Parsing Trump: Sedition? Incitement?

deirdre

Senior Member.
We're hitting a wall because of another language gap issue. We'll just have to agree to disagree i guess.

They don't, and I haven't said that they do


The problem with that is that it sounds lawful taken out of context, but given his proclamation that he thinks many of the lawfully slated electors weren't, it's subverting the authority of the government and of the popular vote.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I think people need to stop. breathe. and think honestly and carefully about precedent.
The Repubs will take back the house in 2022 (esp if we get the Trump impeachment through!). Biden and Harris are not as ambiguous as Trump in their inciteful speech.

I know noone will listen to me, but one should seriously ponder this precedent.
 
I haven't seen any information indicating that a permit for a march was filed.
Because they didn't need one. The permits aren't for assembly on any scale (that's a Constitutional guarantee, so you don't need one). What permits are issued for are practical concerns. For instance, if I wanted to hold a speech with 5,000 people listening on the Lincoln Memorial steps, I can just go do that. Right now. But, if I want to make sure no one else is there trying to use the steps at the same time or I want to set up loudspeakers, then I go get a permit.
 

Landru

Moderator
Staff member
Because they didn't need one. The permits aren't for assembly on any scale (that's a Constitutional guarantee, so you don't need one). What permits are issued for are practical concerns. For instance, if I wanted to hold a speech with 5,000 people listening on the Lincoln Memorial steps, I can just go do that. Right now. But, if I want to make sure no one else is there trying to use the steps at the same time or I want to set up loudspeakers, then I go get a permit.
DC PD suggests otherwise. https://mpdc.dc.gov/page/special-events-permits-issued-agency
 

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deirdre

Senior Member.
This organization says:
Article:
The Metropolitan Police, because they lost an important court case, are required to allow permit-less marches in the street as long as they stay within a single lane. Demonstrations on public sidewalks are legally permissable without a permit so long as they don’t block the walkway and fewer than 100 people are expected.


its last annual report was 2015-2016, so this info could be out of date
 
It is something of a complicated animal to keep track of. Part of it has to do with the jurisdictional nightmare that is DC.

It isn't unusual to see something going on and there's police cars from four different polices. That even bleeds into Virginia and Maryland. For instance, during a drive home one night, there was a wreck on the George Washington Parkway that had US Park Police, Virginia State Police, City of Alexandria Police, and Amtrak (really!) Police cars on scene.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Capitol Police: For protests on or around the Capitol Buildings, you need to apply for a permit with the Capitol Police. They say to apply at least five days in advance of your activity to guarantee processing, but to allow up to 2 weeks if applying by snail mail. This page on the Capitol Police web site has a map of the Capitol grounds, plus guidelines for permitted activities and steps to get a permit and contact information for the Capitol Police Special Events Unit.

The page https://www.uscp.gov/visiting-capitol-hill/regulations-prohibitions has a link to "Activities Requiring Permits", but it's broken for me.
Of course we don't know whether there was a permit issued or not. ( https://www.uscp.gov/media-center/press-releases is not working for me, either. The January 7th press release is silent on this issue. ) Whether there was a permit or not could be an indication as to whether this activity was lawful or not.

The permits aren't for assembly on any scale (that's a Constitutional guarantee, so you don't need one).
Constitutional rights are not absolute, and can be regulated by law to safeguard other rights. That usually entails that you have to get a permit in advance, but it's hard for the police to refuse to grant it.
Gun legislation is another example of a constitutional right that is abridged for the sake of public safety.
 

Landru

Moderator
Staff member
DC ACLU website is instructive.
https://www.acludc.org/en/permits
 

JMartJr

Member
Because they didn't need one. The permits aren't for assembly on any scale (t
Not sure if personal experience is viewed as helpful, but last time I was in a protest (very small, saving whales) was on the National Mall, and the Park Police showed up to explain to us that on the sidewalks of DC, at that time and according to these officers, you could protest without a permit EXCEPT on the Mall. There you need a permit, they said.

So we went home, leaving whales unsaved.
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
Unfortunatly, I might have to agree that Trump narrowly skirted genuine "Incitement". He might have legally been speaking in obtuse energetic terms.... and he had no control over "how or why" the crowd reacted.
Now, you and me have learned here how an opinion can become "primed", well before a future decision is made. But try to explain that to a confused average (and angry) public.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
Unfortunatly, I might have to agree that Trump narrowly skirted genuine "Incitement". He might have legally been speaking in obtuse energetic terms.... and he had no control over "how or why" the crowd reacted.
Now, you and me have learned here how an opinion can become "primed", well before a future decision is made. But try to explain that to a confused average (and angry) public.
It doesn't depend on the public, it depends on the court; possible the Supreme Court. We'll see what happens (or not).
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
It doesn't depend on the public, it depends on the court; possible the Supreme Court. We'll see what happens (or not).
the Supreme Court isnt going to touch this. The Supreme Court has always been pro free speech. They are also aware of setting ridiculous precedents that would annihilate free speech. He specifically said "peacefully".

It completely depends on the public. Public sentiment (ie votes and donations) is the only reason the House impeached him, not because he incited the riot. Guiliani on the other hand... but noone seems to care what he said, so i guess it's ok.
 

Amber Robot

Active Member
An impeachment trial isn't a legal trial it is a political one, so the "jurors" can decide however they want. The Democrats may well have had better chances with an article stating that he was derelict in his duty to protect the United States by his actions -- or lack thereof -- during the Capitol attack.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
An impeachment trial isn't a legal trial it is a political one, so the "jurors" can decide however they want. The Democrats may well have had better chances with an article stating that he was derelict in his duty to protect the United States by his actions -- or lack thereof -- during the Capitol attack.
The core issue, though, is the claim that the election was stolen from Trump. That's the lie which caused the violence; on the 6th, many GOP Reps supported it, and my guess is that the Democrats want to have it out in the open how many still do, with what we know now.

I believe that lie is driving a wedge into the GOP, and it should also drive a wedge into the democratic institutions; "unity" has to be found over democratic principles. (Note the capitalization.)
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
The act of sedition was a process that started last summer. Trump created the stolen election narrative out of nothing. The lie was repeated relentlessly. Two hours after midnight on the morning after election day Trump declared himself president, which itself was an extraordinary act. Can anyone picture George Bush doing that?

That started the phase in which lies were created and repeated at a fantastic rate; meant to condition the public. To skip much detail, the crowd was brought to D.C., the mood of the crowd was monitored and fully known, a number of speakers strove to put the crowd into an overwrought emotional state. With carefully chosen words, they were given permission to act. Not ordered; given permission.
 

NoParty

Senior Member.
Unfortunatly, I might have to agree that Trump narrowly skirted genuine "Incitement". He might have legally been speaking in obtuse energetic terms.... and he had no control over "how or why" the crowd reacted.
Now, you and me have learned here how an opinion can become "primed", well before a future decision is made. But try to explain that to a confused average (and angry) public.
I think that most fair-minded people would agree that Trump's words that day definitely
contributed to his supporters rioting and murdering...but our First Amendment tradition
runs so deep that I think legal "Incitement" is a very, very high bar. Not impossible...
but quite difficult. Trump isn't good at much, but he seems to have spent his entire
life trying to say ugly things, without actually, explicitly saying them. Did he want that
motley group to go violently attack the Capitol? I can't say for sure...though if I had to wager, I'd pick "Yes." But were his provocative, dangerous words legally close enough to
"Go violently attack the Capitol!" ? Possible...but I'd be surprised.
 

FatPhil

Member
Not ordered; given permission.

One of the tricks I've played elsewhere in such discussions is to encourage those who are 100% sure that there was no incitement to list near synonyms and related concepts to the verb 'incite', and then to score them on how well they apply to the situation. With milder, less politically loaded words, it's easier to have a discussion about the extent to which they apply. A common set that come up are "support", "encourage", "empower", "enable", and "embolden", for example, but there are many others. It's very easy to get an admission of support and encouragement (to do what they came there to do), but almost all of them can be fessed up to without too much argumentation. The one in that list that is fought against the most is "enable", but that's because many people aren't familiar with the concept of enabling behaviour (and using a naive "they were already *able*, so Trump didn't *enable* them" counterargument). With a bit of discussion, get them to push up their relevance ratings. Generally, all but the most irrational will agree to a whole swathe of related terms being applicable. The twist is then to get them to define "incite", and watch them recycle the words they've already agreed to (so, yes, you encourage them to build a word list that will act in your favour right from the start).

Expect plenty of cognitive dissonance at this point, and argumentation to retreat to automatic gainsaying. The best response I achieved from this technique was "but it was only *technically* incitement".
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
I was watching the speech live and commenting on another MB

http://dimeforscale.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=31368&start=225#p1559414

Somehow I knew exactly what was going on. I could feel the emotional tone.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
A common set that come up are "support", "encourage", "empower", "enable", and "embolden", for example, but there are many others. It's very easy to get an admission of support and encouragement (to do what they came there to do), but almost all of them can be fessed up to without too much argumentation
oh c'mon man. trump has been crowing all year that his supporters are not violent, but the supporters of Dem lawmakers ARE violent. I can't stand Trump but I know he did not want the riot, he did not want attacks on our law enforcement. Energetic protest yes. Riot and violence, no. It ruined his biggest talking point.

