Biden Talks ‘Unity’ While Democrats Demand Revenge

President Joe Biden made the task of uniting a divided country in the wake of the bitterly contested outcome of November’s election the theme of his inaugural address last week, mentioning the concept 11 times.

Yet the political and security reality in Washington, DC, during the first days of his presidency reflected a deepening of suspicions and a hardening of positions on both sides of the political aisle.

For example, writing on the Fox News website, Iowa’s senior Republican Senator Chuck Grassley called Biden’s talk of unity and bipartisanship a “masquerade” for the liberal policy agenda he “has in mind for the next four years: a big government take-over of the US economy, from dismantling the Trump tax cuts to imposing mandates on small businesses and restructuring the nation’s health care and energy infrastructure.”

Grassley believes that Biden is using the coronavirus pandemic as political cover for the implementation of his liberal agenda, “taking a cue from the Obama administration’s modus operandi to never ‘let a serious crisis go to waste.’” The Iowa senator bases that conclusion on the testimony of Janet Yellen, Biden’s nominee for Treasury secretary, before his committee the day before Biden’s inauguration.

While Grassley concedes that “more pandemic relief is needed,” he believes that many of the standard liberal wishlist measures in Biden’s $1.9 trillion proposal will do more harm than good. “For example, mandating a $15 federal minimum wage would wipe out small businesses hanging by a thread. It would cut into already contracted business income, forcing local retailers and restaurants to stop hiring and forget about reopening or expanding a small business.”

With regard to Biden’s plan to increase taxes on the wealthy, Grassley told Yellen, “raising taxes on individuals and US businesses won’t grease the wheels of an economy starting to gain traction. To the contrary, they’d slam the brakes on the rebound and unbridled spending would throw taxpayers under the bus.

“For his first 100 days, President Biden also has signaled a radical immigration agenda that would seem to cast the door wide open to amnesty and open borders,” Grassley added.

The Iowa senator’s closing piece of advice to the new president is that any attempt to “ram through a liberal laundry list without building consensus and winning bipartisanship is more than likely a one-way ticket for a one-term presidency.”

During the first days of his presidency, Biden also signaled his intention to pursue a progressive liberal agenda by signing almost two dozen executive orders. He revoked the permits for the Keystone XL pipeline that would bring oil and natural gas into the US from Canada, rejoined the Paris climate accords, suspended the deportation of illegal immigrants, halted new drilling permits for oil and gas on federal lands, and signed other orders which amounted to an exercise in “virtue signaling” to the Democrats’ progressive voter base. By signing these orders, Biden has undermined the credibility of his claim that he intends to reach out to his Republican opponents to seek common ground on which the country can move forward together.

GETTING THE 50-50 SENATE UP AND RUNNING

The harsh political rhetoric on both sides, especially since the storming of the Capitol building on January 6 by Trump supporters, has focused attention on the 50-50 composition of the newly elected US Senate. A breakdown last week in negotiations between Republican leader Mitch McConnell and Democrat leader Chuck Schumer to reach a power-sharing agreement on the reorganization of the Senate to reflect its 50-50 split raised the possibility of an extended legislative gridlock that would have threatened President Biden’s ability to secure the prompt confirmation of his Cabinet appointments and passage of his $1.9 trillion relief package.

The main issue of contention between McConnell and Schumer was the fate of the Senate’s filibuster rule, which gives the Republicans as the minority party the power to block a vote on any contentious piece of legislation by extending debate indefinitely, as long as it can muster at least 40 votes to defeat a cloture motion that would end the debate. As a practical matter, the Senate’s filibuster rule, which is not mentioned in the Constitution, requires that there be at least some bipartisan support in the Senate for any controversial piece of legislation to be voted upon in order to become law.

