Quote of the week: “Don’t worry, Mom, I’m in the safest place in the world.” – a Congressional staffer seriously underestimating the situation on January 6.
Quote #2 of The Week: “Our identity for the past several years now has been built around an individual.” – Republican Senator John Thune, trying to close the barn door when the horse is already in the next county
Week #208 began on the first day of a brand spanking new year, a crisp, cold and sunny New Year morning in all its pristine glory, just waiting to be soiled by Trump. Which took our 45th President all of 6 days to turn into the biggest shitshow Washington DC has seen since the War of 1812, when British troops burned and sacked the joint.
Ever the champion of American-made products, Trump did Mad King George one better when he sent an angry mob of American imbeciles to the US Capitol Building to interrupt a joint session of Congress, which was in the process of dotting the Is and crossing the Ts on his election defeat as they tabulated the Electoral College votes, to swarm the seat of our government, overwhelming a suspiciously light police presence to break down doors and windows, before swarming all over the building, vandalizing offices, stealing national treasures and official documents, and (!) urinating and defecating on the floors of Congress and the desks of our elected leaders. The Anger Games were underway, and televised globally.
Week #208 of The Trump Era began on Friday when, in an unusual holiday session, the Senate handed Trump his first veto override, overturning his veto of the Defense Spending bill because Congress refused to include a few of his pet peeves that had nothing to do with defense spending, or reality. This was the first breach in the Red Wall of Silence in 4 years by Trump’s enablers and coconspirators, and before week’s end that breach would be a gaping hole through which the rats began abandoning the S.S. Trump with gusto.
Trump abruptly flew back to DC from Mar A Logo on New Year’s Eve, leaving his maskless guests, along with Rudy Giuliani, his two adult sons and various figures from the conservative media to party like it was 1984 to the music of the band Berlin and the world’s worst rapper, Vanilla Ice. Trump had bigger fish to fry (like the US Capitol and American democracy), and made his only mention over the New Year’s weekend of the deadly pandemic killing an American every 30 seconds when he stated “I want to do what Mexico does. They don’t give you a test till you get to the emergency room and you’re vomiting” (on a day when prominent doctors sounded the alarm about imminent widespread collapse of our hospital system), and then called the Georgia Senate runoffs “illegal and invalid” even as he planned to hold a Georgia rally to campaign for the 2 Republicans running in those runoff elections on Monday.
On Saturday morning a judge dropkicked Rudy Giuliani’s final legal challenge to the election right out of the stadium, and another judge laughed Congressman Louie Gohmert’s lawsuit out of court when he and 140 other Republican Representatives and Senator Ted Cruz tried to sue America for being too damned American, prompting Louie to tell a reporter “The bottom line is, the court is saying, ‘We’re not going to touch this. You have no remedy.’ Basically, in effect, the ruling would be that you gotta go the streets and be as violent as Antifa and BLM.”
Then Mike Pence, under the most pressure he has faced in his life that didn’t involve being alone with a woman other than Mother, intimated that he just might be on board with Trump’s election hijack, trying desperately to avoid Trump’s wrath while attempting to wriggle out of the life he created for himself as Trump’s moon-eyed sycophant, by obeying the law and not Trump for a change.
Speaking of trying to get out from under a mountain of your own baggage, on Sunday Gohmert tried unsuccessfully to unring his street violence bell while still trying to sell the Election Theft lie, while Trump nemesis Nancy Pelosi was reelected Speaker of The House, both newsworthy items that would shortly take last place in news coverage to the release if the audiotape of Trump’s call to Brad Raffensperger.
Trump had been phone-stalking the Georgia Secretary of State (when he wasn’t busy threatening to hang him), calling him 18 times before finally reaching him with a set of crazy demands that he invalidate enough votes to swing Georgia into the win column for Trump, saying things like “All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state. You know what they did and you’re not reporting it.”
When Mr Rafffensperger stood by his people, his ethics and the results of the election by telling Trump that the information he was telling the American people was wrong, Trump tried to threaten the man with arrest: “You know, that’s a criminal, that’s a criminal offense. That’s a big risk to you and Ryan, your lawyer.” Still, Raffensperger resisted.
