BY MICHAEL S. JOHNSON | AUG 9, 2022
The special committee probing the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol has slowed for the summer and so has the avalanche of media coverage that smothered the news cycle for months.
The coverage covered everything from the chilling stampede into the Capitol and the violence that ensued to the behind-the-scenes evidence of President Donald Trump’s culpability to the trivial but titillating tales of you-can’t-make-this-up behavior.
The protestors have been portrayed as wild-eyed insurrectionists. However, a good many of those who gathered in DC that day were not. To the contrary, according to a study by Harvard University, the vast majority were motivated by their loyalty to Trump and their misguided belief in the fraudulence of the 2020 elections.
But make no mistake about it, there was a hard core of hundreds of true insurrectionists stirring up rebellion, trying to stop a constitutional process of election certification, and worst of all, threatening Vice President Mike Pence and the members of Congress trapped inside the building. If their actions didn’t fit neatly into the Trump apologists’ legal definition of ‘insurrection’, so be it; their actions conveyed nothing less. It was a despicable spectacle; a black mark on the nation’s history. Continue reading →
BY MICHAEL S. JOHNSON | AUG 1, 2021
“I am still recovering from those hugs and kisses that day”
Capitol Police Sergeant Aquilino Gonell, July 27, 2021
It is one of the more memorable and widely-reported quotations to come out of the first and so far only scheduled hearing of the House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the United States Capitol.
It was in a response to Rep. Liz Cheney, who asked Sergeant Gonell about former President Donald Trump’s assessment that the crowd that marched on the US Capitol on Jan. 6 was, he said, “a loving crowd. There was a lot of love in the crowd.”
Gonell was one of an estimated 140 people injured that day, mostly police officers who will be recovering long after the public’s memory of that day fades.
The cops were badly outnumbered. They were beaten, gassed, stabbed, jabbed, and crushed against walls and doors in a vain attempt to hold back an angry mob whose aim was preventing the formal certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. Some declared themselves intent upon killing or kidnapping the Vice President and elected Members of Congress, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Continue reading →
BY MICHAEL S. JOHNSON | MAY 17, 2021
“As a republican, I say to my colleagues on this side of the aisle that the Republican party faces a challenge today that is not unlike the challenge which it faced back in Lincoln’s day. The Republican party so successfully met that challenge that it emerged from the Civil War as the champion of a united nation—in addition to being a party which unrelentingly fought loose spending and loose programs.”
Those were the words of Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith June 1, 1950, in the wake of what became the maniacal campaign of fellow Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy to purge Communist sympathizers from the Federal Government and the movie industry.
McCarthy encouraged bad behavior and perpetrated severe threats to our freedoms. He was the grandfather of cancel culture.
In her famous “Declaration of Conscience’ speech Smith dared challenge the intimidating McCarthy, warning against a Republican regime “embracing a philosophy that lacks political integrity or intellectual honesty (that) would prove …disastrous to the nation.” Smith said “I do not want to see the Republican Party win that way. While it might be a fleeting victory…it would be a more lasting defeat for the American people…”
Democrats produced their own version of a popular despot. Just a short two decades earlier they had to face down Huey Long, a corrupt, mean-spirited, and flamboyant Governor of Louisiana and US Senator. When once challenged on acting contrary to the Louisiana constitution, Long declared “I’m the Constitution around here now.” He caused a near riot in the State Capitol, and later was the target of an armed insurrectionist movement in response to his attempt to stay in office illegally. Lt. Gov. Paul Cyre, who earlier supported Long’s impeachment, took control of the state when Long was out of town. Long was assassinated in 1935.
The similarities between then and now are striking. It is a shame we do not learn from the events in our history that give us perspective and map for us the road ahead. Continue reading →
BY MICHAEL S. JOHNSON | FEB 28, 2021
“If we do not join now, to save the good old ship of the union on this voyage, nobody will have a chance to pilot her on another voyage.”
— President-Elect Abraham Lincoln February 15, 1861
It is probably not ‘woke’ to quote Lincoln.
San Franciscans are still thinking about scouring his name from schools. Elsewhere his statues are being pulled down like Hussein’s were in Baghdad.
The rail-splitter’s name and legacy are being purged from history by pseudo-progressives who prefer their own version of antebellum and Native American history without the benefit of pertinent facts or an ounce of reason. They’ve concluded Lincoln must go.
Those of Us—also a great band once upon a time in the Great Plains—who came of age in the 60s and 70s try to keep an open mind, but it’s tough. We recall how our elders damned Elvis and his gyrating hips (under their breath, of course) and how we thought they were so out of touch glued to the black and white watching Lawrence Welk. What was with the bubbles? Continue reading →