By Stump Connolly

         If you watched the news Friday night, you went to sleep wondering what the story of the day was. Was it the House or Representatives pushing ahead with impeachment? Or Twitter yanking Donald Trump’s account? Or maybe, the United States setting a new record of 4,112 Covid-19 deaths in a single day.

         The news was punishing on all fronts, because The President Who Won’t Go Away has made sure his last ten days in office will overshadow Joe Biden’s first on January 20.

         Did Trump mean it when he read that video condemning the violence in the Capitol? Will Congress impeach him? Will he call for more protests? Will he pardon himself? What other crazy stunts will he pull?  

         These are perilous times, passions are inflamed, and the country is in dire need of solutions to a raging pandemic, so let me suggest a way out. Do nothing.

Impeachment #2

         Democrats in the House are lined up behind articles of impeachment that charge President Trump “gravely endangered the security of the United States . . . threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coordinate branch of government.”

         House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the impeachment resolution could pass as early as Monday. As we learned last time around in Impeachment #1, House leaders then ceremoniously walk the petition over to the Senate for trial. But nobody is better at slow walking than Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who says the Senate will not be back in session to receive it until January 19. Since we are harking back in history, remember the trial for Impeachment #1, only 11 months ago, took 16 days.

         Setting aside the Constitutional issue of whether a president can be impeached after he leaves office –– and don’t do it too quickly because we know how litigious Trump is – that means the Senate will spend the first weeks of the Biden administration listening to lawyers debate whether the assault on the Capitol was an “insurrection” (Anderson Cooper) or “a political protest that got out of hand” (Tucker Carlson). Did the President start the fire or just fan the flames?

         And while we’re not on the topic, let’s go over the evidence that the Democrats stole the election.

         Impeachment will simply extend the grip Trump has on the nation’s psyche – and certainly not do anything to heal the current divide. And all the while it’s deliberating, the Senate will not be confirming any of Biden’s cabinet appointees, or approving $2,000 payments in stimulus relief, or doing anything to speed the delivery of vaccines to the people.

         Plus there’s another little problem. It’s not going to lead to a conviction, and Trump will make that out to mean he’s INNOCENT. Assume all the Democrats in the new 50-50 party split in the Senate will go for it. Add in Republicans who’ve already declared Trump unfit. Mitt Romney, John Sasse, Lisa Murkowski, Pat Toomey and Susan Collins. It takes 67 senators to convict. You’re 12 Republican senators short.

“Unhinged”

         Pelosi is right to be concerned about the president’s mental health (although his behavior is not all that different than it’s been for four years). Her preferred way of dealing with it would be the 25th amendment, but there are not enough rational people left in the cabinet to invoke it. “He’s unhinged,” she’s been telling Democratic friends. “We aren’t talking about anything besides an unhinged person.”

         She’s not the first to notice. Omarosa’s saga about her years with Trump was called “Unhinged.” The likelihood Trump will do something really stupid has always been there, but the guardrails are down, and steady advisors are nowhere to be found in the White House these days. He’s bunkered up with a little coterie of loyalists still thinking he won the election.

         Phil Rucker, Ashley Parker and Josh Dawsey have covered all four years of the Trump White for The Washington Post. After the attack on the Capitol, they wrote this account of what it was like in the White House that night:

         “President Trump spent more than 24 hours after instigating a mob to violently storm the Capitol trying to escape reality. Cloistered in the White House, Trump raged uncontrollably about perceived acts of betrayal. He tuned out advisors who pleaded with him to act responsibly. He was uninterested in trying to repair what he had wrought. And he continued to insist he won the election, even as his own vice president certified the fact he had not.”

         They describe Trump’s mood as indignant, unmoored, and psychologically fragile. In the afternoon, Trump watched the attack on the Capitol play out on television “bemused” by the spectacle of his supporters literally fighting for him. But he didn’t like the costumes on the people rummaging through the offices. He thought they looked “low class,” the Post reported.

