I was crazy about the girl I was dating when I was 16-years old. Still, we did argue a lot, mostly about religion. She didn’t convince me of anything, but I did convince her to find a different boyfriend, so I won! Right?
What I learned from that is never to argue with anyone about any faith-based belief system. Faith-based belief isn’t limited to religion: it includes politics too. I did manage to resist, but this week I was sorely tempted to argue with my friends who think attacking the US Capitol last Wednesday was either excusable, or right.
One of the worst things about politics in America (and it’s not recent at all) is that way too many people are willing to excuse behavior that is wrong when it’s done by people you agree with politically. There are lots of things that are objectively just plain wrong, and breaking into the US Capitol to try and derail Congress from performing its constitutionally mandated duty is one of them.
Some (but not all) BLM demonstrators turned to rioting, arson and looting over the summer, and that doesn’t make it okay for some (but not all) pro-Trump supporters to storm the US Capitol. If one group was treated more harshly than the other, it doesn’t mean both should be treated less harshly, it means both should be equally condemned and punished. Three lefts make a right. Two wrongs don’t. And while rioting, arson and looting are incredibly wrong, rioting, arson, looting, and sedition are much worse.
Plus, I’m much less likely to attack you if you punch somebody else in the face than if you punch me in the face. So, the people who stormed the Capitol on Wednesday ought to expect Congress to come down hard on them, because Congress can, and because it’s Congress they punched in the face.
To be clear, I lean more conservative than liberal, but I didn’t vote for President Trump either time he ran. While I didn’t expect him to incite what happened last Wednesday. I did expect from Trump the kind of behavior he has exhibited throughout his Presidency and before. In fact, in 2016, for the first time in my life, I didn’t vote for President at all. On the other hand, efforts to remove Trump with fewer than two weeks left in his term of office serve only to express how angry Congress is at the President for inciting the attack on the Capitol. The 25th amendment isn’t going to be tested and while the House may be able to impeach him for a second time, Senate Democrats would need at least 17 Republicans to vote with them in order to remove him from office. It’s debatable whether such a vote should succeed in the Senate, but I’m almost certain it won’t. If they are not sure they can succeed, impeaching Trump again is far more political theater than anything else.
By the way, former UN Ambassador and National Security Advisor John Bolton pointed out this week that the 25th amendment won’t work on a President a lot of people think is mentally ill. The way it’s supposed to work, the Vice President and a majority of the cabinet advises Congress that the President is unfit. The President can then dispute that and if he (or eventually she) does dispute it, the matter goes to Congress which has three weeks to decide. During those three weeks, you would have two people, the President and the Vice President, each claiming the right to exert executive power within the federal government. If a President were in a coma, the 25th amendment would probably work. If the VP and Cabinet thought he was crazy and he disagreed, not so much.