Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – When the news of the burglary at the Democratic campaign headquarters in the Watergate building broke, it wasn’t initially clear that President Tricky Dick Nixon had ordered it. (He did, twice. Yes.) So for those too young to remember that dreary scandal, the question of “What did the president know and when did he know it?” was crucial to Nixon’s fate. Only when it became clear that the conspiracy was directed from the White House did support for Nixon crumble even among most Republicans.
Republicans were different back then, less prone to crazed conspiracy theories, more decent, more tied to concrete reality. Nowadays opinion polls show that Republicans believe twelve false things before breakfast every day and you can’t convince them with mere logic and concrete evidence. There have been other parties in the past century who were similarly not open to the truth and which similarly subordinated mere facts to party interests, exemplified by the interests of their great leader. Both Stalinism and Germany’s National Socialism were like that. It is pretty scary that so many Republicans now have the goose-stepping mindset.
Regardless of the imperviousness of the Trump base to mere facts, Trump is in trouble. I certainly hope that the Department of Justice has the courage to indict him.
Dana Bash, Jake Tapper and Jeremy Herb at CNN elicited from a Jan. 6 Panel member a precise list of the seven parts of Trump’s plan, which Cheney referred to but did not present in detail. The stages were, they say:
- “1. President Trump engaged in a massive effort to spread false and fraudulent information to the American public claiming the 2020 election was stolen from him.
- 2. President Trump corruptly planned to replace the Acting Attorney General, so that the Department of Justice would support his fake election claims.
- 3. President Trump corruptly pressured Vice President Pence to refuse to count certified electoral votes in violation of the US Constitution and the law.
- 4. President Trump corruptly pressured state election officials, and state legislators, to change election results.
- 5. President Trump’s legal team and other Trump associates instructed Republicans in multiple states to create false electoral slates and transmit those slates to Congress and the National Archives.
- 6. President Trump summoned and assembled a violent mob in Washington and directed them to march on the US Capitol.
- 7. As the violence was underway, President Trump ignored multiple pleas for assistance and failed to take immediate action to stop the violence and instruct his supporters to leave the Capitol.”