Imagine a bank. Now imagine a bank robber. One night this robber tries to open the lock on the bank and is caught, but … he lets go. The next night he throws a stone through the window of the bank and is caught, but he lets go. The next day he is back and tries to bribe the security guard. The day after, it's a threatening note for the cashier. The next day he has muscles. The next day something else. As long as the bank robber is sure that he can try to get at the bank's contents day after day without consequence, he will do it. And because the attempts have no consequences, the result is certain: one day the robber will go away with the money.
Here we are now, not just with Donald Trump, but with the entire Republican Party. It has been almost exactly a year since Senate Republicans made it clear to Trump that they would use their power to support his power and assured him that there would be no repercussions for his actions in Ukraine. The perfectly predictable Susan Collins followed up this event by announcing on national television that she believed Trump had learned his lesson. She was absolutely right.
And it wasn't just Trump. This was a mutual learning experience that reinforced everything they had learned before.
Finally, when William Barr was Attorney General under George H. W. Bush, he showed how that position would be used to rid White House staff of serious crimes. When Newt Gingrich took control of the house, he showed how tradition and practice in this chamber can be used to turn it into an engine for hatred and disinformation. When Mitch McConnell seized the Senate, he showed how the smallest majority could ruin the legislature and pile up the judiciary at the same time. After all, Trump built on the true legacy of Ronald Reagan – he breached the law; divide the nation for power and profit.
In the 2020 election, Trump used false claims of electoral fraud to raise a personal amount of $ 500 million from his supporters while spending a negligible amount on recounts he knew would not work and Lawsuits he knew would fail. The real action was behind the scenes. Trump called there like him Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and what Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman confirmed, was also made Republican officials in that state.
Fetterman is also a good example of what happens when officials refuse to agree to an ongoing coup. On Tuesday, Republicans simply voted to remove Fetterman from his constitutional role as chairman of the Senate. When Fetterman refused to accept this or give up the podium, they simply put someone else next to him. The Republicans then swore in each Republican Senator and refused to swear in the Democratic Senators until the – again duly elected and certified winner – for the 45th district was removed from the room. Fetterman was a spectator of events, and his attempts to uphold both tradition and the law were dismissed by men who recognize that power trumps both.
It is possible, even likely, that the Republicans who advance Trump's conspiracy theories and disinformation will burn up their allotted time on Wednesday, sit down and then reluctantly read Mike Pence the results of the electoral college and declare Joe Biden the winner. Also, given Pence's backbone of the purest clay, it's possible that he might refuse to read the results or play any other game suggested by the likes of Louie Gohmert, forcing the Supreme Court to give an ugly end to it do what should have been easy. ceremonial event.
One thing is certain, however: if this attempt at daylight robbery has no consequences, they will be back again. With dynamite. There has to be punishment, punishment quick and sure, or the outcome of this struggle is a foregone conclusion.