A few more thoughts about the ongoing crisis following the coup attempt at the US Capitol on Wednesday…
Impeaching Trump for a second time will be as ineffective as it was the first time, unless Chuck Schumer can convince 17 Republican senators to go along (and assuming every Democrat votes in favor), which seems unlikely. Even if they did vote to remove Trump from the presidency, he would play the martyr card until the day he dies, and become even more of a heroic figure in the eyes of his deluded cult members. Better to just ride out the last 12 days, but somehow make sure the Joint Chiefs Of Staff and top generals at the Pentagon won’t immediately respond to some highly-dangerous half-assed attempt by the Liar-In-Chief to prove his manhood by launching an attack against Iran or somewhere else (which he’d do just to leave Biden another mess to clean up).
As I write this, two members of Trump’s cabinet — Elaine Chao and Betsy DeVos — have resigned, along with several White House staffers (oh no, not the social secretary!). None of them is acting heroically, just as Pence was not brave for doing what the Constitution demanded of him. These are all hardcore believers who are jumping ship less than a fortnight before they’d be losing their jobs anyway. The fact that it’s taken this long for them to get to the-straw-that-broke-the-camel’s-back level says everything you need to know about them. This also applies to former members of Trump’s inner circle (e.g. ex-Chief of Staff John Kelly) who are only now denouncing him and acting as if this week were an aberration, when it’s been his modus operandi for five years.
In the case of Chao and DeVos, it’s likely they’re abandoning their posts so they wouldn’t have to vote on using the 25th Amendment to make Mike Pence the Acting President, another Thing That’s Not Going To Happen, no matter how much the media speculates about it. Resigning also relieves all of these people from having to assist with the transition to the Biden administration. Let’s hope they didn’t spend all day Thursday erasing their hard drives and shredding official paperwork. Yes, that would be a crime, but who’s going to prosecute them? Merrick Garland will already have his hands full.
Speaking of resignations, there have been calls for Missouri Senator Josh Hawley to step down, but that’s as unlikely as me being named his replacement. He’d never leave office voluntarily, because he sees himself as the next generation’s Trump, the savior of the Republican party and, probably in his mind, the entire nation. He’s far too opportunistic to relinquish his Senate seat at the same moment he’s raising money for his 2024 presidential run.
Rather, he’ll continue to press his falsehoods about the election. Claims, incidentally, he has not taken to court because — as an attorney who graduated from Yale Law School and served as Attorney General of Missouri — he knows the danger of making them as an officer of the court before a judge. But, as we’ve seen for so long, there are no such consequences for telling those lies in fundraising appeals, social media accounts, or the right-wing propaganda bubble.
If Hawley truly considers himself one of the new leaders of the MAGA movement, why didn’t he do more than just raise his fist in encouragement? Why didn’t he — and other members of Congress who refuse to accept that Biden won the election — come out of their secure undisclosed location, pat their domestic terrorist pals on the back, and congratulate them on a job well done?
I couldn’t help but smirk upon seeing some of the rioters at the Capitol climbing up walls to get closer to the building. Aren’t they the ones who believe walls keep bad people out? Or does that concept, like most policies they support, only apply to brown and Black people? By the way, morons, there are stairs around the corner. You could have just asked your far-too-cooperative Capitol Police officers for directions.
I would hope — but seriously doubt — mainstream news organizations will have finally learned their lesson about booking guests who do nothing but lie and spread conspiracy theories. Just because they are (or were) government officials under Trump does not mean that they are worth wasting airtime on. And for chrissakes, don’t hire any of them as “consultants” or “contributors.” The same goes for ex-pols like Rick Santorum who serve as apologists and try to deflect blame for all the evil done by the extremists who now personify the Republican party. Instead, let them get paid to spew their garbage from the bottom of the dumpsters at Fox News Channel, OAN, Newsmax, etc.
Meanwhile, Facebook has finally banned Trump from posting, but what about all the others who use the service to post lies, slander, and amplify conspiracy theories? Don’t hold your breath, because the company makes too much money off that “user content.”
And finally, there was a report from CBS News that, during the insurrection, a laptop possibly containing sensitive national security information had been stolen. Fortunately, only US Capitol Police know the password, so it must still be secure, right?