I have written several postings related to Various topics including the military, Voting, the economy, religion and etc in America. A list of links have been provided at bottom of this article for your convenience. This article will, however address additional issues in these topics.
Table of Contents
– What if Dr. Ben Carson was our first Black President instead of Barack Obama?
– Why Did Trump’s Generals Hate Him?
– Why is Amazon.com supporting the $15.00 and hour raise?
– Which GOP Senators voted to Convict President Trump?
– Why the War on the 2nd Amendment?
– Q&A With Condoleezza Rice, The Eighth Director Of The Hoover Institution
-How Welfare Destroyed Black Families
-Socialism Failed in:
I have been working on this blog since June of 2020, and I have posted over 250 articles in this time. I also have 7 listings which include short postings that I have made on Facebook and other social media sites. At one time I thought I would run out of topics to write about, however ideas keep popping up. There are so many topics , that I have even posted extra articles in the last few weeks, and now I find myself contemplating on writing an article discussing multiple topics. Many of these topics just don’t warrant a full length discussion and analysis, so they will be covered in this my first Randy’s musings. Only time will tell if I will write any more of these types of postings. I am finding that I am having a difficult time narrowing down the subjects that I want to discuss. Well, I guess I will just let my fingers decide.
I thought I would do a series of What If Articles, but I decided against following up on that project. Dr. Ben Carson was to have been part of the series.
What if Dr. Ben Carson was our first Black President instead of Barack Obama?
Over the last few years I have listened to Dr Ben Carson discuss various subjects on Fox News and Newsmax. I have come to the conclusion that he is truly a remarkable individual. I believe that if he had the charisma of Barack Obama or Donald Trump he could have easily became a president of the US. So we are going to assume for the sake of this short article, that he did in fact have the requisite charisma. When Obama became president, I had a great deal of optimism. I thought he would be just what this country needed to unite it, and once and for all eliminate racism. But what happened instead, was an increase in the level of racism present in this country. I believe we actually regressed to the early 60’s in our race relations.
Now lets say Dr. Carson was our first black President and not Obama. First of all Dr. Carson is a conservative, so he would not have tried to turn us into a socialistic country like Obama did. BLM would never have got a foot hold in this country and antifa would be just a footnote. President Carson would have instituted many of the plans that Trump instituted. Which means that minorities would have been better off than they were under Obama. He would never have fostered racist thoughts like Obama did. All lives would have mattered. Our country would have finally been one country. I don’t believe that he would have tried to eliminate corruption totally like Trump did, so he would not have been hated like Trump was. I believe that he would have been able to unify Congress, and I don’t think that Pelosi and Schumer would have been an issue. I also think, that because he was a medical doctor, he would have been able to come up with a healthcare plan that would have actually made sense and worked.
We can only dream of what this country would have been like under President Carson. Because I don’t think that he will ever be the president, but he could become the vice president. I believe he would excel in that roll. Maybe he will be chosen by one of the republican candidates?
Why Did Trump’s Generals Hate Him?
I believe President Trump expects one thing among his subordinates is loyalty and common respect. This is something that Generals seem to have a hard time giving to their civil bosses. President Kennedy experienced this as well. There was a great deal of condescension not only for President Kennedy but for President Trump as well. I believe that may of the generals that reach 3, 4 or 5 stars believe that they know what is best for the country militarily speaking. Unfortunately they only see a very small part of the picture. I believe that the distrust and displeasure started right off with his refusal to spend hours every day listening to security briefings. They should have loved him, because he rebuilt the military after it had been decimated by Obama. But, what good is a strong military if you don’t use it. He raised a great deal of ire, because he wanted to pull all the troops out of the middle east. It is about time that we left them to their own devices. By having a total independence from foreign oil, we no longer were tied to the middle east. It gave us security. Unfortunately our generals could not see this. He also helped unify the middle east, with peace initiatives. He was making Generals obsolete. Something nobody wants to be is obsolete. He was the only president in recent history that did not attack or invade another country. I believe that we almost had a situation similar to that depicted in the 1964 movie “Seven Days in May.” In this movie the military tried a coup to take over the country. We did almost have that with the FBI and congress.