When Democrats won the two remaining open seats decided by the Georgia Senate runoff election on January 5, they completed a political clean sweep that has given them narrow control of both the House and Senate, as well as the White House. That has left the Senate’s filibuster rule as the sole remaining obstacle to progressive Democrats who want to force their radical political agenda on the American people. Progressive lobbying groups, such as Just Democracy and Fix Our Senate, began to exert extreme public political pressure on Schumer, demanding that he do away with the filibuster completely by changing the Senate’s rules.

SENATE FILIBUSTER RULE UNDER ATTACK

The Senate has always had a filibuster rule permitting each senator the right to engage in unlimited debate on any topic. Its use by members of the minority party to hold the Senate floor to prevent a vote on a bill supported by the majority party became popular in the 1850s.

Originally, the filibuster was used only as a political weapon of last resort by the minority party to block majority-supported bills which they saw as a danger to the nation. But in recent decades, the use of the filibuster threat by the minority party in the Senate has become routine. This has created the practical requirement for the majority party to reach across the political aisle to gather the support of at least 60 Senate members for a cloture motion, ending the debate, so that a vote can proceed on a controversial piece of legislation.

Repeated attempts to do away with the filibuster rule had been routinely rebuffed as a threat to the Senate tradition of open debate. But in 2013, Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid openly broke with Senate tradition by eliminating the filibuster rule on votes to confirm presidential judicial nominees federal, district, and appeals courts.

Reid’s move achieved his immediate goal of permitting confirmation votes on a number of President Obama’s judicial nominations which had been blocked by the threat of Republican filibusters. But it came back to haunt Democrats when Republicans gained majority control of the Senate, enabling Mitch McConnell to install more than 200 conservative federal judges and three conservative justices of the US Supreme Court nominated by President Trump with just a bare majority vote.

After their success in the 2020 election, rather than seeking to restore the political stability that the filibuster had created in the Senate, progressive Democrats saw an opportunity to break the remaining legislative power of the Republicans in Washington by doing away with the filibuster rule completely. Their ads quoted progressive icon Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who called the filibuster “a cherished tool of segregationists.”

It became clear that progressive Senate Democrats would try and force Schumer to do away with the filibuster, and that McConnell would be in the strongest position to defend it at the start of the new term, when Schumer would need his cooperation to reorganize the 50-50 Senate.

MODERATE SENATE DEMOCRATS TO THE RESCUE

A significant political obstacle to the progressive push was a small group of moderate Senate Democrats, led by West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, who expressed their support for keeping the filibuster rule in place, hoping to use it as leverage to convince McConnell not to try to block passage of some of Biden’s less controversial legislative proposals, such as his $1.9 billion Covid-19 relief package.

On Monday, McConnell capitulated. He used renewed public statements by Manchin and another Senate Democrat, Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema, who pledged to vote against any effort to eliminate the filibuster, as a reason to back down from his demand that Schumer promise to preserve the filibuster. “With these assurances, I look forward to moving ahead with a power-sharing agreement [with Schumer] modeled on that precedent,” McConnell said in a statement. Schumer was quick to characterize McConnell’s move as a major political concession. He said through his spokesman, “We’re glad Senator McConnell threw in the towel and gave up on his ridiculous demand. We look forward to organizing the Senate under Democratic control and start getting big, bold things done for the American people.”

The day before he and McConnell reached their power-sharing agreement, Schumer had said, “Mitch McConnell will not dictate to the Senate what we should do and how we should proceed. McConnell is no longer the majority leader.”

Jon Tester of Montana, another moderate Senate Democrat who has voiced his support for maintaining the filibuster, warned that he could change his mind on the issue if Senate Republicans abuse its power. “I feel pretty strongly [in favor of the filibuster], but I will also tell you this: I am here to get things done. If all that happens is filibuster after filibuster, roadblock after roadblock, then my opinion may change.”

While the filibuster appears to be safe for the time being, it remains a prime target for progressive Democrats, who will no doubt push for its elimination again at the first opportunity.

