Lindsey Graham … Ugly Inside and Out

Lindsey-Graham-2-facesOf all the truly odious beings among the republicans in Congress, one stands out as having a stench that reaches across the entire nation.  No, it’s not Mitch McConnell, though he stinks right enough.  Nor Josh Hawley or Kevin McCarthy – amateurs at the stinkin’ game.  The one that has hit my radar screen no less than six times in the past 24 hours is none other than Lindsey Graham.  Yes, ol’ Lindsey who stabbed his ‘best friend’ John McCain in the back in his last months on earth.  Ol’ Lindsey who can’t seem to figure out which side of the fence he prefers to graze on.

These are a few of the blips he caused on my radar …

  • Graham to meet with Trump to talk future of GOP
  • Lindsey Graham: Lara Trump is ‘the future’ of the GOP
  • Lindsey Graham suggests Republicans in the House should impeach Kamala Harris if they win the majority in 2022.
  • Graham: McConnell ‘put a load on Republicans’ back’ with anti-Trump speech

Suddenly, Graham is bigger news than Trump, McConnell, COVID, or Tom Brady!  Let’s take these blips one at a time …


Lindsey Graham says he’ll be meeting with Trump in the coming weeks to discuss party strategy and ask for Trump’s help in ‘taking back the House and the Senate’ in 2022 …

“I’m going to try and convince him that we can’t get there without you, but you can’t keep the Trump movement going without the GOP united. If we come back in 2022, then, it’s an affirmation of your policies. But if we lose again in 2022, the narrative is going to continue that not only you lost the White House, but the Republican Party is in a bad spot.”

If the Republican Party ‘needs’ Donald Trump that badly, then they are already in a bad spot.


And ol’ Lindsey says that Lara Trump, Eric’s wife, is the ‘biggest winner’ of the impeachment trial.  How so?

“The biggest winner of this whole impeachment trial is Lara Trump. My dear friend Richard Burr, who I like and have been friends to a long time, just made Lara Trump almost the certain nominee for the Senate seat in North Carolina to replace him if she runs, and I certainly will be behind her because she represents the future of the Republican Party.”

Um … first of all, Lara Trump is lacking some key qualifications, first and foremost being a brain.  Second, she doesn’t even live in North Carolina!  She, Eric, and their two offspring live in a mansion in Westchester, New York.  Senator Burr was one of the 7 senators who found the courage to vote to convict Trump, and while the Republican Party may be threatening him at the moment, I believe the people of North Carolina have the good sense to applaud his courage, and to see that Lara Trump is a … well, I shan’t say, but suffice it to say she is among the least qualified people for a senate seat.

From Senator Burr’s perspective, with ‘friends’ like Lindsey Graham, who needs enemies?


And, he’s already talking of impeaching Vice President Kamala Harris, less than a month after she’s taken office, because …

“I don’t know how Kamala Harris doesn’t get impeached if the Republicans take over the House, because she actually bailed out rioters and one of the rioters went back to the streets and broke somebody’s head open. So we’ve opened Pandora’s Box here, and I’m sad for the country.”

The only thing we can figure he’s talking about was a tweet by Harris in June, 5 months before Biden and Harris won the November election, and 7 months before she took office.  The tweet simply asked her followers to help Black Lives Matter protestors by contributing to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, a bail fund that assisted jailed protesters during the George Floyd protests.  More likely, the real reason is because she is a woman, and a woman of colour at that, and Lindsey is nothing if not a bigot.

First, Harris did nothing wrong, and second, it was before she was even elected, so … if it’s unconstitutional, as Graham claims, to impeach a president who is no longer in office, surely it’s also unconstitutional to impeach a vice president who wasn’t even elected yet … and who did nothing wrong.  Take a look at what Beau of the Fifth Column has to say about it in this short video …


And finally, Lindsey is put out with his co-conspirator, Mitch McConnell, for his tirade against Trump, even though he hadn’t the courage to vote for a conviction.

