My story is one of many stories
February 2, 2021 4:57 PM   Subscribe

The reason why I think it's important to share is because so many of the people who helped perpetrate and who take responsibility for what happened in the Capitol are trying to tell us all to move on. AOC on what happened in the Capitol. [Insta video]
posted by roolya_boolya (130 comments total) 86 users marked this as a favorite
 
I promise you, if the perpetrators–high and low, alike–aren't punished, this will happen again. And it will be worse. The next iteration of the Dear Leader will be more skilled, and he'll probably have an actual work ethic. If you wondered what you would have done when the Nazis were having their Beer Hall Putsch, you're doing it right now.
posted by ivanthenotsoterrible at 5:09 PM on February 2 [94 favorites]




I feel so sad for her. That's it. It's hard to explain, and particularly hard to explain to men, how sad I feel.
posted by tiny frying pan at 5:12 PM on February 2 [56 favorites]


Variety: The Extraordinary Power of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Instagram Live. "While conservative shock jocks like Alex Jones and Rush Limbaugh or snide internet pundits like Ben Shapiro and Tomi Lahren run on loud graphics and disdain, Ocasio-Cortez most often settles into a lo-fi, straightforward approach that radiates calm rather than fury. FDR had Fireside Chats to reassure and inform his public; AOC has Instagram Live."
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:23 PM on February 2 [60 favorites]


Thanks for posting this, and thanks Pronoiac for posting the twitter-thread, because I won't be able to see the whole insta-post before Thursday. This is so heart-breaking and so extreme.
The Democrats at all levels of government need to take this seriously. They probably know already.
posted by mumimor at 5:23 PM on February 2 [6 favorites]


I have to ruefully acknowledge that while I expected shenanigans, I expected them to be more performative and ultimately impotent. The ones that AOC and others have described had serious potential to be far more potent and ultimately devastating to their individual lives and a permanent blow to institutions in this country.

I'm angry at the people who participated in the insurrection. But I'm livid at those who are behind it. And for the last year they have demonstrated that they are, essentially, a hostile force that's already been at war with the country for a long, long time.

I hope that all the hands are on deck to prosecute those whose boots were in the capitol. But I hope those hands are working levers to get at those who told the lies and suggested the course that made this happen.
posted by wildblueyonder at 5:25 PM on February 2 [13 favorites]


And we've had the rather revolting "sentiment" that she is being "manipulative" by recounting her story coming out of the woodwork, looking to dismiss her by using the same playbook used to dismiss victims of domestic violence.

It's just disgusting, but as was pointed out elsewhere, it's not surprising.
posted by NoxAeternum at 5:27 PM on February 2 [42 favorites]


When Congress reconvene on the night of January 6, there were rumors then a number of GOP lawmakers were afraid to affirm Joe Biden’s win, for fear of harm to themselves or their families.

Each and everyone of them is a complete fucking coward next to AOC. What a bunch of complete fucking chicken shits.
posted by Sublimity at 5:33 PM on February 2 [108 favorites]


And we've had the rather revolting "sentiment" that she is being "manipulative" by recounting her story

Part and parcel with Lindsey Graham's talk that the impeachment is all about scoring political points.

When men like Graham are saying that, you know there's points to be scored.
posted by wildblueyonder at 5:36 PM on February 2 [15 favorites]


She also sent out an account to her list, which might be useful for those not in a position to watch the video (sorry, it's a little long but I don't see it linked elsewhere):

Monday night, I hopped on IG live to talk about what happened at the Capitol. My story is one of many. It’s not the only story or the central story.

But, it’s important to share because so many of the people who helped perpetrate what happened are trying to tell us to move on and forget about what happened – saying it isn’t a big deal.

They’re asking us to move on for their own convenience. These are the same tactics used by abusers. What they are really asking is: “Can you forget about this so we can do it again?”

I'm a survivor of sexual assault, and I haven't told many people that in my life. But when we go through trauma, whether we have neglectful parents or any kind of trauma, these episodes can compound on one another. Part of my hesitancy to tell this story until now has to do with some of my trauma. As a survivor, I struggle with the idea of being believed.

Many Republicans have done everything they can to try to rewrite history. They say we’re exaggerating or stoking tensions or even that I should apologize. Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz have had nearly a month to apologize for their role, but over and over they’ve doubled down and said they did the right thing and if they could go back, they’d do it all again. That’s why they need to resign, because they will do it again.

First, let’s dispel the idea that this insurrection happened suddenly – that there was no way for Hawley, Cruz or Trump not to see this violence coming or anticipate their role in stoking it. Everyone knew something was going to happen.

One week before, I started to get text messages from other members of Congress saying that I needed to be careful on Wednesday. So I started thinking through a security plan with my staff.

Insurrectionists arrived in town starting on Monday. That day, as I exited the Capitol, a crowd of Trump supporters were gathered directly behind my car. All there was to protect myself and other members of Congress was a waist-high fence.

My heart was beating fast. They were yelling insults my way. I tried to lighten the mood to create enough space for me to drive away and get out of there.

Later that day, I went to the grocery store and saw all these people in MAGA hats. It felt tense. And, I guess it felt like – whether you’re from the Bronx, New York City, Queens, or wherever – you can just catch a vibe and kind of know a general sense of when things aren’t right. And things started to feel “not right” when I was in that grocery store that Monday night.

By Tuesday, 24 hours before the events on January 6th, I had already resolved that I wouldn’t go back outside except to vote. Myself and other members asked about security plans, and we were told that it was being handled by Capitol Police and couldn’t be shared.

Fast forward, Wednesday, January 6: At 12:45pm, my chief of staff called me and asked how I was feeling. In that moment, I was feeling great – Rev. Warnock and Jon Ossoff had just won. I was on cloud nine. It took a weight off my shoulders – and I hoped maybe it would take the wind out of the sails of the growing mob outside the Capitol.
Shortly after we hung up, I heard violent bangs on my office door and all the doors into our congressional office. My legislative director – G – told me to hide. I ran into the bathroom – then quickly realized I should have gone to the closet instead. When I opened the door to move, I heard that someone had already gotten into my office. It was too late. Then, they started to yell: “Where is she?” “Where is she?” “Where is she?”

This is the moment I thought everything was over. As a spiritual person, I thought: if this is the plan for me, people – you all – would be able to take it from here. I felt that things were going to be okay and that I had fulfilled my purpose.

Peaking through the hinges of the door behind which I was hiding, I saw a white man with a black beanie come into my direct office. He continued to ask, “where is she?” “where is she?” Finally, I heard G follow him and say “Boss, it’s OK to come out.”

The man in the black beanie was a Capitol Police officer – he was alone with no partner, and I never heard him identify himself as Capitol Police or anything. We weren’t sure if he was there to help us or hurt us. He was looking at me with a tremendous amount of anger and hostility.

Yelling, he told us to go to a different building where all Members would be extracted – not providing the room number or any other exact information on where in the building that extraction point was. Still, we started running. Alone with no escort and no specific location, we could hear the rioters outside. Not knowing where to go, I ran to find the offices of members I knew in the building. After running up and down the stairs, googling frantically to find room numbers, I eventually found Rep. Katie Porter’s office and asked if we could shelter with her.

She welcomed us in, and we started searching for where we could hide. We pushed couches against the door. I found clothes and sneakers to change into in case I needed to run, jump out of a window, or blend in with a crowd. We turned off all the lights.

Shortly after we finished barricading ourselves, we received intelligence that bombs were found not far from where we were. We discussed what we’d do if the building exploded. Staffers were making decisions to put their lives on the line to save us.

When I finally learned the location of the extraction point, I didn't feel safe going there, knowing that some Republican members were live tweeting the locations of the Speaker and others. I knew the National Guard hadn’t been called. We were in Rep. Porter’s office for hours.

After the building was secure, I walked over to Rep. Pressley’s office where she and her staffers made sure I was fed. We were at Ayanna’s office until 4am as Congress finally proceeded with voting to certify the electoral college. There are more details to share at some point, but not today.

Rep. Pressley told me that night that what I experienced was traumatizing. Hearing her say that, it forced me to pump my brakes. If you have experienced any type of trauma, just admitting and recognizing it is already a big step. The moment you admit that a thing happened to you is hugely important.

I look back on this and Ayanna really helped my healing. Telling your story is an important tool for healing, which is why I’m telling mine. Together, we have 435 stories and we need to tell them because every time a Republican gets on television and tells us to forget, these stories are reminders of what they’re trying to absolve.

