Unlikely voices break with Trump

There’s a show-biz adage about audiences that says, “Always leave them wanting more.”

That is not what the House Jan. 6 committee planned Tuesday with a televised hearing that was to start at 10 a.m. and go all day long. At the last minute, they started the hearing at 1 p.m.

Stephen Ayers no longer believes the Big Lie

When the committee got down to brass tasks, testimony painted a picture of President Donald J. Trump as a drowning man, flailing around for a life preserver to save his presidency.

The lifeguards were members of his staff, and most told him there was no escape. His last hope was Jan. 6, but that failed, too.

Amid all the talk of a democracy almost lost, let’s remember that the majority of his appointees — the men and women most loyal to him — stood up against him, and opposed him. In a few instances they threatened him, as with the walkout promised by Justice officials if Trump tried to appoint an unqualified hack as attorney general.

Instead of the usual dramatis personae of Capitol Hill staffers we are accustomed to seeing, a couple of civilians were in the spotlight, each a former Trump supporter.

The most notable, and sad, was Stephen Ayer, speaking in a Midwest twang and appearing uncomfortable in a suit.

He believed what his president told him, and he went to Washington because his president told him the election was stolen.

A “hard core” user of social media then, now Ayers says, “I feel like I had horse blinders on.”

As a result of entering the Capitol, even though he committed no violence, he pleaded guilty to entering the Capitol, he lost his job and had to sell his home.

Describing himself as a family man and working man, he had believed the election was stolen, “but not so much now.”

Off social media, when he reflects on the election, he concludes it was too big to be stolen. “All the law suits that  got shot down, that convinced me.” All of what he has now learned, “Makes me mad.”

Seated alongside of Ayers was Jason Van Tatenhove, onetime national media director of the Oath Keepers, which he described as a violent militia.

The one-time journalist offered chilling testimony.

What happened Jan. 6 “could have been the spark that started a new civil war,” he said. 

Although he says the Oath Keepers deny they are a militia, he knew they were on Jan. 6 when he saw “a stacked military formation going up the steps of the Capitol.”

He said he has seen many “red flags,” but when he heard a group of Oath Keepers talking about how the Holocaust was a hoax, that was the final straw for him.

He considers them, and Trump, a clear and present danger.

While there was testimony linking some Trump supporters, such as Roger Stone and Gen. Michael Flynn to militias, there were no dots connecting Trump with the riot, except for this. The tweet that preceded his Jan. 6 speech:

So here you can play word games with what he meant by “wild,” a term picked up by lots of his supporters.

I don’t alibi for Trump, but to a man of his age, which I am, “wild” means an exciting and enjoyable time. It doesn’t mean violence.

In an earlier presentation, the committee went over information that was previously established, plus snippets of testimony from White House counsel Pat Cipollone, which did not contradict anything previously known.

The rehash included that everyone with half a brain knew that the election had been fair and the Electoral College had decided it and it would be recorded on January 6.

Trump’s hope that Vice President Mike Pence would break his oath to the Constitution and try to stop the process was burst.

According to the polls, Pence’s chance of being nominated for president is in the single digits.

And will remain there until more Republicans come to think like Ayers and Van Tatenhove. 

45 thoughts on “Unlikely voices break with Trump”

  1. I haven’t watched the trial, but enjoy reading your thoughts. Most of my friends refuse to take part in this travesty. I’ll tune in when cross examination begins, or the private depositions are released, or better yet, when a new committee is formed with the 5 republicans picked by Minority Leader McCarthy, not the two picked by The Speaker of the House. In other words, when hell freezes over.

      1. I would disagree on Jordan and Banks. Jordan, in particular, has been named way too many times as an active participant with Trump in this thing, and to me, that makes him ineligible to serve on a body that is investigating his (potential) very own crimes. How can that ever be right? And of course, we know his antics would have thrown the proceedings into chaos. McCarthy had every opportunity to add virtually any other (sane) Republicans he chose to this body, and he declined. Crying foul now is both disingenuous and laughable. Finally, calling this a “travesty” when virtually EVERY witness testifying has been a Republican indicates someone has a large pair of blinders on, in my humble opinion. How the heck is THAT a travesty? It’s not like they are parading a bunch of Dems up there to give testimony. These are Trump’s OWN cabinet members and staff, people who were actually in the rooms when all this was happened. Best to wake up before it’s too late.

        1. Freeze, There is a proverb which is very approporiate to Jim Jordan, as well as many other Trump supporters: “There’s none so blind as those who will not see.”

