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Let the Term End and Go Back to Work

Let the Term End and Go Back to Work

There is a considerable amount of tension and for some, fear concerning President-elect Joe Biden’s impending inauguration on Jan. 20 at the U.S. Capitol. This makes sense, as the capitol itself was under siege and got occupied on Jan. 6 as Congress voted to officially confirm the presidential election results. Understandably, emotions are high on Capitol Hill and some want revenge.
A lot of mistakes were made that brought us to this state of affairs. President Donald Trump enthusiastically encouraged a protest in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6 and asked people to go to the U.S. Capitol Building and protest. He didn’t ask approximately 8,000 people to break into the building, but many are holding him completely accountable for their actions because he is the one who encouraged protesters to go there. Our take is that Trump exercised very bad judgment, but it doesn’t seem to meet the criteria for “incitement of insurrection,” which is the charge in yet another impeachment effort against Trump.
Lots of other mistakes were made. Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who resigned after the incident, repeatedly warned Washington D.C. officials, including Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving and Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger, about the expected size of the crowds and the possibility of a riot. Sund asked House and Senate security officials and Bowser for permission to request that the D.C. National Guard be placed on standby in case he needed quick backup. A grave error in judgment was made. Six of Sund’s requests for help before Jan. 6 were rejected or delayed. With 1,400 Capitol Police officers on duty, Sund’s forces were overrun in 15 minutes. Sund stated that he pleaded for help from the National Guard five more times on Jan. 6. The first National Guard personnel arrived at the Capitol at 5:40 p.m., after four people had died and the worst was long over; far too little, too late.
Even Washington D.C. Mayor Bowser seems to have learned something from this. At least 10,000 National Guard troops will be in Washington by this Saturday to help with security at the U.S. Capitol through Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration. These precautions make sense.
We do agree that those who attacked the capitol deserve to be punished and we agree with Biden.
“It is critically important that there’ll be a real serious focus on holding those folks who engaged in sedition and threatening the lives, defacing public property, caused great damage — that they be held accountable,” Biden said
This is all true, but one of the other mistakes that was made was evident all summer. Almost none of the “peaceful protesters” that defaced public property, destroyed and looted public and private property in protests turned riots last summer in numerous cities were ever held accountable. In fact, some of them were bailed out of jail with funds raised by politicians. The vast majority of the media never held the rioters accountable, no one responsible for the billions of dollars in property damage or ruined private businesses paid a dime, and some politicians actually praised violent members of BLM and Antifa. To some in Congress, before the violence and looting was on their turf, they were pretty tolerant of the lawbreakers. One has to ask if the violent pro-Trump rioters, who definitely deserve to be punished, figured they would never be punished.
Now many members of Congress, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (R-A) leading the charge, want to make another huge mistake which could further divide a very polarized nation. Even though Trump only has nine days left in office, Pelosi wants to either impeach Trump, or have Trump removed from office via the 25th Amendment. Pelosi has asked for Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, which would allow him to declare Trump “unfit for office” and have him immediately removed from the presidency with a majority vote from his cabinet. Pence does not appear willing to do this, and we don’t think this would result in a positive outcome for the nation. Assuming Pence does not invoke the 25th Amendment, Pelosi has stated there will be a vote to impeach Trump for “incitement of insurrection” on Wednesday. The House, with a Democratic majority, may very well vote to impeach Trump. However, the Senate couldn’t even take up the case until Jan. 19, the day before Biden is inaugurated. It certainly doesn’t appear the Senate would vote to impeach Trump, and definitely not after a one-day deliberation. According to most law experts, it isn’t legal to impeach a former president, so this impeachment effort would probably not stop Trump from running for president again if he chose to. It would greatly embarrass him for his recent smarmy behavior.
Some of the smarter and less vengeful members of Congress are counseling against the impeachment and 25th Amendment movement for very good reasons.
“They’re not only going to create bad feelings in Congress, they’re really going to create tremendously bad feelings in America,” said Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ).
We absolutely agree with Drew and think Pelosi and others are making a horrible mistake. Even if Trump’s behavior has been audacious, impeaching him now serves no practical purpose. Although the Democrats have the majority in the House and the Senate and will soon have the presidency, what Pelosi and others are trying to do could cause dangerous civil unrest and could overshadow Biden’s efforts to accomplish reasonable goals in his first 30 or 40 days in office. Invoking the 25th Amendment or impeaching Trump would completely polarize the tens of millions of Trump supporters, and possibly spurn them into violent actions. In addition, this last ditch, vindictive attempt to toss Trump out of office could have other consequences. Some House Republicans are already discussing ways to impeach Biden, which even though wrong at this time, is not surprising given the level of animosity in Washington. What comes around goes around.
“We never think about the consequences. For Republicans, it’s going to be like: Game on. Let’s impeach Biden 12 times a week,” one Democratic representative opposed to impeachment told Politico.
As we mentioned, Trump has nine days left in office. Rather than unnecessarily angering and alienating tens of millions of people in a final effort to “get Trump,” Democrats in Congress should enjoy their victory, watch Biden get inaugurated and then go to work for the American people.
-Kernersville News Editorial

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