So now that Biden is the President, he almost immediately sent troops to Syria. There has also been more talk of pulling any more troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan. With the relationship with Iran souring, there will be more opportunities for additional troops being sent overseas again. So our rend for endless and unwinnable wars continues.
Why is Amazon.com supporting the $15.00 and hour raise?
It is no surprise that the box stores and Amazon.com have experienced record sales and profits since the forced closures of so many businesses during the pandemic. But what is surprising is why they would be for the new federal minimum wage of $15 an hour. It however is not surprising when you investigate these businesses further. Many of them are already paying that rate, so they won’t be affected too much. They have also found ways to become more efficient. Such as self checkout registers. Now you have one cashier overseeing 10 or more registers. I really don’t think these companies realized how much competition mom and pop stores and businesses gave them, until they were closed down. They now realize that they want to continue with their higher profits. This is where the higher wage comes in to paly. Most small businesses simply cannot afford to pay these salaries, because they work on a much smaller profit margin. They are already suffering from the prolonged closures. These wage hikes will force many more of these businesses to close permanently. With these closures, box stores and on line stores like Amazon.com, can continue with their profits.
Which GOP Senators voted to Convict President Trump?
A majority of senators voted to convict former President Donald Trump on an impeachment charge of inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
But the Democrats’ side needed 17 Republicans to join them in order to reach the two-thirds threshold needed to convict.
Seven GOP senators voted with Democrats — the most bipartisan impeachment vote in U.S. history — but well short of the 17 needed to convict the former president.
Of those seven Republicans, two are retiring and only one — Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski — faces her state’s voters in the next election cycle, 2022.
Here’s a closer look at the seven GOP senators who broke ranks with their party and some of the political calculations they face back home.
Senator: Richard Burr, North Carolina
Vote explanation: Burr’s vote to convict was largely unexpected. According to Capitol Hill reporters in the chamber during the vote, there were audible “wows” and rumblings from senators when he cast his vote. He had previously voted to dismiss the trial on the basis of constitutionality.
n a statement, Burr said he did “not make this decision lightly, but I believe it is necessary.”
“When this process started, I believed that it was unconstitutional to impeach a president who was no longer in office,” he said. “I still believe that to be the case. However, the Senate is an institution based on precedent, and given that the majority in the Senate voted to proceed with this trial, the question of constitutionality is now established precedent.”
He said he listened to the arguments from both sides and the “facts are clear.”
“The evidence is compelling that President Trump is guilty of inciting an insurrection against a coequal branch of government and that the charge rises to the level of high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
Political situation: Burr, who’s served in the Senate since 2005, announced years ago that this term would be his last.
Michael Whatley, the chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, released a statement on Saturday blasting Burr for his vote.
“North Carolina Republicans sent Sen. Burr to the United States Senate to uphold the Constitution and his vote today to convict in a trial that he declared unconstitutional is shocking and disappointing,” Whatley said.
As the Carolina Journal reported Sunday night, the North Carolina Republican Party is expected to censure Burr. Tim Wigginton, communications director for the NCGOP, confirmed to NPR there will be a closed press meeting of the party’s central committee Monday night at 8 p.m. and that the party will issue a statement afterwards.
Meanwhile, former Congressman Mark Walker, who is running for the retiring Burr’s seat in the 2022 election, immediately tweeted “wrong vote.”
“I am running to replace Richard Burr because North Carolina needs a true conservative champion as their next senator,” he wrote.
Senator: Bill Cassidy, Louisiana
Vote explanation: Cassidy posted a video to Twitter after the trial, saying: “Our Constitution and our country is more important than any one person. I voted to convict President Trump because he is guilty.”
On ABC on Sunday Cassidy added that “it was clear that [Trump] wished that lawmakers be intimidated” while they counted electoral votes, and that Trump didn’t act quickly to dissuade the violent mob.
“Fortunately, clearer heads prevailed and President Trump has been acquitted of the impeachment charge filed against him,” the Republican Party of Louisiana statement read.
Cassidy just won reelection a few months ago, by 40 percentage points, and won’t face voters again until 2026. Additionally, Louisiana has an open primary system, which could insulate him some from a Republican challenge.
