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Opinion [The Nation] The Enablers of Insurrection Should Be Ostracized

Maiden Voyage

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"A corrupt and seditious president has constructed a system of impunity. But there are still ways to punish those who helped him."​


Bolding my own, for emphasis
By inciting a mob to attack the Capitol, Donald Trump has provoked a backlash even among congressional Democratic leaders who in the past indicated a preference to just move on. On January 4, Hakeem Jeffries, chair of the House Democratic caucus, responded to questions about impeachment by saying, “We’re not looking backwards. We’re looking forward.”

The thwarted insurrection, which has left five people dead, has changed the political equation—and not just among Democrats. House majority leader Nancy Pelosi, pushed by the more progressive wing of the party, now seems to be moving forward with efforts to remove Trump before his term expires, either with a 25th Amendment solution declaring Trump incapable of serving his term or through a second impeachment. Republicans have also shifted on this. The two leading senators who supported Trump’s efforts to overturn the election, Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri, are now the subject to a massive campaign of recrimination inside their own party.

Cruz, always a weathervane with few principles, clearly senses which way the wind is blowing. With the oily disingenuousness that is the hallmark of his character, Cruz is trying to distance himself from Trump. “I do think the president’s rhetoric and his language has been over the line,” Cruz told a Texas TV station. “I think it was irresponsible, I think it was reckless, and I think he needs to recognize it.”

Cruz might be worried that he’ll face the kind of blowback that is now hitting Hawley. Two of the biggest newspapers in Missouri, The Kansas City Star and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, have called on Hawley to resign. Former Missouri senator John Danforth released a statement saying that supporting Hawley was “the worst mistake I ever made in my life.” Danforth predicts that Hawley could become a political pariah. “How is he going to get along with his colleagues?” Danforth asked. “How is he going to do anything? What’s his political future?”

A major donor, David Humphreys, whose family has given more than $6 million to Hawley, also denounced the senator. “Hawley’s irresponsible, inflammatory, and dangerous tactics have incited violence and further discord across America,” Humphreys said in a statement. “And he has now revealed himself as a political opportunist willing to subvert the Constitution and the ideals of the nation he swore to uphold.” To top it all off, Simon and Schuster rescinded a contract it had to publish a book Hawley was writing on the dangers of tech monopolies.

The shunning that Hawley is now receiving offers a solution to one of the major problems of the Trump era: the impunity enjoyed by Trump’s accomplices, sidekicks, and enablers. The legal system has proved an imperfect mechanism for going after Trump’s cronies, since he’s been able to use his presidential powers to shield many of them from investigation—and to pardon those who did run afoul of the law, such as Roger Stone and Paul Manafort.

But the law isn’t the only way people can be punished. Social shame is a powerful tool as well. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is making use of that weapon by taking to social media to argue that Cruz and Hawley should be expelled from the Senate.

As McGill University political scientist Jacob Levy noted last September, “Social sanctions are an important fallback when official impunity has been granted. Those who abuse their power over others, and those who help them do so, ought to face some consequences—if only to give pause to those tempted to do likewise. Unfortunately, lasting and significant disrepute seems improbable for Trump administration officials.”

Levy thought that social sanctions wouldn’t work because a power-worshipping, polarized, and celebrity-obsessed culture has a way of offering redemption to even the worst miscreant. There’s some truth to his worries. We’ve seen figures like former Trump chief of staff John Kelly and former Homeland Security head Kirstjen Nielsen, both key figures in the child separation program, make an effort to whitewash their reputations by portraying themselves as secret opponents of Trump who tried to fight his worst policies from the inside.

This tactic is likely to be used by other Trump accomplices. It explains the raft of last-minute cabinet resignations by the likes of Attorney General William Barr (who left before Christmas), Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos (who both resigned on Thursday). The familiar image of rats fleeing a sinking ship is an apt summary of these last days of the Trump administration.


Will Trump’s cronies be able to refurbish their reputations? Levy’s worries on this are well-grounded, as are his calls for institutions like universities and think tanks to resist whitewashing.

But there is also reason to believe that Trump’s incitement of a coup will leave a lasting stain on all those associated with it. There’s some evidence that those around Trump are aware of indelible reputational damage. “As the U.S. Capitol was ransacked Wednesday,” Politico reports, “Trump administration officials watched in horror, fearful not only of the rioting their boss had inspired but of the residual damage that would fall on their careers.” One White House official told Politico, “The people who this is hardest on, aside from obviously the people in the Capitol and the police and the people who were hurt, are the people who have staked their reputations and their political, financial and career fortunes on defending the president and he’s just made it harder on us.”

What these Trump staffers fear is in fact what progressives should aim for: a world where having Trump on your résumé makes you unemployable.

