The Shame on Capitol Hill


Fueled by lies a couple of stolen election, protesters overran police and stormed America’s seat of presidency on Wednesday, forcing a lockdown of the U.S. Capitol and a 6 p.m. metropolis curfew. This appears like a dispatch from some international correspondent in an unlucky land. As an alternative it was President

Trump’s

parting present to Washington, and the nation, for denying him a second time period.

Wednesday’s joint session of Congress was presupposed to be a ritual of American democracy, memorializing

Joe Biden’s

Electoral School victory. As lawmakers met, Mr. Trump was talking at a “Save America March,” the place he vowed by no means to concede. “We’re going to the Capitol,” he urged the group, to “try to give them the form of pleasure and boldness that they should take again our nation.”

There the protesters marched—after which some. After

Rep. Paul Gosar

and

Sen. Ted Cruz

objected to the counting of Arizona’s 11 electors, the 2 chambers retired to contemplate it. The Senate debate lasted lower than an hour. Rioters breached the constructing, and the Vice President was all of a sudden whisked from the ground. Within the Home, lawmakers stated they got fuel masks and advised to lie on the ground. A girl was shot and killed, and law enforcement officials had been injured.

What a shame. The trespassers ought to be arrested, and the maskless ones can in all probability be recognized lengthy after the actual fact. The place was the police presence in Washington? As soon as the mob was inside, the decision went out for backup from Virginia and Maryland, and the Nationwide Guard was activated. However it’s a scandal that the U.S. Capitol wasn’t higher protected on such a big day.

To the extent that the congressional debate was allowed to occur, it went in the correct route. Mr. Trump has been publicly pressuring Mr. Pence, the presiding officer of the joint session, to invalidate Mr. Biden’s electors. As Congress gathered, Mr. Pence launched an announcement saying he would refuse to take action. “My oath to assist and defend the Structure,” he wrote, “constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to find out which electoral votes ought to be counted and which shouldn’t.”

That is appropriate in legislation. The rest from Mr. Pence would have been an influence seize, precipitating a constitutional disaster. Don’t overlook, as our mates on the New York Solar level out, that the Vice President is his personal duly elected constitutional officer, not the President’s lackey.

However Mr. Trump’s imaginative and prescient of loyalty consists of loyalty solely to himself. “

Mike Pence,

” he tweeted quickly after, “didn’t have the braveness to do what ought to have been carried out to guard our Nation and our Structure.”

Senator Cruz’s effort to defend objections to Mr. Biden’s electors was woeful. “Current polling exhibits that 39% of People consider the election that simply occurred ‘was rigged,’” he stated. “What does it say, to the almost half the nation that believes this election was rigged, if we vote not even to contemplate the claims of illegality and fraud?”

Mr. Cruz laments the fireplace as he wields a flamethrower. To the extent that Mr. Trump has made fraud claims in courtroom, they’ve been dismissed. But with out proof, he retains saying that 1000’s of ballots had been faked or shredded or altered by hacked Dominion voting machines. The proper response is to push again in opposition to conspiracy theories, to not fan the anger and fund-raise off the credulous.

Majority Chief Mitch McConnell was proper on level. “We’re debating a step that has by no means been taken in American historical past: Whether or not Congress ought to overrule the voters and overturn a presidential election,” he stated. “I’ve served 36 years within the Senate. This might be a very powerful vote I’ve ever forged.” The November election,

Mr. McConnell

added, was carried out underneath “weird pandemic procedures” that shouldn’t be repeated. That stated: “If this election had been overturned by mere allegations from the shedding facet, our democracy would enter a demise spiral.”

Sen. Pat Toomey

stepped up as nicely. What the objectors are asking, he stated, is “to federalize elections” by “having Congress choose the President of the USA as a substitute of the American individuals.” As for Mr. Cruz’s thought of an Electoral Fee to do an emergency audit: “A fee? Actually? It’s utterly impractical, and everyone knows it, with 14 days to go earlier than a constitutionally mandated inauguration.” If Congress goes to reject state electors, each shedding celebration will need to do it each 4 years.

Mr. Trump’s refusal to simply accept his loss, and the false hope he provides to his supporters, is validating the worst issues his critics have stated about him. He’s being enabled by

Rudy Giuliani

and

Peter Navarro,

but additionally by individuals like Mr. Cruz and Sen.

Josh Hawley,

who absolutely know higher. The 74 million Trump voters have real issues concerning the nation, and so they deserve higher than to be misled. The right response now could be for all Republicans to drop their objections to the state electors and ratify them—and Joe Biden’s election—by acclamation.

Mr. Biden will develop into President at midday on Jan. 20, and till then the police want to revive order with as a lot drive as crucial. Republicans particularly want to talk in opposition to trespass and violence. As for Mr. Trump, to steal some well-known phrases deployed in 1940 in opposition to

Neville Chamberlain

: “Within the title of God, go.”

Surprise Land: Amid the Electoral School problem, the president is placing the substance of his achievements in danger. Picture: AP Photograph/J. Scott Applewhite

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Firm, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8



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