American election

May 2024 Forums General discussion American election

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    Hannah “I wonder how Cockburn would have reacted if a mob had invaded and occupied the Houses of Parliament looking for elected representatives to lynch?”

    ALB “I think you have missed his point which was that there was no evidence that this was the intention of the demonstrators turned mob.”

    Nope, not missed any points.

    Some of the people who invaded the Capitol building were in possession of zip-tie ‘handcuffs’ (allegedly and most conveniently left lying around on a table in the building previously by person or persons unknown), which one, other than a tradesperson, only carries if one is intending to take captives.

    Outside the building a makeshift gallows were set up.

    But the mob weren’t intending to do any harm …. right.


    Before making up your mind on this read the article by Greenwald mentioned by Cockburn (which also deals with the zip tie handcuffs):

    What could be explanation for these claims by a part of the US media? I suggest that it is pro-Biden elements being taken in by their own claim (put forward to get people to vote for Biden) that Trump was so dangerous that,in the event of him losing, he would refuse to leave the White House and attempt a coup to rule as dictator.

    If you recall, there was a Trotskyist on this forum who argued this. An article in the December Socialist Standard dealt with this fantasy:

    A Lesson from Trump


    And a measured response to that SS article by a member of the WSPUS.

    “Even a ‘well-entrenched’ mechanism can be weakened and eventually destroyed. Trump has made — and is still making — determined efforts to weaken the mechanism of American democracy. He has suffered a setback thanks to the many many Americans who have resisted and defied him. For example, his plans to intimidate opponents at the polls largely failed or even backfired thanks to the voters who withstood harassment and also thanks to military officials who refused to send troops into the cities.

    Again, Trump’s postmaster general tried to obstruct postal voting but faced resistance from postal workers. Most of those who warned of the threat Trump posed to democracy did not expect an immediate total collapse of democratic institutions, but were worried about their further erosion in the event of his re-election to a second term.”


    The Daily Beast article would seem to be an example of what Cockburn and Greenwald were referring to. I had never heard of Greenwald but I have read many articles by Cockburn and he writes some good anti-war stuff and certainly has no brief for Trump or the rioters. In not following the dominant US media approach he has run a serious risk since as Greenwald points out:

    “anyone who tries to correct these falsehoods is instantly attacked with the cynical accusation that if you want only truthful reporting about what happened, then you’re trying to “minimize” what happened and are likely an apologist for if not a full-fledged supporter of the protesters themselves.”

    In any event, it was clearly a riot not an insurrection.


    “Before making up your mind on this read the article by Greenwald mentioned by Cockburn (which also deals with the zip tie handcuffs)”

    Yes indeed, judge for yourselves:


    I think the danger of describing a riot by an unruly mob as a coup or an insurrection is the same as when members of the Establishment (for want of a better word) call for censorship of unpopular opinions. Laws are very quickly applied to the Left.

    The USA has a history of swaying the public perception against working class organisations on false pretexts.

    One reason for the lack of success of the IWW was its criminalisation by the introduction of anti-syndicalist legislation at federal and state levels.

    And the fact is that no new anti-insurrection laws are required by the USA. It has on the statute book the 1940 Smith Act which could be re-activated.

    How easy it would be to turn on Black Lives Matters as a subversive movement not protected by the First Amendment if a precedent is created by pursuing those on the Right such as the Proud Boys or Oath Keepers.

    Just to remind, if the occupation of the Capitol was premeditated and not opportunistic as ALB suggests, why did none carry arms or have provisions? They dutifully obeyed Washington DC local statutes on gun-rules. They were woefully unprepared for any stand-off. They had no idea of the lay-out of the Capitol and didn’t know where they were going and were easily re-directed.

    If there was a conspiracy, it was pro-Trumpers in law-enforcement who were intent upon facilitating a headline-seeking incident to embarrass the Democratic Party by purposefully employing less security than they had for last year’s BLM protests in Washington DC and a long delay in mobilising the National Guard when events got out of hand.

    Possibly a publicity stunt gone wrong and not the insurrection it was portrayed as by the very Biden-bias media.

    The media persists in providing Biden with friendly media coverage and a left wing has yet to fulfil its promise to push Biden left-wards. Is it the customary honey-moon period given to new presidents or signs of what is to come…kid-glove criticism?


    Hannah, if you re-read the article by Greenwald you will see he deals with both the Munchal and the retired officer’s cases — the prosecution does not allege that they brought them with them. Also, in the second article, Munchal says he left his guns outside the building because his mum told him they would both go to prison if they took them in. Some planned insurrectionists ! But also evidence that they did not intend to kill anyone.

    It is no good quoting from the media from the period before Greenwald wrote his article. They are precisely the type of coverage he is arguing was over the top.


    As socialists we have deeper questions to ask about the election.

    Why did 9 million Obama voters switched to Trump in 2016.

    Why, after four years of hostile mainstream media coverage, he won 10.5 million more votes in 2020.

