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How We Got Where We Are: The Coup, The Dream, The Split

Before a medical appointment Thursday, Veterans Day, I read – in print – a number of interesting  stories concerning the attempted coup on Jan. 6 by supporters of Donald J. Trump.

But they truly were not the most remarkable pieces on the coup and the woeful state of American politics in print that were published this week.

For now, we’ll put aside the judicial problems of “QAnon Shaman” and Scott Fairlamb – housed at least temporarily in the “Patriot Wing” of Washington’s jail.


The first is the 28-page [14 pages of full newspaper size text] on “The Attack: Before, During and After” in the Washington Post that goes a long way in putting on the record the great danger that lay in front of the republic and threatens it now.

[That is not an exaggeration.]

The print version appeared Nov. 7, the anniversary of Joseph Biden being declared the winner of the 2020 election by the Associated Press.

Jan. 6 insurrection: The Washington Post’s investigation of the causes, cost and aftermath – Washington Post

The second is the 24-page tabloid collection of opinion pieces that have appeared in the New York Times since July.  Entitled, “Snap Out of It America,” the cover promo for the Nov. 7 print edition wants us “to dream big again.” I really wonder about that.

Opinion | Snap Out of It, America! – The New York Times (

Last, but not least, comes a Pew Research Center survey, released Tuesday, “Beyond Red and Blue” and it delves deeply into the divides inside the two parties and those voters on the sidelines.

[Virginia Democrats should have scored an early copy.  Same is true with the Dems in both houses on  Capitol Hill.  Anyone hear of the “big tent?” Might help if they walked by Jim Cooper’s district office on Church Street in Nashville, and checked the “Blue Dog” on the door.  Without ‘em, they’re back in the “politically pure” minority; look at the Virginia House of Delegates.]

And yet not surprisingly to me – the dividing line comes down to attitudes on race.

[Anyone ready to talk about Critical Race Theory being taught  to fourth graders? Time to dump Toni Morrison’s “Beloved!” sounds good for ’22.]

The Political Typology: In polarized era, deep divisions persist within coalitions of both Democrats and Republicans | Pew Research Center

And yeah, so what about those in the “Patriot Wing” of the D.C. jail?

The “QAnon Shaman,” although already pleading guilty of felony obstruction of Congress, begged a federal judge for a reduced sentence.  Three years is way too much, his defense attorney argues; the way he was dressed showed his “mental health vulnerabilities” and should be taken into account in cutting time. Picking up on the attire point, prosecutors insist Jacob Chansley – horns and all — became “the public face of the Capitol riot.”

But topping Chansley for potential time in federal custody is Scott Fairlamb, who drew 41 months for using a retractable baton to beat a police officer on that day. Having suffered a heart attack in jail, the New Jersey gym own has apologized to the court for his actions.  His attorney, in the sentencing memorandum, said Fairlamb now feels “as if he had been duped by social media before Jan. 6.”

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