Some Democrats have expressed hope that President Biden could use his personal relationship with McConnell, developed during their long years serving together in the Senate, to avoid the need to call on VP Harris to break Senate vote deadlocks. One encouraging sign in this respect was McConnell’s agreement last week to fast track the Senate confirmation of Biden’s relatively non-controversial national security nominees. However, other Democrats have skeptical about cutting long-term deals with McConnell, given their unhappy experience with him as Majority Leader over the past six years.

BIDEN’S COVID RELIEF BILL FACING OPPOSITION

Over the weekend, it became apparent that even some other moderate Senate Democrats have reservations about certain aspects of Biden’s Covid-19 relief bill.

In a conference call set up by Senator Manchin between 16 senators from both parties and three White House officials to discuss Biden’s proposal, there was broad agreement on the need to pay for testing and vaccine distribution costs, and a $400 weekly federal unemployment benefit supplement. But moderate Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine received surprising support from some Democrats on the call, when she said that the proposed additional stimulus payment of $1,400 per person for families earning up to $300,000 a year would not be supported by Senate Republicans.

“I was the first to raise that issue, but there seemed to be a lot of agreement … that those payments need to be more targeted [to lower income people],” Collins said in an interview. She also suggested that the overall cost of the bill needs to be scaled down in light of the fact that a $900 billion relief package had just been passed in December, adding, “it was not clear to me how the administration came up with its $1.9 trillion figure for the package.”

During an executive order signing ceremony at the White House on Monday, Biden acknowledged the objection that Collins raised to the $1,400 stimulus payment. “There is legitimate reason for people to say, ‘Do you have the lines drawn the exact right way? Should it go to anybody making over X number of dollars?’ I’m open to negotiate those things.” However, Biden emphasized that “time is of the essence,” in passing another relief measure, and he would not want to delay it in an effort to “cherry pick” the details its individual components.

During the conference call, Angus King, an independent from Maine who is usually counted as one of the 50 Democrats in the Senate, also questioned the $1.9 trillion price tag of Biden’s relief measure, saying, “This isn’t monopoly money.”

“There’s a fundamental decision here on the part of the administration and that is do they want to work on the negotiation of a [less expensive] bipartisan proposal or do they want to try to move the larger package through reconciliation,” King said.

UNDERSTANDING BUDGET RECONCILIATION

Reconciliation is a special Senate process that enables a necessary but controversial piece of financial legislation to pass with a bare majority, without having to overcome a filibuster. It was used in 2010 by Democrats to pass the Obamacare legislation and by Republicans to pass Trump’s 2017 tax cut package. According to current Senate rules, reconciliation can only be used once for each fiscal year to pass a piece of legislation whose main impact must be financial rather than on another policy issue.

In light of the objections that Republicans had already raised against Biden’s original $1.9 billion, Senator Bernie Sanders, in line to become the next chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has said he is ready to push it through using the reconciliation process. But that would mean that reconciliation would not be available to Sanders and other Democrat progressives to pass other, more liberal items on Biden’s legislative agenda, which would otherwise be blocked by a Republican Senate filibuster.

Another contentious issue in the Biden proposal is $350 billion in federal aid to state and local governments, which some call a bail-out for poorly-run Democrat-ruled cities and states already facing deep deficits before the pandemic hit. New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, who was also on the conference call, asked to see more data on the need for such aid to get “a better sense” of the Biden administration’s “priorities” in putting the relief package together.

Participants in the White House-Senate conference call also agreed that some of the bill’s provisions which are not directly related to the virus, such as the establishment of a $15 an hour federal minimum wage, should be dropped if they create too much Republican opposition, forcing Democrats to resort to the reconciliation process to pass it.

SETTING UP TRUMP’S SENATE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL

Schumer and McConnell have also reached an agreement to start Trump’s Senate impeachment trial on February 9. That gives the former president two weeks to organize his defense, and enable more of Biden’s cabinet nominees to get confirmed before the trial starts.

