I’d wondered how Republicans would mark the anniversary of the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Then untarnishable Florida Man Matt Gaetz and his freedom contras reenacted it by other means this week. This insurrection is from within. It’s just starting.
Kevin McCarthy, the wobbliest amoeba to be elected Speaker and stand third in line for the presidency, got his prize by sacrificing it. There is no Speakership anymore except in name. McCarthy surrendered gavel for grovel.
Any single member of the House can now call for the speaker’s ouster whenever they choose. Previously, only party leaders could. Insurrectionists got their pick of crucial committee assignments. They’ll dictate what bills get to the floor, rig any bill with whatever suicidal amendment they choose, kill any spending bill they don’t like. These 20 insurrectionists with neither congressional seniority nor accomplishments to their names will sabotage committees, Congress and country from weaponized backbenches, with their party’s blessing. Is anybody surprised?
Lost in the din is the very unusual bipartisan success of the two years of the 117th Congress that just ended. Democrats and Republicans combined to give us laws that protect gay marriage. They gave us the largest infrastructure bill and largest government investment in research and development in decades. They gave us tighter background checks on younger people buying guns. And they gave us a law that changed the way electoral votes are counted so people like Donald Trump couldn’t attempt the kind of coup he did two years ago by fabricating constitutional clauses the way he does his tax returns.
Every one of these laws drew a dozen or more Republican senators and quite a few Republican House members, too. It was one of the most productive congresses in not-so recent years.
Now the barbarians are back in charge. It only takes a few, if the rest of them allow it. That’s the thing: we keep hearing that the 20 insurrectionists are a tiny minority. But they’re the core of Republican ideology, such as it is. They couldn’t get away with their stunts if they didn’t represent a constituency reflecting the anarchy. It’s trumpism on steroids. It can only end one way.
The Republicans had yet to swear-in their new House majority before they turned the whole thing into Jonestown. You remember Jonestown, don’t you, the town the paranoid California preacher and power-mad Jim Jones established in the jungles of Guyana with about 900 of his more gullible church flock, first taking their savings then taking their lives in a mass murder-suicide in 1979. That’s where the expression drinking the kool aid comes from, because he had everyone drink cyanide mixed in with kool aid as he drilled their souls with conspiracies all around. Jones was a QAnon stem cell.
You know Republicans have gone Jonestown when the likes of Marjorie Taylor Green and action-figure Trump end up sounding like their most reasonable voices. Here those two were this week, begging the monsters they created to calm down at least long enough to elect that other Californian while Gaetz’s horde played what Green herself called “Russian Roulette” with their newly gained power. Republicans know suicide.
Lost in the din, too, is the scum pond that “Freedom Caucus” crawled out of a few years ago. One of its founding members was none other than Ron DeSantis, the Guantanamo graduate who’d have been standing right along Gaetz and other insurrectionists this week had he not become Florida’s doubleplus caudillo-in-chief. Every time DeSantis speaks the word “freedom”–as he did 12 times in his inaugural address Tuesday–another liberty loses its wings.
Like the speakership, the word freedom has lost its meaning, though in fairness to DeSantis he’s only applying the Grand Old Party’s stately definition of the word, coined by Ronald Reagan, that unassailable freedom-loving deity, when he called the rapists, terrorists and mass murderers of Central America “freedom fighters.”
“Freedom lives here,” DeSantis told us Tuesday, the way it does in the Republican House: The 20 nut cases holding it hostage are the party’s purest, and purist, expression.
If their fight was about ideas, policies, even principles, even I’d cheer it on. But it’s none of those things. Right wing Republicans have no ideas. No idea, period. Not that moderates have been doing much better. The GOP hasn’t had a single new idea in 30 years, other than lowering taxes and defeating every social and ecological initiative possible while rolling back the hard-won civil rights and liberties of the Warren Court. It’s reactionary ideology: opposition for its own sake, a black and white, all or nothing approach that sees treachery in compromise and an enemy behind every moderate, when compromise and moderation are the essence of American democracy at its best. It was Mitch McConnell, remember, who explicitly put that in words when, as Senate majority leader, he said his only aim in 2010 was to make Obama a one-term president. Accomplishments be damned.
The extremists’ nihilism today is not materially different. They’re not about achieving the country. They’re about destruction, their mentality comparable, again, only to the psyche of the suicide bomber, this one wearing a bright red maga hat. What we saw this week is a preview of much worse to come, with or without McCarthy as figurehead speaker. There’s nothing to cheer here, not for anyone who cares about this country. Not as long as Maga’s white-collar insurrectionists are calling the shots.
Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. Reach him by email here. A version of this piece aired on WNZF.
Superb and sublime. Outstanding wordsmithing as usual.
Tired of this says
This article is reverse racism and I should have know Pierre with his eloquent writing was behind it. This author spews hatred in all his articles. But I’m sure he would say his is non biased and tolerant of others beliefs. Stop spreading hate….be better Pierre
Celia Pugliese says
Pierre spreads reality not hate… and hope the new congress won’t be as unfunctional as the extreme masterminds in control of it now! Thank You Pierre for your courage to write a very descriptive editorial! We are experiencing the edge to the abysm of totalitarianism.
Cell Tower Police says
The tower will be built so I have better Cell Coverage. Accept this Celia.
HAHAHAHA!!!!! TRUMP LIVES IN ALL OF THESE PEOPLE’S HEADS RENT FREE!!!!
I am guessing that most the people supporting this type of crazy article are sitting at home beside themselves wearing 3 masks and complaining about all of the building going on in Palm Coast! (Hey… you moved here from NY/NJ so that’s why they are building!)
It must suck to be filled with this much rage on someone who hasn’t been in the office in over 2 years.
Go outside and get some fresh air or something! (GASP!!! You may have to take off the mask first)
Who are you kidding? Trump is your master. He commands and you obey.
Nope. I think he is a joke. However.. It doesn’t consume my life like the author and some of the people in the comments!
This stuff is gold!
Bill C says
“It must suck to be filled with this much rage on someone who hasn’t been in the office in over 2 years.” Perhaps you have been out of touch for a while. Trump announced on November 16th 2022 he’s running for President in 2024. Then again, maybe you also missed what happened on January 6th, 2021.
Let’s be honest says
Agree with you 100% “tired of this “ and this is WHY we have such a division. Publishing this fuels such division. I WiIl pray for you Pierre 🙏🏻
If you don’t like FlaglerLive then stop reading it. Pierre I am sure won’t care.
The dude says
They can’t quit FL…
An attempt to overthrow our government is WHY we have such a division!!
Yikes, you are totally NUTS. My God, please for the love of man stop with all this phony January 6 crap. January 6 was a show developed by the left carried out by the left, tried and executed by the left. The guilty where never even questioned by the so called committee.
Pierre Tristam says
I know what you’re saying Donald. Elvis and JFK and I were having the same conversation in my kitchen this morning over our cups of bahgol.
At least the Right attacks the right buildings.
Stan: Putin would like your thinking.
And the world is really flat?
Oh my God, where do you get this insane idea? That is absurd. Open your eyes. You know what happened on Jan. 6. You were among those cheering on the would-be murderers. Let’s all become a democratic republic again; enough with the conspiracy theories. Both sides need to work together and eliminate the far fringes from rational lawmaking.
The murderers? you mean the unexpected senior citizens tour?
The same people who send our children to die in wars overseas were cowering under their desks.
Tired of it says
This s irony, right? No intelligent human being can be so deluded. You did watch trump’s speech that day? Especially the part about how he was going to walk with them up to the Capitol….
Donald: January 6th was not a show developed by the left, and carried out by the left. Had you watched the committee hearings, you would know that the people testifying were Republicans that worked in and around the Capital and Trump. You did not watch, correct? No, you didn’t. You would also see that some who testified were actually guilty of being there and being a part of the insurrection.
First, Trump et al tried to blame it on ANTIFA, which is not organized and stands for anti-fascism. When that didn’t fly, they tried blaming it on BLM, which stands for Black Lives Matter. Problem was, there was barely a black in the crowd. Then, Trump stated these (ANTIFA and BLM) were his people and should be pardoned, and they, after they tore up the Capital, were treated unfairly.
What amuses me most is, what those Trumpers think when they are referred to the “Left,” ANTIFA and BLM! Make up your mind, folks.
[Do not use this site to spread disinformation. Thanks.–FL]
You are mad about the January 6th crowd because you think they are insurrectionists
I’m mad about the January 6th because they weren’t insurrectionists
Brilliantly written, as usual, and really nailed the situation. If only Florida people would listen.
Hey Brilliant is in the eyes of the beholder. Your freaking BLIND !!!!
