Sunday, July 03, 2022

I Receive A Threat

      What kind of man believes it is appropriate to threaten elderly women?  I'm not being rhetorical: would-be commenter "Chris Adams" was so incensed by Wading The Rubicon: Yesterday's Hearing that he sat down at his keyboard and banged out this missive:
The whole "hearings" thing is just a show trial designed to impugn a man without having to go the the trouble or proving actual facts. It's the sort of thing that Communist and Fascist dictatorships have traditionally done and anyone who supports it being done here in America needs to be watched with suspicion. We see you, Roberta.
      Ooooooh!  I'm skeered now, you betcha.

      Taking his points in reverse order, "We see you" is a classic veiled threat, and rather a thin veil at that.  In this context, it carries overtones of night-riding intimidation -- preposterous deployed against a sixty-four year old woman with a blog, and downright foolish when she has a good supply of pepper spray, is a fair shot, has a lodger who is even better, and lives in a state with a very strong Castle Doctrine.  But such is the emotionally-fragile nature of bullies.  I am not minded to coddle them.

      "...[J]ust a show trial...anyone who supports it (the 1/6 Committee hearings) being done here in America needs to be watched with suspicion," riiiight.  I have news for you, little man: The U. S. Congress has been conducting hearings for as long as there has been a Congress.  There are several types.  The very first Investigative Hearing was in 1792, after Native Americans commanded by Little Turtle and Blue Jacket handed the U.S. Army their worst defeat at the hands of Native Americans.  The Federal government was more than a little agitated at this, and the House of Representatives set up a committee to find out what went wrong.

      The insurrection and attempted coup of 6 January 2021 merits investigation, too.  Only the second time the U. S. Capitol building was broken into by a force of men,* it resulted in five deaths, multiple injuries, millions of dollars in damage and a lengthy interruption in the tally of electoral votes, a core function of the Federal government.  Was it merely spirited excess by overly-enthusiastic followers, or a serious effort?  That's the kind of thing Congress ought to find out about, and they set out to establish an independent, bipartisan commission to look into it.

     Senate Republicans voted it down.  So the House voted (222 to 190) to establish a select committee, to consist of eight members appointed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and five selected by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy in consultation with her  This is pretty standard as such things go. The Speaker announced her intention to appoint one Republican in her picks, which would put the committee at seven Democrats and six Republicans.

      It would have.  Kevin McCarthy's picks included three Congressmen who had voted against certifying 2020 electoral results from Pennysylvania and Arizona.  Two of them (Jim Banks and Jim Jordan) had gone on to make intemperate public statements about the 2020 Presidential election and the events of 6 January.  Speaker Pelosi rejected those two, while approving the remaining three Republicans.  Rather than naming replacements, Minority Leader McCarthy then picked up all his marbles and went home, announcing he would not appoint anyone on the committee unless all five of his original choices were approved.  So much for "in consultation" as provided in the bill establishing the committee -- and so much for the Republicans getting to choose any of its members.  They preferred not to.  The Speaker did add Republican Adam Kinzinger of Illinois to the committee

      The GOP had the opportunity to name five members to the Select Committee and rejected it.

      But a Congressional committee hearing is not a trial.  It's got more in common with a Grand Jury or a Preliminary Hearing, which happen before a trial.  Those don't determine guilt or innocence, only if there is enough evidence of wrongdoing to merit a trial.  And a committee hearing simply hauls the evidence into the light, including sworn testimony.

      Which gets us to the hearing having been, "...designed to impugn a man without having to go the the trouble or proving actual facts."  "Or" is probably a typo for "of."  I suppose it's hard to hit the right key in a fit of partisan rage.  "Proving actual facts" is precisely the work of an Investigative Committee.  It's why they have subpoena power and why witnesses testify under oath.  Separation of Powers has created a certain tension between the Executive and Legislative Branches over this from the very first hearing, but a remarkable number of high-ranking former members of the Trump Administration have dodged the Committee, refused to appear (often citing Executive Privilege), or taken the Fifth Amendment, even over questions as innocuous as "Do you believe in the peaceful transfer of power?"

      If there's impugning going on, look to Mr. Trump's own Cabinet and staff, who are doing his reputation no favors by their behavior (including asking for Presidential pardons in the days after 6 January 2021).  The Committee is, after all, just asking questions.  I'm sure they'd welcome sworn testimony from Mr. Trump himself, who has yet to offer any.

      Going into the hearings, I had expected Donald Trump's role to have been no more than a demagogue, heedless of the damage his words might cause and largely indifferent to the riot and attempted insurrection once it was underway.  The facts -- sworn testimony, timeline, actual video and audio recordings -- are much darker, revealing a raging, emotionally-weak man unable to admit defeat despite honest counsel and willing to resort to violent, lawless means to retain power.

      It is no surprise to me that such a man has attracted to his defense blustering bullies who threaten old women.  Men like "Chris Adams," who I hereby invite to go piss up a rope.
* The first time was in August, 1814, when the British took Washington, D.C. for their King.  They set Federal buildings on fire rather than try to keep it.


Anonymous said...

Okay, I am more than a bit incensed that some knuckle dragging cretin had the temerity to threaten you. Heck I disagree with you more than I agree with you. But, I examine your argument and try to better my countering view. Please keep challenging my worldview.

Anonymous said...

NEE! ( a passing ruffian saying NEE to old ladies )

Anonymous said...

1) You are roughly a year older than me. Therefore, purely for my own benefit (I refuse to admit to being an old man) I have to insist you are not an old woman.
2)I suspect Chris of the Keyboard hasn't the talents needed to urinate against gravity, so he may need to limit himself to pissing down the rope.

pigpen51 said...

My first comment is that any threat, even online, is never proper, and I have been on the receiving end of such, and I do not like it. So you should never have to put up with that from anyone, and a copy of said comment should be sent to local authorities, just to protect your interests.
The only other comment I will make is that is this investigation is similar to a grand jury hearing, it should not be run like a circus, complete with hiring a ringmaster, in this case a former television producer, to put together a smoother production package to not keep the hearing a secret as most grand juries are, but to have it run in prime time, to sway as much of America to their side as possible. The ones that they must convince is not Americans, but rather the DOJ and AG Garland, who I would think is the one to decide to bring charges against anyone being investigated.

Cop Car said...

If the "Chris Adamses" of the world make you wish form a "protection posse", Roberta, this 84-year-old woman would like to join.

BTW: CBS website includes, "Research from John Shoven, a prominent economics professor at Stanford University, suggests that if your chance of dying within the next year is 1 percent or less, you might be considered "middle aged." The chart below shows that the threshold for men transitioning beyond middle age increased from about age 44 in the 1920s to about 60 today."

Inexplicably, the article goes on to note that, "The above chart shows that the threshold age for being considered old for men increased from about 55 in the 1920s to 70 today." I hadn't known there was a gap, thinking that one transitioned from middle-aged to old, seamlessly. Women's ages for transitioning are higher, according to the same article.

My own thinking has, out-datedly, always been: Young (0-30), Middle-aged (30-60), Old (60-90), and Ancient 90 & above.