Today’s Jan. 6 Hearing

POSTNOTE: Heather Cox Richardson summarizes Oct. 13, 2022.  Another, very important, Oct. 15, 2022.

I watched the hearing today, Thursday Oct 13, all of it.  It was very interesting, as usual.  It was not a hearing in the usual sense.  It was a conclusive meeting of the committee, televised. It seemed all for the main purpose of building a permanent record for posterity regardless of what happens down the road.

I leave the strategizing up to the lawyers and lawmakers (usually one and the same).  They know the process and the adversaries far better than I.

The history will not be buried.

Preceding todays hearing I listened to the first two podcasts of Rachel Maddows Ultra.

Here’s what I said about this podcast on Oct 8. “Monday evening Rachel Maddow presented the first two segments of her podcast on pre-WWII seditious conspiracy in the United States… It is powerful, given in context with today.  Here is the link.”

I am not a regular listener to podcasts, but…

…these podcasts are, indeed, powerful, and easily accessed, together about 75 minutes divided into easily listened to segments.  I think there will be six more.  If you’ve never visited a podcast, it is a very simple process, words, not pictures, from your computer.  (Each podcast had one powerful photo as wallpaper.)

The series is about America’s very close call with Fascism right before WWII.

The main characters in the first two episodes were a U.S. Senator from Minnesota, and a Catholic Priest from Michigan.  Neither were choirboys, shall I say.  The Senator, pro-German, was killed in a very suspect plane crash; the Priest, who had a huge following, was Fascist, anti-semitic and pro-German.  They had lots of support from Nazi Germany.  Minnesota was well on-board with the program to overthrow the government.

It is worth taking the time to listen to the program and following segments.

Sinclair Lewis’ 1935 dystopian novel, It Can’t Happen Here, comes into the conversation.  His novel was prescient.

It is remarkable, the similarities between what we’ve been experienced in recent years, and 82 years ago.

Take the time.  It’s our country; it’s everybody’s future.


from Fred:  Sen. Ernest Lundeen was among Midwest isolationists who, prior to Pearl Harbor, was in the anti-war effort. Here is a [Sept 2009] MinnPost article about him and the plane crash.

Father Charles Coughlin, the “radio priest” was a hugely popular and influential anti-semitic fan of Fascism.

reply from Dick: I last wrote about this topic in October, 2020.  “Antifa” is accessible here.

I’m much aware of Minnesota’s reputation in the 1930s especially, but really hadn’t heard of Lundeen.  Re Coughlin, I was born in 1940, but I’m part of what I call two ‘Catholic Catholic’ families.  I don’t recall anyone ever talking about Coughlin in any context.  I knew about him, and his reputation, but I didn’t get that message from family.

Do you have any theories about the plane crash?  I think he knew he was a dead man – just wasn’t sure exactly when or how.  It likely had some Nazi overtones.  Maybe he wasn’t sure of his position of support.  We were certainly a country soft on Hitler and his attitudes towards Jews.  Charles Lindbergh keeps jumping to my mind.  My political mentor and friend, Elmer L. Andersen, was friends of Lindbergh later, and I recall he wrote a little about this in one of his books.  I’ll see if I can find it.  [Andersen had many references to Lindbergh: Elmer Andersen on Charles Lindbergh]

from Fred:  I’m generally suspicious re conspiracy theories particularly involving aircraft in the early days of civil aviation. Knute Rockne and Carol Lombard were two other prominent victims; Will Rogers wasn’t on a commercial plane, of course.

Midwesterners were very leery of involvement in another World War and their congressional delegations were outright skeptics. Lindbergh and America First had some significant traction. FDR managed to pull a rabbit out of the hat when he pushed and cajoled Congress to pass Lend Lease, by ONE vote. In late 1941, polls showed a majority of Americans against any involvement in European and Asian wars.
Remember Mencken’s quote: No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people. This should be printed on our currency!!!!
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