January 6 hearings are a warning of worse to come.
The spectacle of televised testimony on the insurrection of January 6th provides a powerful emotional narrative. It will of course not shake the attachment many have to an opposing, far less fact-based emotional narrative. But it’s certainly instructive. Perhaps most significantly, it really illustrates how lucky America was that the former president is such an incompetent as well as morally undeveloped figure. Any other venal ideologue like him who was capable of any sort of forward thinking would have been orders of magnitude more dangerous. and the outcome would have been very different.
It’s clear his co-conspirators were well aware that they were engaged in obviously criminal behaviour, as evidenced by the fact that a list of them preemptively requested Presidential pardons for what they knew was illegal activity. Imagine how different this process would have been if Trump had showed even a shred of loyalty to his enablers and toadies. In such a scenario, he would have given them those pardons. When the congressional committee came knocking they could simply have said “Sure, I did all those things, but who cares? I have a presidential pardon for all of that illegal activity, so you can go piss up a rope!” and that would be the end of it. It would be outrageous, but technically legal, and a broad range of bad actors would be walking around comfortably with get-out-of-jail-free cards in their pockets. They wouldn’t be compelled to testify, and the country as a whole would not have opportunity to know many of the things that have since come to light.
The next would-be dictator to surf the wave of false outrage and right wing hate into power will almost certainly have enough brain cells to rub together to cover his tracks better than this clown car of internally backstabbing traitors. A unified front would have gotten away with it. Be grateful this particular monster couldn't muster any allegiance to those who offered it full throatedly (if only temporarily) to him.
Trump’s marketing made much of his lack of political experience, painting him as an outsider to the process. It would be hard to find anyone else to prop up as a figurehead who was less politically savvy, even though he was a natural at blowing familiar dog…