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The January 6 Hearings: Lines in the Sand
Last night, when the hearings began, I received literally dozens of texts: “I’m sure you’re watching. I have my popcorn ready.” “Can’t wait to hear your take on this, CM. Making sure you remembered to turn it on.” “You’re watching, right?” “Can you believe this is finally happening?” I answered them all in the same way: “I am not watching. I know how this movie ends. Did you know that today the courts (appointed by Trump) in New York shut down the lawsuits trying to stop the redistricting of congressional seats that are being illegally redefined?”
This morning, I watched a few video excerpts: The wonderful police officer, granddaughter of a Marine who she said would be proud of her, and her thoughtful, patriotic point of view about the events she experienced on January 6. Ivanka. She clearly respects Barr more than she respects her father. I don’t respect either of them, or her for that matter. Some MSNBC commentary after it ended. Nothing new, and since time is my enemy and my responsibility to myself for doing things that matter to me and those I care about, I stopped watching after a few minutes.
I started to think about lines in the sand. We all have them. Those things that just push us too far. That we can’t overlook. That we must act upon.
Liz Cheney is not someone I would want to call my friend. Her votes, her opinions, are beneath my recounting here. She believes in nothing that I believe in the larger sense of where our country should go. But her line in the sand was January 6. She voted with Trump for 92% of the four years he was in office and never called him out prior to when her life was in jeopardy. During the first impeachment, she was good with him extorting a country that is our ally. But when they stormed the Capitol on his order, she drew her line in the sand and hasn’t looked back. And I am eternally grateful that she has a line in the sand that might, just might, make a difference. Because without her, there is no way these hearings would have a shred of legitimacy with a good portion of my fellow countrymen, and even with her support — her leadership, actually — we are on thin ice. She is a corrupt person, if you ask me. Or, at least, she was until they crossed her line in the sand.
Fox News. Last night they ran Tucker without commercial interruption because they were afraid of having viewers channel surf to the hearings and then lose them — maybe forever. They have shown over and over again an amazing ability to not only ignore the truth, but also to knowingly sell lies that destroy. I suspect their line in the sand is when their profitability suffers. In fact, I’m confident of that. What surprises me is that there is not a concentrated effort to make that happen by we the people who find them deplorable but still buy the brands that pay their bills.
Obama used to speak of lines in the sand, and, if I’m not mistaken, he drew them a few times in Europe. But they didn’t believe him, and they were right. We never saw his line in the sand. His gun initiatives were less than those of Bush; Bush had a lower NRA rating than Obama. I was told he didn’t want to be the president of color who went after guns. I’m not sure why; guns are killing so many of the people he cares very deeply about. But, my point here is not about guns (so many topics, so little time), but rather that we never detected his line in the sand. It wasn’t when they assaulted his wife in print and language, which would have been mine. I believe (not to be confused with this being fact) that he felt he couldn’t afford to take a “line in the sand” action, being the first Black president and trying to make sure he wasn’t the last — but I could be wrong.
Last week we watched Matthew MacConaughey take on the NRA from the White House press pulpit. Quite a change from his gun toting defense of the second amendment in the past. His line in the sand? When it hit his hometown. And, he was oh so good. Nothing like bringing in an actor to make the words sing.
Lines in the sand are not always lines that create a moment of truth that compels a person to do the right thing. They can be just the opposite, which is frightening.
Let’s see. Where do I even begin? Jim Jordan. Marjorie Taylor Greene, McConnell, Lindsey Graham… Their lines in the sand are the possibility of their losing their political power. They will embarrass themselves, shame their families and future offspring, sell their souls to the devil, break the law, and try to destroy others to retain their power. There is nothing they won’t do. So we have to take their power away. It will become harder and harder to do that as they bring to fruition elections that are corrupt (ironic, when you consider it’s possible the election Trump calls a fraud might be our last truly free election).
The bottom line, my fellow Americans, is you must know the line in the sand of each person you are trying to influence, and then you must assess whether or not it’s a line worth drawing. We all need to decide what the line in the sand is for each of us. When will you take action, rather than just watching what’s happening and conversing with friends about it? Be careful. Look at places such as Hungary, where the citizens waited too long, until they no longer had the ability to change what they saw happening. I fear we are very, very close to that moment.