On Jan. 25, 1809, Quincy rose to denounce the president as he had done numerous times in the past. This time was different, as Quincy alleged that Jefferson had failed to carry out his duties as chief executive. The president’s “high misdemeanor,” according to Quincy, was that he kept Benjamin Lincoln, the customs collector for the port of Boston, in federal office despite the man’s protestations that he was too old, and too feeble, to do his job. In 1806 Lincoln had written to Jefferson proposing to resign his office, but Jefferson asked him to stay on until he had appointed a successor. The president did so to nominateHenry Dearborn, his friend and the secretary of war, to this important position before his eventual retirement to Monticello. Jefferson wanted to reward his longtime ally with the Boston collectorship, but first, he needed to keep the long-serving Dearborn in the War Department until the foreign crisis with Great Britain over trade restrictions and the impressment of American sailors was resolved.
Quincy saw it differently, alleging that Jefferson unfairly allowed a federal official to be paid a $5,000 annual salary “for doing no services.”
Quincy’s motion received intense pushback in the floor debate that followed, as both Democratic-Republicans and Federalists objected to it. Seventeen Congressmen in total spoke against even considering the resolution, a high number for any House debate at the time. Thomas Gholson, an administration ally from Virginia labeled Quincy’s impeachment attempt as a “ridiculous proposition” while William A. Burwell, Jefferson’s former private secretary now a Virginia Congressman, referred to the ploy as something out of “Gulliver’s Travels.”
If you asked me this question twenty four hours ago I would have answered, “probably not.” But now I am not so sure.
Today we learned that Mitch McConnell, the outgoing Senate majority leader, said that Donald Trump did commit an impeachable offense by inciting the January 6, 2021 insurrection. He is pleased that the House will impeach (again) the president tomorrow. But will he allow a trial to take place?
Here is The New York Times;
Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, has told associates that he believes President Trump committed impeachable offenses and that he is pleased that Democrats are moving to impeach him, believing that it will make it easier to purge him from the party, according to people familiar with his thinking. The House is voting on Wednesday to formally charge Mr. Trump with inciting violence against the country.
It is tempting to consider Wednesday’s assault on the U.S. Capitol an exception in U.S. history, but the presence of Confederate flags and Sen. Ted Cruz’s ill-founded reliance on the 1876-1877 election crisis to justify baseless challenges to the 2020 electoral results remind us that anti-democratic violence has deep roots here, especially in the period of the Civil War and Reconstruction.
Public invocations of American ideals of democracy and the peaceful transition of power serve some good purposes. Yet our country also has a long history of authoritarianism, white supremacy and political violence, one that cannot be ignored without misunderstanding the depth and endurance of the problems we face as a nation and the breadth of the solutions these problems require.
The shocking scenes Wednesday at the Capitol remind us that there have always been Americans who have little regard for procedures established by the Constitution. When Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860, political leaders in South Carolina refused to accept the result, fearing that a Lincoln presidency would lead to the weakening of Southern political power and ultimately to the elimination of slavery. Ten other Southern states eventually joined in rejecting the election’s outcome and declaring that they intended to form a nation of their own.
Peter Manseau, the Lilly Endowment Curator of American Religious History at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, is collecting tweets documenting the use of religious rhetoric at the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Read them or share your own at #capitolsiegereligion. Here is a taste:
There is a very good chance that Donald Trump will be the second president in United States history to be impeached by the House of Representatives. Read the article of impeachment here. And here:
Resolved, That Donald John Trump, President of the United States, is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors and that the following article of impeachment be exhibited to the United States Senate:
Article of impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives of the United States of America in the name of itself and of the people of the United States of America, against Donald John Trump, President of the United States of America, in maintenance and support of its impeachment against him for high crimes and misdemeanors.
