The “Brooks Brothers riot” WAS a violent attack on our electoral democracy—and it succeeded!—yet no one screamed about “sedition,” and none of the attackers suffered for it (on the contrary)

Those treating Wednesday’s rudeness in the Capitol as an “attempted coup,” encouraged and carried out as if by Nazis (I don’t exaggerate, Joe Biden and Arnold Schwarzenegger having invoked Dr. Goebbels and the German pogroms of the Thirties, respectively) are, to put it mildly, out to lunch—or would be, if they weren’t merely following the playbook of the latest terror-propaganda drive since COVID made the global scene a year ago. Millions who have gulped down that absurdity are definitely out to lunch, freaking out all over “social media” about Trump’s having directed those commandos to “seize the government,” by shooting the place up and taking hostages, etc.

That that assertion is insane should be immediately clear to anyone who (a) can see what happened, from the many videos and firsthand accounts; and (b) knows any of the pertinent history—i.e., how the Nazis did take power (as Arnold surely knows, his father, Gustav, having joined the party back in Austria in 1938, just days before the Anschluss), and what a violent coup entails. If you know anything about, e.g., the CIA-run coups in, say, Iran, Guatemala and Ukraine, or the CIA-backed coup in Chile, you’ll understand that none of them was pulled off by a motley throng of amateurs (and the provocateurs among them), some bearing arms, although not using them (the only shot was fired at one of them, apparently by a policeman), but tried to “seize the government” by hollering, pounding heavily on doors (it broke some glass), and making off with things. They shot no one, beat no one up, vandalized nothing, took no hostages nor made any move to do so (despite the fevered claims that some of them had “ties” with them, to bind their captives’ wrists)—all of which suggests that, even if Trump had incited them to “seize the government” (which he did not, nor did he encourage any violence), they clearly weren’t the right guys for the job.

No, what we saw most certainly was not an “attempted coup,” but a happening visibly facilitated by the cops, and meant to (sort of) look like an “attempted coup,” with just enough faux-realism to provide the media with something to annotate, and obfuscate, with the requisite propaganda claims that the invaders posed an existential threat to Our Republic. (The media’s performance does recall the glory days of Dr. Goebbels.) And, just like the Reichstag fire, and 9/11, this master-stroke of propaganda is now being used to do precisely what that agitated crowd, and Trump, now stand accused of having tried to do: take down American democracy; though it’s now being effected not through force of arms (at the moment), but through iron censorship, intensified surveillance, and full-throated demonization—portending outright persecution—of all those who aren’t happy with the Party now in charge of “our” whole government (attained despite the will of the electorate, as that huge multitude of peaceful protesters were there to say).

For some perspective on all this, let’s look back at an incident, and not in Nazi Germany, that was a violent—and successful—effort to subvert democracy: the “Brooks Brothers riot,” on Nov. 22, 2000 (a resonant date), when a faux-grass-roots mob forced its way into a meeting of election canvassers in Miami-Dade County, demanding that they halt the vote-count there—a count that would have favored Al Gore in the ongoing contention over that year’s presidential race, since Miami-Dade was heavily Democratic, as were Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Since those Democratic strongholds surely would have yielded Gore a win in Florida (and, in fact, did—as was thunderously misreported just a few weeks after 9/11), it was necessary to prevent those votes from getting counted; so the GOP flew several well-paid party operatives down to Miami-Dade, where they went Brownshirt on the election personnel—who were thereby “persuaded” not to complete the vote-count.

It was not a peaceful demonstration, as those well-dressed goons—unlike the ragtag bunch in the Capitol—got physical, as the New York Times reported:

The subsequent demonstrations turned violent on Wednesday after the canvassers had decided to close the recount to the public. Joe Geller, chairman of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party, was escorted to safety by the police after a crowd chased him down and accused him of stealing a ballot. Upstairs in the Clark center, several people were trampled, punched or kicked when protesters tried to rush the doors outside the office of the Miami-Dade supervisor of elections. Sheriff’s deputies restored order.

That those “protesters” were GOP operatives, and easily identifiable as such, was soon revealed by Rachel Maddow, among others; and yet they not only went unpunished, but scored brownie points within the party for their service, and rose accordingly. Since “our free press” was univocal in support of the official outcome, noisily supportive of Bush/Cheney, and pressing Gore to give it up—just as they’ve been still more noisily for Biden/Harris since Election Day—they did not scream about “sedition,” or in any way deplore that real attempt to steal a presidential race, but simply let it go; and so we got George W. Bush (ostensibly) as President (the real power in Dick Cheney’s hands), and, therefore, 9/11, the “war on terror,” and the PATRIOT ACT—a surge of tyranny anticipating what we’re facing now, only this time it’s “the left” that’s screaming for the tyranny, as they have morphed, uncannily, into “good Germans.”

And so those Americans who still identify as “left,” but aren’t okay with this ferocious Democratic drive against all those who have not readily acceded to this sudden, and unlikely, single-party rule, are now obliged to keep their heads amid this latest hate campaign, and try to stick to the essential democratic principles of free speech, freedom of assembly, and the rights to vote, and have those votes all honestly and fairly counted—instead of joining the gigantic lynch mob that “the left” has now become, incited by “the liberal media” (as well as Fox News and other “conservative” outlets). Those who showed up in Washington to protest had every right to do so—though it was probably a bad idea, as it enabled such a serviceable pretext for the crackdown that has only just begun. In any case, all those now applauding this hyper-partisan “new normal”—which is, right now, less redolent of Nineteen Eighty-Four than of Lord of the Flies—had better think about it carefully, as some day there will be a reckoning, and then you’ll have to answer, to yourself, for where you stood, and what you did, today.  

NYTimes on “Brooks Brothers riot”:

Upstairs in the Clark center, several people were trampled, punched or kicked when protesters tried to rush the doors outside the office of the Miami-Dade supervisor of elections. Sheriff’s deputies restored order.

“They don’t represent anyone” (starts at 0.50)

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