I have read the monster Washington Post offering on the January 6 insurrection. I am grateful to the Washington Post for a chronological story of events. It’s something newspapers hardly ever do.
If you read most newspaper stories quickly, you get the feeling they have explained events in some chronological-like order. If you, like me, try to make a timeline out of the story, you will find that it consists of a punchy introduction to get your attention, which may or may not be situated in time relative to the rest of the article, which proceeds in fits, starts, and flashbacks. I think they call it “narrative.”
So that enormous Washington Post article is a great relief to a compulsive time-liner like me. It starts 102 days before January 6, and goes through to 262 days after, with markers along the way.
It will be helpful for putting things in context, including the hearings of the January 6 Committee.
A problem with the January 6 story is that there’s so damn much of it.
- Trump legal toadies constructing justifications for Trump’s desires
- The Trump media covey and the suckers they roused up
- The anti-state organizations like the Proud Boys who may have worked with the legal toadies
- Mike Pence’s travail
- The fear of other Republican members of Congress, first of death by mob and then of Trump
- The crimes committed by the various groups and their prosecution
- And, of course, the utter unsuitability of Donald Trump for any position of responsibility.
There are probably pieces I’ve left out and other ways to divide things up. Any one of those, however, is a multiple-reporter, multiple-month story.
I take some big points from the article.
- The utter unsuitability of Donald Trump for the presidency. The lack of coordination among law enforcement agencies directly flows from this, in particular, Trump’s inability to accept defeat in anything and his never-ending terrorization of those working for him. There was no direction from the top, because Trump wanted to overturn the election.
- The slavish adoration of his followers. Some have testified in court that they have renounced his influence, but people will do many things to avoid going to prison.
- The turnaround of Republican members of Congress, from imploring Trump to call off his mob to slavish adoration.
And a question. The FBI says they stayed away from action on social media posts because of First Amendment considerations. But they might have passed on the fact that bad stuff was being planned to other law enforcement agencies. Or, since most of what they were seeing was public, passed that on. Lots more to learn here.