Please don’t miss today’s earlier posts on race & policing, the risks of leaving Trump in office, and some Q&A about the 25th Amendment, including whether the votes of “acting” Cabinet secretaries count.
On to the NEW THOUGHTS!
Thought 1: (12:40 PST, 1/7/2021)
The House Sergeant at Arms Paul D. Irving has been fire-quitted. (The opposite of quit-fired: they were told to resign or they would be fired. Irving chose to quit.)
Pelosi has also called for the resignation of the Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, while Chuck Schumer has demanded the resignation of Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael C. Stenger. Schumer will not gain the ability to fire Stenger until January 20th unless at least one Republican senator joins the Democratic caucus to promote Schumer to Majority leader early, or to pass a resolution on the specific topic of Stenger’s continued employment. But Schumer will, inevitably, become majority leader on the 20th or immediately thereafter, so this is still a valid threat, even if it might take a couple weeks to carry out.
I fully expect the Chief’s office and both Sergeants offices to be vacant within days if not hours.
Vignettes from The Nation:
“Who here thinks the DC police will actually enforce the curfew tonight?” one protester called into a megaphone. He was answered by loud booing. “They’re not real police,” the man continued. “They’re security guards for Washington!” …
It was more than an hour still before police would attempt to disperse protesters at the Capitol, but already Pennsylvania Avenue was a sea of Trump supporters trudging away. Some chanted, tiredly, “USA-USA.” They jeered at police in SUVs: “Fucking traitors!” …
For all the violence in the air, the mood was less coup and more college football tailgate. Pop songs blared from speakers. Somewhere, snare drums went rat-a-tat-tat. And the chants were so loud they rumbled in your chest. Among several common refrains: “Fight for Trump!” “Fuck Mike Pence!” “Biden concede!” …
Never mind the Blue Lives Matter paraphernalia, anti-police sentiment was commonplace. “The state troopers where I live are assholes,” I’d heard someone complain earlier. …
[P]rotesters shoved and hit police, their faces all sweaty rage—but most, it seemed, didn’t want to be gassed again. As they fell back, people took parting shots: “Pigs!” “Is this what we get for backing the Blue?!” “You just lost the only people in this country who stand behind you!” “You serve Satan!” …
“This is not America,” a woman said to a small group, her voice shaking. She was crying, hysterical. “They’re shooting at us. They’re supposed to shoot BLM, but they’re shooting the patriots.”
It’s that last one that gets me.
NY Times is now reporting that before the riot, but over the course of several weeks, Trump has told people close to him that he wants to pardon himself on his last day in office. Again, NYT doesn’t have a source saying he has repeated that after yesterday’s insurrection, but it was repeated over time, so it seems like Trump takes this idea seriously.
There are some legal reasons to believe that the constitution doesn’t allow a president to pardon the president’s self, but those arguments have not been tested in a court of law. Moreover, as I’ve previously discussed, granting a pardon to anyone, much less himself, for a crime committed against Congress severely threatens the separation of powers. This is all the more reason to hold secret meeting to invoke the 25th, then serve him notice after it has been invoked so he is not warned that his last day in office has changed.
Note: The same article indicates prosecutors are looking at filing charges against persons who might have committed a crime related to yesterday’s insurrection even if that person did not physically enter the Capitol Building:
The discussions between Mr. Trump and his aides about a self-pardon came before his pressure over the weekend on Georgia officials to help him try to overturn the election results or his incitement of the riots at the Capitol. Trump allies believe that both episodes increased Mr. Trump’s criminal exposure and more potential problems emerged for Mr. Trump on Thursday when the Justice Department said it would not rule out pursuing charges against the president over his role in inciting Wednesday’s violence.
“We are looking at all actors, not only the people who went into the building,” said Michael R. Sherwin, the top federal prosecutor in Washington.
Kayleigh McEnany has some fucking chutzpah:
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 7, 2021
Oh, holy hell. Now this one is slightly longer and is possibly the funniest thing I’ve heard in ages:
WATCH: White House Press Sec. McEnany says "we condemn" the violence at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
The president has not been seen publicly since his rally where he encouraged his supporters to go to the Capitol. pic.twitter.com/iKPa1eYZDO
— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) January 7, 2021
Between 0:19 and 0:25 she says, and I quote:
We condemn [yesterday’s violence], the President and this administration, in the strongest possible terms.”
Yes, Kayleigh, we all condemn the President and this administration. However it’s a little funny to hear you say it from the podium.
Josh Hawley is coming in for real life consequences already. He was to publish a book with Simon & Schuster. That book deal has been rescinded by S&S. Ironically it was a book on how Facebook, Twitter & similar large social media companies’ actions banning hate speech and stalking and spreading lies harmful to democracy constituted tyranny, and the greatest threat to our rights and freedoms since the guilded age. (Apparently he missed the bit about the KKK’s last great hurrah in the 1920s and early 1930s as they assaulted voting rights and murdered people with impunity, not to mention that he seems not to have heard of Korematsu.) S&S decided, rightly I think, that they would be buried in scorn for publishing a book from Josh-fucking-Hawley calling other people a threat to freedom when he was the trailblazer for the Senate effort to invalidate the votes of millions and give the presidency to a man who lost both the popular vote and the electoral college.
It’s not just S&S who noticed: Hawley made it to the US Senate by using the Missouri Attorney General’s office as a springboard. The family who donated more than over 4 million dollars (45% of his funds) for that 2016 AG run has withdrawn its support, and even called for him to be censured by the Senate. I never would have thought billionaires/ultra-millionaires would be among those leading the way to punish these folks, but there it is.
From Raw Story:
“He is alone. He is mad King George,” one GOP official with contacts in the White House said. “Trump believes that he has these people so intimidated they wouldn’t dare mess with him. I think Trump doesn’t understand how precarious his situation is right now.” One of Trump’s advisers agreed, saying, “This is everything that everyone’s been blocking for four years, the role of buffering Trump. It’s horrible. People are miserable. They can’t wait for the two weeks to be over. Everyone’s taking one day at a time trying to get him through the next two weeks without massive problems.”
So here’s my thing. If this is everything that everyone’s been blocking for FOUR YEARS, then he should have been 25th’d 4 years ago. If you need your staff to block you from taking catastrophically negative action than, on your own merits, you’re not fit for the office. Maybe staff can keep your unfitness from causing catastrophe, maybe not. That’s about the fitness of the staff, however, not the president.
These advisers don’t realize how much they’re saying about their own corruption.
Fuck Betsy DeVos. She’s resigning from her post as Education secretary 12 days early and on her way out the door says this:
We should be highlighting and celebrating your Administration’s many accomplishments on behalf of the American people. Instead we are left to clean up the mess caused by violent protesters overrunning the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to undermine the people’s business.
You selfish jackhole. The people cleaning up the mess are the people who are staying in their jobs. If you were intending on playing any positive role in cleaning up the mess, you would have kept your job and used your power to push for Trump’s removal via the 25th Amendment. Instead you’re running away. What you sure as hell aren’t doing is cleaning up anything at all.
I don’t mind you resigning, really. You’ve been absolutely terrible as EdSec. But this is an attempt to take credit for work you’re refusing to do, and that is fucked up.