What happens now should not be a partisan issue. This moment is not about a difference of political opinion. This is about basic humanity.

We knew that violence was expected on January 6. We knew the rioters depended on someone upholding the lie that the presidential election was fraudulent. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley chose to tell the lie because they thought it would be politically advantageous.

Six people have lost their lives, eyes and limbs have been lost, and many more people traumatized. Even after all of that, not even an ‘I’m sorry.’ Not even an: ‘I didn’t realize what I said would contribute to this violence and if I had known, I wouldn’t have done it.’ Instead the response has been, ‘I did the right thing and I would do it again.’
If that is their stance, these members will continue to be a danger to their colleagues. Given the same conditions, they will choose to endanger their colleagues for political gain again. That’s why we need accountability.
It’s not about revenge, it’s about creating safety. We are not safe with people who hold political power who are willing to endanger lives for political gain.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this or listen to my IG live. I’ve been giving myself the time and space to heal. And, if you’ve experienced trauma, I hope you’ll do the same. You don’t need to have experienced the worst thing or the biggest thing. Talk to someone about it. Acknowledge it in your heart.

Big hugs and build a snowman for me,

AOC
posted by carrienation at 5:47 PM on February 2 [229 favorites]


More senators and representatives need to come forward and tell their stories.
posted by rednikki at 6:11 PM on February 2 [17 favorites]


(If you don’t use Instagram, here it is on AOC’s official Youtube: https://youtu.be/fWNWoNaImQA)
posted by mdonley at 6:20 PM on February 2 [10 favorites]


I was very happy to see she put it in the terminology I've been begging politicians and the media to describe it as: abuse.

Not punishing abuse is enabling abuse.
posted by deadaluspark at 6:22 PM on February 2 [50 favorites]


Bless her. Growing older has been a process of shedding the hero-worship of the people I was taught to look up to as a child. I don't worship AOC by any means, but in my eyes she's objectively an American hero and I'm so fortunate to be alive when she is in her prime.
posted by rogerroger at 6:37 PM on February 2 [47 favorites]


I remember when she got in IG right after it happened and she mentioned that there was a moment where she thought she was going to die and I thought "oh my god I bet it was horrible", you could tell it was scary just from the way she said that one little bit. When I watched this video I was totally rapt. When I hear people say this is manipulative what I hear them responding to is how effective she is, she makes you feel something, and to them they describe it as "being manipulated" like there's something unnatural, it's just how basic communication & listening to each other is supposed to work. You're supposed to allow others to influence how you think a little, sometimes, when it's really important, like now.

Also oh my god the part where they're scrambling around the building googling office numbers looking for a place to hide until they found Rep. Porter (of all the people they could have ran into!) It was truly just good luck. I really hope some of her celebrity friends provide her with private security.
posted by bleep at 6:48 PM on February 2 [43 favorites]


That was absolutely harrowing to read and I can't believe we're already normalizing it (I can, actually, but goddam). We cannot stop referring to this act of insurrection as anything other an act of insurrection and the first shots fired in what could still become a civil war. It was an act of terrorism and warfare. That it was incompetent makes it seem so much less dire than it actually was in spirit. I hope so many more people, especially republicans who can manage to find a semblance of something that once remotely looked it could have been a spine if you squint your eyes in just the right light, tell their stories. I hope AOC's courageous act of telling hers has a snowball effect with the gravity and momentum of #metoo.
posted by treepour at 6:59 PM on February 2 [14 favorites]


I expect Trump to get acquitted. But if Cruz, Hawley, Boebart, Greene, and all other collaborators are not removed, and those like AOC and Jayapal and others do not get justice for the violence and bioterror they suffered at the hands of the GOP, we really need to prepare for civil war in 2022 or 2024. Because even if a few of the Nazis who stormed the Capitol might go to jail, the larger extremist Christian movement behind them will not stop. They will know that Republicans have their backs to foment further violent attacks.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 7:02 PM on February 2 [27 favorites]


carrienation, thank you so much for posting that text, and thank you to everyone in this thread who's posted alternative ways to access her story.

Every time I read it, something different stands out - like this:
Myself and other members asked about security plans, and we were told that it was being handled by Capitol Police and couldn’t be shared.
Couldn't be shared? With the people whose lives were at risk? That's appalling. And inexcusable. (I mean, sure, I'm sure there are some aspects of it that you might keep classified to enhance security, but surely there are specific security plans you can and must share with people to prepare them for the possibility of being evacuated. I mean how many fire drills have you been in? People at risk need to know what provisions have been made for their safety, and how they can access them.

I feel like a broken record, but I just don't understand why actual threats against members of Congress were not acted on the moment they were posted - as in, before Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez even won her seat, but especially the moment she won, because I'm quite sure she was getting threats back then. As are many other members of Congress, to this day. Threatening someone is against the law.

Threats need to be prosecuted. Threats against anyone, no matter what their job - but especially threats against public officials, which are intended to be threats against the polity and clearly do in fact function that way.

I want to know how many threats have been made, and how many have been investigated; and I want that calculus to change, so every threat gets prosecuted to the maximum extent possible.

Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez IS a hero. I admire her, and so appreciate her; and I am so glad she is taking some time to heal, a bit, and I hope she has ALL the support she needs.
posted by kristi at 7:02 PM on February 2 [36 favorites]


I have to ruefully acknowledge that while I expected shenanigans, I expected them to be more performative and ultimately impotent.

I've been surprised at how performative and impotent they ultimately were. The more we find how many of these jackasses were established, successful middle class and above, it becomes more apparent to me that the majority are superior warriors in their own minds with too much time and resources on their hands. The damage and loss of life would have been worse with an equal number of out of control 8th graders. Except most 8th graders have a sense of consequences. Instead, these clowns expect the system will cut them some slack, just because, and the system is doing it's damnedest to accommodate those expectations.
posted by 2N2222 at 7:56 PM on February 2 [13 favorites]


The damage and loss of life would have been worse with an equal number of out of control 8th graders.

Five dead, at least one of them trampled by her own MAGA brethren. Reading this story I was struck that maybe this came a lot closer to the edge of all-out disaster than we realize, because we are distracted by all of the photos of people clowning in dumb costumes. How many were armed? How many might have made a terrible choice if they actually had the opportunity?
posted by anhedonic at 8:20 PM on February 2 [28 favorites]


I've been surprised at how performative and impotent they ultimately were ... The damage and loss of life would have been worse with an equal number of out of control 8th graders.

Really? One officer is dead, beaten to death by these "8th graders," and currently lying in state at the capital. 160 other officers were injured, losing eyes, concussions, broken limbs, beaten with sticks and poles, etc.

Oh, I guess you mean they didn't accomplish their goal, as one woman invader yelled "we're here to shoot Pelosi in the friggin' brain."
posted by JackFlash at 8:23 PM on February 2 [36 favorites]


Reading this story I was struck that maybe this came a lot closer to the edge of all-out disaster than we realize, because we are distracted by all of the photos of people clowning in dumb costumes. How many were armed? How many might have made a terrible choice if they actually had the opportunity?
posted by anhedonic


It was waaaay closer than many on the anti-Trump side seem to be currently admitting, even if only to themselves. There is no room for a jot of complacency or denial here.

I thought things would calm down a lot after the transfer of power, but it doesn't seem to be the case, and now I am about as anxious at it all as I was on the 19th Jan. In particular, the speed and knavery of the Repub congresspeople in bowing down again to Trump, post-transfer, has been more than a little disturbing.
posted by Pouteria at 8:46 PM on February 2 [25 favorites]


Really?

Yes. Really. There's nothing special about beating or trampling to death. Virtually any mob can do it. And getting shot isn't particularly hard to do in the US. The surprising thing is how much it didn't happen.

I'll grant you, 8th graders are not likely to die of heart attack, tho.

How many might have made a terrible choice if they actually had the opportunity?

They had the opportunity and did make a terrible choice. As to their goals, to the extent they really had any, other than take selfies and trash the place, I'm quite thankful they were as incompetent and aimless a they were. This could have been a real bloodbath. Next time it will be.
posted by 2N2222 at 8:50 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


The bit with the USCP officer is particularly worrying. I mean, I can construct explanations of the behavior that are other than favoring the insurrectionists, but they collapse pretty compactly to "incompetence". I.e., it's possible he was panicked himself and that read as anger, but I am reasonably sure the training for "checking on protectees to make sure they are secure" is something like knocking on the office door and saying "ma'am I'm Officer X from the Capitol Police, I want to make sure Member Y is safe", not storming through the office screaming "Where is she?!"

