Remember that great scene in Godfather II when Pantangeli gets up in front of a Congressional committee and recants his testimony about Michael Corleone because “the FBI told me to say this, the FBI told me to say that?”
Today’s Select Committee hearing will be that same scene done over for the 50% of Americans who, according to a new Quinnipiac poll, have been following the hearings over the last several months.
The difference, of course, between the Hollywood version and the D.C. version is that the former had Al Pacino playing the Godfather, the current version playing on CNN and elsewhere has Donald Trump (a.k.a. Orange Shithead or OS) playing himself.
What are these shitheads from the Three Percenters or the Proud Boys going to say that we don’t already know? We know they came to D.C. because Trump wanted them to show up. We know they dressed in their combat fatigues and waved their MAGA flags because that’s the S.O.P of all those so-called militia groups.
In that regard, incidentally, you might at some point want to read a brief but brilliant book, The Pine Barrens, by John McPhee. The book was published in 1968 but it’s particularly relevant now, because it’s partially based on a diary kept by the head of the local militia in a now-abandoned town in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens, an area thought to be threatened by the British in the War of 1812.
What did the members of this militia do when they came out for training days? According to McPhee, the drills “tended to mock rather than improve military skills and procedures,” largely because the day was spent drinking and getting into fights.
When it came out that Timothy McVeigh planned his 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building while attending meetings of a militia group in Michigan known as the Wolverine Watchmen, everyone got militias on the brain. Some of the members of this group were also indicted and tried for the alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitman, but so far the two trials have yielded hung juries both times.
Meanwhile, at some point, I think it was 2005, I happened to be driving through Michigan and some gun guy tipped me off to a meeting of the Michigan Militia that afternoon. The meeting was held at a shooting range, and about twenty or so militia members showed up with their assault rifles, popped off a bunch of rounds at some dummy targets, and then sat down to pizza and beer.
The pizza was excellent, the beer was cold. When the word got around that I owned a gun shop, I couldn’t have spent a couple of hours with a more convivial bunch.
What struck me most of all about the afternoon spent with the Michigan Militia was that if I closed my eyes, I could have been back at a meeting of my Boy Scout troop. In fact, on several occasions my Scout troop did a little bit of shooting at some local range, using some beaten-up, 22-caliber training rifles that the Army auctioned off after World War II.
I have no doubt that a couple of the Michigan Militia members either showed up in D.C. on January 6th or at least considered making the trip. For all I know, they chartered a bus and spent two days eating and drinking their way down to D.C., marched to the Capitol and then got on their bus and spent another two days eating and drinking on their way back to the Wolverine State.
I know that as a good liberal who has only voted for Democrats since he was able to vote, I shouldn’t be making light of what happened outside and inside the Capitol on January 6th.
But having spent a day with these patriots or terrorists or whatever you want to call them, all I can say is that most of them suffer from severe obesity, which is a much greater threat to their well-being than any kind of tyranny thrown at them by the national state.
I can’t wait for today’s hearing to begin.