trump’s attempted coup – Day 4
–> This will be an ongoing story this week and will be updated as needed.
(January 6 – Georgia and the Senate)
Awww…. Not so hard.
We will not know for sure until the official certification. But as of this writing, it looks as if the people of Georgia have come through and elected two Democrats to the United States Senate. That would make the Senate evenly divided, 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans. And in case of a tie vote, the tie is broken by the President of the Senate. “The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided” (U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 3). And the President of the Senate is, drum-roll please, the Vice-President of the United States. And the Vice-President of the United States is, rim-shot here, Democrat Kamala Harris!
What does this mean? First and foremost, it means Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell will get a new title. Minority Leader. And as minority leader, he will be able to control, insert cymbal crash here, absolutely nothing. With the election results still unofficial I am afraid of jinxing something. But I would love to be able to get into McConnell’s face and congratulate him on his new found impotence.
McConnell is the man who announced his goal in life was to make Barack Obama a one-term president. He failed at that. But he managed to be a thorn in the side of America’s first Black president for no reason other than his apparent disgust at seeing a person of color behind the Resolute Desk. McConnell denied Obama a Supreme Court nomination, having the audacity to refuse to even meet with Merrick Garland, the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, let alone allow him an up-or-down vote in the Senate.
The little dictator from Kentucky had no problem ramming through in record time Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the top court. Nor did he have any problem letting hundreds of progressive bills designed to benefit the majority of Americans and passed by the Democrat controlled House of Representatives die on his desk, never to even be considered by the Senate. The most recent was the House bill to raise the emergency Covid relief payments to $2,000, an idea that had the support of Trump! During his years as majority leader the Senate has become a legislative graveyard. The only exception is the rubber-stamping of Trumps nominees. That includes the stacking of the federal judiciary with right wing zealots demonstrably unqualified to serve as judges with life-time tenure. What used to tout itself as the world’s greatest legislative body has become a laughing stock.
And while I’m dreaming about confronting Republican senators I have visions of standing in front of Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, now to be chairman of NO committee and saying, with a smirk, “Elections have consequences.”
This does not mean things will be easy for the Democrats, who are much more diverse than Republicans and historically difficult to get on the same page. Joe Manchin of West Virginia come to mind. But I suggest New York’s Chuck Schumer, who has been minority leader during the Trump years and is expected to become the new majority leader, just transfer the pork McConnell larded on Kentucky over to West Virginia. That ought to get Manchin in line.
Schumer is not my idea of a dynamic, progressive leader. But anything is an improvement over McConnell and Schumer should work well with President Biden. My hope is that Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi work with the more progressive wing of their party to bring forward legislation that will help all of us, not just the people already in the top one percent. At least we should see Biden get his appointments to the cabinet, the agencies and the judiciary through the Senate. And Biden is bringing people with real experience and expertise into those roles. What a revolutionary approach to government.
Electoral College and the Congress
Of course all this is contingent on Congress certifying Biden’s Electoral College victory in a session beginning today and ending who knows when. The who knows when part of because some 140 members of the House and a dozen or so members of the Senate plan to challenge the tally. Few outside of this sedition caucus believe they have a snowball’s chance in hell of rejecting Biden’s victory, now certified by election officials in all fifty states and the District of Columbia, and giving Trump a second term. But they are apparently going to try.
It is an act destructive to our democracy and the most extreme attack on our nation since the Civil War. I only hope President Biden takes does names and acts accordingly. We have heard him talk over and over about burying the hatchet and working with Republicans. But those who stage today’s insurrection should not be excused from the consequences of their actions.
Links to previous entries in this series….