Above Photo: Trump supporters at Reagan International airport calling Senator Lindsey Graham, an ardent supporter of Trump’s lies, a traitor for criticizing Trump’s actions and inciting the riot that resulted in occupation of the Capitol.
By V. Susan Hutchinson
This week’s assault on democracy by an estimated two thousand Trump supporters was appalling. Even more appalling is the Republican response to the insurrection that put the lives of every Representative and Senator, as well as all who were working in the Capitol that day, in jeopardy.
Let’s call it hypocrisy on steroids.
And now there are some media commentators and others who think Republicans who condemned the attacks should be applauded for seeing the light and finally calling out Trump for behavior he has been exhibiting for over four years.
They are all complicit in his abuse of power and whipping up his white supremacist base to stay in office. Just because it hit a crescendo this week and resulted in the death of six people, including two Capitol police officers, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t continue to be called out for their refusal to stop this maniac when they had the chance. They should not be patted on the back for tepidly turning on him now.
Republicans never said a word when Trump refused to use all resources at his disposal and work with every state to stop the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. In essence they have supported a murderer for the last year so why do the deaths and destruction this week mean we should now say “well done for finally standing up”?
Let’s not forget they supported him when they heard his extortion call to the president of Ukraine and then refused to remove him from office. That bad decision empowered Trump because he knew he could get away with absolutely anything. This week he tested that theory, except this time he was gunning for Republicans who did not support his attempt to overturn the will of the voters.
Incredibly, many in Congress still support him.
Still Looking for Their Spines
We have all been asking if there is a line any of those supporting Trump’s administration would not cross for him. Inciting insurrection and sending his armed supporters to Congress to go after Vice President Mike Pence and other Republicans should have immediately turned them all against him demanding he resign or rushing through an impeachment and removal.
They still don’t get that his mantra is “if you aren’t with me you are against me” and there is no partisanship on his part.
The truly stalwart Trump supporters in Congress kept up their business of trying to overturn the election results once Congress reconvened, meaning they were still good with him being in office for four more years if they could just “stop the steal”.
A few Senators openly condemned Trump as being responsible for what happened, but five days after Trump’s mob was unleashed on Congress, there is still no blanket cry from Republicans for his removal. Apparently, the reasoning is he’ll be gone in less than two weeks and they just want him to quietly go away.
There have been several who have resigned from the Trump administration since Wednesday, including Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao claiming this week he went too far for them. Talk about tepidly distancing themselves. Possibly to avoid getting embroiled in the removal of Trump under the 25th Amendment, these two ladies decided to hit the door running instead.
Although “multiple Republican lawmakers on the Hill” have indicated to the media they want him to resign or be removed, none of them are speaking out publicly so they can be identified. Only three, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who endorses invoking the 25th, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), who said he would “consider” impeachment, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who has called for his resignation, have spoken out publicly.
Just a reminder that none of these three have forcefully criticized Trump before or voted to remove him after his impeachment.
Sen. Lindsey Graham is Still a Coward
Our own Senator Lindsey Graham, Mr. Flip Flop himself, was quick to turn on Trump when Congress reconvened after the riot. Graham said of Trump “he’s been a consequential president.” Lindsey Graham is a man who called Trump a “kook” in 2016 and then jumped with both feet onto Trump’s loyalist bandwagon after the death of Sen. John McCain in 2018. He has remained there ever since even knowing he was a “consequential president”.
Hypocrite doesn’t even begin to describe Lindsey Graham.
When Graham got to the airport after Congress certified Joe Biden as the next president, he was met by rabid Trump supporters who called him a traitor. You would think that would be enough for him to want Trump to be held accountable for his actions and removed immediately.
Although Graham has openly said “enough is enough”, he is not willing to take that final step of holding Trump accountable. Graham stated on Friday, January 8, “As President @realDonald Trump stated last night, it is time to heal and move on.” He continued by saying the push for impeachment at this late stage of Trump’s presidency “will do more harm than good.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) quite rightly called him out.
The one thing that Graham still fails to see is that when Trump is forced to say something he doesn’t want to say, he immediately reverses course and goes back to who he is. Trump’s video condemning the violence and saying we need to heal and move on was followed by Twitter posts that continued to stir up his base and potentially incite more violence. These Tweets, a day after the insurrection, were the cause of Twitter permanently disabling his account.
Lindsey Graham needs to read the Article of Impeachment for Incitement of Insurrection drafted by the House. It isn’t just about removing him before he can do more damage. More importantly, it is about “removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.”
Graham is also in denial that this was a one-off riot. Anyone with access to the internet can find information that shows more is coming, with or without Trump still being in office. These attacks have been planned for weeks and their easy breach of Congress this week has led them to believe they can come back even more violently and “take back the country”.
It is no longer about Trump with this violent mob of fascists. Trump unleashed the monster that has been living in this country for decades and now that monster wants to overthrow the government with or without him.
They may even choose someone else if they are successful. Trump knows that like him they will turn on anyone who is suddenly against them and he will have to choose his words carefully.
And that probably scares him to death.