Yet another mob of far-right thugs tried to take by force what they had lost at the ballot box.
Last week I wrote in this column that the hard business of defending democracy doesn't just stop because you're tired of hearing about it.
Dictators cannot survive in a democracy I wrote, that's why Donald Trump decided on January 6, 2021, that it was democracy that had to go.
But at the weekend the fanatical far-right supporters of Trump's friend and fellow election-loser Jair Bolsonaro also violently attacked their own Congress in a Brazilian-style action re-play of January 6.
If you don't understand what the connection between these two men and two events is let me spell it out for you, it's fascism.
Luckily it was a Sunday and their Congress was not in session, but the parallels to January 6 were unmistakable. Yet another mob of far-right thugs tried to take by force what they had lost at the ballot box.
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (or President Lula as he is known) told the press on Sunday that the events were “barbaric” and he called the Bolsonaro protesters “fascists.” “These people are everything that is abominable in politics, to invade the government headquarters, the headquarters of Congress, and the headquarters of the Supreme Court like true vandals destroying everything in their path,” he said.
News reports showed hundreds of angry middle-aged people wandering aimlessly through a vast and unfamiliar building, in an embarrassing echo of Trump's own failed coup attempt.
Yet another gang that couldn't shoot straight took on the might of their own democracy and looked stunned to have gotten as far as they did as fast as they did, but it soon became clear that, unlike Trump's MAGA thugs, they had arrived without a plan or a purpose on Sunday, other than to tantrum and smash things up.
So this is the kind of brain trust that is still somehow inspired by the Mar-a-Lago mandarin, now that this country has moved on. That means that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is currently harboring two former world leaders who have both incited insurrections against their own countries, emboldening far-right seditionists.
Not to be left out, maybe DeSantis actually is planning another insurrection of his own. Having no discernible economic plan for his state or indeed for America other than banning books, canning teachers, panning drag queens, and cauterizing the transgendered (who only make up a tiny percentage of the actual nation) what else does DeSantis actually do? I mean, when he's not trying to make liberals cry? What's the actual point of him? What does he want to do for America that doesn't involve attacks?
It has been a weird week in America, with the GOP's Kevin McCarthy prostrating himself before the MAGA caucus in the House as he lost vote after vote after vote. Giving the lunatic fringe their shopping list of demands in exchange for their votes and behind that the speakership, McCarthy was willing to give away his party, the House, his dignity, and now his ability to lead.
I wish I could say that the threat that men like Bolsonaro, DeSantis, and Trump represent to democracy is passed, but the price of peace is eternal vigilance. This weekend there was an insurrection in Brazil.
Its architect and inspiration is in Florida. Bolsonaro is in Florida too. So is the man who would like to surpass both of their presidencies with a further to the right one of his own. Talk about an original busted flush, but whatever you do, don't vote for it, thanks to candidates like these democracy is already on a knife edge.