January 6, 2021: Holy Sh*t
If the writers of Homeland or House of Cards or 24 or the West Wing or Scandal or Saturday Night Live created a script that had all the events that occurred on January 6, 2021 and presented it to their producers or directors, they would've been told, get the hell out of the office and come up with something more believable.
A black pastor who preaches at the same church Martin Luther King Jr did and a 33 year old millennial Jewish guy, who just a few years ago was tweeting stuff out like "NOOb 4 lyfe", won two Senate runoff elections......IN GEORGIA, which is historically a Republican state in the Bible Belt. Their runoff election victories gave Joe Biden and the Democrats full control of the Congress.
But no, that wasn't the biggest story.
Joe Biden also announced his choice for Attorney General, Judge Merrick Garland. Merrick Garland was President Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court in 2016 after Antonin Scalia died. However, Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, famously didn't allow his nomination to come to the Senate floor because there was going to be a Presidential election 9 months later and believed the winner of that election should choose who should replace the conservative stalwart, Antonin Scalia. Of course, after Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, McConnell rushed through the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett just a week before the 2020 Presidential election. So, Garland's announcement was supposed to be a redemption moment for him. Him being announced as the nations top law enforcement officer on a normal day would've been front page news.
But no, that wasn't the biggest story.
Oh, President - elect Joe Biden and Vice President elect - Kamala Harris were certified by Congress to become the next President and Vice President of the Untied States. That's pretty important.
But no, that wasn't the biggest story.
The current President of the United States encouraged his supporters to march down to the US Capitol where they began attacking US Capitol police and eventually breached the building where the Vice President and all the members of Congress were certifying the results of the 2020 Presidential election. It was an insurrection fueled by the current President of the Untied States. It was the first time the Capitol had been breached since the War of 1812.
Okay, I am pretty sure that was the biggest story of the day.
A lot happened and it was all important in various degrees. We'll break them down starting with how the current President of the United States is deemed to be too dangerous to have a Twitter or Facebook account but still has access to the nations nuclear codes.
(Sorry Elizabeth, no revolution today)
Show Me The Money
For the last two months, President Trump, many of his senior advisors and certain Republican members of Congress have claimed the 2020 election was fraudulent. Examples of some of these claims are; thousands of dead people voted or Hugo Chavez (the former Venezuelan dictator who died in 2013) was manipulating the voting machines or underage people voted and the list goes on and on.
As of January 7th, there have been 62 lawsuits from the Trump campaign across several states. All of them were dismissed except 1. The Supreme Court which has 3 Trump appointed justices refused to hear the case, citing there was no evidence. Bill Barr, the former Attorney General appointed by President Trump, who resigned in late December, stated the Department of Justice found no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
Despite losing in court at a higher frequency than the New York Jets, which is an impressive feat, Trump continues to claim the election was rigged. If you ask yourself why, just follow the money.
According to the last time campaign finances were reported in early December, Trump had raised $207M since election day. That money was raised through fundraisers and donors under the guise of "Stop the Steal". The emails stated the funds would be used to fight legal battles. However, most people don't read the fine print when they donate. That money can be used at the discretion of the campaign and what the Trump campaign did was send the money to a new PAC, called "Save America". Very little of the money was spent on legal fees on the "fraudulent election". The money that they're hoarding in that Save America PAC can be used for future Republican elections.
All 50 states certified their elections. It's up to Congress to formally certify the results on January 6, two weeks prior to the inauguration. It's all a formality. There is nothing anyone can do once the state's electors certify their elections. However, that didn't stop Trump and certain members of Congress to object to the election.
For weeks, Trump had told his supporters to come to Washington DC on January 6th to help "Stop the Steal" and "Save America". Sure enough, thousands of die hard Trump supporters, who have been led to believe by Trump and right wing media outlets, such as Fox News, OANN and Newsmax that the election was fraudulent, showed up.