From that point on, normal Senate rules mean that the chamber will be unable to deal with any other measures on Biden’s agenda until a verdict is reached. An extended Senate impeachment trial would squander much of the traditional 100-day “honeymoon” period of Biden’s new presidency. It will limit his political window of opportunity to pass the more controversial pieces of his legislative agenda, which would promote unrestricted immigration, empower labor unions, eliminate fossil fuels and impose sharply higher taxes on business and the wealthy.

McConnell and Schumer also announced their agreement that Senate President Pro Tempore Pat Leahy of Vermont will preside over the Senate’s second impeachment trial of Donald Trump, rather than Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. The first Senate trial last year was presided over by Roberts, in accordance with the impeachment provisions in the US Constitution. But because Trump is no longer president, the Chief Justice’s participation is not required.

Leahy, who is the most senior Democrat in the Senate, issue a statement promising that he would administer Trump’s impeachment trial “with fairness. . .

“The president pro tempore has historically presided over Senate impeachment trials of non-presidents. When presiding over an impeachment trial, the president pro tempore takes an additional special oath to do impartial justice according to the Constitution and its laws,” Leahy declared.

Some Republicans questioned whether Leahy could administer the trial impartially in light of the fact that he voted to convict Trump on two articles of impeachment in last year’s Senate trial. Missouri Senate Republican Josh Hawley also argued that the Constitution requires that Chief Justice Roberts also preside over the second impeachment trial, but most other Republicans seemed inclined to go along with McConnell’s decision to trust Leahy with the job.

The start of the Senate impeachment trial is likely to further embitter the estimated 75% of Republicans who say, according to a recent poll, that they agree with Trump’s claims that the outcome of the November election was rigged. That will put added pressure on moderate Senate Republicans to rally around the embattled former president, making it impossible for Democrats to win the two-thirds majority they need to convict Trump in the Senate trial. In the end, Trump would be able to claim that he was exonerated by the Senate for a second time, bolstering instead his prospects for a comeback presidential bid in 2024, which appears to be the greatest fear of the Democrats.

BIDEN SAYS TRUMP PROBABLY WON’T BE CONVICTED

Democrats seem united in pressing forward with the Senate trial of Trump, even though it appears increasingly unlikely that they will be able to get the votes of 17 Senate Republicans that will be needed to convict Trump. That assessment was confirmed Monday by President Biden himself, who had previously refrained from public comments on the effort led by congressional Democrats to impeach Trump a second time. Biden made the comment in an interview with CNN, adding that more Republican senators might have been willing to vote to convict Trump if he were still in office. Biden also said that even though he doubts that Democrats will be able to convict Trump, he agrees with them that the trial “has to happen.”

Meanwhile, a growing number of Senate Republicans are challenging the constitutional authority of the Senate to hold the impeachment trial now that Trump has left office. The first to do so publicly was Tom Cotton, who said in a Sunday Fox News interview, “the more I talk to other Republican senators, the more they’re beginning to line up” [behind that argument]. I think a lot of Americans are going to think it’s strange that the Senate is spending its time trying to convict and remove from office a man who left office a week ago.”

Florida Senator Marco Rubio said, “I think the trial is stupid; I think it’s counterproductive. The first chance I get to vote to end this trial, I’ll do it.” He said he believes it would be bad for the country and further inflame partisan divisions.

South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds said he believes a Senate trial is a “moot point” after a president’s term is over, “and I think it’s one that they would have a very difficult time in trying to get done within the Senate.”

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who has been helping Trump to organize his legal defense team, has urged the Senate to dismiss the House impeachment charge against him alleging “incitement of insurrection.” Graham argues that nothing Trump told his supporters at a January 6 rally before some of them marched to the Capitol even comes close to meeting the criminal definition of “incitement.” At least two widely respected authorities on constitutional law, Alan Dershowitz and Jonathan Turley, have written that what Trump said would qualify under Supreme Court rulings as “protected political speech” under the First Amendment to the Constitution.

