Archives for category: Trump

It is late in the day for former Attorney General Bill Barr to rehabilitate his reputation, but he apparently gave journalist Jonathan Swan an inside view of why he quit in December. He knew that Trump was lying about the election. He tried to convince him that all the claims of election fraud were B.S., but Trump got angry when Barr told him the truth. Of course, when Barr resigned, he wrote an obsequious letter about how great Trump was, which in itself robs him of any glory for repudiating Trump after the failed putsch.

Swan begins:

Attorney General Bill Barr stood behind a chair in the private dining room next to the Oval Office, looming over Donald Trump. The president sat at the head of the table. It was Dec. 1, nearly a month after the election, and Barr had some sharp advice to get off his chest. The president’s theories about a stolen election, Barr told Trump, were “bullshit.”

White House counsel Pat Cipollone and a few other aides in the room were shocked Barr had come out and said it — although they knew it was true. For good measure, the attorney general threw in a warning that the new legal team Trump was betting his future on was “clownish.”

Trump had angrily dragged Barr in to explain himself after seeing a breaking AP story all over Twitter, with the headline: “Disputing Trump, Barr says no widespread election fraud.” But Barr was not backing down. Three weeks later, he would be gone.

The relationship between the president and his attorney general was arguably the most consequential in Trump’s Cabinet. And in the six months leading up to this meeting, the relationship between the two men had quietly disintegrated. Nobody was more loyal than Bill Barr. But for Trump, it was never enough.

The president had become too manic for even his most loyal allies, listening increasingly to the conspiracy theorists who echoed his own views and offered an illusion, an alternate reality.

What follows is fascinating.

His inner circle knew he was lying. Barr had the audacity to say that there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud, certainly not enough to change the outcome of the election. But Trump became committed to his Big Lie. The lies about voter fraud were good enough to set off thousands of Trump’s most avid supporters, who gathered on January 6 to set siege to the U.S. Capitol and to threaten the lives of legislators, both Democrats and Republicans. We now know that the nation barely missed witnessing a massacre of our Congress, with a wild and bloodthirsty mob roaming unconstrained through the Capitol for hours. Did Barr know the plan? Is that why he quit?

Clifford Thompson writes in the liberal Catholic journal Commonweal that that ostensible reason for the Insurrection on January 6 was anger that Biden “stole” the election from Trump; the mob “knew” because Trump said it was so. Of course, it was a lie. Trump decisively lost both the popular vote and the electoral college. He thought he could inspire the mob to stop the certification of the Electoral College vote and intimidate them into overturning the results and installing him for a second term. The strategy was as stupid as the man who incited the mob. Congress was not going to overturn the election. Period.

Thompson says that the true basis of the Insurrection was the fear that white supremacy was losing its dominance. This is our country, our culture, our heritage, and “they” (non-whites) are “taking it away.” So they thought.

Not long ago, I wrote an article for Commonweal about the benefits and dangers of what I call rootedness. I define the word as a sense of belonging in the world based on an identification with a particular thing, whether that is a religious faith, a geographical community, a shared activity, or a philosophy. The benefit of being rooted is that we feel less alone. The danger is that when made to choose between our rootedness—which provides our sense of who we are—and the truth sitting right in front of us, many of us, perhaps most, find a way to ignore the truth.

The negative extremes of rootedness were on full and frightening display on January 6 during the storming of the U.S. Capitol, which left five people dead. What the rioters demonstrated nearly as well as the fact of their rootedness was its particular variety. I say “nearly” because while the idea that the rioters are actually rooted in, that is, white supremacy, was on full display too (witness the Confederate flag being paraded through the Capitol), it was not the ostensible reason for their collective criminal action. No, for that they took their cue from President Trump, who filled their heads with lies about the 2020 presidential election being “stolen” from them—lies that a clear-eyed look at the facts would refute—and then sent them, with all the justification they felt they needed, to wreak havoc on the world’s most important site of the business of democracy.

On the day before the election, Donald Trump signed an executive order establishing a “1776 Commission” to rewrite American history. This commission was intended to refute the New York Times’ 1619 Project, which told the story of American history from the view of African Americans. It was also, allegedly, an answer to “critical race theory,” which you can be sure Trump could not define. I thought this was a bad idea, since history should be written by historians, not by presidential commissions packed with cronies and ideologues.