Article I: INCITEMENT OF INSURRECTION
The Constitution provides that the House of Representatives “shall have the sole Power of Impeachment” and that the President “shall have the sole Power of Impeachment” and that the President “shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Further, section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution prohibits any person who has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against” the United States from hold[ing] any office…under the United States.” In his conduct while President of the United States–and in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed–Donald John Trump engaged in high Crimes and Misdemeanors by inciting violence against the Government of the United States in that:
On January 6, 2021, pursuant to the 12th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, the House of Representatives, and the Senate met at the United States Capitol for a Joint Session of Congress to count the votes of the Electoral College. In the months preceding the Joint Session, President Trump repeatedly issued false statements asserting that the Presidential election results were the product of widespread fraud and should not be accepted by the American people or certified by State or Federal officials. Shortly before the Joint Session commenced; President Trump, addressed a crowd at the Ellipse in Washington D.C. There, he reiterated false claims that “we won the election, and we won it by a landslide”. He also willfully made statements that, in context, encouraged–and foreseeably resulted in–lawless action at the Capitol, such as: “if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.” Thus incited by President Trump, members of the crowd he had addressed, in an attempt to, among other objectives, interfere with the Joint Session’s solemn constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 Presidential election, unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress, the Vice President, and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive, and seditious acts.
President Trump’s conduct on January 6, 2021, following his prior efforts to subvert and obstruct the certification of the results of the 2020 Presidential election. Those prior efforts included a phone call on January 2, 2021, during which President Trump urged the secretary of state of Georgia, Brad Raffensberger, to “find” enough votes to overturn the Georgia Presidential election results and threatened Secretary Raffensberger if he failed to do so.
In all this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institution of Government. He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.
Wherefore, Donald John Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law. Donald John Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.
Today Congress called on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment. The House will vote on this call tomorrow. If Pence does not invoke the 25th, the House will move toward impeachment based on this article.
What is the difference between invoking the 25th Amendment and impeachment? Watch presidential historian Jeff Engel explain here.
It’s been a very ugly week in America. By this time next week, Donald Trump may be the only United States president to have been impeached twice. We are getting more and more disturbing images and videos from Wednesday’s invasion of the U.S. Capitol. Here is one of the latest:
On Parler and Facebook, Eric Metaxas shared an article suggesting that the insurrectionists were not Trump supporters, but members of Antifa.
Metaxas is a fellow at Liberty University’s Falkirk Center. The center’s Twitter feed is rallying the troops:
What, does the Falkirk Center mean by the “power of the Gospel?” Is the tweet below a reference to the transforming power of the good news of Jesus Christ or the power of Trumpism? Is the Falkirk Center asking followers to plant seeds of faith or seeds of Christian nationalism?
Thousands of Trump supporters invaded the U.S. Capitol and court evangelical journalist David Brody and David Barton crony Rick Green are playing the moral equivalency card. “But what about the Democrats!?” Sorry David Brody, the Democrats did not storm the seat of American government.
Brody, the star newsman at the Christrian Broadcasting Network, believes that Trump has “united the country.” You can’t make this stuff up:
David Barton, the GOP activist who uses the past to promote his political agenda, retweeted Kentucky representative Thomas Massie. Barton and Massie believe that Twitter’s decision to ban Trump was the most “dystopian” thing that happened this week.
Jack Hibbs believes Twitter’s decision to ban Donald Trump is a violation of the First Amendment. Last night he wrote: “If it seems like the first amendment and the Constitution has been abolished it’s probably because it has. The Church is next.” Not really. Twitter is private company. They can ban anyone they want to ban. Also, Twitter has no power to “abolish” the Church.
Hibbs was in Washington D.C. on the day of the insurrection. Why would an evangelical pastor from California be in Washington D.C. on January 6? How is showing-up at a pro-Trump rally part of Hibbs’s pastoral vocation? He believes that the insurrectionists were members of Antifa. He claims that the rioters at the Capitol on Wednesday were “of the same spirit” as the British who invaded Washington in the War of 1812. Both groups, Hibbs says, want to “destroy our Judeo-Christian nation.”
