There’s no excuse for what happened when a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol after a rally Wednesday with President Trump to protest election irregularities.
What was so shocking was that during the rallies Trump has been a part of since 2015 as a candidate and then president, his supporters have rarely, if ever, been violent.
Nevertheless, what happened reflects poorly on our country and the Republican party, even if some of the thugs involved turn out to be part of the anarchist group known as Antifa. The Capitol Police were ill-prepared.
In hindsight, Trump should’ve never let things get to this point. He mounted court challenges to the election in several swing states and lost. A president might not agree with those decisions, but must respect them because the judiciary is an equal branch of government.
That’s what Democrat Al Gore did in 2000 when he lost the presidency to Republican George W. Bush because of a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision.
With that said, the reaction to Trump by Democrats, certain Republicans and the mainstream media was also over the top.
Trump told the crowd at his rally to go to the capitol “to show strength” and “demand Congress do the right thing” by not certifying the results that would formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. He continued to say the election was “rigged” and that he would never concede, but didn’t mention anything about storming or vandalizing the capitol and creating mayhem.
Yet, the mainstream media has largely concluded that Trump incited the ensuing riot that resulted in a woman being shot by a Capitol Police officer. The outrage machine took over.
Many politicians also started having a CYA (cover your rear end) contest. Loyalty to Trump instantly started to wane for many Republicans.
Further, many of the same media people so incensed at Trump were the same ones calling the looting and burning of numerous American cities during the summer “mostly peaceful protests” after George Floyd’s tragic death.
They flipped the narrative on its head and didn’t remember all the lives lost and property destroyed from 2020 riots.
As of this writing, several Trump Administration officials have resigned, including Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and Democrats want to impeach Trump if his cabinet doesn’t invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him from office.
Further, people are attacking Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, among others, for voting not to certify the Electoral College results of 306-232 in favor of Biden. They’re now being called the “Sedition Caucus” by critics.
Newly sworn-in U.S. Rep. Troy Nehls, who was in the House chamber when violence was breaking out, also was one of 138 House Republicans who voted against certifying the Electoral College.
Cruz, Hawley, Nehls, et al, would say they were carrying out their constitutional duties, and they’d be right. Everyone may not like their votes, but that doesn’t mean they’re stoking a rebellion.
But lest we not forget that 32 members of Congress tried to overturn President George W. Bush’s re-election in 2005 certification vote. They cited irregularities in Ohio after Bush carried the state by 118,000 votes over John Kerry.
Then Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-Ohio, weren’t branded as traitors. There were no calls in the media to lock them up.
According to the New York Times, Boxer said she was acting “to cast the light of truth on a flawed system which must be fixed now.”
Sound familiar? It’s hypocrisy on full display.
Trump has shown a remarkable lack of political skill and judgment, and didn’t acknowledge his presidency was over until the House and Senate certified the Electoral College. He finally capitulated and said there would be an orderly and seamless transfer of power.
Just think, all that previous huffing and puffing a day before for nothing.
Further, Trump should be called out for his awful tweets about Vice President Mike Pence not having courage to overturn the election in his role as presiding officer of the U.S. Senate. He wanted Pence to prevent certification of the Electoral College, but Pence knew better and wasn’t going to allow himself to be rolled by The Donald.
It’s a disgraceful way to end a presidency when you dump on one of the most loyal members of your administration. It’s wrong when someone expects loyalty but doesn’t give it back in return.
Many supported Trump’s policies despite him having such a flawed and caustic personality. It was a paradox for many voters, especially when voting for Biden-Harris was a bad choice and a step toward socialism.
But along with COVID-19, it’s a big reason Trump will be leaving the White House next week despite implementing so many successful policies during the last four years.
Reach Fred Hartman at email@example.com.