Jan. 6: The Great Interruption

It was the Great Interruption rather than the Great Insurrection against the U.S. government on Jan. 6, 2021, writes Joe Lauria.

Trump Supporters at Union Station Columbus Circle along 1st Street at Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington DC on Wednesday morning, 6 Jan. 6, 2021 (Elvert Barnes Photography/Wikimedia Commons)

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

In a column published in Consortium News on March 6, Chris Hedges wrote that the U.S. federal government’s criminal investigation against hundreds of participants in the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol is polarizing the country and shredding civil liberties. 

Hedges called it a “judicial lynching against many of those who participated in the Jan. 6 events, a lynching that is mandating years in pretrial detention and prison for misdemeanors. Once rights become privileges, none of us are safe.”  He wrote:

“At least 1,003 people have been arrested and charged so far for participation in events on Jan. 6, with 476 pleading guilty, in what has been the largest single criminal investigation in U.S. history, according to analysis by Business Insider. …

While a few of the organizers of the Jan. 6 protest such as Stewart Rhodes, who founded Oath Keepers, may conceivably be guilty of sedition, and even this is in doubt, the vast majority of those caught up in the incursion of the Capitol did not commit serious crimes, engage in violence or know what they would do in Washington other than protest the election results.  … 

Richard Barnett … was photographed in Nancy Pelosi’s office with his leg propped up on her desk. Barnett was convicted by a federal jury, which deliberated for two hours, on eight counts, including disorderly conduct in the Capitol building. He faces up to 47 years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 3.”

In a response to Hedges’ column, Bruce Fein, a lawyer and former Reagan administration DOJ official, counters in an article just published by Consortium News that the prosecutions, convictions and sentencing of Jan. 6 participants are justified.

Fein compares some of the crimes committed on Jan. 6 to those by Nixon White House officials during Watergate, as well as to obstruction of justice allegations against Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Bill Clinton. Fein argues that the rioters risked the gravest constitutional crisis to the nation since the U.S. Civil War.

‘New Pearl Harbor’

Without downplaying the destruction of property, the injuries to police officers and the fear individuals at the Capitol felt for their safety that day, these comparisons, such as to the Civil War, seem as overblown as Sen. Chuck Schumer comparing the Jan. 6 riot to Pearl Harbor. 

Though a very serious event involving violence and destruction of property occurred and should be prosecuted, the extent of the sentences imposed is a matter for debate. Fein says Hedges has gratuitously brought up prison conditions of Special Administrative Measures, which have not been applied to anyone convicted over Jan. 6. Routinely calling these protestors “domestic terrorists” as many Democrats do, is a slippery slope, however.

Fein’s comparison of these crimes to those of the Watergate conspirators or to two presidents’ alleged obstruction of justice appears excessive. 

Watergate was a direct threat to U.S. democracy, such that it is, carried out by some of the most powerful men in the country, beginning with the president.  No case was made to equate that serious threat to the U.S. political system with a riot by some hardcore rightists and mostly ordinary Americans, as badly misguided as they were. 

Fein’s comparison of the obstruction of justice charge against a Jan. 6 participant to the same allegations against two sitting presidents distorts the consequences of an ordinary citizen’s actions to those of extremely powerful men. He writes:

“Hedges also implies Guy Wesley Reffin’s sentence of more than five years imprisonment was excessive despite conviction on five charges including obstructing the peaceful transfer of presidential power and obstruction of justice by threatening his two children if they told the truth. Obstruction of justice subverts the rule of law. It occasioned President Richard Nixon’s resignation and President Bill Clinton’s impeachment.”

The Bloodiest War

About 620,000 people were killed in the U.S. Civil War — the most Americans to ever die in a conflict — in a constitutional crisis so grave that one side wrote its own constitution. Fein is a constitutional expert and I am not. But he fails to make the case that that genuine constitutional crisis, which literally ripped the country apart, is comparable to Jan. 6 (notwithstanding that some of the protestors carried the racist Confederate flag.)  