“I think Senator McConnell’s speech, he got a load off his chest, obviously, but unfortunately he put a load on the backs of Republicans. That speech you will see in 2022 campaigns. I would imagine if you’re a Republican running in Georgia, Arizona, New Hampshire, where we have a chance to take back the Senate, they may be playing Senator McConnell’s speech and asking you about it if you’re a candidate.”

Let’s hope he’s right! Lindsey-Graham


Meanwhile, Lindsey is part of a criminal investigation in Georgia based on his November 13th phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which Graham asked Raffensperger whether he had the power to toss out all mail ballots in certain counties, much the same as Trump’s later conversation with Raffensperger.

It seems to me that ol’ Lindsey is more concerned with the Republican Party and the 2022 elections than he is with doing the job for which We the People are paying him, don’t you think?  Maybe we ought to stop paying him, or maybe the good people of South Carolina ought to recall him.  If Lindsey is the face or the future of the Republican Party, then they deserve to go down in flames.

Lost Values …

The time has come, say the Republicans in Congress, to put the impeachment behind us and move on.  In one sense, I agree.  It is more relevant to study the positive changes President Biden is making, to look to the future which we can do now that we have a president who is intelligent, who will honour his oath of office, and who genuinely cares about the people of this country.

However, there are a few loose ends that still demand our attention, lest we make the same mistakes in the future that we made in the recent past.  One of those things, perhaps the one that most bothers me, is what the acquittal and related events say about nearly half of this nation, nearly half of Congress – the Republican Party, aka GOP.  The acquittal becomes, at this point, secondary to the fact that the Republican Party and likely the voters on that side of the aisle, are busily censuring the 10 members of the House of Representatives who voted with conscience to impeach, and the 7 senators who voted, again with conscience, to convict.  It speaks volumes about the values, or lack thereof, of the Republican Party as a whole, and what we can expect from them in the future.  The values of the Republican Party … what an oxymoron that is.

Our friend Keith has written a letter to the editor of his local paper expressing his views on the plans of the party to censure those 17 people who had the courage to do the right thing, to uphold their oaths to We the People.  Please take a look at Keith’s letter, and he invites you to adapt and use it if you wish, as I plan to do.

It is my sincere hope that the people in this nation, the voters, will remember that when push came to shove, the majority of the Republicans in Congress shredded their copy of the Constitution and instead pursued a course of action that will have ramifications well into the future.  Future presidents who have an axe to grind will not hesitate to commit heinous abuses of power in their last weeks in office, knowing that the precedent has been set, that they will not be punished for their actions, even if people die as a result.  At some point, will a president more successfully stage a coup such as the one that ultimately failed on January 6th, taking unearned power and turning this nation into an autocracy?  I don’t know, but I suspect at some point it could happen.

At present, I am less concerned about Donald Trump running for office again in 2024 than I am about future attacks occurring around the country by those domestic terrorists, Trump’s ardent, conscienceless followers egged on by Trump and others such as Josh Hawley, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, et al.  I suspect that Trump will be dealt with in the coming year or two, but his reckless, ignorant base will remain … a can of worms has been opened that will not simply disappear.  This, then, is what the Republicans in Congress have wrought and if their party goes down the tubes as a result, then good enough.

Meanwhile, we should thank and applaud those 17 Republicans who put the nation ahead of their personal fortunes, who had the courage to tell the truth, that what Donald Trump did was unthinkable, and that he must pay the price for his actions.  These people deserve a medal, not censure!  If the Republican Party has a future, it lies with people like Lisa Murkowski, Ben Sasse, Liz Cheney, Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, and the others who still remember their oath, who still have a conscience.

Da ‘Toons Tell Da Story

Because we could all use a bit of comic relief right about now, I am re-blogging TokyoSand’s cartoon post for the week.  As always, she has sought and found the most relevant and overall best political cartoons from the past week, obviously most about the impeachment trial.  Thanks, TS!!!