On December 18, with 33 days left in his term in office, Trump announced the members of his commission, all predictably conservatives and reactionaries. The group was headed by Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn, a Trump ally. I called this “absurd.”

Many thought that the commission couldn’t possibly rewrite American history in the few days allowed to them, but miraculously they issued a report just a few days ago. Presumably, it was written before the commission ever met (if it ever met). The commission said that slavery was unfortunate but it was widespread and everyone did slavery. So there.

Talk about looking on the bright side!

Ironically, the not-long-awaited report was released on Martin Luther King Day. MSNBC host Chris Hayes said it read like a sophomore year term paper by Stephen Miller, Trump’s minister of hate. He interviewed Christina Greer, a professor at Fordham University, and said that Hayes was too generous. She said it read like the term paper of a sophomore in high school.

Peter Greene, who specializes in reading horrible reports so that others don’t have to, gave the report its due: It is awful. Beyond awful. It is rightwing drivel.

The 1776 Commission released their thing today, and pardon my French, Mom, but holy shit is it bad. You knew it was going to be bad. It’s really bad. You probably didn’t know that Progressivism is on the same Challenges to American Principles list with slavery and fascism. Slavery, by the way, is addressed primarily through a massive whataboutism. 45 pages, and every one of them is filled with horrific, racist, dumb, awful awfulness (okay, pages 2 and 4 are blank). 43 pages of awful (without any footnotes or endnotes or citations or bibliography in sight for this work of ultimate scholarship). I don’t have the time at the moment to pick apart all of it (I’ll link to it, but you really shouldn’t read it on a full stomach, and empty stomach, or at the end of a hard day)...

It’s like someone managed to take the 1950s version of squeaky clean white American life and mash it up with 1950s style Soviet Commie borg-style mind-melding. No critical thinking here. This is “education” that rejects pluralism, inquiry, actual thought and scholarship, while simultaneously nodding at and minimizing injustice, asserting that victims of such injustice should stay calm and love their country because it includes people who have the right values (and the right personal circumstances). 

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and may the Biden administration swiftly drop this damned thing into the deepest circular file in DC. 

President Joe Biden signed an executive order last night wiping out Trump’s 1776 Commission.

This is a great post by Mike Klonsky about the ignominious end of the Trump nightmare.

He planned a big military send-off for himself but was afraid no one would show up, so the invitations went out to people like John Bolton and Anthony Scaramucci, who long ago deserted him. Every invitee was asked to bring five friends to bulk up the audience. Someone said on CNN today that she had seen more people in an Apple store than showed up for Trump’s departure.

Not even Mike Pence showed up! Maybe he was annoyed that Trump told his mob to go after Pence when they vandalized the Capitol building, and they set up a scaffold and chanted “Hang Mike Pence.” That’s not the way you reward four years of puppy-dog loyalty!

Mike also laughed, as I did, at the thought that Woody Guthrie’s iconic “This Land Is Your Land” was sung at the Inauguration. If only Woody knew!

Politico reports that Trump officials at the Pentagon refused to share information with the Biden transition team.

Shameful but typical of Trump, who lacks any sense of propriety, decency, duty, or patriotism.

The Pentagon blocked members of President Joe Biden’s incoming administration from gaining access to critical information about current operations, including the troop drawdown in Afghanistan, upcoming special operations missions in Africa and the Covid-19 vaccine distribution program, according to new details provided by transition and defense officials.

The effort to obstruct the Biden team, led by senior White House appointees at the Pentagon, is unprecedented in modern presidential transitions and will hobble the new administration on key national security matters as it takes over positions in the Defense Department on Wednesday, the officials said.

Typical Trump. Mean of spirit. Unconcerned with the well-being of the country. Lie a spoiled child, he screams, “All the toys are mine. If you try to take them away, I’ll break them. Mine, all mine.”

A fitting ending to four years of the worst president in American history.

It felt as though it would never be over. Our long national nightmare has come to an end (to repeat a

But it did! Proving that all bad things must finally come to an end.

Now we await the trials and prosecutions. First, the Senate. Then the trials in New York City and New York State. Maybe one in Atlanta for election tampering.

Justice and accountability must be served.

