by Geoffrey Churchman
One thing’s for sure about the last 4 years in American politics, it’s not been dull.
Just after Donald Trump was elected as US President, Left Wing extremists, unhappy about that fact, went on an orgy of riots, vandalism and looting in various cities. The same happened again last June after the execution by a thug cop of a petty crim in Minneapolis. Because the man was black, BLM/Antifa extremists indulged in yet more nationwide arson, vandalism, looting and violence, and this time rowdy if not destructive disturbances lasted much longer. There have also been occasions in the last 4 years when groups of extremists on both ends of the political spectrum have clashed.
The Mainstream Media, which thrive on shallow sensationalism and often with scant regard for facts, have absolutely loved it. Stoush is fantastic for them, and if right wingers can be blamed, so much the better. Donald Trump told his supporters Wednesday that “we don’t want to play into their [Democrats/MSM’s] hands” — which of course is exactly what they went and did.
Such riots have happened in the past: there were major events in the 1960s in Los Angeles and Detroit and again in L.A. in 1992, for example, but more than civil grievances, fringe political division now feeds the disturbances after more than two decades of partisan gridlock in the Congress. The general unwillingness to compromise by the Democratic and Republican political parties on contentious issues has had the consquence of growing disillusionment and cynicism about both. As observed previously, one answer would be a strong third party which caters for those who don’t like both big government and big business, rather than just one or the other. But the electoral system doesn’t lend itself to that.
In contrast to Trump, it’s unlikely that Biden at age 78 will create (much) excitement on the part of the Mainstream Media or the public in the next 4 years; even many Democrat supporters consider him to be a has-been, a second-rate party hack installed by the Democratic National Committee who could see that the more popular Bernie Sanders would repell their big donors. With the strong feeling that because of increasing signs of dementia, Biden may not last the distance, more attention than is usual will be on the Vice President, Kamala Harris.
by Roger Childs
On 6 January, President Donald Trump incited a rebellion against the legislature. Arguably this was sedition which is a serious crime. It was another desperate bid to keep the presidency, even though he officialy lost the November election by over 7 million votes; failed to see any of the state results reversed despite recounts and investigations, and filed more than 50 unsuccessful legal submissions challenging the result. Even the Supreme Court, to which he appointed three conservative judges over the last four years, would not have a bar of his baseless claims about voter fraud and the election being stolen from him.
As a last ditch effort Trump exhorted his supporters to head for the Capitol Building on Wednesday 6 January to try and stop the Houses of Congress from declaring Joe Biden the next president of the United States.
Trump pressured his Vice President, who is president of the Senate and facilitator of the joint Houses count of the electoral votes, to overturn the will of the people. Pence was having none of it.
The President responded: Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!
Mike Pence stands by the constitution
Having been Trump’s supporter and defender for four years, Pence finally broke with his boss. He knew how the Constitution should be protected.
It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not.
The senior Republican in the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, another long-time staunch ally of the president, also knew that there was no way that Trump could be declared the winner of the election.
Voters, the courts and the states have all spoken — they’ve all spoken. If we overrule them, it would damage our republic forever.
It was after 3.00am on 7 January that the constitutional process confirming the electoral college votes state by state was completed and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were officially declared president and vice president as of 20 January 2021.
Some Republican diehards remain
Even after the confirmation of electoral college votes by state governments, the rejection of the legal challenges to the accuracy of the election voting and the invasion of legislative chambers by the pro-Trump mob, 140 Republicans in the House and 7 Senators still insisted that there had been election fraud. They challenged the electoral vote counts in Arizona, Georgia – both Republican run states – Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. What were their motives? Well for Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri, who want to be president in 2024, they were hoping to appeal to Trump supporters.
As regards the Republican Party, by backing Trump for re-election in 2020 it has lost the presidency and the control of the Senate. If the two Republicans running for the Senate earlier this week in Georgia had disassociated themselves from the president and his lies about election irregularities, they might have been re-elected. Their subsequent losses have gifted the upper house to the Democrats.
So will the Republican National Committee now cut Trump and his family adrift? The maverick president has caused the party to lose much of its political influence in Washington DC. Surely it’s time to rebuild the party based on the political talent that lies in Congress and out in the heartland.
Dealing with Trump
There has been widespread condemnation of the president’s role in the insurrection on Wednesday and there will be repercussions. The FBI is already looking into the connection between Trump’s actions and the rioting outside and inside the Capitol building.
The Wall St Journal has called on Trump to resign and many are talking about invoking the 25th amendment which would result in Vice-President Mike Pence taking over. Others have raised the possibility of another impeachment. If Trump was impeached by both Houses he would be unable to hold political office in the United States ever again. A number of administration officials have already resigned in the wake of Wednesday’s chaos on Capitol Hill and the trend is likely to continue.
Trump has said that there will be an orderly transfer of power and that he won’t be serving a second term. Nevertheless he still has two weeks to run in his presidency unless he is quickly replaced. Whatever happens in that time, there will be a day of reckoning.