When school shooters shoot up a school, they dont blame Hollywood and violent video games. Supposedly it has been proven these things do not incite or encourage violence.

The Washington Post said they determined 300 people involved in the riots (let's say 500 even). 74 million voted for Trump, but that is another unfair analogy i've seen, because most people vote for policy not personality. Let's say Trump has 5 million actual supporters. 500 whackjobs (or media people) out of 5 million. How many angry young men play violent video games and listen to rap or watch extremely violent movies?

For all we know the violence may have been worse (and longer) if Trump too had ignored and mocked people's concerns and anxieties.

The point is, there are many factors (like constant bullying and demonization, and highly hypocritical judgements) that cause people to snap and act out on their violent fantasies. Blaming the Capitol riots on Trump is fun and cathartic. I get it. But it doesn't help us address the real issues, to prevent this sort of thing in the future.

I personally blame media the most. Not so much for the constant bullying of voters, but for the "we are on TV, let's give them a show" mentality. Which explains why so many seemed more interested in selfies and filming themselves in the riot.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Even McConnel blames Trump...
because you often agree with McConnel's opinions?

I would love Trump impeached, so he can't run again too. His personality is bad for the Republican Party overall. Politics is a strategy game. And politicians will say just about anything to accomplish their goals.
 

FatPhil

Member
oh c'mon man. trump has been crowing all year that his supporters are not violent, but the supporters of Dem lawmakers ARE violent. I can't stand Trump but I know he did not want the riot, he did not want attacks on our law enforcement.

Which precise bit of my post did you interpret as "I know that Trump wanted to start the riot, and he wanted attacks on your law enforcement"?

My post was about encouraging the more blinkered Trump supporters to start looking at talking points from different angles by starting from common ground, nothing more.
 

FatPhil

Member
this bit.

How is
One can get Trump supporters to admit that Trump said things that would encourage Trump activists in some way
the same as
I know Trump deliberately encouraged Trump activists to start a riot and attack the law enforcement officers
?

This is particularly egregious putting of words in my mouth as I believe the former to be true - I've witnessed it several times, and I know the latter to be false - as I don't believe that at all. I believe Trump's thought processes were barely more complex than "this is unfair to my side, *something* must be done", and him noticing that there were people who wanted to do something they thought would help their side. The Politician's Syllogism trap was then sprung. I give Trump no credit for strategic skills, it's clear from many of his off-script improvisations that much of the time he can barely even plan half a sentence ahead and foresee the repurcussions of what he says.

Will no one rid me of this troublesome Pence?
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
This is particularly egregious putting of words in my mouth
um.. you are putting words in my mouth, that i allegedly put words in your mouth. Where did i say '[you] know Trump deliberately encouraged activists to start a riot'? I was actually making the point that i dont believe you got people to "admit Trump supported and encouraged the activist to DO what they came there to do. ie. riot and attack police.

i keep quoting your exact words. If your words as written here mean something different to you, then they do to me... i dont know what to tell you.
It's very easy to get an admission of support and encouragement (to do what they came there to do),
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
FYI, the quickest way to trap a conservative:

Me: The political speech of Harris, Biden and Pelosi, helped provoke the murders of an 8 year old black girl in Atlanta, two black teenagers in Seattle and more than a dozen adults across the country this summer. Do you agree with this?

Conservative: yes.

Me: Is Trumps political speech any different?

Conservative: uhhh, no i guess not.
 

FatPhil

Member
Warning - experimenting with nesting of quotes, this might get mangled, and require edits...

um.. you are putting words in my mouth, that i allegedly put words in your mouth. Where did i say '[you] know Trump deliberately encouraged activists to start a riot'?

That is the only sensible interpretation of what you said here:
FatPhil said:
A common set that come up are "support", "encourage", "empower", "enable", and "embolden", for example, but there are many others. It's very easy to get an admission of support and encouragement (to do what they came there to do), but almost all of them can be fessed up to without too much argumentation

oh c'mon man. trump has been crowing all year that his supporters are not violent, but the supporters of Dem lawmakers ARE violent. I can't stand Trump but I know he did not want the riot, he did not want attacks on our law enforcement. Energetic protest yes. Riot and violence, no. It ruined his biggest talking point.

