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This is not a scandal


In reply to a comment where I note that Watergate was a trivial scandal compared to Trump’s attempt to cancel the results of the 2020 election, Infamous Heel-Filcher makes an excellent point:

I think “scandal” is a weird frame for this whole sequence of events.

Getting caught having an affair is a scandal (especially if your political brand tends toward the moralistic).

Getting caught selling arms to an enemy nation as part of some dirty tricks intelligence operation is already verging less on scandal and more on abuse of power (though one could always come clean before the public and argue for why that operation was the right thing to do).

This is a coup attempt. It and “scandal” aren’t in the same ballpark. They aren’t in the same league, hell they aren’t playing the same fucking sport.

The media love the scandal frame because it makes a story largely about the media is itself accomplishing: about the extent to which journalists are exposing via investigation hidden personal and/or government corruption of some sort.

This was — or rather is, because it’s very much ongoing — the opposite of that. This was and is a very open attempt on the part of Donald Trump and his supporters throughout the Republican party to overthrow the duly elected government of the United States of America.

It’s a coup attempt.

It’s still going on, today, right now.

Nothing happened to the people who undertook this coup after the January 6th attack on Congress, and nothing is happening to them now, except some bad publicity.

Something needs to happen to them that is considerably more significant than the bad publicity from the media uncovering this or that salacious detail of the coup attempt, which again is still going on today, right out in the open.

The ruling legal principle of the moment appears to be that if you commit treason in an open and ongoing way it doesn’t count. It needs to count.

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