“I Want to Thank My Two Closeted GOP Colleagues”

I listened to some of the series of speeches given by House members today, recalling their personal experiences of last year’s insurrection. I would catch a couple speeches, then make a pastoral visit, then hear a few more on my way to a meeting, then a couple more after the meeting was done. Even so, I was struck by how different these speeches were, compared with what usually is said by members of Congress.

The first difference that hit me was the use of first names. There was almost none of the usual congressional stylings of “the gentleman from . . .” or even “Representative so-and-so” but instead it was “Jason” and “Lisa” and “Pete.”

The second difference was the presence of language referring to the “Capitol Hill family.” It is rare that congressional staffers, food service people, janitors, and Capitol Hill police are recognized on the floor, but yesterday they were not only recognized but called out and praised by name as well. So too were media members who were there that day, who we celebrated for trying to do their jobs — reporting the story out on their laptops or taking photos and video with their cameras — in the midst of the insurrection. I expected to hear about the various police officers who died or were injured, but the thanks given to all these non-elected people was surprising, heartfelt, and stunning.

But the third thing that hit me came when Adam Schiff offered his remarks. He began by saying he had been focused on preparing to engage the arguments put forward by those objecting to the results coming out of six different states, and not on what was happening outside. Then he said this:

It was not until our leadership was swiftly removed from the chamber and police announced that we needed to take out our gas masks that I understood the full extent of the danger. When the order came to evacuate, I stayed behind for a while, until two Republicans came up to me. One of them said “You can’t let them see you. I know these people. I can talk to these people. I can talk my way through these people. You are in a whole different category.”

Notice what’s missing? The names. In this midst of all the thanks that all the speakers were extending to everyone, Schiff did *not* mention who those two Republican colleagues were, who were so concerned about his safety. This wasn’t a snub – far from it. This was Schiff declining not to out them as compassionate to a Democrat, even while he held up their behavior as laudable.

There is a strong — and I mean STRONG — culture in Congress of respecting things said in confidence between members from different parties. They recognize that they need to be able to speak frankly with each other if they want to get anywhere, and that only happens when both people can trust that their conversation will remain between the two of them until they are ready to reveal it. Break that rule, and no one will speak across the aisle with you again.

I have to wonder, though, how long such treatment will last in the current climate.

Beginning in the 1980s, gay activists outed a number of conservative politicians for their hypocrisy – cruising the gay bars at night, and then the next day voting against AIDS funding or LGBT rights or otherwise obstructing anything that might be seen as helping the LGBT community. These outings were by no means universally accepted within the activist community, as “working from within” had a place, as did the respect for being able to come out on your own terms. There was also a fear that outing people would backfire and only add to the public stigma of being LGBT. The reply by those doing the outing was “if this is what working from within gets us, we can do without it.”

Congressional Moderates in today’s GOP are living in deeper political closets than gays in the 70s or even communists in the 50s. “If anyone learns that I speak nicely with the Democrat who led Trump’s first impeachment trial, let alone warned him to flee from the mob, I’m toast.” Those closeted GOP members of Congress who warned Schiff about his personal danger may want to thank him for returning the favor this afternoon, by not putting them in danger by naming them publicly in his remarks today.

You can be sure that Trump and his followers are probably beating the bushes, trying to figure out who those two treasonous Republicans are, to drag them out of the closet and wreak their vengeance upon them. Perhaps these two ought to think about how to come out on their own terms, before angry Republicans do it for them.

92 replies
  1. Rugger9 says:

    It is another indictment of the GQP that Schiff had to keep it secret, since all otherwise sane people have been purged or are in the political doghouse. I’d be more impressed with these brave GQP members if they were part of the ones voting for impeachment, BBB, the Voting Rights Act update, etc.

      • Theodora30 says:

        That’s possible but I think it’s more likely that they are not Trumpists but cowards who won’t speak out against him for fear of losing their seats.
        Schiff may also feel that if he did out them they would get the same kinds of horrific death threats as he does.

