Further Thoughts on Congress, Sedition, and Impeachment

I would second much of what Greg said. Impeachment is the best option for the reasons he gives. 

But we need to take a moment to recognize how numb we’ve become to the awful and extraordinary.

The sitting president, who lost an election, urged his supports to violently storm the Congress. They did so to disrupt Congress’s formal counting of electoral votes that would recognize his opponent as the duly elected president. From news reports, many of those storming the Congress were prepared to murder the sitting vice president because he did not go along with the president’s unconstitutional call for him to reject a handful of state’s electoral votes. They spoke of killing the Speaker of the House. They murder a capitol hill police officer in their efforts to get members of Congress. The president praised them—saying he “loved them”—and they continue to call for further violence. His own party continues to equivocate on what should be done, more concerned with a possible backlash from their supporters than the sitting president’s seditious behavior. 

Against this backdrop, Congress took a weekend break! 

If we cannot understand this as a fundamental and violent challenge to our constitutional democracy, we have taken a large step to abandoning America’s experiment in constitutional self-government. Read the accounts in the Washington Post and New York Times of how events unfolded. They are much more horrifying than we are acknowledging. Things could easily have been much worse. 

I avoided the use of proper nouns above. Simply imagine you are describing any past president doing this. Or any party. Imagine it’s another country. There would be no question that this was an attack on Congress fostered by the sitting president as part of an effort to illegitimately stay in power. 

If Congress cannot impeachment and remove in these circumstances, we have set a dangerous precedent. We treat Trump as an anomaly. And he is. But indulging his behavior, we’ve made it routine. Even now, we seem unable to clearly see what just occurred.

We cannot simply run out the clock. Congress must stand for the future of American constitutional democracy. 

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