Tag Archives: DC riot

Unity is elusive, but not impossible

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

President Biden laid down a critical marker that in any other time would sound like just another platitude.

This isn’t just any other time. Joe Biden has become president of a nation still reeling from the tumult, turmoil and terror of recent weeks. He stood on the steps of a Capitol Building that just two weeks ago bore witness to a violet insurrection of terrorists hell bent on inflicting grievous damage to our democratic process.

Biden’s inaugural speech spoke of unity, of healing, of reconciliation. He wants us to be able to disagree politically but not do so out of anger.

Yes, the president has set the correct tone as he now moves forward along with the history-making vice president, Kamala Harris, who becomes the first woman, the first African-American, the first woman of Asian descent to become VP.

It has been quite a day. A moment for the ages.

Can the president achieve the unity he seeks? Sure he can. It will be tough climb. He inherits the highest office in a deeply divided land.

Let’s not be coy about the barriers standing before him. President Biden succeeds a man — who he never mentioned by name in his inaugural speech — who sought to sow division and who governed with no sense of the diversity our nation’s citizenry.

Moreover, Biden offered a moment of silent prayer for the 400,000 Americans who have died from the pandemic. When did his predecessor ever do that?

President Biden’s immediate predecessor is now gone, but the cult that formed upon his election four years ago remains. Yet, Biden spoke to them today, vowing to work just as hard for those who opposed his election as he will for those who endorsed it.

Whether the opponents hear and heed that message remains to be seen and heard. Oh, man … I hope he can deliver the goods.

All in all? This has been a good day for the United States.

I want to make one final point: President Biden spoke of the fragility of our democracy. I concur to a point. Fragility, though, does not mean it breaks easily.

Thus, our democracy remains as strong as tempered steel. We saw that strength today.

Riot likely kills Trump’s political future

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Whether the Senate convicts Donald Trump of incitement of insurrection quite likely is a moot point at this juncture.

Trump will no longer be president when the Senate convenes his second impeachment trial. The House impeached him on a single charge, of inciting the terrorist attack on Capitol Hill on The Sixth of January.

Democrats need 17 Republicans to join them in convicting Trump. It’s still a long shot for conviction, but it is not as long of a shot as it was, say, two weeks ago. If the Senate convicts Trump, then it needs a simple majority to ban him from ever seeking public office.

To be honest, it looks for all the world to me that Trump’s political future vanished the day he exhorted the mob to attack the Capitol Building and interfere with Congress doing its duty to ratify Joe Biden’s victory.

If what is left of the Republican Party has half a brain left, it will shun Trump. It will deny him any leverage at all. It will seek others to carry the party banner in 2024, which Trump reportedly is interested in doing.

I get that Trumpism will survive long after Trump’s term as president expires — which it will do in just a few hours from now.

I will hold out hope that Donald Trump inflicted a mortal wound on the movement that carries his name on the Sixth of January when he whipped up the terrorists to attack the Capitol Building … and assault our system of government.

Will any terrorists show up at Mar-a-Lago?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I cannot help but wonder, given Donald Trump’s initial expression of “love” for the terrorists who attacked Capitol Hill on The Sixth of January …

Is the former president going to invite any of ’em to Mar-a-Lago for dinner and drinks with him and Melania?

Heavens no. Which directs me to the amazing irony of the lunatics who sought to disrupt Congress from declaring Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 election.

It is that Trump doesn’t give a rat’s a** about the individuals who shattered the nation’s psyche in his name. They were mobsters, terrorists, rioters who poured into Washington because they swallowed the diet of lies that Donald Trump fed them. He said the election was fraudulent. That the result was “stolen” by hordes of illegal voters. That Trump, not Biden, won the election in a “landslide.”

We witnessed an amazing phenomenon on the sixth day of this month. Militants stormed into the Capitol Building. Many of them are known to be white supremacists; they are Holocaust deniers; they have KKK sympathies. They came from all over the nation.

One of them is a North Texas Realtor who said she was just doing her duty as a patriotic American. Hah! She committed an act of treason, in my humble view.

Meanwhile, their hero will be luxuriating in his posh resort in South Florida. He will have not a damn thing to do with any one of them.

They thought they were making America great again.

Yes, governor, vet our Guard, too!

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has put his righteous indignation on full display and for the life of me I don’t get why he’s so angry about this effort to make us more secure.

