Dr. Fiona Hill cautions all on civil unrest fomented by the outgoing president (a needed repeat from this mid-January, 2021 post)

The following post was written about a week after the insurrection instigated by the former president to try and overturn the results of the 2020 election. Dr. Fiona Hill* spoke on PBS Newshour last night and offered that because the former president is so ego-maniacal, he is very susceptible to manipulation. She also said earlier this week, if Trump were to be reelected, our democracy would be over. The former president responded with his usual name calling defense, which is his way of discounting very credible critics like Hill.

Dr. Fiona Hill is one of the most credible public servants who risked a great deal by testifying of her concerns regarding the coercion of Ukraine to benefit the president.* In an article called “Former Trump official Fiona Hill: ‘President’s actions have put us on the brink of civil war’” by Justine Coleman of The Hill, she cautions of more civil unrest. Here are a few paragraphs along with a link below.

Former Trump National Security Council member Fiona Hill on Monday said that President Trump’s ‘actions have put us on the brink of civil war’ after pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol last week.

Hill, who served as the senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council, called the Capitol raid a “coup” in a Politico op-ed, saying that a coup does not need to be a ‘sudden, violent seizure of power involving clandestine plots and military takeovers.

‘Trump disguised what he was doing by operating in plain sight, talking openly about his intent,’ she said. ‘He normalized his actions so people would accept them. I’ve been studying authoritarian regimes for three decades, and I know the signs of a coup when I see them.’

The former Trump official said Trump’s efforts to stay in power during his presidency amounted to a ‘self-coup’ that was ultimately unsuccessful. But she noted ‘the bad news is that his supporters still believe the false narrative’ that the president won reelection after he and other Republicans have promoted unfounded claims that widespread voter fraud led to his loss.

Trump has not repudiated it, nor have the House and Senate Republicans who voted against the Electoral College results, she wrote. ‘Millions of people still think the election was stolen. They still support Trump the person, not the Republican Party, and many are prepared to take further action on his behalf.

‘As in the case of other coup attempts, the president’s actions have put us on the brink of civil war,’ Hill continued. ‘Trump did not overturn the election results, but, just as he intended, he disrupted the peaceful democratic transition of executive power.’

Her voice is one of experience and reason. She needs to be listened to by all, but especially Republicans in position of leadership.

Former Trump official Fiona Hill: ‘President’s actions have put us on the brink of civil war’ (msn.com)

*Per Wikpedia, Fiona Hill is a British-American foreign affairs specialist and academic. She is a former official at the U.S. National Security Council specializing in Russian and European affairs. She was a witness in the November 2019 House hearings regarding the impeachment of President Trump. A PhD in history from Harvard University, she is currently a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

Shenanigans are not welcome

The following is a comment left on a friend’s blog as she lamented all of the regressive stuff that is going on in various states, in particular suppressing the votes of people and limiting reproductive rights of women. The author and several of her followers were not very happy with these shenanigans.

While it is hard to ignore some of the shenanigans going on, please take some solace in knowing a lot of these laws will be ruled unconstitutional. I remember a state legislator in North Carolina ripped me a new one when I told him the Voter ID bill he drafted was Jim-Crow like and unconstitutional. After he ripped me a new one a second time, I told him I was a 54 white southern man and former Republican and “you and I both know what this bill is all about.” It was later ruled unconstitutional as were several gerrymandering laws.

What saddens this independent voter is all of the effort going on to use the former president’s planned and staged election fraud claims which were highly predictable and still unprovable (he has won one court case out of over 60 cases) as a rationale to suppress votes. While I knew the former president would do this, it concerns and embarrasses me that sycophants in my former party would forget their oaths and support the former president’s deceitful and seditious behavior. Trying to act like the Wizard of Oz and say January 6 and events leading up to it did not happen they way they did is malfeasance in my mind.

So, we must speak to the truth and tell politicians it matters. And, for my Republican friends who feel I am all wet, ask if it worries them to not know what they will have to defend next week, the week after, next month and the month after….There is not enough white paint to cover the claim of fake news which will be shouted in defense. What concerns me the most is all of the truth tellers (senators, representatives, inspectors general, diplomats, staff, etc.) who were threatened, denigrated and ousted after they raised concerns over the former president’s actions. They were punished for telling “inconvenient truths” that the former president did not care for.

I am sorry for the diatribe. I can disagree on policy with both Democrats and Republicans, but it frustrates and disappoints me to see what was the Republican Party be so adrift and value untruthfulness and conspiracy parroting as they have done. As for folks losing their jobs for telling the truth, this is shameful.

Note on essential commission on January 6 insurrection

I posted the following on several Republican Senator websites, as well as that of my GOP Congressman. Please feel free to use and adapt.

As a former Republican and now independent voter, the fall of my former party is concerning as well as embarrassing. To long tout being a party of law and order and now support a lawless insurrection that not only threatened you and your staff’s lives, but ended up killing five people and contributing to the deaths of two more, is beyond me.

We have a former president who continues to be untruthful about wide-spread election fraud, a stance he planned several months before the election and was highly predictable. What I did not anticipate is how much support he has received from his sycophants who won’t tell him the truth. I also did not anticipate how miserably his legal attempts would fail, going down as one of the worst investments of money winning only one small court case, while losing well over 60.