The Week’s Best Cartoons: Impeachment Trial #2

toon-1toon-2toon-5toon-3

See All The ‘Toons!

Burn It Down

I first came across an opinion piece by one of my favourite columnists, Eugene Robinson, two weeks ago.  At that time, I considered posting it here, but decided against it, thinking it was a bit … much.  Today, however, in light of the destruction that was wrought yesterday by 43 men and women who shredded both their oaths of office and the U.S. Constitution, Robinson’s piece seems apropos of the moment.

This nation’s government can only function as it was intended if we have two distinct and separate political parties, but what we cannot have is one of those parties lacking a conscience, lacking honesty, lacking integrity.  The Republican party now has none of those attributes and can no longer be considered a legitimate party, can no longer be taken seriously by any who care about the fate of this nation and the 330 million people living here.


If the GOP is to rise from the ashes, it has to burn first

Eugene-RobinsonOpinion by 

Eugene Robinson

Columnist

Feb. 1, 2021 at 4:26 p.m. EST

Before a sane, responsible political party can rise like a phoenix from the ashes of today’s dangerously unhinged GOP, there must be ashes to rise from. The nation is going to have to destroy the Republican Party to save it.

Parties reform and rebuild themselves after suffering massive, scorched-earth defeats. Since Republicans decided to follow Donald Trump and Fox News into the dystopian hellscape of white supremacy, paranoid conspiracy theory and know-nothing rejection of science, they have lost control of both chambers of Congress and the White House. Yet it has become obvious that those defeats are not nearly enough.

You might think the violent and deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol — an unprecedented attack on our democracy, incited by Trump’s election-fraud Big Lie — would snap the GOP back into reality. Unbelievably, though, you would be wrong. 

If anything, the party is heading deeper into the wilderness. Look at how the two most powerful Republicans left in Washington behaved last week. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) made a pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago to bend the knee to Trump. And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) voted to question whether Trump’s coming impeachment trial is even constitutional. 

What had looked like a flicker of sanity earlier, when McCarthy said Trump, among others, had some “responsibility” for the Capitol riot and McConnell said Trump “provoked” it, was nothing but a mirage. And anyone who expects there to be 17 Republican votes in the Senate to convict Trump, no matter how damning the evidence may be, will almost surely be disappointed. 

No one should have any doubt: The GOP bears no resemblance to the party of Abraham Lincoln. It is now the party of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who believes in the hallucinatory QAnon conspiracy theorywho has suggested that former secretary of state Hillary Clinton is a child murderer and who thinks 2018’s California wildfires may have been ignited by a giant space-based laser somehow controlled by Jews. Also, high-speed rail is involved somehow.

Do mainstream Republicans such as McCarthy and McConnell believe such nonsense? No, but down by only 10 votes in the House and with a tied Senate, they do believe they are within striking range of regaining control of both the House and the Senate in next year’s midterm election, and they are choosing power — or its prospect — over principle.

For the sake of their party and the nation, those hopes must be utterly dashed. 

The 2022 midterms have to be more like 2002, during President George W. Bush’s first term, when his party gained seats in both the Senate and the House. That uncommon result was generally attributed to a groundswell of solidarity following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But the nation, right now, should be equally traumatized. In January, the United States lost more than 95,000 people to covid-19 — the equivalent of a 9/11’s worth of death every single day. Just weeks ago, we saw the Capitol sacked for the first time since 1814. And a majority of the Republican rank-and-file clings to the lie that the election was somehow stolen from Trump. 

GOP House members who had the integrity to vote for impeachment, such as Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Tom Rice of South Carolina, are under withering attack from their fellow Republicans. The warning to Republican senators is explicit: Vote to convict Trump — and, effectively, purge him from the party — at your own peril. 

The GOP won’t or can’t reform itself. So we must help the party by crushing it.

