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Capitol Chaos, Senate Switch, and General Observations of the Week

Washington, DC. – At the end of the craziest news week in recent memory, some thoughts and observations.

Topic #1: Congress convened on Wednesday in Washington D.C. to consider the certification of electoral votes resulting from November’s presidential election, and a simultaneous pro-Trump “Stop the Steal” rally was held. Riots at the Capitol building ensued, and five people were killed during the violence, including U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.

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Thoughts and Observations:

  • The actions of the rioters were unacceptable, indefensible and un-American. There is no argument that can be made to justify what happened. A cop was killed, for crying out loud, and anyone who claims “Blue Lives Matter,” as I do, should be outraged.
  •  President Donald Trump is not responsible for the riots. He didn’t call for violence, and only the individuals who participated are to blame. Individuals are accountable for their own, personal actions and should suffer the consequences accordingly.
  • The incident, nevertheless, is a serious blow to Trump’s legacy. While he did not directly incite violence, his rhetoric has been irresponsible. Trump claims that the election was “stolen,” but his campaign took legal steps to call out and address voting irregularities in multiple states, and those steps were unsuccessful. Trump has claimed that he actually won the election in a “landslide,” and that claim is blatantly false.
  • I hate the fact that President Trump lost. In less-than two weeks, Joe Biden is going to be inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States, and he will have a Democrat-controlled Senate and House. That is disastrous, but that is reality. Trump refused to concede initially as his campaign considered voting irregularities and exercised their legal options, and not only were those actions understandable, they were prudent. But the fact is: Trump lost.
  • President Trump rightfully took the approach of Federalism throughout his presidency, particularly during the COVID pandemic. States are better equipped to respond to the needs of their citizens. State governments are critical, and it is up to each state to manage their own elections. States matter. And those fifty states voted and certified their elections. That is the process, that is how our government is set-up, and the states have spoken.
  • The double standards we’re seeing from the mainstream media are breathtaking. Throughout last summer, as dozens of people were killed in riots across the country protesting contrived “systemic racism,” the left and their media did everything they could to downplay the violence. Riots were called “mostly peaceful protests,” and clowns like Chris “Fredo” Cuomo demanded, “Show me where it says protests are supposed to be peaceful.” Those same hypocrites now pretend to be livid about this riot. The riots in Portland, Los Angeles, New York and elsewhere last year were despicable, and so was Wednesday’s riot in D.C. Why is consistency so hard?
  • The fact that Democrats, including President-Elect Joe Biden, are trying to make this tragedy into a racial issue is contemptible. What happened on Wednesday may be a lot of things, but race-related isn’t one of them. Anyone who sees a racial component to these events can only be described with one word: racist.

Topic #2: On Tuesday, voters in Georgia went to the polls to decide on both of their U.S. Senators, and Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock both emerged victorious over David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, respectively.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • This election result is potentially disastrous, and one which I did not expect. There is no way Republicans should have lost these Senate seats. Ossoff and Warnock were horrible candidates and should have been easily beatable.
  • There has been a rash of finger-pointing going on with the GOP since Tuesday. Last month, knucklehead attorney Lin Wood, and others, urged Georgians not to participate in the election due to voting irregularities in the state in November. With fundraising, Democrats almost doubled the amount raised by Republicans in the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s election. President Trump should have focused his message to Georgians on stopping Biden’s radical agenda, and not his own vindication. The mainstream media bent over backwards to prop up the Democrats. Take your pick… there’s plenty of blame to go around.
  • The Republican Party did well in November’s election, with the exception of President Trump’s loss. They picked up double-digit seats in the House of Representatives, they held onto other key Senate seats, and they performed well in statewide elections across the country despite predictions of a “Blue Wave.” But they totally dropped the ball in Georgia this week, and they need to recalibrate quickly with 2022 right around the corner.
  • The key to what happens in our country next comes down to one issue: the filibuster. If the Senate abolishes the filibuster, Congress will be free to implement the most radical aspects of the Democrats’ agenda – including court packing, adding states to the union, and the Green New Deal.
  • There has been a lot of focus this week on Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who has often voted with Republicans on key issues and has publicly stated his opposition to abolishing the filibuster, but there may be other, moderate Democratic senators who will oppose such a maneuver. We could see Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), or even Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) also oppose abolishment. If not, and if Manchin goes back on his word and agrees to bury the filibuster, America is screwed.