Schumer: ‘A new Pearl Harbor.’ (Glenn Fawcett/Wikimedia Commons)

From the start, Democrats portrayed the riot as a “coup,” a portrayal Fein does not share. Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton even tried to blame the “coup attempt” on Russian President Vladimir Putin, defaulting to the Democrats’ position that what ever goes wrong must be Russia’s fault.

Such remarks, including Schumer’s comparison to Pearl Harbor, were part of a calculatingly exaggerated portrayal of the events, exploited for political gain.    

The Democrats relied on their partisan, Jan. 6 hearings as their major campaign issue in the mid-term elections last November, given how little else they could run on in terms of their poor record in helping average Americans, one of the reasons I gave at the time for the riot happening in the first place.

An Impossible Goal

The stated aim of the rioters was to stop Congress from certifying the results of the November 2020 election. Fein says the protestors were justified in being convicted of violating the Electoral Count Act.

There is hardly a more pro-forma act in U.S. government than Congress’ certification of an election. It is such a huge formality that the U.S. media usually pays scant attention to it, unless an election is contested, like this one was. 

The protestors said they were trying to prevent then-Vice President Mike Pence from certifying Congress’ vote. But the law does not give this power to the vice president. The Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act of 2022 passed in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot clarified the vice president’s role, saying he or she cannot “solely determine, accept, reject, or otherwise adjudicate disputes over electors.”

Even if the protestors had occupied the Capitol for several days, instead of the four hours they actually did, Congress could have moved the certification proceedings to another venue, or waited until the protestors were eventually cleared out. 

In other words, there was a less than zero chance of the rioters preventing Joe Biden from becoming president. They may have been crazed enough to think they could, but there was no way they could have ultimately stopped the certification.* Since they could never have succeeded, raising the specter of the Civil War is needlessly alarmist. 

This was not the election itself that was being interfered with. The results were long in. The protestors, some violently, interrupted the process for a few hours. Rather than a great insurrection, this was the Great Interruption. 

The harsh sentences can be seen as a message sent by the state that it won’t tolerate any violent protest against a government that is alienating the public after 40 years of neoliberal policies. 

The Video

Since Fein wrote his critique of Hedge’s piece, there’s been the release of security video from Jan. 6 showing Jacob Chansley, the so-called “QAnon shaman,” being escorted by police through the corridors of the Capitol. They literally open doors for him.

The “shaman” was sentenced to more than three years in prison. Fein criticizes Hedges for omitting “that Chansley was not convicted of obstructing a picnic outing of Mary Poppins with Jane and Michael Banks, but with obstructing the peaceful transfer of presidential power in violation of the 12th Amendment and Electoral Count Act — which would have created a constitutional crisis only exceeded by the Civil War.”

These video sequences need to be explained. Were police instructed by a Republican member or members to escort Chansley around the place as Democrats first alleged? Their final report on Jan. 6 does not appear to have confirmed that. 

Democrats say the release of the surveillance video by Republican House Speak Kevin McCarthy to Fox News is somehow “a threat” to Congress. It appears instead to be a threat to the Democrats’ exaggerated and politicized message that Jan. 6, 2021 was a new “Pearl Harbor,” a Putin plot and, according to Fein, potentially the gravest constitutional crisis since the war between the states. The video’s release has led to an extraordinary apology from one prominent Democrat.

A toned down and more realistic view of that day may begin to heal the division that is tearing U.S. society apart and make Congress focus more on the “people’s business” rather than narrow partisan interests. 

*The only way that could happen is if at least one senator and one representative object to the results, leading both houses to recess, debate and then vote on whether to accept or reject the objections. This has happened only in  1969, 2005, and 2021 and in all cases the objections were rejected by both houses. 