Abbott is angry because the Department of Homeland Security is vetting Texas National Guard troops who are being deployed to assist in securing the nation’s capital in advance of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

He calls the vetting to protect against an inside conspiracy an “insult” to Texas Guard personnel. Abbott swears by the Guard’s love of country and just does not accept that someone within our state’s military ranks could be considered a threat to our government.

Really, governor? Are our men and women more patriotic than military personnel from other states? What in the world would Gov. Abbott think if someone from the Texas National Guard garrison was found to be a member of, say, the Proud Boys or is a QAnon supporter? Is that really and truly so out of the question that DHS and other national security team members shouldn’t check … just to be sure?

Settle down, Gov. Abbott. I share your respect for the men and women who sign up for duty to protect us. However, I also believe that given the attack we experienced on the Sixth of January, we cannot possibly be too careful in guarding against further outbursts of senseless violence.

Hoping for a honeymoon

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald John Trump didn’t get one when he became president.

My hope is that Trump’s successor, Joseph R. Biden Jr., is able to reap a benefit usually bestowed to shiny new presidents of the United States: a honeymoon period with Congress and with the public.

To be sure, President Biden will take office after arguably the bitterest, angriest and contention-filled election in U.S. history. He ran against a relentless liar to then, after losing the election, fomented the Big Lie — that the election wasn’t free and fair, that it was “rigged” by “widespread vote fraud.”

The Big Lie resulted in what occurred on the Sixth of January, the attack on our nation’s Capitol Building by terrorists egged on by Trump, who now awaits a trial in the Senate after the House impeached him a second time, this time on a charge of incitement of insurrection.

I know what you’re thinking: That is hardly a backdrop conducive to a honeymoon period for a new president.

I am going to remain hopeful nonetheless.

Joe Biden inherits a government in crisis. He will speak to us Wednesday about unification, about healing, about restoring our national soul. Yes, we have a killer pandemic that has killed 400,000 Americans. Our economy is in free fall. Our nation continues to struggle with deep divides among the races that comprise our diverse population.

Is a honeymoon even possible? I believe so. It could commence with an inaugural speech that tries to tamp down the fiery rhetoric that exploded after the election and culminated in the riot that sought to overturn the democratic process. President Biden’s success in seeking that unity will depend in large part on the receptiveness of Republicans, a majority of whom swallowed Trump’s Big Lie about the integrity of the election; tragically, many of those GOP Big Lie believers serve in Congress.

A new era is about to dawn over a capital still reeling from the terrorist onslaught. May it produce at least a glimmer of a honeymoon period with a new executive branch team working with the legislative branch in searching for a way out of the mess the predecessors left behind.

What do we call that riot?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I have been grappling with how we should remember what occurred during the first week of this month, when terrorists invaded the Capitol Building.

Then I noticed a blog written by a friend of mine, a former colleague with whom I worked at the Beaumont Enterprise. Jon Talton, in his Rogue Columnist blog, called it “The Sixth of January.”

I read that and thought, “Hey, that has a bit of a ring to it.”

Rogue Columnist: Cold Civil War Turns Hot

It’s kind of like “9/11” has become a colloquial shorthand to which we refer to the attack on Sept. 11, 2001 by terrorists against the United States. When you say “9/11,” people know of what you are referring. I use that term all the time. Readers of this blog know to which I refer.

I am thinking now of using “The Sixth of January” as the new shorthand to describe the events of that hideous attack on our democratic process.

When you mention The Sixth of January, you will identify immediately with the attack that sought to prevent Congress — and Vice President Mike Pence — from ratifying the Electoral College vote that elected Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the next POTUS and VPOTUS. It was an attack on our democratic process, on our very government … and it was incited by the lame-duck president of the United States, Donald John Trump.

Remember the Alamo. Remember Pearl Harbor. Remember 9/11. Remember the Sixth of January.

Hmm. Yeah, I might go with that.

The terrorists prayed? To whom?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Now we see video of the Capitol Hill terrorist mob “praying,” I presume, to  while they are ransacking the Senate and House chambers … and while they are seeking to kill — reportedly — the speaker of the House and the vice president of the United States.

Wow, man. That is as rich as it gets.

I’ve already commented on how these perverts are every bit as heinous as the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11. Now we see video of them offering prayers.

Are these Christians? If they are, do they read the same Bible I have read since I was a little boy?

I am struggling to recall where I have read in either the Old or New Testaments where it’s OK to storm onto public property and seek to do physical harm to our elected officials.

It’s fashionable at times like this to ask: What would Jesus do?

Certainly nothing approaching what we saw unfold on Capitol Hill.

