A lot of us always knew it might come to this.
As of this writing, the Georgia runoff race for control of the US Senate has yielded one victory for Democrats as Raphael Warnock becomes the first Black senator from Georgia. The other D, Jon Ossoff, seems a likely winner. No dout these totals will be disputed.
Wednesday’s drama in Washington DC has yet to unfold, but violence on the street began last night as a prelude to the real action.
Will Vice President Mike Pence fulfill his Constitutional duties and certify the electoral votes for President-elect Joe Biden? Will armed white supremacists, misogynists, Christian fundamentalists, anticommunists, conspiracy-minded anti-maskers and other cultists on the streets cause enough mayhem for Trump — who is still technically the president — to declare the Insurrection Act and use the military to halt the transfer of power that has been the crux of our nation since the beginning?
We will be embroiled in newspaper production as these events play out, so we can’t comment on the details. But for our purposes, the fact that they’re happening at all is enough for us to have a little freak-out moment about the fate of our country.
Right now, we have open seditionists in the House and Senate, some of them contesting the results of the very election that they themselves won. We have the last 10 secretaries of defense warning that Trump might employ a military solution to his problem. And we have Trump himself at once threatening, cajoling and charming Georgia’s secretary of state to “find” him enough votes to win there.
This is what happens when one party simply does not recognize the other’s legitimate victories, its right to govern, or even exist. It’s a necessary component of the “permanent Republican majority” that the GOP has been talking about since Bill Clinton was president.
But that majority only exists these days on the halls of government — a Republican presidential candidate has not won the popular vote since 2004. Biden won by more than 7 million votes, more than the entire population of Massachusetts, enough for a 4.5 percent margin.
And so the plan from here on out is to marginalize the majority. And there’s only one political mechanism designed to achieve that ends: Fascism, this time wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.
Sinclair Lewis never actually uttered or wrote this famous phrase — that’s according to Snopes, which fascists do not, cannot trust. But it’s happening nevertheless.