Finally, Hibbs says that “freedom is always purchased with blood…liberty and freedom is a bloody work…Jesus went to the cross and bled for our freedom from sin.” He then compares Jesus’s death to the “blood and sacrifice” of people who died to create the United States and broke rank with” a tyrannical government. Earlier in his little speech, Hibbs extolled the evangelical pastors who promoted liberty from their pulpits during the American Revolution. These pastors mixed American liberty and Christian liberty and, in the process, manipulated the teachings of the Bible to advance their political agenda. I wrote about this extensively in Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction. Hibbs is doing the exact same thing here. Finally, Hibbs reminds his followers that he embraces a dispensationalist, pre-millennial, pre-tribulational eschatology.
Jim Garlow, another court evangelical who appeared on this television show with Hibbs, said that Hibbs has “brilliant insights.” Garlow compared the insurrectionists with the civil rights movement. Watch here.
Robert Jeffress says that when the insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol they were committing a “sin against God.” He calls for peace and unity, but says nothing about the fact that he provided cover for Trump during his entire presidency. Jeffress never uttered a negative word about the man. He is one of the many evangelicals responsible for what happened at the Capitol this week.
Many court evangelicals want to move beyond Trump’s assault on American democracy. They prefer to attack a private tech company:
Tony Perkins, who has built his entire career scaring evangelicals into believing that liberals are taking away their “rights,” tweets a quote from Peter Marshall:
John Hagee believes that the insurrection on Wednesday marks the “advent of the New World Order”:
We are learning more and more about the mob that invaded the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. They were Trump-supporters, extreme Christian nationalists, QAnon believers, militia groups, and other assorted thugs. Mo Brooks, a Republican representative from Alabama, still believes that Antifa was behind the insurrection:
On Wednesday, Trump spoke to his followers. He said that he loved them and called them “special.” Watch:
Last night, Trump read another statement:
This is Trump conceding the election without officially conceding the election.
It is worth mentioning again that Trump cannot give a speech without lying. He did not “immediately employ the national guard.” In fact, he initially resisted the idea. There is nothing in this speech about the fact that Trump created this mob or that he is ultimately responsible for what happened. On Wednesday, he was sending his love to the insurrectionists and calling them “special.” Last night he wanted to throw them in jail.
Does anyone believe anything Trump said in this video? Does he really care about national healing and reconciliation? He released this second video because he is scared. His advisers and cabinet members are resigning. The House and Senate are calling for either the 25th Amendment or another impeachment. And what did he mean when he said “our incredible journey is only just beginning?” Maybe it has yet something to do with this:
Eric Metaxas had self-professed prophet Lance Wallnau on his radio program. He starts the conversation by asking Wallnau if “the prophets got it wrong.” I listened several times to Wallnau answer this question and I have no idea what he is talking about. I think he is just making it all up. Wallnau, speaking with apparent prophetic authority, says that the insurrectionists were Antifa members. Metaxas agrees. He calls the insurrection a “Marxist coup. Metaxas also floats the idea that Muriel Bowser, the mayor of Washington D.C., was behind the rioting. Finally, Wallnau says that he and Metaxas are part of a Christian populist movement led by Donald Trump. Trump, he says, “is not finished.” He describes this “movement” as “righteous.”
Metaxas also talked to Charlie Kirk, the co-founder of Liberty University’s Falkirk Center. Kirk admits that Biden will be the next president. He says that a “lot of people were misled” to believe that Trump was actually going to win. Metaxas admits that he was one of those people, but Kirk lets him off the hook. Then they start talking about the possibility of a God-sized miracle that will get Trump into office.
Kirk, “constitutional scholar” that he is, criticizes Mike Pence for doing his constitutional duty on Wednesday night. He said that Pence did not act with “courage or clarity” when he agreed to certify the votes of the Electoral College.
