I am not going to apologize for today’s political post, so please, move along if you aren’t interested in reading about or discussing whatever the hell that was last Wednesday. The Church is apparently not interested in discussing it because the far more important story of renovating a plaza takes precedent. Fine. It’s their web page. They can talk about window dressing while their “finest sons” attack democracy because they believe the completely transparent lies of a megalomaniac leader who is incapable of accepting and admitting he lost an election.
Dave already took a look yesterday at the peaceful succession problem, and there is definitely some overlap with my post today. I wanted to review the options Congress had in the wake of this violent attack by domestic terrorists, and the moral implications of that. There are two basic premises we should consider: 1) nearly everyone views their own actions as morally right, and 2) we are all subject to self-serving rationalization.
As members of Congress huddled behind parapets like frightened children in a school shooting, and an angry mob hunted them with zip ties, chanting “Hang Mike Pence!,” two House Representatives hiding in an office began drafting a second set of impeachment papers. Even so, impeachment was nobody’s first choice, provided they lived to see the end of the day. There have been three different resolutions that were discussed, at least by pundits, but reportedly by high ranking legislators.
Resignation. The first and best option that was being floated was the possibility that Trump would voluntarily resign his position before January 20th when his presidency ends anyway. It’s still a possibility he could do this, however remote. My own opinion is that he would never do this because it would be akin (in his mind) to admitting defeat or wrongdoing, two things he is completely allergic to doing. The biggest benefit to him if he did this is that, while he has openly discussed self-pardon, no one has ever attempted it, and it may not be honored in court. If Pence were made President between now and January 20th, it would be in Pence’s power to grant Trump a pardon. As my husband pointed out, it would also let Trump spit in Biden’s eye by rendering any merch he had already ordered with “46” on it completely invalid. I’m not convinced Biden would really care about that, but it’s the type of thing that would piss Trump off if it happened to him.
Odds of him resigning? I would say slim to none given Trump’s obsession with winning, and I further hope that history will deride that choice because of the utter crap-ton of legal problems I foresee him having for his actions. This solution would have the added benefit of allowing Senate Republicans to avoid the soul-searching required to actually hold him accountable, unless a post-presidency impeachment is held to prevent him from holding federal office again. Even that hasn’t been done before, but it seems possible or even likely that it could occur (see below).
On the moral rectitude / self-serving rationalization scale, this one should be a homerun for Trump, but his pathology makes it unlikely, and there is literally no one who can influence him to do something he does not want to do, as the entire GOP and world has discovered over the last four years.
25th Amendment. On Wednesday, before Ted Lieu had even had time to clean up all the garbage left behind by the mob, there was discussion about invoking the 25th amendment to remove Trump from office. The 25th amendment hasn’t really been used in this way before. It’s usually a rote process when a President has to undergo a medical procedure that temporarily incapacitates him (e.g. a colonoscopy), and in those cases, it is done in accordance with the President’s will, not against it. They didn’t even use the 25th amendment when Reagan was shot by Jodie Foster’s would-be boyfriend, although the papers were drawn up and ready just in case.
To invoke the 25th amendment, Pence would have to ask his wife Karen for the key to the tiny, decorative jewelry box where she keeps his balls, so I don’t see that as particularly likely, and indeed, Pence has pretty quickly indicated his disdain for this option. Another barrier is that several members of the President’s Cabinet resigned their positions in the immediate aftermath of the insurrection. Some claimed they did so for moral reasons, although it conveniently prevented them from having to take a stand if Karen Pence did locate the aforementioned key. At this point, there’s a question whether there are even enough Cabinet members left to make up the 8 supporting votes Pence would need to invoke the 25th amendment.
From a moral rectitude standpoint, this one would allow the GOP to divorce itself from the reprehensible actions of Trump, but it also gives him cover by claiming he is mentally incapacitated. Trump will never allow himself to be deemed unfit, especially after being so proud of identifying a picture of an elephant on a mental acuity test, so this one doesn’t serve him, and nobody in the Cabinet, at least of those who are left, has the will to make it happen. The more time passes, the easier it is for them to rationalize that he, like the abusive husband, feels sorry it went this far (although he won’t apologize), has learned his lesson (while not admitting wrongdoing), and won’t do it again (while not committing to this).
Both these options are still on the table until January 20th, so you never know. Maybe the threat of them will help to keep this ungovernable President from starting World War III so he can declare martial law and attempt another coup.
The option that is currently being pursued is one Trump knows all too well.
Impeachment. While it’s nearly certain that Trump will be impeached again by House Democrats and Mitt Romney, there are still several possible outcomes and unknown factors. My own opinion is that the most likely is that he’ll be impeached by the House but fail to get enough votes from the Republican Senate to impeach. A few Republican Senators have already said they will vote to impeach, but so far, there haven’t been the requisite 17 that would be needed, and the more time elapses, the more Republicans will rationalize away the actions of January 6th. Several Republicans had the temerity to double down on the lies that caused the insurrection in the first place, and others have called for “unity” without accountability first, claiming that the nation needs to heal while neatly avoiding their own complicity.
With so little time left, there’s also some question about when the Senate will hear the impeachment articles. McConnell seems to be maneuvering to foist this problem onto a Biden presidency, dragging his feet until Trump is no longer in office, potentially as a way to screen Republicans from blame and to further hamper a successful transition. Removing Trump from office is only one reason to impeach him, though. There are several more reasons:
- To portray to the world that the US President is not a dictator, above the law. Our standing in the world is perilous at best right now, drawing well-deserved rancor from nations we’ve censured for their own anti-democratic leaders.
- To eliminate creating a dangerous precedent in which a future autocratic leader could use mob rule to attack other branches of government.
- To honor the memory of the police officers killed and injured by the mob Trump incited to storm the Capitol. At least the ones who weren’t taking selfies with the mob and showing them where to go in the building, as if they were on a tour.
- To prevent Trump from ever holding federal office again and from profiting from his time in office.
