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Thoughts on Events the Week of January 18

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on January 26, 2021

Inauguration Day: On Wednesday, we got a new president and the former one flew off uneventfully, albeit with some pathetic self-organized pomp, to Florida. A blessed moment.

My reaction to this moment was not quite what I expected. I expected to be overjoyed, and I am, but my primary emotion was one of relief that the previous administration is over.

I was spot on when I predicted that there would be no trouble at the inauguration in D.C. or in state capitals. When the FBI started rounding the rioters up for prosecution, the cockroaches scrambled back under the refrigerator.

I was wrong, and pleasantly surprised, at how quickly things started to snap back.  This is one of those times when longing for the good old days is appropriate.

But we have some unfinished business with those among The Donald’s base who defiled our Capitol and threatened our democracy, including those elected representatives and senators who participated.   

The Republicans have some unfinished business among themselves, as well. I will be curious to see how they shake out, but I am skeptical it will be nobly.  

I applaud President Biden’s determination to find middle ground with Republicans in Congress, particularly in the Senate, but he should abandon his attempt in a heartbeat if he gets insufficient positive response. Moscow Mitch, who positions himself as an institutionalist, is as dismissive of democratic governance as Trump. He is an undemocratic horse part. And by the way, the filibuster is undemocratic.

Impeachment Redux: The House Impeached Trump, again, and the Senate will try him, beginning February 9th.  Some Democrats say the reason for the trial is that if convicted, Congress can vote to prevent Trump from running for elective office ever again. This is true, but not a sufficient reason. Trump will not run again. In 2024, he’ll too old, likely in jail or dead, and in more disgrace than he is now.

No, the reasons to try Trump are first, to show the world, and ourselves, that we have come to our senses, and second to remind future presidents of the Constitution they have taken an oath to preserve and defend and they had better take that oath seriously. Gerald Ford did us a great disservice by pardoning Nixon and denying the country this example.

Finally, it will give Republicans one last opportunity to assess whether they want to move forward with the rest of us. I’m thinking not. It’s a sad thing that one of the two major political parties has knowingly rejected our democratic form of government. Damn their eyes.

Social Media: After more than four years of publishing lies and incitements to riot by Trump, Facebook and Twitter both kicked Trump off of their platforms. The silence is golden, but it’s not a reliable solution. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want these two unimaginably wealthy, privileged entrepreneurs making free speech decisions. They’ve proven to be untrustworthy.

Remember, their first solution when Trump tweeted that he had won the election and it had been stolen was to add a comment saying, “This claim is disputed.” Bullshit, it is not disputed; it’s a provable fact, and a damnable dangerous lie, as we have seen.

There are serious, tricky free speech issues to be resolved, but we have got to tie a knot in the tail of these platforms. Free speech or not, it’s never made any sense to me that these sites can permit any libel to be published on them without bearing any responsibility. There are laws against slander or libel, and these should apply to social media also.  

Worst state: Just because I took Arizona off the list of worst state candidates does not mean we are incapable of really stupid governance on occasion. Every state is. As an example, this week, deeming them to be insufficiently supportive of Trump, the Arizona Republican Party censured its own Republican Governor Doug Ducey, Senator John McCain’s widow Cindy, and the aptly named former Republican Senator Jeff Flake.

Sudden thought: If it’s ok for Republicans to censure a senator who has been out of office for more than two years, why is it not ok to impeach a president after he is out of office for a week?

But this laughable example of Republican insanity does not rise to the level of cup worthiness. However, the behavior of leaders of almost all the other worst states is sufficiently egregious, so this week, the cup recipients are a ménage à trois of South Carolina because Lindsey Graham, Texas because John Corwin and Alabama because of newly elected Senator Tommy Tuberville, who all were involved in supporting Trump’s attempted coup. (Tuberville is already challenging Oklahoma Senator James Imhoff for dumbest sombitch in the Senate.)

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