The "Oh c'mon man" can only mean that you are directing your argument exactly against what I have just said.
Thus the "I know he did not want ..." can therefore only be countering something that you've perceived I've said.

I was actually making the point that i dont believe you got people to "admit Trump supported and encouraged the activist to DO what they came there to do. ie. riot and attack police.

Believe what you want, I can't stop you. However, your "i.e." is inappropriate - that's a post-facto or external interpretation. Trump's delivering his words only with the knowledge of what is in his present, nothing that they would go on to do is yet fixed. You would have to prove that Trump knew in advance what they were going to do in order to support a claim that he encouraged the things that they actually did. "encourage the activists to do what they came to do" means just "encourage the activists to continue", possibly in their merry first-amendment-conforming way, if that's how Trump perceives their behaviour, I'm not in his head. It's just a contrast against "encourage the activists to do something of his own origination", like "go home peacefully" or "phone your senator right now". So it appears you don't believe in something that has never been claimed.

I definitely did witness several people in forums and chat, myself included (yes, you also changed my "one can" into "I did" in your reinterpretation of what I said) get (pro-Trump) people to admit Trump supported and encouraged the activists to continue.
I definitely did not witness anyone get any (pro-Trump) people to admit that Trump supported and encouraged the activists to riot and attack police.
These are very different things. One happened, the other didn't. One I claimed, the other I didn't.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
The "Oh c'mon man" can only mean that you are directing your argument exactly against what I have just said.
Thus the "I know he did not want ..." can therefore only be countering something that you've perceived I've said.
yes. the part where you said "it is easy to get people to admit" blah blah blah.

So it appears you don't believe in something that has never been claimed.
you are arguing online with conservatives, trying to prove to them that Trump- who invited them to Washington Dc to protest the electoral vote- supported and encouraged them to come to Washing DC to protest the electoral vote?

I do concede that that NEVER crossed my mind.

you also changed my "one can" into "I did"
now you sound like Mendle. you said you did.
One of the tricks I've played elsewhere in such discussions



and like i tell Mendle in these situations: we will have to agree to disagree.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
You would have to prove that Trump knew in advance what they were going to do in order to support a claim that he encouraged the things that they actually did. "encourage the activists to do what they came to do" means just "encourage the activists to continue", possibly in their merry first-amendment-conforming way, if that's how Trump perceives their behaviour, I'm not in his head.
It depends on who he's talking to. If you say "fight for me", that means something different depending on whether you tell it to an army or to a group of peaceful protesters.

Trump knew (or should have known) that there were violent right-wing groups in the crowd. He knew (or should have known) that the QAnon bunch would look for hidden meaning (and often overlook the apparent meaning while doing so). He knew (or should have known) that Giuliani, who was on the stage before him, called for "trial by combat". And then he told these people, who had come for a rally that was planned to take place near the White House, to walk to the Capitol, and that he'd walk with them. This last thing is the immediate call to action that incitement legally requires. It also requires that the intention is to disrupt the functioning of government; Trump stated that explicitly that he wanted Mike Pence to overturn the vote.
The final bit that may save him is the determination of the aforementioned context: whether he knew (or should have known) that his call to action would spur the crowd to unlawfulness, and whether he did enough to distance himself from that.
There may be more evidence about Trump's state of mind than just the speech.

It doesn't really matter whether Trump supporters can be convinced of this; what matters is the court, if he's charged.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
his call to action would spur the crowd to unlawfulness,
they were already planning it on Facebook, Twitter and Parler. and explains why they had mace and gas masks etc with them.

Article:
These groups didn't just spread misinformation but actively "encouraged people to attend the riot last week and to potentially arm themselves and to potentially engage in other violent acts," Getachew said. "These are the types of things from a public interest side that make it harder to monitor because the groups are closed, right? You need permission to enter and Facebook isn't doing a good enough job of actually facilitating or moderating these groups to prohibit this type of content, or to ban these groups altogether."
 
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Jeffrey Orling

Senior Member
Trump's language for months has been to seek to over turn the results of the election by any means. He sycophants in congress tried and did what they do... in congress... his magas and sycophants did what they do to express their common goals... essentially riot. Trump dog whistled and green lighted these jerks to do with violence what congress was unable to accomplish. He wanted to stop the steal and they marched to his orders. Just as the CIC doesn't plan the tactics... 45 didn't tell them specifically how to stop the steal. He didn't riot... he incited it. That was quite obvious.
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
Once again, I was watching the speech live and somehow I knew he was sending them to storm the Capitol Building. How did I know that?

I knew it. They knew it.

I just thought they would be met with a strong multilayered security cordon and wouldn't be able to get in.
 
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