The last reason is the one that would be best for everyone (except Trump) and would give ambitious Republicans (craven ones like Hawley and Cruz) a path to run for POTUS in 2024 without having to beat Trump. However, it’s not all upside for these Senators: 1) it would not prevent Trump’s adult children from running for office, 2) Trump and his children have vowed to primary against any Republicans who are disloyal to them, and 3) there are some Republican Senators who believe that they will lose their voting base if they are seen to be against Trump.
This perception is not entirely unrealistic, unfortunately. As many as 20% of Republicans still openly support the insurrection (which should horrify everyone) and believe the deception that the election was stolen. In other words, if you are a Republican lawmaker whose voters literally don’t care if you are hunted and killed while performing the duties of your job, you have a real self-serving conundrum on your hands. Do you remain the wind beneath the wings of the person who tried to have you kidnapped and killed, which also means your own ambitions can’t be realized because you’ll have to continue to carry water for him ad infinitum, or do you bar him from holding office in the future, and risk losing voters? That’s a moral conundrum that very few Republicans seem to have the moral fiber and gravitas to withstand.
In the meantime, we’ve got another 8 days to endure. Some GOP lawmakers are bearing the heaviest consequences of all, the loss of Corporate donors. Even Walmart (among many other companies) is refusing to donate to PACs that benefit the 147 seditious members of Congress who collaborated with Trump to challenge votes in order to overthrow the election results. Maybe this will impact their conscience in an impeachment trial. When moral will is lacking, self-preservation sometimes steps in. That’s true in politics, in life, and even in the Church.
- Why do you think so many Mormons were involved in this insurrection? Will the Church confront the rising problems of white supremacy, conspiracy theories and Christian nationalism or do they not see it as a problem?
- If you were a Republican lawmaker, what would you do if presented with impeachment papers? How would you justify your stance to yourself and your constituents?
- Do you see anyone acting from moral conviction here or just from self-serving rationalization?
- What else do you predict will happen in this final week of Trump’s presidency?
 Coup. It was a failed coup attempt.
 Yep, there were several very visible Mormons who took an active part in storming the Capitol last week. Some were wearing BYU shirts. One even had a fake Title of Liberty prop flag he waved around like a Captain Moroni who was on the side of the King Men instead of the Free Men. Maybe that’s the same problem as the parable of the wheat and tares; everyone thinks they are the wheat and their opponents are the tares.
My fear in this is making a martyr of Mr. Trump in the eyes and hearts of his base. Mr. Trump is a narcissist — the worst punishment for him would be to be ignored. I do not want him controlling the narrative or deriving any oxygen from his self-fanning of the flames. I would hope he would be wholly irrelevant.
But there is something to say about accountability, and Mr. Trump did attempt a coup. People died. Some people will believe the previous impeachment proceeding was unfair, but Mr. Trump is solely responsible for this one.
He has a huge war chest with hundreds of millions of dollars collected from his base since the election. He or his children will use that money to stir up hate and discontent.
I oppose a pardon. I am leery of giving Trump continued attention (and martyr status) in a 25th Amendment or impeachment brouhaha. A natural demise incident to old age might be most convenient, but this cannot be planned. And that would leave his war chest in the hands of his children who will use it to stir up hate and discontent.
I know of no way to disabuse his base of the lies they still choose to believe.
I will be glad for January 20th.
“ The Church is apparently not interested in discussing it because the far more important story of renovating a plaza takes precedent. Fine. It’s their web page. They can talk about window dressing while their “finest sons” attack democracy because they believe the completely transparent lies of a megalomaniac leader who is incapable of accepting and admitting he lost an election.”
Thank you. This needs to be emphasized again & again.
Impeachment is an important symbolic gesture that puts Trump’s enablers, the Republican members of Congress, on the spot and in a position of having to formally validate his presidency after he incited an insurrection designed to undermine the very republic upon which the US stands.
That so many Mormons backed Trump is disgraceful. That so many people backed Trump after 4 years of chaos and criminal politics is disgraceful. Now those continuing to back Trump can’t say with a straight face that they support the US Constitution.
@Ji I also really want to see Trump be totally ignored post-presidency and agree that’s a great punishment for a narcissist. I also worry about turning him into a martyr, but I think that’s already happened with Biden “stealing” the election.
That said, if he deserves impeachment, he deserves it (and I think he does). I would like to see him stripped of his benefits (like a pension etc) and I don’t want him eligible to run again in 2024. I want any legal means available to keep him from ever running for or holding office again because his supporters aren’t going away on Jan 20 regardless of whether or not he’s impeached. So I want to see a quick and non-dramatic impeachment / conviction and then I never ever want to hear from or about him again. Any news organization that refuses to give him airtime or report on him will have my support.
McConnell is now rumored to be in favor of impeachment, so here’s my fantasy:
1. House impeaches today
2. Senate holds trial next week–prosecution on Monday, defense on Tuesday, vote Wednesday morning
3. Pence serves as president for like an hour
If they can’t get the trial in next week, then bag it altogether and pass a resolution finding that Trump is an insurrectionist and therefore unqualified to hold office under the 14th amendment.
The 14th Amendment presents another useful option, one which I favor (in addition to impeachment). As an added bonus, the voting scheme for it is different, and it appears we have the votes.
All I want from Pres Biden in order of importance:
I am afraid that the corporations withholding cash and otherwise disapproving of his behavior have the most power. What they are doing to him is going to be more punishing to him than anything Congress or the VP could do. So, far, being banned by Twitter has had a bigger impression on him than anything else. And other companies refusing to do business with him is a language he speaks. And apparently the golf tournament canceled plans to hold it at his place. That kind of snubbing will bother him more than anything else.
I hope he stays in the news long enough for news agencies to cover what he does with the million or so dollars donated by his ordinary people followers, because when he uses it to pay off a loan from Russia, some of them will have the intelligence to see that this whole thing has been a scam and that they have been had. Yeah, I am evil in that I want to see him hurt where it matters, in the pocket book. So, yes, impeach him and take away his pension. Hit him where it hurts.