The country exploded in outrage over this, with calls for Trump’s resignation, his immediate impeachment, the invocation of the 25th Amendment to have him removed from office as unfit to serve, the usual national clamor that that follows Trump’s more outrageous crimes. But they let him off the hook again, in spite of Trump’s well-documented history of committing an even worse offense immediately after he gets away with something. How much worse, we would not find out until Wednesday.
On Monday, as Joe Biden campaigned for Senate nominees Joel Ossoff and Rafael Warnock, a man named Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s top election official, delivered a scathing refutation of Trump’s false claims of voter fraud, running through a long list of already-debunked conspiracy theories and systematically debunking them again with facts, figures and proof. “It was like ‘Groundhog Day” he said of Trump’s endless repetition of crazy lies. “This is all easily, provably false, yet the president persists, and by doing so undermines Georgians’ faith in the election system.”
Biden told Georgians this: “As President, I don’t believe your United States senators are going to work for me, they work for the people of Georgia. That’s why I’m not asking your senators to be loyal to me, I believe they should be loyal to you, to Georgia, the United States Constitution, period,” at about the same time Trump was calling Republican Senators who refuse to abet his crime “The Surrender Caucus,” and an Atlanta-based U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, Byung J. Pak, appointed by Trump, abruptly quit on Monday after three years on the job, in protest of the Raffensperger call.
Then it was Trump’s turn to address Georgia voters on Monday evening, declaring “They’re not taking this White House!” then going after his servile Vice President with “I hope Mike Pence comes through for us, I have to tell you. I hope that our great vice president, our great vice president, comes through for us. He’s a great guy. Of course, if he doesn’t come through, I won’t like him as much.” This came after Pence had ended his Hamlet act just hours before, telling Trump to his face that he would not help him overthrow the Government of the United States just to stay on his good side after all.
On a day when the Emergency Medical technicians in Los Angeles County were given authorization to make the life and death decisions over who gets admitted to LA’s overwhelmed hospitals, the President made no mention of the Covid Pandemic, instead having his office post this official schedule every day for the coming week, sounding for all the world like it was written by a child who is not a native English speaker: “President Trump will work early in the morning until late in the evening. He will make many calls and have many meetings.”
On Tuesday, Mitch McConnell lost his job as Senate Majority Leader when both Ossoff and Warnock won their Senate races, to a great degree thanks to the efforts of Stacey Abrams to defeat the Republican voter suppression machine, and Georgia voters being sick and tired of being used as Trump’s political pingpong ball. The races were close, but their victories secured a Democratic Congress for incoming President Biden, who is facing the biggest pile of Republican garbage for an incoming President to to clean up since FDR clawed America back from Third World poverty in the 1930s.
Wednesday morning opened harmlessly enough, with Joe Biden unveiling his decidedly Karmic choice for Attorney General, Judge Merrick Garland, the celebrated jurist and prosecutor whose nomination to the Supreme Court was torpedoed by McConnell in the final year of Obama’s presidency. Now Garland will be the man prosecuting many of McConnell’s former and current colleagues in the wake of the Trump Debacle that experts predict will take years to correct.
Then, as several thousand of his supporters flooded into Washington DC to “Stop The Steal,” Trump addressed the rabble, telling them: “The caravans are forming again,” and other insane lies, before instructing them to “take a walk down Pennsylvania Ave to the Capitol Building,” promising he would be by their side (as if!) before being whisked away by the Secret Service to the safety of the White House, where he is reported to have whipped out the snacks and watched his handiwork unfold on TV with his family and a few aides, and according to reports, “watched with great enjoyment.”
While the joint session of Congress was in the process of completing the paperwork of Biden’s Electoral victory, the mob stormed the Capitol building and were inside within minutes, the vote-counting proceedings halted, and our Senators, Congressmen and their staffs were barricaded in their chambers before being evacuated by underground tunnels, with staffers all over the building piling furniture in front of office doors in fear if their lives of their lives as the marauding imbeciles tried to break down doors.
The seat of our government under siege by a violent mobs was the show our President was immensely enjoying, as the rest of the world recoiled in horror at the carnage being broadcast, our tears of rage flowing freely. One protestor was shot dead, a Capitol Police Officer was beaten to death and many other officers injured, and 3 other protestors died from medical emergencies. For the first time, the Halls of Congress had a Confederate flag flying within its walls and the Capitol’s American flag was replaced by a Trump flag.