The fact that dozens of major corporations such as Walmart, Google and AT&T have announced they will not give campaign donations to Republicans who voted to decertify the elections results is a start. But we consumers need to demand that corporate America go further by insisting that trade associations follow suit — and that companies at least ask their executives to refrain from giving to GOP Super PACs, the dark-money realm where donations are not statutorily bound by tight limits. 

We saw how Georgia voters recoiled from Trumpism by ousting two Republican senators and electing two Democrats, one Black and one Jewish, in their place — and that was before the Capitol riot. The necessary ruin of the GOP is far from an impossible quest.

It was GOP voters in Georgia who gave us Greene, most accurately identified as (R-QAnon), and she should be made the face of the GOP. The choice is binary and stark: If you don’t believe in Jewish space lasers, you can’t vote for Republicans. And if you loved the old Republican Party, you can’t have it back until you smash today’s GOP to smithereens.

Not Time To Go Home Yet … Or Perhaps It Is

They hoped to vote this afternoon, then wrap it up and go home for the remainder of the weekend, to be with their families, eat nachos, and watch whatever sport is trending at the moment.  Now they are angry, for it appears their job isn’t quite done as the Senate voted 55-45 to call witnesses in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump.  Even five republicans, Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Ben Sasse, and shockingly, Lindsey Graham voted in favour of calling witnesses.  But the rest are angry, including Ron Johnson who yelled at Mitt Romney in the Senate chambers.

What changed the mind of Lindsey Graham?  Initially, Graham said …

“If you open up that can of worms, we’ll want the FBI to come in and tell us about how people preplanned this attack and what happened with the security footprint of the Capitol. You open up Pandora’s box if you call one witness.”

Hmmm … isn’t the whole purpose to get at the truth, to find out what really happened, how, and why?

Apparently one thing that changed Graham’s mind and perhaps others was a statement by Republican Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler regarding a phone call she witnessed between House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Donald Trump during the attack on Congress.  She said McCarthy pleaded with the president, telling him, “You need to get on TV right now, you need to get on Twitter, you need to call these people off.” Trump replied, “Kevin, they’re not my people.”

“Yes, they are. They just came through my windows and my staff is running for cover. Yeah, they’re your people. Call them off.”

At that point, she said Trump told McCarthy, “Well I guess these people are just more angry about the election and upset than you are.”

Ms. Herrera Beutler ended her statement with …

“To the patriots who were standing next to the former president as these conversations were happening, or even to the former vice president: if you have something to add here, now would be the time.”

Perhaps that, if nothing else, stirred Mr. Graham’s conscience just a bit, helped him remember that there was a hangman’s noose waiting for Mike Pence that day, and all Trump cared about was overturning the election.

So, witnesses will be called, perhaps by both sides, though I have no idea where the defense team will find any witnesses whose stories will help their client look less guilty than he currently does.  Apparently one of Trump’s attorneys, Michael van der Veen, is well aware that there aren’t any credible witnesses on his side of this equation, for he claimed that if a single witness is called, it would require over 100 depositions, and would include deposing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in his Philadelphia office.  Many in the Senate chambers could be heard laughing at this display of pomp. 

Republican Senator Roger Marshall says the trial should end, that the Senate has other work to attend to, and the country should “move on.”  My response is … did we just ‘move on’ after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy?  Did we just ‘move on’ after the terrorist attacks of 9/11?  No, some things are too important to simply turn a blind eye and ‘move on.’  The attempted overthrow of a fair and honest election by a sitting president, the highest office in the land, is entirely too important to simply ‘move on.’  It is important that the transgressor never be allowed to hold a public office again.  It is important that We the People know the truth about that day, how it was planned, financed, and implemented.  It is important, most of all, that this never be allowed to happen again, that no future president believe he can get away, literally, with murder.

Meanwhile, Moscow Mitch not surprisingly, has decided he will vote to acquit Trump, despite the evidence of Trump’s guilt in inciting and encouraging the deadly attack.  Whatever little shred of conscience he experienced was so small that it blew out of his nose as he snored during the night.

