During Kennedy’s slow recovery, he worked on a book project – with his talented assistant Ted Sorensen, who became Profiles in Courage, in a central role. It was six years before Kennedy was elected president, nine years before he was assassinated in a motorcade in Dallas. The book, which tells the stories of senators who risked their careers to defend their principles, became a bestseller and won the Pulitzer Prize for biography.
If Americans, the book suggests, understood the terrible pressures that keep a politician from taking an unpopular stand – the potential loss of friends, wealth, fulfillment, even respect from peers – they might be more grateful for those who are still able to take the path of courage.
That’s a lot of pressure. As former Assemblyman Charlie Dent, a Republican who opposed President Donald Trump, wrote: Profiles in Courage is a thin book for a reason. But on Wednesday, under the threat of political and personal injury, some Republicans, including one of their leaders, Congresswoman Liz Cheney, joined Democrats in accusing Trump of being responsible for the seat in the Capitol to prevent the counting of Joe Biden’s votes in the election of the 6th Congressional District. January to stop.
Although many Republicans in the House would have supported impeachment, only ten courageous GOP members actually voted for Dent, as discussed in Part Two. If the Senate censured Trump and banned him from running for high office again, many House Republicans would be very grateful and relieved. It’s called hope, yes, vote no.
It was the second indictment of Trump – unprecedented in US history. For the first time, not a single Republican in the House voted in favor, and in the Senate, only one Republican, Mitt Romney, voted to remove him from office.
Lieutenant. General. Ken Keene, former deputy commander of U.S. Southern Command, served 38 years in the U.S. Army. We ask our military and our young men and women in uniform to put their lives on the line every day to defend our country, he wrote. If political leaders are not willing to do the same and put their careers on the line by standing up to those whose actions may have provoked or encouraged the attack on our Capitol that killed five Americans, they should resign. They are playing the wrong role and do not deserve the honor and privilege of being our leaders.
When rioters stormed Capitol Hill, Illinois Democratic Congresswoman Sheri Bustos felt threatened. My goal was to survive, she writes, I soon realized I was too big to hide under the chairs. I quickly learned how to use a gas mask. We evacuated to the safest room we could find ….
What happened on the 6th. January was not a political act. It was a crime. Violent. Brutal. On purpose. Deadly. All instigators and perpetrators are criminals. And the call for unity cannot simultaneously be a justification for this violence. To achieve unity, we must also ensure accountability and fairness. I am not a prosecutor and I cannot convict Donald Trump in a court of law. Deposition is the only means I have to prevent him from inciting more chaos, bloodshed and rebellion.
According to historian Julian Zelizer, Trump’s two rejections will be remembered as a warning of the enormous dangers threatening our republic as a result of the radicalization of the Republican Party, which led to an almost total rejection of institutional norms and constraints. When partisanship won out over the needs of governance and the health of our democratic institutions, violence erupted.
The Republicans who voted against Trump’s impeachment, Frieda Gitis wrote, were largely two-faced opportunists who claimed at the last minute that the country needed unity after contributing to the rhetoric that brought the country to the brink of civil war.
Arik Wierson and Bradley Honan noted that for every Liz Cheney, there are more than a dozen GOP elected officials who are still loyal to Trump. Although Republicans lost control of the House, Senate and White House during the Trump administration, all indications are that he will continue to control the party as its de facto leader, discouraging the more traditional wing of the party from fighting for control.
Former FBI agent Asha Rangappa noted that those who planned and participated in this atrocity will soon receive a helping hand from the FBI. But the threat of internal terror is not limited to a mob. The mere fact that the FBI has sent a threatening letter to all 50 states shows that a corrupt ideology based on lies about election fraud is spreading. She argued that it was hard to understand that – especially in light of the many threats of violence being openly circulated on social media by pro-Trump groups and individuals – the FBI and its law enforcement partners were not better prepared for what was going on.
Wednesday afternoon, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. is expected to become the 46th president of the United States. The President of the United States will be sworn in – in an inauguration like no other given the security threat and the Covid 19 pandemic. Number 45. The president, who has refused for months to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, is breaking with tradition by not planning to attend Biden’s oath-taking ceremony.
That’s not really a surprise. Trump’s approach to the presidency is the same as his approach to business, David Axelrod noted: a blatant disregard for rules and regulations and a weakening of institutions.
From the moment he walked down the Trump Tower escalator in June 2015 and entered national politics with a barrage of inflammatory and racist slogans, Trump has regularly and viciously lied and sold his self-serving version of events and conspiracy theories. He deliberately and cynically divided and stoked the country of which he was the leader for his own purposes.
Trump’s father taught him that there are two kinds of people – killers and losers, Axelrod noted. A violent uprising against the US Capitol and our democracy will be his epitaph. The threat of future criminal prosecutions and disqualification from public service still looms on the horizon. But the President has already suffered the most painful punishment of all: Fred Trump’s son will go home a loser.
Trump is one of four presidents of the last century to whom voters have refused a second term.
A young member of Bill Clinton’s campaign team, Paul Begala was present when America last fired its president: George W. Bush. The outgoing president clearly felt the pain of the 1992 loss, Begala recalls, but he was the epitome of dignity…. That’s where Bush’s amazing grace came in. He was a wounded politician, but not just a patriot. Clinton told Begala he still remembers the warm reception George and Barbara Bush gave him at the White House.
To learn more about this moment in Washington:
Alisyn Camerota: I’m tired of interviewing Trump fans who get carried away.
Daniel Lubetsky: There is only one way to stop violent extremists.