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former U.N. correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and numerous other newspapers, including The Montreal Gazette and The Star of Johannesburg. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London, a financial reporter for Bloomberg News and began his professional work as a 19-year old stringer for The New York Times.  He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @unjoe   


39 comments for “Jan. 6: The Great Interruption

  1. Deniz
    March 26, 2023 at 17:09

    January 6th can’t be a threat to democracy, because the US isn’t a democracy. January 6th was more akin to Occupy Wall Street, a threat to our ruling cabal as it exposed what cowards these war criminals are. That is why the plebeians had to be punished so severely.

  2. Theresa
    March 26, 2023 at 11:05

    I know personally one of the Democrat representatives who was in the building that day for the election certification. The rep was terrified during the upheaval. That said, it looks to me like some participants acted as though this was a protest gone a bit haywire and others as if this was an insurrection, as evidenced by those – at least one was former military – who fought the police to gain entry through broken windows.
    Perhaps some police thought it wiser to tamp down emotions and understood that escorting numbers of mostly white middle class protesters might be the more prudent action to take.
    I imagine the National Guard would have been activated early on had the protesters been mostly people of color.

  3. Rafi Simonton
    March 26, 2023 at 03:24


    If the center-right Ivy Dem elite is so very appalled by a 4 hour threat to American democracy, calling it Constitutional crisis despite a lack of evidence, then where were they in 1999?! For 5 days, during the huge anti-WTO event in my hometown I’m proud to say became known as the Battle of Seattle, our Constitutional rights were suspended entirely. Of course the neolib Ds had no problem with that. After all, the needs of global corporate capitalism do come first.

  4. Rafael
    March 25, 2023 at 19:51

    Pilger’s tweet can’t be beat:

    The made-for-media theatrics on Capitol Hill were not an attempted “coup”. Coups are what the CIA stages all over the world. Neither was “democracy” in peril. What democracy? And Trump is no more than a caricature of a system of which Biden, Obama, Bush etc are the embodiment.

  5. lester
    March 25, 2023 at 14:16

    Whatever the Jan 6 nonsense was, it was not a coup d’etat! Real coups involve the military. Attempting to interfere with a minor procedure is not a coup!

  6. Herman
    March 25, 2023 at 12:29

    Calling the demonstration an insurrection on day one was an act by the Democrats to effectively demonize a whole group of American citizens. Fencing in Capitol and calling in the National Gurard after the protest was part of the Democrat strategy, implying thousands of MAGA supporters planning an invasion. Calling whole group of people fascists was part of the strategy of weakening the other party. Beyond that, holding people in jail without trials is outrageous and counter the right to a speedy trial.

    In the dirty game of politics the Democrat Party are better at playing it. And it works with the support of our media.

    I would say one other thing, Biden is the most divisive president in my memory.

  7. LeoSun
    March 25, 2023 at 03:47

    HANDS DOWN!!! Chris Hedges is RIGHT ON!!!!!!

    Everybody, knows, DJTrump’s & Conpadres’ #1 Priority was to “Fire Up” his Y U G E following. Stoke the fires! Take advantage of their ignorance Their likes & dislikes; and, their pocket books, for HIS political advantage. The ultimate Coups D’État. After all, 150 Republicans + Others, were on board.

    They had ONE problem. NOBODY wrote the Middle or the End of the Script, i.e.:

    1) Koo-koo-ka-Choo, Done! In one fell swoop, the “Orange” wave “CANCELED” BIDEN-HARRIS;
    2) Crying harder, Democrats crap their pants & accept Martial Law rules, until DJTrump is RESET to POTUS;
    3) Biden-Harris are booked into The Delawhere Inn, until further notice;
    4) The Orange Tsunami “LIVES.” Trumping the “lie” BIDEN-HARRIS were “ELECTED” in 2020.

    That’s the fantasy. Follows the TRUTH in the REAL world, “HEDGES called it a “judicial lynching against many of those who participated in the Jan. 6 events, a lynching that is mandating years in pretrial detention and prison for misdemeanors. Once rights become privileges, none of us are safe.” 

