Texas Standard For January 7, 2021

A normally ceremonial ritual of democracy stalled by the storming of Congress. But it didn’t stop the confirmation of change. After violence at the Capitol inspired by unsubstantiated claims of a fraudulent election, Congress defies a mob and confirms Joe Biden as the next president of the United States and Kamala Harris as vice president. But the political spectacle shocked many in the U.S. and around the world as images seldom seen from the capitol city recalled the toppling of the government of other nations, and the dissolution of the rule of law. We’re talking with Texans helping to make sense of Wednesday’s mayhem and what it means for our future, today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardJanuary 7, 2021 6:55 am

Here’s what’s coming up on Texas Standard for Thursday, January 7, 2021. Listen on your Texas public radio station, or ask your smart speaker to play Texas Standard. We’ll have full posts for each story, including audio, a little later today.

Electoral College Vote 

Wednesday, we watched a mob attack the United States Capitol building after President Donald Trump repeated false claims that he was the true winner in the November election. For a look at the Electoral College certification that the president’s supporters briefly but unsuccessfully interrupted, we’re joined by Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, assistant dean for civic engagement at the University of Texas’ LBJ School of Public Affairs.


Legal Issues Raised During Capitol Insurrection 

The kid-gloves treatment of Wednesday’s white rioters wasn’t lost on a nation that’s seen swift, overzealous and violent law enforcement attacks on Black Lives Matters protestors this past summer. What happens next, and will any of those responsible be brought to justice? Steve Vladeck, the Charles Alan Wright Chair in Federal Courts at the University of Texas School of Law, talks to the Texas Standard about the legal consequences for the protestors.

Texas and Capitol Violence

Texas is just one of 50 states, but it had an outsized role in Wednesday’s deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. KERA’s Bret Jaspers reports that included the prominence of Sen. Ted Cruz and the presence of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Coup/View From Other Countries

Yesterday’s scenes of armed men taking a democratic country’s seat of government resemble what many foreign-born Texans have experienced in their native countries. Stephen Kinzer has seen these scenes unfold in many countries. He’s an award-winning foreign correspondent who has covered more than 50 countries including Nicaragua, and the co-author of “Bitter Fruit: The Untold Story of the American Coup in Guatemala.” We’ll speak to him today.

Trump’s Inciting Messages

On Wednesday, Twitter announced it was requiring three of President Trump’s tweets to be removed. The social media network also suspended Trump’s account for at least 12 hours, and threatened permanent suspension for violating its policies again. Jennifer Mercieca was examining those tweets before they were taken down. She’s a professor of rhetoric at Texas A&M University and the author of “Demagogue For President: The Rhetorical Genius of Donald Trump.”

Riots and National Security

As Americans watched the events unfold at the nation’s capital Wednesday, there were questions about the presence, or lack thereof, of the Capitol police. William Inboden, executive director of the Clements Center for National Security at the University of Texas’ LBJ School of Public Affairs talks to the Standard. He was senior director for strategic planning at the National Security Council under President George W. Bush.

White Supremacy

We’ve been spending the hour unraveling the events in the nation’s capital on Wednesday. We’ve looked at them through a legal and an historical perspective. We’ve examined the rhetoric. Now we want to turn to another point: how storming the U.S. Capitol is an act of white supremacy. The Standard talks to Peniel Joseph, founding director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at UT-Austin’s LBJ School.

Capitol Insurrection and the Presidency

The storming of the U.S. Capitol will shape both what remains of the Donald Trump presidency as well as the beginning of Joe Biden’s. The Standard talks with Jeffrey Engel, founding director of the Center for Presidential History and a Professor of History at Southern Methodist University.

All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Social Media Editor Wells Dunbar with the talk of Texas.

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