  2. Molly Pitcher says:

    Consideration is a two edged sword, Peterr. They also know that his knowledge is a weapon he chose not to use in that moment because it would not have benefitted him then. But they know it is in his back pocket.

    • The Bug says:

      References to “family” also abide the segmentary lineage principle, which codifies who is a member of “the group.” Attacks tend delineate “us” and “them” … Schiff reserves naming for a moment when binding the group is essential for hardening the boundaries, since to name is also to kill (to circumscribe the collective’s future of becoming). But it also means that by refusing to name, Schiff allows the work of unraveling what “they” want to continue operating in us, perhaps so that we can come to know what mediates the relationship and to become more inclusive in our acts of recognition.

  3. Leoghann says:

    I had no intention of watching or listening to any of the commemoration today, because I have a very low tolerance for bloviating. I’m glad to find out that at least some of the speeches weren’t like that. Adam Schiff knows, I’m sure, that in both the political and criminal world, being known as a “stand-up guy” is as good as gold bars.

  4. Bay State Librul says:

    Maybe Schiff feels that the Republican Party is aboard the Titanic, and he is throwing his colleagues a lifeline, before the band plays its final tune

    • teri.ann says:

      I agree w/you completely. I can see Schiff doing that. My hope is some of them start coming to their senses. Like, Mitt? nothing? seems everyday old norms are just vanishing……..poof! nothing is for sure.

  5. massappeal says:

    Interesting post, thanks.

    This brings to mind one of my minor obsessions about DC politics (and journalism) over the past 12 years: why have centrist Republicans failed to form a “Blue Dog-like” caucus with which they could defend each other and (on occasion) wield the balance of power? And why has nobody written a book about this?

    Take the Senate, for example. In every session there’s been a handful of Republicans clearly uncomfortable with their party’s right wing who could have formed a formal or informal caucus on a given set of issues, and then gone to both party leaders and bargained their votes in exchange for support on those issues.

    Instead, what’s repeatedly happened is senators speaking up individually and then being crushed—Bob Corker, Jeff Flake, Pat Toomey, Olympia Snowe, Pat Toomey. Even, in his own way (getting blackmailed while golfing with Trump seems the most likely explanation), Lindsey Graham. To me, it’s the single most baffling thing about national politics in the contemporary era.

    • Ruthie says:

      The success and omnipresence of GOP propaganda outlets, especially Fox News and talk radio, is likely a big factor. I’d say there was a feedback loop with the base even before Obama’s election, but especially after that it went into high gear. At a certain point the base began to wag the dog; as others have pointed out, during Trump’s early days on the campaign trail he tested the audience response to various lines, honing his act like a standup comedian. By now, audiences will even boo him when he touts the vaccines. And in the wake of Jan6, Fox News initially backed away slightly from Trump – until the base started moving to OANN and Newsmax, at which point Fox went all in for Trump and the insurrection.

      • earthworm says:

        there is culpability, yes, but it is unfair to hold journalists and editorial boards solely responsible for the willful “unseeing” that takes place in coverage of american political and social landscape.

        not when media consolidation has given business and corporate needs immense power over what press can accomplish. in a sense it has “mob power” that is comparable to tfg’s over republicans: nothing needs to said aloud, but media’s managerial level knows what the unspoken parameters and limits are.

        people who come to emptywheel have been aware of mainstream media’s acts of omission & commission for a very long time. i am pessimistic that i shall see improvement in my lifetime.

      • Alan Charbonneau says:

        “At a certain point the base began to wag the dog”
        I read a quote a few years ago from a GOP congressman “I used to think Fox worked for us. Now I think we work for them”. That precept was demonstrated once again on Carlson’s show where Ted Cruz groveled.

