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Do You Still Think Donald Trump Is Only Joking?
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Everyone was trying ahead to the brand new yr. Twenty Twenty had been a bust. The pandemic, the election, Donald Trump, and the protests for racial justice had worn us out. We had been all trying ahead to 2021. But life doesn’t begin anew at anybody level in our annual journey across the solar. The presidential election was over. Voters got here out in document numbers to defeat the Trump and elect Joe Biden as our subsequent president. But two elections in Georgia on January 5 would determine the destiny of the Senate. And the president’s unsubstantiated claims the election was stolen from him continued unabated into the brand new yr.

Congress would rely the electoral votes on January 6, officiated by the President of the Senate, Vice President Mike Pence. Normally, this can be a professional forma occasion designated by our Constitution. But even after dropping 63 courtroom challenges to overturn election ends in 5 battleground states, Trump and his sycophants continued to assert fraud. However, quite a few recounts and certifications by state officers confirmed this had been some of the safe elections on document. That didn’t fulfill the president. Instead, he continued to make use of his social media bully pulpit to weaken Americans’ confidence in our democratic establishments and to incite his followers to come back to Washington to protest.

And they got here. Trump, together with Don Jr. and Rudy Giuliani, spoke to a crowd of 1000’s earlier that day. A day after the Democrats regained the bulk within the Senate, Junior wished to send a message to Republican legislators on the Hill because the electoral faculty counting started. “This should be a message to all the Republicans who have not been willing to actually fight,” he mentioned. “The people who did nothing to stop the steal. This gathering should send a message to them: This isn’t their Republican Party anymore. This is Donald Trump’s Republican Party.” Giuliani referred to as for a “trial by fight.”

If the gang wasn’t already raring for that struggle, the president lighted a match. There was nothing new about Trump’s phrases. They had been the offended lies and diatribes towards everybody who had been disloyal to him. He referred to as President-Elect Biden “illegitimate.” He referred to as the election a “criminal enterprise.” His supporters cheered. “We love Trump,” they shouted again and again. After over an hour of recounting each different truth in regards to the election, voter suppression, “The Wall,” and his presidency, he mentioned, “So we’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue…. We’re going to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.”

Trump had no intention of strolling with the gang to the Capitol. He took protected refuge within the White House. But lots of did, and we all know what occurred. These had been now not protesters. They had been a mob of hardcore thugs who breached the safety perimeter and occupied the Capitol constructing as Congress counted the states’ Electoral College votes. The final time this occurred was in August 1814 when British troops set the constructing on hearth, utilizing furnishings and Library of Congress books as gasoline. Trump’s “patriots” erected a noose on Capitol Hill! Four individuals died, one, a lady protester from San Diego, was shot by a Capitol police officer. Despite that, Donald Trump refused to again down. The blood of these deaths are on Donald Trump’s hands.

Where had been the police? Where was the National Guard? Reporters noticed some officers taking selfies with the mob. Maryland’s governor, Larry Hogan, mobilized the state’s National Guard after receiving a request from DC Mayor Muriel Bowser. He acquired a name from House Majority Leader, Steny Hoyer, who was bunkered in an undisclosed place with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, pleading for assist. But it took an hour and a half earlier than Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy would name to approve the request. Aides needed to cajole Trump into calling out the National Guard. And, whereas he issued a one minute video asking his flock to depart peaceably, in his subsequent breath he as soon as once more said the election had been rigged.

Law enforcement knew his plans for that day. Where had been they? This contrasted with the massive police presence in the course of the summer time’s peaceable Black Lives Matter protests in DC, the place lots of had been arrested and lots of nonetheless have scars from rubber bullets. Yet, on the Capitol siege, police arrested solely 52 principally white rioters (47 of which had been for curfew violations). If, in spite of everything these years, you continue to don’t consider in institutional racism, right here’s your proof.

Despite this unprecedented act—an riot began by a sitting president—many Republican lawmakers continued to contest the electoral vote rely. Conservative author, George Will wrote in The Washington Post,

“The three repulsive architects of Wednesday’s heartbreaking spectacle — mobs desecrating the Republic’s noblest building and preventing the completion of a constitutional process — must be named and forevermore shunned. They are Donald Trump, and Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz. … Trump lit the fuse for the riot in the weeks before the election, with his successful effort to delegitimize the election in the eyes of his supporters. But Wednesday’s explosion required the help of Hawley (R-Mo.) and Cruz (R-Tex.).” (A photo of Hawley exhibits him making a clinched fist salute to the Capitol Hill mob.)

“The Trump-Hawley-Cruz insurrection against constitutional government will be an indelible stain on the nation. They, however, will not be so permanent. In 14 days, one of them will be removed from office by the constitutional processes he neither fathoms nor favors. It will take longer to scrub the other two from public life. Until that hygienic outcome is accomplished, from this day forward, everything they say or do or advocate should be disregarded as patent attempts to distract attention from the lurid fact of what they have become. Each will wear a scarlet “S” as a seditionist.”

The Republican Party now lives within the gutter.

Since the start of Trump’s presidency, many people knew who we had been coping with. Yet it took his whole four-year time period to show he couldn’t care much less about this nation. And, regardless of his supporters’ excuses through the years that his racist, narcissistic, and misogynistic statements had been “just jokes,” he wasn’t joking. Trump’s Access Hollywood tape, revealed throughout his 2016 marketing campaign, and his video refusal to repudiate the violence on Capitol Hill are bookends to his damaging legacy. He’s bought two weeks to go in his time period. But, as we’ve seen, he has no qualms about doing as a lot harm as he can within the time he has left. For this cause, we should always relieve him of his workplace both by impeachment or the twenty fifth Amendment.

Despite Trump’s treason, it was his enablers, Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell, Jim Jordan, Matt Gaetz, Lindsey Graham, and others, who, for their very own egocentric functions, allowed this nightmare to proceed. They will not be going away. We have misplaced lives (350,000 American deaths from COVID-19 for starters), the poor have gotten poorer and the wealthy richer. We’ve misplaced religion in our authorities. And racial injustice continues. The rancor is palatable. There is nothing distinctive about America now, and the blame sits squarely on the Republican Party.

The new yr will start for me on January 20. It is not going to be straightforward to rise from the depths our nation has fallen. I’m trying ahead to a extra simply society ruled by those that respect our establishments, need to enhance the lives of our residents, and consider self-interest is secondary to service to our nation. Most of all, I hope we’ve discovered our lesson. The big potholes in our Constitution and governance want restore. The Department of Justice isn’t the President’s private legislation agency. White supremacy—home terrorism—is extra harmful to us than ISIS. Yet our legal guidelines are woefully inadequate to observe and restrict the ability of those home hate teams.

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions. But this yr I’ll make an exception.

Feel free to go this poster on. It’s free to obtain right here (click on on the down arrow simply to the decrease proper of the picture).

See the remainder of the posters from the Chamomile Tea Party! Digital excessive res downloads are free right here (click on the down arrow on the decrease proper facet of the picture). Other choices can be found. And be part of our Facebook group.

Follow the historical past of our nation’s political intransigence from 2010-2020 by a seven-part exhibit of those posters on Google Arts & Culture.

Award Night — On Stage
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Image by Harper Ganesvoort
Every yr, I ask everybody on the Grid what they’d put on to the Academy Awards; and yearly, I exhibit what I’d put on as effectively. This yr, it is two of us doing it. Come learn the article at Around the Grid.

Teleport to the Atlantis Grand Theater.

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