The Two Sides to Insurrection and Impeachment

Because nothing says divided nation like Fox News’ Laura Ingraham and MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell holding sway over the frays of the day.

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell tore into Trump throughout much of his broadcast Wednesday evening. He predictably called for Trump’s immediate impeachment while praising the 10 Republican members of the House who voted with Democrats to impeach.

Meanwhile Fox News host Laura Ingraham said the latest impeachment attempt is more of the same — a Democrat-led push to disenfranchise everyday Republicans and paint them all as insurrectionists.

(CN) — MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell had some harsh words for President Donald Trump’s cheerleading during the recent insurrection at the Capitol, a misstep which earned the president the dubious distinction of becoming the first leader ever to be impeached twice.

Fox News host Laura Ingraham wasn’t having it. She denounced Democrats leading the push to impeach Trump a second time as “incompetent ranting fools” who have spent too much time on social media “grasping for hashtags.”

She questioned their timing when “thousands are still dying daily with Covid” — a strange accusation when she decries every single Covid-related safety measure, so who knows what Ingraham is really angling for.

Integrity

Among everyone involved in the Capitol Hill riots, O’Donnell took time to denounce one particularly egregious individual by name – Robert Packer of Virginia, the man seen wearing a “Camp Auschwitz” hoodie. O’Donnell made that point to make this point: the current president of the United States professed his love and affection on national television for everyone involved that day, Nazi fanboy Packer included.

O’Donnell believes the Republican Party has known about Trump’s white supremacist supporters from day one and refused to denounce them because it wouldn’t be politically expedient. Because most Democrats won’t vote for a Republican candidate, Republican leaders feel there’s nothing to be gained in calling a spade a spade, and thus some of their shadier acolytes are allowed to go unchallenged.

According to O’Donnell, Republicans also knew Trump’s dealings with Ukraine warranted his impeachment (the first one) and refused to act for the same reason — because integrity doesn’t equal votes, they feel there’s nothing to be gained by doing the right thing.

“They knew so much about Donald Trump that they never complained about. They knew so much that did not move them to take action,” O’Donnell said. “They knew what he was doing to children and infant babies at the southern border, separating them from their parents, and they did nothing. They knew what he was trying to do on that phone call with the president of Ukraine — they knew that was an impeachable offense.”

Division

In a nod to the division gripping the country, Ben Domenech, co-founder of The Federalist, told Ingraham that the Democrats calling for Trump’s impeachment aren’t rejecting the president, because he’s leaving office soon anyway. Instead, he said they’re rejecting Republican voters en masse.

“You’re telling them effectively ‘All these people who said you are racists, idiots and the like, they were right about you,’” Domenech said. “When you’re going along with this joke of an impeachment with no process, no research, no evidence, it’s one of these things where I think you’re insulting the very voters you need in order to build a coalition and move forward from this.”

That’s among the gravest challenges facing the country today; how to separate the actually deplorable type of individual who showed up at the Capitol on Jan. 6 from traditional Republicans, many of whom are genuinely decent, non-hateful, non-violent people who merely share a different viewpoint from Democrats. Painting every political opponent with the same brush isn’t just a losing strategy — it’s dishonest.

Ingraham said the 10 Republican members of Congress who voted for impeachment were bought off by defense industry contractors. That claim would carry more weight if she hadn’t stopped with the handful of individuals she’s currently upset with since the list is a lot longer than 10 members and runs the gamut across party lines.

Bravery

O’Donnell didn’t denigrate the Republican Party as a whole, only the silent majority who still refuse to speak out against Trump. O’Donnell described Wednesday’s decision by the 10 GOP House members to impeach Trump as “possibly the bravest vote I’ve ever seen.”

These 10 members have nothing to gain and everything to lose by casting that vote. Democratic voters aren’t going to back them during their next election, and now a significant number of their Republican constituents may turn their backs as well. This just demonstrates why it’s so hard to convince any politician to do the right thing if it runs contrary to the party line — no one wants to be thought of as a traitor by their friends.

When asked how he squares the past decisions of these 10 members with their vote today for impeachment, Congressman Adam Schiff of California said, “I think it’s a mixture of gratitude that they finally decided they’ve had enough, but at the same time anger that it took so long.” Schiff noted it may have taken four years, but more Republicans have begun to open their eyes after last week’s attack on the Capitol.

Security

Despite the ruckus last week and the death threats against numerous elected officials, Ingraham believes the 20,000 National Guard troops currently in Washington is merely a stunt designed to politicize the military. She claimed it’s a terrible message to send both domestically and to the rest of the world, and questioned where support for the National Guard was when violence broke out during protests over racial injustice over the summer.

“The fact that you have video showing this mass of troops in Washington, D.C. really, I think, shows poorly for the incoming administration,” said retired Brig. Gen. Robert Spalding. “It says that they’re afraid of the American people. It really wasn’t the masses that came to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6 that caused a problem, it was a few provocateurs.”

That’s semi-accurate, though those “few provocateurs” breached a building many believed to be impregnable and caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage in a matter of hours. Sure, 20,000 troops may be excessive, but what’s the right number? Given numerous documented threats and the demonstrations planned on currently defunct right-wing social media network Parler, you don’t want to station 1,000 troops there and have them be overrun by Vikings. Safety in numbers and all that.

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