    • Theodora30 says:

      It is different for Republicans because they have a huge, well-financed propaganda machine that would absolutely destroy them for doing that. It took the blatant extremism of Trump to convince a few to finally break ranks and become Never Trumpers but even fewer of them have been willing to admit their own culpability in setting the stage for an extremist like Trump to take power. Stuart Stevens is a rare exception. In his book “It was all a Lie” he is very open about his time as a Republican operative who helped elect the people who undermined the principles Republicans supposedly stood for that had originally motivated him.
      Too many of the other long time operatives who helped the gaslighting by pushing the lies of guys like Bush and Cheney pretend the problem began with Trump.

    • bawiggans says:

      It is relatively easy to squash internal dissent when the party’s ambitions are pretty much limited to obstructing in opposition and looting and vandalizing when in power. Republican members rarely possess any leverage when defeat provides as much opportunity for obtaining the essentials for staying in office as success does in their party’s model of governance. Their leadership is enabled by the party’s nihilism to be absolutely ruthless in excommunicating apostates.

      • Katherine M Williams says:

        “It is relatively easy to squash internal dissent when the party’s ambitions are pretty much limited to obstructing in opposition and looting and vandalizing when in power”

        Which one reason republicans have so much power even when out of power in the gov’t. Their goals are only to obstruct, damage, and rob. They have no interest in “cooperating” with anyone, not even to promote the welfare of their own voters.

    • Rayne says:

      They did — it was the Republican Main Street Caucus and the Republican Main Street Partnership, of which the latter remains but the former has dissolved. Dissolution happened in relationship to a dispute over possible corruption in the Partnership’s handling of money which should have been spent on getting Caucus members elected.

      In the bigger picture, the current GOP is the result of reflexive application of the Overton window, in which political ideas embraced by the group are:
      Unthinkable, then
      Radical, then
      Acceptable, then
      Sensible, then
      Popular, then

      If the idea of low-to-no taxes and smallest possible government is at first unthinkably radical, over 30 years’ time without any conscious brake to assess outcomes and successes/failures has now arrived at ‘any government restraint is bad’, ex. anti-vaxx/anti-mandate/attack on the Capitol.

      It’s a cautionary tale for the left, but the left suffers from having little-to-no organized effort to move the Overton window in the opposite direction.

      • Molly Pitcher says:

        Will Rogers — ‘I am not a member of any organized political party — I am a Democrat’

    • BobCon says:

      What particularly seems odd is the failure of people like Corker who had already decided to leave to do so, since the leverage over their careers was over.

      They knew how important judges were to McConnell and could have cut deals to force meaningful investigations and ethical constraints on Trump and his appointees.

      The best explanation I have is that they didn’t get to that place without being a compliant stooge who folded after getting cornered a couple of times.

      • ducktree says:

        And . . . blackmail. Can’t forget the potential for blackmail as a virulent arm-twister.

        See also, Lindsey Graham on the golf course.

      • Alan K says:

        Any GOP official pushing back on Trumpism is likely to be very aware of how much violence will be directed towards them, their family, their colleagues. These guys are seriously vicious towards their apostates.

  6. Badger Robert says:

    They have gradually accepted being in a closed closet.
    The Republicans found that war and defense spending was pro business. There was big money there.
    Southern grievance politics rebelling against desegregation and civil rights gave them a solid south.
    They did not anticipate it would grow into the acceptance of political violence.
    They know how many Republicans have taken Russian money through various filters, and like the least culpable members of baseball’s Chicago Eight, they are culpable too.
    Some ex Republicans want to assert it was just Trump, but I doubt it. Trump only got in front of the movement that would have a different leader without him.

  7. harpie says:

    The entire “MARCH for TRUMP” rally was DESIGNED by TRUMP [and his MAFIA family]
    to intimidate “weak” Republicans.