While we are at it, where can I hire a hit man to break his golf clubs.
And I am not too worried about any of the trump children. They don’t have his charisma and really are too stupid to ever be popular, even among his loyal followers. They are just not the Donald. Cults of personality usually don’t last long after the founder is gone.
Trumpism will fade, but white supremacy, nationalism, and twisting God into a weapon are things I am far more worried about.
Impeachment in the House is mostly symbolic and will always be viewed as a partisan act given that the norm is that all Dems vote one way and all Republicans vote another. The key is Senate conviction, which would lead to the removal of a sitting president and the prevention of that president from ever running again. Therefore, my eye is on the Senate, not the House.
Thus far, Mitt Romney seems to be the only Republican Senator courageous enough to vote against his party. Will there be others this time? That’s the key. The Republican party has a very fortunate opportunity sitting right in front of it: to rid itself of Donald Trump once and for all, at least formally. Let’s hope they have the courage to vote to convict.
Note: I seem to be one of the few conservative Republicans on this forum (full disclosure: I’m also a white male, uh oh). So when someone like me, a Ronald Reagan Republican, wants a sitting Republican president to be impeached and convicted, you know how bad things are. And here’s my final point: I have been accused of being aa RINO (Republican in Name Only). Wrong. It’s Trump who is the RINO. Not me. Not Mitt Romney. Trump is a populist demagogue, not a conservative Republican. And it’s time the Republicans step up and get rid of him.
This whole thing has been really hard on my testimony. It’s bad enough having to spend the last 4 years watching many family members and friends get caught up in The Lie and sell their souls to a false christ. But watching the invasion unfold last week made me physically ill. I was raised on LDS values that shaped me into the person I am today, like “do what is right; let the consequence follow” “stand for truth and righteousness” and all that. They motivate me to oppose Trump and everything he represents. But those same values (interpreted differently) motivated an Idaho returned missionary/wanna-be Spider Man to invade the senate chamber, and also gave us a bad cosplay of Captain Moroni who embarrassed himself and disgraced our beliefs. And I’m sure there were many other Church members there who believe they were on the side of truth. We all can’t be right about how we interpret the Gospel. That is why the leaders of the Church need to step up and unequivocally denounce the insurrection, assert that the LDS Trumpers’ version of the Gospel is false doctrine of the worst kind, then direct stake presidents to begin confiscating temple recommends en masse. Now more that ever, there is no way you can be a Trump supporter and truthfully pass a recommend interview.
It’s sad that several LDS politicians are on record as warning against Trump in 2016, as this CNN report shows. Only Romney managed to be consistent to principle over time.
What flipped the others (like Chavitz and Lee) from clear-eyed criticism to fawning adoration and enabling? The usual: power, gain, tax cuts for the wealthiest, the chance to stack the courts with right wing idealogues, as well as fear of the mob. (Jeff Flake’s fate in Arizona served as a warning to other would-be Trump critics.) Nibely’s essay on Freemen and Kingmen in the Book of Mormon notes that many of the Nephites in the church were persuaded by the flatteries of Amalekiah (see Alma 46:3-10 and try to reconcile that with Senator Lee trying to compare Trump to Moroni), who also had a strategy of preaching hatred and grievance from the towers of the time. Now it is Fox News, Limbaugh, and Glen Beck. Twitter, Facebook, and a few other towers finally realized, as did the young Peter Parker in first Spiderman story that “With great power, comes great responsibility.” The opposite of that is the Trumpista supposition that with great power comes freedom from consequence and responsibility. “When you are famous, you can get away with anything.”
Nibley’s “Victoria Loquacitas: The Rise of Rhetoric and the Decline of Everything Else” is also prophetically relevant, about how rhetoric creates an unreal world, and how rhetoricians gain power by flattering and accomodating the mob, running on slogans and emotion rather than adhering to facts and principles. Even after the insurrection and violence, Missouri Senator Josh Hawley promoted the baseless notion that the mail in ballots in Pennsylvania were unconstitutional, despite being declared legal and valid by a Republican controlled legislature as a response to the pandemic that, under Trump, has attained the highest death count for any nation in the world, and has passed the US deaths in WWII. My wife and I voted by mail in Pennsylvania, and it is OUR Democratic votes that he was trying to throw out, not in support of democracy, but rather Tantrumocracy. In referring to the 73 million people who voted for Trump, whose feelings ought to be considered, he totally ignores the 81 million who voted to get rid of Trump. He ignores the wide-spread, spontaneous dancing in the streets that took place in many cities all over the US, including directly in front of the White House, on the Saturday after the election, when the Election was called for Biden. That was a peaceful demonstration. What about our feelings? Does he acknowlege them?
It was heartening to hear Romney speak directly after Hawley, to call out the Big Lie, that the election was unfair, that Trump somehow really “won by a landslide.” (It turns out that the outcome for Biden and Harris closely reflected internal Republican polling.) The legality and legitimacy of the vote was confirmed by every state and 59 court cases. And Romney declared to the Senate that what leaders ought to give their followers is truth, rather than grievance and lies.
In retrospect, the earler video of Romney being harrassed on a flight to DC for the Electoral College certification by the Senate and House was not the voice of a random selection of voters, but rather, grievance-charged insurrectionist wanna-bes on the way to Trump’s DC rally.
But in politics, as in science, the important thing not totally a matter of facing facts, but the internal paradigms and metaphors we use to select, order and intepret those facts. Facts don’t speak for themselves, unambiguously forcing everyone to the same conclusions, but rather are always to some degree, paradigm dependent. And those paradigms, I believe, are exactly what Jesus was referring to as the “beams in our own eyes” that we must examine and consider before judging others. How does my ideology affect what I experience? Criticism must start with self-criticism. Rather than reflexively dismiss others as “Not us!”, we need to have enough self awareness to consider the question of “Why us?” and to do so based on criteria that are not entirely paradigm dependent, not ideologically determined. “By proving contrarities,” Joseph wrote, “truth [knowledge of things as they are, as they were, and as they are to come] is made manifest.” So what is made manifest by refusing to even hear contrarities? Broad study has confirmed that Trump supporters are far less likely than liberals to seek information outise of the right-wing echo chambers. “Pure knowlege greatly enlarges the soul, without hypcrisy and without guile.” What happens to our souls as a consequence of impure knowledge?