Court evangelical journalist David Brody on “smart analysis”:
Brody plays the moral equivalency card:
David Brody is a sly one:
Pastor Darrell Scott says he spoke to Trump. MAGA forever!
David and Tim Barton of Wallbuilders believe that Antifa was behind the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Richard Land rejects the violence at the U.S. capitol, but he says nothing about his role in empowering Trump and, by extension, those who stormed Congress. Remember, it was Land who bragged about having “unprecedented access” to the White House during Trump’s presidency.
Jack Hibbs is talking with fellow court evangelical Tony Perkins about the “spiritual battle” for the U.S. capitol. Perkins says that when Trump was elected in 2016 he felt a demonic presence in Washington D.C. trying to stop the inauguration. The women’s march, according to Perkins, was part of this evil presence.
Ralph Reed praises Mike Pence:
Trump has two weeks. I think it’s a little late for advice:
Franklin Graham–yes Franklin Graham–wants us to stop the finger-pointing:
Here are the facts. A group of pro-Trump rioters invaded the seat of the United States government yesterday in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Donald Trump, the sitting United States President, refused to condemn the rioters. He refused to accept the congressional certification of the election. He sent his “love” to the insurrections. And he called the men and women, some armed with Confederate flags and “Jesus Saves” signs, “special people.” He has encouraged this kind of violence multiple times during his administration. Donald Trump is responsible for this.
In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.
Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.
Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.
Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.
The 25th Amendment should be invoked today. Any president who encourages an insurrection on an equal branch of the United States government is clearly unable to “discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
If the 25th Amendment is not invoked, Congress should impeach him immediately for “high crimes and misdemeanors” against the United States government. How is inciting an insurrection against a branch of the United States government not a high crime and misdemeanor?
In Donald Trump’s inaugural address he talked about “American carnage.” Well, we got American carnage today.
A pro-Trump mob made up of people who believe that Trump won the 2020 presidential election breached police barriers and desecrated the inside of the capitol building, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s office. Trump and his surrogates encouraged this event–both directly and indirectly– and they are to blame for everything that happened today. History will hold them accountable.
Anyone who has followed Trump and his supporters over the last four years should not be surprised. The insurrectionists appeared brave and courageous in the execution of their goals, but it was actually fear that motivated them. The United States is changing. This morning we woke-up to find that a southern state, the home of the Vice President of the Confederacy Alexander Stephens, elected its first Black and first Jewish U.S. senators. Today’s rioters are scared to death about such change and for the last four years they have had a president who validated their fears and encouraged them to act upon them.
Many pro-Trumpers who were not involved in today’s insurrection are condemning today’s violence. Poppycock! Everyone with a platform, influence, and large numbers of social media followers who supported Trump’s outrageous voter fraud claims bear responsibility for what happened today.
The Trump presidency started with a reference to carnage and ended with carnage. What happened today is a fitting ending to the worst presidential administration in American history.
As all of this was going down today, I was strolling through Longwood Gardens on a scheduled outing with extended family. I am still catching-up on things and I think it might be best if I cover the day’s events in a series of posts rather than one long post. Stay tuned.
I have no idea what Rep. Emanuel Cleaver was doing at the end of this prayer. It appears to be political correctness run amok:
The word “Amen” means “so be it.”
“Awoman” is not a word. Cleaver, however, must have thought that “Awoman” was the feminine version of “Amen.” But even if this were true, why would he pray for men in the plural (Amen) and women in the singular (Awoman).
Cleaver is a United Methodist minister who represents Missouri’s 5th congressional district. He pastored the St. James United Methodist Church in Kansas City from 1972 to 2009.
According to The Hill, Cleaver may have been thinking about Nancy Pelosi’s new call for gender-neutral language in Congress.
