Another day in paradise stateside found US lawmakers debating what, on any rational interpretation, isn’t really debatable.
“He must go,” Nancy Pelosi said, speaking to the House, as Congress prepared to impeach Donald Trump for the second time in — checks watch — 13 months.
She also explained why, in her estimation, it would “be best” (get it?) if the Senate convicted Trump. “I believe the president must be convicted by the Senate [to] ensure that the Republic will be safe from this man.”
For the umpteenth time in the past four years, I found myself unable to refrain from chuckling, despite the conspicuous absence of anything that can even remotely be described as funny. The situation is the opposite of funny. And yet, the sheer, blatant absurdity of it all is still difficult to take seriously.
America put itself in a position where the Speaker of the House was compelled to say that the country needed to come together to protect itself from an existential threat posed not by some foreign adversary, and not by some brilliant ideologue with an antidemocratic streak who rose to power in a series of cunning legislative maneuvers, and not by a military junta, and not by any ambitious general with the capacity to physically coerce legislators. Instead, the threat to America emanated from the “you’re fired” guy. The mightiest nation the world has ever known was very nearly commandeered by a man who failed at selling mail-order steaks. America was nearly undone by the man who somehow managed to prove that even the old adage about casinos (that the house always wins) admits of exceptions in the face of total incompetence.
Mitch McConnell decided he won’t call the Senate together for an emergency session in order to put an end to this madness. Despite myriad reports that he believes Trump has, in fact, committed impeachable offenses, and although it’s still possible that he would (or will) vote to convict, McConnell wasn’t prepared to jumpstart the trial.
That means it won’t begin until Trump leaves office. As far as whether Mitch will show Trump the true meaning of Machiavellian, he would say only that “while the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate.”
In a statement carried by Fox News (which one supposes will now need to function as a stand-in for Twitter and all the other platforms Trump’s no longer allowed to use), the president urged Americans to ease the tension and calm down.
Somehow, “too little, too late” just doesn’t seem to capture it.
Nike on Wednesday joined an ever longer list of US corporations targeting the wallets of Republicans who attempted to override voters. The company’s PAC won’t support any members of Congress who attempted to decertify Biden’s win.
“Nike’s Political Action Committee helps our employees support elected officials who understand our business and whose values align with our mission of serving athletes,” the company said. “These nonpartisan values rely upon upholding the principles of democracy.”
New York City, meanwhile, ended all business with the Trump Organization. Bill de Blasio, speaking to MSNBC, explained that “the contracts make very clear: If the leadership of a company is engaged in illegal activity, we have the right to sever the contract.”
As it turns out, fomenting an armed rebellion is frowned upon under US statutes. Who knew, right?
“Inciting an insurrection against the US government clearly constitutes criminal activity,” de Blasio added. The canceled contracts include a pair of ice rinks and the Central Park Carousel.
Again, you don’t want to laugh. Because it’s not funny. But then again, it is funny. Because the entire situation is so tragically absurd.
On Wednesday, January 13, 2021, at 4:22 EST, Trump became the only US president to be impeached twice.