Writing in Talking Points Memo, Josh Marshall suggested that the Democratic Party should make an active effort to keep the memory of the coup fresh: “It will take funding and disciplined action over months and years, labeling everyone who has participated in this outrage as supporting a coup, attacking the constitution and the republic itself. There should be no context in which political leaders speak the name of a Ted Cruz or a Josh Hawley and not repeat that they were men who supported President Trump’s failed coup.” It should be added that this applies not just to congressional leaders but also to officials who continued to work with Trump.

Marshall further proposed that “some rich person or well-funded group should step forward to fund bar disciplinary actions against all the lawyers who have participated in this.” We’re already seen informal action along this line. As The New York Times reported on January 5, “A lawyer advising President Trump in recent weeks has resigned from her law firm after it was revealed that she participated in the call where Mr. Trump pressured Georgia officials to help him reverse the state’s election results.

Such punishment for political behavior isn’t the norm. But in trying to overturn an election, the Trump administration crossed a fundamental line. Those who participated in that effort should be made into pariahs.
 

Maiden Voyage

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The Nation calling for social ramifications to those who enabled the coup attempt, including Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and anyone with Trump on their resume. Hot fire coming from a lot of unexpected places.

Edit: Apparently less surprising. I had The Nation confused for National Review. :messenger_grinning_sweat:
 
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Maiden Voyage

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Never heard of them. All these commie rags are seeing the writing on the wall, which is how dead they will be without Trump to profit clicks off of. Gotta keep the boogeyman alive


"The Nation is the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the United States, covering liberal[3] political and cultural news, opinion, and analysis. It was founded on July 6, 1865, as a successor to William Lloyd Garrison's The Liberator,[4] an abolitionist newspaper that closed in 1865, after ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Now that the specific, urgent problem of slavery had been ended (The Liberator), one could proceed to a broader topic, The Nation. An important collaborator of the new magazine was its Literary Editor Wendell Phillips Garrison, son of William. He had at his disposal his father's vast network of contacts."
 

Maiden Voyage

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The nation is old but its culturally liberal within modern times. So don't take what they say to heart.

Yeah, edited my second post. For some reason I was thinking this was National Review. Must be sleepy from the afternoon's lunch. :messenger_sleeping:
 

Woo-Fu

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Insurrection doesn't require an enabler.

Speaking of enablers, who enabled months of rioting this summer? When a mayor and/or governor not only decides to let the rioting burn itself out but refuses federal help I think that is what you'd call an enabler.
 
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ArtemisClydeFrog

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ostrich GIF
 
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SF Kosmo

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I think Truth and Reconciliation with the right is going to be more useful. That Truth part is critical though, it's time to expose this for what it is, put Trump fully under the bus for everything he did, including the shit we haven't heard about yet, and repudiate it. Then let's move on together.

I don't like the scorched earth stuff, hyperpartisanism is how we got here.
 

Amiga

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It’s pretty obvious this is purely about punishing political dissidents. .

Are they auditioning for a Dick Tracy remake?

I think Truth and Reconciliation with the right is going to be more useful. That Truth part is critical though, it's time to expose this for what it is, put Trump fully under the bus for everything he did, including the shit we haven't heard about yet, and repudiate it. Then let's move on together.

I don't like the scorched earth stuff, hyperpartisanism is how we got here.


truth is apparently not on the table because all over the internet discussing how things escalated is taboo.

Ted Cruz was trying to establish common truth, but AOC went to war with him, to force out an elected representative who expressed the concerns of his constituents.

as for T, plenty if not the majority of the prominent America 1st only stuck with him because he was the one in the drivers seat. now that he is out would want someone who knows how to handle the political system.
 

SF Kosmo

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Are they auditioning for a Dick Tracy remake?




truth is apparently not on the table because all over the internet discussing how things escalated is taboo.

Ted Cruz was trying to establish common truth, but AOC went to war with him, to force out an elected representative who expressed the concerns of his constituents.

as for T, plenty if not the majority of the prominent America 1st only stuck with him because he was the one in the drivers seat. now that he is out would want someone who knows how to handle the political system.
Ted Cruz was fence riding and trying to appease his Trump-loyal base without actually endorsing the whackadoo conspiracies that he knew to be false. Had he gotten his way and gotten his 10 day investigation it would have found nothing and likely convinced no one.
 

SF Kosmo

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that's actually the point of his proposal, to find nothing, so that House and Senate can unanimously certify.
I know, man, and I'm not against that but I also think introducing it as a last minute emergency delay to certification sends a lot of mixed messaging. Had he proposed in late November or something, or even if he proposed it after the inauguration, I would be a lot more sympathetic.

But we also have to acknowledge it's a bit naive to think it would have satisfied or soothed many among the base, and certainly none of the QAnon nutjobs we saw at the Capitol this week. The only thing that will convince them is if Trump himself drops it.
 
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Amiga

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I know, man, and I'm not against that but I also think introducing it as a last minute emergency delay to certification sends a lot of mixed messaging. Had he proposed in late November or something, or even if he proposed it after the inauguration, I would be a lot more sympathetic.