Some other national Republican leaders, including McConnell, while privately angry at the president over his behavior since the November election, are torn about whether to come out publicly in his defense. McConnell has said he believes that Trump “provoked” his supporters before the riot at the Capitol, but he has not indicated how he would vote at the end of an impeachment trial, and told his fellow Republican senators they were free to vote their conscience.

The Washington Post reports that the 168 members of the Republican National Committee were unable to reach a consensus on a statement in reaction to the House passage of the article of impeachment.

The most hostile public statement about Trump from a Republican came from Utah’s Mitt Romney — which is not surprising, given the fact that he was the only GOP senator to vote to convict Trump at the end of his first impeachment trial last year.

Last week, Romney said he believes there is a “preponderance of opinion” that an impeachment trial is appropriate after someone leaves office. “I believe that what is being alleged and what we saw, which is incitement to insurrection, is an impeachable offense,” Romney added. “If not, what is?”

He also holds Trump responsible for the debasement of last year’s election. “It is pretty clear that over the last year, there has been an effort to corrupt the election in the United States and it was not by President Biden; it was by President Trump,” the Utah senator said. Nevertheless, Romney stopped short of saying he intended to vote to convict Trump at the end of the trial, no doubt aware of the angry backlash that would create against him among many Republican voters.

MEDIA SELLING THE “BIG LIE” OF NO ELECTION CONSPIRACY

The mainstream media has accepted the Democrat narrative that Trump’s claims that his November victory was stolen by massive voter fraud to be nothing more than a “big lie.” They condemn the 75% of Republicans who believe the claims as gullible fools, and Republican leaders publicly calling for a serious investigation of those claims to be cynical liars.

The determination of the mainstream media to suppress any Republican calls for a re-examination of the results of the 2020 presidential election was demonstrated by the angry, on-screen six-minute debate Sunday between ABC News anchorman George Stephanopoulos and Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul.

The confrontation started calmly enough, with Stephanopoulos asking the senator if he would agree to reject Trump’s claims by stating that he accepted the “fact” that the election was “not stolen.”

But Senator Paul refused to make such a statement, and proceeded to make a reasoned argument to the contrary. “What I would say is that the debate over whether or not there was fraud should occur; we never had any presentation in court where we actually looked at the evidence. Most of the cases were thrown out for lack of standing, which is a procedural way of not actually hearing the question.”

Paul noted that, “there were several states in which the law was changed by the secretary of state and not the state legislature. To me, those are clearly unconstitutional.”

He then listed reports of other kinds of voting irregularities which he believes deserve to be investigated. “Were there people who voted twice?” Paul asked host George Stephanopoulos. “Were there dead people who voted? Were there illegal aliens who voted? Yes, and we should get to the bottom of it,” Senator Paul declared.

Stephanopoulos then interrupted his guest, arguing that there was no basis for the senator’s call for more serious scrutiny into what happened on Election Day.

“I have to stop you there. No election is perfect. But there were 86 challenges filed by President Trump and his allies in court, all were dismissed. Every state certified the results,” Stephanopoulos said.

After noting that Trump’s Attorney General Bill Barr had said shortly after the election that the Justice Department had found no “evidence of widespread fraud,” a visibly frustrated Stephanopoulos asked Paul: “Can’t you just say the words, this election was not stolen?”

But Senator Paul again refused, and said instead, “What I would suggest is that if we want greater confidence in our elections, and 75 percent of Republicans agree with me, is that we do need to look at election integrity and we need to see if we can restore confidence in the elections.”

Stephanopoulos responded that the reason 75 percent of Republicans question the outcome of the election is because they were “fed a big lie” by Donald Trump claiming that the election was stolen.

JOURNALISTS CROSSING THE LINE

Senator Paul then told him, “George, where you make a mistake is that people coming from the liberal side like you immediately say everything’s a lie instead of saying there are two sides to everything. Historically, what would happen is if I said I thought there was fraud, you would introduce someone else who said there wasn’t. But now you insert yourself in the middle and say that the absolute fact is that everything I’m saying is a lie.”

