I live in Northern Virginia, miles from the Capitol.
Yesterday was fucking terrifying.
We were watching the certification of the electoral votes on C-SPAN when it started. Totally bizarre. I'm glad the worst was averted and the certification was completed.
I wrote a quick opinion post for my blog last night (Europe time) in the middle of it:
I’m not sure how to describe what’s happening in Washington DC today as anything other than an attempted coup.
It’s like Berlin 1920 or Paris 1934. Right-wing militias, egged on by conservative politicians, storm parliament in an attempt to topple a democratically elected government. In this case, a president-elect: Joe Biden.
Republicans, including the outgoing president, have for weeks alleged that the November election was stolen. Conservative media have uncritically amplified those lies.
As his supporters stormed the Capitol, Trump was giving a speech outside the White House in which he said:
"Our country has had enough and we will not take it any more. … We will never give up. We will never concede."
Short of walking up to Capitol Hill himself, Trump could scarcely have done more to encourage the putsch, which succeeded in delaying his peaceful removal from office.
The fact that some of it looks silly — overweight goons in second-hand body armor proclaiming Trump the winner of the election from the dais of an evacuated Senate chamber and posing for pictures in Nancy Pelosi’s ransacked office — doesn’t make it any less serious. General Erich Ludendorff and the Nazis thought they could somehow overthrow the government of Weimar Germany from a Munich beer hall in 1923. Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Tejero tried to seize power in Spain by holding members of parliament hostage in 1981. They failed, but they also poisoned fragile democracies, in Germany’s case fatally.
Democrats are now calling on Vice President Mike Pence and members of the cabinet to remove Donald Trump under the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the Constitution.
I think that could be a mistake.
It would be constitutionally dubious. The Twenty-fifth Amendment allows a majority of the cabinet to replace a president who has become incapacitated. It wasn’t designed to topple a president who is still technically able to carry out his duties.
It can be argued Trump has proved himself “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office” by inciting a mob of his supporters to storm the Capitol on Wednesday in an attempt to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s election. But I can think of a dozen more examples of Trump’s behavior from the last year alone that proved his unfitness for office.
More worrisome than potentially setting a bad precedent is that a cabinet coup would add fuel to the fire of the stab-in-the-back myth Trump and his supporters are already writing. It could give the outgoing president just the pretext he needs to lead an insurgency against the next government of the United States.
With it having been over a year I find the general attempt by specific persons at rewriting history concerning, and the spinelessness of others for not going more flame and pitchfork over what really was an attack on the core and heart of american politics rather distressing.
What happened here was a populist engendering this notion, that was loudly trumpeted publicly while the actual court cases were all procedural niggles..... that there can be no peaceful transfer of power because they didn't get their way. This same person has since entrenched himself in basically warping one of the parties into 'either you fall in step with me or you are 'in name only.' While the loyal opposition has been nothing short of craven, cowardly, and spinelessly allowing this to happen.
All as those around me thunderously claim that the to oppose this man is to show oneself as un american.
I have a heavy heart and a lack of confidence. All summed up by the sentiment that this is not the nation I was promised to inherit nor is it the nation i wish my niece to grow up in and yet i have no way to effect real change. Since that would require those inp ower to give that power up when they have benefitted most from the way things are.
and now is time for the midterms and again... the people in charge saw what happened. obstruction then getting slapped and labeled as do nothigns while asleep at the wheel as a gun was heldto their heads and they oh so thoughtfully let their hands be tied while winging that they can't not reach across the aisle.... when the other side sees 'compromise' as taking a running leap further in their direction and demand that it be all their way and they still ridicule you.
i am terribly sick at heart and this is the most I will say on the matter as i am surrounded by folk who saw the riots as a response to 'cowards who wouldn't do the right thing.' That is to say they buy this myth of Trump as a 'great Man' and are willing to excuse anything he does, or caricterize anyone wh odoes anything he does as wrong and evil while praising him for his 'bravery.'
i have no answers, and i'm sorry.
It is disheartening, isn't it? That even now so many people won't see Trump for what he is. And that so many Republican politicians, who probably know better, still make excuses for him and still mimic his lies...