“A group of thugs fought from Trump’s call.
Popped out of a large-scale support rally of
Launched a difficult “coup”
“I will appear in Washington on January 6th! God bless America and WWG1WGA! On January 1st, local time, 35-year-old retired female soldier Ashley Babbitt of the United States Air Force wrote on social media.
Five days later, she stood under the Capitol gable and shouted to climb the broken glass window. The police shot sounded and she fell from the window with blood on her face.
Babbitt was a Trump supporter who was killed in the violent protest on Capitol Hill on January 6.
The last message she retweeted was “Trump supporters gathered in Liberty Square for a larger protest”.
Until January 6, Trump has been encouraging his supporters to come to Washington on social media Twitter to attend a protest rally outside the White House.
But after the violence that eventually killed five people did happen, Trump changed the characterization of the “supporters” who rushed into the Capitol Hill, declaring that “they are all mobs and should be sent to prison!” Vice President Pence called it a “dark day”, and President-designate Biden said with concern that American democracy had suffered “unprecedented invasion”.
Calhoun, a well-known sociologist and former president of the London School of Economics, pointed out that this was a “not very successful” violent attack, but it was not accidental.” From the large protester rally called by Trump, a mob jumped out and launched a difficult ‘coup’.
Ex-female soldiers deeply involved in conspiracy theories
Falling on Capitol
Babbitt’s Twitter account chronicles the life of an ordinary California resident: a happy family, loving her siblings and husband, and a border collie; traveling, gathering, watching comedy.
The autograph reads: “The man who loves me, my dog, and the one above all this – my America.”
However, since November 4 last year, Babbitt’s social media accounts have been filled with election conspiracy theories.
The day before, on the polling day of the 2020 presidential election in the United States, the U.S. media announced that Biden was expected to win the presidential election, but Babbitt received completely different news: Trump announced his victory in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Michigan, and his son Donald Trump Jr. relayed his opponent’s “election fraud” in succession. Evidence”.
On the same day, Trump lawyer and former New York City Mayor Giuliani flew to Philadelphia to launch a lawsuit against Pennsylvania’s vote and publicly said that he had “a lot of fraud”; another elite legal person, Republican Senator Cruz, also said that “Democrats violated the most basic election rules”.
A person close to the Republican campaign told China Newsweek that the Trump team responded completely as soon as the defeat was confirmed, “not aimed at causing national riots, nor really hoping to change the election results through legal proceedings.
The primary goal is to continue to unite a large group of supporters in the face of the election defeat, and to see if it is possible to force Republican state governments and congressmen who rely on ‘Trump voters’ to use the space of legal procedures to change the election results.”
Babbitt has been deeply involved in various “conspiracy theories”. The “WWG1WGA” she referred to in a social media message on January 1 is the code “When we go one, we go all”, which is the motto of the famous conspiracy theory movement QAnon.
QAnon supporters firmly believe that there is a perverted interest group against Trump in the United States, and that Trump has mastered their criminal facts, and will catch up all the group members, including senior Democratic Party, Wall Street elites, Hollywood stars and media people, on one “judgment day”.
“Voters have long been told about the horror of election fraud, and overwhelmingly people think it is a serious problem.” Joshua Blanco, a professor of political science at the University of Texas at Austin, told China Newsweek.
According to the study he presided over, before the 2020 U.S. election, both Democratic and Republican voters were anxious about the authenticity of the election, and more than 60% of voters on both sides thought that the “fake information” spread by each other would affect the election results.
On November 8, Trump Jr. called for the first time that “we can’t let any bad guys get away with it”. Then, signs of riot began to appear in Babbitt’s forward message: some Trump supporters claimed that a coup “needed a coup”, while others were discussing how to “make Democrats pay the price”.
And January 6th, which Congress certified the president-elect, was regarded by supporters as the “Last Judgment Day”. The New York Times reported that Babbitt once expressed confidence to a friend that “we will win from January 6th”.
However, until then, Babbitt had not thought of violent protest. On November 15, Trump supporters gathered in Washington for the first time after election day to hold a large-scale demonstration, but they abide by the “law and order” repeatedly emphasized by Trump during the election.
On the same day, Babbitt retweeted a tweet from Charlie Cocker, one of the organizers of the march and the leader of the right-wing movement: “More than 1 million Trump supporters gathered, and no building was burned and no business was destroyed. It’s incredible, isn’t it?”
From peaceful protests to violent conflicts
Trump never admitted defeat and claimed that he needed more powerful supporters to prove that he was still popular with mainstream public opinion, which was also his last reason to change the presidential certification process.