And if I'm distressed pondering whether it was malice or incompetence, I can only imagine what the Democratic MoC are feeling, given they rely on the USCP for protection and that we know there are literal millions of people who actively wish them dead.
posted by tavella at 8:52 PM on February 2 [43 favorites]


Me too, tiny frying pan, me too.
posted by stellaluna at 9:02 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


I watched the nine minute section of her talk that was shared by Justice Democrats on Twitter, and it affected me deeply.

I really dislike the "insurrection" word that has been latched upon by just about everyone. This is a twenty-first-century, fancy, bullshit word like "insurgent," which shares the same root. It's too wordy, it's clumsy, it's fancy upper-class English using Latinate roots. It gives the riot a nobility or gravity that it shouldn't have. It's like saying "sustenance" when you mean "food."

To me, this event was a very simple, old, American thing, writ large. It was a lynch mob. This was a mass of white people without thoughtful organization or demands, gathered by for and from racist liars and fearmongers, to find, capture, and kill Black people and their perceived allies. We could say "terrorize" but again, to me that's too classy of a word. The aim is to kill and injure publicly, to strike fear and to cow into silence, to outnumber. Like other lynch mobs, they made a fun party out of it, and took photos and stole mementos, they brought their families along to the picnic. This was a white community event, for some definition of white community.

And I think that it becomes a lot easier to describe and understand when seen through that lens, and compared to other American events of racist violence. We don't need to call these people by carefully descriptive, accurate, inclusive terms. I know there was a panoply of reasons for them to show up, and they had a variety of backgrounds and motivations. But to me, they're all racists. They may not know or think that's all they are- that's one of the mechanisms of it, that white people enjoy. They were performing the punishment functions of public white racist events. We don't need to dignify the details.

To the extent that we attempt understanding their motives, it has to come from a perspective of seeing them as drops in the sea of racism. They flowed where it was easiest for them to go, and powerful people built channels for them, sea walls, and locks, and planned for the high tide.
posted by panhopticon at 9:13 PM on February 2 [138 favorites]


I feel like lynch mob, fascists and terrorists are words we need to see right now but aren't.
posted by dazed_one at 9:25 PM on February 2 [36 favorites]


damage and loss of life would have been worse with an equal number of out of control 8th graders.

We are very lucky it did not turn into a shooting match because it is likely the police would have lost. Those 8th graders were very well armed.
posted by benzenedream at 9:40 PM on February 2 [5 favorites]


I feel like lynch mob, fascists and terrorists are words we need to see right now but aren't.

These bozos tried to run what the NYRB calls the Stupid Coup. But we're still at the cusp of 1930s Germany. We need to remind each other of that. The Stupids behind their Coup are still well-organized.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:44 PM on February 2 [6 favorites]


I thought things would calm down a lot after the transfer of power, but it doesn't seem to be the case, and now I am about as anxious at it all as I was on the 19th Jan. In particular, the speed and knavery of the Repub congresspeople in bowing down again to Trump, post-transfer, has been more than a little disturbing.

He's the antipresident.

Try this on for size, a bit of Neal Stephenson: since the nationalists are the ones who have the evidently-now-rare ability to color outside the lines, why does there need to be only one imperial government in our glorious republic?

All of the states that nationalists control lock, stock, and barrel (I had no idea until I looked that expression up just now that it refers to firearms... I thought it was about selling all assets of a small business to a single person) could surrender all rights of governance the US Constitution does not reserve to the federal Executive, Legislative, or Judicial branches to the Trumpocracy: a new duplicate government run by conmen and cons, some holding office from prison, a Con-federal Government if you will.

Sure, maybe there's a law or a constitutional clause somewhere forbidding it, but if he can commit the constitutional definition of treason on national television with no consequences, who cares? Wheeeee!

Also, let's make our own third government and put AOC in charge. It's not a foreign government nor a foreign office or military rank and the Titles of Nobility Amendment was never even passed anyways, so she can serve in Congress (or as Prez...) simultaneously.

I call dibs on the Bizarro-Ambassadorship to Liechtenstein. Or maybe Eswatini, I can't decide... the people seem nice and I'm tired of shoveling snow right now.
posted by XMLicious at 9:54 PM on February 2 [3 favorites]


There is so much bizarre hatred being stoked against AOC that the cop himself might have been trying to decide what he was there to do as she & G were waiting to find out.
posted by bleep at 10:12 PM on February 2 [6 favorites]


From Mark Danner at the NYRB:

And I thought of watching the tumult and the flags and the savage fighting at the wounded Capitol that day and the words that had several times come unbidden into my mind there — that unctuous phrase that has come to describe America and our era: "This is not who we are." And yet, I thought, it is what we do.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:54 PM on February 2 [9 favorites]


This entire ninety-minute video is incredible—a kaleidoscope of emotion to watch, with tears on my part and human recognition of times I have faced my own death reflected in her eyes, and it was an experience that I think will stay with me forever and give me strength in the dark times—but the part where she describes going into a store to buy a bottled drink so she could get her parking validated, when she quite possibly as a congresswoman already drives a car with special license plates and could easily swing getting chauffeured in a limozeen every day out of campaign or superPAC donations alone without even getting into graft if she wanted, caused my eyes to turn in to 💖s.

You coulda knocked me over with Bernie mittens. Preach, sister!

But let's, ah... not outlaw high heels I guess, but have a complete overriding SawStop-type, pull-the-ripcord brake on any pressure whatsoever for women to wear them, anywhere, anytime. Sneakers are now for the catwalk and are black tie event wear.

Also, hearing her talk about waiting at the extraction point was Fall of Saigon, Washington, D.C. edition. The exact same way the Viet Cong rifled through the US embassy, that's what the insurrectionists were doing stealing laptops and paperwork. They were going to rename the place Donald Trump City.
posted by XMLicious at 2:40 AM on February 3 [4 favorites]


AOC says she started wondering if she was projecting onto the officer anything. She says she talked to G and G says they didn't know if the officer was there to help or hurt them.

She says G wasn't sure if he was going to have to fight the officer. They couldn't tell.


An incredibly American moment.
posted by srboisvert at 2:58 AM on February 3 [20 favorites]


And we have Greenwald mocking AOC's testimony on video. How utterly disgusting, and shows that misogyny is a problem on both sides of the fence.
posted by NoxAeternum at 4:20 AM on February 3 [24 favorites]


Y'know, I've heard the detail that she borrowed sneakers in case she had to run for it. I didn't think that was real, I thought someone was trying to make a joke. It seems too unreal.

It's confirmed. I guess she was wearing heels.

I don't know why it was this one detail, after everything I've seen. She had to be ready to run for it. My god.
posted by adept256 at 4:44 AM on February 3 [6 favorites]


Oh fuck off, Greenwald, you puffed-up self-important past-it little blowhard. You're supposed to be a reporter, for fuck's sake. Get your fucking facts straight.
posted by flabdablet at 4:52 AM on February 3 [24 favorites]


And I would like to apologize to invertebrates. We know the important role you play in the ecosystem, we really couldn't live without you, and you do it all without a spine. I'm sorry for including republicans among your multitudes. and all those times I squished you.
posted by adept256 at 4:53 AM on February 3 [5 favorites]


This is a good thread from Captain Awkward on AOC's experience:
"If you have to run through your workplace in heels because people with weapons are looking specifically for you, to MURDER YOU, and your coworkers, you get to fucking cry about it and demand that people be held accountable. That's not "dramatic." That's not an overreaction....

"I threw up and cried after I watched AOC's video. I was so angry and scared for her.

"That is not "overreacting." That is not being manipulated.

"That is reacting to a young political leader almost being assassinated and to a country that seems to be doing jack shit about it."
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:10 AM on February 3 [71 favorites]


Those characterizing the quite proper revulsion at an attempted coup in the halls of Congress are deliberately and dishonestly downplaying what happened, what we all saw unfold before our own eyes, and which have subsequently been shown to be even worse than we thought. They're taking the side of terrorists and thugs and setting the stage for the next coup.

Those who call AOC's powerful recollections "manipulative" are admitting, despite themselves, that her testimony against them is powerful, and are attempting to dismiss in typical bad faith an argument they can't refute. It's the same confession Marjorie Greene makes when she attacks the Parkland survivors -- their story is a powerful argument against her position, and so she pretends it's fake rather than address it, because she can't.
posted by Gelatin at 5:15 AM on February 3 [25 favorites]


CNN is reporting that eight of those charged so far didn't vote.