David Gergen: The perfect symbol for the Trump years
Gaby Goldstein and David Daly: We should have expected a riot on Capitol Hill.
Gregory E. Sterling: The Capitol rebels made a mockery of Christian values.
Joe Lockhart: Call Trump’s big lie.
For Democrats in the House, the charge against Trump was an easy challenge. The more difficult question is how the process will be handled in the Senate, since Republican majority leader Senator Mitch McConnell did not express his support for it until the end of Trump’s term. For the new president, this process poses a dilemma, as it threatens to inhibit both the approval of the Biden administration and the aggressive initiatives he has outlined to combat Covid-19 and revitalize the economy.
Some Republicans believe the process will be divisive.
But Garry Kasparov argued that it is a mistake to sacrifice honesty for unity. The Russians learned this the hardest way after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The leaders decided, in the interest of national harmony, not to launch a serious investigation into the abuses at the KGB. It would be too traumatic, our leaders said, to expose the countless atrocities committed by Soviet security forces and punish the perpetrators…. The name of the KGB was changed to FSB, and its officers remained silent and unharmed. Results? Just nine years after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia elected former KGB lieutenant colonel Vladimir Putin as president. It was the last sensible choice we had. We chose unity and got a dictatorship. America should not be making these kinds of mistakes.
GOP senators face many challenges, Scott Jennings wrote: I’m sure many senators – if not most – are asking themselves this question: If Mr. Trump’s behavior is not impeccable, what is? … If the senator feels that Mr. Trump is not the right person to move the Republican Party forward and/or should be punished for his disruptive behavior, the question arises: Does the accusation make him a fast or a martyr?
For more information on the policy:
Stephen A. Holmes: The House of Representatives could have made itself much stronger for Trump’s impeachment.
Joe Lockhart: How can Americans hold Trump accountable if Congress doesn’t?
Ethan Zuckerman: A real lesson in the silence of Trump’s social media.
Eli Honig: An indictment of Trump is not enough.
Covid-19: One year later.
All 20 of them. January is not just the initiation date. It is also the anniversary of the first confirmed case of Covid 19 in the United States – a 35-year-old surviving man. Since then, more than 23 million Americans (nearly 7 percent of the population) have been diagnosed with the infection and at least 385,000 have died, Dr. Kent Sepkowitz wrote. Effective treatments, public health containment strategies, and vaccines have been developed to address the pandemic, but the pandemic continues to worsen both in the United States and in other parts of the world.
The reality, Sepkowitz said, is that some of the advice he and other doctors gave in the first few months of the pandemic turned out to be wrong. It has been an extremely humbling year. We infectious disease experts are often misled – a predictable problem in events that only happen once a century, but still. Initially, doctors minimized the risk and said masks were not necessary. American scientists have stumbled upon the development of reliable tests to diagnose the disease. There is now hope in the form of vaccines, although their application is much slower than expected. Biden’s team is certainly aware of what lies ahead, Sepkovic noted. We can only hope that his decisions will be based on evidence, common sense and, above all, the solitary humility of the physician treating a seriously ill patient.
While people in the highest priority groups, including those aged 65 and older and those with weakened immune systems, struggled this week to find a way to get one of the vaccines, Dr. Megan Ranney wrote that the vaccine should not be as rare as it is now. Lack of understanding among health care providers and an inadequately trained vaccine delivery system can hinder both slow production and administration of vaccines. While some locations are overwhelmed by demand, other clinics throw away unused doses when patients don’t show up for injections.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day has a special resonance this year in the aftermath of the Capitol riot, writes historian Peniel E. Joseph, author of Sword and Shield : The revolutionary lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.
The roots of the white racism that blossomed in Trump’s time run deep, and King fought these forces in his day with a moral strength and courage that made him a radical political agitator, along with his former political ally, President Lyndon B. Johnson on the Vietnam issue and a revolutionary human rights leader who vowed to help end militarism, racism and materialism before they destroyed American society, Joseph wrote.
King will no doubt avoid using his holiday as an example of American exceptionalism – and instead urge us to work hard to establish, for the first time in our country’s history, a racial democracy that will ensure that this latest assault on the sacred citadel of American democracy will be the last.
Kate Maltby: How much of Bridgerton is forgivable?
Jill Filipowicz: This is exactly what GOP lawmakers, who refused to wear masks during the Capitol lockdown, need.
Nicole Hemmer: This is a microcosm of a right wing media problem.
James Moore: How Ted Cruz wasted his intelligence supporting Donald Trump’s fraud.
Nick Paton Walsh: America is fortunate to be saved by its democracy…. even if some people don’t realize it.
George Orwell in 2021
The author of 1984, George Orwell, who died in 1950, is one of those thinkers whose eternal curse it is that his keen observations about his own society are brought into contemporary debate and misused.
When Laura Beers pointed out that Senator Josh Hawley’s book contract was cancelled because he kept running for office without providing conclusive evidence of fraud, Hawley grew up, Orwellian it could not have been…. It’s the left that wants to abolish anyone who disapproves.
When the moderator stated that Trump had inspired the uprising, one of Trump’s campaign advisers accused him of using Orwellian language to change events.
Pierce, a historian preparing to lecture on Orwell, wrote that as an opponent of censorship he abhorred the corruption of language by political leaders who try to hide dubious or immoral acts in the language of bureaucracy and jurisprudence or in the emotional language of patriotism. One of Orwell’s deepest regrets is that, during his lifetime, political speech and writing became largely a defense of the indefensible.
Probably, Bear added, Orwell would not have supported Trump’s lament or Hawley’s termination of his book contract. But he would probably also despise the two men for their cynical abuse of the English language.