Most Coups Look Silly Unless They Succeed

Democratic Rep. Ocasio-Cortez makes a key point about the January 6 insurrection (boldface mine):

“Pence was taken out of the Senate chamber something like 60 seconds before these terrorists, insurrectionists got into the Senate chamber,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a conversation with the journalist Maria Hinojosa, airing Friday on the weekly public radio show “Latino USA” and shared in advance with NBC News.

“Pence was the one person, arguably, that had one of the most important roles in making sure that procedurally the Electoral College counts went on as proceeded. Sixty seconds could have meant potentially the difference between what we have right now and a martial state,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “This was an all-out attempted coup.”

If 60 seconds went differently, if a different door was opened, if a chair wasn’t barricaded in a certain way, we could have a completely different reality right now,” she said. “We don’t want to acknowledge that that’s how close we got, but that is how close we got.”

If Officer Goodman hadn’t faked out some of the insurrectionists, they would have had a free run to the Senate chamber. It was that close. Despite the histrionics and denialism of the Sorelian left (not to mention the authoritarian right), we are better off for this attempt to stop the legitimate and lawful transfer of presidential authority and power having failed.

Yes, many of the insurrections were fools, incompetent ones. But doesn’t remove their intent. They wanted to stop the democratic transition of power–and they haven’t gone away. We sweep this under the rug at our peril.

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2 Responses to Most Coups Look Silly Unless They Succeed

  1. jrs says:

    Maybe we should include much of the Dem party apparatus as soft denialist. Just like there is soft deniaism of climate change, where one admits it is real, but that’s about all. AOC aside, much of the Dem party doesn’t seem to take the coup all that seriously either. So what hope is there for the rest of us?

  2. Bern says:

    Some of that large mob (thousands of people went toward the Capitol) were just coup-curious. But the leaders…

    As I approached via bicycle the east side of the Capitol on Jan 6, I found a tiny handful of cops near the northeast corner of the building, and a few clusters of close-huddled guys, several dressed similarly, clearly talking animatedly about whatever. They eyed me as if I was not welcome and I rode around the open area for a bit before heading back around to the mob approaching the west side. Thing is, I already knew the building (and its inhabitants) was vastly under-defended – I’d been riding around the whole scene at the Mall for hours. And as I saw the mob coming, I realized there were a few outliers clearly scoping out the sense of the mob, and maybe figuring out when to start the attack (the soccer hooligan model fits perfectly here). But the guys on the east side were already prepared, and there was almost no opposition in place when I was there. I do not know who did what where and when inside the building, but I think I read the east side attack broke in first. In any case, I’m still astonished so few people died.

    I rode home and watched it unfold on tv and live-text journalist feeds just like everyone else, but I’m a little chilled to think I had just previously been within punching distance of some of them…

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