Off with his head

With guns drawn, Capitol police defend the House chamber, not from foreign terrorists but from US citizens. (J Scott Applewhite/AP)

Who among us will ever forget what we witnessed yesterday? Thousands of rioters, incited by the President of the United States himself, storming the US Capitol, breaking into the building, running rampant through the halls, rummaging through private offices, stealing souvenirs, and lounging in the House and Senate chambers.

I watched in horror and disbelief. Not unlike watching 9/11. How could this be happening in the United States of America? How could anyone have imagined doing something like this or have considered it even for a moment?

And as with 9/11, there are certain images I’ll never forget. From yesterday, it’s the scene above. Plainclothes Capitol police, guns drawn, literally manning a barricade to keep the rioters out of the House chamber. Reports say there were no locks on the door; no one had imagined ever needing them.

How did it happen? Why did it happen?

Unbelievably — or perhaps not surprisingly — it was the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, who rallied those people in Washington and who urged them to march on the Capitol.

It doesn’t matter that he’ll be out of office in 13 days. He should be out now. Today. Escorted out of the White House and preferably into a jail cell. Or perhaps a rubber room. One dare not contemplate what he might do if given free rein for two more weeks. And anyone who still supports him after yesterday should go with him.

Another impeachment will take too long. The 25th Amendment should be invoked now.

26 thoughts on “Off with his head

      1. Indeed it was sad…but not unexpected. Just under half the population support him…kinda shows racism is alive and angry in America. It cannot be denied. Would have liked to see the tear gas and rubber bullets on those protesters..guessing its ok if one is white. 🤔. Eventually, we have to accept these folks embrace slavery – are white supremists and have been living waiting to come out of the closet. This is America, it is who 46% of population is. Now its time to really abolish slavery, but will need a lot of work….and jail for Trump, his family, supporters in congress and the mob. Hmm, hurts to see this situation. The other 54% are strong, and they will make America great, because we must believe, light will bannish darkness…🌴🌴

      2. They were all hiding under their rocks until Trump emboldened them over the last four years. That almost half the country still thinks this way is unnerving and extremely depressing.

  1. This culminating event, this riot, is evidence of how fragile a thing is a democracy (small “d”). The default form of governance throughout history has been authoritarianism. It is noteworthy that America’s representative democracy is only a little over 2 centuries old, a record in a written world history that spans more than 6,000 years. In a single lifetime like mine, ours might seem like normality, but it is a frail plant that needs constant tending. Ben Franklin was right when he told a woman what kind of government had been wrought, ” . . . a republic, if you can keep it.” We have never been closer to losing it than in these last four years.

  2. The photo of this scene that is not quite so zoomed in so you can see the entire set of door and surrounding area is, in my opinion, one of the most powerful of all the photos I’ve seen. They barricaded the door and drew their guns, for god’s sake! And trump loved it.

    1. I was torn about which view of this to use. I’ve seen all the longer shots too. I finally decided to go with one that showed the rioter peering through the broken window despite the guns being aimed at him.

  3. The man in the blue shirt is a newly elected congressman from Houston area – previously sheriff known for talking down people and defusing bad situations. Instead of hiding behind chairs or running away, he ran towards the chaos with security officers and attempted to talk with those own the other side of the doorway.
    Maybe if our elected officials – whom we pay salaries to- actually made an effort to meet and talk/listen to the general public previously, maybe none of this would have happened or less would have happened.
    Trump’s “speech” to the crowd should have been calculated to defuse and calm the crowd, but wasn’t – bad plan. It also would have been nice if other Congressional members inside had bothered to walk out arm in arm – Pelosi, Schumer, Waters, Biden with some respected calmer Repub. members and let the crowd yell at them, then walked among them as they do with BLM and women’s rights marches, maybe it would have been better.
    Points out a need for security and law enforcement to be trained in de-escalation as AOC and other want? Why haven’t these law enforcement officers trained considering where they are?
    The forces were in the city – why weren’t they prepared better – deployed sensibly ahead of time as when any large group is expected in DC?
    As a middle of the road voter who for the past few years has had to pick between the lesser of evil candidates, I was looking forward to 4 years ahead without the constant name calling, demonizing, overgeneralization, shaming and bullying…but forget that, I guess. Sigh.
    Even before the election BLM and Antifa said the violence wasn’t going away ( Not voter intimidation or blackmail, right?).
    The country is so divided it’s pretty grim and depressing
    Add in the anger from lockdowns, fear of COVID and not enough vaccine to go around – not to mention the media who just wants a story. Elected officials are “do as I say, not as I, the elite do”. Groups are not treated equally for marches or being allowed permits to march. The extremists on each ends come out at dark like vampires and ruin with violence any sane protest the daytime group accomplishes. Laws broken, fires set, people attacked eating outdoors, public property destroyed for the past several years. Excuses accepted.
    What did people think was going to happen eventually.
    (Last night a Denver friend called and said she almost ran into a large group getting ready to start a BLM march near downtown Denver. They had lots of signs “If I were a Black man, I’d be dead right now”. Being a small individual, it’s not wise to drive by into any marching group right now. She decided better to not stop for gas and get on home after dark.)
    These are troubled times.
    If it’s not one thing it’s another.
    Everyone needs to cool it.
    They need to save the 25th right now. Biden’s health is questionable and to use the 25th twice in a 4 year period would not be wise? Might make it hard for Harris who will inherit a full basket as it is if Biden weakens.

