Wednesday’s assault on the Capitol unfolded like a TV mini-series. I binge-watched and rejoiced in the failure of an insurrection by American terrorists incited by Donald Trump. Now, we’re being inundated with pangs of conscience.
The attempt to overthrow our democratic process prompted much “soul searching.” I’m skeptical. To engage in that activity, you need a soul.
Wednesday night, some Republican lawmakers walked back supporting objections to the Electoral College votes of Arizona and Pennsylvania. They included Kelly Loeffler, who just lost her Georgia Senate seat to Raphael Warnock, and Lindsey Graham (South Carolina). Like the serpent in the Garden of Eden, they slickly speak out of both sides of their mouth.
I give little credence to the resignations of Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s former acting chief of staff and special envoy to Northern Ireland; Stephanie Grisham, Melania Trump’s chief of staff; Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation and wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell; and Education secretary Betsy DeVos.
All drank the Trump Kool-Aid from the outset. All were complicit.
Thursday morning, Trump promised a peaceful transition after Congress certified Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. What a con! This grotesque presidential impersonator defamed American principles during the 2016 campaign, upped the ante after winning and over four years thereafter, then called out his dogs. They obeyed, just as after the election, they donated more than $200 million to him.
Many commentators suggest that Wednesday’s insurrection represents a national wake-up call. I agree—in theory.
“Centrist” Republican Senators, including Mitt Romney (Utah), Ben Sasse (Nebraska), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)—even the spine-challenged Susan Collins (Maine)—have the opportunity to break away from the Trump cultists, forge an alternative Republican caucus and work with Joe Biden and the Democrats. They can remain conservatives, which is fine, while reaching across the aisle to meet the nation’s needs, putting Constitution over career.
There will be challenges. Millions of American voters will continue to sleep-walk through a world of alternative fact and fantasy. I know first-hand. Wednesday, Carolyn commented about the insurrection on Facebook. Her brother pushed back. He was in Washington with, he claimed, two million Trump supporters. The people he was with were fun, the protest peaceful. The rioters who attacked the Capitol? Antifa and Black Lives Matter. His source: InfoWars, run by the conspiracy advocate Alex Jones, who inspired a violence-inciting character on Showtime’s Homeland.
What goes around comes around. In June 1954, Senator Joe McCarthy (R-Wisconsin) led innuendo-filled hearings into Communist infiltration of the U.S. Army. This followed smear campaigns against innocent people in Washington and Hollywood, tolerated by the Republican Party. On national television, an exasperated Judge Joseph N. Welch asked McCarthy, “Have you no sense of decency, sir?” The balloon burst. The Senate later censured McCarthy. A broken alcoholic, he died in 1957, still in office.
As to Judge Welch’s question, Republicans like Ted Cruz (Texas) and Josh Hawley (Missouri) would be hard-pressed to answer, “Yes.”
Note: Roy Cohn, a lawyer reviled by many, served as an advisor to McCarthy/ Later, he counseled a New York real-estate developer named Donald Trump.
Yesterday, the conservative Wall Street Journal called for Trump’s resignation. It’s past time for many “loyal” Americans to wake up and smell the coffee. A little java beats Trump Kool-Aid chugged down by the mob buying into endless delusions.
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