Streetwise Professor

January 6, 2022

Worse Than A Crime–A Blunder, Revisited

Filed under: Military,Politics — cpirrong @ 4:46 pm

My initial take on January 6 2021 was to echo Fouché’s verdict on the judicial murder of the Duc d’Enghien by Napoleon “it was worse than a crime: it was a blunder.” Today’s nauseating anniversary remembrance demonstrates exactly why it was such a blunder.

The Democratic Party and the left generally grotesquely exaggerate the events at the Capitol in order to delegitimize any and all opponents on their right. Anyone who opposes the Democratic Party is a threat not to the Democratic Party–but to democracy. Anyone who even suggests that there was something hinky about the 2020 election is an extremist, an insurrectionist. Anybody who opposes the Democratic Party’s agenda is similarly an extremist, an insurrectionist, and a revolutionary.

Cut to video of the Capitol on January 6 2021.

Further, since the right is such a threat to political order, our governing institutions, the rule of law, etc., etc., etc., preemptive actions are justified to fight it. Indeed, it is justified to fight the non-left/non-Democratic by any means necessary (to reprise a phrase made famous–or infamous–by Malcom X):

What the American left needs now is allegiance, not allyship. It must abandon any imagined fantasies about the sanctity of governmental institutions that long ago gave up any claim to legitimacy. Stack the supreme court, end the filibuster, make Washington DC a state, and let the dogs howl, and now, before it is too late. The moment the right takes control of institutions, they will use them to overthrow democracy in its most basic forms; they are already rushing to dissolve whatever norms stand in the way of their full empowerment.

In other words, it is imperative that the left burn the village in order to save it. Put differently, leftist shrieks about the right’s threat to the Constitutional order is projection to the Nth degree.

As an aside, the author of that piece–which has received a lot of attention, as has his book on the same subject–Stephen Marche, is a Canadian with a PhD in early modern English drama from the University of Toronto, who taught Renaissance drama at CUNY (that’s with a “Y”) for a few years. Methinks he should have stuck to the Wars of the Roses, or Justin Trudeau’s socks.

Marche is also particularly alarmed about right (and white) extremism in the military. His main concern is that it will not fight on the right side (I mean, the left side) in a civil war. So it must be purged. Note that such a purge is ongoing. And January 6 is a pretext for that.

The Democrats, and Biden in particular, are especially incentivized to wave the bloody shirt of January 6 (even though the only blood spilled was among the demonstrators) because, well, what else do they have? Everything else, from inflation, to Afghanistan, to COVID, to risking crime, etc., etc., etc., is a disaster. They cannot prevail in elections based on their record of governance, so they have to assert that letting the opposition win would represent the end of self-government in America.

So it’s all January 6 all the time, baby.

Alas, with a few exceptions, the Republican officials have proved to be the pussies that they’ve proved to be time and time before. Even Ted Cruz regurgitated the “violent terrorism” narrative yesterday. With friends like these . . . . They are, in fact, good for nothing cowards who are totally invested in the existing political culture, and are more afraid of bad press than they are willing to speak the truth. And they are too stupid to realize that this craven posture only reduces their chances of electoral victory. It is not called the Stupid Party for nothing.

And the truth is that January 6 was indeed a blot on America’s escutcheon. But the truth is also what January 6 was not. It was not an insurrection. It was a largely spontaneous overreaction of frustrated people in a febrile political and social environment. It was hardly organized or directed–except for colorable claims that any organization or direction came from the FBI and other federal organs. (If the feds were not in the crowd, and did not anticipate what could happen, then they were outrageously incompetent, and completely acting against type–which involves infiltrating every potentially anti-government movement.) It was not a coup, as the term is normally understood. What happened after Trump’s election was far closer to a coup than anything that happened after Biden’s. (Russiagate, impeachments, etc., were all attempts to deny the legitimacy of Trump’s election and to overturn the results thereof, so spare me Democrats’ current laments about how the 2020-21 challenges to the legitimacy of Biden’s election are beyond the pale.)

January 6–and Trump’s reaction to his loss generally–was a tantrum. An understandable tantrum, but a tantrum nonetheless. And like most tantrums, it has proved completely counterproductive and has boomeranged on those who threw it–and on the rest of the non-leftists who were nowhere near the Capitol, and who remained calm. A blunder, as it were. It is being used to discredit any opposition to the left’s extreme agenda by tarring all opponents as rampaging extremists.

It is said that revenge is a dish best served cold. January 6 is a perfect illustration of the wisdom of that adage. Acting in heat, the crowd–and Trump–did far more harm to their cause then good. Better to remain calm and plot vengeance coldly, calculatedly. The failure to do so has made the fight all the more difficult.

Indeed, blunder is too weak a word to describe the choices that people made. Does anyone have any better suggestions?

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  1. Never interfere with the enemy when he is in the process of destroying himself, Napoleon or someone said that and a great truth here. On Jan 6th, the Dems, unfairly or fairly, were perceived the winners of 2020. Trump in a fit pulled them across the finish in Georgia.