I don't know why I'm surprised. They don't believe in democracy. This don't want democracy.
posted by adept256 at 5:23 AM on February 3 [23 favorites]


It occurs to me that so-called conservatives are much better at appeals to emotion, including emotional counterarguments, because that's all they have. I like to think that my side wants to have a more reasoned argument, but I wonder if that also means that our leaders in politics and the media are a bit leery of such powerful emotional arguments as the Parkland survivors or the national revulsion over the attempted coup, though they vastly underestimate how deeply and widely those feelings are shared among decent people.

Ultimately, politics is about the way our society chooses to organize itself, and it's perfectly okay to say "we're tired of sacrificing our children on the altar of the Second Amendment" and "no, you don't get to overturn an election loss with a lynch mob."
posted by Gelatin at 5:25 AM on February 3 [11 favorites]


adept256 These people are monarchists and they want Trump to be their king. It's not surprising they don't "get" democracy.
posted by lordrunningclam at 5:28 AM on February 3 [9 favorites]


And one more. Mona Eltahawy: AOC the Disruptor.

"She is a disruptor whose candid recounting of the horrors of that day insists that we acknowledge the fascism of the white supremacist mob that was bent on overturning the election that ousted Donald Trump as a violence not just against lawmakers like her but by extension the people she represents. It was a mob that wanted to force white dominance on the voices of Black and people of colour who voted to oust Trump."
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:32 AM on February 3 [32 favorites]


CNN is reporting that eight of those charged so far didn't vote.

I don't know why I'm surprised. They don't believe in democracy. This don't want democracy.


It's also just easy to complain and hang out with your comfortable middle class mob and destroy, and voting is a minor inconvenience (for white people), so that's right out.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:08 AM on February 3 [2 favorites]


What bothers me most about the Republican downplaying of the attack on Congress -- when Republican members of Congress and Republican aides and operatives were also in the building, were also hiding and barricading themselves, must also have been scared -- is that it really spells out how they must have expected to be able to say "I'm a Republican, I'm on your side" to the attackers if push came to shove. To hell with their colleagues, to hell with all the unaffiliated staff -- as long as I'm in the in-group, it's fine if something happens to you. My own safety and my own advantage are the only yardstick for anything. It's a very stark illustration of the mentality behind ethnic nationalism, fascism, conservatism, and the Republican party for as long as I've known it.
posted by trig at 6:28 AM on February 3 [26 favorites]


CNN is reporting that eight of those charged so far didn't vote

I'm sure the election was stolen even though me and my fellow treasonous bastards never actually bothered to vote for the guy who we're so fucksure won!

Jesus christ I fucking can't even anymore.
posted by deadaluspark at 6:32 AM on February 3 [20 favorites]


OAC is about the only Democratic politician who isn't publicly treating the coup attempt as some sort of normal political disagreement wherein everyone should be able to find common ground and come to a happy compromise. As far as I can tell the plan seems to be:

1. Attempt to impeach Trump, but let's not be too forceful about it.
2. Maybe he gets convicted?
3. Either way, that should show him and his enablers!
4. Move on and pretend it didn't happen because you wouldn't want to be rude about it.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:35 AM on February 3 [9 favorites]


1. Attempt to impeach Trump, but let's not be too forceful about it.
2. Maybe he gets convicted?
3. Either way, that should show him and his enablers!
4. Move on and pretend it didn't happen because you wouldn't want to be rude about it.


The Democrats have a long nasty habit of airballing easy slam dunks.
posted by deadaluspark at 6:37 AM on February 3 [10 favorites]


Well, to be fair if they go all in on prosecuting the people responsible for the coup attempt they may lose the vote of some guy in a diner in Arkansas.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:39 AM on February 3 [8 favorites]


Well, to be fair if they go all in on prosecuting the people responsible for the coup attempt they may lose the vote of some guy in a diner in Arkansas.

Well... we just confirmed they don't actually, you know, vote.... Sooooooo.....
posted by deadaluspark at 6:40 AM on February 3 [9 favorites]


And we have Greenwald mocking AOC's testimony on video. How utterly disgusting, and shows that misogyny is a problem on both sides of the fence.

It is both entirely true that misogyny is a problem on both sides of the fence, and that Greenwald has long since proven he's not on any side of the fence I'd call mine. Stopped clocks and all that. He needs to just go away.
posted by bcd at 6:47 AM on February 3 [20 favorites]


And we've had the rather revolting "sentiment" that she is being "manipulative" by recounting her story coming out of the woodwork, looking to dismiss her by using the same playbook used to dismiss victims of domestic violence.

It is just so depressing. It's one of the few times that I really 100% believe the liberal critique of [certain elements of] the left. I mean, you don't need to be a fucking fan of AOC to admit that they weren't going to just hug it out if they found her, and you don't need to be a brain genius to understand that if there's an angry mob out there baying for your blood it's going to be pretty scary.

All these cis men (I mean, I'm sure there's a few cool girls too) pretending that this was no big deal and AOC and them are faking it for political gain....and therefore what? That means it's okay to have baying mobs after people because baying mobs are no big deal*?

Or the other narrative, the one where "just because the mob egged each other on to beat a cop to death and grotesquely injure a bunch of other cops doesn't mean they would have hurt any politicians, they're not going to hurt actual powerful, affluent people"...

It's really pretty grotesque. I've been in a couple of situations where I could have gotten very, very badly hurt due to my gender identity and sexuality, and those were really scary times. In fact, after many years of feeling relatively safe due to a variety of misunderstandings about risk, those things really shook me and made me realize that, as a visibly queer, transmasculine person, if I cross the wrong men in a space where there are few witnesses, sexualized violence and/or actual rape are totally what is going to happen. I'd always secretly assumed that because I'm not particularly attractive or young, I was safe, but events have shown this not to be the case.

If you said to me, "a condition of having a good job is that you have to accept that once every couple of years you're going to roll those dice", I wouldn't take that job! It's very frustrating to me to hear all this stuff from men, especially white men, about how AOC is faking or being manipulative or "was never actually in danger" when they have no idea about the way that marginalized people are in fact subject to violence and particularly sexual violence.

You don't have to like AOC or indeed any of them to recognize this stuff, and the whole "well, they should keep a stiff upper lip and not talk about it, talking about it is manipulative" thing....! I mean, it's entirely reasonable to talk about being afraid of a mob at your work.

*Also, given that we on the left tend to think that a certain amount of mob baying is necessary for social change, what does that say about our goals? All those militant protests/riots/insurrections? We are happy to claim that we're trying to throw a scare into capital, but then we turn around and say that capital shouldn't be scared?
posted by Frowner at 7:17 AM on February 3 [43 favorites]


I mean, you don't need to be a fucking fan of AOC to admit that they weren't going to just hug it out if they found her, and you don't need to be a brain genius to understand that if there's an angry mob out there baying for your blood it's going to be pretty scary.

As someone pointed out when some fascists were planning a mob to come for Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, it's impossible to dismiss the possibility that the violence that occurred would exclude rape.
posted by Gelatin at 7:24 AM on February 3 [7 favorites]


Fascists to someone who might have been killed: “Sheesh, get over it.”

Fascist after getting a kiss on the cheek: “I am more worried about going out to dinner on an average Tuesday because these people are roaming around.”
posted by farlukar at 7:42 AM on February 3


And we have Greenwald mocking AOC's testimony on video. How utterly disgusting, and shows that misogyny is a problem on both sides of the fence.

I do not know how many times I need to explain to people that Glenn Greenwald, who began his career in the public eye as the attorney for the World Church of the Creator in their efforts to avoid being held liable for somebody who listened to their screeds about wiping out black people going on a shooting spree and killing several PoC, is not any kind of left.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:55 AM on February 3 [56 favorites]


Voltaire was right and January 6 proved it. “Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities, Can Make You Commit Atrocities.” The most disturbing part of the Lynch Mob is these fools 100% believe they are righteous and true patriotic Americans. They are not just garden variety, racist assholes. They are woefully deluded pawns and if the GOP is not held accountable for their complicity in this unholy mess then we should expect more and worse to come. God bless AOC for having the courage and generosity to speak her truth openly and honestly. I hope more will follow her lead.
posted by pjsky at 8:58 AM on February 3 [19 favorites]


This is the moment I thought everything was over. As a spiritual person, I thought: if this is the plan for me, people – you all – would be able to take it from here. I felt that things were going to be okay and that I had fulfilled my purpose.