    Here are excerpts of JUNIOR DON at 10:22 AM:

    And it should be a message to all the Republicans who have not been willing to actually fight. (cheering) The people who did nothing to stop the steal. This gathering should send a message to them. This isn’t their Republican Party anymore. (cheering) This is Donald Trump’s Republican Party. (cheering) […]

    (Fight for Trump! Fight for Trump! Fight for Trump!) That’s right, guys. That’s the message! These guys better fight for Trump. Because if they’re not, guess what? I’m gonna be in your backyard in a couple of months. (cheering) […]

    Guess what, folks. If you’re gonna be the zero, and not the hero, we’re coming for you and we’re gonna have a good time doing it. (cheering) […]

  8. earlofhuntingdon says:

    RIP, the great Sidney Poitier (1927-2022).

    His list of good, great, and groundbreaking films is long. Not all have aged as well as my favorite, which made the Guardian headline: In the Heat of the Night. It co-starred Rod Steiger and Lee Grant, who both won Oscars, and the under-appreciated Warren Oates. The whole cast is fantastic. Everyone behind the camera, starting with Norman Jewison, Hal Ashby, and Stirling Silliphant, was committed to making the film both entertaining and the statement on civil rights that it was. But it would have been far less memorable without Mr. Tibbs and the slap-heard-round-the-world.

    Poitier’s hard-earned statuture – born in Miami, he grew up poor in the British-controlled Bahamas and learned his eloquent speech from listening to the radio – and off-screen roles were just as important.


    • bmaz says:

      Poitier is a great loss. And, man, are you right about Warren Oates, don’t think I ever saw a bad performance by him. Maybe the best was as GTO in Two Lane Blacktop. Ironic that he gets discussed because of another iconic role, in In The Heat Of The Night on the day of Poitier’s death.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        TLB, what a blast from the past (1971), now in the Library of Congress for so capturing the zeitgeist. Jack Kerouac meets a Ford 150 on Route 66. The cast says it all: James Taylor, Warren Oates, Dennis Wilson, and Laurie Bird. Did you like the cars or that it was partly filmed in Flagstaff?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I highly recommend the commentaries on the dvd by Jewison, Ashby, Grant, and Steiger. They range beyond the film production. Ashby’s, in particular, provides context on citizen activism, and why those involved with it wanted to make that particular film in 1966-67. Given how we progressed and then regressed socially since then, his observations are just as important today.

      Of Poitier’s many films, the quirky Sneakers (1991), co-starring Robert Redford and Ben Kingsley, is well worth a watch. River Phoenix, David Strathairn, Dan Aykroyd, Mary McDonnell and James Earl Jones have enjoyable supporting roles.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          It is deliciously low-tech for a high-tech film: wired phones, dsl, CRTs and other ponderous electronics, and a tissue box-sized black box that works miracles no government should have. And once activist aging hippies. Plus ca change…

    • BobCon says:

      He was one of a handful of people who kept the SCLC financially solvent at times, along with Harry Belafonte, Tony Bennett, and a little more surprisingly, Frank Sinatra.

    • Alan Charbonneau says:

      I remember Ruby Dee’s line “you gone crazy out of your mind!”
      Warren Oates was also great in Dillinger and Blue Thunder (as Jack Braddock).
      He checks his sanity with a wrist watch!

      Jack Braddock:
      What do you check yours with, a dipstick?

  9. misteranderson says:

    There is a clever tactic that Trump uses that I wish the media & others would make clear. It goes something like this: Trump attacks Congressman y on Twitter. Person x threatens the life of Congressman y. Trump does not say anything about this threat. He doesn’t denounce it & he doesn’t say that this kind of behavior is unacceptable. He is aware of the threat, it’s knowable to him. The threat remains in the air. Congressman y now knows he is in danger so he either apologizes or reverses his position. Trump is in my mind essentially responsible for the threat hanging over Congressman y’s life. His silence allows him plausible deniability & he gets away with it. This is a conscious strategy & no one makes this explicit that this is so. This strategy did not exist in politics until Trump arrived on the national stage. I remember a scene from HBO’s “Rome” when Marc Antony hired a bunch of thugs to attack Roman Senators so they would vote a certain way. This is essentially the same tactic that Trump uses. He brought a brutality to American politics that is unforgivable.