    It was abundantly clear they would finish 2021 in horrid shape with their internal divisions and Feeble Joe leading them. Just shut up and let them die.

    Comment by The Pilot — January 6, 2022 @ 5:54 pm

  2. Trump has a bit of a fine line to walk here. There are two competing narratives for his loss in 2020: The beltway conventional wisdom is that his pugnacious style turned suburban women over to the Dems, while the Trumpian narrative is that ballot-counting fraud turned the election. Both are clearly true to some extent, though my view is that the latter is the proximate cause. Which narrative wins out among the GOP voters is not an academic question, but leads to almost diametrically-opposed political strategies. The conventional wisdom means supporting reconciliation-oriented establishment candidates, so it is no surprise to see the likes of National Review hawking it. The Trumpian narrative means the GOP should be pressing for ballot and vote-counting integrity in pugnacious, Trumpian style. Therefore, when Trump is speechifying, the goal is to get GOP voters on board with the idea that fixing election process will deliver victory, without going so far that it looks like sore-loser-ism and the narrative loses credibility. I was there at his speech on Jan 6 and found it to be uncharacteristically wonky, listing lots of numbers about vote inconsistencies (and the notion that it incited a riot is, of course, preposterous). That, along with what he has done, and not done, since is consistent with a guard-the-narrative strategy so it appears that Trump understands this.

    Comment by M. Rad. — January 6, 2022 @ 11:59 pm

  3. “Stack the supreme court, end the filibuster, make Washington DC a state, and let the dogs howl, and now, before it is too late.”

    Could they really achieve this before the mid terms? I somehow doubt it.

    Comment by philip — January 7, 2022 @ 5:17 am

  4. What appears to have taken place is that a group of people extremely incautiously allowed the FBI (and/or CIA?) usher them into trap in order to create an “enemy of the state” that requires the further subjugation of the masses and eradication of the rights that allowed the United States to become great. Please call me a conspiracy nut AFTER you explain to me the basis of DOJ and FBI’s treatment of Ray Epps et al.

    Comment by M Cosgrove — January 7, 2022 @ 6:58 am

  5. More a warning than a blunder, I’d say.

    Those gathered were representatives of people who are fed up seeing their country deliberately dragged down. That antifa etc., took some pre-planned advantage is no surprise. Spontaneity expropriated by conspiracy. It’s the left’s way.

    Craig, maybe you can answer a question that’s been on my mind. Who opened the capitol doors on January 6th?

    The capitol doors were closed that day. They can be unlocked only from the inside. Who unlocked the doors and gave entry to the demonstrators?

    The answer to that question may illuminate much.

    Comment by Pat Frank — January 7, 2022 @ 11:31 am

  6. @M Cosgrove–Agree 100 pct.

    Comment by cpirrong — January 7, 2022 @ 6:54 pm

  7. @Pat Frank. Your’s is one of many unanswered questions. @M Cosgroves re Ray Epps is another. The leader of the Proud Boys (name escapes me) is another. The man in the tower is another. The refusal to release the 14,000 hours of video is another: you know that would be released if it supported the insurrection narrative. The failure to make adequate preparations for crowd control and defense even though there was apparently foreknowledge (as there HAD to have been unless US intelligence and law enforcement is utterly incompetent): if there was no perceived risk, why were FBI SWAT teams with shoot-to-kill orders dispatched on 5 January. Why hasn’t the pipe bomber been identified?

    The questions are many. The answers are . . . nonexistent.

    Comment by cpirrong — January 7, 2022 @ 6:59 pm

  8. @philip. They are on a kamikaze mission. Unlikely to succeed but they will die trying.

    Comment by cpirrong — January 7, 2022 @ 7:58 pm

  9. SWP:

    One would think that Stephen Marche’s editors would require a basic course in US Civics 101 prior to hiring or at least writing an editorial.

    Pathetic state of journalism to the north of the US as well as within.

    VP VVP

    Comment by Vlad — January 8, 2022 @ 6:36 pm

  10. “C’est pire qu’un crime, c’est une faute”

    I’ve always thought that was Talleyrand, not Fouché. It surely sounds like Talleyrand who long exhibited mastery of wit, wordplay and phrase-making. Fouché’s linguistic ability was more pedestrian, methinks.
    That said I am a huge fan of Fouché if only for his almost magical and protean ability to transform himself, an ability equalled (and perhaps surpassed??) only by … Talleyrand. What a pair of talents! Can you imagine sitting at Bonaparte’s dining table with these two as neighbors? Heavenly delight! 🙂

    Comment by Simple Simon — January 9, 2022 @ 11:04 am

  11. @Simple Simon. Yes, often attributed to Talleyrand, but it was either Fouché or Antoine Jacques Claude Joseph, comte Boulay de la Meurthe.

    And yes, both Fouché and Talleyrand were remarkable for their, er, flexibility.

    Comment by cpirrong — January 9, 2022 @ 4:37 pm

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