Will A Hardline On Murderous Domestic Terrorists Prevent A Civil War-- Or Hasten One?
Trump's miserable approval rating has fallen another 10 points-- to 33%-- since December. And voters are smart enough to share the blame for the violent insurrection last week between Trump and the Republican Party. Yesterday, the Orange County Register reported that voter registration data in the county, "the only one in Southern California county that tracks registration numbers daily, shows the Republican Party lost eight times more voters than it gained after the violence in D.C... 'Every rational Republican-- and I’ve talked to a whole bunch of them-- is saying OK, I get it now,' said Assemblyman Chad Mayes of Rancho Mirage, who was GOP leader of the Assembly before his own switch, in 2018, from the GOP to No Party Preference."
Two GOP ex-Congressmembers from Southern California-- Mary Bono (Palm Springs) and Steve Kuykendall (Palos Verdes)-- were among two dozen Republican former members of Congress who published a letter yesterday calling for Trump's impeachment. "Knowing the president will be leaving office in less than two weeks," they wrote, "should not be an excuse for not impeaching. In fact, the House of Representatives could still impeach President Trump after he leaves office. Doing so could help pave the way to prevent him from serving in any other federal elective or appointive office." The most recent members included Barbara Comstock (VA), Charlie Dent (PA), David Jolly (FL) and Denver Riggleman (VA).
AP reported yesterday that Republican members of Congress who voted against certifying Biden’s victory, even after a mob broke into the Capitol, are being denounced by critics in their home districts who demand that they resign or be ousted. Protesters, newspaper editorial boards and local-level Democrats have urged the lawmakers to step down or for their colleagues to kick them out. The House and Senate can remove members with a two-thirds vote or censure or reprimand with a majority."
Politico reporter Melanie Zanona tweeted that she's hearing that Liz Cheney and as many as 9 other Republicans may vote for the impeachment resolution. I wonder if Michigan freshman Peter Meijer is among them. We'll know tomorrow.
In an OpEd for a local newspaper, Ted Lieu explained to his constituents why it is Congress' duty to impeach Trump. He wrote that as the hours passed while sheltering in David Cicilline's office, he came to understand that they "were in the middle of an attempted coup incited by Donald Trump. On social media he had told his supporters to descend upon Washington on Jan. 6 and said it would be 'wild.' He then gave an inflammatory speech and riled them up with false claims of mass election fraud. He told them, 'We will not take it anymore and that’s what this is all about. To use a favorite term that all of you people really came up with, we will stop the steal.' He directed them to march to the Capitol. He said, 'You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.' They followed his orders."
These insurrectionists marched to the Capitol to stop Congress from accepting the certified electoral college results. They scaled walls, beat police with lead pipes and stampeded their way inside.
By the time Trump tweeted a video telling the rioters attacking the Capitol, “We love you,” it was painfully clear that he shouldn’t be president for a minute longer.
It was there, sheltering in place, fearing what a mob incited by Trump would do next, that Congressman Cicilline and I decided that we were going to try to impeach the president. Again.
We worked remotely late into the evening with House Judiciary Committee staff and Rep. Jaime Raskin (D-Md.) on drafting an article of impeachment: “incitement of insurrection.” It was not difficult to write.
The president incited an attempted violent overthrow of Congress in broad daylight. Several people died. This was a frontal assault not only on Congress, but on our Constitution and our democracy.
If the impeachment provision of the Constitution is not invoked for this situation, then what the hell is it for?
Some argue it’s too late to impeach Trump. Not true. Even though President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated on Jan. 20, there are multiple reasons to impeach Trump.
First, impeachment and conviction would remove a delusional and dangerous president.
There are numerous reports that Trump is in a fragile mental state and his advisors don’t know what he will do next. Sending an article of impeachment to the Senate would help deter Trump from taking even crazier actions.
Second, impeachment and conviction would prevent Trump from ever menacing our country again through an elected position. Our article of impeachment specifically provides for “disqualification to hold and enjoy any office.”
Removal through impeachment would also strip Trump of taxpayer-funded benefits like a pension, health insurance, office space and staff.
Third, future generations need to know that Congress acted swiftly and forcefully after insurrectionists attacked our Capitol. Trump’s domestic terrorists were trying to keep him in office through violent means. We cannot pretend Jan. 6 didn’t happen.
If our response were merely sternly worded press statements, we would embolden more violent actors to try to overthrow our democracy in the future.
Some Republican lawmakers are now calling for healing, without acknowledging their own complicity in causing this insurrection. When the rioters stormed the Capitol, they exposed how fragile our democracy can be.
The worst thing Congress can do now is to pretend that everything is normal and that we can put this crisis behind us. For justice and to heal our nation, we need to hold those involved in the insurrection accountable. That includes the president.
I hope Trump does the right thing and resigns or his Cabinet members use the 25th Amendment process to remove him.
Since those two actions are unlikely to occur, we in the House will do our constitutional duty to defend our democratic government in making Trump the first president in history to be impeached twice.
Umair Haque went a little deeper into the need for America to break the back of our fascist movement immediately. Appeasement has got to end. He warned that we have to throw the book at the insurrectionists and is sickened by "the idea that the people who carried out this coup deserve mercy. Let me assure you as a survivor and scholar of authoritarianism. There is only one way to deal with fascism, terrorism, authoritariaism, coups, what Americans call 'sedition.' Zero tolerance. America needs to break the back of this fascist movement, now, severely-- or it will pay an even more severe price in years and decades to come. A price in violence, rage, blood, and unrest. The highest of prices. No, I’m not kidding-- and though you might feel a chill, I think you know it, too. It’s us or them. There must be no quarter given to forces like Trumpists. There never should’ve been in the first place...
Trumpists have revealed themselves to be a neo-fascist movement.
This was deliberate, organised mass violence, led by the head of state, with a deep and abiding political, social, and cultural point.
In other words, the political message of this violence was to teach the rest of the country a lesson. We are the powerful ones.
Their worldview is binary. Think back to Nietzsche, the intellectual godfather of fascism.
You cannot compromise or even negotiate with fascists... Compromise breeds escalation.
The social message of all this violence is to terrorize. “We can get away with it” is successful terrorism.
Justice is the only healing. Injustice is injury.
The cultural point of all this violence is to make-- to keep-- Americans victims.
That is why it’s so, so important that justice be done. Fully. The way it should be. They weren’t rioters, they were fascists, and that wasn’t an insurrection, that was a coup. And it should be punished and treated as such. For the three reasons I’ve outlined above. Let me repeat them and simplify them.