    —- “The vast majority of those caught up in the incursion of the Capitol did not commit serious crimes, engage in violence or know what they would do in Washington other than protest the election results.”

    Imo, “The Great Interruption” lives! i.e., Bruce Fein, is a f/grenade!!! His take is black & white. There is NO f/gray. “Fein!” When he shows you whose side he’s on, believe him. Another, not so “Fein” opinion, “Fein argues that the rioters risked the gravest constitutional crisis to the nation since the U.S. Civil War.” I call, Bull-$h*t!

    Imo, “the gravest constitutional crisis to the nation” is The WH, BIDEN-HARRIS, the M.I.C., C.I.A., F.B.I., IRS, & CONGRESS who enabled Presidents 40-46 to use, abuse & abandon the U.S. Constitution!!! WORSE, is the impotent “Constitutional” Lawyer who “fired up!”..using, abusing & abandoning The U.S.Constitution. DESPICABLE are the Constitutional Lawyers who did NOTHING to stop the deception, destruction & death of The U.S. Constitution!

    “It goes on and on and on until you cannot eat enough to vomit.” “HOW F/DARE HIM!” Bruce “Not So” Fein,” after all. “I’ve got the world’s smallest violin; and, I’m playing it just for him.” Ciao

    • LeoSun
      March 25, 2023 at 14:04

      ….p.s., Imo, this is NOT a street fight. It’s F/WAR, “The land of the free; and, the home of the brave,” is a f/war zone, i.e., The Ruling Class vs. The Working Class.

      “THIS IS THE WORLD OUR CHILDREN WILL INHERIT, UNLESS those who control us are wrenched from power.” (Chris Hedges)

      ….p.s.s., “A GREAT Interruption” (Joe Lauria), would be “WE,” the People, “wrench from power those who control us.”

      A Solution? Is the resolution “A REVOLUTION,” Anyone….Everyone? “WE,” the People have lost soooo much. January 6 “canceled” all talk about revolting against the Muckity-Muck$, in power, on The Hill. It’s heart f/wrenching! Never say Die! “KEEP IT LIT.” Onward & Upwards!!! Ciao

  8. Rob Roy
    March 25, 2023 at 01:31

    Thanks, I agree.

    • LeoSun
      March 26, 2023 at 10:11

      “A tree blossoms with rain.” HANDS DOWN!!! Chris Hedges is RIGHT ON!!! TY, Rob Roy. Keep It Lit!

  9. Drew Hunkins
    March 24, 2023 at 23:58

    This is a very good piece Mr. Lauria.

  10. Marie-France Germain
    March 24, 2023 at 22:08

    I agree with both Lauria and Hedges but I’m Canadian and it didn’t look like a constitutional coup at all with most of the protesters peaceful from the hours of footage I watched over the days afterward online. There were some, but not many who obviously wished to do violence. It became a source for Democrats’ hysteria as usual – they do seem a very skittish lot yet prone to virtue signaling about everything. It is very noticeable that the Dems are very good at virtue signaling and pretending to care for anything other than themselves even more than our two major parties in Canada (I think they must trade notes amongst themselves).

    Other than that, just like the Truckers’ protest here in Canada, there should not be those horrid long jail sentences for invading their Common House in protest. For those who entered the building yet looked like sightseers don’t need that much time to ensure they don’t disrupt the Truly Very Important People anymore. One week in prison probably was enough for that!

    Democracies are messy – I think a certain Sec. of State at the turn of this century stated as much – and the people were expressing themselves as only Americans can. Also, I believe there was a certain 4 year protest by the Dems after the 2016 elections with the now super debunked Russiagate that dogged Trump throughout his administration – though one has to admit, it wasn’t your average presidency anyway. No one went to jail for being disrupters in that case – all the Dems retained their positions.

    If anyone has read the history of the final years of the Roman empire might see some similarities in the governing bodies and the circuses (without the bread)! The compounding wars and violence to citizens though, are definitely similar.

