Trump-Defending Republicans Call For UNITY, Because They Think We’re That Stupid
Barely a week has passed since Donald Trump unleashed his Kraken mob on Congress, and already Republicans are suggesting we forget all about Trump's attempted coup (especially the part where they helped enable it). They're calling for unity, because spending the past two months repeating Trump's lies about the 2020 election and refusing to acknowledge that Joe Biden was president-elect sure spells U-N-I-T-Y.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy dropped this load of drivel on Friday:
Our country is not just divided. We are deeply hurt. The task ahead for the next Congress and incoming Biden Administration couldn't be more momentous. But to deliver a better America for all, partisans of all stripes first must unite as Americans and show our country that a peaceful transfer of power has occurred. Impeaching the President with just 12 days left in his term will only divide our country more.
Holding Trump accountable for his part in a domestic terror attack isn't petty partisan politics. McCarthy's the one who played footsie with Trump's base of deplorables and helped him undermine the democratic process. Five days after the race was called for Joe Biden, McCarthy cast doubt on the election outcome and claimed the president-elect shouldn't receive intelligence briefings until next year, a decision that would pose a national security threat during the transition period.
"He's not president right now," McCarthy said. "Don't know if he'll be president January 20, but whoever is will get the information."
It's very important that everyone understands there were no legitimate challenges to the presidential election. Trump never had a legal path to victory after November 7. Instead, he just spread baseless conspiracy theories and cried “fraud" in a crowded Twitter.
GOP Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana said last week, "I don't think anybody can look and say impeachment of this president is the thing that's gonna help unite and bring our country together."
Scalise, along with McCarthy and more than 100 members of the Republican treason caucus, voted to throw out Biden's electoral victories in Arizona and Pennsylvania on the basis of lies. That was after Trump's thugs stormed the Capitol, killing five people, including a police officer. The blood was still wet, and these Republicans still hoped to cast a cloud of illegitimacy over Biden's presidency. Now, they talk about unity. They can go climb their thumbs.
This call for unity reminds me of what Malcolm X once said about racial “progress" in America.
If you stick a knife in my back nine inches and pull it out six inches, there's no progress. If you pull it all the way out, that's not progress. The progress is healing the wound that the blow made. They won't even admit the knife is there.
If Republicans were serious about “unity," they wouldn't place the burden on the rightly pissed targets of Trump's coup attempt. They'd convince Trump to act like a mammal, which we all know is impossible.
Senator Lindsey Graham begged Biden to "pick up the phone to call Nancy Pelosi and the Squad to end the second impeachment." Dude, it's not just Pelosi and AOC who want Trump out of office immediately, but keep on playing the scary socialist game.
It's simultaneously appalling and hilarious that Graham would suggest Biden help Trump, who spent the past two months defaming him. Graham needs to call his old golf buddy, Trump, and convince him to give a real concession speech, because that sorry-ass shit on Wednesday was weak.
Trump didn't mention Joe Biden or Kamala Harris, nor did he congratulate them. He didn't note Harris's historic achievement, as John McCain so movingly did when he conceded to Barack Obama. Most importantly, Trump didn't make it clear to his deluded followers that the election was legitimate. Almost sort of acknowledging the reality of his loss is hardly a demonstration of healing statesmanship. It promotes neither unity nor progress.
Some QAnon loons are already claiming Trump didn't even concede. The “new administration" he mentioned is just one without that traitor Mike Pence.
Before he was cut off from Twitter, Trump announced that he wouldn't attend Biden's inauguration. The outgoing president's presence when his replacement is sworn in is a key symbol in the peaceful transition of power. Trump is still actively dividing the nation — it's his core competency — so Republicans can shut up forever about “unity."
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."