Senator: Susan Collins, Maine
Vote explanation: After Trump was acquitted, Collins delivered a 16-minute address from the Senate floor about her decision to vote to convict.
“This impeachment trial is not about any single word uttered by President Trump on Jan. 6, 2021,” she said. “It is instead about President Trump’s failure to obey the oath he swore on January 20, 2017. His actions to interfere with the peaceful transition of power — the hallmark of our Constitution and our American democracy — were an abuse of power and constitute grounds for conviction.”
She added: “My vote in this trial stems from my own oath and duty to defend the Constitution of the United States. The abuse of power and betrayal of his oath by President Trump meet the constitutional standard of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,’ and for those reasons I voted to convict Donald J. Trump.”
Political situation: Collins’ next election is in 2026. Like Cassidy, Collins just won reelection in 2020, though her race was much closer in a state Trump lost (he won one electoral vote in the state for winning its 2nd Congressional District).
She won her fifth term after a contest in which much of her opposition cited her support of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court and her vote to acquit Trump during his first impeachment trial.
Maine has ranked-choice voting, and many thought it could play a deciding role in her race last year, but Collins won an outright majority of Senate votes.
Senator: Lisa Murkowski, Alaska
Vote explanation: In a statement after the vote, Murkowski said she had upheld her oath as a senator to listen to both Trump’s defense team and impeachment managers impartially, but that the facts were clear to her that Trump was responsible for the violence at the Capitol.
“The evidence presented at the trial was clear: President Trump was watching events unfold live, just as the entire country was,” her statement reads. “Even after the violence had started, as protestors chanted ‘Hang Mike Pence’ inside the Capitol, President Trump, aware of what was happening, tweeted that the Vice President had failed the country.”
She said Trump “set the stage for months” that the presidential election was rigged and that after he lost, he “did everything in his power to stay in power.”
Political situation: Murkowski, a senator since 2002, is up for reelection next year, but as Alaska Public Media recently reported, her state’s new election rules likely mean she’ll be in less danger of losing her primary.
Alaska has an open primary and ranked-choice voting, which means all contenders for the seat will be on the same ballot for all primary voters. The top four will advance to the general election and then voters will rank them in order of preference.
Murkowski herself told Alaska Public Media that she thinks the new system puts her in a better position.
Senator: Mitt Romney, Utah
Vote explanation: In a statement after the vote, Romney said Trump’s actions leading up to and on Jan. 6 were a violation of his oath of office.
“President Trump attempted to corrupt the election by pressuring the Secretary of State of Georgia to falsify the election results in his state,” the statement reads. “President Trump incited the insurrection against Congress by using the power of his office to summon his supporters to Washington on January 6th and urging them to march on the Capitol during the counting of electoral votes. He did this despite the obvious and well known threats of violence that day. President Trump also violated his oath of office by failing to protect the Capitol, the Vice President, and others in the Capitol. Each and every one of these conclusions compels me to support conviction.”
Political situation: This wasn’t Romney’s first time harshly criticizing Trump or breaking ranks with his party. He was the only Republican to vote to convict Trump on one article during the former president’s first impeachment trial in early 2020, and in recent weeks was called “a joke” and a “traitor” by Trump supporters while traveling from Utah to Washington, D.C.
The former governor of Massachusetts and 2012 GOP presidential nominee was elected to the U.S. Senate from Utah in 2018. He won with nearly 63% of the vote.
The state went for Trump with 58% of the vote in 2020.
The 73-year-old Romney is up for reelection in 2024.
Senator: Ben Sasse, Nebraska
Vote explanation: Sasse labeled his vote to convict a vote of “conscience” in a statement Saturday.
“In my first speech here in the Senate in November 2015, I promised to speak out when a president — even of my own party — exceeds his or her powers,” he said. “I cannot go back on my word, and Congress cannot lower our standards on such a grave matter, simply because it is politically convenient. I must vote to convict.”
He cited Trump’s repeated baseless claims that the election had been rigged against him.
“Those lies had consequences, endangering the life of the vice president and bringing us dangerously close to a bloody constitutional crisis. Each of these actions are violations of a president’s oath of office,” Sasse said.