Before the January 6 Capitol Hill incident, Senate “spoken” and Senate Republicans led by Senator Cruz issued a statement evading legal charges of “fraud” in the election, saying that Congress should open an investigation because “millions of Americans peacefully expressed their views on the election. Deep concern about impartiality, their voices should be heard.”
Blanco believes that Trump’s incitement to voters eventually led to tragedy, but it is “difficult to find direct evidence”.
Previously, Trump had never explicitly supported the QAnon movement, but by the 2020 election day, he had tweeted 265 retweets or mentioned the accounts of QAnon supporters. Therefore, supporters like Babbitt call Trump “Q+”.
Until January 6, Trump has been tweeting his supporters to come to Washington again to attend a rally outside the White House and launch a large-scale march like November 15.
All the key members of Trump’s team are active on social media Parler, and users openly and carefully discuss the plan to carry guns, avoid police, and break into government buildings.
Instead of warning when he called on supporters to protest on January 6, Trump refused to send the National Guard to strengthen its defense when crowds began to surround Capitol Hill. He predicted to supporters outside the White House that “if Pence does the right thing, we will win the election”.
However, Vice President Pence, who is also the President of the Senate, did not veto the electoral votes of any state. Trump immediately declared, “Pence has no courage, and the United States demands the truth!” After knowing that Republicans in the Capitol Hill would not change the certification process, Trump supporters gathered outside began to act.
The U.S. media believes that this may be the reason why Babbitt is confident that he will not be shot by the police. Fourteen years ago, she served in the United States Air Force’s guard force near the capital.
Her main task was to protect Washington and familiar with the process of using riot weapons to deal with riots in the capital.
When the violent conflict really happened, Trump seemed to be in a dilemma. At first, he only vaguely said in a video speech: “Our election was stolen. This is an overwhelming election, as we all know. But you have to go home now.
We must have peace. I love you. After the conflict that day was halted, Trump made another statement: “This kind of event happens when I win a sacred landslide victory in the election and is taken so casually and maliciously from the great Patriots.”
Under the split of the Republican Party
Another impeachment crisis?
In front of Capitol Hill, some Trump supporters set up a simple memorial for Babbitt. A wreath, a whiteboard with the words “Patriots” and several “Save America” leaflets. And on Capitol Hill, both parties condemn the Babbits’ behavior and Trump’s inaction.
“He is isolated, painful and angry…” On January 11, a White House official privately described Trump’s recent situation on ABC.
But the same day, Trump authorized the Department of Homeland Security to cooperate with Washington, D.C., to ensure the security of the capital before and after Biden took office on January 20.
Meanwhile, sources around him revealed that Trump may leave the White House on his own initiative before the 20th. In addition, the handover between the Republican government and Biden’s transition team has accelerated significantly since January 6.
Also starting from January 6, Pence and other top Republicans chose to break with Trump more clearly. On the same day, although not authorized by Trump, Pence took over command to mobilize the National Guards in the District of Columbia and Virginia.
According to the Washington Post, after that, senior Republicans, including Senate Republican Leader McConnell, began to refuse direct contact with Trump, and Pence actually became the center of White House and congressional coordination during the transitional period.
Trump’s lawsuit against “election fraud” has been repeatedly defeated, leaving the Republican Party out of the focus of the current agenda.
Republican Rep. Will Hurd warned that the party even forgot that “it was actually a winning election: we narrowed down the disadvantage of the House, almost controlled the Senate, and did not lose control of the original Republican state Congress.”
The seats of Democrats and Republicans in the current Senate are 50:50, but because the vice president is also the speaker of the Senate, the Democratic Party will actually become a 51-50 majority after taking office on January 20. However, except for cabinet and judge nominations that only need a simple majority, any Senate bill needs 60 votes.
This means that if the Biden administration wants to pass the health care reform bill or the coronavirus relief bill, it needs to get the support of at least 10 Republican senators first. In addition, 34 Senate seats will face elections in 2022, and historical midterm elections are generally disadvantageous to the ruling party, which means that Republicans may regain the Senate in 2022.
The situation in the House of Representatives is also in the favor of Republicans. After the November 3 election, the gap between Republicans and Democrats narrowed to 11 seats.
Historically, three-quarters of the majority party turnover in the House of Representatives have occurred in the midterm elections. Meanwhile, the Republican Party continued to control the legislatures in 30 states after the 2020 election. In 2023, state legislatures will redraw House districts, which will further expand the Republican Party’s advantage in the House election.