This is the moment that breaks my heart the most. This country doesn't deserve her.
posted by mstokes650 at 9:42 AM on February 3 [10 favorites]


I was worried about her safety before reading this, and I'm even more worried now. This isn't just some weird parasocial concern either -- I was fortunate enough to have a couple of in depth small group conversations with her when she was running in the primary. At the time, most people I knew who considered themselves electoral experts in NYC considered her well-intentioned but totally without a chance.

As far as I could tell, she was exactly as she is in her instagram videos -- warm, insightful, funny, and very thoughtful. Even at that time I was skeptical of electoral politics, but I consider her victory in the primary and two geneal elections to be a high water mark for left/socialist electoral politics in the US. I'm sad that she hasn't been able to advance a Green New Deal or Medicare for All, however, I know that the odds are very much against her. Still happy to see her in office and clapping back at misogynistic conservative jerkoffs on Twitter.

I assumed previously that she had some kind of Capitol Police security detail, given the absurd number of threats against her. On the day of the Capitol insurrection (the term dates back to at least 1807), I saw that she hadn't tweeted. I assumed it was because her security detail had her under wraps in a well defended location and that she'd eventually emerge to let us know what happened. I'm deeply shocked and horrified to find out that in fact she had no protective detail at all. And after all the details that have emerged about the Capitol Police (and the security services generally with respect to riot participation) I'm not sure that a police protective detail would actually make her any safer. I believe that at least one Black female Member of Congress has said that during the evacuation she wasn't sure whether she could trust the police officers ushering them to "safety" and I'm believe we should listen to her instincts.

This entire incident and aftermathm, I think, says a lot about the contradictions in which the electoral left finds itself. By electoral left, I mean the groups and personalities that are focused on winning elections within/around the Democrats and who devote the majority of their resources to contesting various ballot races. I understand that the Democratic contingent in Congress is pushing to expel Republican members who collaborated with the insurrectionists, but what if that fails, as it seems likely to do? How are AOC and the other Democratic members who are targets of fascist violence going to be safe when they can't even trust their own security? Yeah okay, metal detectors on the floor of the Congress but the cops still have guns. I find myself agreeing with bleep that the cop who came into AOC's office might not have decided what he was going to do. I find myself wondering if that guy was similar to the cop who told a Member something like "see, do you appreciate us now?" Followed orders to secure the Members, but very grudgingly because he doesn't like them much. The question is, in another coup attempt, will the cops grudgingly follow orders again, or just....not?

The problem is that the electoral left has pretty much agreed that the police have a monopoly on violence even in self protection. It's just a nonstarter to say "hey maybe we should protect ourselves if the cops can't/won't?" It's not just limited to liberals either. There are a bunch of people on the Dirtbag Left who are mocking AOC's video, and who also are minimizing the actual real threat that she and the other lawmakers faced during the insurrection. Part of it is obviously misogyny. But there's more to it as well I think. For all their bad manners and tough guy/gal talk the Dirtbags are totally committed to an electoral strategy. They also identify as Marxists, which makes for a problematic situation, since Marxism is a revolutionary tradition in which picking up a weapon and getting down to it is a time honored tradition. Add on to that the sort of macho chest beating, then it becomes clear to me why they have to minimize what happened to AOC. In order for them to be electoralists, the one thing that they cannot do is cross the red line of armed self protection. Yet they also have to still claim to be tough Marxist revolutionaries who know What Is To Be Done. Therefore the logical answer is, well what happened isn't a big deal.

It is a big deal. AOC and every other progressive/socialist politician are in danger. It isn't clear to me that the systems that are supposed to protect them can or will. The Democratic establishment has built a recruitment process that says if you don't show your neck to the system we won't let you into the club. I'm not sure how viable that is going forward.
posted by wuwei at 9:44 AM on February 3 [24 favorites]


I am really glad AOC represents leftist politics so incredibly well. She is able to organize young people and even liberals/moderates better than anyone else right now.

I think she is the future of the Democratic party and I hope the very, very old guard will understand this sooner than later. At the same time, I am incredibly worried for her because liberal, moderate, and conservative politicians all hate nothing more than popular leftist organizers who are amazing at what they do.
posted by Ouverture at 9:49 AM on February 3 [22 favorites]


"...these fools 100% believe they are righteous and true patriotic Americans."

They "believe" this because to face who and what they truly are would be beyond death-like for them; it would shatter their souls—what little bit of souls they barely acknowledge, that is.

They cannot, under any circumstances allow themselves to accept that they are the overweening abusive assholes: selfish, immature, greedy, weak-egoed. Who, except those people with monumentally weak egos and a stout refusal to recognize that what they want is repugnant, would create a god who is basically themselves writ universal, strive so hard to force people to bend to their will, and be so eager to kill those who won't bow down to them and their childish, ridiculous, and reckless demands? When I look at these people, including the likes of McConnell, and what it is they want, which boils down to "I want all the goodies, all the power, and everybody else can be my scapegoats forever and ever and ever!", it's like they're like overgrown 5-year-olds. Who have guns. And control of the public purse.

Representative Ocasio-Cortez is a minority, a woman, and is willing to speak truth to power, which pisses them off. She's also got a lot of qualities they wish they had and are resentful of her having, like beauty, youth and intelligence. But on top of all that, she is an adult, and behaves like an adult, and they hate that worst of all. That's why there's so many people eager to cut her down. She's also the mom who is saying to them, "NO, UNACCEPTABLE!" and that absolutely grinds their gears, because nobody tells them what to do, dammit! And she'd never date any of them, either, would she?

Speaking of the trifling cishet white men who think they're slagging her, it's their misogyny and racism, of course, their "anger at mom" complex, I'm sure, and an attempt to push away feelings of compassion, because, again, to acknowledge any of it would mean that they have to see the asshole within themselves, and they just can't do that. They'd have to change themselves and work to be better. Who'd bother with that when it means they can't have all the goodies for themselves, can't hurt people whenever they felt like it, and also have to take other people and the planet into consideration? No, it's the minority woman who is wrong and lying to gain unwarranted sympathy.

I hope that Representative Ocasio-Cortez and the other members of the Squad have wide and deep personal support systems. I'm exhausted just seeing what they have had to go through just to speak up about what's happened to them and to work towards implementing policies they support, so I can't imagine what it must be like to live through all this. I'm glad she has chosen to speak out. What she's done is only "manipulative" if you're an asshole abuser, and I speak from experience.
posted by droplet at 10:32 AM on February 3 [26 favorites]


I couldn't get through to my newly-minted and possibly-temporary U.S. Representative Marriannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) so I called my Senator Pro Tempore Emeritus Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and was greeted with the usual enthusiasm. Had the Senator made a statement about his Republican colleague in the House, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene? He had not. Did he, I asked, having had a couple of weeks to digest the public airing of the Representative's claims, support her mission to violently overthrow the U.S. Government? The receptionist reiterated that the Senator had not made any comments regarding this matter. Considering that his actions constituted a tacit endorsement of the Representative's actions as conscionable within the Congress, did the Senator, having aligned himself with the Representative who supported the execution of the former Secretary of State of the United States, Hillary Clinton, the former President of the United States, Barack Obama, and the sitting Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, support the mission of those who attempted the violent overthrow of the United States' democratic constitutional government on the sixth of January 2020, threatening the life of the Vice President and the members of the Houses of Congress, having constructed a functioning gallows with which to execute them, and did he consider the Republican Party as it exists in the form of the Republican National Committee with its tacit support of such movements, to be a terrorist organization, and does the Senator consider himself to be a terrorist? No, I was told. The receptionist did not believe that the Senator considered himself a terrorist, but I was thanked for my query and it will be passed along. I asked whether the receptionist considered herself to be a terrorist, but she was already hanging up the phone.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:33 AM on February 3 [36 favorites]


The lone Capitol cop is indeed a mystery. If he'd found her alone, might he have acted differently without witnesses, without a defender? Brought her out to the marauders, then ...?

I agree that she's the future of the party. She's very smart and clear-eyed on the goal and a great communicator.

Her experience was another demonstration of the privilege differential. So many of those armed white men cannot, despite their guns, even begin to imagine being as vulnerable as she is, on a daily basis. Such irony.
posted by Dashy at 10:37 AM on February 3 [10 favorites]


Can I also add that the assholes who surrounded her car and started their baiting attempt with "You hate this country!" but when they saw none of their tactics were working couldn't help but get to the heart of it: "You think you're better than us!"

I mean, there it is right there: weak egos. She's never said anything of the kind.