Political situation: Sasse has spoken out against Trump in strong ways in recent months. In a call with constituents in October, Sasse worried out loud that Trump would bring down the Republican-controlled Senate in November.
And after blasting Trump’s election fraud claims, Sasse preempted a potential censure vote by the Nebraska GOP State Central Committee by releasing a video in which he maintained that “politics isn’t about the weird worship of one dude.”
Senator: Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania
Vote explanation: In a statement, Toomey said he voted for Trump but the former president’s behavior after the election “betrayed the confidence millions of us placed in him.”
“As a result of President Trump’s actions, for the first time in American history, the transfer of presidential power was not peaceful,” he said. “A lawless attempt to retain power by a president was one of the founders’ greatest fears motivating the inclusion of the impeachment authorities in the U.S. Constitution.”
Political situation: Toomey — who like Maine’s Collins represents a state Trump lost in the presidential election —announced in October that he would not seek reelection in 2022.
Pennsylvania GOP Chair Lawrence Tabas told the Philadelphia Inquirer he shared the “disappointment of many of our grassroots leaders and volunteers” over Toomey’s vote.
Now thanks to the speech given By Mitch McConnell, stating that Trump was at fault for the riots on January 6th, the lawsuits have begun. Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss is suing Trump and Giuliani. He is the first, but he won’t be the last.
Why the War on the 2nd Amendment?
To start discussing this topic, I first want to discuss the current trend of cancel culture a little. There is a saying made by George Santayana in 1905. He said that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The Cancel culture movement wants to cover up their history. The Democrats would like to forget that they are the party of slavery. Also it pays to be a student of history to know a little more about gun control. Countries like China, Germany and Italy had strict gun control laws and China still does. These countries had totalitarian governments and China still does. It is easy for a government to bully its citizens when they can’t protect themselves. Our founding fathers realized that. That is why the included the right to bear arms in the Bill of Rights. So, by cancelling our history and history in general people will forget these facts. People that don’t know their past will have fewer ties to it. They are also easier to control. The left wants to control our country and us. If we have no guns to protect ourselves, we will be easy marks.
What is the Hoover Institute?
With its eminent scholars and world-renowned Library and Archives, the Hoover Institution is a public policy think tank that seeks to improve the human condition by advancing ideas that promote economic opportunity and prosperity, while securing and safeguarding peace for America and all mankind. Condoleezza Rice is the Director.
Q&A With Condoleezza Rice, The Eighth Director Of The Hoover Institution
The following is based on an interview conducted by Murdoch Distinguished Policy Fellow Peter Robinson with the Hoover Institution’s new director, Condoleezza Rice, on Hoover’s flagship broadcast, Uncommon Knowledge, on September 11, 2020.
In this interview, Rice discusses Hoover’s mission in the twenty-first century, the role of think tanks in crafting public policy, her views about the current geopolitical situation regarding Russia and China, and her personal thoughts about the national conversation currently under way in the United States about racial relations and how we look back at the country’s founding and history.
Why did you decide to take the position as eighth director of the Hoover Institution?
Before I decided to take the position as director, I asked myself, “Am I happy about the current state of America and the world?” The answer was “no.” Our world has serious challenges that keep piling up. These problems include restrictions on basic individual freedoms and impediments to societal prosperity. Most importantly, in our nation, there are obstacles of providing its citizens equality of opportunity.
These challenges to the governance of free peoples suggest to me that we need really good answers to the problems we’re facing. We need solutions based on sound research of data. I can think of no better place to provide this need in our society than the Hoover Institution, a public policy center based on the notion that free people, free markets, and prosperity and peace are to be sought, going all the way back to the wishes of President Hoover himself. If I can help lead and organize our fellowship around those objectives, then this seemed like a good time to do it.
You had mentioned that one of the issues you would like to explore is America’s challenge of “late-stage capitalism.” What do you mean by this phrase?
I am using this phrase as a challenge to us to be provocative in our thinking about how to get to the core of what is currently ailing the greatest economic system that humankind has ever created. If people are incented for their labor and smartly mobilize resources and capital, the whole of society will be better off. I believe in free markets. I believe in free enterprise. I believe in the private sector. I believe in small government to make sure that the private sector is free to the degree that it can be to efficiently provide quality goods and services.