Prior to domestic terrorists breaching the US Capitol, President Trump and his senior advisors riled up the thousands of supporters who descended upon Washington DC. As if he watched Game of Thrones seconds before going on stage, Trump's senior legal advisor, Rudy Giuliani, called for "trial by combat".
The rest is history. Thousands of rioters began marching down Pennsylvania Ave and when they reached the US Capitol, they were met with a show of force from US Capitol police, but it was no match. Terrorists breached the Capitol, delayed the certification of the election and caused the Capitol to go under lockdown. Five people were killed, including an Air Force vet who was shot by Capitol police. A Capitol police officer died from injuries sustained while trying to control the rioters.
Current and former Trump officials pleaded with the President to tell his supporters to stop. According to reports, the President was refusing to put out a message because the chaos was delaying the certification of the vote which is what he wanted.
Finally, several hours later, the President put out a video asking the rioters to go home but also letting them know he loves them and doubling down on the false claims that the election was rigged. Then he tweeted this “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!” It was then Twitter decided to suspend his account.
After being the most loyal VP and Republican over the last four years, President Trump threw Vice President Mike Pence under the bus, tweeting "“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution". There is literally nothing MIke Pence could've done. After Trump tweeted that out, there were communications on Gab (a social media network used by the Alt-Right) to capture the VP in the Capitol.
Did That Really F**king Happen?
For the first time, Americans realized we are not immune to political violence. The world watched in awe as domestic terrorists tried to overtake the government without Gerard Butler there to save us.
Iraqi officials were debating on sending in troops to make sure democracy was preserved in the United States (disclaimer - this did not happen).
What happened yesterday was not American and was incited by President Trump and certain members of Congress. Senator Josh Hawley of MIssouri and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas have blood on their hands as they have exploited this election fraud lie for their own benefit. Both have 2024 Presidential aspirations and believe by going along with the election lie, they could inherit President Trump's base. Well, that exploitation and political gambit failed spectacularly yesterday.
There have been rumors circulating that Antifa infiltrated and were the ones causing damage. The Washington Times published an article that a facial recognition firm, XRVision, identified known Antifa members in the crowd. One day later, the Washington Times (a conservative news outlet) deleted that article after it was proven to be false by XRVision. However, the rumor spread like wildfire across right wing social media and politicians like Republican Representative from Florida, Matt Gaetz.
Democracy Still Works
Lost in the attempted insurrection perpetrated by the current President of the United States was that Georgia Democrats pulled off the improbable and elected Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff to the United States Senate which gives Joe Biden and Democrats full control of Congress.
This is a big deal because it will allow Democrats to push across an agenda that otherwise couldn't have been entertained had Mitch McConnell and the Republicans retained control of the Senate. Some of the items that now have a chance of being passed that wouldn't have, had the Republicans retained control of the Senate:
1) $2,000 stimulus checks
2) State and local aid that Republicans refused to put into the previous COVID relief bill
3) Another COVID relief bill probably late Q1 or early Q2 of 2021
4) Elimination of some or all student loans
5) Large infrastructure bill that Democrats and some Republicans have sought for years
6) Shore up Obamacare and help fix the issues with it rather than eliminate it during the middle of a pandemic
7) Climate change initiatives
8) Raise the corporate tax and taxes for those who make more than $400K
9) Various racial justice reforms and help such as providing tax credits for housing
Having full control of the Congress allows President-elect Biden to initiate a lot of his campaign promises. Now, following through is a different story. It also allows him to choose whoever he wants for his cabinet as he shouldn't face major pushback from the Democratic majority in the Senate.
How the country pays for all this remains to be seen. But Republicans and fiscal conservatives have no argument on the deficit as they have supported the Trump agenda the last 4 years which has raised the national debt by $7 trillion.