         He was so mad at Pence “he couldn’t see straight.” He walked around berating his most loyal follower, and never called the Capitol to ask if Pence was alright. “I made this guy, I saved him from a political death, and here he stabs me in the back,” Trump bellowed.

         “Only after darkness fell in Washington on Thursday, after the Capitol had been besieged by death and destruction and a growing chorus of lawmakers had called for his immediate removal from office, did Trump grudgingly accept his fate,”

         He agreed to make a short video accepting the fact “a new administration” would be inaugurated January 20th and calling for “healing and reconciliation.” But he couldn’t get through it without throwing in an aside on vote fraud. He never used the word “concede.”

         He regretted doing it almost as soon as it was over. Then in the midst of it all, Twitter announced it was suspending his account. They were taking away his toys.

         “He is alone. He is mad King George,” a Trump confidante told the Post.

         Impeachment will only sate Trump’s craving to get back in the limelight. Better to let him stew in his own juices. Over the weekend, the FBI arrested dozens of Capitol crazies. Let the Justice Department go after the perpetrators one at a time. Hanging over every trial, or in defendant’s plea, will be the words, “I did it because the President told me to.” Torture Trump with the slow drip of the consequences that came from his words.

The New Enemy of The People

         And what will Trump do next? The best thing that happened Thursday night was Twitter shut him down. They took away his voice. They violated his right to free speech. And that made him mad.

         Twitter was his signature form of expression: Think it, say it. Don’t worry if it’s right – or spelled correctly. This was his only way of talking to his followers without the media getting in the way. He tried to tweet an FU back on his official @Potus account. Twitter shut it down. He posted a screed on @Team Trump about “Democrats and the Radical Left removing my account to silence me — and YOU, the 75,000,000 great patriots who voted for me.” Twitter shut that down.

         An alarmed Don Jr. tweeted out on his own account, “Guys, assuming the purge of conservative ideas and thought leaders continues here and on other social platforms take 2 seconds and shoot me your email. That way if/when they cancel me I can let you all know where I land.”

         “If he really wants to be heard, he can walk his lazy ass to the briefing room and start yapping,” Jon Favreau, President Obama’s former speechwriter and host of Pod Save America tweeted. Eventually, that’s what the President did, not in person, but by issuing a statement on White House letterhead announcing he was searching for alternative social networks and promising to build a new internet platform that will be the greatest thing since Space Force. Great idea, Mr. President. You get right on that.

         By the end of the week, Trump was banned on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Reddit, Twitch, and Tik Tok “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”

         Now Trump had a new target for his wrath. (Maybe, that means he’ll take his eye off Iran and the skimpy water flow in his shower head.) He’s got a new windmill to tilt at. The Dangers of Big Tech. This is a speech he’s given before, all he has to do is change the subject. Big Tech is taking away our most basic freedoms, tilting our politics to the Marxist, leftist socialist agenda and, needless to say, ruining America. Big Tech. Now there’s an enemy worth his Big Wrath.

Change is Coming

         In one of those cable day-parts nobody watches, I saw Colin Powell, the former Secretary of State interviewed by Anderson Cooper. He didn’t know whether impeachment would work, or invoking the 25th amendment. “I just want him to go. Put him on Air Force One and send him off to go golfing at Mar-a-Lago.”

         There are important changes that must come in America, and no time to waste not doing them. Let Trump be Trump, somewhere else. If you remember, we elected a new president last November. His name is Joseph Biden. Here is what he has to say:

         “If we were six months out, we should be moving everything to get him out of office, impeaching him again, trying to invoke the 25th Amendment, whatever it took to get him out of office. But I am focused now on us taking control as president and vice-president on the 20th, and to get our agenda moving as quickly as we can.”

         Amen to that. There’s a pandemic raging. Let’s let the government get back into the business of governing.

 

 

 

 


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