WTF just happened today?
I have changed the headline to this story three times already. First I was writing about Merrick Garland being Joe Biden’s pick for Attorney General.
Then I was linking that tidbit to Mitch McConnell’s Senate floor speech, one of the finest of his careers I posit, one that left liberals especially grateful for his rebuking Donald Trump’s insane quest to overturn November’s election. McConnell, I duly note, is now outgoing Majority Leader in the wake of last night’s Democratic victory of Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock in Georgia’s Senate run-off races. (Fox News called the race for Ossoff at 4:30 p.m.)
These three things alone are astounding for one 24-hour news cycle.
I had zero plans to mention Donald Trump’s seditious and criminal musings to his gathered MAGA faithful ahead of today’s certification of electoral votes in Congress. I had no intention of giving oxygen to the tired litany of sewage Trump spewed ad nauseam: a stolen election, fake media, yada yada yada. Why mention that he encouraged his MAGA cult to take their “protest” to the Capitol Building where some treasonous Senators and Representatives were staging a farcical debate by objecting to the ceremonial certification of electors?
But then that became the story.
Forty-five minutes after McConnell’s 1:30 p.m. speech on the Senate floor, the Secret Service whisked away VP Pence and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The Senate chamber was then cleared and reports started coming in of journalists, congressional staffers and their bosses being told to take cover. People were holding hands and praying, we heard. And live camera feeds outside showed us why.
According to Washington D.C.’s Metro Police Chief, after Trump spoke to his MAGA protestors, a large group of them marched from the mall east-bound down Madison Ave toward the Capitol. There was “a noticeable change in their demeanor” as they approached the building, said Chief Robert Contee at a 5 p.m. press conference. The crowd breached the fencing along the capitol grounds, confronted police lines around the building, and some rioters brought their own chemical irritants to use against police to gain access inside, he said. It was “clear the crowd’s intent was to cause harm to D.C. officers,” Contee added.
Contee’s officers used pepper-spray to try and subdue the crowd but large numbers broke windows in the capitol and stormed the building. Rioters, some carrying flags, bypassed metal detectors and flocked to the building’s Statuary Hall, Senate chamber and legislator offices, including Pelosi’s. Gun shots could be hard and at least one shooting victim was taken to the hospital.
As all holy hell was breaking loose at the Capitol, our commander in chief was mostly silent, except for a pair of tweets asking rioters to go home. His two oldest children tweeted the same. Bill Barr and a host of other GOP leaders issued statements condemning the violence and insurrection.
Then Joe Biden, who was slated to talk about the economy, spoke to the country live. He denounced the anarchy, acknowledged the insufferable wounds inflicted upon our democracy, and tried to impose reason on a rabid cult that wants no part of the rational universe. He also implored Trump to go on live TV and quell the pandemonium he himself unleashed hours earlier.
At 4:17 p.m. the nation did finally hear from Trump, but not live, because he is too cowardly. Instead he released a short video on Twitter that can only be described as a disgusting woe-is-me, the-election-was-stolen but please-go-home soliloquy.
Here’s the full transcript:
“I know your pain, I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election. And everyone knows it, especially the other side, but you have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order, we have to respect our great people in law and order. We don’t want anybody hurt. It’s a very tough period of time. There’s never been a time like this where such a thing happened where they could take it away from all of us, from me, from you, from our country. This was a fraudulent election. But we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home, we love you, you’re very special. You’ve seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home and go home in peace.”
These words and his actions today speak for themselves. Though there are only 14 days left in his term, this dangerous tyrant must be impeached, if for no other reason than that he will be ineligible to ever run for president again.