POWER DAILY – Impeachment is not enough.
Trump always wanted to be famous, to be the center of the universe, a big star. Or as Theodore Roosevelt’s daughter observed about her father:
“My father always wanted to be the corpse at every funeral, the bride at every wedding and the baby at every christening.”
Now Trump has achieved rare, long lasting historical fame. He is the first president ever to be impeached twice. And there is a better than even chance that this time, in the second run through the humiliating rejection of impeachment, the Senate will convict.
In fact, the irascible Senator Mitch McConnell, a true lover and wielder of power, has let it be known that he is happy Trump was impeached and that he is open to lowering the boom by convicting him.
OK, maybe. Let’s see.
Now this is all very important not because of the deep joy millions of people are feeling after Trump’s fall, though there is a whole lot of Schadenfreude going on.
This event is important because it is transcendent of politics. This is not another mere political victory in the never-ending cats and dogs fight between Democrats and Republicans.
This is a fight between democracy and dictatorship. Order and chaos. And yes, at the risk of being hyperbolic, a battle between good and evil.
And at this point, good is winning.
It’s critical that Trump is being held to account. As I write this, Washington DC is being protected by some 20,000-armed troops. Soldiers in the nation’s capital to defend us not from a Russian or Chinese invasion, Al Qaeda or Iranian terror, but from another attack by Trump’s private army.
If history is indeed the frame by which we learn to avoid future problems, then we must remember Hitler’s story. Yes, yes, I wrote about Baby Hitler the other day. And no, I’m not obsessed.
But Hitler also undertook an unsuccessful coup years before he was elected. In the mindset of let’s spread forgiveness, turn the page and make believe we’re all one happy family again, Hitler was pardoned.
The effect was to launch his career with fresh energy and success – and revolutionary creds.
Let’s not repeat this mistake. Prosecute Trump to the full extent of the law.
POWER PLAYER – Twitter
In the few days since Twitter (and other social networks) banned Trump’s hate screeds, the world feels a bit lighter.
Trump’s awesome power to immediately zap any friend or foe on Twitter, causing them to reel as if struck by lightning, is over. And with it, a significant part of his total power has drained away, like the receding waters after a hurricane.
In the process, we’ve learned that in 2021 social media has gone from cat videos and chit chat, to something much more profound – the creation of new modality of politics that lives and dies on social media.
As the Trump terrorists invaded the Capitol, they helpfully confessed to the FBI by documenting their every crime. They posted on Twitter and You Tube. They confessed their tremendous happiness at capturing the seat of American government on a whole host of social outlets that, for a moment, allowed them to be the authors of their own tale.
The power of personal expression through social media is so overwhelming as to erase any common sense. Pro tip: don’t film yourself committing major crimes.
But now that Trump is de-fanged, social media wise, it’s a good time to evaluate – do we want private companies driven by profit interest to dictate our political activity? Obviously, no.
POWER LOSER – Trump family business
Next time you want to throw that fancy masquerade ball, will you book Trump’s hotels? Probably not. If you’re like most ball throwing people, you don’t want your fancy party associated with a known criminal.
One of the most “attractive” elements of the Trump candidacy in 2016 was the idea, embraced by Trump supporters, that he was such an amazingly successful CEO (not) that Trump would be an equally wonderful president.
You see, Trump was able to sell the comical idea that simply being a businessperson is qualification for government service.
Now, with the wreckage of this presidency before the eyes of the world, the Trump brand is worth as much as a bag of rocks.
Sure, there will always be MAGA cultists who will worship at the golden toilet altar of Donald Trump.
But it’s less clear what magical spell Trump can conjure to reverse the tainted, tawdry decay of his once golden brand.
PS – want to buy an Ivanka handbag, anyone?
POWER READ – From The Washington Post:
“The siege on the U.S. Capitol played out as a QAnon fantasy made real: The faithful rose up in their thousands, summoned to Washington by their leader, President Trump. They seized the people’s house as politicians cowered under desks. Hordes wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the “Q” symbol and toting Trump flags closed in to deliver justice, armed with zip-tie handcuffs and rope and guns.
“The “#Storm” envisioned on far-right message boards had arrived. And two women who had died in the rampage — both QAnon devotees — had become what some were calling the first martyrs of the cause.
The siege ended with police retaking the Capitol and Trump being rebuked and losing his Twitter account. But the failed insurrection illustrated how the paranoid conspiracy theory QAnon has radicalized Americans, reshaped the Republican Party and gained a forceful grip on right-wing belief.”
POWER QUOTE – Trump on my mind
“To ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it.” - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
POWER IMAGE - From Brian Stauffer, one of America’s leading editorial illustrators. He recently shared this image with me.
Brian explained, “Watching the events of Jan 6th 2021, this image came to mind. It’s the symbol of bigotry, fascism, ignorance, intolerance, extremism, lies, and hatred, with a symbol of our nation’s freedom in its’ grasp.”