When does Trump vanish for good?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Speaking metaphorically, it is clear that Donald John Trump is being dragged kicking and screaming from the presidency he liked to claim as his very own.

He isn’t leaving quietly, or peacefully, or like anything approaching a gentlemanly manner. He will jet off Wednesday morning to Florida. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will take their oaths. The nation will turn an important page.

But … here’s the deal. We’re going to keep talking about Trump. Bloggers such as me will keep writing about him, at least for as long as he is standing trial in the U.S. Senate — for the second time! After that? It’s anyone’s guess. It will depend, I suppose on whether the Senate convicts him of incitement of insurrection and then determines he shouldn’t ever seek public office.

Regardless of what the Senate decides, I feel confident in suggesting that Donald Trump’s political career is over. The Capitol Hill  riot and Trump’s exhortation of the terrorists has guaranteed Trump’s political demise.

President Biden has an ambitious agenda awaiting him. He will put his signature on a number of executive orders out of the chute. The president will seek to turn the corner quickly on that killer pandemic. He wants to jump-start an economy that has been crippled by the virus.

Many of us, though, will keep talking about Donald Trump. He will command our attention in ways that no one in their right minds desires.

One measure of success for President Biden might make itself known the moment we no longer are thinking consciously about Trump. I await that moment in time. I am anxious for a time when Donald Trump simply disappears from public view.

That day will arrive. Eventually. I want it to arrive much sooner than later. Take my word for this notion, too, which is that I take no pleasure in commenting negatively on Donald Trump. Critics of this blog believe I relish it. I do not. I want to move on and I intend to move on at the appropriate time.

When will we know when Trump drops off our screen? I cannot describe how it will be made evident. We’ll all just know it happens when it does.

I await the arrival.

Patriots? No, perverts!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

How about this bit of symmetry?

The terrorists who stormed Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 at Donald Trump’s inciteful rhetoric were no more “patriots” than the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11, supposedly in the name of Islam.

The Trump terrorists were perverts to patriotism, just as the 9/11 terrorists had perverted a great religion.

The more I see the video of the Jan. 6 terrorist riot and hear them screaming their “love” of country while beating cops with Old Glory-adorned flag poles, the more I think of the monstrous terrorist attack on 9/11.

I make no apologies for connecting those events. The mob that sought to disrupt Congress from doing its constitutional duty of ratifying the Electoral College vote that elected Joe Biden as president was every bit as heinous as terrorists who do their deeds in the name of Islam.

I know that the death count on Capitol Hill doesn’t begin to  match the pain inflicted on 9/11. I am making no connection on that level.

Instead I merely am attaching degrees of perversion between the groups of fanatics. I see practically no difference between those who attacked us on 9/11 and those who attacked our sacred government on Jan. 6.

Yes, Dr. Dean, they’re ‘Muslim terrorists’ | High Plains Blogger

Videos keep worsening Jan. 6 tragedy

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

So help me I don’t know how much more of this I can take.

The New Yorker magazine today released a video from the Jan. 6 invasion of Capitol Hill by the horde of terrorists. It sent chills up my back; it made the hair seemingly stand up. Videos such as this provide ample and graphic evidence of what Donald Trump incited that morning while exhorting the crowd gathered in front of him.

Oh, and then we had Don Trump Jr. saying something like “coming after you” those who don’t turn from “zeroes to heroes” and Rudy Giuliani calling for “trial by combat.”

It just gets more repulsive daily, it seems, as video after video surfaces to show the world — yes, the entire planet — what kind of moron this nation saw fit to elect as its president four years ago.

The latest video shows terrorists busting through windows at the Capitol Building. They are marching under Old Glory, wearing those hideous MAGA hats, yelling “Where’s f***ing Nancy (Pelosi)!” They chant “Hang Mike Pence!” The video shows rioters pulling a police officer into the crowd and beating him within an inch of his life with flagpoles.

And  they scream “USA, USA, USA!” while attacking the very seat of our national government!

How in the name of decency does any of this make any godd*** sense?

The House impeached Trump one week later. He now will stand trial in the Senate. Trump will be out of office. Following true to form Trump said his conduct was proper. He takes no responsibility for the “incitement of insurrection” that he clearly and without any serious question is guilty of committing.

A Senate conviction won’t remove him from office. It can bar him from ever seeking public office again. That punishment would be good enough for me, even though I preferred a conviction during the first impeachment a year ago would have prevented all of this tragedy from unfolding in the first place.

Three days to go before President Biden takes the reins.

Oh, my. Let’s hold on for dear life.