Bye, Bye, Douchebag Edition
APPROVAL ALERT AT PRESS TIME:
Pew Research Center Poll: 29%
Rasmussen Poll: 48%
Welcome to Trumplandia, a place where, with a bit of wit and snark, we keep the world caught up on all the tasty Nuggets-O-Trump you may have heard about but were too busy to care. Because most of this minutia occurs just below the massive headlines, it’s in a land of its own. Here, an infusion of social media, video clips and print media meld with our political views to make more delicious “Fake News” about our commander-in-chief.
So just like the president, we start it all with a little tweet like this:
Donald and the Giant Peach 2.0
The week of our Trump — Jan. 9, 2021: In the aftermath of a national disaster of his own making, lame-duck President Donald J. Trump was impeached for the second time in the U.S. House of Representatives this week just days after he incited his supporters to attack Congress.
Trump, who was first impeached about a year ago for leveraging military aid to Ukraine against dirt on his challenger, Joe Biden, made history when his actions on Jan. 6 turned the U.S. Capitol into a crime scene with seditious supporters attempting to overthrow the government and avert the confirmation of Electoral College votes.
In what is usually a ceremonial event, both houses of Congress meet to confirm the election results and name the next president. The vice president, who is the president of the Senate, oversees the event.
Trump held a morning rally at precisely the same time Congress was meeting and urged his more than 50,000 supporters to storm Congress during the vote on an election he lost and never conceded. The petulant Trump has falsely said the election was stolen and fraudulent.
In what would prove to possibly be a criminal action, the sitting president urged his gathered supporters to confront Congress and to show their displeasure to his vice president, who he falsely claimed had the power to overturn the election.
The directive from Trump caused him to become the first president in United States history to be impeached for a second time. Exactly a week after the deadly rally against democracy, members of the House of Representatives impeached Trump for his seditious directive that led to an all-out assault on the Capitol during the congressional vote and led to a riot that had insurrectionists smashing their way into the building.
One insurrectionist was killed, along with a police officer. At least three others died as a result of what can only be described as an attempted coup against democracy. Police were beaten, and windows and doors were broken inside the Capitol. Offices were pilfered and members of Congress were forced to hide in office space as angry Trump supporters hunted for the nation’s leaders in the hopes of overturning the election.
The 232-197 impeachment vote in the House included 10 members of the president’s own Republican Party to side with Democrats.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, dressed in the same black outfit she wore when Trump was impeached in December of 2019, led the call to remove Trump for his actions:
“We know we experienced the insurrection that violated the sanctity of the people’s Capitol. And we know that the president of the United States incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion, against our common country. He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love.”
The most prominent Republican to vote for Trump’s impeachment was Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney. Liz Cheney condemned Trump’s words and actions, which directly proceeded the siege on the Capitol.
“There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”
Pelosi has yet to deliver the article of impeachment to the Senate for a trial. Current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has refused to call the Senate back into session prior to Trump’s expected exit on the day of Biden’s inauguration.
McConnell, who has said he supports the latest impeachment of Trump, did not expect the Senate to hear the article or hold the trial for Trump’s impeachment until after the 45th president is already out of office. The move will leave the matter to be heard by the Senate when Biden is president and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has replaced McConnell as head of the upper house.
Impeachment may have been the worst news for Trump, now known to history as the biggest loser, but it was part of a tremendously bad week that would be one of his last in the White House.
Already a laughingstock to the world and the internet, many took shots and struck the former king of social media whose Twitter feathers were plucked when his account was permanently suspended last week.
As things continued to fall apart, an increasingly isolated and marginalized Trump watched his administration implode around him. Video content giant YouTube suspended his channel for at least a week following the riot, just long enough for him to leave office.
A spokesman for the service, which was the last one to take action against the president, said the suspension could be longer. It follows the indefinite suspension of Trump’s Facebook page and a permanent ban from his preferred method of communication — Twitter.
Trump has not taken any responsibility for the attack he launched with his Jan. 6 rally and call to arms for his followers, who he urged to “fight like hell.”
In an ongoing disintegration of his presidency, corporate sponsorship for the GOP dropped off significantly this week, but an angry Trump has also managed to marginalize his vice president and his personal attorney and gained a snub from a longtime supporter.
Following almost a week of silence, Trump finally spoke to Vice President Mike Pence, who disappointed his boss and upheld his responsibility to the U.S. Constitution during the attempted coup.
Just prior to his impeachment, the two men met for the first time since the riot. Pence, who refused to entertain a motion to remove his former boss from office via the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, was said to have had a “good conversation” with Trump, as per media reports.
The two agreed that the rioters, although known to be their supporters, did not represent the 75 million people who voted to re-elect the now twice-impeached Trump.
In what must have been an angering final blow to their relationship, Pence called Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Thursday night and welcomed the former California Senator to the White House. The near public concession comes more than two months after she and Biden earned a victory in the 2020 election. Trump has yet to concede defeat, but earlier this week did admit a new administration would take over on Jan. 20. He also confirmed that he would not be attending the inauguration.
