Living in Society

Waning Days

Obama’s Last Campaign Rally, Des Moines, Iowa, Nov. 5, 2012

Yesterday afternoon President Trump and Vice President Pence met and decided they would work together for the rest of the administration.

That meeting is similar to one held on Aug. 7, 1974, between President Richard Nixon, U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater, U.S. House Minority Leader John Rhodes, and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scott. The three Congressmen made it clear to Nixon he faced all-but-certain impeachment, conviction and removal from office in connection with the Watergate scandal. Nixon announced his resignation the next evening.

What the Trump-Pence meeting means is neither a resignation from Trump nor his removal by the process outlined in the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by Pence and the cabinet will be forthcoming. The U.S. House of Representatives has enough co-sponsors of the Article of Impeachment to impeach the president. A vote is expected tomorrow.

Last news was the U.S. House would pass the article of impeachment and immediately transmit it to the U.S. Senate which is scheduled to reconvene on Jan. 19. U.S. Senator Chuck Shumer is seeking a path in the Senate rules to call the Senators back to Washington earlier for an impeachment trail. It is unknown if Trump will be removed from office before the scheduled inauguration of Joe Biden.

Yesterday 14 busloads of National Guard troops arrived in Washington. The FBI indicated armed protests are expected in Washington and in all 50 state capitols on or around the date of the inauguration. The Department of Defense said they will review troops deployed to the Biden inauguration to ensure they don’t have sympathies to domestic terrorists. President Trump declared a state of emergency in Washington, D.C. yesterday, citing the “emergency conditions” surrounding President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. The president-elect continues to plan the inauguration ceremony outdoors. Biden is not afraid.

It was clear from the day of Trump’s inauguration his presidency was going to be bad. We didn’t know how bad. On the cusp of a second impeachment by the U.S. House, the president may end his term at a low point. The sad news is there are nine days left and what happens is anyone’s guess. It could get worse. We must accept the bad news of the Trump-Pence meeting last night and hope for the best from our political leaders.

News accounts of time-lines of Jan. 6 events at the capitol are being developed and published. Each hour we learn a little bit more. Those of us removed from the capitol follow the news closely, partly because it is so bad, partly because we hope for an end to the corruption, sedition and incompetence followed by a new, positive beginning.

As Trump prepares to make his exit there is a lot to learn. A book has already been written about what needs to be done to shore up the presidency after the Trump years. There is discussion of whether the White House family quarters will be safe, sanitary and secure immediately after noon on January 20, 2021. Perhaps the new president should stay somewhere else until a detox of the building can be done. There is much uncertainty today as the incompetence of President Trump is revealed, and the hopeful, positive plans of President-elect Biden move forward in tandem.

In the waning days of the Trump administration we are saddened it turned out worse than we foresaw on Jan. 20, 2017. There is little consolation other than that our country endured the indignity of this administration. Despite the breach of the capitol building six days ago our democracy was unflinching and resilient. After Trump, who knows for how long?