Capitol riot

For Democrats, the Capitol assault was the gift that keeps on giving

As events recede, they change. When Donald Trump’s unhinged endgame culminated in a popular assault on the Capitol, most Americans of all political persuasions watched the improbable broadcast with genuine horror. Hell, yes, I was horrified myself. But as this month has advanced, and fears about my country disintegrating into anarchy have so far proved mercifully misplaced, lefty American commentators have progressed from anguish to glee. The New York Times banners that assault on its pages pretty much every day. The still of scruffs in red hats climbing the facade of the Capitol is now a standard backdrop on CNN. It must be thrilling to have your opponents do so

Beijing revels in Washington’s chaos

The events on Capitol Hill were always going to be met with schadenfreude — perhaps even glee — amongst autocracies in one-party states. They suddenly had the best ammunition they could have hoped for. From Turkey and Zimbabwe to Russia and Iran, state media and spokespeople latched on, turning the language often thrown at them back at America — calling for ‘restraint’ and ‘dignity’. For the Chinese government, which has been no stranger to violent mass movements in recent years, the analogy was obvious. Hong Kong’s legislature had been stormed just last year, with pro-democracy activists forcing their way into the building and vandalising the walls with anti-Beijing slogans. Beijing

Trump’s final outrage

A mob descended on Capitol Hill last night acting on lies and disinformation, but there was no foreign actor to blame. This hostility was homegrown and came from the highest echelon of government. The President of the United States has been stoking fear, division and doubt since his defeat in November’s election, and yesterday it bubbled over into an attack on the very heart of American democracy.  Trump had been speaking at a ‘Save America’ rally where he invited crowds to march on the Capitol. ‘You’ll never take back our country with weakness,’ he told them, ‘you have to show strength’. Trump’s supporters showed their ‘strength’ by disrupting a debate over the

The fallout from Trump’s American carnage

Congratulations, President Trump! It took a while but you’ve finally achieved the American carnage that you purported to descry in your inaugural address four years ago. It would be hard to think of a more symbolically apt end to your presidency. Trump’s shameful, revolting and tawdry taped message late on Wednesday urging his supporters to disband devoted more urgency to calling the election a fraud than condemning their storming of the US Capitol. All that was missing was the claim that there are good people on both sides. Trump has already failed. He is no 18th Brumaire but a tinpot authoritarian Trump long ago forfeited any claim to dignity. The idea