However, I also recognize that those who don’t believe in that are making some very serious charges where capitalism is failing. If our answer is that “we’re actually growing the economy,” then they will say, “What about all of those people who are left out?”
What should be our answer to the following? “Capitalism is inherently unequal because markets will reward some people and not others.” We accept that premise. We don’t get angry because Yo-Yo Ma makes more money playing the cello than I would have made playing the piano. I don’t get mad because LeBron James makes more money than I would playing basketball.
What should actually grate against our sense of justice is inequality of access and opportunity. Today, there is what I would call a “politics of jealousy.” Many people feel that they are not getting a fair shake, and therefore they want to take from others no matter how hard they work or shape government in a manner that redistributes wealth and resources.
One of the organizing questions you’ve discussed about Hoover’s role in the national policy conversation is, “What is America’s role in the world today?” Today’s dominant foreign policy issue is China. Why didn’t economic growth lead to democracy in China?
China has not faced a reckoning about the essential contradiction between economic well-being and political repression. Perhaps they never will. However, I will not yet concede that they will not eventually have to deal with that contradiction. Look at the way President Xi Jinping is behaving. We are seeing even more frantic attempts by the Chinese Communist Party to control the message about their political affairs. They are using the internet as means of political control, and issue social credits to people for complying with the party’s goals.
If Chinese citizens act in a manner that the party does not like, they don’t get points toward a ticket on a train that takes them to work. This is not confident leadership. This is perhaps leadership that knows that there are inherent contradictions in their system of government.
The problem with authoritarians is that they know that there is no peaceful way to transition power in the system that they created. Whatever people say about how messy democracy can be, at least the countries that adopt this form of government change power peacefully. Authoritarians fear their own citizens and thus impose greater repression. Eventually something has to give, so I would not yet rule out the possibility of the liberalization of Chinese politics.
I remember Hu Jintao telling me when he was president that, one year, China had 186,000 riots. These riots were caused because a party member expropriated a peasant’s land. China does not have a system of courts where issues like this could be adjudicated, so the peasant and his friends started riots. Today, the Chinese are studying whether or not they need a neutral court system where citizens can have recourse against the government. Now you start to see the camel’s nose under the tent, of expectations about property rights. I would not be surprised if Xi’s experiment with greater repression, with greater ideological purity, with going back to something that looks like the Little Red Book and the red ballet, is a sign that they’re actually worried.
What can Hoover do to establish the intellectual groundwork of challenging a country of 1.3 billion people?
One of the things that I would like to see Hoover do is be true to its heritage by sourcing the treasures in our Library & Archives and supporting historical analysis that can inform policy issues. We have great historical materials. We have people who want to donate their papers to us because they know they will be preserved. The truth can be told from our more than six thousand collections that largely cover the history of the twentieth century.
Let’s start by really bringing the best young historians of China and India. History is being practiced in the academy in a way that’s not really very inspiring. History departments ask much narrower questions than in years past. When I was a young faculty member, I remember sitting at a first faculty meeting with Gabriel Almond, author of The Civic Culture, and Seymour Martin Lipset, who had written the Political Man. These were historians who explored big questions.
The Hoover Institution today also has great historians. However, we want to attract more historians who will ask big questions. Regarding China, let’s help to get the history straight.
One of our fellows, Larry Diamond, is taking the lead on a project called China’s Global Sharp Power. The Chinese Communist Party has effectively created a global narrative that favors their own ideals and ambitions. They are interfering in elections and promulgating falsehoods about America’s political affairs and policies.
You wrote in an email to the Hoover fellows and staff on your first day as director, September 1, 2020, “My life and career path have led me to this moment.” Why has it been that all of your life, whether it’s mastering figure skating and the piano, developing fluency in Russian, and serving in high levels of government and academia, you have been drawn to things that are difficult?
It kind of starts with how I grew up and watching my parents and the people surrounding them. If you grew up in segregated Birmingham, Alabama, when I did, there was hope on the horizon. Rosa Parks had already refused to sit in the back of the bus, and Brown v. Board of Education Topeka  had already been decided in favor of desegregation of schools. Dwight D. Eisenhower had insisted on the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.
