Thursday, September 21, 2023

Tourists at the Capitol

Victoria Kulheyko immigrated to the USA from Ukraine when she was 21 years of age. She married Jason Spartz, became a businesswoman, then a GOP state legislator in Indiana, then a member of the United States House of Representatives from that state. She may not be acquainted with the term "jump the shark" but accomplished it by stating

You have in my district, in my town, FBI phone numbers all over the district- "please call," call them. People are truly afraid. I just want to make sure if you're not aware, you are- and this a big problem- then people are afraid of their own government.... it's like KGB.

It shouldn't be necessary to explain to someone who spent the first few years of her life in the Ukraine before it became Ukraine that

With the Communist Party and the army, the KGB formed the triad of power that ruled the Soviet Union. The KGB played a particularly important role in Soviet foreign policy. Foreign intelligence allowed the Soviet Union to maintain rough parity with the West in nuclear weapons and other weapons systems. Inside the country, however, the role of the KGB was baleful. Scholars disagree about the human cost of the KGB and its predecessors, but many estimate that they were responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of people.

When the Federal Bureau of Investigation becomes responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of people... or millions of people.... or a hundred thousand people.... or- well, you know where this is going.

Further, as a sentient human being, Spartz should be aware that there is nothing unusual about a law enforcement agency attempting to gather information about a crime by seeking the public's help in tracking down individuals who may have been involved in the offense(s). It should not disturb a member of the US House of Representatives if the FBI is asking members of the community to call the agency if they know of someone who was involved in a coup against the government.

This is done all the time by local and state police forces. Coming as she did from that part of the world, the congresswoman may not fully understand that in the USA, oppressive police tactics are much more common among state and local police (see Chauvin, Derek) than in the FBI. Every day in the USA, apart from the more common responsible and respectful police, there are excessive acts of force committed by local forces. Neither Spartz nor the Republican Party, 3+ years out from the George Floyd protests. has seemed particularly concerned about this, yet are periodically apoplectic about the FBI. And putting up phone numbers at which the FBI can be contacted is similar to the reasonable tactics of law enforcement everywhere.

And then Hunter Biden and Hillary Clinton because, of course. Prior to that, Spartz had claimed

There were some people who came January 6th. There probably were some people that came on January 6 here and you know what, had bad intent but a lot of good Americans from my district came here because they are sick and tired of this government observing them. They came with strollers and the kids and there was chaotic situation because proper security wasn't provided.


Videos from January 6, 2021 showed few individuals with strollers, and good for the right-wingers wise enough to keep babies and toddlers away from a gathering which possessed the potential to turn into a riot. However, "there probably were some people that came on January 6 here and you know what, had bad intent but a lot of good Americans from my district came here" was reminiscent of an infamous moment in recent American history.

In August of 2017, approximately a month after the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, President Trump remarked "you had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides."  Trump claimed that the very fine people in the rally were protesting the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee and renaming of a park, which had been named in honor of the Confederate general- someone who had fought valiantly to maintain the institution of slavery. Oh, so fine.

The individuals charged by the Justice Department for January 6 were violent and/or "parading or demonstrating in a Capitol building," the latter treated as misdemeanors and invariably resulting in a non-custodial sentence. Those who were sentenced to prison were charged with a crime and, if found guilty, would  in any other context, be condemned by conservatives as criminals or "thugs." But those breaking the law on January 6 were, in many instances, defended as "good Americans." 

Victor Spartz is no Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, or Matt Gaetz. She is, therein, evidence of the sewer the brunt of the Republican Party has crawled into.

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