Donald Trump was down and almost out. Media coverage of the Capitol breach vanquished the soon-to-be former president and his supporters. Democrats had won the presidency and the senate. So how would they react to their moment in the sun, flushed with the success of slaying the dragon Trump, watching his popularity plummet, and sweeping into control of Congress?
They could have expressed sorrow for those sad, recalcitrant Republicans who refused to accept the outcome of the election and fought to the bitter end. The victorious Democrats, employing the good offices of the party’s media wing, could have patted the Trumpists on the head and looked skyward, imploring God to forgive them, for they know not what they do. And they could have sent forth the message that, worthy as Trump is of permanent removal from the American electoral system, they would be bigger than to give him the swift retribution he deserves.
Yes, content in their victory over the evil one – and more – they could have prepared a ready response to those demanding that Trump and his supporters be canceled: Impeaching a president days before he leaves office is the kind of thing Trump would try to do, but not us. We are bigger than that. However unforgivable the Capitol breach may have been, President Biden and the majorities elected by the people in Congress are focused on the future rather than the past and taking swift, bold action on the array of crises depicted by our new commander in chief.
This strategy would undoubtedly have placed the Democrats in the good graces of tens of millions of Americans begging for relief from the political wars, those workaday folks who just want to live their lives, be left alone, and believe – as few do – that the government that taxes them is focused on actually helping them instead of indulging in partisan crusades.
But apparently incapable of joy or contentment in even the most fortunate confluence of circumstances, the party has opted for an opposite course of action. Not only will all 50 Democrats in the U.S. Senate vote to convict Trump the private citizen – a futile attempt to bar him from ever seeking political office again – but they have tripled down with calls for the removal of two GOP senators – Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri – who dared raise their voices about the election results. Media reaction and attempts to silence dissent is typified by former GOP strategist-turned-leftwing attack dog Nicolle Wallace, who opined, chillingly and without irony, that “Republicans ‘must assert the truth before they’re allowed to share any other views.” Yes, that does sound more like North Korea than America.
With the impeachment show trial to remove a president who is no longer president not even set to commence until mid-February, Democrats have made the decision that continuing the ongoing, post-presidential punishment of Trump and his supporters is more important to the people than any other matter pending before a legislature supposedly inspired to action by the new president’s signature inaugural pronouncement about four simultaneous existential crises.
Climate change, racial inequity, an ongoing pandemic, an economy at risk – not a single one of these calamities declared by Joe Biden will be helped even a little by a Congress out for blood, expending its energy and political capital on taking dead aim at a single man and the ever-firm layers of support by the common man built beneath him.
Yes, the Democrats could have been big and looked good. Instead, they went small and look spiteful. Americans hate a sore loser, but one suspects those unhealed of Trump Derangement Syndrome will soon learn that they don’t care much more for the mirror-image: a sore winner.
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