Il Duce, “the leader,” was the preferred title of the man who led the Italian prong of the Axis in World War II, Benito Mussolini.
Before he took over the Italian government, he ran the Fasci Italiani di Combattimento. Italians have reputations for being out in front of fashion, and the political fashion about to catch on was Fascism.
Fascism was the alternative flavor of autocracy for those who did not like the flavor of communism or could not read Karl Marx. The Axis Powers — -Italy, Germany and Japan — set out to dominate the world, but there was Franco in Spain and Salazar in Portugal, lesser lights in Easter Europe, and even the powers that stood in the way of Fascism — France, Britain, and the U.S. — had Fascist parties. Even without a powerful Fascist party, there were always apologists. Of Mussolini, they famously said he made the trains run on time.
That’s not such a hard trick if you are in a position to do violence to the engineer, and it’s more to the point that the Fascist coup d’état run on time. The Italian coup took place in 1922; the American Fascist coup d’état was apparently due in 2020, so it’s running late.
Am I being melodramatic? I could only notice one assault rifle, but the police also confiscated pistols, plastic ties and blindfolds for hostages, Molotov cocktails and pipe bombs for fireworks, marching orders from the President of the United States, Donald John Trump, were on the TV for everybody:
We fight like Hell and if you don’t fight like Hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.
They did fight like Hell. They stopped the vote count.
A violent mob broke into a joint session of Congress. A small group run out of the debate made it to one of those legendary undisclosed locations: Steny Hoyer, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer.
They tried calling federal officials for help, but nobody was in and nobody called them back.
Steny Hoyer, since he represents a district in Maryland, had a telephone number for Larry Hogan, the Republican governor. According to Military Times,
Hogan said he was in the middle of a videoconference with the Japanese ambassador to the United States when his chief of staff came in to tell him that “the U.S. Capitol was under attack.” Hogan said he immediately excused himself from the videoconference and convened an emergency meeting to mobilize state troopers and the National Guard.
When Steny Hoyer got through, Hogan already had the Maryland National Guard ready to ride to the rescue. However, he needed federal permission to send troops into the District of Columbia. Permission was not forthcoming.
After an hour and a half trapped, with no law enforcement presence, the Democrats reached Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, who was not one of the federal officers with authority to consent. McCarthy BSed through it and gave them permission.
The leaders of the Democratic Party were saved and the attempted coup d’état was over. Or the joke was over. You will have to decide for yourself how real the threat was. When I found that five people had been killed, that helped me make up my mind.