January 7th, 2021

Random Glimpses Of An Insurgency

The footage that grabbed my attention showed the invaders walking through some huge space which had a narrow corridor roped off with silken cords strung between shiny brass uprights- leading from door to door- of the kind that's used to control tourists or cinema queues- and they were staying within the ropes, following the route imposed by the authorities they were defying, not even thinking of stepping out into the protected space which- at that moment- they controlled. I think the guy doing the voice over used the word "swarm" but this wasn't swarming but strolling. If it hadn't been for the MAGA fancy dress and the flags this could have been any well-behaved coach party being shown round their nation's Capitol. Many of them had phones out and were taking pictures of themselves and the architecture.

I didn't, by the way, see any Confederate flags, though the reports said they were there. I saw the stars and stripes, I saw various flags with Trump's name on them and quite a few yellow flags with the coiled rattler and the words "Don't tread on me"- which was designed by a fellow called Gadsden and carried into battle against King George's men by the continental marines.

Four deaths have been reported. Three seem to have been "natural" deaths, the result of pre-existing medical conditions- which says something about the age and condition of the insurgents. The fourth was a woman apparently shot by the police while climbing through a window. Some of the protestors performed acts of disrespect- like sitting in Nancy Pelosi's chair with their boots on her desk- or helped themselves to souvenirs, but the lethal violence came from the other side- and it's not clear that the protesters had any clear idea of what they wanted to do once they'd got inside.

Swamp Things

Trump promised to drain the swamp. His supporters took him at his word- and were prepared to overlook the fact that he too came from a swamp; it was enough for them that it wasn't the Washington swamp, but another, near-adjacent one.

Once in office he seems to have spent most of his time tweeting and playing golf. It's a measure of how little he achieved that 4 years on his followers are even angrier than they were when he assumed office. Oddly enough, they don't seem to be accusing him of betrayal. It's everybody else's fault that he didn't keep his promise.

Meanwhile the swamp remains undrained and one of its oldest and scaliest denizens is about to assume the presidency.