Two other government buildings were evacuated and 2 powerful pipe bombs were disarmed at the national headquarters of both the Republican and Democratic parties, and yet the Federal government refused to mobilize the National Guard to help the relatively small Capitol Police force, the same Federal government that ringed government buildings with thousands of combat troops when peaceful protestors showed up last Spring. The Mayor of Washington finally secured help from the National Guards of neighboring States “through unofficial channels,” who finally cleared the building in the evening after millions in damage had been done and priceless national treasures looted and/or vandalized.
DC Mayor Muriel Browser declared a State of Emergency in the city and imposed a 6PM curfew as order was restored, buildings cleared room by room, and Congress reconvened in a different location to resume the Electoral vote count. Six Republican Senators withdrew their planned objections to the count as a result of Trump inciting the crowd to overthrow Congress and putting all their lives in grave danger, but 6 others did not withdraw their objections, nor did 120 Republican Representatives, loyal to Trump’s delusions until the bitter end, which merely delayed the inevitable by hours and aggravated the shit out of their colleagues.
Even the social media platform that made Trump, Twitter, removed several of his posts for violating their rules against inciting violence and suspended his account for 12 hours, while Facebook banned him completely until after Biden’s January 20 inauguration. Every other media outlet carried no other story, in spite of the record 4,100 Covid deaths that day to go with the 5 deaths resulting from Trump’s Charge.
Thursday, the final day of Week #208, started in the wee hours of the morning as Congress finally competed their task and, at 3:40 AM, Vice President Pence declared Joe Biden the winner and, thanks to his boss’s ceaseless attempts to change reality, marking at least the 70th time that Trump lost the same election.
While Trump fled the scene of the crime to Camp David for the weekend after (!) giving out Medals of Freedom to (!!) 2 golfers, the condemnations and recriminations poured in, as did the weak bleating of his dwindling core of remaining loyalists, both defending his insurrection and trying to pin the blame on the sacking of the Capitol on Antifa and BLM, even as the pictures of the looters were broadcast and swiftly identified one by one as known Q-Anon nuts, White Supremacists and hardcore Trumpers.
Trump staffers and Cabinet members began resigning in droves, calls for impeachment piled up once again and even the odious Betsy DeVos and Mick Mulvaney resigned in protest. World leaders sent message of support for America while rival nations were quick to point out that America has lost all moral high ground when it comes to integrity in governance, our 244 year-old reputation shot all to hell in a single day of chaos and partisan violence thanks to one man.
Questions about the poor preparedness of the Capitol Police arose, and why the Secretary of Defense was (!!) “not taking calls” at the height of an attack on the US Government. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan offered to send his State’s National Guard, but was told by underlings it was “not authorized,” and so he did an end run around Secretary of Defense Esper to the Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, who was taking calls and eager to defend his nation, and took it upon himself to authorize mobilization.
This of course led to suspicions of a wider conspiracy involving members of the Trump Administration (A SecDef not taking calls during an attack on our nation’s capitol. Seriously?) coupled with the fact that the occupation forces seemed to have an intimate knowledge of the Capitol Building in places not open to the public, with the office of certain Democratic individuals in Congress targeted.
The only comic relief here was, as is so often the case, provided by Rudy Giuliani & His Wacky Cell Phone when, thinking he was calling his coconspirator Senator Tommy Tuberville but instead calling another Senator, he proceeded to spill the beans on his and Trump’s plan to contest the Electoral votes of 10 States in order to gain time to convince uncooperative legislators to join their cause. On tape, of course, because Rudy left the message on the guy’s email.
Trump did manage to release a too-little-too-late concession speech to Joe Biden where he did not even mention his name, and declared there would be a smooth transition (oops, too late!), but did manage to gripe how unfair everything has been to him always. We can only be grateful that our democratic institutions held up under the onslaught of Trump’s Charge, and vow to strengthen our laws and institutions moving forward, to prevent a repeat of this attempted overthrow of the United States.
In the future, we can’t count on our internal enemies being as stupid, clumsy and transparent as Trump and his mindless minions, and we can’t let this attack on our country pass unpunished. If we have learned anything about Donald Trump in 4 years, is that he only gets worse, never better. Brace yourselves for his final 2 weeks if he is not removed ASAP.