Common Sense for the 21st Century

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UPDATE: Impeachment Isn’t Enough — The Lasting Legacy of the Capitol Riot on January 6

*Originally Published by TMI on 2/13/21

It looks like it’s settled. Donald John Trump has been acquitted of the single article of impeachment. 

Across the internet, people post their cries of disgust. There is weeping and gnashing of teeth, anger and bitterness. According to some on the left, there’s yet another reason to riot in the streets (mostly peacefully, of course).

In other corners of this fantastic experiment, known as social media, the Trump faithful are elated with the idea that their champion has once again been exonerated in the face of the swamp he fought so valiantly to drain. 

Now that we’ve addressed the obvious, perhaps we should consider what many have failed to recognize —

Pause and reflect on what actually transpired.

After voting “not guilty”, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell went on to pontificate from his self-proclaimed position of moral exceptionalism:

“January 6th was a disgrace. American citizens attacked their own government!” he explained, while doing his best to convey horror at his own statement, “They used terrorism to try to stop a specific piece of domestic business, they did not like!”

McConnell’s hypocrisy was on full display, yet as he continued, the truth became more than obvious:

Mitch doesn’t give a flying fuck about the obvious.

His only care is retaining his grasp on power.  When someone has been living a lie for as long as he has, is it any wonder that he continues to spew bullshit?

“Fellow Americans beat and bloodied our own police,” continued the wise Senate minority leader, “They stormed the Senate floor! They tried to hunt down the Speaker of the House! They built a gallows and chanted about murdering the Vice President! They did this because they’d been fed wild falsehoods by the most powerful man on earth!”

These are the words which came pouring out of Mitch’s mouth, yet he was somehow completely incapable of voting to preclude the former president from future participation in public service. 

The intellectual dishonesty involved in McConnell’s statements will thankfully be a part of the permanent record.  

It’s a shame that none of this will matter as the swamp moves forward — unabated in its never-ending quest to diminish the power of the people and reinforce the corporate fascism of the oligarchy which has come to control nearly every aspect of our feeble, peasant lives.  

Earlier in the day, House Manager Jamie Raskin reflected on the observations and concerns of his daughter Hannah:

“Hannah told me last night, she felt very sorry for the kid of a man who said ‘goodbye’ to his children, before he left home to come and join Trump’s actions,” Raskin explained, “Their father had told them that their dad might not be coming home again, and he might not ever see them again. In other words, he was expecting violence; he might die, as insurrectionists did.”

As someone who had a similar conversation with my children ahead of January 6th, it was easy for me to appreciate the humanity in this statement.

Having spent the previous months watching as the rhetoric continued to escalate, I was less than enthusiastic as I considered the very real possibility for widespread violence which was becoming painfully obvious to anyone who paid attention. My family and close friends were well aware of my trepidation as the 6th approached. 

Trump’s defense counsel performed an exercise of denial this week.

To claim that Trump didn’t incite and lead the movement, which reached its crescendo at the Capitol takes a suspension of disbelief far beyond anything I’m capable of.  This kind of bullshit is the reason why speaking truth has become so treacherous.

Just as was alleged by the prosecution, there was widespread joy on the east steps of the Capitol. People were thrilled that the joint session had been disrupted that day. Thousands of Trump faithful surrounded the building and claimed victory.

There was a feeling as though the people had been heard.

Their actions were undeniable, but I was concerned that the message would be lost in the aftermath.  This wasn’t the peaceful occupation of the Capitol grounds which I had thought might serve to shift the perceptions of those in Congress. This was the exact sort of incident which has always served as a pretext for the deprivation of liberty.

The moment of victory was fleeting at best.

As happy as I was to be breathing and walking back to my hotel, I knew that any hope of seeing a legislative victory was lost. My concern was that people had given their lives for nothing. 

Most of those who were ecstatic outside of the building will never know the fear which was experienced inside. Most will never understand the sense of finality which was felt as protesters, police, and journalists alike struggled for air; crushed together inside the rotunda. 

At that moment, there was only humanity. 

House Manager Raskin’s daughter is wise to consider that humanity. In the aftermath of impeachment, I expect humanity to be diminished.  However unfortunate it may be, her words will be forgotten.  

Earlier this week I was asked what I thought the lasting legacy of January 6th would be. 

I struggled to answer, but the impeachment proceedings have certainly given me an idea of what we can all look forward to. 

Once again, we are watching one party rule masquerading as partisan bickering, masquerading as parliamentary procedure.

President Trump pulled back the veil and threatened the establishment in ways like we’ve never experienced. For the briefest of moments, it felt like there was a chance he was telling the truth. He implored those who were willing to look at the evidence to “Stop the Steal”. He inspired a movement against beltway corruption and encouraged his followers to “fight like hell”. He brought our country to the brink of civil war.  

After all of this, Trump delivered a speech on January 6.

When faced with the fight he inspired, however, he quit.

In the days and weeks that followed, Trump made every effort to distance himself from any sort of responsibility. He washed his hands like Pontius Pilate, and completely absolved himself of the duties of leadership. He allowed his impeachment defense team to place any blame for what happened on the very people who had merely followed his lead.

The very people Trump praised in the weeks prior were now openly treated with disdain, as though he had never heard of them.

He refused to testify. He refused to use the trial as an opportunity to present evidence of election fraud.  He failed to take responsibility, and he failed to lead. He abandoned ship.  

Three Capitol police officers lost their lives in the struggle, and dozens more have injuries that will be with them for the rest of their lives. Ashli Babbitt is dead, and Joe Biggs is facing accusations of sedition. Military veterans with histories of honorable service to their country are being taken from their families. Hundreds of people will spend time in prison, and military occupation of the Capitol will continue into the foreseeable future.

Those who would use this event to further their political agenda, are now firmly entrenched in power.

The Republican Party is on the verge of collapse and our country draws ever closer to civil conflict and Balkanization. 

Trump sits silently in his Mar-a-Lago resort, acquitted yet again. 

The swamp continues to steam, while the will of the people becomes ever irrelevant.

This is the legacy of January 6th.  

Impeachment isn’t enough.  

UPDATE: 8/8/22

FBI Conducts “unannounced raid” on Mar-a-Lago — Impeachment wasn’t enough. 

UPDATE: 8/31/23

With Trump facing criminal charges in three separate indictments, Proud Boy Joe Biggs is now labeled a terrorist and sentenced to 17 years in prison under a novel meaning for sedition.  

If nothing is done to restore Law and Order, it appears much more likely that Trump could face the death penalty. 

Impeachment wasn’t enough — Indictment isn’t enough.

UPDATE: 9/1/23

Proud Boy Dominic Pezzola expressed remorse for criminal behavior on January 6th. After being sentenced to 10 years in prison, he held his fist up and exclaimed, “Trump won and you all know it!”

10 years isn’t enough. 

For Pezzola and millions of other Americans, including me, no level of punishment can stop us from speaking truth as free people.

As for Donald Trump, millions of Americans will now support his bid for the presidency simply because of a mug shot. Those short-sighted fools who maintain their strategy of malicious prosecution are only making Trump more powerful — enhancing his legitimacy while the widely reviled Biden Regime struggles to control through fear. 

There’s no doubt about where this ends eventually — I expect to update yet again. 

As more are arrested and lengthy prison sentences are handed down, a simple fact remains as true as it was in February 2021.

But now, the same rule applies to Joe Biden and the feckless GOP enablers who blather away on social media and do nothing to demonstrate patriotic principle or statesmanship.

Impeachment Isn’t Enough. 

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