Alm1 46:9-10 has an apt warning:
9 Yea, and we also see the great wickedness one very wicked man can cause to take place among the children of men.
10 Yea, we see that Amalickiah, because he was a man of cunning device and a man of many flattering words, that he led away the hearts of many people to do wickedly; yea, and to seek to destroy the church of God, and to destroy the foundation of liberty which God had granted unto them, or which blessing God had sent upon the face of the land for the righteous’ sake.
Jack Hughes: the events of the last 4 years and especially last week should not be hard on your testimony. In any group, you have crazy types. And that includes the Church. You can’t expect the Church (via Newsroom, First Presidency statements, etc.) to speak out every time a national politician acts inappropriately or his followers spin out of control.
I have plenty of issues with the Church. But I don’t expect the Church to correct every wrong in our political environment. Where would it end? Incidentally, I’m also against censorship by social media platforms. Who decides what’s appropriate? I don’t want social media companies deciding what is good and bad. And I don’t want the Church speaking out against politicians and parties. How would you have felt if they went after Harry Reid back in the day when he was directly opposing the Church on issues like gay marriage?
The Republicans are too afraid of Trump’s base and too lacking in moral character to do anything. They’ll again teach Trump the lesson that he can get away with anything. The party should be tossed on the scrap heap of history. Regarding why so many Mormons believe the lies and are in favor of overturning the election, well, there’s always been an extremist streak in Mormonism. Ezra Taft Benson was one of the prime proponents of conspiracy theories and other wacko stuff. The parallels between Benson’s rhetoric in the ’50s and ’60s and what’s happening in today’s Republican Party are both enlightening and frightening.
Perhaps the Church could address last week’s unrest the same way it did the BLM and antifa riots. The W&T bloggers and commenters have surely done the same, right? (that is, been consistent in condemning the violence, deaths, destruction of businesses, assaults on peace officers, federal courthouses, and other public buildings).
Angela, you seem rightly concerned about congress members huddling “behind parapets like frightened children in a school shooting”. Do you similarly feel sympathy for the thousands of small business owners and families who had their communities attacked and livelihoods destroyed in months-long riots last year? My recollection is that this blog mostly defended and romanticized the BLM and antifa rioters.
Jamil is invoking intellectually dishonest bothsidesism about BLM protests as a cheap deflection. Some big differences between BLM and Stop the Steal (STS).
1) BLM protests were ignited by George Floyd’s horrific death, which nearly everyone was outraged by (even Rush Limbaugh), as a well as a number of other criminal incidents perpetrated against blacks by other police officers and racists (Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Christian Cooper, and several others). The STS protests began because Trump was declared the loser of the 2020 election, which the clear majority of Americans accepted, even many who voted for Trump.
2) The most seemingly radical messages of BLM can be distilled to very reasonable positions. Defund the police can be distilled to police reform. The idea that there is an all-pervasive systemic racism affecting all of us can be distilled to the idea that there is a less-pervasive systemic racism that negatively impacts blacks that whites can work to fix by greater understanding and sensitivity. The most seemingly radical messages of STS cannot be distilled to reasonable positions. For instance, the idea that Trump won by a landslide can be distilled to the idea that Trump barely won. But the latter idea is not at all reasonable for it still requires us to believe that the election officials are either extremely incompetent at best, or actively conspiring against Trump at worst.
3) The STS movement has been emboldened and encouraged by Trump and many key Republican members of Congress who have informed them of and validated conspiratorial beliefs among them. The BLM movement never had major support among members of Congress, let alone an active president or presidential candidates. Democrats have long condemned the violence (although it is reasonable to say that they should have condemned violence and vandalism more strongly, but they still condemned it right after it happened) associated with BLM protests.
4) The BLM protests simply had more energy behind them. It was the largest protest in the US, ever, with 16-25 million people taking to the streets to protest George Floyd’s wrongful death at the hands of a police officer engaging in a clear act of brutality and excessive force. The STS movements isn’t nearly as big.
5) Police officers provoked a good number of BLM protesters. Police officers did very little in response to the clear warning signs
6) Some of the violence during the BLM was perpetrated by right-wing accelerationists such as the Boogaloo Bois. There is no evidence of left-wing activists causing the violence in the STS protests (there is no evidence that left-wing activist John Sullivan actually incited violence and vandalism, let alone evidence that Antifa, insomuch as it is an actual organized group with leaders and chapters and not just a common meme or attitude, did so).
7) Kyle Rittenhouse, the terrorist teen who killed two BLM protestors in Kenosha, is hailed as a hero by leading political and media figures on the right. No terrorists are hailed as heroes by leading political and media figures on the left. Leading voices have long condemned Antifa and other left-wing agitators.
I condemn all violence and vandalism that happened at the BLM protests while still embracing the cause of BLM to create a better more fair justice system and help eradicate systemic racism. Do you condemn the domestic terrorists who invaded the Capitol on Jan. 6? Or are you too much of a coward?
Why do you think so many Mormons were involved in this insurrection? Because lots of Mormons embrace crazy right-wing politics. Mormons voted for Trump at a higher percentage than other religious groups, even Evangelicals. From an AP article: “Trump got the backing of 71% of Latter-day Saints nationwide, while 24% supported Biden.” Why? Ezra Taft Benson made right-wing conspiracy theories attractive for Latter-day Saints. LDS leaders did very little to counter that effort, either at the time or afterwards. And of course mainstream LDS by nature and upbringing don’t need much (any?) evidence to embrace bizarre theories about reality.
If you were a Republican lawmaker … I’d vote for impeachment. I’d vote for conviction. I’d buy him a one-way plane ticket to Mar-a-Lago.