    You do realize that our Uncle Sam, AKA J6 committee, has Stephen Ayer by the short hairs !
    sidebar: there is no accurate count of how many people have been arrested and charged with crimes against……
    The Constitution was thrown away for these people as well as all Americans. Locked up – often in solitary and no legal representation. Almost all convictions brought the maximum penalties. Didn’t matter the seriousness of the ? crime ?, they were all “screwed, blewed and tattooed “!
    Mr. Ayer was one such person. His crime was being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Subsequently, Ayer lost most, if not all of his worldly possessions. He was looking at jail time plus heavy fines, UNLESS, he cooperated with the ( sic ) government. Because he jumped to the dark side, he can go ?home? now, only with, I believe, a misdemeanor charge. I don’t blame the man. He believed in President Trump. Got caught up in the election circus and following crisis. Trump said, “come to D.C.”, and many people did just that. I won’t stoop and call anybody names for having such strong beliefs, but it’s the same when anybody gets caught up in something that they want or need, but don’t fully understand the process or consequences for one’s actions.
    So here we are. The dimocrat machine doesn’t care one iota about us Americans way down here in the trenches. They are intent on carrying out their mission. Green New Deal. Sink America. Turn everything into a giant SWAMP.
    Regardless of who is the nominated Republican candidate for President of these United States, we have to vote for the republican ticket and turn this country around.

      1. Yo Pallie !
        (You do know that everyone’s name in Philly starts with ” YO ” ! )
        You followed the lead of the infamous ‘J 6’.
        Stephen AyerS might as well live out here in Chester County. No slight intended, but he’s a country bumpkin, just like the descendants of the the original inhabitants out here – or anywhere, USA for that matter. The folks in rural America are quite different from us that were born and raised in the ‘big city’. We are fast paced, compared to those in the burgs. We are involved in many aspects of life, whereas our country cousins are ‘closer to the earth’ and take people for their word. ( maybe that’s why city folk make fun of them, and try to get over on them when ever possible ).
        If you were to read about Mr. Ayers, you would make him out to be more than a believer of Donald Trump. When Ayers got the famous text to get down to D.C., it was if a hand came out of the sky and wrote that text message just for Steve Ayers.
        Then there’s ” the former Oath Keeper Jason Van Tatenhove. Another HAH ! valuable witness for the destruction of our country.

  3. Sadly some of your readers refuse to face the obscenity that is being uncovered in these hearings and Anthony will continue his irrelevant ramblings on dims and swamps. But this hearing, as others, produced much valuable information that should scare the shit out of Americans:
    1.Trump was fully aware that he had lost a free and fair election, with campaign aides, DOJ officials and White House legal advisors making clear that there was absolutely zero evidence of widespread voter fraud.
    2. Trump turned to a group of “outside” advisors for counsel, including Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Michael Flynn, Roger Stone and others.
    This shift culminated in a tumultuous December 18th meeting, with arguments between those who knew the election was over and those who urged Trump on, stoking conspiracy theories that lacked all credibility, and who pushed for continued action to overturn the will of the voters.
    3. With concession unacceptable and legal avenues fruitless, Trump continued to pound the Big Lie despite all evidence to the contrary, and incited supporters, including organized and armed extremists, to march on the Capitol Jan 6.
    The committee has produced much evidence pointing to Trump as guilty of trying to overthrow the election, but Trump was too cagy and wily of a grifter to actually say the words. He spoke in code that he knew full well his base would interpret the way that they did.
    Most damaging of all was Cheney’s revelation that a future witness was being contacted by Trump himself. An innocent phone call? I doubt it. His lawyers must be apoplectic at this latest self-destructive move.
    As for your opinion on Gym Jordan, I can’t think of a worst choice for McCarthy to have made. He would have been disruptive and obstructive to the max — pounding on the table, turning red and yelling — as is his won’t to do. I agree that McCarthy should not have packed up his toys like a recalcitrant 3 year old, but there are other more rational Republicans that he could have appointed. Virginia Foxx of NC is but one who comes to mind. Nominating Gym was a big “fuck you” to the committee and one that he undoubtedly knew would be taken as such.

    1. Irrelevant ramblings? I’m doubting that. Seem to me that Anthony does his homework and always comes prepared when posting. And he’s always polite about it. But, look in the mirror. “He spoke in code…”??? Now THAT may and should qualify as irrelevant rambling. Me, though, being one of those repugnant deplorables that believe #45 did a fine job during his too short tenure, I’d call it, and you, psychotic. Respectfully.

      1. Anthony, I am more civil than people who refer to Democrats as dims and keep rambling on about swamps. I’m classy enough to keep the conversation on track, logical and not call you people deplorable.

      2. Hey dude. Have I ever insulted you? You don’t know me and I would thank you to keep your ill informed opinions about me to yourself. Do you even know what the word psychotic means? I doubt it. In what way are my opinions psychotic?
        Yes, he speaks in code, like every Mafia boss. I’m not the only one who has made that observation. In your book, that makes all of us psychotic.

