Thursday, January 7, 2021

Get Him Out Now

Charlie Pierce:

He has to go. Now. This moment. Donald J. Trump cannot be allowed to be President* of the United States for a single second longer. It’s not simply that he is unfit for the office he holds. I mean, that’s true of Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, too. Trump is something worse. He has proven himself to be a national security threat, the most serious one in Washington since the Royal Marines burned the place. He’s a traitor to his oath and to his country. He needs to be forced out, either through the provisions of the 25th Amendment or through an accelerated impeachment process. Any elected officials who do not agree with this simple and obvious fact dishonor the offices they hold with every second they decline to do it hereafter.

He is responsible for all of it. He is responsible for the assault on the Capitol and for the incredibly lax response from the Capitol Police. He created an atmosphere in which the worst impulses in the worst cops all over the country are inflamed and encouraged until the Capitol Police refused to defend…the Capitol. He has to go. Now. This moment.

He is responsible for all of it. He is responsible for everything that comes of it in the future, too. He is responsible for whoever the next authoritarian who comes along is, and that person is likely to be a smarter and more competent authoritarian than this dangerous charlatan. He has to go. Now. This moment.

He is responsible for all of it. This country has a serious fascism problem now. It has a fascism problem that is fed and encouraged by what is at best a fascist-adjacent media ecosystem and, at worst, a communications network that would embarrass Goebbels. There is a genuinely subversive rightwing movement in this country that found its focus in this president*, and that will be rested and ready when the next one comes along. There is no Republican politician with either the courage or the clout to cure the prion disease that has now eaten away all of the party’s higher functions and reduced it to a rough beast that is no longer anything but an accumulation of base and abandoned appetite. History has turned down a dark alley and he sent it there. He has to go. Now. This moment.

Everybody knows it. By seven o’clock Wednesday night, rumors ricocheted all over Washington that powerful people were meeting in whispers, making plans to pry the government out of the crazy man’s hands. Leaving him in place even for an hour would be the final dereliction of duty, and we have had far too many of those. Force him out. Do it now. Complicity is its own dark reward.

Tom Nichols in USA Today:

… First, Trump is an imminent danger to the safety of the country. The Capitol was overrun by a mob at his behest. By late afternoon, Trump had called on the protesters to go home — while telling them that they were indeed right that the election had been stolen, thus pouring more fuel on the flames even while pretending to calm the waters. There is no responsible argument for leaving such a man in command of the armed forces, for leaving the security of the American nation in his hands for one more minute.

Second, even after this attempt at a violent overthrow of the political order is defeated, Trump is not going to stop. He created the situation in the Capitol, and he will gladly create another diversion — perhaps with a last-ditch attempt to use the U.S. military at home or as part of a desperate attempt to embroil America in a foreign conflict — if he thinks it is the only way to protect himself from the legal and financial peril he will face on Jan. 21.

Finally, impeachment for multiple crimes against the Constitution and the American people is the only course left for lawmakers, especially Republicans of the president’s own party, who want to demonstrate their fidelity to the Constitution and protect the supremacy of the rule of law in the United States. The Constitution has to mean something. If the president of the United States goes unpunished after unleashing a mob against elected legislators merely because he wishes to invalidate an election, then this is a far larger problem than a day of protest that got out of hand.

We should never have come to this point. Of course, now that all is lost, born-again constitutionalists like Vice President Mike Pence and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (soon to become minority leader) have rediscovered the notion of duty and strict obedience to the Constitution. They are too late, and it is to their shame that they did not act sooner. Trump has made it clear for months, even years, that he would never accept a defeat and that he would never voluntarily leave office. They knew the danger and they chose to take their chances in order to keep their grip on power…

Democrats, whatever the limits of their usual disorganization, have tried for four years to stop Trump from running roughshod over our system of government. Biden ran a campaign that took the high road and called for national unity. They have done their part. Now it is time for the Republicans to do theirs…

To all my friends and “friends” in social media: there is no equivocating. This was a violent assault on our government and the building and the people we entrust to run it. There is no comparison to the marches in Portland or Seattle or Minneapolis. There is no justification for the violence that happened then, but their goal was not to stop the constitutional process in its tracks, either. People are entitled to their opinions and I won’t stop them from expressing them. But I won’t let them into my house or space to do it. That’s not intolerance; that’s me standing up for what I believe.

If nothing happens, if there are no consequences, then it will be no different than if nothing happened to the perpetrators of the attacks of September 11, 2001, because the goal then and yesterday was to strike at the heart of our nation and our form of government.

This stops now, and we have to stop the man who caused it by all legal means and to the full extent of the law. END OF PLAY.