One of our reporters in The Palladium-Times newsroom doesn’t remember Sept. 11, 2001.
It’s not his fault, of course — he was three years old at the time.
For those of us who do have recollections of that sunny Tuesday 20 years ago, this week brought rushing back many old memories.
We, along with the rest of the world, watched in horror when two days ago the United States Capitol was attacked by an armed mob intent on disrupting our federal government’s democratic process. It was ordered and applauded by the President of the United States, who cannot accept his electoral loss.
This is exactly the situation for which the 25th Amendment was designed. If lawmakers or the executive cabinet do not exercise their authority under that amendment to remove a sitting president who is plainly “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” it can be seen as nothing less than a complete failure.
President Donald Trump represents the most serious threat to national security since 9/11 and to our national moral compass since we abolished slavery. The world is watching, your children are watching, history is watching and waiting. Much like being pregnant, treason isn’t a state in which one can “kind of” exist. Either you is, or you ain’t.
We need to be very clear on this next point: President Donald Trump (and others but we’ll get to them in a minute) is lying to you about the 2020 presidential election. There was no widespread voter fraud. Dominion voting machines did not change Trump votes to Biden votes. No boxes of ballots are being unloaded out the back of vans in the middle of the night to be surreptitiously slipped in with the “valid” votes.
These are all lies. You have been lied to. To believe anything else is to believe that there is a vast conspiracy against Trump comprised of everyone in the entire world but especially people who until very recently were loyal to him. His own attorney general, the thoroughly toady Bill Barr, found the proverbial blind squirrel’s acorn on his way out the door when he declared there was no “stealing” of the election. At this point, there is no legitimate discussion of “election security” because it’s all a canard for currying support from Trump’s MAGA crowd. That is the litmus test in the GOP now to survive a primary from the right: did you shed all dignity and respect for the rule of law in service to a cheap game show host and real estate fraudster?
And that brings us to the real authors of what we saw on Jan. 6, without whom Trump is just Lear raging at the storm.
Here are four names that should be remembered: Elise Stefanik, Chris Jacobs, Nicole Malliotakis and Lee Zeldin. These are the members of Congress from New York who fomented and encouraged the assault on the Capitol and then promptly ran, like cowards both physically and ideologically, from the violence they incited. Along with Josh Hawley of Missouri and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, these men and women will forever be marked properly — as traitors in service of a criminal.
In a just world, these individuals would be expelled from Congress for sedition and barred from holding elected office ever again with every dollar of their campaign bank accounts seized and used to finance repairs and security upgrades to the Capitol. We live in 2021 America, however, which values property over lives (see: police response to any Black Lives Matter after dark during this past summer) until it’s white faces in the gun sights and the property belongs to the citizens.
There’s a particular irony to yesterday’s failed bid at autocracy that has apparently slipped the minds of these conspirators, who already have problems envisioning the logical conclusions of their sedition: in a real autocracy, you don’t get to go home after your coup attempt fizzles.
During the writing of this piece, New York Senator Charles Schumer issued a statement calling for the invocation of the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump. He’s right. This grotesque charade has gone on far too long to wait one more minute.
Remove this maniac now.
Seth Wallace is the managing editor of The Palladium-Times. He lives with his son in the city of Oswego.