Donald Trump’s rise to the White House in 2016 — defeating 16 Republican primary opponents, including five senators and nine governors, to win that party’s nomination, and then proceeding to send the vaunted Clinton political machine into permanent retirement in the general election — was a nightmare not only for Democrats, who had expected to coronate Hillary Clinton, but also for NeverTrump Republicans, who realized their country club wing of the party was fast going the way of the dodo bird and the video rental store.
These two stalwarts of the major party establishment duopoly, along with much of the mainstream media, fell into deep despair.
Most astonishingly, educators across America gave their classrooms (not kindergarteners, but college students!) coloring books and cuddle puppies to cope with their grief. If it wasn’t so pathetic, it would be hilarious.
The unholy alliance recently converged for a House select committee, handpicked by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to examine the U.S. Capitol incursion of Jan. 6. Of the nine committee members, seven are Democrats.
Chairman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, who has publicly accused Trump of inciting the melee and sued him for it, is joined by Elaine Luria of Virginia, who on Jan. 7 tweeted that Trump “must be removed from office immediately.”
President Trump’s incitement of violence and a terrorist attack on the US Capitol are the final straw – he must be removed from office immediately and by whatever legal means possible.
— Rep. Elaine Luria (@RepElaineLuria) January 7, 2021
Then there’s Jamie Raskin of Maryland, who served as lead manager of Trump’s second impeachment — you know, the one whose trial didn’t take place until after Trump was already out of office.
But it wouldn’t be an anti-Trump all-star team without Adam Schiff of California, the lead manager of Trump’s first impeachment (which, like the second, resulted in acquittal), and his able assistant and fellow Californian Zoe Lofgren, who said shortly after Jan. 6 that “we don’t need a long investigation to know the president incited right-wing terrorists to attack the Congress.”
Florida’s Stephanie Murphy vowed to examine the evidence through a “non-partisan lens,” though she also didn’t hesitate to accuse Trump of provoking the Capitol attack and “trash[ing] our country” in general.
Pete Aguilar of California called for a “fair, thorough and evidence-based investigation,” though he had already concluded back in January that Trump posed “a grave threat to our democracy.”
As for Republican representation, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy originally submitted the names of five GOP House members to join: Jim Banks of Indiana, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Rodney Davis of Illinois, Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota and Troy Nehls of Texas.
All five voted to acquit Trump in both impeachment trials, and Banks, Jordan and Nehls all objected to the certification of the 2020 election. But Pelosi specifically rejected Banks and Jordan, who not-so-coincidentally are the two most outspoken in blaming her for inadequate security that day, and who also pushed for the summer 2020 riots in numerous American cities to be part of the investigation.
In protest, McCarthy then pulled Davis, Armstrong and Nehls off the committee.
As for the two Republicans standing, Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, both voted to impeach Trump for actions they are now purporting to re-evaluate.
As a Trump supporter, I’m embarrassed that those loons in funny costumes voted for the same person I did, and that the haters will perpetually convey the image of the typical Trump voter as a rogue, Confederate-flag carrying Capitol invader.
Moreover, I didn’t care for Trump’s post-election behavior — from his unyielding insistence that the election was stolen to his petulant no-show at Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Nonetheless, I do not think for a moment that Trump “incited an insurrection.”
First of all, it wasn’t even an insurrection, merely a feeble attempt at one that never had any chance of succeeding.
Second, if we measure complicity by such warped logic, then Robert De Niro, because of his role in the film “Taxi Driver,” would be criminally liable for inspiring John Hinckley Jr. to attempt to assassinate President Reagan.
As an American, I was astonished, outraged, and disgusted by the events of Jan. 6, and I don’t want anything like that to happen ever again. Accordingly, I would welcome a sincere, objective and competent fact-finding commission, but we’re not likely to see anything of the sort.
Here’s what’s really going on: President Biden and Vice President Harris are off to a rocky start. Biden’s coherence and stamina are scrutinized on a daily basis, and far from being thrust into the spotlight to emerge as the heir apparent, Harris has been shooed out of sight like the crazy relative you ditch in the attic when company arrives.
Trump, meanwhile, holds rallies at venues packed with wildly enthusiastic fans. Not exactly a harbinger of success in 2022 and 2024 for those not aboard the Trump train.
One of the lines that got Jordan kicked off the committee is worth repeating here. In describing these latest proceedings, he called it “impeachment, round three.”
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