Early this morning, Congress certified the Electoral College vote for Joe Biden for President. Afterward, President Trump issued a statement promising an orderly transition of power on January 20th, signaling to his supporters that his challenge to the vote is over.
Some Republicans still challenged the electoral vote certification, such as Rep. Matt Gaetz…
But others who had planned to join the challenge, including Sens. Marsha Blackburn and Kelly Loeffler, changed their minds after the day’s tragic violence inside the Capitol building by a small group of “Trump supporters” (there are unconfirmed reports that some might have been false-flag Antifa agitators, but others were reportedly identified as part of far-right fringe movements that did not reflect the views of thousands of peaceful Trump supporters outside.) Nevertheless, after a year of telling us not to condemn all peaceful protesters because of the violent actions of a few, that’s precisely what Democrats and the media are doing.
Some on the right are comparing the people who broke into the Capitol to American Revolutionaries. But the Founders were not a mindless mob who committed violence with no longterm plan. They resorted to revolution only after exhausting every other alternative. They issued a statement of their rights and grievances and pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to defend it. They didn’t harm their own side by mindlessly smashing windows in the British Parliament. A later revolutionary protester, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., spoke his piece from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial; he didn’t vandalize it.
Let me be clear: I absolutely and unequivocally condemn the actions of the mob who smashed their way into the Capitol, just as I also call for an investigation of Capitol police who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt, a female Air Force veteran of 14 years.
Here’s more background on Babbitt and the shooting.
In Twitter comments, some people expressed sadness and dismay, but others coldly dismissed her as a traitor and a terrorist and good riddance (I’m sure the same people who are outraged over police brutality against leftist protesters.) It’s true that no one should have breached the barricades Antifa-style, shattered a window, entered the building and confronted security officers. It was a terrible thing. But why were they met with gunfire? I remember Democrats reacting with outrage at a Trump suggestion that looters be shot. In a tragic update, the DC Police have said that four people are now dead, although they didn’t release the causes, which are reportedly medical.
I am gratified to see that, at long last, Democrats are finally condemning mob violence. Only a few months ago, Washington, DC, and many other cities were ablaze; there were riots, arson, looting and assaults on federal buildings and monuments; and their response was to defend the mob and prosecute anyone who stood up to them. Nancy Pelosi infamously said she didn’t care about some old buildings. It’s suddenly a very different matter when one of those “old buildings” is the one with her office in it.
I’ll stress that pointing out the other side’s hypocrisy and Johnny-come-lately outrage is not an excuse. There is no excuse for breaking-and-entering and disrupting the constitutionally-mandated joint session of the House and Senate that was to certify (or not) the state electors. This was perhaps the ONE CHANCE before January 20 that Republicans would have to present their evidence of election fraud, unconstitutionality and error that might have shown Trump to be the actual winner in certain contested states. It’s something that needed to happen, calmly, openly, rationally. More investigation will be needed to determine why these people felt oddly compelled to disrupt this process and undermine the cause of thousands of peaceful Trump supporters outside.
And about Trump supporters: again, NOT AN EXCUSE, but let's look at how many of us feel right now. We’ve been treated like second-class citizens going on five years. In some professions, we can’t even hint at our political leanings. The blacklist against conservatives is as pervasive and powerful as the one used against leftists in the McCarthy era. The Ivy League elite have consistently condescended to us. On college campuses, conservatives risk being “canceled,” even dropped from academic programs because of some "problematic" tweet. The media try to gaslight us at every turn, repeatedly and with no evidence telling us that our President cares only for himself and is a traitor, an agent of Russia. We're tired of being told that 2+2=5. All the while, they bury stories about Hillary, the Bidens, and the partisan federal bureaucracy out to get Trump and anyone on his side.
It’s gotten worse since the election. The deep concerns of millions have been dismissed. Even in the face of wild statistical anomalies and numerous unexplained election-night oddities, questioning the results in any way is forbidden. “Why, this election was PERFECT!” we’re told. “It was the most secure election we have ever had in our history!” Good grief, we don’t have to be crazy conspiracy theorists to recognize these grandiose remarks as overstatements at the very least. Shakespeare might say that election officials “doth protest too much.”
We’ve seen blatant misreporting in the mainstream media, who prefer the false narrative that “courts have dismissed every one of the Trump lawsuits because, as we all know, there is no evidence.” In truth, the courts find other reasons, such as the inexplicable “lack of standing,” to keep from HAVING to look at any evidence. When the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, does this, what is the recourse?
About 70 million Americans suspect that the results of this election are not to be trusted. But these people have been shut down, silenced, and banned from social media or flagged as “misinformation” or “disputed” for daring even to question it. Even the President himself has been treated this way. If we have to sweep this under the rug, as Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) insist we do, we will never trust another election again.
So when media pundits say that challenging these election results is “interfering with democracy,” I say they’re off by 180 degrees. Under current conditions, challenging the election results is SAVING democracy. Stand back, let the Constitution do its work, and let the chips fall where they may.
The violence on Wednesday wasn't just completely unacceptable, it was downright stupid. It was stupid because the worst consequence --- not counting, of course, the loss of four lives --- is that the visuals of the Capitol being stormed will be exploited forever, used as justification to go full pedal-to-the-metal in quashing the rights of conservatives. Take away their civil liberties, leftists will cry; those people shouldn’t have any say! Why, those right-wing racists/sexists/homophobes/traitors don’t deserve a voice, a place in society, or even a way to make a living. Shun them! Cancel them! (And forget all the video of leftists smashing and burning cities from coast-to-coast.)
All of that was coming anyway, incrementally, if they gained power, but this event by a relatively small number of people hastens it.
For all those who are upset at the way the election was handled, and worried about the future of America under Democrat rule, join the club. But we’ve known for two months that any challenges to the November election were the longest of longshots. I defended Trump’s right to make those challenges legally and constitutionally, but it was never likely that Congress would reject electors that the states had certified.
Probably the best that we could hope for was that the challenges might result in what Ted Cruz called for (basically, what I called for just days after the election): an open, bipartisan investigation of alleged voting irregularities, so that if there was anything illegal it would come to light, and if not, Americans could be assured that the vote was trustworthy and Biden wouldn’t govern under a cloud of suspicion.
Now, thanks to the unforgivable actions of hotheads, even that hope has been dashed. Democrats may think they’ve pulled out a hat trick here: they’ve escaped an audit of the vote, Biden’s victory is certified, and Trump and all his supporters are permanently tarnished. But millions of Americans who feel their concerns have been dismissed and their voices silenced will not go away simply because the media try to shame them into it.
Our leaders had one chance to repair the tattered fabric of trust in elections that enables a nation of 320 million people of very different views to accept the results and move on, and they didn’t take it. I hope Joe Biden is sincere in his claim that he wants to be the President of all Americans, but sadly, that job just became far more difficult.