Concerned Citizen says
This is why it’s of utmost importance to invest in education BettyAnn!!
Deborah Coffey says
James M. Mejuto says
A good post, Pierre! The next drama comes when the President and Senate have to work with these scumbags.
I wonder if it’s possible McCarthy can go-back on his promises, especially when one House member decides to
recall him ? I think a man without any moral compass might think about it.
“SCUMBAGS”……isn’t that like calling the kettle black ?
Matt Gaetz and his most recent sex scandal pretty much fits the defintion of the term “hypocrite.” And that is putting it VERY mildly.
Yes I am still wondering how come he still getting away with it…transporting a minor for self gratification across state lines? Where is justice for all?
The GOP party of a bunch of miss fits. Last week was a real clown show, Gaetz at the top of the list.
The former Speaker of the House ? Wonder if the Pelosi video is accurate ? The Game of Thrones Man was scarier looking than he really was ? Pelosi is scarier than the GOT-man ?
Dennis C Rathsam says
Another Pierre hit job, I give him credit though…he lives and breeds that democrat bullshit! January 6 never would have happened if Pelosi would have taken the national guard as Trump recomened…. The speaker had other plans, she wanted this to happen… Its clear as day. She thought she was hot shit, she hated Trump….She didnt need his advise!!!!! Now here is where the lies & bullshit starts. Fools ignor the truth, they all think America is stupit, wait til the investagations start, Afganistan, The Biden Crime Family,The sorry state of our southern border aka fentenoyl are us…. Too many improprietes in this presidency…. If it walks like a duck,& Quacks like a duck…. U can bet your ass its a duck. Let the investigations begin…Im looking foward to it, Lets see how honest the Jackass party really is…. or how coruption runs ramped in Washington D.C
Pierre Tristam says
Dennis must think we’re stupid. Still.
First, a report from Sept. 17, 2021: “As a mob of President Donald J. Trump’s supporters rampaged through the Capitol on Jan. 6, William J. Walker, who was commanding the District of Columbia National Guard, watched helplessly, waiting for hours for approval to deploy his troops to help a badly overrun police force put down the deadly riot. He suspected — and still does — that part of the reason for the delay was that Defense Department officials were overly concerned about the optics of sending in the Guard against the pro-Trump rioters, a move that amounted to special treatment of the mostly white crowd when compared to the law enforcement tactics used against protesters at racial justice marches in the recent past.”
And now, from Dec. 29 (“Jan. 6 Transcripts Detail Failures in Surveillance and National Guard Response“): “Testimony from Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, who was the commander of the D.C. Guard, reiterated that the response from the Guard on Jan. 6 had been delayed because of concerns from higher-ups over “the optics” of the army’s involvement. The reason it took three hours and 19 minutes to get approval for the Guard to help protect the Capitol, he said, was that “somebody or somebodies were willfully, deliberately delaying making the decision.” He added, “I think it would have been a vastly different response if those were African Americans trying to breach the Capitol.” He went on to say that the secretary of the Army, Ryan D. McCarthy, who could have approved sending Guard members to the Capitol, had become inaccessible in the days leading up to Jan. 6 and during the riot, describing how someone had been running around the Pentagon in search of him.”
But no. To Dennis, it’s Pelosi’s fault. Of course it is. It always is. Reminds me of a line from the Annie Ernaux memoir I was reading this morning: “Always, somewhere, a bunch of men are circling a woman, ready to stone her.”
Bill C says
Rathsam supports a Stupidocracy, like his Qmoron pals.
Deborah Coffey says
You guys must really enjoy being conned on a daily basis. There is TRUTH in this world and, it isn’t very hard to find…if you want to.
Edith Campins says
To begin with: “The Speaker of the House does not have control of the National Guard.” The president, however could have called them out at any time. The insurrectionists were trump’s minions, not a single Democrat among them.
EDITH CAMPINS says
Mass quantities of fentanyl, a low-cost and highly potent synthetic drug, are being produced in China and brought illegally to the United States, contributing to a growing U.S. opioid crisis. The rise of fentanyl in the United States can be traced back to China’s large chemical and pharmaceutical industries, which manufacture vast quantities of the drug and its analogues to export to the western hemisphere with little regulatory oversight. This report examines how China’s illicit chemical production and inefficient U.S. and international counternarcotic efforts have contributed to dramatic increases in fentanyl-related deaths in the United States.”