    • Epicurus says:

      Jennifer Merceica explains Trump’s rhetorical devices, including the one you note and its variations, in her book Demagogue For President.

      • Reader 21 says:

        Excellent point re the attempt to obstruct Congress and its official proceedings – violence or the threat of it would certainly seem to qualify.

        Even aside from the rather explicit example set forth by misteranderson above, Daniel Goldman – former federal prosecutor who successfully prosecuted associates of the Russian mafiya – has posited that the failure to fully investigate and report on the threats of violence by certainly trump supporters, and occasionally even Individual 1 himself, however veiled, is one of the modern media’s biggest shortcomings. [paraphrasing, not an exact quote]

        Threats to members of Congress – and their families, including minor children – have increased 4-fold since trump. The ten House GOP members who voted to impeach have all reported facing threats of violence to themselves, and their loved ones.

        Also, not that I’m in the habit of defending the Italian mafia, but there was a code, that civilians were generally off-limits – with the Russian mafiya and their acolytes, children are not off-limits – they’re targets.

        P.S. Even setting aside explicit threats of violence – threats to uncover secrets, of say someone closeting something closely held and deeply personal about themselves – would also fit under extortionist threats, I would post.

      • TooLoose LeTruck says:

        Sounds like a slight variation on stochastic terrorism…

        “the public demonization of a person or group resulting in the incitement of a violent act, which is statistically probable but whose specifics cannot be predicted:
        The lone-wolf attack was apparently influenced by the rhetoric of stochastic terrorism”

  10. Rita says:

    Anderson Cooper had an interview last night with part of the “Gallery Group” – Members of Congress who were in the gallery as the mob tried to break through. The 6 interviewed recounted how petrified they were at the time and how scarred they remain by the experience. When asked about how they regard their Republican colleagues, the common word was “Cowards”. Their fear of Trump overrides everything.

    In listening to Rep. Cheney and Rep. Thompson in their interview with Jake Tapper, it strikes me that they and others, like Adam Schiff, may be trying to give some Republicans a spine or an off-ramp by dribbling out tidbits of how much the Committee knows. There still remains time to save some scrap of dignity for many. I imagine that some are looking at the weathervane and waiting for the sign that the wind is shifting.

      • Peterr says:

        That was the general reaction around our house last night, too. They’ve done some great parodies in the past, but this is their best to date. “How ’bout this . . . Buuuuummmm?”

    • Raven Eye says:

      For some reason that video triggered the memory of another video:


      To be honest, they are pretty imposing birds. Hands full of grocery bags, I’ve had my face within 3 feet of those talons in an Aleutian Islands parking lot.

      • Eureka says:

        Kagan the Nessy Slayer? [But I hear sequels often aren’t as good as the originals. Ehhhhk. Sux to be us!]

        For the Sports Desk:

        Dunno how the Eagles backups will fare but win or lose this game promises to send the Boyz (as seems likely) your way next week all softened up in a twilight of confusion for the coup de grace. Team work makes the dream work.

        McCarthy was boasting that they’d play their starters to get cold weather playoff practice — with GB being the only chilly NFC playoff locale, that’s some confidence. K1 and crew will have to spare America that double-villain matchup.

        Should be a nice ~25F come kickoff tomorrow night, with today’s fresh snow still blanketing the landscape. The sun is doing its work but I can just hear the crunch of aged snow clots underfoot as they walk to and fro their buses. Should the visitors win versus a COVID-wracked team with a smarter coach (Eagles will mostly be resting anyway, besides maybe those like Smitty who have records to beat and enough scaffolding to help make that happen; Kelce’s got a start-streak to keep up, too, if he clears protocols), or lose to same, the narrative continues. They leave bewildered about their Dem-Boyz-ness either way.

        This game is only meaningless for the Eagles — their playoff seeding would only change (independently of or in combination with their W) on the outcome of other games. Though a W surely would be fun.