The importance of calling witnesses and hearing their testimony is not that it will sway enough senate republicans to do the right thing, but that it will be presented to the ultimate jurors, We the People.  We will know what actually happened that day, how it came to be, and we will remember those in the United States Senate who lacked the courage to uphold their constitutional oaths, who put their own political futures ahead of our freedom, our lives.


UPDATE:  Just as I was about to hit the ‘Publish’ button to schedule this post, the following ‘breaking news’ crossed my screen:

Lawyers strike deal to prevent witness testimony in trial

Sigh.

Insurrection Impeachment: Prosecution Rests

The events of January 6th were plotted and financed by the person on trial in the Capitol today. What will the verdict be? Depends on whether the republicans in the senate have found a conscience — doubtful. We will remember what happens here and hopefully the Department of Justice will launch an immediate investigation. There will come a day when truth wins out and justice is served. Brosephus has summed up the impeachment trial and his views, with which I fully concur. Thank you, my friend.

The Mind of Brosephus

Yesterday, the prosecution finished presenting their case for Trump’s second impeachment. While I thought I knew the details of what happened on 1/6, the House managers somehow managed to drop even more knowledge and information that I had no clue existed. So, I’ll try to offer my insights on where things sit thus far.

While I initially thought that Trump’s actions of inciting the attempted coup warranted impeachment and a permanent bar from ever holding office again, I don’t think that would be sufficient based upon what the prosecution put forth this week. While I believe Trump’s actions fit the definition of stochastic terrorism, I could not have imagined how close we were to a full on constitutional crisis. Even being a fan of the TV show Designated Survivor, I don’t think Hollywood writers could have ever come up with a story to match what we’ve lived over…

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We Will NOT Forget!

In case you didn’t notice, there is a trial of some importance taking place this week in Washington, D.C.  Now, I used to watch Perry Mason, and a number of other courtroom dramas, the names of which elude me at the moment, so I have an idea how a trial is supposed to be conducted, how lawyers, defendants, and jurors are supposed to act, but this trial is like nothing I have ever seen before.

First, the defendant is nowhere to be seen.  He decided that it was too cold up north to leave his Florida resort, and besides, he had a golf game scheduled for yesterday.  But what really blows my mind is the jurors!  Have you ever seen a trial where the jurors, rather than being bothered with listening to the evidence being presented by the prosecution, got up and walked around, texted on their phones … about breast milk, for some strange reason?

Worse yet, can you imagine a murder trial where three of the jurors have a closed-door session with the defense attorneys???  NO, just NO … this is illegal, immoral, unconscionable, and a number of other adjectives I can think of once the steam stops coming out of my ears!

House impeachment managers, the prosecution, were presenting compelling evidence of the attack on Congress and the Capitol and the defendant’s involvement in said attack on Wednesday afternoon, but Ted Cruz and several other Republican senators were apparently bored watching themselves narrowly escape the violence on January 6th and instead sought other distractions, such as shuffling papers, or playing on their cell phones like Teddy was doing.

Under absolutely no circumstances, in a trial, are the lawyers on either side allowed to meet in private with jurors.  That is called tampering with the jury, it is illegal.  Period.  No ifs, ands, or buts.  Trump’s legal team and the three Republican senators, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, and Mike Lee are all in violation of the law for their little tête-à-tête .  They are attempting to turn this trial into a sham, but all they are doing is further destroying their reputations and that of the Republican Party, for they are proving with every passing minute that there is no collective conscience.  The Republican Party has decided that they don’t need to represent the will of the people, but instead will do whatever they damn well please, and force us to continue to pay their salaries.

“We were discussing their legal strategy and sharing our thoughts,” said Cruz.  No, jackass … you are not a member of the legal team … you are the jury!  Your job is to listen to both sides and decide which has merit, not collude with one side against the other.  You are the damn jurors in this case!  In a normal trial, the judge would at this point likely declare a mistrial and schedule a new trial, else dismiss the jurors and call for a new selection.  But this is an impeachment trial and apparently the Republicans in Congress are allowed to make and break the rules with impunity. Imagine if the Democrats tried that!

