There was a glimmer of hope amid the events at the US Capitol building on Wednesday. Could this be the moment of American political violence that causes a revolt against over-heated rhetoric? After such an embarrassing display of emotional incontinence, cooler heads might now prevail across both political aisles and in the media.
That glimmer has been quickly extinguished.
Democrats were handed another opportunity to impeach Trump on a silver platter, and the media gleefully, and perhaps rightfully, indulged their West Wing fantasies about invoking the 25th Amendment. Common sense melted instantly like the face of a Nazi staring at the Ark of the Covenant. We are right back at Ludicrous Speed.
In his first chance to display the sense of unity that he’d talked about so much on his way to electoral victory, Joe Biden chose to demonize the Capitol Police, running with a plotline lifted from celebrities, athletes and social media — that the cops, who were mostly helpless to stop a mob of thousands and suffered a casualty of their own, were also somehow a band of insurrectionists bent on helping the mob enter the Capitol. ‘No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday, they wouldn’t have been treated very, very differently,’ Biden said in remarks. The double negative only added to the vacuousness of the sentiment. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris echoed him, obviously.
Five people are dead following the Capitol siege, including one rioter shot by police. In the seven months of riots across the country after George Floyd’s death, there were no BLM protesters shot or killed by police. Mace and tear gas were used on Capitol rioters, just as it was used on the BLM crowds outside the White House in June. As antifa activists attempted to storm and set fire to a courthouse in Portland, the media largely blamed DHS agents for escalating the conflict with their mere presence. So which is it?
On Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released a statement to House Democrats declaring that she spoken to Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley to discuss President Trump’s possession and authority of the nuclear codes. ‘The situation of this unhinged president could not be more dangerous,’ she said. ‘We must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy.’
Let’s set aside for a moment the fact that Pelosi has zero power or authority within the military chain of command to issue any orders or procure any authority of her own concerning the military until Trump and Mike Pence are removed from office. Instead, let’s take her statement for what it is: another dangerous escalation of events, a signal to foreign governments all over the world that any military action on their behalf be met with confusion and strife at home.
Then there is the matter of Twitter banning the President’s Twitter account. The consequences of that action, as well as Google and Apple taking steps to ban Parler, will reach far and beyond the events at the Capitol. What those moves certainly won’t do is lead to any form of depolarization. These tech platforms are not going to be able to disappear 70 million people from the internet. Those people will simply be chased further underground where they will develop more mistrust that corporate media and Big Tech are in fact their enemy. Neither the media or Big Tech will do much to earn the trust of those people back.
Trump will slink away and out of power, just as he did at the conclusion of his speech on Wednesday. That much is known. However if Joe Biden and the media have any intent on ‘healing’ and ‘unifying’ post-Trump and Trumpism, they haven’t done much to show it. Maybe this is because it’s in the best interest of the Biden agenda, and the revenue of Big Tech, and the audience retention of the corporate media to keep us as we are — a nation divided.