But we also have to acknowledge it's a bit naive to think it would have satisfied or soothed many among the base, and certainly none of the QAnon nutjobs we saw at the Capitol this week. The only thing that will convince them is if Trump himself drops it.

nutjobs will be nutjobs, on both sides. regular people are the majority and they are very open to honest debate. it will take you a long way.
 

rykomatsu

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I think Truth and Reconciliation with the right is going to be more useful. That Truth part is critical though, it's time to expose this for what it is, put Trump fully under the bus for everything he did, including the shit we haven't heard about yet, and repudiate it. Then let's move on together.

I don't like the scorched earth stuff, hyperpartisanism is how we got here.

If this is not done across the political spectrum, it's not going to move us forward as a society. You're still going to end up with a (large) segment of the population that will continue to see a multi-class justice system that's segmented across political lines.

Unfortunately, due to the political chasm we have as a society, the lack of addressing the "whataboutism" is causing things to spin out of control. We can say until we're blue in the face that analogous but separate events don't impact the merits of another case. However, there needs to be a way to address this as a society.

I hate to say this, but for all I hate about fucking HOAs, they (or the courts?) did something right to address this. If HOAs don't enforce certain regulations for an extended period of time, they no longer can legally enforce it suddenly against someone a few years later.
 

SF Kosmo

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nutjobs will be nutjobs, on both sides. regular people are the majority and they are very open to honest debate. it will take you a long way.
Then don't make a stunt out of it to pander to the nutjobs. What Cruz did -- the way he went about it -- was cynical.
.
 

JORMBO

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Republicans across the board condemned what happened last week. Democrats encouraged what happened over the Summer and refused to acknowledge and condemn the bad parts. Harris even encouraged bailing out criminals. The media played along throughout the whole several month long ride.

I am not sure how we move forward as a country like this.
 

Amiga

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Then don't make a stunt out of it to pander to the nutjobs. What Cruz did -- the way he went about it -- was cynical.
.
over 60% of republicans and even around 30% of democrats thought there were issues with process. Jimmy Dore thinks the primary was stolen from Sanders, is Dore a nutjob?. Cruz at least addressed the calls from his constituents as was his actual job, not to talk down, but to represent these issues and argue, then a common ground could be found to create a unanimous position, otherwise have a vote to register positions, the same thing was done in the 2016 election.
 

SF Kosmo

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over 60% of republicans and even around 30% of democrats thought there were issues with process. Jimmy Dore thinks the primary was stolen from Sanders, is Dore a nutjob?. Cruz at least addressed the calls from his constituents as was his actual job, not to talk down, but to represent these issues and argue, then a common ground could be found to create a unanimous position, otherwise have a vote to register positions, the same thing was done in the 2016 election.
Again, parading it out as a stunt during a coup to deny proper certification of an election is the wrong way to go about that.

I am not saying that there would have been no value to such a move earlier in the cycle, particularly if those in leadership positions were willing to stand by the results, but that's not what happened. What happened is that 120 Republican Senators voted against certifying a legitimate election with no real evidence to support them, just to pander to a base that had, just hours early, broke into the chamber, some with weapons, explosives, and riot cuffs, hoping to apprehend and/or murder their colleagues.

There's no excuse for that. None.
 
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Amiga

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Again, parading it out as a stunt during a coup to deny proper certification of an election is the wrong way to go about that.

I am not saying that there would have been no value to such a move earlier in the cycle, particularly if those in leadership positions were willing to stand by the results, but that's not what happened. What happened is that 120 Republican Senators voted against certifying a legitimate election with no real evidence to support them, just to pander to a base that had, just hours early, broke into the chamber, some with weapons, explosives, and riot cuffs, hoping to apprehend and/or murder their colleagues.

There's no excuse for that. None.

painting the whole base as those criminals is disingenuous, I don't think you even believe that. they were condemned unequivocally. why do you ignore that?

as for the vote against, it was their duty as representatives to discuses the issue raised by their constituents, it was the job of others to argue otherwise. that's the whole point of congress.
 

SF Kosmo

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painting the whole base as those criminals is disingenuous, I don't think you even believe that.
I don't believe that and said nothing of the sort. Where are you even getting that?

they were condemned unequivocally. why do you ignore that?
Cruz literally spoke to those very same people at the rally an hour before his stunt on the house floor, which was moments before they broke in. The way he went about this was irresponsible and he shares some partial guilt for feeding into it.

You seem to be arguing that Cruz was just trying to calm people down and reassure them the results are legitimate, and I don't buy it. He was fence riding and trying to ride the wave of anger without fully endorsing it. It was cynical and had disastrous results.

as for the vote against, it was their duty as representatives to discuses the issue raised by their constituents, it was the job of others to argue otherwise. that's the whole point of congress.
Then no one did their duty, because that's not what happened. A couple people expressed that they had non-specific "concerns" and then 120 of them voted to overturn a democratic election.
 
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