What the hell? As Eugene Weekly went to press at noon Jan. 6, right-wing protesters* were overrunning the U.S. Capitol, with reports of clouds of gas and even guns drawn inside the building. These are the seeds of fascism Donald Trump has sown.
• Count the days until January 20! And, as we go to press, the Democrats are closing the gap on taking control of the Senate with the election in Georgia, meaning our new president might actually be allowed to govern the country. Let’s all practice using Mitch McConnell’s new title, “Senate minority leader.”
• Duck Football had an embarrassing loss to Iowa State that makes us wonder whether Mario Cristobal really deserves that $300,000 bonus for attending the Fiesta Bowl at a time when the University of Oregon will likely face another budget crunch (he’d also raked in $250,000 for collectively winning by default the Pac-12 North Division and beating USC for the conference championship). But in good local football news, Kidsports and Duck alum Justin Herbert, who’s the quarterback for the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers, shattered multiple rookie records including most passing touchdowns, made the NFL All-Rookie team and is a favorite for the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year.
• Social service providers estimate that 35 homeless people died on the streets of Lane County in 2020. There is no mechanism in place to accurately reflect the count, but any number is a stain on the community. The Candlelight Vigil to Mourn Death on the Streets in 2020, an opportunity to reflect and honor these people, is 6 pm Jan. 8 at Washington/Jefferson Park on W. 1st Avenue. Because we can and need to do better.
• When our aspiring president-for-life phoned Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and threatened criminal sanctions if he didn’t overturn the results of the presidential election in Georgia, Raffensperger had the foresight to record their conversation. Then, when Donald Trump lied about what he had said in the hour-long call, Raffensperger released the tape. Trump’s squalid behavior comes as no surprise. The deeply shocking thing is that well more than 100 Republican congressional reps and a dozen senators have publicly supported his attempts to end democracy in America. It’s time for a new conservative party in the U.S., one that actually embraces deep American values such as integrity and the rule of law, that doesn’t tolerate radical extremists, and that isn’t afraid of free elections.
* Editor’s Note/Update: As we went to press before noon on Wednesday, the full extent of the mob attack on the U.S. Capitol was only just starting to became clear. Given the events of the day, what started off as a rally and protest at the “Save American March” became, through the longtime instigation of Donald Trump, a mob attack on the Capitol, an insurrection and attempted coup by right-wing extremists and domestic terrorists. “Protesters” is simply not strong enough a word.