I want to be careful in how I say this because obviously you can't just break into the Capitol and desecrate offices and hit police officers with pipes. People should be arrested. But I don't think they should be our focus.
These people were lied to, over and over, by officials at the highest levels of the American government, people with power and, presumably, knowledge. They trusted the President, and Republican members of Congress, to tell them the truth, and they believed what they were told.
And what they were told was that a crime of astonishing proportions had been committed. Power over the US government itself had been stolen, in broad daylight. And the thieves were just going to get away with it. Electoral politics had failed.
They were told this by the President. By the House minority leader. By more than a dozen senators. By more than a hundred US representative. By anchors on Fox News. By nationally syndicated radio hosts.

And then the President asked them to show up and fight for their country.
I'm not here to release anyone from personal accountability for their actions. But the real villains here are the people in power who lied to those who trusted them, putting them and the country in danger, for personal and political gain.
The worst consequences should be for them — and all who enabled them — not for their marks. If we're going to hold those who invaded the Capitol accountable, and we should, then we need to hold those who convinced them to invade the Capitol accountable.
My fear is that the opposite will play out. We will hold the weak accountable, because we can, but the strong will get away with it. The weak are subject to laws, the strong protected by politics. That's not good enough. I'm not saying I have the answer here. But we need one.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Ezra Klein

Ezra Klein Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @ezraklein

8 Jan
I've been thinking about this great @sarahkliff @sangerkatz piece on what Senate Democrats can and can't do on health care, which dives into what budget reconciliation allows.

I want to talk about how Democrats say "can't" when they mean "won't." nytimes.com/2021/01/07/ups…
It's true that budget reconciliation has all kinds of weird rules that make ambitious policy hard. And for the record, I loathe the budget reconciliation process. It's enormously stupid and destructive.
Rather than getting rid of the filibuster, senators abuse an unrelated legislative process that protects bills from the filibuster at the cost of worsening them substantively, and warping the priorities of the entire institution. See argument 6 here. vox.com/21424582/filib…
Read 8 tweets
5 Jan
"where the key division is all about who rules rather than what is done with power"

This is why the identity politics discourse is so backwards: The GOP is increasingly built on pure identity politics, while the Democratic coalition is still built on policy transactionalism.
Because Democrats have to mediate between different groups with different interests to hold their party together, they have to ground their politics in actual policy deliverables.

It's a disciplining internal structure, and there's no real analogue on the GOP side.
I make this argument in my book, but the thing we call "identity politics" is often most visible when it is weakest — when there's competition between different groups with different interests, the role of identity is obvious. When one group is hegemonic, it's often ignored.
Read 5 tweets
30 Nov 20
So Brian Deese will likely lead the National Economics Council. Deese spent the last few years running "sustainable investing" at BlackRock, which kicked off controversy among climate activists, but I think this is good news for climate policy, for a simple reason:
Even if Deese isn't your ideal of climate policymaker, he's the only plausible candidate for NEC whose actual focus and expertise is climate policy. And a WH where the NEC is led by a climate hawk is going to be quite different than one where climate is siloed elsewhere.
To lay my biases on the table first: I reported on Deese's work throughout the Obama administration, and have a lot of respect for him as someone who gets hard things done in government, wants to do the right thing, and grasps policy debates unnervingly fully and quickly.
Read 10 tweets
30 Nov 20
Kim Stanley Robinson's "The Ministry for the Future" is the most important book I read this year. It's near-future fiction about the world climate change is creating, and how it will change us, and we will change it.
There's more to say about the book than I possibly can here, but it's key virtue is it takes our present more seriously than we do. and then it asks questions many are afraid to ask — about capitalism, about the morality of violence, about how we ignore what we already know.
It's not just dystopia, to be clear. It's utopic, in a way. Robinson is imagining a world where we change course. But this is a grim kind of success. It's success with a body count. It's a warning to those reinforcing the status quo of what the eventual snapback might look like.
Read 5 tweets
26 Nov 20
I think this story on GPT-3 takes a little too much comfort in ways the system remains imperfect when the key fact is it’s getting better, at more and more varied tasks than anyone predicted, at astonishing speed. nytimes.com/2020/11/24/sci…
I’m not a big AI-apocalypse, or even AI-jobpocalypse guy, but the possible levels of both economic and just psychic disruption as AI shows it can do so much of what we do without sweat is real.
I mean:
Read 5 tweets
20 Nov 20
After nearly eight amazing years building, editing, and working at @voxdotcom, I am leaving to join @nytopinion, writing a reported column on policy and the policymaking process, and hosting an interview podcast.
Helping to build @voxdotcom has been the great privilege of my journalistic life. It is so much more than I ever could have imagined, and that’s because of the insanely creative, committed people who work there. I love them more than I can say. I will cheer them on forever.
I’ve always believed it’s important for founders to know when to let new generations take the reins. One of the great privileges in starting Vox was we got to build without anyone looking over our shoulder. We got to pursue our vision, make our mistakes, imagine our future.
Read 10 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!