The public has heard the evidence, and while the corruption is so rampant in the Republican Party that the senators will allow a conman, a man guilty of plotting murder free to incite further violence, to kill again, We the People know that he is guilty.  We weren’t playing on our cell phones while the evidence was being presented, and we did not collude with the lawyers for the defense.  We saw the evidence, we know Donald Trump is guilty, and we will never again trust him or those senators who refused to perform their duty, to uphold their oaths.  We Will Not Forget. Ever.

Keeping Our Eyes Where We Don’t Want Them To Be…

Many of us have opined about the impeachment trial, the likelihood that the senate republicans will fail to do their duty to We the People, and more. But, just when I thought I’d heard it all, I came across Annie’s post last night and … my jaw dropped. Trump apparently believes that he is still president, has set himself up with an office, staff, and claims his office will address “… official activities to advance the interests of the United States and to carry on the agenda of the Trump administration …” All the more reason that he must be convicted, his lies must be paid for, he must be forced into irrelevancy. Thank you, Annie, for this thoughtful post!

annieasksyou...

Image by Alexander Krivitskiy @krivitskiy; found via unsplash.com

I’ve had various gastrointestinal problems over the years: I come from a family of “gut” people, and there’s lots of scientific evidence about our gut-brain connection. But it took me about a week to realize that a lot of my annoying symptoms had dissipated.

I no longer had to make daily shakes with the fattening avocado I dislike to keep my weight stable, and I was eating things I’d abandoned in misery—like hummus. (OK, not thrilling, but when peanut butter on apples is the only lunch that sits right, a little diversity is most welcome.)

When I saw my gastro Monday morning, I told him how much better I was feeling. And the light bulb had gone off. My GI system almost instantaneously expressed its enormous gratitude and relief when Joe Biden replaced Donald Trump in the Oval Office. “You’re not the…

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GUILTY As Charged!

I just finished watching a clip of the scenes that were presented at the impeachment trial of the January 6th attack on the Capitol and on Congress. They were very emotional, frightening, and all too real, especially for those who were in the Capitol on that fateful day.  I do not think, after seeing just a small portion of the madness that transpired on that day, that anybody can not want to see the guilty punished to the fullest extent of the law.  And the guilty are many, but the person who inspired these terrorists, for they can be called nothing but terrorists, bears the lion’s share of the guilt, has the most blood on his hands, and he must be held accountable.

That person is Donald Trump.  This was his plan, funded in part with money from his campaign fund.  He watched police being overwhelmed and brutalized, watched our center of government being damaged, and watched members of Congress fearing for their lives, and he watched with a smile on his face, as his son’s girlfriend danced … yes danced … in the background!  When it comes time to vote on the impeachment charge of inciting violence, every single senator sitting in judgment damn well better vote to hold Trump accountable, else they must share in his guilt and for that, they will pay a heavy price.

What follows is Dana Milbank’s column in yesterday’s Washington Post, and I fully agree with everything he says …


You can’t hear that officer’s scream and acquit the man who caused it

Dana MilbankOpinion by

Dana Milbank

Columnist

Feb. 10, 2021 at 8:33 p.m. EST

For a full minute, the officer’s screams of agony pierced the Senate chamber — and then, silence.

On their screens, senators sitting in judgment of former president Donald Trump saw the raw savagery that Trump incited on Jan. 6 in his last-ditch attempt to overturn his defeat. They saw it in the pain-contorted face of Officer Daniel Hodges of Washington’s Metropolitan Police, who had been called to the Capitol’s West Front that day to defend the people’s representatives from the terrorists Trump had dispatched to ransack the building.