If they weren't so dangerous, they'd be pitiful.
posted by droplet at 10:41 AM on February 3 [32 favorites]


yeah but she is very much SO much better than them
posted by glasseyes at 10:44 AM on February 3 [21 favorites]


They so very desperately want to be the superior ones, though, to the point of killing cops, attempting to lynch government officials, clamoring for the suppression of rightful votes, and seeking to stop the voices of anyone who isn't them from being heard, and that's the problem.
posted by droplet at 10:53 AM on February 3 [10 favorites]


couldn't help but get to the heart of it: "You think you're better than us!"

Note that this theme runs thru much of the criticism from pundits who like to harp on how "condescending" liberals supposedly are to so-called "Real Americans." Recall how the so-called "liberal media" distorted Hillary Clinton's comment that some of Trump's supporters amounted to a "basket of deplorables."

But we've seen since how true her words were, haven't we? And of course by successfully changing the subject yet again, Republicans managed to avoid addressing the substance of her criticism.

Political disagreement is one thing. But when it comes to Republican support for white supremacists, religious zealous, misogynists, the shambling corpse of the Confederacy, and fascists of the first water, yes, I do think I'm better than they are because of it.
posted by Gelatin at 11:11 AM on February 3 [18 favorites]


From the outside, the impression I have of CNN and the major US broadcast networks is that they seem to blunt their coverage or step away from characterizing the GOP as a fascist movement not to preserve an air of objectivity but because audiences are driven to them when everything is tipping on razor-thin margins. It's important not to roundly condemn the conservatives or to allow a movement to spring up around AOC or Sanders (or allow Hillary to waltz to victory) without pulling at the thread of it in some way - they need to sell the drama and to that end, it's important that the race be always kept tight....but the stakes are rising higher and higher.

Ocasio-Cortez seems to be the only figure who's reaching out to get ahead of it.
posted by bonobothegreat at 11:14 AM on February 3 [10 favorites]


I have listened to a lot of this now and it's rare to get such an obviously unscripted and direct account from anyone, much less a politician. In our soundbite + tweet culture it's easy to forget that "does this person seem reasonable after talking or listening to them at length" is a much better way to get a feel for someone than just disconnected statements.

I loved (?) the part where she talks about going back to the store to buy a matcha and get her parking validated and says something like "you know that feeling you get in a bodega at 1 am where you know someone's about to get jumped? This felt like that ... in a bougie convenience store!"
posted by freecellwizard at 11:58 AM on February 3 [8 favorites]


Proud Boys Leader Secretly Cooperated With F.B.I. and Police

“Frankly, in all the years, which is now more than 30 that I’ve been doing this,” he said at the hearing, “I’ve never had a client as prolific in terms of cooperating in any respect.”

This guy understands what time it is. I think about the political prisoners throughout history who have gone on hunger strike and subsequently died, all the time knowing all they had to do was cooperate. But they actually believed in something, and they'd never betray the cause.

It's hard to know what they believe in, but none of them are willing to suffer for whatever that is. They were running around the capitol like they picked up the star in Mario and nothing could touch them, there would be no consequences. Now the consequences have come knocking with warrants and questions, we're going to see how strong their convictions are.

And this fellow, he's perhaps a little wiser than many republicans who are still operating with a consequence free mindset.
posted by adept256 at 12:02 PM on February 3 [9 favorites]


posted by droplet at 10:32 AM on February 3

For some reason it's not letting me favorite your comment 1,000 times...
posted by Snowishberlin at 12:30 PM on February 3 [1 favorite]


Look forward to the latest talking point: She wasn't there and is making it up. #AlexandriaOcasioSmollet is trending on Twitter.

This is entirely based on the fact that she wasn't in the dome proper, but was in the attached office complex ... they are just outright ignoring the fact that the mob also invaded offices and planted bombs near offices.

But this is the level of the discourse now. Just a complete denial of reality in order to discredit a politician that they have an irrational hate-on for. I don't think that many of them actually truly believe that she's lying - I've come to believe that the truth is simply irrelevant to them.

It's a truly disgusting tag. Hopefully the k-pop stans will get to it soon.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 1:38 PM on February 3 [14 favorites]


adept256, Tarrio isn't helping now with the Insurrection investigation- article says he ratted for a reduced sentence in 2012 in a fraud case unrelated to ProudBoys. This seems more like someone making sure the Proud Boys know he was a rat.
posted by HyperBlue at 1:40 PM on February 3 [10 favorites]


Proud Boys Leader Secretly Cooperated With F.B.I. and Police

Today Canada officially declared Proud Boys to be a terrorist group.
posted by JackFlash at 2:37 PM on February 3 [27 favorites]


CNN says there's a meeting among the House GOP caucus going on to deal with Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene and Representative Liz Cheney. But actually, the issue being discussed appears to only be, what to do about Liz Cheney. Greene actually gave a speech condemning Liz Cheney. She received a standing ovation.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:09 PM on February 3 [4 favorites]


Couldn't be shared? With the people whose lives were at risk? That's appalling. And inexcusable.

It's possible Capitol Police didn't have a good plan for informing members when other members were live tweeting locations to the mob.

It seems insane that congress might need separate Republican and Democrat evacuation plans, with information and command firewalls to stop Republicans from sabotaging Democrats in a terrorist attack, but it kinda seems like that's where we are as a country.
posted by ryanrs at 5:24 PM on February 3 [9 favorites]


Republican House Leader McCarthy just had a press conference where among other things he said that Greene had denounced "Q-On, I don't know if I'm saying that right, I don't know what it is."

Q-On. Apply directly to the facepalm.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:08 PM on February 3 [6 favorites]


McCarthy would have responded to Pearl Harbor by insisting that he has no love for the Azzis Powers, is he saying that right?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:13 PM on February 3 [6 favorites]


CNN says there's a meeting among the House GOP caucus going on to deal with Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene and Representative Liz Cheney.

Greene is the woman who says 9/11 was a hoax, the Parkland shootings were child actors, the California wildfires were started by Jewish space lasers, ran an ad holding an assault rifle saying she was the AOC Squad's worst nightmare, and that Nancy Pelosi should be executed.

They finished the meeting and Republicans gave Greene a standing ovation.

I think Biden is going to have some problems with that unity thing.
posted by JackFlash at 6:17 PM on February 3 [23 favorites]


The actions of Biden and the Congressional Democrats indicate that they also know that "unity" is not an effective legislative strategy, but they see some political benefit in giving Republicans an opportunity to reject it.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:19 PM on February 3 [25 favorites]


when they saw none of their tactics were working couldn't help but get to the heart of it: "You think you're better than us!"


Note that when bigots say “you think you’re better than me” what they really mean is “you think you’re equal to me. You don’t know your place.” The word they want to use but don’t is uppity. “Uppity” people of color have a history in America of being treated with savage violence to remind them that they are not equal to a white person, particularly a white man. BIPOC people in particular have been violently terrorized and dehumanized when they were seen to step out of “their place”. Calling what happened a lynch mob is pretty accurate I’d say.
posted by supercrayon at 6:33 PM on February 3 [38 favorites]


"Q-On, I don't know if I'm saying that right, I don't know what it is."

Would be nice if politicians stopped getting a pass for saying they don't know what something is. Being informed about things that can affect the country is a basic part of their job.
posted by trig at 5:59 AM on February 4 [15 favorites]


"Q-On, I don't know if I'm saying that right, I don't know what it is."

The press are not giving McCarthy a pass for being ignorant. They are giving him a pass for flat out lying to their faces.

In August when Greene won her primary McCarthy said that he did not agree with her QAnon beliefs at all.

And again in August on Fox News McCarthy said “there is no place for QAnon in the Republican Party”.

And then in November when Greene won McCarthy said during a press briefing that he "was aware of the disturbing nature of QAnon."

McCarthy has previously stated that he know exactly what QAnon is and how to pronounce it. He's lying about it now.

The press never seems to understand. If a source is lying to you, the lying is the story. Instead the press acts as brainless stenographers and leave it to the public to figure out if anything they carelessly write down is true.
posted by JackFlash at 8:05 AM on February 4 [49 favorites]


For what it's worth, here's the whole 90 minute thing on Youtube.

I don't know what to say. There are all the things to say, except that I didn't live it, she did, and/or people who are brown and female did, of which I am neither. I am not a politician and I am not responsible for or subject to the inevitable pile-on.

Dear god we need politicians like THIS. THIS is who I want making decisions for me. Someone who tells the truth. What can I add? Nothing. This is just...we need this. We need people like this, who will tell the truth, making our calls. Forget soldiers, I would trust this person to handle the nukes. Someone who knows what trauma and horror looks like, who can articulate it, who knows how to fight it.

