“A considerable portion of the population, perhaps as much as a quarter, lives in lethal unreality.” Paul Street, Counterpunch, November 12, 2021
Well, Steve Bannon has been indicted for contempt of Congress. The road to justice is rarely short or straight, and how this two-count indictment plays out remains to be seen. Bannon and the right-wing propaganda machine will make a meal of it, exploiting the optics to paint Bannon as a brave patriot up against Biden’s evil DOJ. The congressional committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol may, or may not, have a chance to interrogate Bannon under oath, although if it happens Bannon will turn it into a spectacle. Has a committee to save Steve Bannon been formed yet? Trump’s supporters will pony up. A year from now we’ll learn that most of the money raised was diverted, lost, or tucked away in an offshore tax haven. There’s more than one sucker born every minute.
Nonetheless, the action by the Department of Justice was welcomed by people who believe, as I do, that accountability for those who planned, plotted, financed, and perpetrated the January 6 attack is critical to protect the tattered remains of our representative democracy. Trump’s former Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, should get the same treatment as Bannon. The arrogance of these people is astounding.
The wheels of justice clatter and creak. It’s been a little over a year since the 2020 election. Congressional investigations take time, months, even years, but time is what the January 6 committee doesn’t have; they have to push the investigation forward at speed to avoid having the plug pulled when the GOP retakes the House in 2022. Kevin McCarthy will waste no time shutting the investigation down. Perhaps it doesn’t matter, the public seems to have moved on to other shiny objects, like Critical Race Theory, inflation, and freeing Brittany Spears from her conservatorship. I don’t blame people for having a short, wavering attention span. Who wants to dwell on our dystopian, authoritarian future when we can watch clips of cute puppies on Instagram? Give us distractions and entertainment, singing contests, blood sport, scandal, sex, perversion!
Different place, same outcome, the governments of the world, minus China and Russia and Saudi Arabia, have again kicked the climate can down the road. COP-26 in Glasgow failed to produce significant results and no binding agreements. What will it take, and how bad do things have to get before the CEO’s and the finance ministers get off their asses? When will the politicians stop turning a blind eye and a deaf ear?
A couple of months away from 2022, and we’re still wearing face masks, still arguing about vaccines, and still passing Covid around. How different this might all be if Donald J. Trump and his incompetent and cowardly minions had not been in charge when Covid reached our shores. Because he was only concerned with his reelection, Trump botched the federal response from the jump, denying facts, denigrating experts, and spreading lies. It will go away, like magic, Trump said. Remember? How many unnecessary deaths can be attributed to Trump’s colossal failure? 100,000? And yet this reprehensible man received 74 million votes. I still cannot get over that. Fool me once, okay, but after four years of chaos and incompetence? There’s no arguing with stupid. But what are we left with when reason, facts, and common sense are tossed out the windows like garbage?
Blind faith. Magical thinking. Folly.
But at least Steve Bannon has been indicted.