Impeachment only way to prove that insurrection, civil unrest not the same
January 17 2021 09:32 PM

The House of Representatives last Wednesday took the historic step of impeaching a US president for the second time. It was the harshest punishment it could render to a head of state who incited an insurrection in an attempt to overturn an election.
In the end, it was not the final bipartisan vote tally that was so astounding. The arguments Republicans made for why Donald Trump should face no consequences for his actions are what should give us pause.
One after the other, House Republicans took to the floor to compare the January 6 violence in Washington with the violence that occurred across the country last summer after Minneapolis police killed an unarmed Black man.
This is how Republican Representative Scott Perry of Pennsylvania linked the two events.
“I know my colleagues on the left want America to believe that the president incited a spontaneous riot that they like to call an insurrection. … The truth is the multiple lawless and violent events last summer, including the months-long siege of the federal courthouse, burning, looting and physical violence in so-called sanctuary cities more closely fits the definition of insurrection.”
Perry’s argument was that an insurrection and civil unrest are the same. They are not. 
It is a legitimate argument that violence of any kind must be condemned. No-one of good conscience, Democrat or otherwise, should try to defend the summer of looting and violence that left at least 19 people dead and destroyed businesses.
What we saw this past summer was an uprising primarily by minority groups that had long been oppressed in America. It was a demand that the government treat everyone equal, and that police be held accountable for killing George Floyd, who was held face down on the pavement with an officer’s knee pressed on his neck.
The Washington riot was something entirely different. It was born from a lie, perpetrated by a president who refused to acknowledge that he had lost a fair and democratic election.
He set out to convince his loyal followers that the election was rigged against him. He promoted the voter fraud lie until it reached a pinnacle on January 6, before a crowd that descended on Washington to stop Congress from certifying the election.
No-one incited the violence this summer. But last week, according to the article of impeachment, the president of the United States incited an insurrection.
“He reiterated false claims that ‘we won this election, and we won it by a landslide,’” the document stated. “He also willfully made statements that, in context, encouraged — and foreseeably resulted in — lawless action at the Capitol, such as: ‘if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.’”
As a result, members of the crowd “unlawfully breached and vandalised the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress, the Vice President, and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive and seditious acts.”
So the insurrectionists swarmed the Capitol building, scaling its walls, tearing down doors and breaking windows in an attempt to stop the joint session of Congress from certifying Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States.
There simply is no comparison between storming the US Capitol and looting a Nike store for a pair of sneakers. Anyone who thinks the two are the same does not understand what it means to be an American. — Tribune News Service

Last updated: January 18 2021 12:04 AM

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