I WONDER IF TRUMP BROUGHT THAT UP WHEN HE HOSTED XI AT MAR A LAGO.
Keep wondering about Trump bringing it up but one thing you can be sure of – Biden will never raise that topic not in the compromised position he is in after Hunter & Jim got all those millions! Then Dummy Hunter tells his daughter he has to give Pops i.e. “Big Guy” a percentage of his money!!
Dennis I guess Trump didn’t want this to happen. Wake up man finally the white man cant always get what he wants. Use to be that way but things have changed. The white mans grip on society is gradually getting weaker. Man face reality and acknowledge the truth. Trump lost the election. The Dems didn’t cause the insurrection Trump ant the Repubs did.
Nephew Of Uncle Sam says
“Now here is where the lies & bullshit starts. Fools ignor the truth, they all think America is stupit,”
Yep Dennis, you do live up to that.
Mr Rathsam does your tv remote need repair or is your tv stuck on a confusing non-informative station
Dennis. You’re right and I also can’t wait for the investigations to start. Maybe we’ll all learn that the IRS budget request really wasn’t for 87,000 IRS agents? That IRS ‘agents’ don’t exist. That IRS auditors and investigators are a small fraction of the supposed 87,000 personnel request. That IRS ‘agents’ (auditors actually) are not duly sworn law enforcement officers due to their IRS employment and are not authorized to carry firearms as part of their jobs. Maybe we’ll learn what the Biden’s paid in taxes for the past 20 years? Oh wait, that’s already been disclosed by the President. Do I care what other member of the Biden family’s tax returns look like? The answer is no because as private citizens they are entitled to privacy.
The orange man and his acolytes keep telling lies and you keep on believing them. The GOP is completely in the shitter. Look at George Santos; the GOP candidate from Queens NY who lied about just about everything on his resume. Let me make a wild prediction: In the next four to six years every single Republican office holder in down state NY is going to be voted out of office. Why? Because the party officials supported Santos. And who was Santos’ inspiration? The orange man from Mar a Lago.
Accurate and concise. An exemplary demonstration of courage (considering where you rise to speak) and an economy of words for all to admire.
I totally agree with Pogo! And I am what they call a Rino but not crazy to vote for their Mussolini alike candidates. Are many of us out there, courageous dame Cheney, gentleman Kattzinger and hundreds of thousands more!
Palmcoaster: You are not the Rino, the lost, far right insurrectionists, and those who want to ignor there was an insurrection, are the Rinos. They are not true Republicans, and neither is Trump. He was a Democrat when living in New York, and donated to the Clintons when it was convenient for him. He always does what is right for him, and the U.S.A. be damned. Now, the clueless, power hungry, self-serving, nitwits have grabbed onto his coattails, and will only be loyal as needed. They don’t give a damn about this country or they wouldn’t be so hell bent to change it at any cost.
This is what happens when one sided people refuse to see their short sighted leaders stomp on democracy. They don’t even flinch when Trump wants to ditch the Constitution, which again, for his own needs.
These MAGAs would be spitting, rolling on the ground, pissing in the air and spewing vitriol if the insurrectionists were Democrats. Some are actually blaming the Democrats! Amazing, the brain. I think it has something to do with the amygdala, once information manages to slip past the prefrontal cortex (considering these areas are functioning at all).
G A says
I rise to speak that sadly this is just the start of a two year clown show. I wish I could laugh it off but it’s just too scary for all the citizens of America. We are watching the republican party eat its own. Pathetic
Concerned Citizen says
They do it to themselves and deserve this. Republicans don’t get to fuel a monster like Trump, create an alt-right, white supremast faction led by the Gates and Taylor-Green wackos and suffer no consequence for any of it. I am glad to see their party implode. And I can only hope Progressives are taking notice and getting their collective act together because we really need to for the sake of this country.
Jane K says
Thank you Mr Tristam.
“Jones was a QAnon stem cell”- brilliant!
As usual, your writing is spot on and a pleasure to read. I only wish the subject matter didn’t keep me up at night with anxiety regarding the state of American politics.
Unfortunately, I fear your prediction that the next 2 years will be a gong show is all too accurate. If only Chuck Barris was waiting in the wings with that hook to yank those MAGA(otts) off the stage.
“bipartisan success”, what a crock. Democrats rammed bills through by executive power or using the power of reconciliation.. These was no bipartisan fir two years. Now Biden wants to work with the republicans. Good luck. There will be more division than ever. The democrats plan of divide and separate ix deep within their plan. It will be sad what happens the next two years.
