The choice

What are we talking about when we talk about ideology?

Joe Biden marked the first anniversary of 6 January with a powerful, ideological speech about the choice between democracy and autocracy.

Is the choice between democracy and autocracy really a matter of ideology? I think of it as more basic than that. Do you want someone like Trump making all the rules, or do you prefer a system where more people get a say?

Every major news network opted for somber programming and roundtable discussions about the fragile nature of American democracy.

Except for one.

Fox News’s primetime lineup of rightwing hosts used rock guitar licks to introduce a different narrative: one of hysterical Democrats “jilling up noise” and crying “crocodile tears”. Hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham pushed conspiracy theories that undercover FBI agents or Capitol police were responsible for the breach of the Capitol and spent most of the night claiming Congress should be focused on investigating the “real rioters”, Black Lives Matter protesters.

That’s not even “rightwing” any more, that’s just “we prefer a dictatorship with a monster as the dictator.” It’s more basic than ideology and it’s more basic than party or left/right – it’s just love of absolute power combined with evil.

While Biden and the press agreed 6 January was one of the most significant dates in recent history, Carlson said it “barely rates as a footnote”, arguing that because “not a single elected official was killed” and “none of the insurrectionists had guns” that the effort to overthrow the government was “embarrassingly tepid”.

Embarrassingly? He’s embarrassed that the insurrection failed?

Even Ted Cruz isn’t evil enough for Tucker Carlson.

But [Carlson’s] biggest strut was to invite Senator Ted Cruz on the program, who on Wednesday had accurately described 6 January as “a violent terrorist attack”. Carlson was appalled at this language and demanded that Cruz explain himself.

Cruz first attempted to wheedle his way out, calling his choice of words “sloppy and dumb” but Carlson continued to berate him, making him walk back and continually apologize for his language. Carlson was dishing out a humiliation, reminding Cruz of his status as a Republican kingmaker.

Well hey we might as well cut to the chase and make Tucker Carlson president, and hand Congress over to the Fox people. The surviving Koch brother can have the Supreme Court.

Hannity claimed Trump had wanted to send 10,000 national guard troops to protect the Capitol and was blocked from getting them by the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi. This has been disproven. He made no direct order and was not concerned about securing the Capitol.

Whatever. Put his face on all the currency, install statues of him in every city town and village, re-name all the bridges after him.

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