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not a lot of time but plenty of evidence, just like the last impeachment if 45 gets “more unstable”?

8 min read

Impeachment and insurrection part deux on deck for next week, even as there’s now mixed messaging on the part of Pence invoking the 25th Amendment. Lots of banality of evil around and about.

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The Proud Boys leader visited the White House before clashes erupted in DC on Dec. 12.

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A politician-incited, post-election riot at a Capitol, seeking to block the result of a peculiar voting system, is not news. Ancient Romans witnessed something very similar.

On December 9, 100 B.C., Romans assembled to vote for the two consuls who would serve as the Republic’s top magistrates for the coming year. The election promised to be momentous. Gaius Marius, the dominant political figure in the Roman Republic for the previous decade, was finishing his fifth consecutive consulship. Once an extraordinarily popular figure, Marius had only won his most recent consular term through widespread vote-buying and intimidation.

Marius’s behavior in office had been even worse than his campaign conduct. In alliance with two radical populists, the tribune Saturninus and the praetor Glaucia, Marius spent much of the year before the election mobilizing angry crowds that violently backed laws that benefitted their partisans and punished their rivals—in one case even beating their opponents with clubs after polling had begun. So Rome seemed ready to move on.

Marius was not on the ballot that day, but Glaucia was. Glaucia understood that an electoral victory might again depend upon violence and intimidation, and so his supporters came to the polling place, hoping he would win but ready to fight if that would prevent his loss.

Roman magistrates did not win election by simply carrying a majority of the popular vote. Roman elections for consul were instead decided when candidates won a majority of Rome’s 193 voting centuries. The voting centuries were neither equally distributed across property classes nor were they the same size. The wealthiest Romans had the most centuries in the assembly, but their centuries had far fewer members than the ones to which poorer Romans belonged. Romans nevertheless accepted that a successful consular candidate needed to win the support of 97 centuries, regardless of their raw vote total. This was, in a way, a Roman analog to our own Electoral College.

www.zocalopublicsquare.org/…

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“…if Trump becomes ‘more unstable.’”

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In the past, America was viewed as a beacon of democracy, not a country that polluted its own free and fair elections with reckless toxicity. If we want to maintain credibility in American efforts to promote democracy abroad, our leaders must reject the poisoning of democracy at home.

Trump can’t escape criminal culpability now simply with a “head in the sand” defense. He can’t dodge an investigation by Georgia prosecutors or by the Justice Department by feigning ignorance. It is a criminal violation of federal law to attempt to deprive voters of a fair and impartial election by procuring fictitious ballots. It is a criminal violation of Georgia law to solicit another person to engage in election fraud. The president’s demands in the hour-long call on Saturday seem to fit squarely within the conduct described by these laws.

Whether criminal charges are ultimately brought against him for it will be within the discretion of federal and state prosecutors. Regardless, the ramifications of this call are far greater than whether the president is brought to justice for his attempted crimes against democracy. In America, our leaders exercise the power to govern through the consent of the governed. As retired Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) put it, “the American people, not politicians” have the right to elect our president. No one person is above this principle.

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most of the rioters still live in a parallel online universe – a subterranean world filled with alternative facts.

Michael Flynn, Mr Trump's former national security advisor, likened the protesters to the biblical soldiers and priests breaching the walls of Jericho. This echoed the rally organisers' call for “Jericho Marches” to overturn the election result.

Nick Fuentes, the leader of Groypers, a far-right movement that targets Republican politicians and figures they deem too moderate, told the crowd: “We are going to destroy the GOP!”

The march once again turned violent.

Then two days later, the Electoral College certified Mr Biden's victory, one of the final steps required for him to take office.

https://t.co/UvUKzv8uMJ

Hundreds of posts on a popular pro-Trump site, TheDonald, openly discussed plans to cross barricades, carry firearms and other weapons to the march in defiance of Washington's strict gun laws. There was open chatter about storming the Capitol and arresting “treasonous” members of Congress.

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The bland essence of fascism’s appeal…

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On online platforms, supporters were becoming resigned to the view that all legal avenues were dead ends, and only direct action could save the Trump presidency.

Since election day, alongside Mr Flynn, Ms Powell and Mr Wood, a new figure had rapidly gained prominence among pro-Trump circles online.

Ron Watkins is the son of Jim Watkins, the man behind 8chan and 8kun – message boards filled with extreme language and views, violence and extreme sexual content. They gave rise to the QAnon movement.

In a series of viral tweets on 17 December, Ron Watkins suggested President Trump should follow the example of Roman leader Julius Caesar, and capitalise on “fierce loyalty of the military” in order to “restore the Republic”.

Ron Watkins encouraged his more than 500,000 followers to make #CrossTheRubicon a Twitter trend, referring to the moment when Caesar launched a civil war by crossing the Rubicon river in 49BC. The hashtag was also used by more mainstream figures – including the chairwoman of Arizona Republican Party, Kelli Ward.

In a separate tweet, Ron Watkins said Mr Trump must invoke the Insurrection Act, which empowers the president to deploy the military and federal forces.

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Hundreds of posts on a popular pro-Trump site, TheDonald, openly discussed plans to cross barricades, carry firearms and other weapons to the march in defiance of Washington's strict gun laws. There was open chatter about storming the Capitol and arresting “treasonous” members of Congress.

On Wednesday 6 January, Mr Trump addressed a crowd of thousands at the Ellipse, a park just south of the White House, for more than an hour.

Early on he encouraged supporters to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard”, but he ended with a warning. “We fight like hell, and if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore.

“So we're going to, we're going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue… and we're going to the Capitol.”

www.bbc.com/…

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