It’s a strange thing to get a glimpse into the inner workings of a culture.
The website Talking Points Memo provided such a rare window Monday, publishing dozens of text messages sent and received by former Donald Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows in the days before and after the Jan. 6 mating attempt. The messages were mainly between Meadows and members of Congress.
It was a collection of sad, sad correspondence, with grown, grown men clinging to crazy ideas, plans that were completely unrealistic – and quite strange – and extremely undemocratic anti-American rhetoric. All of this revolved around their strange and disturbing worship of an obscene, amoral narcissist who was willing at every turn to destroy America in exchange for staying in power and unjustly enriching himself and his family.
In other words, it was the typical correspondence between members of a culture.
The ringleader – as his colleagues described him and eagerly accepted himself – was outgoing Alabama congressman Mo Brooks (thank God!).
When contacted by TPM, Brooks was proud to learn that he was referred to in a text message exchange between Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller and Meadows as the “leader” on January 6.
Honestly, it was probably the highlight of Brooks’ dozen years in the House. Since not one piece of sponsored legislation was ever passed, this is the only time he presided over anything.
It’s just Alabama’s luck that it was a coup.
Actually, luck had nothing to do with it. Brooks was not elected and re-elected because he is a smart, thoughtful leader who takes an academic approach to the very important issues that are troubling the electorate and uncharacteristically participated in this mess on January 6th by mistake. He was elected because of racism. He screamed at the loudest people about Black and Brown people, made derogatory comments about a “war on white people” and generally acted as a bully anytime a camera flashed.
The German area he represents liked that. And you know the rule: When you choose a comedian, you should expect a circus.
Alabama provided the ringmaster for the one on January 6th, and according to the arrests and convictions since then, we also provided some of the participating clowns.
But in this circus, strangely enough, we were not alone. Or, surprisingly, the worst.
The Meadows text messages show that a disturbing number of Republican lawmakers are talking openly about defunding the election process. Setting up fake voters. Stop the counting of electoral votes. Even prompting Trump to declare “marshal law”, allowing the military to take over and keep him in power. Luckily they couldn’t even spell martial law.
In case you’re wondering, that’s the traditional definition of a coup.
It is a shame that the Democrats and the Department of Justice under the leadership of Merrick Garland have done the investigation thoroughly on January 6th. Because there is a lot of information and evidence – clear, clear, irrefutable evidence – that has caused a massive shift in public opinion and the national political climate.
But somehow, we are now fast-forwarding two years later, and crucial information – such as the Meadows texts – is now coming out. The man responsible for it all has been allowed to skate away on numerous felony charges for various illegal acts and is now officially serving as president again, which makes indicting and prosecuting anyone a much more complicated matter of the charges.
If only the Democrats and other prudent members of Congress were only a fraction of the House Republicans, who are now planning expedited hearings in private citizen nude pictures.
Instead, there will be a lot of angst and hand-wringing, and I doubt that much will be done to punish those who facilitated the coup attempt. Three outright lies. By deliberately distorting basic information. By canceling the election process. By making the public afraid and angry about things they knew to be false. And through the minimization they made of the events of that day since then.
These people and this Trump cult almost destroyed America. We have seen clear evidence of their crimes and their insanity.
It sure would be nice if they paid a price.