  11. Bostonian
    March 24, 2023 at 22:01

    What really strikes me that these folks were able to briefly disrupt business as usual in the head office of the most dangerous rogue state on the planet. There is an energy there that no “leftist” movement has ever been able to generate, or probably ever will, in this propaganda-saturated society. I can’t predict what it portends in the long run but we revile it at our peril. And when that state, which some call “the Empire of Lies,” insists that our most dangerous enemies are our own disaffected fellow citizens, I have to ask, if you believe it: is this your first day in America, or what?

  12. Robert Richard
    March 24, 2023 at 15:37

    Like Col. Wilkerson said since Gov. W Bush term in office ‘All we will get is two bozos to choose from, from now on.’ The Kabuki Theater going on since Trump’s perfect call to Ukraine trying to blow Biden out of the water to J6 demonstrates how the American public has been victimized more with Stockholm Syndrome powerlessness brought on by Trump’s criminality. It’s no wonder Biden won, more of the voters could not take anymore of the Donald’s sensationalism. Congress waisted more time as victims in essence prosecuting their own case as Joe Bidens criminal war presidency carried on.

  13. vinnieoh
    March 24, 2023 at 14:47

    Mr. Lauria I’ve never disagreed with an entirety of any piece you’ve written until now. Trying to stay brief and focused: for the reason that at that moment in time (as in all moments in time) no-one knew what the future – the next hour, the next half-day, tomorrow – would hold, and; in that moment there was still a large contingent of GOP elected congresspersons calling for non-certification, and even more that could have gone that way if the winds of the coming moment shifted in that direction. We have seen in the time since then that not only among his voting electorate, but with many of the elected congresspeople, Donald Trump still directs – directly or not – a large contingent of our representatives.

    You write as if those elected election deniers would do the correct and “legally mandated” function and that would be that. I believe it might have been much closer than that had those that stormed the capital gained quicker access in larger numbers, trapping more of the congresspersons in chambers. What gets done in the US legislature is not about right and wrong, but about the exercise of political will and power. When Mitch McConnell refuses to proceed with a SCOTUS nominee eleven months before Obama leaves office, it is McConnell exercising his political will and power. When a D Majority House cobbles together two sets of articles of impeachment in succession, it is that temporary majority exercising its political will and power. Even if it is as misbegotten, ill-advised, and ultimately self-damaging as the last example, it is what DC is all about.

    The final Articles of Impeachment (re: Jan.6) however should have been ratified (yes on impeachment) and the one ultimately responsible would have received justice. It would not have been too late at that time to levy moderate fines and discharge most of the Jan 6 participants, except the most violent and destructive. See? all the paths not taken, but maybe. And the split Senate not impeaching at the very last is an exercise of political will and power, as misbegotten, ill-advised, and ultimately self-damaging as it surely has been.

    I have not yet read the Brice Fein piece. Even though I don’t agree with what you wrote, I understand your arguments, and suspect you’ve begun a long debate topic here.

    • Consortiumnews.com
      March 24, 2023 at 21:12

      And yet when the vote came on wether to accept the objections both Houses rejected them and certified Biden as president.

      >>for the reason that at that moment in time (as in all moments in time) no-one knew what the future – the next hour, the next half-day, tomorrow – would hold, and; in that moment there was still a large contingent of GOP elected congresspersons calling for non-certification, and even more that could have gone that way if the winds of the coming moment shifted in that direction. We have seen in the time since then that not only among his voting electorate, but with many of the elected congresspeople, Donald Trump still directs – directly or not – a large contingent of our representatives.<<

      • vinnieoh
        March 25, 2023 at 11:26

        My comment completely sidestepped your primary point that these proceedings are not doing our collective existence any good, and there is no denying or disagreeing with that. My apologies. My point of course is that while it was obvious and doable, he should have been impeached (post-Jan6) and then we move on. My comments reinforced your complaint of partisan dysfunction, again parsing all of this in a non-helpful way. As with long and bitter rivals neither side is willing to break the cycle of retribution. Who will make peace?