  11. Molly Pitcher says:

    I have been inundated by emails from the RNC, Trump and all sorts of RWNJ Pacs today. Anyone else ?

    • P J Evans says:

      None in my box – but I tend to delete all the political stuff that shows up, most of which is outside my area.

    • Leoghann says:

      I get no emails from Republican causes whatsoever. But I’ve been getting spam text messages with real MAGA fearmongering crap, about two a day, for months. They’re all personalized to a longer, incorrect version of my first name, which tells me someone I know put me in a database, probably as a prank.

      • Eureka says:

        It could just be any maga you know who has your phone number in their phone got it sucked up into a database by FB (being the likeliest culprit) — even if you’ve never had a FB account. Violet Blue at CNET has several articles on this a few years back (FB “shadow profiles” if you do not have an acct; other mechanisms of your contact info getting sucked in and recombined regardless of account status). That was my hunch before even hearing they’re personalized to your (wrong) name. Your (our) privacy is only as good as the settings, bloatware, and diabolica on everyone else’s phones …

  12. gmoke says:

    “There is a strong — and I mean STRONG — culture in Congress of respecting things said in confidence between members from different parties.”

    Schiff has made it perfectly clear that his contempt for Kevin McCarthy is BECAUSE McCarthy violated that confidence, in what seems to have been their very first real conversation:

    FAVREAU: “Did Kevin McCarthy really admit to you that he lied to the press about something you said?”

    SCHIFF: “Yes, yeah. I mean, everything I ever needed to know about him I learned on a plane. This was 2010, and we were seated together on United Airlines flying back to the capital. I really don’t think I’d spoken two words to him up until that time—not for any dislike, but his district is far from mine, we just never had any opportunity to speak. And we had that kind of conversation you have on a plane before the movie starts and you can escape. It was a total nothingburger—who was going to win the midterms, and I said I thought the economy was going to be good and we were going to win the midterms, and he thought the Republicans were going to win the midterms …”

    VIETOR: “Got you there. 2010, that was a tough one for us.”

    SCHIFF: “Yeah, his forecasting was better than mine, that’s true. But, you know, the movie starts and that’s the end of the conversation. We get to D.C., we go our separate ways. I don’t remember what his position in the Republican Party at the time was, but he gave a press briefing that night, unbeknownst to me, and he told the press that I had said that the Republicans were going to win the election, which was absurd and completely false … literally the opposite. Well, I didn’t know about this that night because I had to wait until the newspaper came out in the morning to even know that he’d given a briefing. So, you know, one of the Hill papers comes out in the morning and it quotes McCarthy as saying, ‘Everybody knows Republicans are going to win the election. I sat next to Adam Schiff on the airplane last night and even he admitted the Republicans were going to win the midterms …”

    FAVREAU: “Just lying for lying’s sake.”

    SCHIFF: “Oh, it was breathtaking, and I made a beeline for the House floor and went right up to him in the middle of the House floor and I said, ‘Kevin, I would have thought if we were having a private conversation it was a private conversation, but if it wasn’t, you know you told the press the exact opposite of what I said.’ And he looks at me and he says, ‘Yeah, I know, Adam, but you know how it goes.’ And I’m like, ‘No, Kevin, I don’t know how it goes. You just make shit up and that’s how you operate, because that’s not how I operate.’ But that is how he operates, and in that respect he was really made for a moment like this when his party doesn’t believe the truth matters at all, you make up your own alternate facts, and you say anything, you do anything to get power, to keep power. And in that sense, McCarthy and Trump were really made for each other.”

    Source: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/10/12/2057714/-Adam-Schiff-When-it-comes-to-lying-Donald-Trump-and-Kevin-McCarthy-were-made-for-each-other

    • Bay State Librul says:

      Thanks for that tidbit on McCarthy
      Great insight into his character — a dickhead exemplified.