      It wasn’t so long ago, that I ( mistakenly ) thought that you had common sense and class. Woopsie on my part! “Anthony will continue his irrelevant ramblings on dims and swamps.”
      You are starting to sound like someone else, who appears here when ever he has a axe to grind. Other than attacks on the people that post, his only plus is that he’s an animal lover.
      Let’s keep this civil. Come down out of your ivory tower, open your eyes and actually see what the DIMOCRATS have done to ALL OF US in these last few years. You left Philly for all of the right reasons. How do you think that Philly slid down into the swamp ?

      1. What is wrong Tony? From your attacks on Wanda and Freeze it appears you, and your puppet Stude, suffer from Narcissitic Personality Disorder. You might want to seek help.

        1. Thank you H. I’m afraid it is a lost cause. None so blind as those who will not see is correct.

          1. Wanda, have you noticed that how they respond, or fail to respond, speaks volumes as to what their personalities are?

      2. Tony, I can honestly say I NEVER mistook you for someone who had common sense and class. I will say, as far as class goes, you have no-class.

    1. “Gym Jordon” is one helluva athlete, educator and congressman. I’m pretty sure that he’s related – somehow – to JIM JORDAN.
      We could say that he’s very passionate about America. You won’t, of course. He went to the swamp hoping to make some changes that will benefit all.

      1. No slight intended, but some “country bumpkins” appear to have as much sense as some city folks (no names, please) who think they are smarter. As for Jordan, anyone who stands with him, I have to wonder about their character. A man who refused to report the sexual abuse of young athletes doesn’t seem to be much of a role model to me. I look up to people who do the right thing when no one is looking. Oh, and one last thing: how have the “Dimocrats” done much of anything over the past few decades, since they’ve only had control of the Senate for two years (2009-2020) during that period, which they used to pass the health care act that has saved countless people from being without health insurance? It would seem to me that the Republicans have to take at least an equal share of the alleged mess you describe. Also one final piece of advice: when admonishing people to keep things civil, it might be wise to not include an insult in the same paragraph. Makes you look like a bit of a bumpkin.

          1. what a cast of characters we have.
            me thinks I rustled a few feathers.
            once again. DIMOCRATS. because the democrat party is no longer the party of early years. At least way back when, they made the effort of helping the working class as they brought along all of the social obligations, making our taxes go through the roof. And their help from the republican side are the RINOs. republican in name only. The party that believes in the working class.
            True. Everything today is a s*&^ show. Has been for a long time. You swear by the party of your choice. I am registered republican but vote for the person. Clinton for one.
            Congress was a circus back then as well.
            As I often suggest ( as does Stu ), change the channel once in a while. Get more info on a topic. Don’t just go with the headlines.

      2. Tony, the only thing Jordan wanted was to pad his bank account and try to save his pathetic ass!

      3. “𝘼𝙨 𝙄 𝙤𝙛𝙩𝙚𝙣 𝙨𝙪𝙜𝙜𝙚𝙨𝙩 ( 𝙖𝙨 𝙙𝙤𝙚𝙨 𝙎𝙩𝙪 )”

        Tony, Stu is a grown man. I do not believe he needs you, or anyone else to parrot what he says.

  4. It would be a great gesture if the committee would avail the other side a chance to speak like we do here. This is what I keep coming back to. It would prove they aren’t one sided. That’s what is sad.

    1. Agreed. Very sad. And sadder the American Mainstream Media runs with them. Just remember what they crowed back when they re-infested our White House with Joe Biden and his nefarious family back in January 2021: “The adults are back in charge!” They are deranged.

  5. Jesus, man, ONLY “the other side” has spoken! Every single witness has been a REPUBLICAN/CONSERVATIVE. ALL of them. The people on the panel (including two Republicans whom I cannot stand that possess looooooong track records of voting WITH Trump and with all the conservatives, mind you) are simply asking questions and presenting those pesky facts you guys seem to dislike. Here is a solid analysis by a well-known historian. Read it and learn something, https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/july-12-2022?r=6nwwi&s=r&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=email. It’s rather comical that you people insist that every Republican that does not buy into Trump line of bullshit is a RINO. Consider for a moment that they are all simply telling the truth, and that Trump, a man with a literally decades long history of lying and cheating in business, might actually be dishonest. What a concept.

    1. Sorry Freeze but Tony and his ilk cannot handle the truth if it goes against what they want to hear.

    2. H is right freeze. They ignore the facts and engage in deflection, obfuscation and ad hominem attacks. Maddening, I agree.

  6. Be nice if they could present even a single reasonable, well-thought-out response to the bevy of facts (remember those?) presented by a virtual landslide of Republicans of all shapes and sizes during these hearings. Instead all get are insults, inane comments like “drain the swamp,” and hyperbolic assertions about that rotten “mainstream media” (which I NEVER watch, by the way) that they no longer trust. It’s frustrating at best, dangerous at worst.

