An objection to Lindsay Graham's Jan 6 recanting in light of the failed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol
[This is a slightly revised version of a posting I made to Facebook on Jan 7, 2021.]
Sometimes it's useful to say the obvious. The Trump backers who relented in wake of the Jan 6 insurrection at the Capitol are just rats abandoning a sinking ship, not principled people who were misguided until the incident.
The incident – the breach and insurrection at the U.S. Congress – was the logical extension of an opportunistic, unscrupulous force (Trumpism) colliding with the foundation of democratic self-government. The opportunistic dishonesty of Trumpism is not an irresistible force, it is a choice, and self-governing democracy is not immovable, not inevitable – it fails without honesty. (I love this unattributed quote I found on Usenet, an early internet forum: "Affability keeps the boat from rocking, but truth keeps it from sinking.")
The only thing surprising about the events is that the rats were able to sustain the absurd pretenses as long and widely as they did. They knew that they were lying all along, and only acted with concern about the consequences when they could no longer get away with it. By their complicity, they have been key parts of the problem, not the solution.
Yesterday Lindsay Graham said "enough is enough", too late. It has been this harmful for a long time, the situation came to a head, and now they just can't get away with the pretense any further. He, and they – those who advocated the pretenses, or just went along silently – deserve no respect for relenting, at this horribly late stage. They still are unscrupulous opportunists, and should not be trusted.
I suppose that trusting a politician sounds like an oxymoron. I think there's a useful distinction to be made between scrupulous vs unscrupulous, but I suppose it's not a simple determination. I wanted to at least air the obvious stuff: rats abandoning a sinking ship do not deserve any respect or trust.