    Why in 2016, Trump won the white women vote by a margin of 9%, (even though he was running against Clinton who would have been the first woman president) and why in 2020 this vote margin increased to an 11% margin.

    Why in 2016, Trump won 5% of the Black women vote; in 2020, 9%, (despite Kamala Harris being on the Democratic ticket as vice-president)

    Why in 2016, he won 13% of the Black male vote; in 2020 it rose to 19%.

    Why comparing 2016 and 2020, Trump’s vote share rose 3% with Latinos, and 5% with Asian Americans.

    Why the LGBTQ community, gave Trump 28% of their vote, double his 2016 percent.

    Why he won 35% more of the white working class vote than Biden.

    In 2016, Trump won 65% of the white men vote; in 2020 it fell to 61%. So are Trump supporters all racist white men.

    159.6 million Americans turned out to vote, an election turnout marked the highest percent of voter population in 120 years, 66.7%. Even leftists capitulated, dressing this up as “fighting fascism” for the “lesser evil” as they climbed aboard the Biden bandwagon.

    We need answers to these questions…why is our message not resonating. Rather than being simplistically anti-Trump, what is it we are missing?


    Further observations.

    Nearly half of Republicans would leave and join Trump if he started his own Party.

    Over half of the Republican Party say they are loyal to Trump, where as only a third claim loyalty to the Republican Party

    Despite total lack of evidence almost 60% of Republicans blame the Capitol riot on leftists such as Antifa

    73% still say President Biden’s election win is not legitimate.

    On Sunday, he addresses CPAC, the conservative organising lobby. It will be interesting to hear what he will say.

    He is a populist but why is he so popular? How can he sway so many despite being revealed as a serial liar?


    From a piece in The New Yorker.

    “Brock (the retired Air Force Officer) denied that he had entered Pelosi’s office suite, saying that he “stopped five to ten feet ahead of the sign” bearing her title that insurrectionists later tore down and brandished. However, in the ITV video, he appears to emerge from the suite. Brock said that he had worn tactical gear because “I didn’t want to get stabbed or hurt,” citing “B.L.M. and Antifa” as potential aggressors. He claimed that he had found the zip-tie handcuffs on the floor. “I wish I had not picked those up,” he told me. “My thought process there was I would pick them up and give them to an officer when I see one. . . . I didn’t do that because I had put them in my coat, and I honestly forgot about them.” He also said that he was opposed to vandalizing the building, and was dismayed when he learned of the extent of the destruction. “I know it looks menacing,” he told me. “That was not my intent.”
    (emphasis added)

    LOL. In the immortal words of Mandy Rice-Davies, “Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?”


    So would I! Patrick Cockburn is a reporter specialising in the Middle East who, like Robert Fisk who died last year, doesn’t echo the official narrative. Incidentally, his father was the 1930s Stalinist hack, Claude Cockburn.

    I would trust him more than the hacks serving the pro-Biden gang that has now got its snout back in the trough again.


    “So would I!”

    That says it all! So much for the SPGB’s alleged commitment to the democratic process when one of its prominent members appears to show some sympathy with a cable-tie rioter intent on disrupting, with others, the certification of a legitimate election.


    I recall another invasion of the Capitol.

    It was when members of the environmentalist movement Sunrise occupied Nancy Pelosi’s office. Over 250 protesters were involved, with 50 being arrested by Capitol Police.

    Another occasion about a month later 1000 Sunrise protesters showed up for a sit-in at the Capitol with 140 arrested.

    No talk of it being an insurrection. No talk of AOC conducting an coup by assisting the protesters. But the intent was to pressure law-makers to succumb to the Sunrise demands.


    I suspected this might be coming, as Greenwald had warned (but still surprising coming from an ex-member):

    “What took place at the Capitol on January 6 was undoubtedly a politically motivated riot. As such, it should not be controversial to regard it as a dangerous episode. Any time force or violence is introduced into what ought to be the peaceful resolution of political conflicts, it should be lamented and condemned.

    But none of that justifies lying about what happened that day, especially by the news media. Condemning that riot does not allow, let alone require, echoing false claims in order to render the event more menacing and serious than it actually was. There is no circumstance or motive that justifies the dissemination of false claims by journalists. The more consequential the event, the less justified, and more harmful, serial journalistic falsehoods are.

    Yet this is exactly what has happened, and continues to happen, since that riot almost seven weeks ago. And anyone who tries to correct these falsehoods is instantly attacked with the cynical accusation that if you want only truthful reporting about what happened, then you’re trying to “minimize” what happened and are likely an apologist for if not a full-fledged supporter of the protesters themselves.”

    The point he and Coburn were making was that the establishment media were exaggerating in order to create an atmosphere of fear in which oppressive legislation would pass more easily.


    “…officials said that the rioters “came prepared for war” with weapons, radios and climbing gear…
    …Ex-Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund said he had prepared for a protest, not “a military-style coordinated assault”…”

    Many will view this as confirmation of the idea that this was a coup and an insurrection. I see it as officials desperate to create a conspiracy to disguise their inefficiency.

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