Patterico's Pontifications

1/21/2021

Peaceful Transition of Power? YMMV

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:20 am



[guest post by Dana]

So Mitch McConnell asserts that “the greatest nation in history carried out another peaceful transfer of power.” Technically, that’s certainly true. The inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris was as peaceful as one could hope and went off without a hitch. But to say that we have just experienced a “peaceful transfer of power” ignores the last four years. Specifically, though, it ignores the last two months and the ramp-up to the inauguration itself. By choosing to gloss over the chaos that was sowed by a sitting president and instead present an illusion of kumbayah goodwill is a way of denying reality. And that does a disservice to our nation and the American people. We must not be lulled into a sense of “Oh, that was then, this is now…” thinking lest our country once again be consumed by yet another narcissistic showboat with no substance and manages to get his hands on the levers of power. We spent the past two months watching in disbelief as a deranged president refused to accept the results of a legitimate election. We then saw court after court after court toss more than 60 baseless complaints submitted by his team of lawyers. In the former president’s fever-dream state, he became laser-focused – not on the American people or matters of State – but on himself and his insatiable quest to retain power and protect his political future. His actions sabotaged any real hoped-for “peaceful transfer of power”. All that mattered to him, and all that consumed him his every waking moment was keeping the White House and protecting the Trump Brand. With all of his chest-thumping and constant fomenting of anger in his followers, which ultimately culminated in the debacle at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, I’m unable to fully agree that we experienced a peaceful transfer of power. Because frankly, peaceful followed reality and reason right out the door two months ago. They became faint specks in the rearview mirror as chaos and obsession took the wheel. After all, there was a very real reason why it was necessary to deploy 25,000 National Guard troops to the Capitol.

We need to remember, clearly and sharply, the events of the past four years, but particularly those of the past two months. They should not be glossed over, whitewashed, or allowed to be tempered by time. To do so is to invite folly. We should not let anyone forget or ignore what that witless ape from a gaudy, gilded New York City penthouse was really all about:

Goodbye to Donald J. Trump, the man who wanted to be Conrad Hilton but turned out to be Paris Hilton.

Well, that sucked.

Memo to MAGA and all its myriad fellow-travelers: Maybe Death of a Salesman as presented by Leni Riefenstahl just wasn’t the show Americans were dying to tune into this season.

And, while we’re at it, maybe turning your party over to Generalissimo Walter Mitty, his hideous scheming spawn, and the studio audience from Hee-Haw was not just absolutely aces as a political strategy.

Think on it, Cletus. I know this whole thing still sounds like your idea of a good time — how’s that working out for you?

Let me refresh your memory: On the day Donald Trump was sworn in as president, Republicans controlled not only the White House but both houses of Congress. They were in a historically strong position elsewhere as well, controlling both legislative chambers in 32 states. They pissed that away like they were midnight drunks karaoke-warbling that old Chumbawumba song: In 2021, they control approximately squat. The House is run by Nancy Pelosi. The Senate is run, as a practical matter, by Kamala Harris. And Joe Biden won the presidency, notwithstanding whatever the nut-cutlet guest-hosting for Dennis Prager this week has to say about it.

Donald Trump is, in fact, the first president since Herbert Hoover to lead his party to losing the presidency, the House, and the Senate all in a single term. Along with being the first president to be impeached twice and the first game-show host elected to the office, that’s Trump’s claim to the history books. Well, that and 400,000 dead Americans and the failed coup d’état business.

You Trumpish Republicans sneered that Joe Biden was too corrupt and too senescent to win a presidential campaign, that he was one part mafioso and one part turnip.

That turnip kicked your dumb asses from Delaware to D.C.

So you rioted. Real smart move, Cletus.

Five Americans are dead. Barricades have been erected around the Capitol. Thousands of federal troops have been deployed to the streets of Washington. State capitols have been obliged to prepare for siege. Americans blame you for this — and they are not wrong.

“Trust the plan,” the QAnon cultists say. Is this what you were planning? I know you are stupid, but you are not that stupid.

“Oh, but he fights!” you’ll say — over and over and over. He didn’t fight — he tweeted. He’s ten feet tall on social media and a pushover in real life. Trade deficit: up. Unemployment rate: rising. Abortion rate: rising. Beijing: rising. The coronavirus body-count: rising.

“But the judges!” you protest. Fair point: Trump’s absurd attempts to overturn the election through specious legal challenges were laughed out of court by the very men and women he appointed to the bench. Even his judges think he’s a joke.

Everybody has figured that out. Except you.

And so, goodbye, Donald J. Trump, the man who wanted to be Conrad Hilton but turned out to be Paris Hilton. Au revoir, Ivanka and Jared, Uday and Qusay — there’s a table for four reserved for you at Dorsia. So long, Melania — it’s still not entirely clear what you got out of this, but I hope it was worth it. A fond farewell to Ted Cruz’s reputation and Mike Pence’s self-respect, Lindsey Graham’s manhood and Fox News’s business model. In with “Dr.” Jill Biden, out with “Dr.” Sebastian Gorka.

–Dana


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