One More Week Of Extreme Unease
Are Trump’s supporters any more prone to accept reality once President elect Joe Biden is sworn in on January 20? Since this is all really about holding onto power anyway, even if you lose, are they any less inclined to seek lawless ways to achieve this end? Is there any combination of deeds and acts on the part of the new President that will help them accept reality when someone’s just spent the last 4 years pounding it into their heads that they don’t have to?
The New York Times headlines Trump’s second impeachment as “10 Republicans Break With President”, since 10 Republican House members joined in voting to impeach him for “inciting a violent insurrection against the U.S. government”. And none had last time around.
10! Out of 211 Republicans in the House! 4%! After last Wednesday?!
While I really do appreciate and respect the fortitude of those 10, and it’s certainly significant, it’s also hardly a widespread “break with the President” for his party, after abjectly corrosive behavior on his part. Trump still has a near bottomless well of — if not support — a compulsion to preserve a partisan divide, not to mention conveniently short memories. John Cassidy in the New Yorker gets it right, pointing out in his headline, House Republicans “with ten honorable exceptions, [are] sticking with him.”
Won’t go so far as to say it was hardly worth the effort, especially in light of the obviousness and dangerousness of the offense. But at the same time, that’s just the message that the 96% of House Republicans (!) who were not in favor of impeachment at this time are sending.
So what message is ultimately being sent? Does it open the door for to extremists win the moment by using this moment to recruit beyond where they already are? Which already seems pretty wide, but not yet organized enough to operate with deadly precision? Then again, these fringe groups and solo seditionists, while having a lot in common, do also seem to have a lot of petty grievances against each other and power struggles about who’s more genuine and purer in their intent.
Still, look at kids in Europe and even in the US that ISIS radicalized, and you don’t even have to travel halfway around the world to get trained for this. Lots of…