Later in the contentious interview, Paul told the reporter, “You are forgetting who you are as a journalist if you think there is only one side. You are inserting yourself into the story to say I’m a liar because I want to look into election fraud and secretaries of state who illegally changed the voter laws without the permission of their state legislatures. That is incontrovertible. It happened and you can’t just sweep it under the rug and say ‘there is nothing to see here’ and everybody is a liar and you are a fool if you bring this up. . .

“[For example] I believe in Pennsylvania they broke the law and I believe that if it were taken up by the Supreme Court, it would overrule and say they did break the law.”

Paul closed his argument by noting that, when he cast his vote on January 6 on whether to ratify the election’s results, “I accepted the states’ certifications. But it doesn’t mean that I think there wasn’t fraud and that there weren’t problems that have to be investigated. And it doesn’t mean that the law wasn’t broken. I think there was great deal of evidence of fraud and changing of the election laws illegally,” Paul asserted once again. “A thorough investigation is warranted.”

DEMOCRAT SUPPORT FOR “UNITY” IS A MYTH

Most Democrats do not share Biden’s expressed desire to foster “unity” by trying to heal the partisan divisions in the country. Instead, they are openly seeking revenge for the past four years, and are determined to punish not only Donald Trump, but also the more than 70 million Americans who voted for him.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren believes that Trump’s conduct as president has been unforgivable. She said in a CNN interview Sunday, “We’re talking about a president who stood in front of a mob and told them to go to the Capitol and invade, told them to go to the Capitol and stop the lawful business of government so that he could try to stay in the White House. That is so fundamentally wrong. . . We need accountability, accountability for Donald Trump, and accountability for everyone who participated in that insurrection.”

The deep distrust by many Democrats for anyone even suspected of having supported Trump’s claim that he actually won the November election — whether they were involved with the rally outside the White House and the invasion of the Capitol or not — has reached the point of paranoia. Democrats in the House and Senate have called for the expulsion from Congress of any Republican who supported Trump’s right to challenge the outcome of the November election using the same lawful means that Democrats themselves used to challenge the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s election four years ago.

TAKING A PAGE FROM ORWELL’S “1984”

The determination by progressive Democrats to close down free speech in the American news media is mounting. Two weeks ago, in an Instagram video post, AOC revived a propaganda and thought control concept taken directly from George Orwell’s futuristic vision of a totalitarian society in his novel 1984. It was called “The Ministry of Truth,” and AOC proposed to set one up under Democrat control to “figure out how we rein in our media environment so you [meaning Trump supporters specifically and anyone who disagrees with her progressive ideas more generally] can’t just spew disinformation and misinformation.”

She then referred to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission set up in South Africa 25 years ago, after Nelson Mandela came to power, to expose the racist horrors perpetrated by its former apartheid government. AOC suggested that it was an example of the kind of government thought-control mechanism the United States needs to “re-educate” Trump supporters. Its purpose would be to force anyone who is not a member of a Democrat-recognized minority group to recognize their inborn and forever unforgivable “white guilt.”

According to AOC, Black Lives Matter and their liberal Democrat followers, they are to blame for the “systemic racism” in American society which justifies their hatred and rejection of the traditional America’s ideals of freedom and human rights enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Writing in response to AOC’s suggestion, New York Post columnist David Harsanyi suggests that this country has a greater need for a “Truth Commission” to heal the wounds inflicted on it by “four years of endless conspiracy theorizing by major media outlets regarding Trump’s alleged criminal collusion and Russia’s alleged theft of American democracy.”

Harsanyi also expresses his relief that, “here, the Constitution ‘reins in’ Congress from intruding on the speech of citizens, journalists, or any private institutions, not the other way around. . . at least, not yet.”

Bill Clinton’s former Labor Secretary, Robert Reich, also endorses the idea and explained its function in greater detail. He tweeted in October, “When this nightmare [the Trump presidency] is over, we need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It would erase Trump’s lies, comfort those who have been harmed by his hatefulness, and name every official, politician, executive, and media mogul whose greed and cowardice enabled this catastrophe.”