Do you see anyone acting from moral conviction here or just from self-serving rationalization? Just about every statement or action by elected representatives is going to be a mix of the two. Those who are voting in opposition to their party (Republicans who vote to impeach and to convict) probably have the best claim to voting their conscience here. Let’s give Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Mitt Romney of Utah their due.
What else do you predict will happen in this final week of Trump’s presidency? Whatever additional violent action is launched by right-wing extremists will probably be done with guns and bombs,not just pipes and fire extinguishers. If anything, the events at the Capitol building last week encouraged the extremists while, at the same time, emboldening them to come with more firepower next time. There could be some pretty ugly incidents before January 20, probably at state capitols. I’ve heard statements from the Michigan AG lamenting the lax security rules in place in Michigan to prevent the assembly and movement near and inside the state capitol building of armed insurgents, both open carry (outside the capitol building) and concealed carry (still allowed within). With Washington, D.C., now heavily defended, expect state capitols to be much easier targets. Trump, of course, will continue to besmirch his own legacy and poison his own brand by making additional unhinged statements. Seeing him undermine the future of his own business enterprises is about the only happy consequence of recent days.
Update: The Motion to Impeach President Trump just passed, 232-197.
There were 10 Republicans who voted to impeach and 197 who voted against.
Regarding Karen’s tiny decorative jewelry box, I believe Trump demanded she surrender that to him as tribute for picking Pence as his running mate.
@Jamil uh yeah, perhaps the Church could. The Church condemned violence and destruction of property in connection with BLM protests. So that’s exactly what they should do here — in fact, it’s even more appropriate in this situation since I’m not aware of any concrete link between the Church / members and BLM protests, whereas we have clear links with the Capital invasion (Captain Moroni garbage & BYU logos). The failure to do so here is nuts.
FWIW I don’t recall one single blog post here romanticizing Antifa. Maybe you can provide some examples for that kind of accusation.
Those drawing the analogy to Benson’s politics, which I think is valid, might be interested in the MormonLand podcast interview about Benson from a month or so ago. Matthew Harris who wrote a book about Benson’s political influence on the Church was asked whether he believes Benson would have supported Trump. He answers with an emphatic “NO,” because Benson (while espousing some pretty crazy ideas) always felt that leaders must be morally virtuous and have integrity. He would have likely split with the Republican party on these grounds, or so says Harris. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/ezra-taft-benson-his-influence-on-latter-day-saint/id1289043118?i=1000496408028&l=es
And so our formal invitation to Marxism to come, settle down and make a home in the United States of America begins. It will truly be interesting to see (and experience) how this utopia will manifest itself in the weeks, months and years ahead. As a nation, we apparently wanted this quite badly, so whatever comes it’s of our own doing. The Leftists, The Progressives and the Democratic/Socialists have “won the field”……It doesn’t really matter how they did it….
Scaremongering about “Marxism” is nothing more than a cowardly diversion to avoid the responsibility that is upon all Americans to denounce this anti-republic, anti-democracy Capitol Insurrection. In fact, the boogeyman of “Marxism” is part of what spurred this group of Trump-crazed terrorists to act. For the fact of the matter is that the small group of Marxist-Leninists in the US (yes they do exist but their words carry zero weight in policy-making) view the Democratic Party and its leading figures as corporatist capitalists who are not much different from Republicans, and have formed different parties. Progressives in the US are also highly critical of leading Democrats, but reluctantly vote for them. Bernie Sanders, mind you, is an independent who has repeatedly criticized the Democratic Party but realized he needed the party’s infrastructure and platform to launch his bid for president. Progressives do not have association with actual Marxist-Leninists and are more to the right of them. The spector of Marxism is nothing more than a boogeyman.
It should also be noted that Marxism isn’t a coherent philosophy. Since Marx, Marxism has splintered into numerous competing and often mutually exclusive philosophies; to the extent that it is virtually a useless term used almost exclusively as a pejorative label.
Also bear in mind that Trump has long had a love affair with Kim Jong Un, whose governing philosophy stems from earlier Marxist-Leninist philosophies.
Lastly, it is worth noting that today’s libertarians in the US often embrace ideas that bear striking resemblance to socialist thinkers of 19th-century Europe. Never mind that libertarians, which I’m quite positive Lefthandlofer proudly identifies as, tend to embrace fairies and unicorns-level utopian ideas that most certainly out-utopian the leading progressive voices in the government and liberal media outlets. I mean, we just get rid of gubmint and everything will magically fall into place. Haha.
What John W said. Democrats are not Marxists. Not by a long shot. Despite what all the Utah County Trumpers seem to think.
Only 10 republicans crossed party lines. It is the most ever for an impeachment, but still it boggles the mind that there weren’t more. What would a guy have to do to get his republican buddies to impeach him? Seriously, if attempting to overturn the election with a mob isn’t a case for impeachment then I don’t know what is.
Some of the republican congressman actually believe in their vote. They are wrong, but at least they are honest. But most of the republicans did not defend Trump at all. They argued what-aboutisms and process. Most of them are probably worried about getting primaried, and they may have reasonable fears of violence against themselves or their families. I’m sorry for that.
But these same representatives vote to fund our military and send them off to war, so I’m sorry, but if they don’t have the courage to vote their conscience on impeachment then they are cowards and they need to find a new job and good riddance.
Sorry. Got caught up in the heat of the moment for a second. Maybe strike the word coward, but I stand by the gist.
Angela C’s comment about ETB, referring to Harris’ assumption that ETB would never have supported Trump, are interesting. I think it is commonly accepted that ETB was an (ultra conservative) “man of principle,” but his beliefs led him into some non-conservative directions that were inconsistent with his conservative beliefs. In 1968, he supported third-party candidate George Wallace for President, who got 13 percent of the popular vote, and won the electoral votes of five southern states. Wallace was NOT a conservative, but a populist racist demagogue, one who did NOT advocate the limited government favored by ETB. Wallace perhaps was most notorious for his comment, during that age of student and anti-Vietnam War protest, for saying that if any protestor laid down in front of his car, that would be the last car he ever laid down in front of. Wallace was sort of a forerunner of Trump, and yet ETB supported him. Wallace wanted ETB to be his VP running mate, and ETB wanted to do it, but DOMcK refused to give permission.