The Real Star Of The Democratic Party
Stacey Abrams ran for governor of Georgia in 2018 and lost to Brian Kemp. That election was engulfed with accusations of voter suppression against black people in the state of Georgia. Thousands of voters were taken off the voter registration rolls, polling locations in urban areas were removed and controversial matching laws were passed. What made things even more controversial was the person overseeing all this was the person running against Stacey Abrams and eventually won, Brian Kemp, who was the secretary of state of Georgia at the time.
Since 2016, there were nearly 1 million newly registered people to vote, 2/3rds of whom are people of color. These grassroot campaigns to get people to register to vote was led by Stacey Abrams. Because of hard work, grit and determination, the state of Georgia elected two Democratic Senators and a Democratic President.
Raphael Warnock is the first Black senator from the state of Georgia and only the 11th Black senator in the history of the United States. He's the first to be elected in the South since Reconstruction.
Democrats also have to thank President Trump. His constant barrage of lies about the election drove down Republican turnout in Georgia. One of his biggest allies in the "Stop The Steal" movement is a lawyer named LIn Wood, a Qanon conspiracy theorist. At a December rally in Georgia, he encouraged the crowd to not vote in the upcoming rigged Senate runoffs.
Who would've thought telling people the system is rigged and not to show up is a good way to lose.
January 6, 2021
There is no doubt what happened on January 6, 2021 was a dark day in the history of the United States, The sacred transition of power came under attack not by a foreign adversary but from the President of the United States.
Lawmakers chosen by the people, were forced to hide and evacuate as terrorists stormed the Capitol. These aren't just words thrown around by Democrats or folks who dislike the President.
Former Attorney General, Bill Barr, appointed by Trump, stated "Orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable. The President’s conduct yesterday was a betrayal of his office and supporters".
Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, "It’s time to invoke the 25th Amendment and to end this nightmare. The president is unfit and the president is unwell."
Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao resigned today stating "Yesterday, our country experienced a traumatic and entirely avoidable event as supporters of the President stormed the Capitol building following a rally he addressed... it has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside"
Former Trump Chief of Staff John Kelly told CNN's Jake Tapper "Yesterday was a direct result of Trump poisoning the minds of people with the lies and the frauds" He was also asked if the 25th amendment came up would he vote yes to invoke it and he said yes.
Former Defense Secretary, President Trump's FIRST cabinet member hire, Jim Mattis, "Use of the Presidency to destroy trust in our election and to poison our respect for fellow citizens has been enabled by pseudo political leaders whose names will live in infamy as profiles in cowardice" He went on to say "We the People will come together again in our never-ending effort to form a more perfect Union, while Mr. Trump will deservedly be left a man without a country."
In addition to all this, everyone around the world saw a mob of mostly caucasians attacking the US Capitol and literally nothing happening to them. 52 people were arrested. There were more arrests when the Lakers won the championship back in October of 2o20. 76 people were arrested then. Had a group of thousands of Black rioters stormed the Capitol, there would be arrests in the thousands and probably dead bodies all over (thank God there wasn't a much larger loss of life yesterday). If there were thousands of Muslims who stormed the Capitol, there would be 25 full 787's headed to Guantanamo.
The folks who were out there rioting are the same folks who had a problem with Colin Kaepernick peacefully kneeling. The folks who were out there rioting, injuring police officers, were the same folks screaming "back the blue" and "blue lives matter".
What happened on January 6 is nothing short of embarrassing. There was outrage from both sides. But let's be clear here. President Trump and those Republican lawmakers exploiting these election fraud lies are the ones to blame. There is something wrong with the Republican party and they need to do some soul searching. This is not absolving the Democrats from the hypocrisy they commit and votes from people of color they take advantage of but there was a literal insurrection fueled by Republicans.
This is not what America is about and it can't be how we proceed. We are destroying ourselves from within and we're doing one hell of a good job. But this experiment we call America, filled with 330 million folks from all different backgrounds and beliefs, can turn it around and it will. But it's going to take hard work, grit and determination.
Someone give Stacey Abrams a call.