For many months, this newspaper has warned that Trump had set himself up as the leader of a mass fascist movement and that he would stop at nothing to maintain his grip on power. The insurrectionary coup that unfolded in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday provided the ultimate, undeniable truth of that warning, broadcast live to the televisions and smartphones of the whole world.
That deadly mix has now boiled over and resulted in a full-blown fascist putsch in the nation’s capital.
The outgoing Oval Office occupant spent weeks summoning this mob to Washington to ostensibly “protest” the certification of his Electoral College loss to President-elect Joe Biden. In reality, they served as the outside muscle to back up the “Sedition Caucus” in the Senate that was operating on the inside to sabotage the finalization of Trump’s election defeat.
Having amassed his forces in central D.C., Trump lit the fuse for the explosion of violence Wednesday morning with his war cry: “We will never give up! We will never concede!” Rudy Giuliani, sounding like Joseph Goebbels, told the Trump forces that it was time for “trial by combat.” Having whipped his legions into a frenzy, Trump and his henchmen then sent them marching off toward Congress.
Upon arrival, Trump’s stormtroopers invaded the Capitol, bursting through doors and busting out windows. They saw only nominal resistance from police forces there, a curious fact, considering the squads of heavily armed federal troops that were stationed across the city when Black Lives Matters demonstrators held peaceful protests last summer. Armed white supremacists, however, came to town and were able to seize control of the U.S. Capitol. The Trump administration, meanwhile, kept the National Guard at bay.
The riots succeeded in delaying the Electoral College tally, temporarily. Members of Congress were shuffled off to safety, and Vice President Mike Pence was smuggled out of the building through a secret tunnel. (Having failed to commit to Trump’s last-ditch effort to steal the election, Pence has now apparently made himself a villain to the MAGA crowd as well.)
President-elect Biden roundly criticized the mob and their leader, saying, “Enough is enough is enough.” After hours of silence, Trump also finally took the air—not to condemn the violence, but to praise the rioters! He declared his affection and appreciation to the criminals at the Capitol, saying “We love you. You are very special.”
The one bright spot of the afternoon came when, at the very moment that the fruits of Republican Senators’ incitements were playing out in the halls of Congress, they lost control of their chamber. Amid the chaos, the Senate leadership slipped from Mitch McConnell’s hands as the second Georgia Senate seat was called for Jon Ossoff.
By evening, some of the damage done was becoming more apparent. At least one person was shot and killed, explosives were discovered, and the treasonous and white supremacist stars-and-bars flag of the Confederacy was unfurled in the Senate chambers. Tear gas wafted over Capitol Hill as the sun set, and fires erupted on the National Mall.
Trump’s accomplices in the Republican Party who were attempting to sabotage the election certification—Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and the rest—deserve not just condemnation by history, but also condemnation by the courts. Charge them, expel them from Congress,as Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., has called for, and, when possible, jail them.
As for the would-be dictator himself, Congress should immediately vote on fresh articles of impeachment and move ahead with a trial in the new Democratic-majority Senate.Rep. Ilhan Omar, DFL-Minn., is already drafting them. They deserve a vote as quickly as possible.
Trump’s solicitation of election fraud from Georgia Sec. of State Raffensperger this weekend already provided sufficient cause; Wednesday’s events should eliminate any hesitation to impeach him again.
Even though he will be out of office before a conviction can take place, impeaching Trump for attempting to overthrow the democratically elected government of the United States can ban him from ever running for office again.
For years, Trump has been telling us who and what he is. A fascist has occupied the White House since January 2017. If he could get a general or two to go along with him and provide the troops for it, is there really any doubt anymore that Trump would completely destroy U.S. democracy?
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: No to the Trump coup.