My hunch: when the insider accounts are published, we will learn that he had no interest in governing or policy. He just liked the trappings of power. He liked winning. He liked being saluted. We will learn why he was obsequious to Putin. His tax returns will become public.


Now go watch the Inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris. They have a big task ahead cleaning up the mess that Trump left behind. Our nation will once again have a chance of living up to its lofty ideals, abandoned for four horrible years.

Congratulations to the new President and Vice-President!

Court documents were released about the militia members who planned the January 6 Insurrection, according to the Washington Post, that led to the sacking of the U.S. Capitol, a horrifying sight and a desecration of one of our national monuments by a wild mob. The mob listened to Trump’s incitement and headed for the Capitol, inspired to carry out heinous actions against members of Congress. Some of the videos of the horrendous events showed a line of military-clad people walking through the mob, with a hand on the shoulder of the person in front. Frankly, I wish the FBI had waited another 24 hours to unseal the documents, until Trump was out of office. Supposedly, the FBI watches the communications of would-be terrorists and white supremacists. Why were they not prepared? Why did they not alert the Defense Department (oh, the acting Secretary of Defense is a Trump loyalist)? Will Trump use this information to claim that he did not incite the mob because its leaders came prepared to invade the Capitol? Or did his words inspire the large audience to join in the assault on the Capitol, led by people eager to destroy the seat of our government and to kill members of Congress? And one other question: Why did so many Republicans who were the targets of the mob vote to support their goals after the Insurrection?

Self-styled militia members from Virginia, Ohio and other states made plans to storm the U.S. Capitol days in advance of the Jan. 6 attack, communicating in real time as they breached the building on opposite sides and leading dozens in a hunt for lawmakers to make “citizen’s arrests,” according to new court documents filed Tuesday.

U.S. authorities charged an apparent Oath Keeper leader, Thomas Edward Caldwell, 66, of Clarke County, Va., in the attack, alleging that the U.S. Navy veteran helped organize a ring of what became 30 or 40 people who “stormed the castle” to disrupt the electoral vote confirmation of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

“We have about 30-40 of us. We are sticking together and sticking to the plan,” co-defendant Jessica Watkins, 38, a U.S. Army veteran, said while the breach was underway, according to court documents unsealed Tuesday.

“You are executing citizen’s arrest. Arrest this assembly, we have probable cause for acts of treason, election fraud,” a man replied, according to communications recovered from her phone, the FBI alleged.

We are in the main dome right now. We are rocking it. They are throwing grenades, they are fricking shooting people with paint balls. But we are in here,” a woman believed to be Watkins said, according to court documents.

A man then responds, “Get it, Jess,” adding, “This is … everything we f——trained for!”

The extraordinary real-time narration of parts of the assault on the Capitol came as investigators made public new details of events in unsealed conspiracy charges in which thousands of pro-Trump supporters forced the evacuation of lawmakers and triggered violence that left five people dead.

FBI probes possible connections between extremist groups at heart of Capitol violence

FBI charging papers against Caldwell, Watkins and a third man, former U.S. Marine Donovan Crowl, 50, allege that Caldwell and others coordinated in advance to disrupt Congress, scouted for lodging and recruited Oath Keepers members from North Carolina and like-minded groups from the Shenandoah Valley. Participants both anticipated violence and continued to act in concert after the break-in, investigators said in court documents...

Federal prosecutors in Washington have charged more than 100 defendants in the past 13 days. But arrests this weekend of several people with alleged ties to extremist groups, including the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys and Three Percenters, have offered evidence that the riot was not an entirely impulsive outburst of violence but an event instigated or exploited by organized groups. Hours of video posted on social media and pored over by investigators have focused on individuals in military-style gear moving together...

In New York, a Queens man who worked in the state court system was accused Tuesday of making threats to murder Democratic politicians, including suggesting another attack on the Capitol timed to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Brendan Hunt of Queens, N.Y., is described in the documents as a part time actor and full-time employee of the New York State Office of Court Administration. Authorities said Hunt was not at the Jan. 6 riot, but made threatening remarks about Democratic politicians beforehand that intensified in a video he posted two days later, titled, “KILL YOUR SENATORS.”

“We need to go back to the U.S. Capitol,” Hunt said in the video, according to the FBI. “What you need to do is take up arms, get to D.C., probably the inauguration … put some bullets in their f—– heads. If anybody has a gun, give it to me, I’ll go there myself and shoot them and kill them.”