We are all inconsistent in how we act on our principles, some more than others, ETB included. But at least ETB had principles, even though I strongly disagreed with them. Trump’s only principle is himself, and he is our 21st Century Aaron Burr.
It is depressing to be old enough to remember the details about Wallace.
. “You can’t expect the Church (via Newsroom, First Presidency statements, etc.) to speak out every time a national politician acts inappropriately or his followers spin out of control…..where would it end?” No.. It could start and end when there’s a major coup of white supremacists being told by the POTUS to overthrow the Constitution that we’re supposed to save as it hangs by a thread on Jan 6.
I’ve heard that is folklore.? Really, how would we save it silently? Thank you, Mitt.
I have just seen an interview tonight with an ex republican strategist who said he had spoken to a number of republican senators who said they could not vote against trump because they feared they would be killed. Not sure what that means for all those who did vote for him.
But having heard about the abuse Mitt Romney recieved it seems only an extra deegree or two to move from abuse to killing.
Is it democracy when your vote is determined by fear of being killed? Not just primaried against?
I suppose the trial in the Senate will occur after the inauguration.
Imagine if the narcissist-in-chief (Mr. Trump) decides to attend the Senate trial to present his own defence? Since he loves attention, I see this as very possible. Or, since he won’t have government-paid White House attorneys to represent him for free, imagine if he sends Mr. Giuliani. Oh, my — Ms. Pelosi might be done with Mr. Trump, but the theatrics aren’t over yet — it doesn’t seem that Mr. Trump is going to quietly disappear into irrelevance.
Why are so many Mormons involved? Besides the already right-leaving politics of Mormons, the q-anon conspiracy theories and treatment of Trump as a messianic figure fit right in with the Mormon traditions of watching out for “secret combinations” and king men. The Book of Mormon and the right wing culture in the church primes people for this kind of movement.
Dude-dressed-as-Moroni told a reporter that he was trying to save the nation from king men without a hint of irony, never mind that MAGAmob was intending to overturn election results. While it seems obvious to me the MAGA-ites are the king men in the metaphor, he sees out the other way. Unlike the other rioters, he didn’t seem to see himself as a revolutionary, but rather as a defender of the very Constitution they were trying to take down. Everyone is the good guy in their own story.
New house representative Blake Moore, former missionary, gave his speech mostly on the lack of investigation or process and also the need to get to a better, more united place. It was probably his first speech on the floor. It sounded a bit like a really short and uncomfortable sacrament meeting talk where he hoped to get last minute inspiration to speak by the spirit, and nothing came. Moore seems like a decent guy so far, but this speech is spineless.
Rockwell, I heard most of the speeches in the House live yesterday, Yes, Blake Moore’s short speech had a Boy Scout slash Sacrament Meeting flavor to it. Which made it one of the least objectionable Republican speeches of the day, for what it’s worth. What was most revealing about the session was that Liz Cheney, the Republican Representative from Wyoming who boldly issued a blunt statement announcing her intention to vote for impeachment a day or two prior to the session, did not speak, while two dozen unhinged Republicans were given air time.
Given the fact that taking a public stand against Trump apparently puts one’s life at risk these days (literally, not figuratively, per recent private statements to journalists from several members of Congress), Cheney’s actions are truly admirable and led to a degree of bipartisanship in the present impeachment action. She will make a great Speaker of the House someday. If she switches parties, she could very well succeed Pelosi. She was quoted by Democrats yesterday almost as often as Abraham Lincoln was quoted by both sides.
since he won’t have government-paid White House attorneys to represent him for free, imagine if he sends Mr. Giuliani
Multiple sources are reporting that Trump has given instructions not to pay Giuliani’s bill, so the above scenario may not be an option.
Also, I think I have figured out McConnell’s game. His refusal to hold the trial immediately plus his hint that he might vote for conviction has nothing to do with “needing to hear the legal arguments.” He is holding a (metaphorical) gun to Trump’s head and threatening to pull the (metaphorical) trigger if Trump misbehaves during his last week by inciting more riots, pardoning himself, or nuking Iran. Once Trump is safely out of office , McConnell will revert to his usual persona and vote to acquit. But his vote will not be needed for the 14th amendment option.
I’ve been troubled by the huge numbers of Mormons caught up in the lie that the election was rigged and stolen. I suspect that it is largely due to a heavy dose of Fox News and the forceful, confident assertions of the president and political leaders of the Republican Party and a failure or unwillingness to look at other evidence based sources that point out problems with the assertions, such as overwhelming court losses and the upholding of the legitimacy of state votes by Republican leaders in states, such as Georgia, Arizona and Pennsylvania. Even very smart people that I know and respect swallow and mimic the lie.
Then I reflect on my own church led by a president and religious leaders around him that also provide confident, forceful assertions and rely on limited sources, such as the Book of Mormon, Bible and conference talks, and a failure or unwillingness to look at other evidence based sources that point out other views or problems with our own views, such as science, literary criticism, other church views and cultures and our own checkered and changing history. We live in an echo chamber that just keeps saying and reinforcing what we already believe. Like Donald Trump, our own leaders refuse to acknowledge errors or apologize. Blacks and the priesthood comes to mind.
For me it reinforces my need to be open and willing to listen to other views and look at other sources of information outside my own comfort zone. To be more evidence based in my thinking and to be willing to acknowledge problems and inconsistencies and to be willing to change my mind when things don’t add up. We need to be thoughtful in our politics and in our faith.
I am SO hoping for 17 Republican senators to vote to convict. Impeachment is really irrelevant without a senate conviction, and Trump is far more dangerous to the liberty and rule of law in this country than terrorism, organized crime, or even the Russian cyberwar.. Is it really so much to hope for that 17 out of 50 Republican senators both 1) know how bad Trump is and 2) have enough of a spine to vote their consciences (especially those who don’t come up for election for 4 or 6 more years)? I realize that to become a politician, you have to be part of the groupthink if you’re to get office, but you should still be able to maintain a core morality. Otherwise, what’s the point of seeking power, unless it’s only self-aggrandizement?