In the video, Trump’s mob crushes Hodges and other officers against a door, pinning and immobilizing him with a stolen riot shield. They spray bear repellent at the police, they beat Hodges’s head against the door, they violently rip off his gas mask, revealing his bloodied mouth, they taunt him and they take his weapon as a trophy. And through it all, Hodges, unable to move, wails in pain — an excruciating sound interrupted only by the “heave ho” of Trump’s mob stampeding the officers.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), the impeachment manager who forced senators to watch the video, first read from the Beatitudes: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” Said Swalwell: “You will see how blessed we were that, on that hellish day, we had a peacemaker like Officer Hodges protecting our lives, our staff’s lives, this Capitol and the certification process. May we do all we can in this chamber to make sure that never happens again.”

Trump’s apologists seem willing to excuse just about anything, even though the impeachment managers are laying out in minute detail the damning evidence showing how the former president conceived, organized, fomented and refused to call off the murderous invasion of the Capitol by his supporters. Republican senators seem not to care how close the insurrectionists came to assassinating Vice President Mike Pence (who we now know was hiding in the Capitol the entire time of the attack) and killing or taking hostage senators and members of the House.

But they do not have hearts if they are not moved by the heroism of the Capitol and D.C. police departments, badly outnumbered by Trump’s armed supporters. They do not have souls if they can’t see the evil Trump inflicted on the officers protecting the seat of American government.

As the impeachment managers retold, and showed with newly released security footage, Trump’s terrorists beat police officers with Trump flagpoles, sticks and bullhorns. They dragged them down stairs. They blinded them with bear spray. They gouged their eyes. They tased one officer, triggering a heart attack. The security footage, and the insurrectionists’ own videos, show the savagery. But you can also hear it in the terrified voices on the police radios that day, replayed for senators Wednesday.

“Multiple Capitol injuries! Multiple Capitol injuries!”

“Throwing metal poles at us.”

“Multiple law enforcement injuries. DSO get up here!”

“We need some reinforcements up here.”

“They’re starting to pull the gates down.”

“They’re starting to throw explosives.”

“We’re still taking rocks, bottles.”

“The crowd is using munitions against us.”

“Bear spray in the crowd!”

“All MPD pull back!

“10-33, I repeat, 10-33! We have been flanked and we’ve lost the line!”

10-33 is the police emergency code: Need immediate assistance.

American democracy is sending a 10-33 right now. The impeachment managers, though far from done with their prosecution, have thoroughly documented Trump’s history of instigating violence, his premeditated attempts to overthrow the election, and his mob’s absolute (and accurate) belief that they were doing what he wanted.

The videos, from inside and outside the Capitol, are sickening: MAGA-festooned domestic terrorists, in riot gear, smashing windows and doors, carrying zip ties into the Senate chamber. “Imagine what they could have done with those cuffs,” Swalwell told the senators, whose wrists they were meant for.

The managers showed Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) being saved from the mob by the heroic Officer Eugene Goodman, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) retreating from the mob, Pence and his family scurrying away, lawmakers running from the advancing terrorists.

The managers replayed the terrified whisper on the phone of an aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), barricaded with colleagues in a room, with pounding on the door in the background. They replayed the fatal shooting of a woman who had rallied a mob to pursue fleeing lawmakers, then jumped through a smashed door after them. They played the warnings broadcast in the House chamber: “Be prepared to don your masks. . . . Get down under your chairs.”

One-hundred forty police officers were hurt in Trump’s failed coup. Three have died. Yet even after his brutal injuries, Hodges said, “If it wasn’t my job, I would have done that for free. It was absolutely my pleasure to crush a white-nationalist insurrection, and we’ll do it as many times as it takes.”

If cowardly Senate Republicans can’t bring themselves to punish Trump for what he did to them, maybe they can at least punish him for what he did to Hodges, Goodman, Brian Sicknick and all the other brave officers who saved democracy that day.