I come from the district north of Ilhan Omar's. Bachmanistan, if you care to Google. I saw this video, and besides all the expected thing, I just...I was furious at my neighbors there. There was some yelling on Facebook. It went as badly as you might imagine.

Anyway, I want people like the one in this video for government forever. I want my government to speak to personal experience of trauma and hurt and to work to end it. Anyone who can't do that doesn't belong in any office I'd vote for.
posted by saysthis at 8:41 AM on February 4 [4 favorites]


> "Q-On, I don't know if I'm saying that right, I don't know what it is."

The correct response from a reporter in this situation should be something along the lines of "Wow, you must be one stupid-ass motherfucker. Can you comment on that?"
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:45 AM on February 4 [12 favorites]


The press never seems to understand. If a source is lying to you, the lying is the story.

As my high school journalism teacher taught us. Anyone who just printed McCarthy's quote unchallenged should be fired.

The story is that McCarthy knows he should condemn QAnon, and doesn't want to, and why that is.
posted by Gelatin at 9:01 AM on February 4 [18 favorites]


The correct response from a reporter in this situation should be something along the lines of "Wow, you must be one stupid-ass motherfucker. Can you comment on that?"


The correct response would be for the reporter who asked about QAnon to already have researched whether McCarthy publicly commented on them (Ron Howard narrator voice: He did) and then ask, "Since you saw fit to comment on QAnon x number of times in the past, why are you lying about them now?"

But that, of course, takes work.
posted by Gelatin at 9:06 AM on February 4 [12 favorites]


That's the thing, though -- either the politician is lying or they're inexcusably ignorant, and both possibilities are unacceptable and newsworthy. So there shouldn't be any way that "I don't know about it" could fly as a real excuse.
But the media treat it as one, so politicians keep using it, and it's ridiculous.
posted by trig at 9:14 AM on February 4 [7 favorites]


Stephen Colbert talked about press stenography in his routine at the 2006 Correspondents Dinner:

"The President makes decisions. He's the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put 'em through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration? You know, fiction!"

Just put them through a spell check and go home. And they all laughed.
posted by JackFlash at 9:33 AM on February 4 [8 favorites]


The Q-On lie is straight from Trump himself. Hype something up for days then baldly claim you don't even know what it is. Why does this work so well?

1) true believers will think you're doing a coded denial with a wink
2) it expresses derision of the press, who actually are too stupid to challenge the lie
3) it's a power play - you are so important that no one will call you out on your lies.
4) people with the memory of gnats will take you at your word, so you can be all things to all people

How do you defeat it? Easy - challenge the lies and make the person look like a bumbling fool.
posted by benzenedream at 9:47 AM on February 4 [5 favorites]


It's worth noting that Michelle Wolfe made the same criticism, and as with Colbert, the press pretended to object to Wolfe criticizing Sarah Huckabee Sanders' appearance when she was really calling Sander a liar -- and by implication, the hotshot DC press as stenographers for liars.

It's funny how the media managed to avoid discussing the barely-implicit criticism of their own incompetence and corruption.
posted by Gelatin at 9:50 AM on February 4 [6 favorites]


So I guess the real story is why all the reporters are lying. I wonder who'll break that news?
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:55 AM on February 4 [1 favorite]


It's funny how the media managed to avoid discussing the barely-implicit criticism of their own incompetence and corruption.

I wish that one of these comedians at these press dinners would pull a Stewart Lee and break down the joke for them: really explain that while, yes, these are ostensibly jokes, at their expense, really this laughter should be uncomfortable at best, because what these jokes are getting at is that you people, the ones here, now, in the audience, are unwilling and/or incapable of fulfilling the basic responsibilities of your jobs, and that is, as Jon Stewart once put it, hurting America. Just really lay it out for them in a decreasingly funny way, but that is recorded and will go onto youtube, so that the press has no choice but to talk about it.
posted by nushustu at 10:02 AM on February 4 [9 favorites]


I doubt anyone is accusing the press itself of lying -- other than Republicans who want to discredit the reporting of their many misdeeds, of course. (And note that Trump went the extra mile of going beyond implying "liberal bias" to flatly accusing the media of making things up -- as if it were necessary!)

It's that they either are aware that politicians are lying, and don't do enough -- as in anything -- to inform their readers, or they should know when politicians are lying and are too lazy to bother doing their jobs.

Either way, they encourage politicians to lie, because there's no consequence at all to their doing so. McCaerthy can dodge an uncomfortable question -- an important uncomfortable question -- by claiming he's suddenly never heard of a subject of which he's spoken publicly several times.

Into the bargain, he also gets to dodge his own complicity in encouraging the Republicans' embrace of an alternate reality, to say nothing of examining why Republicans have to make up their own facts about practically all their policy preferences.
posted by Gelatin at 10:05 AM on February 4 [3 favorites]


It's also important to note that Kevin McCarthy, despite his position in the House, is not especially noteworthy as a political schemer. He's not a Gingrich or Boehner or even Ryan, he's just some asshole who would never be able to outfox a press that was actually giving him the most basic scrutiny.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:28 AM on February 4 [5 favorites]


When folks like McCarthy make noises about slippery slopes and dangerous precedents because of concerns that the majority party is dictating who is fit to serve on which committees, one possible response is to question why it ever had to come to a vote in the first place. "We wouldn't have to do this if you made good choices."
posted by exlotuseater at 11:47 AM on February 4 [4 favorites]


And Pelosi's response today to McCarthy's slippery slope argument:

"If anybody starts threatening the lives of members of Congress on the Democratic side, we’d be the first to eliminate them from committees. They had the opportunity to do so."
posted by JackFlash at 12:14 PM on February 4 [18 favorites]


Sure, and let's talk about what kind of slippery slope it is for the Republicans to cultivate violent fascists among their supporters.
posted by Gelatin at 12:14 PM on February 4 [4 favorites]


And it's done. House Resolution 91 removing Greene from committee positions passes on strict party lines.

Republicans go all in unanimously for the space laser lady who endorsed threats to Pelosi and AOC.
posted by JackFlash at 12:31 PM on February 4 [3 favorites]


To clarify, H res 91 is only moving to go into an hour of debate about whether to remove Greene from her committees. (I had to look it up, too.)

They still have to vote on H res 72 yet.

I wish I didn't have to care about this to this minute a level
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 12:35 PM on February 4


They still have to vote on H res 72 yet.

Ah, yes. So now Republicans are making a motion to adjourn as a stalling tactic which also requires a roll call vote, which presumably will go down with the same party line vote. Republicans are fighting tooth and nail using every trick in the book to stick by Greene on the far most right wing. It's a sight to behold as Republicans go swirling down the rabbit hole.
posted by JackFlash at 1:08 PM on February 4 [3 favorites]


I want every Republican who tries to use the transparent excuse of a slippery slope precedent while sidestepping the actual words and actions of her and Trump to be incessantly hounded with questions of why she and Trump are still allowed to be representatives of their party, or why they're comfortable still being in the GOP with them, if Greene's removal from committees or Trump's conviction were really about these oh so important issues of stifling the people's voice. Because the GOP as a party can tell them both to pound sand immediately and still honor her existing committee spots or Donald's ability to run again - just not with their tacit endorsement - if that's what they actually cared about.

It's obviously not what they care about, they were happy to ditch Steve King - but only because he would likely have lost to Scholten in a rematch and a fresh GOP face wouldn't. They still need to answer the question, over and over again.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:09 PM on February 4 [2 favorites]


Stony Hoyer in the debate is now walking around the floor with a four-foot poster of this Majorie Greene Facebook ad.
posted by JackFlash at 2:50 PM on February 4 [3 favorites]


> It's a sight to behold as Republicans go swirling down the rabbit hole.

"Twirling, twirling, TWIRLING towards freedom!"
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:54 PM on February 4


Watch carefully as prominent Republicans change their pronounciation of the name of the Qanon conspiracy group to "Q-on" or something else, and then trying to deny they even know what it is.

