Was January 6th Really a Coup?
The first time I watched a Congressional committee hold a public hearing on the misconduct of a President was almost 50 years ago, when I watched the Watergate hearings in 1973. If you’re not at least 70 years old today, you may have read about those hearings, but you didn’t see them. I did.
Know what the real difference was between those hearings and the hearings that are going on in D.C. right now? The difference is, at least in my mind, that a lot of people who voted for Nixon or liked Nixon or whatever, changed their minds about Nixon when Alexander Butterfield sat down in the witness chair and described the Oval Office taping system that Nixon had installed.
Don’t get me wrong. I come from a long line of Nixon haters. My parents hated Nixon from back in 1950 when he red-baited Helen Gahan Douglas and won his Senate seat.
But let’s remember what I do for a living. I’m in the gun business, so most if not nearly all the gun nuts I know voted For Trump. You think these guys have lost any belief in Trump as their main man? Think what the Select Committee has told us about Trump’s alleged involvement in the plans leading up to January 6th would make them spend one minute wondering if they would vote for him in 2024? Think again.
The fact that the U.S. Congress and the Vice President were able to carry out their Constitutional duties and certify the electoral college results by just delaying things for a few hours is enough of a reason to dismiss the narrative being promoted by the Select Committee that what happened on January 6th, 2021, was some kind of ‘coup.’
To quote Supreme Court Felix Frankfurter, in the instance when the Court refused to delay the execution of the Rosenbergs) “history has its claims.”
A coup is what happened in Chile in 1973 when the Army marched into the Presidential Palace, shot Salvador Allende, and then ran the national government as a military dictatorship for the next 16 years. A coup is what we engineered in Iran by planning and supporting a military takeover of the democratically-elected government of Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953.
What were we supposed to do? Let Mosaddegh and his Commie friends nationalize the Iranian oil industry and deprive all the motorists in America of twenty cents a gallon for gasoline? Are you serious?
We didn’t need to stage a coup in Italy after World War II because we gave the Pope enough money to create a national Christian-Democratic Party that prevented the Left from gaining a Parliamentary majority in the first election held since and his Fascists ran the country from 1922 until 1943.
And whose picture was on millions of campaign leaflets that were plastered on the walls of every church? None other than Italy’s most popular celebrity, a guy named Joe DiMaggio who told everyone to ‘vota’ for the Christian Democrats, that’s who.
For all his bluster and bullshit in the company of his personal attorney, a drunk named Rudy Giuliani, Trump could have prevented January 6th from happening if he had called out the National Guard. But he didn’t call out the Guard because a guy who claimed to be America’s foremost patriot had absolutely no credibility with the military command at all.
In a book published in 2021 (I Alone Can Fix It), Milley was quoted as dismissing talk about a so-called coup on January 6th. Here’s what he said: "They may try, but they're not going to fucking succeed. You can't do this without the military. You can't do this without the CIA and the FBI. We're the guys with the guns." Milley got that one right back then, even if all the liberal pundits and bloggers continue to get it wrong today.
If anyone is hoping that the current hearings will tilt the political playing field away from Trump, they might think again. I don’t believe that Trump’s so-called base was ever that great, and so far, the primary election results bear me out.
Be that as it may, I still think the Select Committee’s work is important because, if nothing else, again to quote Felix Frankfurter, history has its claims.