Friday, January 8, 2021

A Room of My Own: Just Another Day in the Land of the Free

From inflammatory words come violent actions -- on the steps of the Reichstag and now in the Capitol.

morning chill
a river of floating
MAGA hats

noonday sun
Do the right thing, a twist
to the President's mouth

a smiling white man
waves the Confederate flag
Capitol hallway 

her bloody handprint
on Nothing Can Stop Us
gathering dusk

Added: One Hundred Seventieth Entry

barefaced mob
chanting, U-S-A! U-S-A! ...
cower under their desks
donning gas masks

FYI: "Nothing can stop us": Slain Trump supporter tweeted conspiracy theories and her devotion to Trump in days before her death. Business Insider, Jan. 7 And America's Shame: Trumpism Distilled to Its Purest Form, A Commentary by Marc Pitzke, Spiegel International, Jan. 7:

These are scenes known from other countries – from "failed states" and repressive regimes. But not from the United States, which has for so long vaunted itself as the cradle of Western democracy and its foremost defender.

This is Trumpism, distilled to its purest form.

"He's now president for life," Trump said of Chinese President Xi Jinping. "Maybe we'll have to give that a shot someday." ...

"We will never give up, we will never concede," he crowed. "You'll never take back our country with weakness! You have to show strength!"


  1. In the days before a violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday, President Donald Trump's political apparatus worked behind the scenes with pro-Trump groups to plan and promote events in Washington, D.C., that ultimately led to Wednesday's attack on Congress.

    Speaking at the "March to Save America" rally at the Ellipse in President's Park on Wednesday, President Trump urged a sea of supporters to march to the Capitol in protest of the Electoral College vote count -- telling the crowd he'd join them but ultimately not doing so -- after delivering a speech pushing baseless and unfounded claims that the election was rigged and telling the rowdy crowd that "you'll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength."

    -- excerpted from "Trump allies helped plan, promote rally that led to Capitol attack," ABC News, January 8, accessed at

    1. I’ll start with the most pessimistic one. From this point of view, it’s a story of the continued deterioration of the Republican Party as it moves closer to becoming nothing more than an anti-democratic cabal intent on one-party rule and, to a large extent, white supremacy. ...

      Then there’s a more optimistic interpretation. This one stresses that U.S. democratic institutions survived. Congress reconvened on Wednesday once law-enforcement officers routed the mob, and despite all of Trump’s bluster, made no attempt to upend the election....

      The third perspective? Political scientist Anne Meng writes:

      “Hot Take: We have been experiencing the pains of DEMOCRATIZATION, not democratic BACKSLIDING. The US through most of its history was way closer to institutionalized autocracy rather than a real democracy.”

      This point of view emphasizes that the U.S. claim to democratic exceptionalism prior to 1965 was shaky, and that a certain amount of backlash and trauma are natural in what is, after all, a very recent record of anything resembling inclusion. Recall that this isn’t just about excluding Blacks and other groups from full citizenship. Southern states for decades featured one-party rule — not the lopsided advantages we see now in Democratic Massachusetts or Republican West Virginia, but states in which the old, racist Democratic Party held virtually all offices without any serious threat of a challenge...

      -- excerpted from "Three Clashing Truths About the Capitol Riot," by Jonathan Bernstein, Bloombergi, January 8, 202, accessed at

    2. Before the US Capitol's riot, President Trump considered using the National Guard to defend his supporters, The New York Times reported.

      Trump worried that counterprotesters might disrupt attendees at his rally, the outlet said.

      In reality, the crowd faced little resistance in their march on the Capitol, which evolved into a violent attack that derailed Congress's session and left five people dead.

      The National Guard was ultimately deployed, but to force the rioters out rather than protect them.

      -- excerpted from "Trump did consider deploying the National Guard to the US Capitol, New York Times says - to protect his supporters in case people got in their way," Kieran Corcoran, Business Insider, Jan. 9, accessed at