    1. Wonderful story about Rep. Nehls. Thank you for providing that. I had no idea that was happening. Our own Rep. Jason Crow was at the same time also being a hero: It was reported elsewhere that he first told the congressmen and women in the gallery to remove their identifying lapel pins so they wouldn’t become targets. And he ran around checking all the doors to make sure they were locked. He couldn’t barricade them because the seats are bolted to the floor. And once he’d done all he could, he ducked down and held the hand of one woman who was terrified.

      Nope, these days I wouldn’t drive into a bunch of marchers anywhere. I’d be looking for the fastest way outta there!

      The 25th is there to be used when needed. It’s needed now. If it’s needed again during Biden’s term, or at any other time, so be it.

      I don’t know why law enforcement wasn’t better prepared. Perhaps, like me, they didn’t really believe anyone would try to storm the Capitol (just like we couldn’t imagine someone flying a plane into the Twin Towers). Or maybe Trump said or did something that caused them to drop their guard. Sometimes you just don’t realize how vulnerable something actually is until it’s attacked. And you might not realize the lengths to which some people will go until they do. We’ll never again assume Americans aren’t willing and able to desecrate their own property and institutions.

      1. Total cluster. Trump’s speech was the worst “soothe the crowd speech” every. Disgusting
        I did crow interviewed last night – stellar response from him
        usually there’s law enforcement to protect the marchers and to separate any others from them. It’s the Capitol. There had been chatter all week about the meet up. Most law abiding and just wanted to show complaints – but the ones dropped off with backpacks and dressed in camo – those would have been collected immediately – especially after the pipe bombs found. You have to wonder who and why reinforcements weren’t there immediately by decision makers. Was it planned? And why and by whom?
        Once law meant something. They have video – hunt down and arrest them all – judges: stop letting people walk in these serious terroristic destructive situations.
        First thing I though of was Kent State….this worse.
        Biden’s speech today – whaat I heard of it -was ill advised – he has done better “more in common/unity/pull together speeches” before, but at least he is out there talking and showing concern and effort. He’s looking strong so far.
        No one will work or probably talk to trump now – he’s done. 2 weeks of pariah – anything he does these 2 weeks will be scorned and undone.
        Wish the transition had been better – but hey when AOC and Cruz are talking the same, that’s progress!

      2. I wish Biden hadn’t gotten into the “if the mob had been black” thing. That’s speculation and BLM is not the issue right now. The mob was out of control and illegally breaking into the Capitol. The police response was completely inadequate. The president was responsible. Those are the issues that need to be addressed.

      3. DC mayor who commands forces also. Total breakdown.
        Violence has no place in political discourse and must be stopped being used as political action.
        Capitol Security and law enforcement in general must review less lethal methods of controlling mobs. Need enough officers to start…possible budget cuts hamper best scenario results. (Apparently officers have been fired. Bad decisions in bad circumstances…)
        Portland last night – tried to break into courthouse. Damaged/ vandalized multiple blocks downtown. 200 days of rampaging.
        What is wrong with people. How long will that be tolerated?

      4. A good start will be getting a president who doesn’t condone, encourage, or model bad or illegal behavior, doesn’t lie to people, and doesn’t try to break us into opposing factions.

      5. Careful. Biden has many of his own skeletons in the closet….and a few “mis-spoken” /”lie by omission”, plagiarism…do affairs count? A politician. (Who can’t seem to help brutal bullying name calling if he feels slighted or opposed like he did multiple times on the campaign trail to his own supporters who asked a question he didn’t like or threatening to punch people out
        Once again – the choices of candidates they present us.
        Hope he is up to the task

      6. Oh, news is that the Capitol police/security refused help by FBI/National Guard when offered…until too late. What clowns. Head of it resigned. Maybe the next head will do practice drills and contingency plans.

  4. The events that unfolded in front of our eyes, will we ever, ever be the same? I marched down Pennsylvania Ave. last year to the Capital in a peaceful protest. I was in awe that I was following in the footsteps of so many Americans from the past…from the present. A cherished souvenir from that day, one of those acrylic cubes with an image of the Capital lasered into it. When I saw those animals pouring into the capital I was filled with fury. I’ll stop here, I will have to tamp down my anger at the citizens of this country for the rest of my life that, TO THIS DAY, support this treason.
    Thank you for this post.

    1. For two centuries Americans have fought and died to defend our nation, our democracy, our government. The monuments in Washington, including the Capitol itself, are sacred ground. That any American would intentionally deface and defile what the rest of us revere, that several thousand of them would mass — at the instigation of the US president! — and storm the Capitol is so incomprehensible to me that I can’t even think of a way to vent my rage.

      1. I understand completely. It’s terrible to admit, but I want ALL of the ppl who set foot on the Capital in prison, without parole. When I heard that trump called our valiant, fallen heroes buried in Arlington Cemetery “losers”, I wanted to slap him into next year.

... and that's my two cents