On January 11, the House of Representatives spent the day on their 25th Amendment ultimatum to Pence, and the introduction of an single Article of Impeachment. That same day, there were just over 241 thousand new COVID cases and just under 2 thousand deaths. Two days later, when the Article was adopted, we set a new record with 4,327 deaths. The burning issue of the campaign, which the Democrats asserted was the strongest argument for getting rid of Trump, disappeared off the agenda in a spasm of partisan fervor.
The second response to the riot was a mobilization of upwards of 25,000 troops to guard against further incursions. If law enforcement in DC had been alert to the chatter on social media and had deployed another 500 or so cops or troopers at the right time, the riot would have been stopped in its tracks. I wonder what the people whose businesses were looted or burned out last summer thought about the ability of our politicians to mobilize protection for themselves juxtaposed to the help other riot victims got. Thousands to protect themselves; squat to protect the livelihood of their citizens
The stated rationale for all this immediate action was that we had to impeach Trump because he was a threat to our democracy. He will be out of office before the charge is forwarded to the Senate for a hearing. Well . . . we need to prevent him from ever running for office again! Assuming that 17 Republicans can be convinced to vote to convict (a highly doubtful scenario at best), it is questionable whether such a ban would survive the inevitable and divisive court battle. In addition, my impression is that places like Venezuela and Iran and Cuba decide who can and can’t run for office. In our democracy, I thought the voters got to decide.
Is it possible that Congress could have done something more useful last week? I have three suggestions.
The issue of our time is COVID. The solution is vaccine. The dreaded Trump administration and those plutocrats of big pharma have managed to produce vaccines. As of the day of the Impeachment debate, our largest state had managed to have administered only 26% of the doses it had been sent. Could hearings have been held to find out why?
That same state managed to pay out something over $8 billion (that’s BILLION) in fraudulent unemployment insurance claims . . . while leaving hundreds of thousands of legitimate claimants with no money and no way to get through to the incompetents in Sacramento. Since most of that money came from the taxpayers of the other 49 states, perhaps an inquiry might have been in order. A lot of the ballyhooed $600 per week in federal assistance ended up in the bank accounts of prisoners and Nigerians, one of whom called himself Diane Feinstein on his application.
My final idea relates directly to the rush job Nancy & Company pulled off. Proving that the President incited the riot (the sole charge) is going to be a heavy lift for two reasons. The words he used from behind the podium don’t fit the charge and the riot had started well before his rally ended. If some hearings had been held and some testimony elicited, it would have been discovered that he was playing the fiddle in the White House while the capital was burning. That would have been a much better basis for an Article of Impeachment.
In fact, brutal fact, the whole Impeachment process is nothing but political theater designed to generate civil war inside the Republican party. In that, Nancy and her minions have been eminently successful. The problem is that they neglected the country’s real problems in their rush to get that outcome. Shame on them!