  13. Terry Mroczek says:

    Your post was excellent – a textbook example of “extreme dysfunction” as my field would label it. Particularly disheartening is the fact that while Schiff “protects” those closeted R’s – he receives the opposite in return. He has been the object of many threats, the topic of derision from many in the right-wing echo chamber and the base of the GOP. How could he possibly trust those individuals? How could he believe that their statements indicated a true concern and not some other type of manipulation? My experience tells me that level of dysfunction is incapable of self-correction and the source is likely an intervening variable (outside of Congress; i.e. Russia or other foreign entities, right-wing “media”, etc. ) that is feeding the fire because that level of dysfunction is unsustainable without a fire-feeder. It really worries me for our country.

    • dwfreeman says:

      Look, I think the issue here boils down to character and the way you lead your life, treat others and expect others to respond. You were either brought up that way and respect others or you don’t. It’s not about politics, it’s about character, choice and the way you conduct yourself.

      Today’s Republican Party has no agenda, no code, nothing that separates its policy viewpoint and the way it chooses to manifest political action and standing. If anything, the party pretends to support values it violates by obstruction and inaction. What leadership does this party offer, espouse other than its dedication to preventing Democrats from leading or passing their agenda?

      As a party, the GOP offers nothing but fully expects it’s entitled to run our government going forward from a position of plausible deniability so that its elite supporters will benefit and continue determining the future direction of our country — as has been the case for generations. They are led by a Russian asset. I will continue making that contention until it becomes crystal clear to anyone. Trump sold out his American interests decades ago. The fact that people pretend to accept his POV is because they don’t want to accept that reality.

      Well, you do so at the peril of our democracy. I find Adam Schiff a tremendous patriot and man of outstanding character. Thank you Peterr for your post.

    • John Lehman says:

      …..with arms outstretched, whether an atheist, agnostic or believer in what ever faith, to the great mystery of being, of existence, of reality…

      • John Lehman says:

        From a suburb of Portland Oregon:

        The Bahá’ís of Lake Oswego have hosted commemorations for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day for over 30 years. This year, the City of Lake Oswego is partnering with the local Bahá’í community to help produce a pre-recorded program that will feature inspiring artwork and performances by children and youth in the community, comments by Mayor Joe Buck, and a video clip of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. This special community celebration of Dr. King’s legacy will be available for viewing through February 28, 2022. Please share:


        The spirit of the 1963 March on Washington was 100x nobler with many times as many people as the pathetic coup attempt.

        Grandson is one of readers of the pre-teen well illustrated story book of the of the March on Washington

        • earthworm says:

          to mention the 1963 march on washington makes me realize that democracy died in dealey plaza.
          not that i am a kennedy worshiper, but our american trajectory started its downward course then. stating it as fact.

          • John Lehman says:

            Just attempting to remind everyone that there were a lot more people at the 1963 “I have a dream” MLK march then the January 6, 2021 coup attempt fiasco.

            ….also doubt very much that there’ll be any children’s history books written commemorating 1/6/21…especially almost 50 years later*

            *Any children’s history books (God forbid) commemorating the Beer Hall Putsch, Reichstag Fire or Kristallnacht ?

            No…hell no!!!

            • TooLoose LeTruck says:

              ….also doubt very much that there’ll be any children’s history books written commemorating 1/6/21…especially almost 50 years later*

              Patience, John, patience…

              Give Mick Huckabee some time…

        • Sylvia Henry says:

          John, I just watched the video you referenced. What a beautiful presentation. Loved the children reading the book, A Place to Land. I will order this to read to my grandchildren. Thank you for sharing.

          • John Lehman says:

            “ I will order this to read to my grandchildren.”

            They are what it’s all about.

            7 generations.

  14. Bay State Librul says:

    dwfreeman @ 6:06 PM

    You can add Rep Jasmie Raskin (MD 8th) to your “outstanding character” list.

    “They (Republicans) are in essentially in a political religious cult, and their cult leader Donald Trump, is telling them they can’t believe their own eyes”

    We are drowning here people; someone please save our Republic.

