Last night, just before midnight, every single Democrat-- plus one Republican, Adam Kinzinger-- voted to request that Pence "convene and mobilize the principal officers of the executive departments of the Cabinet to activate section 4 of the 25th Amendment to declare President Donald J. Trump incapable of executing the duties of his office and to immediately exercise powers as acting President." It passed 223-205... but Pence had already announced that he will do no such thing.
Earlier last night, in a move seen as too little too late, 6 Republican members of Congress-- Brian Fitzpatrick (PA), Young Kim (CA), Peter Meijer (MI), Tom Reed (NY), John Curtis (UT) and Fred Upton (MI)-- introduced a censure resolution against Trump. Fitzpatrick, apparently the ring-leader noted that "Trump’s attempts to undermine the outcome of the 2020 election have been unconscionable. The combination of a false information campaign coupled with inflammatory rhetoric led to the devastation that I was a personal witness to on the House Floor on Jan. 6. His actions threatened the integrity of our democracy, Congress, and his own vice president. For months, President Trump has been lying to the American people with false information, and giving his supporters false expectations. The election is over." And now we have this (from a Change Research poll released last night):
The Hill's Brett Samuels reported yesterday that the relationship between "Trump and top House Republicans rapidly deteriorated Tuesday," especially conference chair Liz Cheney. McCarthy-- always seen as a Trump dead-ender-- announced that the House Republican leadership will not be whipping votes on behalf of Trump today and that members should vote their consciences.
The vote to back Trump even after the attempted coup, cost the House Republicans dearly "as corporations, wanting as much distance as possible from a conspiracy theory-fueled insurrection that endangered lawmakers and included calls for the hanging of Vice President Pence, cut off donations to Republicans. McCarthy, who has come under broad criticism for how he handled last week's events, reportedly sparred with the president on Monday when Trump floated the conspiracy that it was Antifa, and not right-wing extremists and his own supporters, who stormed the Capitol last week. McCarthy told Trump that was not the case [and] then told members of his conference on a call that the riot at the Capitol was not caused by Antifa, but that it was led by right-wing extremists and QAnon adherents. He urged lawmakers not to further spread misinformation."
McCarthy and Scalise have shaped their tenures in leadership by their loyalty to Trump. The two men fiercely opposed Trump's first impeachment, backed his reelection effort and refused to acknowledge Biden as president-elect for weeks.
That has now opened them up to blame for last week's riot, when an angry mob breached the complex and were captured in photos and videos attacking Capitol Police, carrying zip ties around the building and entering lawmakers' offices.
Trump has increasingly surrounded himself with loyalists who are willing to tell him what he wants to hear, according to two people familiar with the matter.
"They told him lies and gave him false hope about the election and clearly we saw what that went to on Wednesday and the consequences of that," said one former White House official.
He has shown no regret for his remarks in the months, weeks, days, hours and minutes leading up to the attack, which are widely seen as having encouraged the riot.
Giuliani told the media that "McCarthy doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about... He doesn’t investigate. He’s part of the Washington establishment. They make up the truth and they repeat it to each other. You think they ever bother to investigate?"
Last night Fred Upton (R-MI) released this short release about why he intends to vote to impeach Trump. I think he's the 4th one to announce he's going to.
Impeachment is a foregone conclusion and there are now probably enough votes in the House to convict him as well. McConnell wants too crush him so he can't interfere-- at least not decisively-- going forward. Last night Thomas Friedman was celebrating that Trump is blowing apart the GOP. In fact, Friedman, like McConnell, feels Trump can do a lot of damage to the GOP in future days, weeks, years... He wrote that he's not sure he wants Trump "permanently off Twitter and Facebook. There’s important work that I need Trump to perform in his post-presidency, and I need him to have proper megaphones to do it. It’s to blow apart this Republican Party. My No. 1 wish for America today is for this Republican Party to fracture, splitting off the principled Republicans from the unprincipled Republicans and Trump cultists. That would be a blessing for America for two reasons."
The reason you never see me quoting Friedman at DWT is because he's not just a pompous asshole, he's a pompous asshole who is always wrong. He yearns for a centrist aristocratic government-- the opposite of a Trumpist kakistocracy... but also the opposite of a populist-oriented government that lessons the kind of inequality that Friedman thrives on and has become the spokesperson for. People like Friedman and their ideas brought us Trump... and will again if we're not careful to treat them both as the flip sides of the same toxic coin.
His vision of a more perfect America would be what he calls "principled Republicans"-- he named Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney-- working with Biden and the Problem Solvers Caucus. He asked "What is it that Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz were dreaming of when they went full treason and tried to get Congress to reverse Biden’s win on the basis of the Big Lie? They were dreaming of a world of Trumpism without Trump. They thought that if they cravenly did Trump’s bidding now, once he was gone his base would be theirs. Hawley and Cruz are so power hungry, they would burn America to the ground if they thought they could be president of its ashes. But they’re fools. As Trump and his kids made clear at the rally that inspired some of his supporters to ransack the Capitol, the Trumps are interested only in Trumpism with Trumps. Or as Donald Trump Jr. explained to the soon-to-be rioters (whom Ivanka called 'patriots'), the G.O.P. needed a wake-up. All those Republicans in Congress, said Don Jr., 'did nothing to stop the steal. This gathering should send a message to them: This isn’t their Republican Party anymore. This is Donald Trump’s Republican Party.'"
This also came from that Change Research poll cited above: