A Day in Infamy

A Day in Infamy

By Tom Allin

Our generations’ “Day of Infamy” 

Yesterday about 12:20 pm I turned my computer on to get an update on the GA Senate race.  I didn’t turn my computer off for more than 11 hours as I watched: 

  • a traitorous mob of ….. incited and directed by the President of the United States ransack the Capital building – last done by the British during the War of 1812; 
  • our U.S. Representatives, Senators and Vice President escorted to a “safe building”;  
  • watched for hours as no one or group attempted to arrest the traitors or even remove the traitors from the Capital Building; 
  • eventually watched as the traitors wander off to other areas of the Capital grounds;  
  • listened to reports of our Congress people and the Vice President being returned under heavily armed police, etc. to the Capital; 
  • watched both houses take back up the Constitutional work of counting and approving the previously state approved Electoral Votes and 
  • finally going to bed after the Congress approved the State of Arizona Electoral Votes that of course had been challenged by state’s rights Republicans – have these Republicans no shame. 

Most ironic photograph of the traitorous, trump cultist mob are trumpers carrying Confederate battle flags through the halls of Congress.  A Republican President and Congress kept an illegal Confederate army from allowing this to happen only to have another Republican President and Congressmen support the invasion of the Capital building by those carrying confederate battle flags.   

Saddest photograph was the traitorous trumpers tearing down a U.S. flag flying in front of the Capitol building and replacing it with a Trump flag.  If this removal of a U.S. flag and raising of a (foreign) trump flag on the Capitol Building isn’t insurrection, what is?   

Tom 

Mr. Biden will become President at noon on Jan. 20, and until then the police need to restore order with as much force as necessary. Republicans especially need to speak against trespass and violence. As for Mr. Trump, to steal some famous words deployed in 1940 against Neville Chamberlain : “In the name of God, go.” 

Wall Street Journal, Editorial Board 

For four years, Trump’s critics have been accused of hysteria and hyperbole for describing his movement as fascist, authoritarian, or lawless. Today, as Congress attempts to certify the election of a new president, the president has vindicated those critics. In attempting this coup, Trump has also vindicated the Americans who voted decisively in November to remove him from office. 

DAVID A. GRAHAM is a staff writer at The Atlantic. 

Trump has, over his term, lost the House, the presidency and now the Senate. He has turned states like Georgia and Arizona blue. I hope that Republican officeholders, especially in the Senate and House, are learning lessons. 

What the pro-Trump rioters attacked was not only a building but also the Constitution, the electoral system, our democratic process. They humiliated the United States before the world and left America’s enemies chortling. They will be remembered as Benedict Arnolds. 

Nicholas Kristof, NYT 

“Some senators, for political gain, misled supporters about their ability to challenge the election results – some even sent out fundraising emails while insurrectionists stormed the Capital.  That stops now –Republicans ought to focus on countering the Democrats’ radical agenda.”  Senator Tom Cotton (R) 

Republicans blame Trump after his supporters storm Capitol: ‘Enough is enough’ 

Fox News 

Some (not all – Tom) Republicans placed the blame on President Trump after a group of his supporters besieged the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday, voicing frustration with the president for fomenting the riot with his rhetoric about the election.  

Within the span of just a few hours, what began as a rally to support the president descended into a mob that stormed the Capitol during the certification of the Electoral College vote, forcing lawmakers, staff and reporters to shelter in place in both the House and Senate. One woman was shot and later died. 

Several in the GOP cited Trump’s refusal to concede to Joe Biden, his threats against fellow Republicans who disagreed with him and his insistence during his 70-minute speech that he wanted followers gathered on the National Mall to go to the Capitol in protest of what he said was a stolen election as the reason behind the violence.  

“We witnessed today the damage that can result when men in power and responsibility refuse to acknowledge the truth,” Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said from the Senate floor. “We saw bloodshed because a demagogue chose to spread falsehoods and sow distrust of his own fellow Americans. Let’s not abet such deception.” 

In social media posts later removed by Facebook and Twitter, Trump – who has maintained, without evidence, that the election was rigged – told the rioters “we love you” and “you’re very special,” but asked them to “stay peaceful” and later to “go home.” Early Thursday morning, Trump promised there would be an “orderly transition of power” on Jan. 20 when Biden is inaugurated. 

