Tag Archives: domestic terrorism

Best Quotes of the Week – July 30, 2022

“I do not believe that we made any progress. In fact, I think the party got worse.”

Dale Carpenter, former president of Log Cabin Republicans, a GLBT political group, expressing disappointment about their acceptance within overall Republican Party

For years LCR has tried – and repeatedly failed – to garner the attention of Texas’ Republican Party.

I’ve known a few queer conservatives over the years and was always stunned at how they idolized Ronald Reagan and voted for the likes of George W. Bush and Donald Trump, despite the GOP’s hostility towards them.  So to know that a former LCR operative has essentially admitted defeat is somewhat of a vindication for me.

“Look, we pursue justice without fear or favor.”

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, to NBC News’ Lester Holt, about the possibility former President Donald Trump could be criminally prosecuted for his role in the Capitol Hill riot of January 6, 2021

Garland added, “We intend to hold everyone, anyone who was criminally responsible for the events surrounding January 6, for any attempt to interfere with the lawful transfer of power from one administration to another, accountable.  That’s what we do.”

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Tweet of the Week – July 23, 2022

Marjorie Taylor-Greene

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Political Cartoon of the Week – July 23, 2022

Jimmy Margulies

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Political Ad of the Week – June 25, 2022

Eric Greitens, a U.S. Senate candidate from Missouri, has a strange sense of humor.  But he’s a conservative Republican, so who’s surprised?  In an online campaign ad, he suggests fellow conservatives “go out and hunt” so-called RINOs – an acronym for “Republicans in Name Only”.  It’s meant as a derogatory term for any Republican political candidate who’s even slightly left of far right, or one step to the left of Adolf Hitler.

With its strong violent overtones, the ad speaks for itself and what the contemporary Republican Party is all about.

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Video of the Week – June 25, 2022

Rep. Adam Kinzinger

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Tweet of the Week – June 18, 2022

Harry Litman

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Worst Quotes of the Week – June 18, 2022

“Look, maybe if we heard more prayers from leaders of this country instead of taking God’s name in vain, we wouldn’t have the mass killings like we didn’t have before prayer was eliminated from school.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert, about the Uvalde massacre

“If I lost one of my children I’d be pretty devastated, especially in a way that is so senseless and seemingly has no purpose.  I think … I would just have to say, if I had the opportunity to talk to the people I’d have to say, look, there’s always a plan.  I believe God always has a plan.  Life is short no matter what it is.  And certainly, we’re not going to make sense of, you know, a young child being shot and killed way before their life expectancy.”

Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General, to radio host Trey Graham, about the Uvalde massacre

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Best Quotes of the Week – June 18, 2022

“Donald Trump knew before the election that the counting of those mail-in ballots in several states would not begin until late in the day, and would not be complete for multiple days. This was expected, reported and widely known.  You will also hear testimony that President Trump rejected the advice of his campaign experts on election night, and instead followed the course recommended by an apparently inebriated Rudy Giuliani to just claim that he won.”

Rep. Liz Cheney, during the January 6 hearings

“No one should fear going to a nightclub for fear that a terrorist might try to take them down.  No one should fear loving who they love.  Our children in Texas and Florida should not fear who they are.  We should not have to be dealing with 300 laws in states around our country that are attacking our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters.”

Vice-President Kamala Harris, during a queer pride festival in Washington, D.C.

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No Change

I could tell just from my parents’ facial expressions this was bad.  The gallery of people (mostly older men) in similar-looking attire reeked of authority.  For me, all of 9- and 10-years-old, the joy of our first color TV set in this newly-built suburban Dallas home dampened with the drone of voices in that crowd on the screen.  Coupled with my parents’ own head-shaking, I got the sense something was very wrong.  I had no idea.  This was my first exposure to the American political system.  They were the Watergate hearings.

This week marks 50 years since the notorious break-in at the Watergate Office Complex in Washington, D.C., by a gang of misfits operating under the orders of the president of the United States.  Richard Nixon had become so emboldened by his 1968 win that he dared to envision a world where he either had no enemies or enemies that were easily squashed.  He had narrowly lost the 1960 presidential race to John F. Kennedy and then lost a 1962 bid for the California governorship.  Thus, winning the presidency created an authoritarian desire in him to hold onto power at any cost.  He would do anything to ensure he won a second term – which he did, in one of the biggest election landslides in U.S. history.

As recollections of those events abound, the nation is currently encased in more political intrigue.  The January 6 hearings have been underway for a week now, and there’s no telling how long they will last.

