Life comes at you fast
Hardest newsletter to write, so far. Also, 7 other things worth your time.
“Democrats win Ga. Runoffs and Control of Senate (Page A6)”
—The Washington Post, with so much news on the front page of today’s edition that it had to bury the shift in control of the U.S. Senate (and thus the entire U.S. government) to an inside story.
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No both sides
Writing this newsletter is a labor of love — but it’s still a labor.
So, I was proud of myself yesterday: Got to it very early, put together a smart, evergreen essay, had the entire day to go without thinking again about what to write…
Ha ha ha. Life comes at you fast. I’ll put that one in the vault for another day.
Because there is no bigger story on the planet this morning than the insurrectionist, anti-American mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol yesterday, and delayed one of the most sacred duties of the Congress: the peaceful transfer of power.
There’s no “both sides” on this one. It was insurrection, bordering on treason.
The images—rioters taking over the House and Senate chambers, intruders breaking into the offices of the Speaker of the House and playing dress-up on the floor of the House and Senate (while the Capitol Police basically seemed to stand down and let them)—were things I couldn’t have imagined, even just a few days ago.
I don’t know what else to say, really. One of the big reasons why I keep writing this every day is out of respect for you, the readers, who are all over the map politically.
That can make it challenging to write sometimes — but it’s a gift, because I can’t think of another media brand, even one as small as mine, that has that kind of diversity.
So I sometimes have wondered, what’s the line? What’s the daily story that could come up, where I’d think — there’s no real nuance to this. Either you’re on the side of the American experiment (which includes losing graciously, if not happily, sometimes), or you’re not.
I think we’ve found it. I’m disgusted. I’m angry. Sometimes, the best thing to say when you’re feeling that way is nothing at all. So I’ll leave you with some images. Pictures today are worth well more than a thousand words.
A rioter parades through the U.S. Capitol with a Confederate flag. This never even happened during the U.S. Civil War:
This kind of thing hadn’t happened before, either.
Other rioters tear down an American flag, replace it with a Trump flag.
I don’t know how there isn’t a 2nd photo of Capitol Police arresting this guy in the U.S. Senate chamber. But there isn’t.
Similar. Looks as if they had fun.
Office of the Speaker of the House
7 other things worth your time
It’s all related. But reports are that Vice President Pence and members of the Cabinet were debating whether to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump for the remaining two weeks of his term. Will that really happen? Who am I to predict? But entities from The Washington Post to the National Association of Manufacturers are explicitly calling for it today. (Washington Post, Axios)
It turns out there are limits: Both Twitter and Facebook temporarily suspended President Trump’s accounts, accusing him of inciting violence with his social media posts. (Axios, Twitter Safety)
Hate to say it, but the fact that hundreds or thousands of people managed to make it into the offices of Congress is now a major national computer security threat.
I found this interesting: when the mob breached the Congress, Congress escaped to Fort McNair, just across the river in Virginia.
Just video of the office of the Senate Parliamentarian, which is by definition non-partisan, and was ransacked by rioters.
Oh, after all that, it looks as if Congress will accept the results of the electoral college with fairly little drama, by the time I get up in the morning. (CNBC)
Biden picked Merrick Garland, who President Obama tried but failed to get on the Supreme Court, as his Attorney General nominee. (AP)
I kind of hate that this turned into an all-DC, all-politics and state of the nation newsletter, but I guess sometimes that’s going to happen. If you liked this post, and you’re not yet a subscriber, gosh, what are you waiting for? Please sign up for the daily Understandably.com email newsletter, with thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of 5-star ratings from happy readers.
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One-click review and feedback:
I hate that this is the news - but it is - and it seems like it was a long time coming. Hopefully, all of us will take a step back, reflect on what we need to do to restore sanity, and determine what we can each do to improve on this practice of democracy. It is a practice, not perfected, but one that needs focus, effort, attention - and respect. And a thought to those that need to hear this - it's probably not a good idea to take selfies during the commission of a crime. Just something to chew on....