Republicans who have closely aligned themselves with the president over the past four years implored Trump to stand down. 

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., a 2024 Republican hopeful, said it was “past time” for the president to accept defeat and released a statement calling on Trump to concede. 

“It’s past time for the president to accept the results of the election, quit misleading the American people and repudiate mob violence,” Cotton said. 

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., one of Trump’s closest Capitol Hill allies, said “enough is enough” and told the president to “count me out.”  

“Trump and I, we had a hell of a journey,” Graham said on the Senate floor Wednesday night. “I hate it being this way. Oh my God, I hate it … But today all I can say is count me out. Enough is enough. I tried to be helpful.” 

Sen. John Thune, the No. 2  Senate Republican, said Trump’s rhetoric “sure didn’t help” matters.  

“Certainly encouraging people to go to the Capitol and some of the sort of implied suggestions I think are you know … they just encourage the wrong behavior,” Thune said. 

Asked whether he wanted to hear about what Trump said about the violence, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said he “didn’t want to hear anything.” 

“I think it was a tragic day,” Blunt said. “And he was part of it.” 

Some of the president’s frequently outspoken critics were more direct, with Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, calling the riot “an insurrection incited by the president of the United States.” 

“We gather due to a selfish man’s injured pride, and the outrage of supporters who he has deliberately misinformed for the past two months and stirred to action this very morning,” Romney said. “What happened today was an insurrection incited by the president of the United States.” 

Fox News Headlines 

Karl Rove: Capitol rioting, Georgia runoffs prove the Republican Party is now in utter disarray 

·       Leslie Marshall: Trump can claim a victory — he helped Dems Ossoff and Warnock win Georgia Senate races 

·       Miranda Devine: From Pence to the Senate, Trump destroys the party on the way out the door 

·       Rep. Vicky Hartzler: I’m a House member caught up in scary attack on Capitol by our own citizens 

·       Newt Gingrich: Georgia Senate runoff losses were a Republican disaster that could’ve been prevented 

·      Karl Rove: Protestors storm Capitol — this is how mobs act, not patriots and all American hearts should ache 

The Republican Party is now walking to the edge of moral irredeemability. I say this as someone who, until 2016, had always voted the straight Republican ticket and who, until this week, had hoped that Republicans would hold the Senate as a way of tilting the Biden administration to the center. I say this also of the party generally, and not of the courageous individual Republicans — Brad Raffensperger, Mitt Romney, Denver Riggleman, Larry Hogan, Ben Sasse (the list is depressingly short) — who have preserved their principles, maintained their honor and kept their heads these past five years. 

But there is no getting away from the extent to which leading party members and their cheerleaders in the right-wing media are complicit in creating the political atmosphere in which this Visigothic sacking of the Capitol took place. 

Some of these charlatans are now trying to disavow Wednesday’s violence in carefully phrased tweets. But Cruz, Hawley, Pence and the other Bitter-Enders have done far more lasting damage to Congress than the mob that — merely by following their lead — physically trashed it. Broken doors can be fixed. Broken parties cannot. 

Above all there is the president, not complicit but wholly, undeniably and unforgivably responsible. 

For five years, Republicans let him degrade political culture by normalizing his behavior. For five years, they let him wage war on democratic norms and institutions. For five years, they treated his nonstop mendacity as a quirk of character, not a disqualification for office. For five years, they treated his rallies as carnivals of democracy, not as training grounds for mob rule. 

For five years, they thought this was costless. On Wednesday — forgive the cliché, but it’s apt here — their chickens came home to roost. 

Every decent society depends for its survival on its ability to be shocked — and stay shocked — by genuinely shocking behavior. Donald Trump’s entire presidency has been an assault on that idea. 

There is only one prescription for it now. Impeach the president and remove him from office now. Ban him forever from office now. Let every American know that, in the age of Trump, there are some things that can never be allowed to stand, most of all Trump himself. 

Bret L. Stephens has been an Opinion columnist with The Times since April 2017. He won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary at The Wall Street Journal in 2013 and was previously editor in chief of The Jerusalem Post.  

Tom Allin

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