Again, it comes down to Republicans trying to control the narrative, changing the parameters, and moving the goalposts of how we have The Talk as a country about how to deal with this fascist movement.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 3:10 PM on February 4 [5 favorites]


Democrats: Al Franken must resign for harassment
Republicans: Death threats, Q-Anon, bringing in guns, lynch mobs ,,, huh
posted by benzenedream at 4:03 PM on February 4 [11 favorites]


My new GOP Representative voted to keep Greene on her committees, including the Education committee she shared with her. The only eleven Republicans willing to vote to remove Greene from committees all came from districts affected by school shootings or the 9/11 attacks. That’s what it takes to have empathy if you’re a Republican: direct personal suffering. It’s not so much empathy as mepathy.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:40 PM on February 4 [16 favorites]


While she didn’t apologize for anything, I’m pleased that Greene finally acknowledged that 9/11 happened. Apparently it took place some time between 9/10 and 9/12
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:41 PM on February 4


Republicans go all in unanimously for the space laser lady

If you please, it’s the Jewish Space Laser, the Semitic Space Sniper, the Heavenly Hebrew Pew Pew, the M.O.H.E.L. (Mother of Highly Energized Lasercannons)
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:43 PM on February 4 [5 favorites]


That is still 11 more votes than I expected, though. I will take anything at this point.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:40 PM on February 4 [2 favorites]


Are those the same 11 republican votes that voted for impeachment?
posted by wabbittwax at 6:09 PM on February 4




I don't understand why Taylor Green is getting all this attention when I had no idea who she was on 1/6. Why isn't Boebert or the rest of them not being the sacrificial lamb?
posted by bleep at 7:05 PM on February 4


Only three names are repeated between the 10 who voted to impeach and the 11 who voted to strip MTG of her committee assignments (Upton, Kinzinger & Katko).
posted by wabbittwax at 7:11 PM on February 4


To impeach DJT:
  • Rep. Liz Cheney, Wyoming's at-large district
  • Rep. Tom Rice, South Carolina's 7th Congressional District
  • Rep. Dan Newhouse, Washington's 4th
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Illinois' 16th *
  • Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, Ohio's 16th
  • Rep. Fred Upton, Michigan's 6th *
  • Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, Washington's 3rds
  • Rep. Peter Meijer, Michigan's 3rd
  • Rep. John Katko, New York's 24th *
  • Rep. David Valadao, California's 21st
To strip MTG of committees:
  • Adam Kinzinger of Illinois *
  • Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania
  • John Katko of New York *
  • Fred Upton of Michigan *
  • Nicole Malliotakis of New York
  • Carlos Gimenez of Florida
  • Chris Jacobs of New York
  • Young Kim of California
  • Maria Elvira Salazar of Florida
  • Chris Smith of New Jersey
  • Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida
(Surprisingly awkward to do on an iPad. )
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:23 PM on February 4 [4 favorites]


Why isn't Boebert or the rest of them not being the sacrificial lamb?

For one thing, we don’t yet have proof that they openly endorsed the execution of the Speaker of the House. Their treason is marginally more subtle.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:33 PM on February 4


I don't understand why Taylor Green is getting all this attention when I had no idea who she was on 1/6.

I think there are several reasons. First is her video berating student survivors of the Parkland shooting sickened a lot of people. And there was the endorsement of executions for Pelosi, Obama and Clinton. And then the Facebook ad with her holding an assault rifle next to images of the AOC, lhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, with the caption "Squad's Worst Nightmare," members who had already received many death threats.
posted by JackFlash at 7:39 PM on February 4 [1 favorite]


her video berating student survivors of the Parkland shooting sickened a lot of people

Note how many R votes against her are from Florida.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:43 PM on February 4 [2 favorites]


If you please, it’s the Jewish Space Laser, the Semitic Space Sniper, the Heavenly Hebrew Pew Pew, the M.O.H.E.L. (Mother of Highly Energized Lasercannons)

Or the "Death Star of David".

Seriously though, even though I can't stop giggling about this, I do think that the fact that her statement was so impossibly funny is part of why she's still being treated as defensible. When she posted it, she didn't mean it as a joke. It's a really toxic accusation. But because it's so ludicrous, it immediately triggers our natural (Jewish space) defense mechanisms, and I think that as a result, it makes her seem harmless. Like she's just your kooky aunt. I don't know what the solution is, but I feel like we're disarming her ourselves.
posted by Mchelly at 8:24 PM on February 4 [9 favorites]


I don't understand why Taylor Green is getting all this attention when I had no idea who she was on 1/6. Why isn't Boebert or the rest of them not being the sacrificial lamb?

The day after the lynch mob showed up, Taylor Greene was "interviewed"/tongue bathed by another horrible woman, Katie Hopkins: UKIP supporter, an equivocating, hypocritical, ignorant Nazi, a person who has called for the genocide of Muslim people, and who seeks attention like The Silly Rabbit seeks Trix. Hopkins has been banned from Twitter for quite some time now. But this video was uploaded to Twitter in the past week and has gone viral, which I'm sure she just loves.

Taylor Greene says things in that video that should cause any decent American to demand her ouster from Congress and an investigation into what she knew and what her role was in this attempted coup.

Utterly repugnant people.
posted by droplet at 10:27 PM on February 4 [3 favorites]


So I'm curious about why three Florida Republicans voted for it. They are all Cuban-Americans and from Miami-adjacent districts, so I've got to think there's some local political thing driving it, but I have no idea why. Anyone more conversant with Florida politics who can explain?
posted by tavella at 10:49 PM on February 4


Katie Hopkins is vile .... but watch her get trolled big time

Meanwhile the Onion spot on as always
posted by mbo at 10:49 PM on February 4 [4 favorites]


So I'm curious about why three Florida Republicans voted for it. They are all Cuban-Americans and from Miami-adjacent districts.

Parkland School shootings. Parkland is a Miami suburb. Greene has been a vocal proponent of Parkland conspiracy theories and there is a video of Greene aggressively berating student survivors of the shooting. Apparently even a few Republicans have limits for disgust. Particularly when tone-deaf McCarthy put Greene on the Education Committee.
posted by JackFlash at 7:19 AM on February 5 [5 favorites]


I did wonder about Parkland, but Republicans have been so spineless and vile lately that it was hard to believe that it could move any of them unless it was actually in their district and possibly even not then. So I was wondering if there was additional factors.
posted by tavella at 8:18 AM on February 5


Rashida Tlaib sobs during House floor remarks about the attack. This was really hard to watch but so important, I think.

I think it's important for folks to remember that we all process life threatening violence differently. While some prefer to keep a stiff upper lip, others prefer to share their experience with others.
posted by wuwei at 9:29 AM on February 5 [9 favorites]


Republicans worry their big tent will mean big problems in 2022 elections
...[House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's] insistence on allowing every Republican a place under the GOP’s big tent — including conspiratorial firebrand Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) — has magnified the Democratic argument that his party is accommodating extremist elements, some in his party fear.

Those worries began to play out Thursday after McCarthy’s decision not to punish Greene subjected Republicans to a public vote, called by Democrats, on whether to strip committee assignments from a colleague who has previously embraced the QAnon extremist ideology, suggested space lasers funded by Jewish wealth may secretly start forest fires and even liked comments wishing harm on Democratic leaders. The vote to defend her role in Congress — 199 Republicans sided with her, to 11 against — will almost certainly be used by Democrats in the coming months as a way of tarnishing vulnerable Republicans who opposed punishing Greene.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:33 AM on February 5 [4 favorites]


"Big tent" is such an unearned and incredibly generous way of describing it. "A snake-handling revival and a circus double booked a tent rental and had to share" is a little wordy though.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:57 AM on February 5 [8 favorites]


The cynical sexist fantasy of AOC.

Seriously, fuck Glenn Greenwald, Jimmy Dore, Krystal Ball et al. From the article:
This was immediately pounced upon by swaths of irony-poisoned leftist Twitter that seems more interested in owning libs and seeking allyship with edgelord right-wingers than attaining a policy agenda that aids the marginalized and working class. Again, this conversation was largely driven by men, though there were women who offered pithy co-signs too.

posted by ishmael at 10:09 AM on February 5 [10 favorites]


Parkland is a Miami suburb

Parkland ain't a suburb of Miami. You could call it a suburb of Fort Lauderdale, but it's really a suburb of a suburb. More accurately, it's a wealthy enclave for people who don't want to live on a beach. If anything it's most closely connected to Palm Beach County. Folks there much prefer to go to Boca Raton to do things.

20 years ago, it would have been accurate to call it an exurb, but all the developable formerly undeveloped land around it has been developed.

Still, it's close enough that Parkland deniers get the constituents really pissed off. Douglas isn't just "rich" Parkland kids, though. Like all the other high schools in Broward County, kids from many different cities of many different economic circumstances go there.
posted by wierdo at 10:25 AM on February 5 [1 favorite]




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