exit from Afghanistan, a weak, gaffe-prone president who barely passes for the leader of the free world, Republicans have managed to spend themselves out of power—with only the tiniest majority by the skin of their teeth in a House they can’t govern. In general, only the Republicans who distanced themselves from Trump prospered, and then only in a few places. Florida and Virginia are more statements on the hubris of Democrats than the electability of Republicans. I suspect that when the nation meets Ron DeSantis, he will meet his windshield like a love bug on I-4 sometime in the coming year.
The only thing keeping Trump’s message alive is enmity. The “culture war” has devolved into “hate your neighbor because he’s a Democrat,” and Democrats hate Republicans even more because they believe all Republicans are secretly like Trump. They’ve believed that every Republican since Nixon was a Trump, and now they feel justified in their paranoia.
After January 6th, 2021, Republicans had no excuse not to eject Trump forcefully from the party, no matter what the financial cost. But they lined his pockets to the tune of $103 million, and have let him launch a sham of a 2024 campaign to take the White House again. The sole purpose of the January 6th committee, to the Republicans who refused to serve on it, is to give cover to the DOJ when the indictments come down. And the indictments are coming.
The politicians who refused to do the thing they should have done—even MTG knew it—in the days, months, and now years since Jan 6th, are using the committee’s last days to give them a place to express fake outrage when in reality, if you catch them in an unguarded private moment, they feel nothing but relief. They want Trump to go away, and they’re more than happy to watch him take the perp walk.
But the problem is that they’ve already drunk the Kool-Aid and they’re dying from the poison. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Reps. Jim Jordan, Scott Perry, and Andy Biggs (Perry and Biggs ironically being part of the “five” who refuse to vote for McCarthy as Speaker in any circumstances), have been referred to the House Ethics Committee for refusing to comply with House subpoenas. John Eastman was included in the Jan 6th committee’s criminal referral.
The referrals have no legal weight. But they have the political power of a meteor hurtling from space straight into the GOP. The DOJ already knows exactly what’s coming—they’ve been planning this for over a year. Republicans think they can escape the poison by publicly opposing the indictments that are about to hit, while privately cheering for a conviction. It doesn’t work that way.
When you drink the Kool-Aid at Jonestown, you die of the poison along with Jim Jones.