BIDEN ADOPTS THE “WHITE SUPREMACY” CANARD

In his inaugural speech, Biden made it clear that he also shares the views about the need to defeat “white supremacy.”

One of Biden’s first executive orders revoked Trump’s order this past September to put an end to federal diversity training programs. Trump wrote at that time, “This ideology is rooted in the pernicious and false belief that America is an irredeemably racist. . . country; that some people, simply on account of their race or [gender] are oppressors; and that racial and [gender] identities are more important than our common status as human beings and Americans.”

Biden’s supporters point to Trump’s order to stop diversity training as proof that he and his followers are white supremacists and pose a real danger to the socialist, racially polarized country they want America to become. They see the January 6 invasion of the Capitol building as the ultimate verification of their conviction that Trump and his followers are evil.

THE LEFT’S JANUARY PUBLIC RELATIONS COUP

The success of Trump’s enemies in getting the mainstream media to buy their story that it was a sinister plot by Trump and the racist groups supporting him to instigate the violent overthrow of the new American government was a major public relations coup. Based on that narrative, it was easy for Trump’s enemies in the media to promulgate reports that the same right-wing domestic terrorists were planning to attack all 50 state capitols and the Biden inauguration ceremony as a justification for turning Washington, DC, into an armed camp.

Biden was sworn in on the Capitol steps before a deserted National Mall behind 12-foot-high razor wire and surrounded by 25,000 National Guard troops. It was, of course, a false alarm, but it served the purpose of the Democrats by conveying the message that all unrepentant Trump supporters pose a dire threat to national security.

Adding insult to injury, the National Guard troops needlessly brought in from around the country to guard DC were themselves under suspicion by the Democrats and treated very shabbily. As Tennessee Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen explained in a televised interview, “The Guard is 90 some-odd percent male; and only about 20 percent of white males voted for Biden. . . There are probably not more than 25 percent of the people there protecting us that voted for Biden.” This meant, Cohen said, that 75 percent of them might be of the white class that would be inclined to “do something [harmful].”

Because they were so distrusted, many National Guard troops deployed in Washington were given unloaded rifles, and the FBI launched a crash effort to “vet” them for disloyalty. Texas Republican governor Greg Abbott, who responded to a federal request by sending 1,000 members of the Texas National Guard to Washington for the occasion, reacted with outrage. “This is the most offensive thing I’ve ever heard. No one should ever question the loyalty or professionalism of the Texas National Guard,” he declared. “I’ll never do it again if they are disrespected like this.”

DEMOCRATS OVERSTEPPING THEIR BOUNDS

The previous week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi clearly overstepped her constitutional authority by writing a letter to Pentagon officials instructing them to prevent Donald Trump, then still the commander-in-chief, from accessing the nuclear launch codes in case of a national security alert. The Pentagon’s response, according to the New York Times, was that “unless he [Trump] is removed [from office], the military is bound to follow his lawful orders. While military officials can refuse to carry out orders they view as illegal, they cannot proactively remove the president from the chain of command. That would be a military coup.”

Pelosi’s willingness to ignore long-standing US military protocol and the constitutional boundaries of her authority is what Republicans find to be so scary about the radical progressive policy agenda which President Biden now appears to have adopted as his own. Democrats are now led by the self-serving argument that their noble ends justify any means necessary to achieve them. They have convinced themselves they have a moral duty to do everything possible to counter the alleged existential threat of climate change, eradicate the mostly imaginary evil of systemic racism in American society, and condemn the American dream of achieving success through individual effort as capitalist exploitation of the working class.

Their socialist class warfare ideology has no tolerance for dissenting opinions of any kind, as well as such old fashion concepts as patriotism, religious belief, the Bill of Rights, or individual freedoms. It foresees a government-dominated society which demands total control over every aspect of our lives. After four years of Donald Trump’s efforts to “Make America Great Again,” this country may be about to experience the opposite extreme.