GOP: stop pandering to idiots and fearing the mob

Profiles in corwardice

The entire Senate was present when Vice President Pence had to be evacuated by the Secret Service amid the thunder of flash bang concussion grenades as the mob closed in on the chamber.

Senators were literally seconds away from a gunfight on the Senate floor, when a quick-thinking Capitol Police officer lured the insurrectionists from a doorway leading to a direct entrance to the chamber. In that room were Senators, staff and journalists, along with heavily armed law enforcement officers, guns drawn. One officer appeared to hold a semi-automatic rifle. If you haven’t seen the video, this is all that stood between the Senate and a massacre.

President Trump tweeted “love” to a mob that was, at that moment, beating police officers to death with lead pipes, carrying zip ties to kidnap the Vice President of the United States or Senators, and trying to impose a putsch on our nation to keep the president, with only days left in his term, in power. He sweetly implored them to “respect law enforcement” and “go home.”

This mob, an insult to patriotism, is now being arrested all over the nation. The president later tweeted a too-little-too-late video deploring the violence that he smugly watched, satisfied, from the White House after winding up the crowd to march to the Capitol. Despite supposedly admitting he’s “partially to blame” for the insurrection in a conversation with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Trump went right back to claiming he did nothing wrong.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday took no responsibility for his part in fomenting a violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week, despite his comments encouraging supporters to march on the Capitol and praise for them while they were still carrying out the assault.

“People thought that what I said was totally appropriate,” Trump said.

Every Senator on the floor of the chamber knows the president is lying, and his supporters are buying the lies like when toilet paper flew off store shelves in March.

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It will only take 17 Republican Senators to convict Trump of fomenting an insurrection. The only reasonable path the Senate can take is to vote to remove Trump and bar him from ever holding public office again. Trump already lost the election. There is little downside to such a non-decision. The chance of Trump actually winning again is infinitesimal, even though 70-plus million voted for him this election.

Ramesh Ponnuru broke down the groups of Republicans who will need to decide if they want to continue to pander to idiots, or to do the right thing.

The easy votes: Romney, Toomey, Murkowski, Sasse, Collins.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seems to never want to talk to Trump again, as in ever. Add to him: Thune, Barrosso, Blunt, and possibly Cornyn.

Once there are ten Republicans, if Cotton, Sullivan, Burr, Tillis, Lee and Inhofe joined, that brings the number to 15. Two more to go. Would Rubio, Young, Portman, Boozman or Capito join?

It’s unlikely Josh Hawley or Ted Cruz would vote for impeachment, despite both of them, as highly educated lawyers and constitutional experts, knowing exactly what happened on January 6th. They came within 20 steps of an armed insurrection being put down with deadly force on the floor of the Senate as the body performed a perfunctory duty in certifying an election the president refuses to accept, regardless of the facts.

Trump’s thugs are willing to threaten, bully, and harrass—even harm—anyone who dares to stand in the way of their boss’s ambition. It has always been this way, from 2015 on, but now only when Trump has lost do we see how evil it is.

Those who stand with the insurrectionists but aren’t willing to go to prison, or commit felonies to help them, are threatening to vote against Senators who know what they need to do. And the Senators are responding by pandering to idiots who believe the most vacuous, pernicious, and venomous lies told by the fabulist-in-chief Trump.

To think that I supported this man in office because his administration actually accomplished a few things with which I agree makes me physically ill right now. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, a dedicated Republican, quit first. Elaine Chao, Trump’s Secretary of Transportation, resigned in disgust. Her husband, Mitch McConnell, was one of the Senators on the floor on January 6th. Chad Wolfe, acting Secretary of Homeland Security, also resigned, as the list of Trump’s cabinet that can stand the weight of their own conscience narrows.

I believe that, privately, secretly, in hushed conversation, every Republican Senator admits the right thing is to impeach, convict, and prosecute Trump. But they are scared to do it because they fear the idiots who might take a pot shot at them. They fear the mob coming into their kitchen or living room, harming their family. This is the way thugs and tin-pot dictators act, not U.S. Presidents.

The only reasons any Senator would not vote for impeachment is because they fear the voters, or because they fear the angry mob. Removing Trump will take courage, and many of them wilt at the testing point. They want someone else to be the 17th and deciding vote.

For once in the last four years, the Senate should do something because it must be done, not because it looks good in a campaign ad. This needs to be done more than anything in the past 30 years.

I implore our Republican Senators to do it. Otherwise, the idiots win and the mob rules.