  14. shmutzoid
    March 24, 2023 at 14:27

    I think I’m more with Fein on this. Jan. 6 was the culmination of a barely failed coup attempt. Does ANYONE really know what woulda’ happened if rioters had managed to hold hostage Pelosi, Schumer and/or Pence?? Is it inconceivable that hostage demands to have the final vote revert back to the state legislatures, resulting in Trump’s election, would NOT have been met, in exchange for the politicos’ lives??
    ……. The fact that the coup failed does NOT make it any less of a constitutional crisis or less of a crime. The assertion that there was “zero chance for a coup succeeding” seems off base.

    With that, I agree it’s not right to overcharge people who got caught up in the crowd and didn’t hurt anyone or destroy anything.

    What’s astounding is how NO ONE who plotted/enabled the coup attempt has been arrested/prosecuted. …… the Jan/ 6 committee was, essentially, more cover up than an investigation. The committee was intent on rehabilitating the Republican Party and just going after the the foot soldiers who were whipped into a frenzy to march to the Capitol to “save our country”. Mark Meadows and the hundreds of texts with various politicos exploring the best ways to overturn the election? Nada. ……… Elements at the top of DoD who purposely waited over three hours to respond after calls for help? Nada…….Lawmakers who gave pre-coup recon tours to insurrectionists? Nada. ….and others….. ……. NO ONE has been held to account.

    The Dems/Biden need a viable GOP to help prosecute war against Russia as well as prepare for war with China. THAT’S why the 1/6 committee was a sham. This is what Biden means when he intones “We need a strong Republican Party”. United in war! ..the only kind of bipartisanship that matters to Biden.

    • Consortiumnews.com
      March 24, 2023 at 20:47

      You are with Fein, except Fein does not believe this was a coup attempt. So he is not with you on that.

    • Scared Person
      March 26, 2023 at 00:00

      Imagine if, like in Ukraine, the half-arsed revolt, was supported by armed paramilitary fascist factions, who were keen on shooting their “undesirable” countrymen, and a foreign military giant gave them overt support.

      If there is a US civil war, both sides will seem delusional to me. All the Jan 6 riot did, was train the state to prevent any such thing happening again, and push the need for mass surveillance, and increased security force powers.

      If ever there is an ethical socialist revolt which gains popularity, the Jan 6 events have acted to prevent it. Like a vaccine for the state. The state felt a bit ill, and then brought funds and power to bear in defense against an attack on itself. Now we are back to failed industrial relations discourse, and failed political discourse. We lost the class war. Now there’s just an existing power structure which will become meaner the more it fails. It will kill us before it changes voluntarily, to be in support of the people.

      Now the banks are failing again.

      It’s Global Plutocracy, or Apocalypse, baby. That’s how it is. Democracy is not compatible with this arrangement.

  15. March 24, 2023 at 12:16

    Thank you, Joe Lauria,
    I totally agree w both your and Chris Hedges’ humane articles. Yes, an end to the elite (Russiaphobe Democrats and their endless hysteria!

  16. Joe Plumber
    March 24, 2023 at 11:56

    Damn, so when Gore defeated Bush, all we had to do was to storm the Capital and stop the Electoral College. Too bad we did not realize that at the time.

  17. Mike
    March 24, 2023 at 11:56

    I think it’s a serious mistake to focus on the riot part of this event by itself. The riot was just a portion the insurrection plot. Very sadly, we have only seen the foot soldiers of the insurrection arrested and convicted. The larger scheme (conspiracy) evidently involved several other layers including many members of Congress, members of state legislatures that put together fake lists of electors, and the team at the top that organized the whole thing. By delaying justice for the higher levels, justice is being denied to the American people. The DOJ needs to do its job and jail the true traitors.