As for white nationalism, I think the Church has made itself abundantly clear last general conference. Racism was brought up so much it’s clearly a concern that they were trying to address. Elder Oaks even embraced the slogan “Black Lives Matter” in a subsequent devotional and tried to separate it from other political goals (such as defunding the police), so that members would readily embrace it. You can criticize the church for past policy, but I don’t think you can accuse the church of being neutral wrt racism now <>
Actually, I’ll take that back. Progressives absolutely can and will, because unless you agree with everything else they claim goes along with “Black Lives Matter” (such as defunding the police), they’ll cry racism. I find it both counter-productive and frustrating.
Seen on the Internet::
Does anyone know a good impeachment attorney that will take a pro Bono case? Asking for a friend.
“White Supremacy” and so-called “Social Justice” declarations have become bullshit narratives and are some of the biggest lies of our lifetime: each created to allow certain groups (BLM, Inc. and Antifa) to loot, pillage, burn and do whatever the hell they want to do….all without any consequence.
Martin, as someone who regularly listens to self-identifying progressive journalists and pundits, I can tell you that progressives are not allied with the identitarians in the BLM movement. Kyle Kulinski, a popular progressive YouTube pundit released a video entitled “The White Fragility Hustle” in which he lambastes Robin Diangelo, author of White Fragility, as a grifter who pushes an exaggerated narrative for her own fame and profit. Bernie Sanders has long decried “identity politics” and his supporters are similarly skeptical and critical of identitarian movements such as BLM. During his 2016 presidential campaign, Bernie Sanders faced intense criticism from BLM. On one occasion, BLM members disrupted one of his speeches by going onto the dais where he was speaking. Bernie actually stepped aside and let them speak. Progressives tend to push a class narrative over a race narrative. And that is where the tension lies between the identitarians and the progressives. As for “Defund the Police”, I don’t see that Democrats ever really got behind that. Biden said he didn’t support defunding the police. Obama has spoken out in criticism of the “Defund the Police” slogan, and many leading liberal and progressive voices have been dismissive of DTP. However, unlike conservative media figures, who love to heighten the significance of the Defund the Police narrative in order to inflate the specter of a liberal boogeyman that they love to pummel, many leading liberal and progressive critics of DTP have tended to ignore the slogan or simply reinterpret it to mean something else.
Lefthandloafer, 1) you’re an angry, bitter, pathetic troll who has too much time on his hands. 2) Southern Poverty Law Center has spent years documenting white supremacy movements in the US. Those movements are alive and well. Heads of the FBI and DHS have long warned that these groups pose a terror threat. Ignore the evidence at your own peril. 3) I highly doubt that you are able to tell us what the leading intellectuals on social justice have to say and what they cite as their supporting evidence for their narratives. You cry “social justice” as a boogeyman which you claim to be some sort of fake victim to. Oh, and 14,000 arrests were made during the George Floyd Protests. No consequence? You think you can just come on here, spout evidenceless reactionary bull and get away with it without consequence. I ain’t having that.
John W: Please don’t engage in personal attacks (specifically “bitter, pathetic troll”). Aside from that caveat, I largely agree with the substance of your comment. Additionally, I am sick to death of this bothsidesism argument. One group literally went on a murderous rampage in the Capitol because they lost an election. The other group(s) are advocating for human rights and equality.
Extremist commentary on wheatandtares.org. Too bad. It doesn’t help whether from the left or right.
As one who was infuriated by the attempted coup and who wants a severe crackdown on the forces of alt-right hate that have infected our country during Trump’s four years, I try, however inadequately, to refrain from making personal assaults as I try to articulate the position I hold about our recent election. Unfortunately, I don’t think I always succeed, so my comment here is also me warning myself.
The forces of reason and decency, as we attempt to purge Trumpism from our culture, are not going to be well served by ad hominem personal attacks. And while it is correct to caution against such attacks, as has been done, it would, I think, be more helpful to label such attacks for what they are: on-line, bullying hate speech. The worst example of hate speech that we are confronted with now is Trump. Let’s not follow his example, as we work to rid our country of his malign influence. if we are not careful, we all too easily become like the evils we despise.
To point this out is hardly both-sidesism, and any assertion that it is reflects a dogmatism that is depressing on this site.
Angela, a point of complaint here. Calling a troll a troll seems hardly in violation of comment rules. Lefthandloafer is clearing trolling here and just writing to get a reaction out of people and not trying to have a serious discussion. I was not aware that we were free to write the word “bullshit” in the comments section here like he did (is this license to all of us to start peppering our comments with salty language?). And then Taiwan suggests, without naming me, that I’m writing “bullying hate speech.” Seriously? Never mind my comment was well received as evidenced by the upvotes, much more so that Lefthand’s. Look of it were up to me, I would just delete the trollish comments. Lefthand gets to come on here and insult people’s dignity but I can’t call him a troll? I don’t take back what I wrote.
I’m not sure what the US should do about Trump. It would be best if he just went away. No more publicity. But that is not going to happen. I don’t know if impeachment will diminish him, or just embolden him and his fans. Make him a martyr. One thing is certain, he has further divided America and destroyed our global image. Hopefully, the new administration can repair some of the damage.
I can perhaps see (if I try hard enough) why the majority of Mormons supported Trump initially. But after 4 years of his presidency, how can thinking Mormons still support him and still believe all the conspiracy theories? The fact that so many are so gullible is tragic.
The fact that the FP was so slow to acknowledge Biden as the President elect, and their failure to condemn the Capitol riot has sent a very poor message to the membership and the world. Senator Lee comparing Trump to Captain Moroni; what a blunder. Too many Mormons were Trump enablers, and that includes our former Senator Hatch. I think Mormon Church and Mormon political leaders have a great deal to atone for.