If you grew up in Birmingham, when my parents and grandparents did, I don’t know how you woke up every morning and decided that despite the difficulties, you are going to raise a family, educate your children, put food on the table, go to church, and make the world better. But that’s what they did. I feel so fortunate to have landed where I am from where I came. I feel so grateful that I grew up in an America that was changing in ways that allowed me to reach my potential that my parents, mentors, and role models saw in me. I just don’t think I have an option to shrink from challenges. I also think that you’re better if you’re doing hard things.
One of the pieces of advice I give to students when they’re starting a major with me or whatever, I’d say, “Look, all of us love to do the things that we do well, and just keep doing them over and over, because it’s wonderfully affirming that I do that well. But if you never try to do things that are hard for you, then you will never understand and believe that you can overcome things that are hard for you.” I say, “If you love math, do more reading and writing. If you love reading and writing, do more math, challenge yourself every day, and you’re going to be better for it.”
This is also a message for the country as a whole. Just because something is hard doesn’t mean that it can’t be done. If that had been the case, the United States of America would never have come into being. How did we defeat the greatest military power of the time when a third of George Washington’s troops came down with smallpox on any given day? Do you think that wasn’t hard? People crossed the Continental Divide in covered wagons. Do you think that wasn’t hard? You think it wasn’t hard to survive a civil war, brother against brother, and come out a better, more perfect union? So yes, it’s really hard. But if you only do what is easy, you won’t achieve very much at all. I think I like to try to do things that are hard. I’m not always so good at them. I was not really that good of a figure skater, but I kept trying and working at it.
You grew up under Jim Crow, and yet here you are director of the Hoover Institution, which Herbert Hoover, in founding the institution, stated as axiomatic the fundamental goodness of the United States and its founding institutions. What does Condoleezza Rice say to people who reject that premise? How does she explain why she believes the United States of America is still worth the trouble?
I say first and foremost that human beings aren’t perfect. The founders were imperfect men. However, they gave us institutions that allowed us to become better. It is absolutely true that we have a birth defect of slavery. Do I wish that John Adams and others who refused to be slaveholders had won this score and we rejected slavery? Of course, my ancestors suffered as a result. My ancestors are both slaveowners and slaves themselves. I understand the depth of that wound that was slavery.
What’s remarkable to me about this Constitution of the United States, is that it once counted those slaves as three-fifths of a man in order to make the compromise to create the United States of America. And yet, it would be the courts and legislatures that are defined by that very constitution, where the descendants of slaves would appeal to and eventually find justice. Whether it’s the great civil rights legislation of the 1960s or it’s the court cases that Thurgood Marshall and others won, like Brown v. Board of Education, the institutions were good enough to make progress on the most awful of wounds, slavery. That is a remarkable story in human history. That’s why I believe these institutions are not just worth preserving, they’re worth fighting for, and they’re worth using. They’re worth accessing, they’re worth insisting that they continue to bring that progress.
On the day when I stood in front of a portrait of Benjamin Franklin, to take the oath of office as secretary of state, taking an oath by the way to that very constitution that once counted our ancestors as three-fifths of a man, I stood there sworn in by a Jewish woman, Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I remember thinking, I’ve said this several times, what would old Ben have thought of this? Well, he couldn’t have imagined it. It was because people kept believing in the institutions and kept pushing the institutions. As someone said, we should expect the United States to be what it says it is, not anything different. That’s a much stronger grounding than if you never had those institutions in the first place.
Finally, I’ll just say that those of us who are fortunate enough to have made that progress that we have, owe it to those who keep fighting. I would say to all of those young people, don’t give up. The United States of America is a pretty remarkable experiment that’s still unfolding.
I think this is a good place to end the first installment of Randy’s Musings.
npr.org, “7 GOP Senators Voted To Convict Trump. Only 1 Faces Voters Next Year,” By Barbara Sprunt; breitbart.com, “Biden’s Chief of Staff Worked on Behalf of Big Tech for Endless H-1B Visas,” By John Binder;
I have included a couple of photos that show what selective history can do. These two individuals that I am showing below are now having their likeness posted in northern schools. These individuals are being celebrated while true heroes from our storied history, like president Washington and Lincoln are being cancelled. They are even talking about naming a school after Kamala Harris, while schools named after President Lincoln are being changed.
