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City Club of Eugene: Attack on the U.S. Capitol: Impact on the Republic and the Republican Party

Program Date: March 12, 2021

Air Date: March 15, 2021

From the City Club of Eugene:

Not since the War of 1812 has there been an attack on the US Capitol. The long record of Capitol security was broken on January 6, 2021, and this time the assault was not done by a foreign army, but by U.S. citizens. The January attack on the Capitol will have consequences as yet unknown for the country and the Republican Party. A special commission will investigate the causes of the riot and propose some form of corrective action.

How much future threat will be presented by those who stormed the Capitol? What are the likely impacts of the home district censures of House Republicans who voted to impeach and Senate Republicans who voted to convict the former President? Now-private citizen Trump is at war with Minority Leader McConnell and those who voted against him. There is talk of starting another party.

Where will it all end? Expert political analysts give their opinions about what happens next.       



David Neiwert is an investigative journalist and author based in Seattle. He received the National Press Club Award for Distinguished Online Journalism in 2000 for a domestic terrorism series he produced for MSNBC.com. Neiwert has concentrated in part on extremism in the Northwest. A staff writer for Daily Kos, he is also the author of multiple books on right-wing extremism, including Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump (2017) and Red Pill, Blue Pill: How to Counteract the Conspiracy Theories That Are Killing Us (2020).   

Priscilla Southwell is professor emerita of Political Science at the University of Oregon, having taught there since 1981 and continuing to teach and engage in research in retirement. She is the author of over 80 articles or book chapters on political parties and elections, primarily focused on European and U.S. politics. She won a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant in 1996 to examine the effects of vote by mail in Oregon. She served as Associate Dean for the Social Sciences from 2001-2008, and as Department Head of Political Science from 1998-2001 and 2010-2016. Her most recent publication is:  Governing Oregon: Continuity and Change, published by OSU Press, with co-authors Edward Weber (OSU), Richard Clucas (PSU), and Mark Henkels (WSU).

Peter Walker is a professor of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Oregon, where he has served since 1997. Walker ‘s research focuses on the politics of land use. In 2016, Walker went to the militia-occupied Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon, and published the results of his research in his 2018 book Sagebrush Collaboration: How Harney County Defeated the Takeover of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge (Oregon State University Press). In his research on the Malheur refuge occupation, Walker gained first-hand knowledge of far-right extremism and examined how such movements became more “mainstreamed” in the following years.