The front page of Thursday’s Washington Post:
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) January 14, 2021
Donald Trump has been impeached. Again.
He will go down in history as the only United States president to be impeached twice. There was only a single article of impeachment: Incitement of insurrection.
Take that in for a minute.
The sitting United States president was impeached for inciting a violent uprising against his own government!
My husband and I promised ourselves that after the election we would turn off the news. Well, not completely turn it off, but really scale it back. Hearing and reading the daily reports of shocking events that came with Trump at the helm was becoming too much to bear. Every day we would shake our heads in disbelief, saying it couldn’t get worse. The next day, it got worse.
Thank the electorate, he was defeated. We could begin to look forward to a world where the trauma drama caused by Trump and Trumpism wouldn’t be a daily occurrence.
I’m sad to report that we have not yet turned off the news. How can we possibly click the off button now? Things have only escalated to an unimaginable frenzy since the election.
At a time when there should have been information passed from administration to administration, when there should be a transition plan leading up to a peaceful transfer of power, Trump and his sycophants continued to insist that the election was fraudulent.
This, of course, was disproved time after time. Over 50 court cases were denied because of a lack of evidence. With each case, and with each passing week, we hoped he would give it a rest. But he didn’t. He continued to spout his lies about the election being stolen. He continued to insist that he was the rightful winner.
It’s hard to understand how someone can be so delusional, and even harder to understand how that delusional person can engage so many people in believing his delusion. But he did.
He repeatedly said he wanted his supporters to fight Congress on accepting the electoral college results that showed Joe Biden won. He instructed them to march to the Capitol on January 6th and fight on his behalf.
As we all know, thousands of his supporters showed up, breached the Capitol, and threatened the lives of our elected officials and their staff. Five people were killed and many more, including some police officers, severely injured.
Fast forward one week and we have a second impeachment. The House Democratic Caucus moved quickly to write the articles of impeachment. The House met seven days later, on January 13th, and voted 232 to 197 to impeach.
The next step is a Senate trial, which the Democrats want to hold immediately. Mitch McConnell has said he won’t allow that to happen, so the trial won’t start until after January 19th when the new Senate begins its term.
Chuck Schumer said in a statement, “Make no mistake, there will be an impeachment trial in the United States Senate; there will be a vote on convicting the President for high crimes and misdemeanors; and if the president is convicted, there will be a vote on barring him from running again.”
In a CNN report, a senior Trump advisor offered a stinging assessment of the President’s second impeachment by saying, “In the end, it all came crashing down because he could never tell the truth.” The advisor added, “All because he couldn’t accept he lost.”
“This will be the story you tell your kids when you lecture them about telling the truth,” the advisor continued.
Corporate America is quickly distancing itself from Trump. Marriott International, Dow, Airbnb, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Coca-Cola, Ford, and Comcast were among those that said they would halt donation to Trump and the 147 Republican members of Congress who objected to certifying the election results.
This may be partially why 10 GOP house members voted for impeachment. Their funding is being pulled. They’re beginning to see the wisdom of distancing themselves from Trump.
The Trump presidency has been a train wreck. A lot of damage has been done. We could make a checklist of the ways in which his administration has dialed back the clock on environmental protection, education, immigration, and so much more. We could point out the ways in which he has mishandled the pandemic. We could call him out for the divisiveness he has caused.
But the biggest damage is the way he has eroded our trust in our institutions, in one another, and in our very democracy.
I believe many of us will be holding our breath over the next seven days until the inauguration. We’re fearful that there will be more violence. We’re fearful that the man who has just been denied access to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, still has his finger on the nuclear codes. I think our fears are valid.
My husband and I won’t be giving up the news just yet. We will still be watching MSNBC, listening to NPR, and reading Heather Cox Richardson to search for any hope on the horizon.
Kathy’s thoughts on the Capitol’s storming: How an Act of Sedition gave Rise to a New Feeling of Love for my Country.