  18. Joe Plumber
    March 24, 2023 at 11:50

    Trump, Guiliani, etc … the people on the stage at the ‘rally’ who organized the rally, and who incited the riot with their speeches. Add in the people in “the War Room” who were directing the operation.

    The people on the stage at that rally should have each been charged with “Felony Incitement To Riot”, with seven counts of “Felony Murder” for the deaths of the seven people which resulted from their incitement. One of those counts is the special case of “Felony Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer”, which, in places where the Republicans set the Rules, can be a death penalty offense.

    I know this, if a “Lefty” gave the same speeches that were given on that stage, they would definitely been arrested and charged as above. The Rules are very different for the Right than they are for the Left. If the rules were the same for both, otherwise known as “The Rule of Law” and “Justice”, the above would be the resulting charges.

  19. Joe Plumber
    March 24, 2023 at 11:42

    Only the Democrats could make “Vote Fascist For Peace” sound like a reasonable slogan. That just shows how far gone the Dems are.

    I know this, if someone gave me a ballot today with a choice between Trump and Biden, I vote Trump. For decades, the Dems have taught to vote for the “lessor evil”. Trump is now clearly the “lessor evil” versus Biden, because World War III, with fronts in Russia, Iran and China, is clearly the “Greater Evil”. We might survive Trump, maybe, if we get lucky. But we won’t survive Biden, that is very, very clear.

  20. mgr
    March 24, 2023 at 11:29

    Thank you. The Democratic Party is in a state of constant faux hysteria. Since the DP does not actually work for nor value the American public, not even its own base, but only its wealthy and connected donors, elite and MIC, it must remain in a state of constant hysterical deflection against this reality lest the public notice. Jeez, we’ve been watching this show in earnest since the HRC debacle of 2016. By this point, the entire corporate DP has lost its fucking mind, not even to mention what it has produced in the Biden admin (another reason for keeping up the hysterical deflection).

    If Trump were to beat Biden in 2024, it will be interesting to see how much the Democrats honor and uphold the rule of law and peaceful transfer of power. That should be an interesting reveal.

  21. Linda Hayes
    March 24, 2023 at 11:27

    Why isn’t anyone talking about the fact that the committee investigating J6 never interviewed the head of the Capitol Police whose pleas for 10,000 National Guard prior to J6 were denied? If either Pelosi or McConnell had not denied the request, we wouldn’t be talking about J6 at all.

  22. JonnyJames
    March 24, 2023 at 10:56

    Great points raised here Joe.

    I am still not clear on how this was allowed to happen in the first place. If the footage shows the DC police escorting the weirdo shaman dude around, then was it all expected? Did the DC police know about it? Something still does not smell right.

    In addition, you have folks like Fein and others wildly exaggerating the event. Like so-called Russia-gate, and the other convenient distractions, it has become a Freak Show. The oligarchy WANTS to divide and rule, there is no incentive to unify the public. The freak show is a great way to do that.

    Hedges points out a larger problem: the so-called justice system and the rule of law are deeply corrupted.

    In addition, SCOTUS decisions like Citizens United should be the focus of deep contempt and outrage. When the attorney general tells a live national audience that the banks are “too big to fail” and they will not be investigated or prosecuted for the largest financial crime in history, it should raise a red flag, to say the least. When the pres. tells the US public that flagrant crimes of the Bush Jr. regime will not be investigated, that should be a red flag. Then when that same president commits high crimes and war crimes, no one investigates (including the loyal opposition) it should raise a red flag.

    Yet, so many of US denizens still assume without question that the system is just fine, it’s just a few “bad apples”.

    The larger questions here are: do we believe that the US has a well- functioning “justice” system in the first place?

  23. Rudy Haugeneder
    March 24, 2023 at 10:34

    It was a simple protest, small in numbers compared to other protests in DC — very, very small. But it has shattered the myth that Americans have a constitution right to complain publicly. However, Americans don’t understand that their rights no longer truly exist in the modern era. And, further, unless it deals with sexual (and biologic). identity in one way or another, they generally don’t care.