Rift Between McConnell and Trump
Mitch’s speech to the Senate after the conclusion of the Trump’s acquittal on his 2nd impeachment:
“January 6th was a disgrace.” American citizens attacked their own government. They used terrorism to try to stop a specific piece of democratic business they did not like.
“Fellow Americans beat and bloodied our own police. They stormed the Senate floor. They tried to hunt down the Speaker of the House. They built a gallows and chanted about murdering the Vice President.” They did this because they had been fed wild falsehoods by the most powerful man on Earth — because he was angry he’d lost an election.
“Former President Trump’s actions preceding the riot were a disgraceful dereliction of duty.” The House accused the former President of, quote, ‘incitement.’ That is a specific term from the criminal law.” Let me put that to the side for one moment and reiterate something I said weeks ago: There is no question that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day.” The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their President.” And their having that belief was a foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo of false statements, conspiracy theories, and reckless hyperbole which the defeated President kept shouting into the largest megaphone on planet Earth.” The issue is not only the President’s intemperate language on January 6th.”It is not just his endorsement of remarks in which an associate urged ‘trial by combat.'”
It was also the entire manufactured atmosphere of looming catastrophe; the increasingly wild myths about a reverse landslide election that was being stolen in some secret coup by our now-President.” I defended the President’s right to bring any complaints to our legal system. The legal system spoke. The Electoral College spoke. As I stood up and said clearly at the time, the election was settled.” But that reality just opened a new chapter of even wilder and more unfounded claims.” The leader of the free world cannot spend weeks thundering that shadowy forces are stealing our country and then feign surprise when people believe him and do reckless things.” Sadly, many politicians sometimes make overheated comments or use metaphors that unhinged listeners might take literally.” This was different.” This was an intensifying crescendo of conspiracy theories, orchestrated by an outgoing president who seemed determined to either overturn the voters’ decision or else torch our institutions on the way out.”
The unconscionable behavior did not end when the violence began.” Whatever our ex-President claims he thought might happen that day… whatever reaction he says he meant to produce… by that afternoon, he was watching the same live television as the rest of the world.” A mob was assaulting the Capitol in his name. These criminals were carrying his banners, hanging his flags, and screaming their loyalty to him.” It was obvious that only President Trump could end this.” Former aides publicly begged him to do so. Loyal allies frantically called the Administration.” But the President did not act swiftly. He did not do his job. He didn’t take steps so federal law could be faithfully executed, and order restored.” Instead, according to public reports, he watched television happily as the chaos unfolded. He kept pressing his scheme to overturn the election!” Even after it was clear to any reasonable observer that Vice President Pence was in danger… even as the mob carrying Trump banners was beating cops and breaching perimeters… the President sent a further tweet attacking his Vice President.”
Predictably and foreseeably under the circumstances, members of the mob seemed to interpret this as further inspiration to lawlessness and violence.” Later, even when the President did halfheartedly begin calling for peace, he did not call right away for the riot to end. He did not tell the mob to depart until even later.” And even then, with police officers bleeding and broken glass covering Capitol floors, he kept repeating election lies and praising the criminals.” In recent weeks, our ex-President’s associates have tried to use the 74 million Americans who voted to re-elect him as a kind of human shield against criticism.” Anyone who decries his awful behavior is accused of insulting millions of voters.” That is an absurd deflection.”74 million Americans did not invade the Capitol. Several hundred rioters did.” And 74 million Americans did not engineer the campaign of disinformation and rage that provoked it.” One person did.” I have made my view of this episode very plain.” But our system of government gave the Senate a specific task. The Constitution gives us a particular role.”