Caldwell’s group appeared motivated by a similar animus. In a Jan. 1 reply to a Facebook comment cited by the FBI, Caldwell referred to the military oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, saying he had done both, but “they have morphed into pure evil even blatantly rigging an election and paying off the political caste.”

“We must smite them now and drive them down,” Caldwell said. An FBI charging affidavit said Caldwell was recorded outside the Capitol on a YouTube video posted Jan. 8, motioning to the building and shouting “Every single [expletive beeped in original] in there is a traitor. Every single one.

In Caldwell’s charging papers, the FBI said that it is reviewing communications between Caldwell “and other known and unknown Oath Keepers members.”

An FBI agent in court records said Caldwell helped organize a group of eight to 10 individuals led by Watkins, a bartender who founded the “Ohio State Regular Militia” in 2019. Members of the group are seen on video wearing helmets and military-style gear moving purposefully toward the top of the Capitol steps and leading the move against police lines, court records said.

Since his revolting performance at the failed revolt on January 6, Ted Cruz has emerged as leader of what is known as the #SeditionCaucus. Mimi Swartz, executive editor of the Texas Monthly and contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, recently called him out as a hypocrite and a phony who used his credentials to attack our democracy:

When I was growing up, I was often reminded that people with fancy educations and elite degrees “put their pants on one leg at a time just like the rest of us.” This was back in the early 1960s, before so many rich Texans started sending their kids to Ivy League schools, when mistrust of Eastern educated folks — or any highly educated folks — was part of the state’s deep rooted anti-intellectualism. Beware of those who lorded their smarts over you, was the warning. Don’t fall for their high-toned airs.

Since I’ve been lucky enough to get a fancy enough education, I’ve often found myself on the other side of that warning. But then came Jan. 6, when I watched my Ivy League-educated senator, Ted Cruz, try to pull yet another fast one on the American people as he fought — not long before the certification process was disrupted by a mob of Trump supporters storming the Capitol and forcing their way into the Senate chamber — to challenge the election results.

In the unctuous, patronizing style he is famous for, Mr. Cruz cited the aftermath of the 1876 presidential election between Rutherford Hayes and Samuel Tilden. It was contentious and involved actual disputes about voter fraud and electoral mayhem, and a committee was formed to sort it out. Mr. Cruz’s idea was to urge the creation of a committee to investigate invented claims of widespread voter fraud — figments of the imaginations of Mr. Trump and minions like Mr. Cruz — in the election of Joe Biden. It was, for Mr. Cruz, a typical, too-clever-by-half bit of nonsense, a cynical ploy to paper over the reality of his subversion on behalf of President Trump. (The horse trading after the 1876 election helped bring about the end of Reconstruction; maybe Mr. Cruz thought evoking that subject was a good idea, too.)

But this tidbit was just one of many hideous contributions from Mr. Cruz in recent weeks. It happened, for instance, after he supported a lawsuit from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (under indictment since 2015 for securities fraud) in an attempt to overturn election results in critical states (it was supported by other Texan miscreants like Representative Louie Gohmert).

The esoteric exhortations of Jan. 6 from Mr. Cruz, supposedly in support of preserving democracy, also just happened to occur while a fund-raising message was dispatched in his name. (“Ted Cruz here. I’m leading the fight to reject electors from key states unless there is an emergency audit of the election results. Will you stand with me?”) The message went out around the time that the Capitol was breached by those who probably believed Mr. Cruz’s relentless, phony allegations.

Until last Wednesday, I wasn’t sure that anything or anyone could ever put an end to this man’s self-serving sins and long trail of deceptions and obfuscations. As we all know, they have left his wife, his father and numerous colleagues flattened under one bus or another in the service of his ambition. (History may note that Senator Lindsey Graham, himself a breathtaking hypocrite, once joked, “If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you.”)

But maybe, just maybe, Mr. Cruz has finally overreached with this latest power grab, which is correctly seen as an attempt to corral Mr. Trump’s base for his own 2024 presidential ambitions. This time, however, Mr. Cruz was spinning, obfuscating and demagoguing to assist in efforts to overturn the will of the voters for his own ends.