However, Blanco is not optimistic about this.” Don’t forget that voters’ notions about election fraud were deeply rooted long before the Trump era.” He analyzed China Newsweek that “it is likely to continue to be a sentimental tool for Republicans to seek future political interests.”
Legally-sessed Texas Senator Cruz was familiar with the Constitution, tried to take advantage of it, and took the lead in challenging when Congress certified president-elect on January 6 to “support” Trump until the last minute.” The allegations in these (accusing election fraud fraud) cases are particularly weak, and Senator Cruz is very intelligent.
He must know that the evidence in these cases is weak.” Rick Hasson, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine, pointed out.
Subsequently, Cruz hinted that he would run for the 2024 presidential election.” We don’t know what Trump voters will be like in four years, but we’ve seen that after this time speaking for Trump, Cruz is now ‘the most conservative person in the room’.” Blanco pointed out.
Although he did not get the support of most of his colleagues, Cruz is actually competing for the Republican Party for “Trump voters.” You need to get Trump’s favor before you can reach his stronghold.” Blanco analyzed.
Another dissatisfaction with Trump at the top of the Republican Party at present is that he kidnapped the whole party and caused division by using his voter advantage.
Blanco pointed out that in the process of authenticating electoral votes on January 6, Republican senators in swing and light red districts chose to “follow the party”, even ignoring that Trump had stood for them in last November’s election, while some senators in the Crimson State chose to “follow the president”, essentially for Cater to their own voters, but this also led to the split of the Republican Party.
Such a split also ruined the Republican Senate runoff in Georgia, and a Trump “phone door” incident also sent Democrats “assistances”, allowing the latter to win two seats in the Georgia Senate by-election at the last minute of the 2020 U.S. election, and won a narrow advantage over Republicans in the Senate. Power.
Moe Villa, former Biden executive and senior adviser, told China Newsweek that there are many reasons behind the Republican failure in Georgia and the Democratic Party’s victory for Senate leadership, but the real key is the division within the Republican Party.
However, it is not easy to change “Trump voters” back to “Republican voters”. Daniel West, vice president of the Brookings Institution, noted that a game had begun after January 6.
The top Republican party collectively condemned the violence, and Cruz also said that “the attack on Capitol Hill is a despicable terrorist act, and the Department of Justice should vigorously prosecute everyone involved in these shameless acts of violence”.
However, Trump supporters are spreading another view. Some people claim that the violence was carried out by the far-left Antifa organization, which infiltrated the “peaceful Trump protests”.
There are also voices saying that extreme actions were arranged in advance by the Washington elites and did not occur in the way described by the media.
“It’s safe to say that Trump still has the Republican Party so far.” Zogby, a senior U.S. pollster, told China Newsweek. According to the average poll data of FiveThirtyEight, Trump’s national support rate as of January 12, down 4 percentage points from November 3 last year.
On the other hand, the proportion of Republican voters who support Trump’s impeachment reached 15%, double from the time of Trump’s impeachment in 2019, but still a minority of Republican supporters.
However, Trump is facing another impeachment crisis after the “phone door” incident in Ukraine. On January 11, House Democrats officially announced the impeachment clause against Trump’s “sedition”, and the House of Representatives will vote on it as early as the 13th.
In addition, the House of Representatives will vote on a resolution calling on Pence to remove Trump invoking Article 25 of the U.S. Constitution Amendment, which stipulates that the president cannot perform his duties. Once the resolution is passed, the House of Representatives will open a second impeachment of Trump if Pence does not initiate Amendment 25 within 24 hours.
Judging from the deliberately designed and very complicated impeachment process, in the 12 days left in Trump’s term, the reality of completing the impeachment and leaving Trump from office early is very unlikely.
Depriving Trump of his presidential power requires a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress, and anti-impeachment lawmakers can also delay the agenda by speaking long.
Last January, Senate Republicans under McConnell’s collective veto failed Trump’s impeachment bill that had passed in the House of Representatives.
U.S. media pointed out that Democrats launched impeachment at the end of the Trump administration for multiple purposes.
On the one hand, although there are many difficulties, once impeachment is successful, Trump will lose his candidacy for office, completely cutting off the possibility of Trump’s “going over again” in 2024, and the impeachment case may also become a tool for Biden and congressional Republicans to pass his reform bill and coronavirus relief plan.
On the other hand, forcing Republicans to agree to the formation of a bipartisan committee to investigate Trump will clear many obstacles for the Department of Justice to investigate Trump’s illegal acts after Biden’s administration.