It’s taken me a couple days to be able to write this, what will be the first post of the Shattered Blog. I was going to do something else entirely, but the things that occurred on January 6th require me, if only for myself, to write this post.
I wasn’t able to do this after 9/11. I wasn’t into blogging then, and it was in its infancy. Part of me wonders what I would have written back then, as I was still an evangelical christian. Part of me is glad that I wasn’t able to write anything.
The morning was boring. I logged into Counter Social (where I hang out the most). I talked with some people. I decided to watch the counting of the Electoral votes. Then I decided to live tweet (toot) it, with my own brand of cynicism and humor.
I was bored waiting, so I watch Giuliani’s shitshow of a speech. Then that professor dude who stated a completely unfounded claim that is actually impossible about how “they [the democrats] stole the presidential and georgia runoff elections.”
I wondered why Trump didn’t go on stage at the scheduled time. I shrugged it off because well, it’s Trump. He was probably running late because he had to snort some adderall before his speech.
Then I lampooned the hell out of his speech until about 12:30pm. (All times are CT because that’s where I live). PBS had started it’s livestream, and that’s what I was going to use to begin with to watch the counting and the debates.
A crowd began to gather. Both at the East and Western fronts of the Capitol building. They made their way from the Ellipse where the President gave his speech, up Pennsylvania Ave, to the Capitol building grounds. The crowd got bigger and bigger and bigger.
The rest was a blur. They cut from the activity in the chambers for some pundit, and I cut from PBS to a better stream from NBC. I saw people crowding the steps of the Capitol. Then I heard both on the livestream and echoed by many on the social media site “The Capitol has been breached.”
I tried to continue to cover things. To say what I could about what was happening. Then I heard “Guns drawn on the chamber floor”.
Pence was evacuated. Pelosi was evacuated. The law makers got out gas masks due to (what I later learned) was the fact that tear gas had been released on the rotunda.
I had no words. Shock, sadness, anger. What hadn’t happened since the war of 1812 was happening before my very eyes. The Capitol building was breached and people were shouting for the lawmakers.
Pictures began to come out around then. I’d go from the live stream tab in my browser to different news sites that were showing pics captured from cameras in the Capitol. Vandalism. People carrying things. A man at Pelosi’s desk. Some dude dressed as a fucking buffalo. WTF was I watching?
I wrote this:
“The capitol steps at least on the east side are absolutely filled will people. Inside there’s people.
I…………I have no words.
Guns are drawn on the floor.
This is an attempted insurrection. An attempt at a coup.”
My fiance came home around 3:30pm. “I’m not handling what’s happening in Washington very well” she told me. I told her I was having the same issues.
We watched for the next hours until the House and Senate were able to reconvene as the police and national guard FINALLY got their shit together and began to push people away from the Capitol.
We watched Cory Booker give an impassioned speech decrying what had happened and saying the words “WE HAVE BROUGHT THIS HELL UPON OURSELVES”.
We saw Mitt Romney, McConnell, and Schumer give outright condemnation about what had occurred.
And we’re watching in the days afterwards HOPING for some kind of resolution, some kind of action to be taken against the President that betrayed his oath and incited an insurrection.
I’m going to leave you with some images. These are disturbing to me. People in a building that should not be easily assailable, yet they were [apparently] let in. (There’s videos of police either opening or outright abandoning barricades.)
What occurred on January 6, 2021 should not have occurred. The violent rhetoric of a sitting President led to this. And my hope is that not only he, but the insurrectionists shown in these images are all arrested and prosecutred to the maximum extent of the law.
(Note: I do not own nor have I taken any of the images above. They are all sourced from various places around the internet including Twitter, Counter Social, News websites, Getty Images, and Facebook. All images are copyright their various owners.)
(Further note: There were many veterans involved. There were elected officials from across the country that were involved. The President and several members of congress egged this on with their rhetoric. They all betrayed their oath to uphold the Constitution and/or their various states. I took a similar oath as a [admittedly minor] political functionary when I served as Chairman of the Planning Commission for a township in Michigan. I still take that oath seriously to this day)
Update: This comment was sent to me by someone who wishes to remain anonymous, but has given me permission to post the contents of their comment:
It distressed me also.
I too have sworn to defend the US Constitution from all enemies foreign & domestic;
that elected officials and government employees & citizens betrayed this obligation & ideal
*insults* our values & commitments, our vets, our ancestors, our immigrants, our payment of taxes & fulfillment of civic duties.
#oathbreakers & lawbreakers should be prosecuted & punished, or the injury is compounded.
Ok to quote or paraphrase anywhere it might help.