But, what bothers me even more is the former president set the stage with his lies for the insurrection, invited the more zealous members of his base to DC and then pointed them at the Capitol building. If they had found the white haired Vice President, he may have been another victim, as this former president painted a target on his back.

To be frank, this former president must be held accountable regardless of his party. We cannot have a coup attempt on one branch by another. Full stop. Please support the investigation into this atrocious event in our country’s history. We owe it to those who died, plus we citizens who crave good governance.

Argue facts or process

This week will be the second impeachment trial in the Senate for the now former president. And, it will the second trial with a pre-ordained outcome. Sixty-seven Senators need to vote to convict the former president, but with forty-five Republicans voting that the trial should not be held, the outcome is already known. The former president will likely get 55 or so votes to convict him, but short of the necessary total, so he will be acquitted.

Yet, as with the first trial, being acquitted does not mean he is innocent. In fact, based on the testimony from the first House impeachment case, in the view of many, he is guilty of extorting Ukraine for personal gain. But, the Senate trial called no witnesses with Republican leadership calling it a sham, a witch hunt. To be frank, many honorable diplomats and staff testified at great risk over their concerns knowing the inevitable – they would lose their jobs. But, they did it anyway. Why?

Now, since the case is overwhelming against the former president, the forty-five Republican Senators are arguing process, saying that you should not try a person out of office. Many experts disagree with this statement and it should be noted, the former president was impeached by the House while being president. But, this is an age old legal tactic. If the facts favor your case, argue the facts; if the facts do not favor your case, argue against the process. If neither do, then game the system. In the first trial, no witnesses were called.

The former president continues to harp on a planned and staged fraudulent claim of voter fraud going back six months before the election. He defamed the mail-in process, hobbled the post office, he pushed Republican led state legislators to restrict the mail-in process, his campaign hired 1,000 attorneys around the country and he told his voters to vote in person knowing those votes would be counted first. And, with pockets of minor fraud examples, real or contrived by conspiracy-minded sources, he now believes his own BS, which is not unusual for him. Yet, 59 out of 60 judges do not, nor do election officials or the US AG.

So, he fueled the idea of voter fraud and the election was stolen from him, an action which was predicted four years ago by his five biographers. I am not prescient, but after reading about the 1,000 attorneys, I wrote in September that the former president will sue to avoid losing. The now former president invited zealous fans to Washington on January 6 to disrupt the electoral college confirmation. He then revved the groups up with a speech (with others) and pointed them at the capitol building. To say, as he and his sycophants have, that he had no hand in the violence is just untrue. As his niece Mary wrote, her uncle will burn it all down to avoid losing.

The facts played out right in front of us. This former president acted in a seditious manner inciting an insurrection. Yes, he will be acquitted, but he is by no means innocent.

Stick a fork in him, he is done as a future candidate

It broke my heart to see how low this outgoing president brought us, but democracy held serve. Yesterday was so over the top it will go down in infamy, but it also will be the day the political career of Donald J. Trump ended. He will retain his ardent supporters and I worry about what could happen, but the many Republican legislators who kept their disdain for him silent to garner votes have jumped ship or are about to. (See the link below to an article in The Washington Post today)

In a huge turn of events, outgoing Senator Kelly Loeffler, who lost her campaign on Tuesday, said the following (as reported in the article below) as she changed her mind.

“’When I arrived in Washington this morning, I fully intended to object to the certification of the electoral votes,’ said Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), who had just lost her election in a runoff. ‘However, the events that have transpired today have forced me to reconsider. And I cannot now in good conscience object to the certification of these electors.’”

Just last night, several Trump staff resigned at the events of the day, Mick Mulvaney, the special envoy to Northern Ireland and former Chief of Staff, being just one of them. What happened yesterday is on the shoulders of the outgoing president and his sycophants. Trumpism will remain a danger to contend with, but you can stick a fork in its namesake as a future candidate. He is done. 

Probably the most blatant signs come from the outgoing vice president, Mike Pence. Senator James Inhofe (R) was reported to say that Pence was furious with Trump and the position Trump put him in. And, when Pence followed his allegiance to the constitution and denied to do something Trump wanted him to try, the petulant outgoing president went into full scale tear down mode of Pence.

Yet, what is starting to get reported is it was Pence who called out the National Guard, not the outgoing president. It was Pence whom the National Guard leaders coordinated with. And, what is also being reported is the Cabinet has started some discussions on invoking the 25th Amendment and removing Trump from office.

Now, Trump has said he will transition the baton peacefully, but that is his stance this morning. He is Donald Trump, so there is no limbo bar too low for him to ooze his corrupt and deceitful behavior underneath it. And, as noted above, Trumpism is not dead. So, riled up people could do riled up things. Trump will continue to spread his rhetoric, which is a nice word for lying, after he leaves office. Yet, his future as a candidate is done. Stick a fork in him. And, it is his own fault, along with his sycophants.

‘Enough is enough’: A slew of Trump’s GOP allies finally hit their limit (msn.com)