Vacation is over. What did I miss? Here is a small taste of what has happened in American politics over the last ten days:
A bomb exploded in Nashville on Christmas morning. We are learning more every day about the suicide bomber. Fortunately, no one other than the bomber himself was killed. As far as I know, Trump did not comment publicly on the bombing. He played golf.
Trump refused to sign the Consolidated Appropriation Act. It included $900 billion for COVID-19 relief, including a $600 check for Americans making under $75,000 a year. Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin negotiated the bill on the president’s behalf while Trump was busy trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Trump’s major problem with the bill was the $600 dollar COVID relief check for individual Americans. Trump wanted to give Americans $2000.
Trump eventually signed the Consolidated Appropriation Act on December 27. Because he signed it one week late, many Americans did not receive unemployment compensation during the final week of 2021. Why didn’t Trump sign it? It is hard to tell. But he was probably upset with Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell for declaring that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election. While Trump held his personal grudge, millions of Americans went without federal help during the Christmas holiday. The president played golf.
Meanwhile, Democrats and some Republicans supported Trump’s claim to raise the sum of the relief checks to $2000. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, Georgia GOP Senators fighting for their political lives in tomorrow’s Georgia run-off, supported the president. But McConnell did his best to make sure that the American people would only get $600
Just before we went on break, Trump vetoed the Defense Authorization Act. This bill, which is the standard act to fund the military, had bipartisan support. In fact, this bill has passed with bipartisan support since 1961. Trump vetoed the bill because it included provisions for renaming military bases named after Confederate leaders. He also claimed it protected social media companies. On December 28, the House of Representatives overturned Trump’s veto by a vote of veto 322-87. On January 1, 2021, the Senate overturned the veto 81-13. It was the first time in the Trump presidency that Congress overturned one of his vetoes.
On the same day the Senate overturned Trump’s veto on the Defense Authorization Act, Missouri Senator Josh Hawley said that he would object to the 2020 Electoral College vote when the Senate meets to certify it on Wednesday. Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, upon hearing about Hawley’s stunt, called it a “dangerous ploy” and added: “Let’s be clear here: We have a bunch of ambitious politicians who think there’s a quick way to tap into the president’s populist base without doing any real, long-term damage.” The next day, GOP senators Marcia Blackburn (TN), Mike Braun (IN), Ted Cruz (TX), Steve Daines (MT) Ron Johnson (WI), John Kennedy (LA), and James Lankford (OK) said they would join Hawley. So did Senators-Elect Bill Hagerty (TN), Cynthia Lummis (WY), Roger Marshall (KS), and Tommy Tuberville (AL). Cruz’s office issued a press release. Let’s be clear. This protest will not change the election results. Both houses of Congress will certify the votes of the Electoral College and Joe Biden will be inaugurated President of the United States on January 20, 2021. It will now just take a few additional hours. Read Peter Wehner’s recent article at The Atlantic if you want to understand what is really going on here.
If my calculations are correct, 22,715 people died of COVID-19 since my last blog post.