  15. Bay State Librul says:

    RIP Lani Guinier


    After all these years, the Republicans still fighting Civil Rights.
    After all these years, The WSJ still giving Civil Rights the middle finger.

    “A Wall Street Journal headline writer on April 30 conceived the killer epithet: Clinton’s ‘Quota Queen,’ ” she wrote in a New York Times essay the following February.

    The ear of the corn coming to fruition – Act now Dems or forever hold your peace

  16. skua says:

    I’m reading repeated warnings from authorities that describing Omicron as mild is problematic.
    One saying that for those without the increased protection provided by previous COVID infection or vaccination it is more deadly than the initial variant.
    The other saying that it is still a deadly disease that is killing people.
    “While Omicron does appear to be less severe compared to Delta, especially in those vaccinated, it does not mean it should be categorized as ‘mild’.
    Just like previous variants; Omicron is hospitalizing people and it is killing people.
    In fact, the tsunami of cases is so huge and quick, that it is overwhelming health systems around the world.
    Hospitals are becoming overcrowded and understaffed, which further results in preventable deaths from not only COVID-19 but other diseases and injuries where patients cannot receive timely care.” – Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO

  17. Badger Robert says:

    How does a vast conspiracy fall apart?
    Usually the autocrat starts a war, which his nation loses.
    But we also have the demolition of the post Civil War KKK.
    We have Chernobyl.
    We have the collapse of various American Ponzi schemes.
    We have the Madoff scam and the more recent Theranos scam.
    Most of the time the smart get out early and the late joiners get left holding the bag,

  18. Jenny says:

    In the 80s I dated a chief of staff to a Republican Virginia Senator. He told me at the time, lawmakers make rules for the people; however make their own rules on the hill for themselves. (Note: that relationship did not last)

  19. Tom says:

    Ted Cruz, the one man pie fight! Can’t wait for his next appearance on Tucker Carlson’s show when he’ll give himself a wedgie, wallop himself in the face with a two-by-four, and then stick his tongue on a cold metal pipe.

    • skua says:

      Ted’s self-abasement goes beyond even that in the resignation letter Barr submitted to their Dear Leader.

      Crawling while whining protects against under-bus throws?

    • Jenny says:

      Ted Cruz “knows which way the wind is blowing, and he will do his best to become a windbag that blows in that direction, whatever humiliating deflation is required first.”
      Washington Post “The Ongoing Mortification of Ted Cruz” by Alexandria Petri (Jan 8, 2022)

  20. Chuffy says:

    Whether they like it or not, being on Team R carries with it a loyalty clause…for decades now, it’s been a “with us or ag’in’ us” group…in total lockstep. Outside of some minor legislation, there are rarely defectors, those like Murkowski and Collins being the token outliers (but not really), from the Party line. And the Party is now Trump, no matter how much grumbling goes on behind the scenes.

    This has created the monster, and that monster lives in its own world, with its own separate reality. It truly is a cult, with propaganda as its weapon. Not just cable “news,” but omnipresent fascist talk radio, and now podcasts…people have simply gone from the only sources available that confirm their biases to a broader, more self-curated list of sources that feed their paranoia and fear. And those sources can destroy someone who speaks up or against the Party quite easily. Anyone who thinks Ted Cruz wouldn’t be over in a week if the Party wanted it is deluding themselves. There is even a physical threat now, after the insurrection.

    I also have a nagging suspicion, and this is without evidence so grain of salt…that a LOT of Team R has been compromised somehow. There is a little bit of comfort and security in that everyone has skeletons in their closet, but I’m willing to bet a lot of folks in Congress really don’t want their dirty laundry to be aired out, and have maybe even gotten themselves into a situation where they made a deal with the devil to keep their jobs, and there are receipts. They are generally shameless, though, so like I said, grain of salt. I just keep coming back to the idea that they’ve been compromised so deeply that they can’t possibly out themselves or others without serious collateral damage.

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