Mr. Cruz has been able to use his pseudo-intellectualism and his Ivy League pedigree as a cudgel. He may be a snake, his supporters (might) admit, but he could go toe to toe with liberal elites because he, too, went to Princeton (cum laude), went to Harvard Law School (magna cum laude), was an editor of the Harvard Law Review and clerked for Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Mr. Cruz was not some seditionist in a MAGA hat (or a Viking costume); he styled himself as a deep thinker who could get the better of lefties from those pointy headed schools. He could straddle both worlds — ivory towers and Tea Party confabs — and exploit both to his advantage.

Today, though, his credentials aren’t just useless; they condemn him. Any decent soul might ask: If you are so smart, how come you are using that fancy education to subvert the Constitution you’ve long purported to love? Shouldn’t you have known better? But, of course, Mr. Cruz did know better; he just didn’t care. And he believed, wrongly I hope, that his supporters wouldn’t either.

I was heartened to see that our senior senator, John Cornyn, benched himself during this recent play by Team Crazy. So did seven of Texas’ over 20 Republican members of the House — including Chip Roy, a former chief of staff for Mr. Cruz. (Seven counts as good news in my book.)

I’m curious to see what happens with Mr. Cruz’s check-writing enablers in Texas’ wealthier Republican-leaning suburbs. Historically, they’ve stood by him. But will they want to ally themselves with the mob that vandalized our nation’s Capitol and embarrassed the United States before the world? Will they realize that Mr. Cruz, like President Trump and the mini-Cruz, Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, would risk destroying the country in the hope of someday leading it?

Or maybe, just maybe, they will finally see — as I did growing up — that a thug in a sharp suit with an Ivy League degree is still a thug.

I have two questions for Cruz:

  1. How can someone born in Canada run for president of the United States?
  2. Cruz says we should believe Trump. Trump said Cruz’s father assassinated JFK. Did he?

In this article published at The Conversation, Alex Newhouse writes that far-right activists made their plans known on social media for weeks in advance. Newhouse is Research Lead at the Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism at Middlebury College. The question arises: If he could read the chatter and see the portents of violence, why didn’t the FBI?

The attack on the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6 was shocking, but no one following right-wing activity on social media should have been surprised. The attempt by President Donald Trump’s far-right supporters to violently stop Congress from certifying the Electoral College vote and formalizing Joe Biden’s election victory was consistent with their openly expressed hopes and plans.

As a researcher of far-right extremism, I monitor right-wing social media communities. For weeks in advance, I watched as groups across the right-wing spectrum declared their intentions. On Facebook, Twitter, Parler and other platforms, influencers, politicians, activists and ordinary people focused on Jan. 6 as their final opportunity to prevent what they claimed was corruption on a monumental scale. 

To most of these activists, there was no possible resolution other than Trump emerging victorious. In the open, they discussed how they were preparing to force Congress and Vice President Mike Pence to nullify the election results and declare Trump the victor. 

The buildup

Conservative groups began organizing for a large-scale protest in Washington, D.C., following a tweet from President Trumpposted on Dec. 18. “Big protest in D.C. on Jan. 6. Be there, will be wild!” he wrote. His instructions were taken seriously by mainstream supporters and far-right extremists alike. 

Stymied repeatedly in their efforts to overturn the election, Trump supporters and right-wing extremists searched for another avenue to reverse election results. For Trump and his supporters, Jan. 6 became a desperate, last-ditch effort. As social media posts showed, this desperation led them to express the righteousness of using violence to force Congress to act in their favor.

Out in the open

In the days preceding the events of Jan. 6, right-wing social media communities frequently discussed preparations, travel plans and hopes for the demonstrations. Across Twitter and Facebook, people began speaking of Jan. 6 in near-mystical terms. By surveying social media data from mid-December to Jan. 5, I discovered thousands of posts referring to the planned protests as if they were a coming revolution.

In some circles, the event became synonymous with a final battle – the moment when all of the supposed crimes of Democrats would be laid bare, and when ordinary Americans would take back the government. “On January 6, we find out whether we still have a constitutional republic,” one user wrote on Twitter on New Year’s Eve. “If not, the revolution begins. I’d rather fight and die than live in a socialist society. Pretty sure 80 million Americans feel the same way.”