Yesterday, January 3, 2021, The Washington Post released part of a phone call between Trump and Brad Raffensberger, Georgia’s GOP secretary of state. The President urged Raffensberger to “find” 11,780 Trump votes in Georgia. Trump threatened Raffensberger by telling him that if he did not find the votes he might face “criminal” charges. Here is a clip from their one hour conversation:
Rep. David Kustoff of Tennessee’s 8th Congressional District
Rep. Darin LaHood of Illinois’s 18th Congressional District
Rep. Doug LaMalfa of California’s 1st Congressional District
Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado’s 5th Congressional District
Rep. Robert E. Latta of Ohio’s 5th Congressional District
Rep. Debbie Lesko of Arizona’s 8th Congressional District
Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer of Missouri’s 3rd Congressional District
Rep. Kenny Marchant of Texas’s 24th Congressional District
Rep. Roger Marshall of Kansas’s 1st Congressional District
Rep. Tom McClintock of California’s 4th Congressional District
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington’s 5th Congressional District
Rep. Dan Meuser of Pennsylvania’s 9th Congressional District
Rep. Carol D. Miller of West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District
Rep. John Moolenaar of Michigan’s 4th Congressional District
Rep. Alex X. Mooney of West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District
Rep. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District
Rep. Gregory Murphy of North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District
Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington’s 4th Congressional District
Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District
Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District
Rep. Guy Reschenthaler of Pennsylvania’s 14th Congressional District
Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina’s 7th Congressional District
Rep. John Rose of Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District
Rep. David Rouzer of North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District
Rep. John Rutherford of Florida’s 4th Congressional District
Rep. Austin Scott of Georgia’s 8th Congressional District
Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District
Rep. Adrian Smith of Nebraska’s 3rd Congressional District
Rep. Jason Smith of Missouri’s 8th Congressional District
Rep. Ross Spano of Florida’s 15th Congressional District
Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York’s 21st Congressional District
Rep. Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional District
Rep. Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District
Rep. William Timmons of South Carolina’s 4th Congressional District
Rep. Ann Wagner of Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District
Rep. Tim Walberg of Michigan’s 7th Congressional District
Rep. Michael Waltz of Florida’s 6th Congressional District
Rep. Randy Weber of Texas’s 14th Congressional District
Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida’s 11th Congressional District
Rep. Brad Wenstrup of Ohio’s 2nd Congressional District
Rep. Bruce Westerman of Arkansas’s 4th Congressional District
Rep. Roger Williams of Texas’s 25th Congressional District
Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District
Rep. Rob Wittman of Virginia’s 1st Congressional District
Rep. Ron Wright of Texas’s 6th Congressional District
Rep. Ted S. Yoho of Florida’s 3rd Congressional District
Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York’s 1st Congressional District
Sadly, my representative, Scott Perry, is on the list. Like Perry, most of these congresspersons represent pro-Trump districts. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain by supporting this baseless lawsuit. These enabling representatives will soon become the lieutenants in Trump’s post-election lost cause campaign.
Finally, it seems pretty clear that Paxton initiated this lawsuit because he wants a pardon.
In November 1969, Barry Goldwater, the Republican senator from Arizona, told reporters that he probably wouldn’t seek reelection. Once the Republican Party’s pick for president, Goldwater would leave big shoes to fill. And he already had a successor in mind: Frank Borman, an astronaut who, a year earlier, had flown to the moon and back on Apollo 8. Borman, who grew up in Arizona, wasn’t interested, and anyway, Goldwater ended up running again. But now, decades later, Congress is getting its Arizona astronaut.
I am proud of my U.S. Senator. Yesterday he broke with his party by voting for legislation that would ban almost all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. He also broke with his party by voting for a bill that would impose criminal penalties on doctors who fail to aggressively treat babies born after abortions. While I am on record saying that the overturning of Roe v. Wade is not the best way of reducing abortions in the United States, I support both pieces of legislation.
The legislation failed, but pro-life Casey (D-PA) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) both voted in support of the bill. Doug Jones (D-AL) voted against the bill banning abortions after 20 weeks and in support of the bill protecting babies born alive.
It fell seven votes short of the necessary 60, failing by a vote of 53 to 44. Two Republicans — Ms. Collins and Ms. Murkowski — crossed party lines to vote against it. Two Democrats — Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania — voted in favor.
The second, the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” sponsored by Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, would require doctors to “exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion.” Experts say such circumstances are extremely unusual, but the measure would apply to cases in which a baby is not viable outside the womb and doctors induce labor as a means of terminating a pregnancy. The bill would subject physicians to fines and prison time if they failed to comply.
That bill failed, 56 to 44, with Mr. Casey, Mr. Manchin and Mr. Jones joining all 53 Republicans to vote in favor. The three Democrats scheduled to participate in Tuesday night’s presidential debate in South Carolina — Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota — were absent for both votes.