  24. Michael Kritschgau
    March 24, 2023 at 09:33

    So, in 2014, when the Maidan coup happened that ousted a democratically elected president in Ukraine, the U.S and the E.U. called it, amongst other things, the cry for democracy of the Ukrainian people.
    When in 2018, in Romania, the opposition supporters tried to storm the Victoria Palace which house a democratically ratified government, the U.S. called it ” a spontaneous manifestation of democracy from the Romanian people”. Why? Because that particular Romanian government was a pain in the ass to the U.S. interests.
    When stuff like this happens in the U.S. it is called an insurrection.
    The hypocrisy is mindboggling.

    • Blessthebeasts
      March 24, 2023 at 11:08

      The constant fawning of the media over the “democracy” riots in Hong Kong a few years ago comes to mind.

      • Michael Kritschgau
        March 25, 2023 at 04:23

        Oh, yes. Forgot about that particular “democracy” riot.
        Thanks for the reminder.

    • Rafael
      March 25, 2023 at 19:54

      Excellent points. Irrefutable.

  25. DMCP
    March 24, 2023 at 08:34

    The January 6th Insurrection, whether the MAGA equivalent to Hitler’s beer-hall putsch or an over-excited pro-Trump demonstration, should be recognized as an instrument to further polarize Americans politically.

    Don’t take the bait. I see nothing to defend in the actions of the demonstrators. Neither do I see a strong basis for their demonization. They are, at best, naiive pawns, and at worst, thuggish stooges. Either way, they are small fry. Let the courts deal with them

    Keep your eyes on the big fish instead; they are the ones with sharp teeth and muscular jaws. Those are the ones that can hurt you.

    • Dfnslblty
      March 24, 2023 at 09:25

      Thus, who are the “big fish” specifically?

      • Rob Roy
        March 24, 2023 at 11:49

        “Big fish?” That should be obvious. Our president, vice-president, state department, MIC, weapons manufacturers, i.e., war-mongers (all, at the moment, slavishly giving the corrupt Zelensky means to drag more death into Ukraine). Oh, yes, the congress members who are stupid enough to be unable to prevent this horror. In fact, one idiot called an attempt at a peace settlement, “illegal.” Want more? The criminals who want to take any good for the people away…social security, medicare, public education. I.e., the elite rich want all the resources and wealth of the world for themselves. This goes for whichever political party is in power. You had to ask?

        • DMCP
          March 25, 2023 at 08:50

          Thanks, you said it better than I. The Military-Industrial Complex is really at the heart of it. That’s where the empire’s military power comes from, and it is a central part of our economy. And the military power and corporate neoliberal capitalism work together across the global empire. They feed each other. And they are insatiable.

      • DMCP
        March 24, 2023 at 12:51

        I would describe the big fish as those who benefit from our social and political division and polarization. So, neither the Democrats nor the Republicans, who really do struggle against each other. And neither the far Right QAnon types nor the far Left Identitarian types — they also genuinely despise each other. But certainly there are some political operators who can and will turn chaos and confusion into political power. I’m thinking of the demagogues and would-be dictators who will promise to bring back law and order and stability. People like Trump. And the deep-pocket donors who have so much influence in our elections and the policies that follow.

        Most of all it is the large multinational corporations who benefit. They don’t get together in some smoky room to conspire against us, but they all share an interest in the continuation and growth of global capitalism. After all, capitalism by its nature requires growth. And humans, in that equation, are just another commodity.

        Defeating the corporate system may be too much to hope for. But perhaps we can avoid corporate totalitarianism (fascism) in our government and be better able to pick up the pieces after the corporate system collapses.

    • Michael Kritschgau
      March 24, 2023 at 09:35

      Jan. 6 wasn’t an insurrection. It was a spontaneous manifestation of democracy from the U.S. people. This is literally what the U.S. government called a similar storming of the government building in Romania in 2018.

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