Nagging Questions Always Remain
With its chambers still being cleaned and sanitized, members of Congress were more than busy this week, first impeaching the president for a second time, but also looking into the siege on the Capitol.
Since Trump fomented an attack on Congress, legislators have called for inquiries into the attack.
Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.) has called for an investigation into the possibility that Republican members of the House and Senate might have helped coordinate the insurrection. Sherrill said she saw Republican representatives leading tours the day before the riot at a time when the Capitol was closed to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions.
In a letter sent earlier this week to the Capitol Police and the acting sergeants at arms for the House and Senate, Sherrill and 33 other legislators noted an “extremely high number of outside groups” were touring the Capitol Complex a day before the attacks.
The New Jersey lawmaker is one of 34 House Democrats who are asking questions and seeking answers by way of an investigation into the deadly incident:
“We can’t have a democracy if members of Congress are actively helping the president overturn the election results. I’m going to see they are held accountable, and if necessary, ensure that they don’t serve in Congress.”
The letters from Democrats follow calls to expel Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), who participated in the ill-fated rally outside of the White House that launched the attack on his colleagues. Some members of Congress said they support censuring Brooks or even expelling him for his actions.
At the rally, Brooks said:
“Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass — our ancestors sacrificed their blood, their sweat, their tears, their fortunes and sometimes their lives. . . . Are you willing to do the same?”
Right-wing nut job Ali Alexander, organizer of the “Stop the Steal” rally, said that he, along with Brooks and Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz), organized an effort after the Trump rally to put maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting to confirm the Electoral College vote.
Since the attacks, metal detectors have been installed outside both the House of Representatives and Senate.
Freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) made headlines this week when she refused to allow Capitol Police to go through her purse once she set off one of the new metal detectors. A strong advocate of the Second Amendment, Boebert vowed to carry a firearm into the House chamber, something that is not permitted. Her refusal caused a standoff between authorities and the new member of Congress.
Last week, there were calls for her resignation, when during the attack, she referred to it as “1776” in a tweet. Boebert also was accused of tweeting the location of Pelosi as the mob of Trump supporters stormed through the halls of Congress, allegedly in search of her and Pence.
Boebert has also come under fire as possibly leading one of the tours of Congress the day before the insurrection. The congresswoman has denied doing so.
Pelosi said all allegations will be investigated and could ultimately lead to prosecution of sitting lawmakers if they prove well-founded.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca.) has called for a bipartisan commission to investigate the attack.
Dozens of supporters of lame-duck President Donald Trump were rounded up this week for their alleged roles in the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol Building that left five dead, including a police officer.
Insurrectionists carried Trump flags, Confederate flags, stun guns and pepper spray, but many also carried cell phones, all the better to record their unbridled glee as they raped that pillar of democracy, the United States Capitol.
However, to law enforcement, the attack on the democracy was a federal crime, and this week, after sifting through video and online posts, they began finding and prosecuting many of the people whose seditious acts forced Congress to halt its vote and members to hide for hours.
Like some 21st Century version of “Dragnet,” federal authorities began making arrests shortly after insurrectionists returned home from their traitorous endeavors.
Michael Sherwin, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, said there are more than 200 open cases, which have been labeled acts of “sedition and conspiracy.” At least 100 arrests have been made so far.
Those arrested included seditious creatures from all walks of life and from every corner of the United States, with many only initially being identified by their despicable acts or whatever interesting piece of garb they were wearing during the attack on Congress.
However, the best tale from the week-long federal arrest spree came from the man who became the painted face of sedition for his tattoos and buffalo horns: Jake Angeli, whose real name turned out to be Jacob Chansley.
Chansley, 33, has become known worldwide as the “QAnon shaman,” as it relates to the protest. Shirtless and dressed in what appeared to be some type of Native American inspired costume, replete with spear, the self-described actor breached the chambers of Congress after his fellow rioters pressed their way past police.
The 33-year-old still lives with his mother in Arizona and is a supporter of the QAnon conspiracy that espouses the belief that all Democrats are child-eating cannibals who are involved in a worldwide child-smuggling ring.
Chansley turned himself in to the FBI on Jan. 9 and was indicted by a federal grand jury on six counts including violent entry and disorderly conduct at a federal property. He has since tested positive for COVID-19 and was being quarantined and detained in Phoenix.
His attorney, Albert Watkins, said his client only broke in to the Capitol at the request of Trump, and that his client felt he was “answering the call of our president.” Chansley also refused to eat prison food and petitioned the court to get organic food inside the Big House. He also sent his attorney to plead his case on television and publicly ask for a pardon from his hero.
Watkins told CNN host Chris Cuomo:
“Trump needs to stand up and own these people. He owes them — he has an obligation to them. Now am I holding my breath thinking Donald Trump will be sitting around going, you know what, what’s the name of the guy with the horns? Let’s give him a pardon. With Trump, you never know. He may say I want the guy with the horns.”