Don’t Put That in a Precarious Position
My mom had this funny warning for me when I was a little kid. She used to say to me, “Billy, don’t place that in a precarious position.” Ninety percent of the time, that meant I had placed a glass of milk on the edge of a table. Right on the edge. I drank a lot of milk as a kid. The funny thing now is, I still do it. There must be something about how I stand relative to tables or counters, or whatever, but when I fill a glass, and then place it down, I place it at the edge of the surface. Mom’s phrase is so drilled into my head that now, I always look down to double check. If I happen to be talking to someone, or doing something else, I feel my way to this sort of placement every time. So, I’ll stop my conversation, look at what I am doing, and reposition my glass. It is as if I hear my mother’s voice…to this day.
Tonight, I was sitting in the den watching television with my wife. We streamed a couple of shows to avoid news analysis of what is supposed to happen tomorrow. Tomorrow, of course, is the beginning of the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump. The senate plans to convene at 1pm to start the trial. I trust that all of you have been keeping up with the events.
On January 6th, 30,000 people tried to sack the US Capitol building. We all watched it after, if not during and after. We were all taken by surprise by how it unfolded. At first, we saw what seemed like soccer hooligans marching around in the building, and doing what they normally couldn’t do, for a lark. One man was seen smoking in the building. You know, because you’re not supposed to. Some took souvenirs. One man put his feet up on the Speaker’s desk. I suppose it made him feel important.
Most of us saw as it was happening, and surely all of us have seen by now, how Officer Goodman led a crowd of insurrectionists away from a corridor that led to the Senate chamber, likely saving lives. We didn’t learn about that until after it was shown on television for the first time. It was much worse than we knew. The crowd had erected a gallows outside, and the crowd chanted about hanging Mike Pence. And, whether that gallows could have actually been used to perform that act, at the very least it was a violent symbol that could have reduced violent, tragic results had anyone found the Vice President, or any of the Representatives or Senators.
On February 9th, barely more than a month from the attempted coup at the Capitol, the trial will begin, and the argument is about process. Republicans are arguing whether or not impeachment is proper, and in various states, Republican legislatures are handing down sanctions against Republican legislators, and one widow, who openly opposed actions taken by Donald Trump in inciting the crowd to commit this atrocity. Keep in mind, for a group of Republicans to sanction an individual for a vote of conscience against Donald Trump, they have to deny the facts on some level, if not entirely. The facts of the election itself have been addressed in at least 60 court cased, and still they deny.
We find ourselves in a precarious position that I think has been under discussed in the media in the past couple of weeks. First, the GOP is essentially rejecting the legitimacy of the court system. The decisions all went in one direction, and they were not close. To mount an argument against the resulting actions is to defy the purpose and the power of the courts altogether. That’s dangerous. There are numerous additional troubling elements. Marjorie Taylor Greene was stripped of her committee membership by Democrats. The GOP essentially stayed out of it. Greene has connections to words and deeds that represent threats to members of the legislature. To not receive rebuke from her own party is a very bad sign. Greene, in fact, has more support from the GOP than Liz Cheney has, and Liz Cheney is the sensible one of the two.
And now on to “bipartisanship.” This idea has been discussed frequently since before candidate Biden won the nomination. The idea of bipartisanship is exactly what we all know it to be…unless it isn’t. To the point, I think this recent Tango with the GOP over governance, and the desire to do so in a bipartisan manner, is a litmus test for how committed they are to the United States broadly.
Our government rests upon faith in our institutions, and the separate branches of government. We all watched a insurrection, which took place in the building where tomorrows trial will take place. It should be personal for the Senators in the impeachment trial, but I do not think it is likely that enough of them will vote to convict Donald Trump. They will rest of a principle that is false. This places the nation in a precarious position.
I believe that Joe Biden saw this emerging crisis during the campaign for the nomination. He has said that he decided to run because of what he saw at Charlottesville several years ago. I think this is the payout of what he and his advisors assessed at that time. Recently, President Biden has asked all appointed US Attorneys by the Trump administration to resign. I think Biden has been constructing strategies far deeper, and addressing a far more serious situation than the public has yet to even consider.
Tomorrow begins a trial for the defense of the country, regarding the single person in the most powerful position in government. The Senate will ultimately decide that the government is worth defending, and will absolutely require a judgement against Donald Trump. Or, they will choose to appease the insurrectionists that they know exist out in the country, for whatever short-term benefit that provides for them individually. We will know a lot more by the end of the week. For the time being, we are in a very precarious position.
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