WilliamElleryChanning: The bothsidesism is really tiresome. Only one side is trying to take legislators hostages and/or execute them because they can’t admit they lost an election. If Biden had lost, this would absolutely not be happening. The left would not have stormed the Capitol, nor would Biden have incited them to violence then watched gleefully at how many supporters had followed his command to commit violence.
John W: My objection was more to the “bitter, pathetic” as modifiers for “troll.” I agree he was trolling, although that term seems more functional than personal. “Bitter, pathetic” feel more personal. As to Taiwan Missionary’s comment, I didn’t take it the way you said it (as being directed at you), but maybe you are right. I am not certain because I didn’t see you as bullying, and I actually assumed he was referring to personal attacks in general and/or referring to lefthandloafer as being the online bully. Our comment policy is usually not to delete comments, though, and as with all moderation, we are going to be completely inconsistent just like Twitter and Facebook. We try to keep things from derailing and escalating, but that’s the best we’ve got.
rogerdhansen: I totally agree. We are now going to reap what we’ve sown, and it’s not pretty.
Angela C. I can’t stand Trump and am glad to see him go. He is a would be Mussolini. Biden is clearly a better person. Your leftist politics are still tiresome.
The Church leaders just issued a condemnation of the Washington riots. Just a little over a week late. Better late than never I suppose. Have they been asleep the last 9 days. Did they miss the “Captain Moroni” interview? Did they miss the nation on edge?
Why were so many Mormons involved in the insurrection, jumped on the Trump
bus, and despite all that has happened- remain a Trumpers?
– for the same reason that Mormons feel they have to make a hobby out of shooting God’s creatures for bloodsport, despite President Kimball pleading with them to leave the birds and animals alone.
-For the same reason that members of Harry Reid’s stake picketed him at church, tried to expel him from wards and temples.
-for the same reason that Mormon women and their daughters create cliques and often enable or become Queen Bees.
– for the same reason that YM couldn’t be sportsmen and church ball had to end.
-for the same reason that our most historical and artistic architecture has been bulldozed, sold-off, or some ghastly annex has been slapped-up.
-For the same reason that being a church employee is a quick way to become cynical or lose your testimony.
-for the same reason that books like “Not Even Once Club” are written and published.
-for the same reason that affinity fraud (including multi-level marketing schemes) is rampant among us.
-for the same reason that the prosperity gospel is taught and applied, that the poor are looked down upon, that Mormon business men and women will
throw you under the bus in a heartbeat if it comes to you or them, and that GAs are celebrated for their worldly successes as CEOs.
-for the same reason that many Mormons are horrible pet owners.
-for the same reason that patriarchy prohibits us from truly moving Zion forward at nearly every turn.
-for the same reason we were so late and some have yet to see to see the equally divine nature of our black brothers and sisters. We bought into the false doctrines of racism and held on for an embarrassingly and disgustingly long time.
-for the same reason we have been so cruel and heartless to our LGBT children, brothers, sisters and non-binary fellow souls.
-for the same reason GAs refuse to apologize or make verbal amends.
-for the same reason that there are gut-wrenching stories of fellow members being ostracized. (See the story of Thomas Marsh and Brigham’s hateful “so you are back” smack-down). It still happens today. We all know at least one cringe story.
That reason is (lean in- I’ll whisper it to you) we’re a big bunch-a jerks.
I’d use stronger language, but for the nice moderators here.
We are a big bunch a jerks.
It’s a marvel that God continues to help us. It’s a marvel that we haven’t ruined the church so far (as J Golden only half-joked) and a testament to God’s grace that he hasn’t zapped us with a lightening bolt yet.
But, I doNt think we’re going to escape what some would call his “judgement” and I consider the bed we make for ourselves? We’re already too far down the road to evade the inevitable consequences.
What to expect in the next week and on?
The following is based on what I’m hearing from media outlets, like NYT.
Although there are Internet rumors of protests at Capitols and such, the probability of large scale action in the next few days is decreasing. Visible law enforcement crack downs, physical presence of guards, publicly announced arrests and indictments, and the shutting down of social media accounts may put a damper on the insurrection in the short term.
It sounds like the right wing types that fomented the insurrection are largely going underground. They are using more clandestine applications and are a bit disjointed. Might be reforming into smaller groups. This will be a huge long term concern.
The Trump administration has given these hate groups a lot of confidence and cover to be out in the open, where they used to keep things on the down low. So they may be going back into hiding, but with an increased confidence to take action. I wouldn’t be surprised to see an uptick in domestic terrorism incidents over the next few years. The groups are not going away on there own, at least not right away. So they question is what will we see of them.
Just checked out some FB comments on the Newsroom’s statement from today. A lot of gratitude for the clear condemnation. And some obtuse whinging and whataboutisms. One person said, “Church statements are never one-dimensional. Read between the lines, people.” When contradicted, they responded with Jesus’ quote, “He who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
That’s a fascinating application of Jesus’ catchphrase in that it essentially gives you carte blanche to hear what you want to hear. Church leaders could say, “vote Democrat,” and you could say, “Oh, I gotcha. ‘Vote Democrat’ wink wink.” If you’re good enough at reading between the lines that you can read what’s not even intended, that’s terrifying.
Trumpers read the first presidency message, and ignore it. There are lots of comments about trump not inciting the insurection,
Lots about communists, and murdering babies.
Lots about stolen elections
Quite a number about following the prophet
What message were the first presidency trying to send? My understanding is not even in cooee of most of the commenters. Did the message change any minds? Do the first presidency have no influence with trumpers?
Trumpers still believe the election was stolen, and are living in fear of what democrats will do to the country. They have no respect for the processes of democracy. Unless they can be converted can democracy continue, or will they become irrelavent? A lot depends on trump, and how the new administration performs.
For the church, it looks like there are those on the left who do not accept the leaders claims on sexism, on gay people, and now on the right there is a larger section who believe trump over the first presidency. I am not saying these are comparable (trump is a pack of lies) There are still a minority who say they follow the prophet.