Brian Feeney

On Trump's Attack on Capitol Hill

Ezra Klein has moved from Vox to the NYT as an editorialist, and his first column is worth reading:

They stormed the Capitol, attacked police officers, shattered doors and barriers, looted congressional offices. One woman was shot in the mayhem and died

If their actions looked like lunacy to you, imagine it from their perspective, from within the epistemic structure in which they live. The president of the United States told them the election had been stolen by the Democratic Party, that they were being denied power and representation they had rightfully won. “I know your pain,” he said, in his video from the White house lawn later on Wednesday. “I know your hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election, and everyone knows it.” More than a dozen Republican senators, more than 100 Republican House members, and countless conservative media figures had backed Trump’s claims.

If the self-styled revolutionaries were lawless, that was because their leaders told them that the law had already been broken, and in the most profound, irreversible way.

What happened yesterday was the wildest political disgrace I've lived through. Donald Trump incited his mob to terrorize everyone inside the Capitol building, including Senators and Congressman. Our highest levels of government was violently vandalized. The domestic terrorists carried Confederate flags among the Trump banners. Some of those inside were known neo-Nazis. This is the American carnage Trump declared on his own inauguration day four years ago. Terror, smoke, broken glass, and death.

On top of it all, there is a suspicion that the poor security defending the congressional leaders inside was a planned failure. A month ago, Trump removed a number of top officials in the Department of Defense and replaced them with inappropriate lackeys. Trump's Attorney General, Bill Bar, made a surprise announcement he was stepping down early, making his slithery exit before Christmas. It's a conspiracy theory to claim that everything which happened yesterday was premeditated. It's not a stretch, however, to say that this is exactly what Trump wanted. It's a final fuck you to the people of America who rejected him, who never accepted him into polite society. He really does now wish to see everything burned down behind him.

The terrorists had been inside the Capitol for more than two hours. It was long passed time to call in the National Guard and other security forces, yet Trump declined. It was Pence, who had been scurried out of the Senate chamber to safety along with everyone else, that finally made the call to retake control over the building. Trump was ensconced inside the White House, watching television, doing nothing.

Trump should not be allowed to remain President another second longer. He has less than two weeks left in his term, but that shouldn't be allowed to play out. Impeach or invoke the 25th Amendment. It should have happened after his first week in office, but it might as well happen in his last.

January 07, 2021