  7. There’s nothing left to say on this matter for me. We’re as far apart as when we started. I stand by what I’ve stated above. There’s one thing though: I try to picture me or any American under investigation by this bunch. These are the dangerous ones and it may be our future.

    1. Saying nothing more would certainly be the wisest path for you, I agree. Opinions are wonderful; actual facts persuade people. And I’m not seeing any facts from any of the orange idiot’s supporters here or elsewhere, just opinions and debunked conspiracy theories.

      1. Because they have none dear freeze and therefore are unable to discuss the issues productively. You and my buddy H are spot on. Facts matter in the real world.

    my fellow Americans,
    In spite all of the salt being thrown into open wounds, I’m still here and we are all still fellow Americans.
    If you read back, I have never differed far from my original opinions and statements on any subject. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t throw stones at Wanda, Freeze nor Bogart. Quite the opposite is what takes place.
    I’m not trading barbs with anyone.
    I will say that most of my life has been construction. Starting at the bottom with the tools, then going through the process of education. I am still interested in why things are and are not. I want to know how standards and laws have come about and then applied – sorry to say, unfairly and inconsistently. I’ve let all of my certifications lapse and my engineering degree is useless because I don’t attend accredited courses. I was licensed in Jersey with the construction codes and certified over here in PA. That all makes me a ‘use to be’ . Finances are no ones business.
    As for J6. I don’t believe that I have really given much thought on the subject nor have I discussed the committee in any detail. I am aware of the player IN THE SWAMP and know that this is going to play out till the money runs out. WHOOPS ! The money can’t run out. The dims are in charge of the purse strings just as they were with all of the other wasteful committee investigations. And I would say the same had it come from the other side of the aisle. The whole purpose of these hearings is to keep Trump from running for President. If it can be done, there will be charges brought forth with the intention of putting Trump in jail. Sorry to say, more waste.
    Unlike others that took a blood oath supporting Trump, I am not included. It’s obvious to everyone but the then President, that the whole election was mishandled ( mail-in ballots ) from day one. PA was just as bad if not worse. The election was the republican’s to lose – and they did. Rather than suck it up and plan for the next election, everyone jumped on the fraud campaign. We had a better chance of hitting the lottery than overturning the election.
    What else do you want to make up about me ? I’m here.

    1. There’s an actual insult right there in the very post in which you state you have never insulted anyone: “The Dims are in charge”. Guess that makes me and Wanda and Bogart “dimwits”, huh? And you also include a known conspiracy theory in said post, your assertion that “the whole election was mishandled” when there is exactly ZERO evidence that is the case. I dare you to produce a single ounce of actual proof of this claim. You can’t, because there isn’t any. Also, “The Dims are in charge of the purse strings just as they were with all the other wasteful committee investigations” completely ignores the THIRTY THREE Benghazi hearings the Republicans held which found exactly NOTHING amiss. Remember when Hilary Clinton testified for ELEVEN straight hours, or have you conveniently forgotten that? So there is no need to make ANYTHING up about you. Your own posts make it clear that you don’t know fact from fiction and cannot be taken seriously in any context. By the way: THAT’S how you refute something: by providing demonstrable facts that prove the falsehoods therein rather than shouting platitudes like “drain the swamp” over and over as if they actually mean something, which they don’t. Glad I could help.

      1. Freeze, first I want to thank you defending Wanda and myself. Also, when you hit Tony with facts he will usually react either singularly or in various combinations of the following:

        1. He will ignore you.

        2. He will insult you.

        3. He will deny what he said.

        4. He will have one of his puppets reply to you.

        5. He will post additional lies, insults, etc. while, without replying directly to you, make it known that it is you he is talking about.

        He may do other things which, while I do not remember him doing previously, he has done.

    boys and girls,
    Busy day today. I actually did something constructive. Now, I’ll waste a few minutes before I get back to taking care of business.
    1. consider yourselves ignored
    2. nah nah nah nah nah ( 5 insults )
    3. everything that you said that I said , well I didn’t say
    4. puppets. puppets . I don’t have no stin’k’n puppets
    5. of course I’m not telling the truth, so somebody else – not a deplorable made all of those lies up. or down. or sideways. But it is somebody here on this blog.
    now, for 12 seconds, I’m gonna hold my breath. Sorry, it was only 1 second. close enough.I hope everybody that is anybody enjoyed my rants and raves, since that’s all that I’m over qualified to do. After all, my work history is a pack of lies – or is it ?

    1. Clearly there will never be a coherent, intelligent, factual reply from this guy. Good to know.

  10. While your work history might not be a pack of lies just about everything else you said in that ost was.

    As far as your work hisrory I must say you are the only person here who constantly posts about it. I am reasonably sure many of the others here have varied work histories but they either do not talk about it at all or only mention it in passing.

      1. Stu, you can be 100% sure I am not addressing you. That was supposed to be a reply to Tony. I am sorry for my error.

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