As The Smoke Clears

Scattered notes on a stalled putsch.


I find myself today in the position of not really knowing what to say, but knowing that things must be said.

I do make a point to remind people, from time to time, that I am not a prophet and I don’t generally deal in predictions.

But in retrospect, I do think I nailed it on Tuesday when I said:

I don’t know what will happen tomorrow. I think the maxim of “Elect clowns, expect a circus” probably sums it up. There will be theatrics. There will be dramatics. We may see things that no one alive has ever seen happen in the halls of Congress. But when the dust settles and the smoke clears, Joe Biden will — again — be proclaimed the winner and the president-elect, with Senator Kamala Harris alongside him as the vice president-elect.

There were theatrics. There were dramatics. There were scenes such as we have never witnessed in the halls of Congress. And very late in the night or early in the morning, depending on your point of view, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were once again and with finality recognized as the winners of the election.

I am not going to imply that I knew exactly how things would have unfolded. Things could very easily have gone better, if capitol security had taken seriosuly the very public planning of the invading Nazi mob (they had t-shirts printed with the date, and the King in Orange himself tweeted out invitations to them and directed them to the capitol beforehand).

And things could have gone much worse, as some of the number among the invaders were literally out for blood, bringing bombs and weapons and intending on taking hostages from among our elected officials and streaming their murders as staged executions.

So I’m not gloating today, nor am I relaxing, but I do feel justified within myself, and I maintain my membership in Team Sunny Optimism. Trump right now is feeling wounded, betrayed, cut off from social media, isolated, and relatively weak. It is not my opinion that he is most dangerous in such times, but that he is less dangerous.

He felt powerful yesterday when he had thousands of his people coming at his beck and call and dancing at his direction. That was him at his most dangerous.

The danger isn’t past and won’t be past for a long time, but for the moment, it’s somewhat mitigated. I do both fear and believe that things will still get worse before they get better, but I expect it to be stretches of relatively calm equilibrium that are punctuated when things boil over and the status quo is pushed past its breaking point.

These have been and remain dangerous times, but if you’re reading these words then you’ve made it this far in terms of living through them, and we will soon see the end of them.