The System

The System


Leonard Zwelling

The Wall Street Journal’s Opinion page on January 6 had three relevant articles to my point today. It is essentially that we have a federalist system of power distribution between the central government and the states and this was all for a reason. As William A. Galston points out in the first piece, the integrity and fidelity of our elections is to be guaranteed by the states, not the federal government. Electors for the Presidency and Vice Presidency are under the control of the individual state legislatures and that is why the fiasco in Congress on January 6 of members of both the Senate and House protesting the outcome of the general election when the electors have all been certified by the states is ludicrous. Now, as I write this, crowds of Trump supporters have invaded the Capitol Building and members of Congress are having to shelter in place. This protest is a direct result of a lawless President of the United States who still will not acknowledge his loss and is urging his own Vice President to break the law and overturn the election results.

Contrast that with what Richard Nixon did in January of 1961 when he presided over the reading of the Electoral College results of his loss to John Kennedy and did so with grace and dignity as did Al Gore in 2001. Even John Adams allowed a peaceful transition of power to Thomas Jefferson in 1800.

Galston also notes that federalism is part of the problem with the distribution of the coronavirus vaccine which should have been handled by the federal government and the American public health system (such as it is), but instead was left to the ill-prepared and underfunded states and thus there are 14 million vaccine doses distributed with under 3 million entering arms.

Finally, Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. notes in his column that Trump actually threw away his potential election victory simply because he lacked discipline and the capacity to lead when the country was under immense pressure from the coronavirus. Mr. Trump started in denial and has remained there since January 2020. Trump still insists on making an ass of himself by trying to strong arm the Secretary of State of Georgia to find him more than 11,000 votes. Even Nixon didn’t release his own damning tapes.

Sedition is conduct or speech that incites people to rebel against their government. I am sure that King George saw the Declaration of Independence as sedition. Mr. Trump’s actions to try to undo the results of the November election and the latest attempt by members of Congress to object to a dutifully certified slate of electors from the 50 states is sedition, too. Yes, that’s right. Ted Cruz and Ron Johnson and the rest of the Senate and House clown car that cannot lose with grace are committing sedition—trying to overthrow the basic tenets of democracy in the United States.

I am sure my conservative readers will disagree and believe that these challenges have merit. They do not and neither do those members of Congress making the challenge. Even Mitch McConnell thinks this is silly.

We have a great Constitution and it has served us well for over 200 years. Now is not the time to try to override it or to have mobs wandering the halls of Congress. Let’s hope the Capitol Police can keep all members safe, but let’s be honest about this. This was all brought on by Mr. Trump. You that continue to follow him will only be disappointed. In the end, he’s a loser and a sore one at that. Just ask Jeff Sessions, Jim Mattis and a whole host of former appointees that Trump has turned upon. Trump may not have been the worst President that we have ever had. But he’s close.

And, in the end, he seems to have cost his party control of the Senate with two losses in Georgia.

Well, he wanted everything to be about him. That will just have to include the losses. It will also have to include the riot. And by the way, if you voted for Trump—either time—you own the riot.

2 thoughts on “The System”

  1. Nicely said!
    We are beginning to see signs that the few remaining moderate Republicans with integrity and true support for the Constitution are positioning themselves and others to re-engineer or perhaps create a better Lincoln Republican Party. I have been impressed with the courage of Liz Cheney and the other Republican Congress members who supported the election results. And, yesterday on Meet the Press (Chuck Todd), the newly elected South Carolina Congress woman, Nancy Mace, spoke eloquently about how Republicans should act. Let’s support all efforts to weaken violent Trumpism and rebuild the Republican Party that so many prior honorable Presidents once led.

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