Putting aside all the ridiculous rhetoric, political theater, and answers as to why security in the Capital was embarrassingly weak, many Americans will agree that 6 January was a stain on Donald Trump’s presidency. Defending actions that day does not serve the public well. Pretending, however, that the constitutional transfer of power that day was in jeopardy is a disgrace.
Constitutional Order Was Not Hanging on a Thread
Rep. Bennie Thompson, Chairman of the 6 January committee, claimed in his opening remarks Tuesday:
“(T)he rioters came dangerously close to succeeding” in their effort to “upend American democracy.”
Nonsense. As the Editorial Board in the WSJ writes, Mr. Thompson is following Nancy Pelosi’s political narrative: that President Trump “conspired with a mob to stage a coup d’état.”
This gives the mob far too much credit. Rioters believed Mr. Trump’s falsehoods about a stolen election, and some of them apparently thought they might stop Congress’s certification of the electoral votes. But that was an impossible fantasy. The Electoral College had already voted. Vice President Mike Pence had concluded, correctly and bravely, that he had no authority to reject the results. The rioters had no apparent leader and no coherent plan.
Even if they’d managed to steal or destroy the official Electoral College certificates, do Democrats think some knucklehead in face paint and a fur hat could have simply declared the election void? The public and the courts wouldn’t have stood for a rabble overturning the 2020 result. Mr. Trump didn’t have the military on his side, or even most of his own Administration.
The investigations so far have turned up no guiding cabal.
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