Here We Go Again
by john harrison
Speaker Pelosi has called for President Trump’s second impeachment because of his encouragement of mob violence against the Capitol. The protestors purpose apparently was to interrupt the Congress’s certification of the election of President Elect Joseph Biden. All of those on Capitol Hill that awful day were justifiably terrified of being in the epicenter of a truly violent riot.
There is no excuse either for the rioters’ or for the President’s words and actions. How did we get here? And more important, where is here? That is where it gets difficult.
The Democrats profess that they are aghast at President Trump’s actions that day. They say that he in effect urged the crowd to insurrection. Clearly that is not what a man sworn to up hold the law of the land should do. As the nation’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer, President Trump obviously should have acted differently, he should have up held the rule of law rather than sending his supporters to a place he knew they should not go. He did not. If you doubt me, then here is the passage from his speech that directed his followers to head toward Capitol Hill.
“And after this, we’re going to walk down there, and I’ll be there with you, we’re going to walk down … to the Capitol and we are going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women,” Trump told the crowd. “And we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them. Because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong.”
And then he added a measure of defiance, unfortunately mixed with a call to action.
“We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved, Our country has had enough. We’re not going to take it anymore.” Trump said.
The President also said:
“I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
And then, he added, with a bit of perhaps unintentional, irony:
“Now it is up to Congress to confront this egregious assault on our democracy.”
So, how did we get here, to this violent, lawless place with five Americans killed and over sixty police officers injured. President Trump’s rhetoric has often been combative, but what was the context? What were others saying and doing?
“Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere. We’ve got to get the children connected to their parents,”
So said Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Democrat, at the Wilshire Federal Building, according to a video of the event made well before the tragic events at the Capitol on January 6th, 2021.
“We don’t know what damage has been done to these children. All that we know is they’re in cages. They’re in prisons. They’re in jails. I don’t care what they call it, that’s where they are and Mr. President, we will see you every day, every hour of the day, everywhere that we are to let you know you cannot get away with this,” Congresswoman Waters added.
Congresswoman Waters appeared on MSNBC later in the day to double down on her remarks, saying she has “no sympathy” for members of the Trump administration.
“The people are going to turn on them. They’re going to protest. They’re going to absolutely harass them until they decide that they’re going to tell the President, ‘No, I can’t hang with you.’”
So, what did Speaker Pelosi have to say about respect for law and order?
During Pelosi’s remarks about immigration issues, she portrayed the parents of “Dreamers” as victims who have had to endure much “risk” to bring their families illegally into the country.
“I say to their parents: Thank you for bringing these Dreamers to America. We’re in your debt for the courage it took, for you to take the risk, physically, politically, in every way, to do so,” Speaker Pelosi said.
That is, she thanked them for breaking the very laws that in many cases she had helped pass, and much more important, that she has sworn repeatedly to uphold. How is she still the Speaker of the House?
As a lawyer with over 30 years experience I would say that both Congresswoman Waters’ and Speaker Pelosi’s comments are no better and no worse than President Trump’s, but that his led to much worse, much more immediate, and very much more tragic, consequences. While that does make the President more liable for his comments, it does not in any way remove their similar culpability for some very similar statements.
So, now we have outrage from Speaker Pelosi, and probably from Congresswoman Waters as well about President Trump’s lack of respect for the rule of law. They are correct, but they both do suffer from the Glass House Rule, that is the failure of their party to admonish them in any way for their similar behavior tends to make them look a lot more like hypocrites than righteous guardians of the Republic.
This does not in anyway excuse President Trump for his outrageous words and behavior, but sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander. Both the Speaker and the Congresswoman, and perhaps others on both sides of the aisle, should also be censored for the actions and words that have gotten us to this violent place.
Fair play, is not fair at all if it only goes one way. Hate, whether justified or not, is not a substitute for evidence, nor is it a substitute for trustworthiness. You have to earn that. We will see if they do. Will the impeachment process be fair this time? Or, will be another badly managed partisan attack for little purpose and no possibility ever of success?
The last impeachment, President Trump’s first impeachment, the Democrats were the gang that could not shoot straight. The first time the Democrats impeached President Trump they put on a show of utter incompetence from beginning to end. If you disagree, think about relying on the Republican dominated Senate to call the witnesses that should have been called during the Houses’ investigation. The very idea boggles the mind, and it killed any possibility of success for their first impeachment of President Trump.
At least the Senate and Congress now have a much better idea of how the people of Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle and San Francisco must feel regularly when violence and lawlessness forces their shops and restaurants to close, and businesses and dreams to fail. Assuming that these cities returned to their lawful past tomorrow, it will still take years to repair the damage. Already, for example, many insurers have notified their policy holders in Portland that they will not insure businesses in central business area at any price. They are withdrawing from the market permanently. If you can’t get casualty insurance you can’t get business loans. If you can’t get business loans you can’t reopen. It is a simple if brutal relationship that kept much of Northeast Washington, D.C., a wasteland for decades after the 1968 riots provoked by the murder of Dr. King. Decades, in the Nation’s capitol. These same harsh economic rules are still there. In the absence of some creative government actions these cities, at least in their central portion, will die.
The Democratic leaders are practically begging Republicans to join them in cleaning the house that the Donald built, and some have already agreed. However, there is a lot more to do than just that. It is time they all got to work on the People’s business and not their own little political power games. Riots, like wars, are bad for all living things no matter how justified they may be. We need to clean up the mess, all of it.
My book, Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive is available on Amazon both as a paperback and on Kindle. It is a Five Star book with lots of reviews, many by others that were there as well. Please give it a look. See; Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive 1968
Recent Reviews of Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive:
“John Harrison does an eloquent job writing what it was like being in the infantry during the Vietnam war. I know, I was in the infantry in Vietnam. There is a statistic which states that only 1 out of 10 who served in Vietnam were in the infantry. All of us have been asked what that was like at one point since our return. It is an impossible question for most of us to answer in part much less in full. John Harrison manages to do this in his book, Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive. So, if you are inclined and wonder what it was like, or you want to tell someone else what you went through, buy this book. Show it to your friend, show it to your family. It tells your story. To, “LT” John Harrison- thank you Sir.Salute.”
“John Harrison’s book, Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive, is a series of short stories, told mostly in the first person, that weaves together the humor and violence that only a talented writer can accomplish. The result is a compelling book that is hard to put down. John’s words flow easily on the pages, making an easy read. I highly recommend this book to anyone that has been there and did that, or anyone wanting to know a personal record of one lucky Lieutenant in Vietnam and the people that made it possible for him to return home.
Dan Hertlein, helicopter mechanic with the 192nd AHC at LZ Betty 1968″
“John is the soldier speaking the truest story of Vietnam. I will confirm his action as I was in a different company same battalion, fighting the same battles.”