In some ways, the events of January 6, 2021 are similar to Watergate.  Both were set off by presidents who wanted desperately to hold onto power and ended up disgracing themselves.  History is still building Donald Trump’s legacy, but at least Nixon legitimately won both of his terms in office.

Trump’s 2016 “win”, on the other hand, was a fluke – a blatant act of fraud in a profession where character often doesn’t really matter.  And, like Nixon, he would do anything to ensure he would serve a second term as U.S. president; the leader of a nation that has long held itself as a beacon of true democracy and freedom.  When the results of the 2020 presidential election began arriving, it became clear Trump was not the winner.  But, as now know, he and his equally maniacal supporters would not accept the results.  Trump had stated months earlier that he would only acknowledged the outcome if he won.  That was the egoist in him talking.  It was also the oligarch in him; a reality TV star who gleefully terminated people in front of cameras, just as he’d surely done during his own professional life.

For decades, many have said we need a businessman in the White House.  Well…we got on with Trump – although we’re now aware he’s not as successful as he claimed to be.  But, with his extreme wealth, he could afford to be brutally honest – a virtue that appealed to the angry (mostly White) masses; a group that had tired of diversity and inclusion and suddenly wanted to claim the victim mantel in the 21st century.

The businessman model failed with the Trump presidency.  In at least one other manner, Nixon resembles Trump.  He never truly admitted wrongdoing.  Just a few years after he left office, Nixon gave a series of carefully-crafted interviews with journalist David Frost, in which he defended his actions; reiterating that, “when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal”.

Trump sees nothing wrong with the events of January 6, 2021.  From his pathetic vantage point, he did nothing wrong.  Even as the hearings proceed, he still insists he’s a victim of a rigged election system.  I’m sure Al Gore and Hillary Clinton would love to have a word with him about rigged elections.

Facing certain impeachment in the U.S. House of Representatives, Nixon resigned the presidency in August of 1974 – the first and (to date) only American president ever to achieve that ignominious feat.  After an impassioned speech to his staff, he boarded the Marine 1 helicopter and left the White House grounds.  There was no gunfire; no bombings; no bloodshed.  The Nixons were dragged from their home and strung up in public, like Nicolae and Elena Ceaușescu.  It wasn’t a Castro-type coup we’ve often seen in developing nations.

The events of January 6, 2021 were calamitous – and bloody.  Never has the U.S. Capitol been invaded and overrun by angry citizens.  That’s something that shouldn’t happen here; again, that’s a developing nation type of fiasco.  I’ve seen it on television and read about it in print – an oppressed people storming their national capitol to demand regime change.  We’ve seen it occur in Central America and the Philippines.  It happened across Eastern Europe, as the Soviet Union collapsed.

As the Watergate hearings proceeded throughout 1973 and ’74, more and more information came to light pointing to Nixon as the instigator of the entire mess.  The break-in wasn’t – as one individual dubbed it – a “third-rate burglary”.  The scandal was larger and deeper than anyone had imagined.  When the nefarious arrows finally began pointing back to Nixon, he resigned.  His reputation, along with that of many of his henchmen, disintegrated.  Their political careers were permanently ruined.

The January 6 hearings are almost theatrical.  There is no secret about what happened and who was responsible.  We know Trump urged his followers to “take back” the country and undermine the democratic process.  We know he demanded election officials in a number of states to find votes that would push him into a win.  We know he expected his Vice-President, Mike Pence, not to certify the 2020 election, as was his official duty.  And, to ingratiate the true horror of that day into our minds, video surveillance has been presented to the January 6 Committee showing the moment Pence had to be evacuated from the Capitol floor, as the rioters encroached.  Nixon demanded some people be silenced.  But, as far as we know, he never actually insisted they be murdered.

Everyone who runs for public office has to be somewhat egotistical; at the very least super-confident in themselves and what they have to offer.  They put themselves into the public arena and risk everything.  But egotism reaches dangerous proportions when the individual comes to believe they are better than everyone else and can do no wrong.  It’s nowhere more alarming than in politics where people who win elections are empowered to make decisions that impact the lives of millions.

In looking at Watergate and January 6, it’s amazing how fragile the democratic process remains.  It’s stunning how little seems to have changed.  It’s even more upsetting to think some people still see nothing wrong with any of it.

Image: Robert Pryor

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Most Frightening Quote of the Week – June 11, 2022

“In the coming months, we expect the threat environment to become more dynamic as several high-profile events could be exploited to justify acts of violence against a range of possible targets.”

U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in a bulletin released June 8, warning about a potential increase in extremist violence fueled by recent mass shootings, including the massacre in Uvalde last month; an expected Supreme Court ruling on abortion rights; and November’s midterm elections

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