Specific references to storming the Capitol also appeared, although infrequently. As one Twitter user put it, “Roberts is the Corrupt-in-chief. January 6. We need to storm Congress and @SCOTUS and arrest Roberts, McConnell, Pelosi, Schumer, McCarthy just to begin the swamp’s draining! #RobertsCorruptInChief.” 

More frequently, QAnon adherents zeroed in on Jan. 6 as the beginning of a chain of events that would lead to apocalyptic cleansing they refer to as “The Storm.” Some even believed that The Storm would arrive during the demonstration itself, and that Trump would, far beyond any reasonable expectation, arrest members of the Democratic and global elite for treason while also winning the election.

Although posts on Facebook and Twitter hinted that more than just protests were possible, nowhere was the coming violence as obvious as on Parler. The site, which has attracted millions of new conservative users in the past year, has positioned itself as a bastion for right-wing conspiracy theories and organizing efforts. From my research, hundreds of Parler users expressed their sincere belief, and even desire, that the demonstrations would spark a physical battle, revolution or civil war. 

“We are ready to fight back and we want blood,” a Parler post from Dec. 28 declared. “The president need to do some thing if Jan. 6 is the day then we are ready.” Another user stated, “January 6 will either be our saving grace or we will have another civil war that should end very quickly!! Either way Trump will be our POTUS!! Anything less is unacceptable!!”

Using tools that allow me to monitor large-scale social media data, I found evidence that right-wing activists had been explicit and open with their intentions for the Jan. 6 demonstrations since at least mid-December. I have no doubt that the demonstration was specifically designed to force Congress to overturn the election. Although the act of storming the Capitol may not have been planned, the demonstrators had prepared for weeks to use at least the threat of physical violence to intimidate Congress and Pence during the certification process.

A pattern of planning and calls for violence

The profound transparency with which right-wing activists planned their demonstrations indicates both that extreme, anti-democratic thought has become normalized on Parler, and that Twitter and Facebook still struggle to moderate open calls to violence. This is not the first time. Right-wing activists have made a habit of organizing in the open and galvanizing supporters to express their desire for violent confrontation. 

Far-right activists have also engaged in online fundraising, including while livestreaming the attack on the Capitol building.

Since the attack, I’ve observed users on Parler, Facebook and Twitter simultaneously celebrating the occupiers and spreading unfounded, dangerous conspiracy theories that the instigators of the violence were actually antifascists and leftists. On Parler, many users have turned on Pence, and calls for the execution of politicians have increased.

Law enforcement and intelligence services should learn from what happened and the apparent lack of preparedness on the part of Capitol police, because this is likely to happen again. It’s impossible to know what will happen next. However, the communities that caused the events of Jan. 6 organized for it openly on social media – and they show every intention of acting again.


Robert Kuttner has sage advice for those who oppose Trumpism, white supremacy, Proud Boys, and racism: Stay home during the demonstrations associated with Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Lefties: Stay Away From This Weekend’s Disruptions
The left got very lucky when the far right laid siege to the U.S. Capitol. The whole thing unfolded so fast that there was no time to organize counterprotests.

We should be thankful for that. There was no muddling of what occurred. Trump and his right-wing marauders reaped the blame.

This was a neofascist attempted coup, pure and simple. It was not left-wingers street-fighting with right-wingers. Even the brief attempt by some on far-right media to blame antifa (if antifa even exists) fell flat.

Next weekend, there will be violent, disruptive actions at state capitols. Law enforcement, massively embarrassed by the security failure at the U.S. Capitol, will be out in force.

The spectacle, and the story, will be right-wing thugs versus the police, getting busted. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

And we should keep it that way.

The last thing we need is left protesters challenging the right, or trying to help law enforcement, or just showing up to make a point—and becoming a target when armed thugs are kept away from government buildings.

This can degenerate all too quickly into a mutual riot, with culpability diffused and confused. The story is simple, and needs to stay that way—right-wing militias mounting more failed insurrections.

A few far-left groups will relish the moment to heighten the contradictions, bash the right, or provoke the cops. Please, no.

Napoleon put it well: “Never interfere with your enemy when he is making a mistake.”

There are times to insist on our right to “take back the streets.” This is not one of those times.

So stay home, follow it on TV or social media, and watch the far right overreach, get arrested, and take all the blame.