This body is not invited to act as the nation’s overarching moral tribunal.” We are not free to work backward from whether the accused party might personally deserve some kind of punishment.” Justice Joseph Story was our nation’s first great constitutional scholar. As he explained nearly 200 years ago, the process of impeachment and conviction is a narrow tool for a narrow purpose.” Story explained this limited tool exists to “secure the state against gross official misdemeanors.” That is, to protect the country from government officers.” If President Trump were still in office, I would have carefully considered whether the House managers proved their specific charge.” By the strict criminal standard, the President’s speech probably was not incitement.” However, in the context of impeachment, the Senate might have decided this was acceptable shorthand for the reckless actions that preceded the riot.” But in this case, that question is moot.
Because former President Trump is constitutionally not eligible for conviction.” There is no doubt this is a very close question. Donald Trump was the President when the House voted, though not when the House chose to deliver the papers.” Brilliant scholars argue both sides of the jurisdictional question. The text is legitimately ambiguous. I respect my colleagues who have reached either conclusion.” But after intense reflection, I believe the best constitutional reading shows that Article II, Section 4 exhausts the set of persons who can legitimately be impeached, tried, or convicted. The President, Vice President, and civil officers.” We have no power to convict and disqualify a former officeholder who is now a private citizen.” Here is Article II, Section 4:”The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”” Now, everyone basically agrees that the second half of that sentence exhausts the legitimate grounds for conviction.”
The debates around the Constitution’s framing make that clear. Congress cannot convict for reasons besides those.” It therefore follows that the list of persons in that same sentence is also exhaustive. There is no reason why one list would be exhaustive but the other would not.” Article II, Section 4 must limit both why impeachment and conviction can occur… and to whom.” If this provision does not limit the impeachment and conviction powers, then it has no limits at all.” The House’s ‘sole power of Impeachment’ and the Senate’s ‘sole Power to try all Impeachments’ would create an unlimited circular logic, empowering Congress to ban any private citizen from federal office.”
This is an incredible claim. But it is the argument the House Managers seemed to make. One Manager said the House and Senate have ‘absolute, unqualified… jurisdictional power.'” That was very honest. Because there is no limiting principle in the constitutional text that would empower the Senate to convict former officers that would not also let them convict and disqualify any private citizen.” An absurd end result to which no one subscribes.” Article II, Section 4 must have force. It tells us the President, Vice President, and civil officers may be impeached and convicted. Donald Trump is no longer the president.” Likewise, the provision states that officers subject to impeachment and conviction ‘shall be removed from Office’ if convicted.” Shall.” As Justice Story explained, ‘the Senate, [upon] conviction, [is] bound, in all cases, to enter a judgment of removal from office.’ Removal is mandatory upon conviction.” Clearly, he explained, that mandatory sentence cannot be applied to somebody who has left office.”
The entire process revolves around removal. If removal becomes impossible, conviction becomes insensible.” In one light, it certainly does seem counterintuitive that an officeholder can elude Senate conviction by resignation or expiration of term.” But this just underscores that impeachment was never meant to be the final forum for American justice.” Impeachment, conviction, and removal are a specific intra-governmental safety valve.
It is not the criminal justice system, where individual accountability is the paramount goal.” Indeed, Justice Story specifically reminded that while former officials were not eligible for impeachment or conviction, they were “still liable to be tried and punished in the ordinary tribunals of justice.” “We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation. And former Presidents are not immune from being held accountable by either one.” I believe the Senate was right not to grab power the Constitution does not give us.” And the Senate was right not to entertain some light-speed sham process to try to outrun the loss of jurisdiction.” It took both sides more than a week just to produce their pre-trial briefs.
Speaker Pelosi’s own scheduling decisions conceded what President Biden publicly confirmed: A Senate verdict before Inauguration Day was never possible.” This has been a dispiriting time. But the Senate has done our duty. The framers’ firewall held up again.” On January 6th, we returned to our posts and certified the election, uncowed.” And since then, we resisted the clamor to defy our own constitutional guardrails in hot pursuit of a particular outcome.” We refused to continue a cycle of recklessness by straining our own constitutional boundaries in response.” The Senate’s decision does not condone anything that happened on or before that terrible day.” It simply shows that Senators did what the former President failed to do:” We put our constitutional duty first.”
President Trump’s rebuttal letter:
Miscellaneous (Military, Voting, Economy , Religion and etc) Postings