Greg: Have you forgotten the huge, black, Sharpie autographs of Trump? He has no idea what it takes to create a bill, but he sure loved to show off his oversized signatures (plural, ad nauseam) on executive orders.
The dude says
That sharpie has powers…
It literally moved the path of a hurricane, at least the MAGA idiots thought so.
How disturbing and sickening it was to see McCarthy standing where the Insurrection took place 2 years ago thanking Donald Trump, the person who was responsible for encouraging the Insurrection!
Thank you Pierre for this article.
Pierre Tristam, you are clearly a liberal POS who hates anything to do with MAGA. Go back to where you came from (because it’s not here) and spew your hatred with those who share your delusional views about America, you Kool-Aid-guzzling Democrat.
Every decent American “hates anything to do with MAGA”!
Michael Cocchiola says
I can’t speak for Pierre, but I am personally a MAGA-hater and I automatically attribute such terms as racist, misogynist, bigot, ignorant, hateful and violent to anyone I see with a MAGA hat or Trump sticker on their black smoke-belching pickup truck.
Such a shame you have tunnel vision. MAGA = Make America Great Again was nothing more than a campaign slogan that took on a life of its own. That person in the “smoke-belching pickup truck” puts his pants on the same way you do each morning and goes to work for his family. But because you play word association with a sticker, that person is racist, bigot, hateful and violent? I don’t have a MAGA sticker on my truck (it doesn’t smoke yet), but I share some positive meanings of what MAGA was intended to be.
Ray W. says
William Shirer, an American journalist assigned by CBS to cover European events during the rise of fascism in Germany, reveals in his account of those years, titled “The Nightmare Years”, that the slogan utilized by the National Socialist Party in the 1932 election that brought Hitler into the German government was: Make Germany Great Again.
Ray W.: Trump read the book.
Doug: That was nasty. If you cannot comment without telling someone to “Go back to where you came from…” and a “…liberal POS…,” do us a favor and move on. We can get angry, disagree, and even sarcastic, but you went over the top. That does not even come close to conversational.
Sorry you feel that way, Laurel. Maybe Flagler Live should be more “neutral,” then. Why is it so crucial for Pierre to continually bash the MAGA supporters? Not all of us are extremists with radical views of society, yet he feels obligated to spew his hatred to such a small audience. Go work for CNN or MSNBC. They welcome his kind.
Pierre Tristam says
Doug, when you start denouncing the abject lies, racism, disinformation, counter-democratic propaganda and like-minded tactics of the maga mob, it might become less crucial for the few of us to bash maga enablers. Until then, your oxymoron doesn’t wash. You can’t be maga and claim that “Not all of us are extremists with radical views.” No such thing as moderate maga.
Jim Hood says
“We have met the enemy, and he is us” – Pogo Possum circa 1970
Lady Liberty was observed vomiting when Trump was elected.
What Else Is New says
Thank you Pierre for another brilliant piece. You speak the truth. Please forgive those who are commenting evil right wing hate filled white rage. Please accept sane appreciative comments for your insight of a country gone wild by the few who know nothing of what you experienced in Lebanon. Those who spout hate here should learn to be thankful living in our country, warts and all. Those denying the truth know full well their error. Emily Dickinson said, “Truth is such a rare thing; it is delightful to tell it.”
Khrushchev's Ghost says
Comrades! Rejoice in another dumpster full of hyperbole by our fearless editor! He has learned well: the true believers must have their regular doses of smug self-righteousness, delusions, fear mongering, non-sequiter shots at the 40-years-removed Reagan administration, and utter lack of self-awareness (remember, election denial is noble as long as it’s our side doing the denying). So go forward and gladly pay $6.00 for a dozen eggs (as Comrade Bernie says, bread lines are a good thing)! Now back to your yurts and Pete Seeger albums until the next installment.
Ghosty: Yes, and you can go back to your impervious concrete jungle, corporate, all white male, suited, back slapping, money worshiping Enrons. Is that where you find “self awareness?”
P.S. Six dollars is excellent, cheap protein for six, two egg meals. Try it.
Ray W. says
As egg producers slaughter millions of chickens to quell an avian flu epidemic, egg prices rise. The gullible, like Khrushchev’s Ghost, work hard to displace blame onto the blameless.
Thank you, Laurel, for your continual effort to educate the gullible among us.