Jan. 6 hearings may not be enough to save democracy

In a world beset by worrisome events, it can be hard to filter out the noise to isolate the truly important ones. But failure to do so can be catastrophic, and we are at risk of just such a failure.

George W. Bush might attest how easy it is to overlook portents of danger. On Aug. 6, 2001, his daily intelligence bulletin carried the headline “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” Too late, on 9/11, Bush found out the warning was well founded.

Americans are in a comparable position today but not with regard to foreign terrorism. The threat is a domestic offensive against the Constitution and our democracy by Donald Trump and his followers, culminating in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. But the flow of news about Trump’s post-election schemes tends to make us numb to discoveries that ought to shock.

One came last month, when The New York Times reported that as rioters swarmed into the Capitol chanting, “Hang Mike Pence!” White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told staffers that Trump was unhappy to learn that Pence was being hustled to a safe location. Meadows “then told the colleagues that Mr. Trump had said something to the effect of, maybe Mr. Pence should be hanged.”

Trump had browbeaten his vice president to overturn the election outcome — though Pence had no such power and though Trump had failed to prove in court that the election was illegitimate.

Trump wanted a second term, and he didn’t care what it took to get it. He rallied die-hard supporters to flood into Washington to intimidate Congress into not carrying out its constitutional duty. Among them were members of the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys, some of whom have been indicted for seditious conspiracy — striving to overthrow the government.

Trump had reason to expect his vice president to cooperate. Pence had stuck with him after the release of the infamous “grab ’em by the p—y” recording. Pence had gazed worshipfully at him during public events. Even Trump’s lethal blizzard of lies about the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t faze him.

But the demand to overturn a free and fair presidential election was too much for the vice president. On Jan. 6, the worm turned. And his years of loyalty counted for nothing with Trump.

As the rioters rampaged, Trump declined to intervene. Instead, as The Washington Post reported, he “watched with interest, buoyed to see that his supporters were fighting so hard on his behalf, one close adviser said.” That the lives of Pence and others were at serious risk gave him no evident concern.

The president had already shown that his appetite for power knew no bounds. His accomplices had gone into court after court disputing the election results, and court after court had sent them packing.

Trump phoned the Georgia secretary of state demanding that he “find” the votes to erase Joe Biden’s margin in Georgia. He pressed Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey to prevent the certification of Biden’s victory.

When all else failed, Trump and his lawyers plotted to keep Congress from certifying the outcome. In March, in one of those extraordinary moments that passed almost unnoticed, a federal judge reached a damning conclusion: “The Court finds it more likely than not that President Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021″ — which would be a felony.

In several states, Republican candidates who echo his election lies are running for offices that would put them in a position to steal the 2024 election. From his defeat, he and they have learned much about how to ensure that he wins the next time, no matter how the people vote.

It’s entirely possible, though, that the people will vote for Trump. Amid the war in Ukraine, mass shootings and the pain of inflation, Americans may fail to comprehend the grave threat that he and his party present to the republic.

On Thursday, the House committee investigating the Capitol insurrection will commence hearings to show how closely we came to losing our Constitution and the freedoms it protects. But new revelations may not rouse our vigilance. Trump’s multitude of offenses has depleted the public’s capacity for outrage.

On Jan. 6, 2021, Pence escaped lynching, and our form of government survived. If the next time is different, it will be a crime and a tragedy. But it won’t be a surprise.

Steve Chapman writes for Creators Syndicate. He can be reached at [email protected].

Submit a letter, of no more than 400 words, to the editor here or email [email protected].

Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! News Smashers is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

DMCA compliant image

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.