Donald Trump is in virtual exile, stripped of official power, lacking any real political influence. So why impeach him? Why proceed with a Senate trial which is certain to be a political and media circus? Only those determined to make political hay would do that.
It began Jan. 6 when a mob of Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol. Certainly they were proud to say they voted for Trump, but that by no stretch of the imagination makes them representative of the Republican Party. They certainly weren’t conservatives. No, they were simply the lunatic fringe of a political movement; of people fed up with overreaching government.
It cannot be said too often or too strongly: They were not Republicans and they were not part of the conservative movement.
Never one to let a crisis go to waste, Nancy Pelosi initially pushed for an immediate Senate trial, insisting she did so to protect the nation from a “clear and present danger.” Well, Trump is gone now. So much for the danger he allegedly presented. So now she claims the trial must proceed to assure “accountability,” “justice,” and to serve “as a message” to future presidents. Nonsense. What she really wants is to strip him of the perks to which all ex-presidents are entitled: An annual government pension ($221,400), office space and staff, travel expenses, health benefits, Secret Service protection, and a funeral.
That the Democrats in Congress are driven by a lust for vengeance on a man they devoutly despise is obvious and has been pointed out before.
But another reason is beginning to take shape; a more sinister, more deadly, more dangerous motive driving Democrat’s quest for “justice”: The destruction of the Republican Party.
Attacks on the party come with subtlety and are couched in reasonable-sounding “reasons.” Thirty House Democrats called for an investigation into what they said – without evidence – was an “extremely high number” of “suspicious” groups roaming the Capitol the day before Trump supporters swarmed the building.
Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D., N.J.) hinted darkly that unnamed Republican lawmakers were giving “reconnaissance tours” of the Capitol for what must have been the planned riot at the Capitol. Echoing Sherrill’s concerns, Rep. James Clyburn (D., S.C.) claimed the rioters “knew where to go” to work their destruction.
Democratic allies in the media have joined in the vendetta. NBCNews.com actually said Democrats fear for their lives at the hands of Republicans. That website’s source: Bluster by some members of the lunatic fringe in juvenile displays of bravado.
Daniel Drezner of the Washington Post accuses the Republican Party of a level of treachery to rival that of the Japanese before Pearl Harbor. He claims Trump supporters “no longer believe in Democracy and are willing to use violence . . . to get what they want.” He says the GOP is risking “becoming an American Hezbollah.”
Inevitably, the race card was played and, as usual, the party’s acolytes in the press trotted along in dutiful support. The Week magazine made the baseless claim that, “It’s an uncomfortable truth for white America to acknowledge” that the mob that attacked the Capitol did so “in support of a white supremist agenda.” In case that meaning is too subtle, The Week was saying that all Republicans are racists.
Perhaps most amazingly YouGov, a London pollster, found 45 percent of all Republicans actually approved of the Jan. 6 riot. That means of the 74,222,958 people who voted for Trump, 33,400,331 figured the riot was just swell. An axiom springs to mind: “There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.” In other words, it is simplicity itself to design a poll to achieve any result your heart desires.
Lest you think the Capitol riot was the work of the lunatic fringe and not rank-and-file Republicans, The Week was quick to point out that “extremists from the middle class” were part of the mob: “Lawyers. Doctors. Nurses. Firefighters. Current and former members of the military. More than two dozen police officers . . . a CEO . . . prosperous business owners . . . a state legislator . . .” There was even – gasp – “a woman in a Louis Vuitton sweater!” How The Week determined that is unexplained. Perhaps the editors employed a fashion maven to attend the riot so she could shout out to smartly dressed rioters, “Who are you wearing!?”
This vendetta against the Republican Party has been sanctioned at the highest level of official Washington. The Department of Homeland Security has issued “a national terrorism bulletin,” warning of the danger for more violence. The bulletin did not cite a specific threat, nor did it specify that Republicans were behind the alleged threat. DHS didn’t have to. Unless you’re a certifiable idiot you know perfectly well the warning meant possible mayhem by Republicans, not Democrats.
In typically ponderous bureaucrat-speak, the bulletin said, without offering evidence, “Information suggests that some ideologically motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives, could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence.”
This warning is odd in another way. That the Capitol rioters supported a Republican president is obvious. The reverse can be said about the summer riots, the ones sparked by the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. If those rioters were supporters of any political persuasion, it was the Democrat Party.
As far as “liberals” are concerned if Republicans riot, it’s terrorism. When Democrats riot it’s just “civil unrest.” In “liberal” world looters and Molotov cocktail throwers are simply “protesters.”
A quick comparison of Republican mob action and Democratic mob action is in order. So far there has been only one Republican-connected mob action: the invasion of the Capitol. We suffered seven months of Democratic-connected mob actions last summer, all billed as “peaceful protests” which were allegedly “hijacked” by mysterious evil characters.
The summer riots spanned seven months; the Jan. 6 riot lasted a couple of hours. The summer riots saw 23 people killed; the Jan. 6 riot saw one person killed. The summer riots saw an estimated 700 police officers injured; the Jan 6 riot saw 14 officers injured. The summer riots saw 150 federal and municipal buildings damaged; the Jan. 6 riot saw one government building damaged. The summer riots saw 150 small businesses destroyed; the Jan. 6 riot saw no small businesses destroyed.
In total, the summer riots saw an estimated $1 billion to $2 billion in damages. No estimate is available on the cost of damages in the Jan. 6 riot. (When an estimate does come out in all probability it will be a highly inflated number.)
Last summer each time a protest was planned no government agency at any level – certainly not the Trump-era DHS – warned of a possible riot. Yet these “peaceful protests” routinely turned violent. You’d have to be a certifiable idiot to be surprised when it happened. Just ask the people of Minneapolis Seattle, Portland, Kenosha, New York, Chicago, and elsewhere.
Minneapolis has learned it is wise to view askance assurances that a Democratic-leaning protest will remain peaceful. That’s why the city is preparing for violence next month when the cops responsible for Floyd’s death go on trial. If the mob doesn’t get the verdict it wants, heaven help Minneapolis and other cities across the country.
One thing is certain: Even if DHS agrees that an unpopular verdict might result in violence, they won’t issue a “national terrorism bulletin.” As far as our Democratic-led government is concerned, only Republican rioters can be terrorists.
Sometimes groups of people you’d have to say were more Republican than Democrat gather to protest something; to advocate for something. They shout ugly things; make racist demands. Sometimes they are confronted by counter protesters and the situation gets dangerous. Still looting, arson, and destruction are not in their playbook. Only when Democrats gather to “protest” are private property and lives routinely in danger.
Just for the record, here’s the obvious: The DHS “national terrorism bulletin” was issued by acting Secretary David Pekoske, an appointee of President Biden, a man who says he wants to “heal the country.” All right, Mr. President, use your clout and call off your attack dogs in Congress and the media. Get them to stop this farce of a Senate trial that can accomplish nothing but further divide the country.
Alas, the president has been, and will continue to be, studiously silent about this savaging of the Republican Party, leaving that dirty work to his surrogates. The meaning behind his silence is obvious and the maxim of the law applies: Qui tacet consentit, silence gives consent.
Don Frost blogs at www.commonsense931.wordpress.com