What happened last night? This was by far the most divisive, strange, sensational State of the Union Address I have ever witnessed. Think about it:
Donald Trump did not (refused?) to shake Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s hand.
Nancy Pelosi broke with tradition when she introduced Trump. Instead of saying it is a “high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you the president of the United States,” she decided to say “Members of Congress, the president of the United States.” Ouch.
Donald Trump, an impeached president, then proceeded to deliver a speech that made no effort to bring the country together. It was a Trump rally speech constrained by the teleprompter. It was filled with lies and half-truths.
Nancy Pelosi was visually upset through much of the speech and appeared to be doing everything in her power to control herself.
Mike Pence sat behind Trump and nodded approvingly in response to everything Trump said.
A 100-year old former Tuskegee airman was honored.
The conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, one of the most divisive men in America, was given a congressional medal of honor by the first lady of the United States, a former super model. I wish Rush well as he struggles with lung cancer. I also hope that his health issues will lead him to think deeply about how he has contributed to the lack of civil discourse in the country.
A sergeant first-class on his fourth deployment in the Middle East surprised his wife and children in the middle of the speech. It was a nice moment, but it also fed into the reality-show flavor of the night.
Democratic members of the Congress stood up and shouted at the president about a drug bill.
When the speech was over, Nancy Pelosi ripped-up her copy of the speech before a nationally televised audience.
This was a very partisan night. The Democrats did not always behave well, but the president sets the agenda and tone of the night. He deserves the most blame.
But let’s not pretend what happened last night was even close to the kind of chaos seen on the floor of Congress in the decades prior to the Civil War.
Yesterday we highlighted historian Joanne Freeman’s tweet about the GOP Congressman who disrupted a deposition in the Trump impeachment inquiry. Today we have a video of Freeman offering some historical context for this event in an appearance on MSNBC:
Ryerse is a graduate of Summit University (formerly Baptist Bible College) in Clarks Summit, PA and Biblical Theological Seminary in Hatfield, PA. Summit University has roots in the fundamentalist General Association of Regular Baptist Churches. Biblical Theological Seminary is a generally evangelical seminary founded when theologian Allen McRae broke ranks with fundamentalist crusader Carl McIntire. Ryerse has since left fundamentalism and now pastors a more progressive evangelical congregation.
At one point early in the film, Ryerse notes that one his favorite books is “Feinberg’s Systematic Theology.” I did not know that John Feinberg, Paul Feinberg, or their father Charles Feinberg ever wrote a complete systematic theology. Perhaps I did not hear this correctly.
In case you haven’t heard, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked Queen Elizabeth II to suspend Parliament for five weeks so he can silence dissenters as he leads Great Britian’s departure from the European Union. Get up to speed here and here.
Could something similar happen in the United States? Could the President of the United States suspend Congress? Eliga Gould, a professor of history at the University of New Hampshire, explains why such a move would be unconstitutional. Here is a taste of his piece at The Conversation:
The newly created role of U.S. president, by contrast, had clearly defined powers under the Constitution, as did Congress. Crucially, the power to summon or dismiss Congress belonged to the House of Representatives and the Senate, which together decided when to convene and when to adjourn. The position of president, in other words, was intentionally designed without the authority to reproduce the 11-year tyranny of King Charles – or the five-week suspension of Queen Elizabeth II and her current prime minister.
110,318 voters in New York’s 14th Congressional District voted for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. This district is 18.41% white.
267,703 voters in Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District voted for Ilhan Omar. The district is 67.39% white.
165,355 voters in Michigan’s 13th District voted for Rashisa Talib. The district is 33.4% white.
216,559 voters in Massachusetts’s 7th District voted for Ayanna Pressley. The district is 33.69% white.
The President of the United States says that these four women of color should leave the country because they don’t love America. Would he say the same thing about 759,935 people who voted for this members of the House of Representatives? These women were duly elected by their constituencies. Unless, of course, the elections were rigged. 🙂