So It Doesn’t Happen Again …

I would think that the Republican Party, aka GOP, upon seeing the party’s reputation turned from a once respectable political organization to a circus act would welcome the opportunity to do some housecleaning.  Today begins the impeachment trial for Donald Trump, and the republicans in the Senate have an opportunity to show the people of this nation that they do not condone treachery and violence from a member of their group who held the highest office in the land.  Will they do the right thing and begin to repair the damage of the last four years?

Adam Kinzinger is a Republican representative from the state of Illinois, one of ten GOP members of the House who voted to impeach Donald Trump last month.  He has important words for his fellow Republicans in an OpEd in The Washington Post that should be heeded by the Senate when it comes time to vote to convict or acquit Trump.


My fellow Republicans, convicting Trump is necessary to save America

Adam-KinzingerOpinion by Adam Kinzinger

Feb. 8, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. EST

Winston Churchill famously said, “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” All Americans, but especially my fellow Republicans, should remember this wisdom during the Senate’s trial of former president Donald Trump.

I say this as a lifelong Republican who voted to impeach Trump last month. Virtually all my colleagues on the right side of the aisle took the opposite path. Most felt it was a waste of time — political theater that distracted from bigger issues. The overwhelming majority of Senate Republicans appear to feel the same way about conviction.

But this isn’t a waste of time. It’s a matter of accountability. If the GOP doesn’t take a stand, the chaos of the past few months, and the past four years, could quickly return. The future of our party and our country depends on confronting what happened — so it doesn’t happen again.

The immediate cause for Trump’s impeachment was Jan. 6. But the president’s rally and resulting riot on Capitol Hill didn’t come out of nowhere. They were the result of four-plus years of anger, outrage and outright lies. Perhaps the most dangerous lie — or at least the most recent — was that the election was stolen. Of course it wasn’t, but a huge number of Republican leaders encouraged the belief that it was. Every time that lie was repeated, the riots of Jan. 6 became more likely.

Even now, many Republicans refuse to admit what happened. They continue to feed anger and resentment among the people. On Jan. 6, that fury led to the murder of a Capitol Police officer and the deaths of four other Americans. If that rage is still building, where does it go from here?

Impeachment offers a chance to say enough is enough. It ought to force every American, regardless of party affiliation, to remember not only what happened on Jan. 6, but also the path that led there. After all, the situation could get much, much worse — with more violence and more division that cannot be overcome. The further down this road we go, the closer we come to the end of America as we know it.

The Republican Party I joined as a young man would never take that road. The GOP that inspired me to serve in uniform and then run for public office believed a brighter future was just around the bend. We stood for equal opportunity, firm in our conviction that a poor kid from the South Side of Chicago deserves the same shot as a privileged kid from Highland Park. We knew that if we brought everyone into America’s promise, we would unleash a new era of American progress and prosperity. Outrage and the fear of a darker future were nowhere to be found in that Republican Party.

When leaders such as Donald Trump changed that dynamic, many of my fellow Republicans went along without question. Many are still there because they believe the rank-and-file Republican voter is there, too. But I think that’s an illusion. The anger and outrage are drowning out the much larger group of people who reject that approach. Worse, many have gone silent because they assume the party’s leaders no longer represent them. They’re waiting for leaders who will say what they know is true.

Since my vote to impeach Trump, I’ve heard from tens of thousands of my constituents. Their reaction has been overwhelmingly supportive. Republicans of all backgrounds and outlooks have told me they appreciate my efforts to return the GOP to a foundation of principle, not personality. I’ve even heard from many Democrats. They don’t agree with me on a lot of issues, but they want the Republican Party to be healthy and competitive.

I firmly believe the majority of Americans — Republican, Democrat, independent, you name it — reject the madness of the past four years. But we’ll never move forward by ignoring what happened or refusing to hold accountable those responsible. That will embolden the few who led us here and dishearten the many who know America is better than this. It will make it more likely that we see more anger, violence and chaos in the years ahead.

The better path is to learn the lessons of the recent past. Convicting Donald Trump is necessary to save America from going further down a sad, dangerous road.

impeachment