Topic #3: Also on Tuesday, Kenosha, Wisconsin District Attorney Michael Graveley announced there would be no criminal charges forthcoming against police officer Rusten Sheskey for his involvement in the shooting of Jacob Blake, an incident that resulted deadly riots in the city last August. After Graveley’s announcement, there was a large, peaceful protest against the decision.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • If someone had told me a week ago that we’d see this announcement in Wisconsin followed by a peaceful protest, and then the next day we’d see riots by Trump supporters resulting in five deaths, I’d have said they were nuts. Is it possible 2021 will be even more bizarre than 2020?
  • This was the only righteous conclusion that Graveley could have come to, but give the man credit for doing the right thing. We can only imagine the amount of pressure that must have been applied to him by Wisconsin leftists.
  • We saw a similar act of bravery by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron last September when he announced that no charges would be filed against officers in the death of Breonna Taylor. In a week with a lot of bad news, including the death of a courageous police officer in Washington, we can at least take some comfort in knowing that the justice system still works in some critical cases.  
  • Let’s pray we see similar displays of peace when the fates of Minneapolis police officers are determined regarding their charges in the death of George Floyd last May. Those charges by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison include second-degree murder for Officer Derek Chauvin. To be found guilty of the charge, Ellison will have to prove that not only was Chauvin responsible for Floyd’s death – which is highly questionable, considering the levels of fentanyl Floyd had in his system – but that Chauvin intended for Floyd to die. There is a good possibility that Chauvin is found not guilty. Either way, we should hope that reactions are peaceful.

Topic #4: On Friday, after having conceded that he indeed lost the election, President Trump announced that he will not be attending the inauguration of President-Elect Biden on January, 20th.   

Thoughts and Observations:

  • It’s understandable that Trump is disappointed in his loss. It’s also understandable that he still has serious reservations about the validity of election results in certain states. Trump should continue to press for answers to the questions on voter fraud and election irregularities, even after he leaves office. But he needs to be at the inauguration.
  • America is in the midst of turmoil the likes of which we haven’t seen in this country in generations, and it’s becoming scary how divided we are. This talk of “unity” from Joe Biden and Kamala Harris is so dishonest it’s sickening, and we all know they’re going to continue to try and divide us by any means possible. But that doesn’t mean Trump shouldn’t attend, it means the direct opposite. Be the bigger person, Mr. President, and attend the inauguration. And wish Mr. Biden well.
  • For those who view Biden and his cronies as “enemies,” it’s understandable. The left and their media have been accusing political opponents of being enemies for years. When asked to name her enemies during an interview in 2016, Hillary Clinton famously opted to point first to Republicans. Not Russians, or Iranians, or terrorists; Republicans. But that doesn’t make it right, and if we really want to get back to some semblance of unity some day, we need to move forward.
  • If the president doesn’t attend the inauguration, Democrats will point to his decision for years as an example of Trump’s and Republicans incivility. Yes, they’ll accuse us of incivility either way, but Trump boycotting the ceremony just gives them another club in their bag to use.  

Topic #5: United Nations Ambassador Kelly Craft will travel to Taiwan next week to meet with Taiwanese leaders, and Chinese officials warned that the U.S. is “playing with fire.”   


Thoughts and Observations:

  • One of President Trump’s first brilliant moves from a foreign policy perspective happened before he was even inaugurated. Shortly after his 2016 election in early-December of that year, President-Elect Trump called Taiwan’s president, the first-ever woman elected to that that office, and did so in direct conflict with the so-called “One China” policy. The left and their media were aghast and accused Trump of being out of his league; the phone call was a “petty gesture.”  Trump’s call is going to result in “fireworks,” they promised. They were wrong, and Trump’s handling of China has been masterful.
  • Next week’s visit by Ambassador Craft will set the table for President-Elect Biden to keep pressure on China, and to continue with Trump’s tough stance on them. Craft’s visit is a poke in the eye to China by Trump on his way out, and it puts Biden at a good starting point.
  • Trump’s threats and implementations of tariffs over the past four years, combined with the overtures he made to North Korea, gives Biden a blueprint on how to handle our biggest international adversary. China is a serious threat, both economically and militarily and should be treated that way. Will Biden continue with Trump’s approach? Probably not.
  • It will be interesting to see how much credit Biden gives to Trump with foreign policy issues. As already mentioned, there’s no chance that Biden is sincere with his rhetoric on unifying the country. But praising Trump’s accomplishments would actually help, if he was sincere, and it’s easy to do. Take a globe, Mr. Biden, one of those that rotate on its axes, and spin it around really fast. Then, take your forefinger as the globe is spinning, and stop it. There’s a really good chance, Mr. President-Elect, that wherever your finger lands, President Trump has improved our situation with that country. Recognize that success, and give President Trump his due.

PF Whalen

Image by MotionStudios from Pixabay