Point of View Columns

Avoiding Amnesia

There are far too many voices calling for the end of the impeachment proceedings against 45. The thinking (if it can be called that) is that 45 is no longer in office and dredging up the facts of some 30 days ago will only create more division and delay the healing process that this country needs so badly.

This thinking might be worthy of consideration except for the fact that the authors of this fake line of thinking supported and accepted all the hateful, divisive and corrosive actions and rhetoric of 45 during his entire time in office. From Charlottesville to the confederate generals’ statuary controversy to his demonization of the Black Lives Matter movement, 45 has been a walking, talking toxic brew that spilled all over this country. 45 has been the root cause of the division that allowed QAnon and the Proud Boys and their ilk to grow and flourish, finally arriving in full bloom in the Capitol on 1.6.21.

There is no need to pay any attention to these fake calls for unity that are coming days late and many dollars short. And it should be noted that the members of this bogus chorus are almost all Republicans who do not want to go on the record supporting 45 and are also deathly afraid of casting an impeachment vote against 45 – who has already threatened “accountability” for those who dare to vote against him.

So it is left to the Democrats to make sure that this nation simply does not forget, much less forgive, what 45 did. It is important for history books tell the story right – that for at least two months before the election, as national polls became more bleak and predictive of his defeat, 45 started promoting the lie that the only way he could lose would be due to voter fraud. So, on 11.7.20 when it was confirmed that he had lost, 45 started promoting The Big Lie.

The Big Lie being that he had won the election overwhelmingly – even though he lost by 8 million votes – and that voter fraud, particularly in cities and states with large Black populations, was the reason for Joe Biden’s presumed (but actually fake) victory. And then 45 promoted The Big Lie every day, virtually ignoring the thousands of Americans who were falling ill and dying from the pandemic.

The Big Lie morphed into something even more pernicious when 45 started calling for the denizens of MAGA nation to come to Washington on 1.6.21. And it should be noted that was not a casual selection of a day – 45 knew that this was the day that the Electoral College vote would be confirmed by Congress. And in his fevered, damaged brain, 45 thought that he could bring a mob to D.C. to intimidate Congress to salvage his waning presidency.

The whole world – even the cowardly Republicans in Congress – know what happened next. 45 and his son and others whipped the mob into a frenzy and set that mob on its mission of disruption headed straight for Congress. The death and destruction that ensued is the bastard child of 45 and Congress should confirm his paternity of this horror for all time.

It is clear that 45 is going to be a presence – a fading presence, but a presence nevertheless. It is important that he be stripped of any legitimacy, if not by Congress, then by the people. And that means avoiding amnesia.

Anytime and every time that 45 speaks for the rest of his life he should be remembered as the President Who Attacked America.

Amnesia must be avoided at all costs to make sure that no would be tyrant tries to imitate 45 – after all the next imitator might succeed.

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Point of View Columns

The Night of the Town Hall Duel

Say this for the year 2020, it wandered over into Weird World early in the first quarter and just stayed there. The list of uniquely strange occurrences and events seems endless, with most of the items on that list not being good – at all. And then, last night, America was presented with Dueling Town Halls featuring Joe Biden and Trump.

A bit of background – last night was supposed to be the second in person debate between Biden and Trump. And then Trump had the bad luck of being infected and hospitalized with the COVID-19 virus that he had alternately mocked and dismissed.

Upon his near miraculous recovery (according to Trump) it was finally proposed that the debate be a virtual faceoff in order to protect the health of all involved. Not surprisingly, given his total meltdown in the first debate, Trump leaped at the first opportunity to say no, not realizing that this just made him look weaker and smaller than he appeared at the first debate.

So while the respective campaigns work to iron out the arrangements for a second debate, the news departments of the ABC and NBC networks management to set up dueling town halls last night with both beginning at 8pm EST – Biden on ABC for 90 minutes and Trump on NBC for 60 minutes. So for an hour viewers could channel surf and watch random excerpts of the performance of each candidate.

Here are some real time observations:

Trump

  • Lies, damn lies and outright lunacy.
  • Bluster and continued attempts to bully NBC moderator Savannah Guthrie – looks like he picked the wrong female to bully
  • Very early on Trump seems to be flustered by questions ranging from his handling of the pandemic to his tax returns
  • When Trump cannot or chooses not to answer he goes on attack – he doesn’t attack the citizens asking questions, but he tries his “fake news” routine with Savannah Guthrie – she remains unfazed
  • He gives off the impression of suppressing white hot rage and anger about almost everything
  • The thought occurs, Trump probably will get higher ratings than Biden – train wrecks are always more interesting
  • When asked about QAnon and white supremacist groups he claims ignorance but presents himself as an expert on ANTIFA which he states is a greater danger although the FBI has publicly stated that white supremacist groups are a mortal danger to this nation
  • He continues his freestyle rants about conspiracies and fact-free nonsense which must entertain his followers at his rallies, but at the 45-minute mark it becomes almost impossible to watch or listen
  • Which leads one to wonder – who are the people who hang on to and believe his every word?
  • As the sixty minutes with Trump stagger to a merciful end the NBC Fact Check Machine threw up
  • One can be sure that as soon as this monstrosity of an event concluded Savannah Guthrie took a long shower and burned all of the clothes that she had been wearing.

Biden

  • Biden starts off with an advantage for most viewers, simply because he is not Trump.
  • He conveys a much more level mood – no mood swings for Joe. And also no shouting
  • While Trump viewed every question as adversarial, Biden treats each question as an opportunity to share his vision on the subject matter. It remains to be seen on November 4th which is the better approach. It is already clear as to which one is more watchable.
  • By agreeing to 90 minutes, 30 minutes more than Trump, Team Biden trumped Team Trump by providing Biden with 30 minutes with the relatively undivided attention of viewers who care about debates and the election and the future of this country.
  • During those last 30 minutes Biden also put his hand on the Court Packing Tar Baby. While virtually every Democrat with a pulse is seething over the Republican piracy of the Supreme Court vacancy occasioned by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the idea of expanding the Supreme Court to restore some ideological balance seems too extreme to too many Americans two weeks before the election. So Biden ducked and dodged and promised to definitive answer within a week.
  • Prediction – he will not provide a definitive answer within the week.
  • Prediction – if the Democrats win the presidency along with control of the Senate and the House an expansion of the Supreme Court will certainly be considered – and everyone knows that, presented with the same fact pattern, the Republicans would not hesitate to expand the Court.

Now there is supposed to be a second debate on October 22nd and we will see how Trump manages to slither out of that one.

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