By inciting a mob to attack the Capitol, Donald Trump has provoked a backlash even among Democratic leaders in Congress who have indicated in the past that they would rather go ahead. On January 4, Hakeem Jeffries, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, answered questions about the impeachment of saying“We’re not looking back. We’re happy.”
The foiled uprising that killed five people changed the political equation – and not just among Democrats. House majority leader Nancy Pelosi, pushed by the party’s more progressive wing, now appears to be pushing efforts to remove Trump before his term ends, with either one 25. Change solution Declare Trump unable to serve his term or by a second impeachment. The Republicans have also postponed this. Leading Senators Ted Cruz from Texas and Josh Hawley from Missouri, who backed Trump’s efforts to overthrow the elections, are now the subject of a massive campaign of discrimination within their own party.
Cruz, always a weathervane with few principles, can clearly sense in which direction the wind is blowing. With the oily insincerity that is the hallmark of his character, Cruz tries to distance himself from Trump. “I think the president’s rhetoric and language were exaggerated,” said Cruz told a Texas television station. “I think it was irresponsible, I think it was inconsiderate, and I think he has to realize it.”
Cruz may be concerned about facing the kind of setback that is happening now Beat Hawley. Two of the largest newspapers in Missouri, The Kansas City Star and the St. Louis Post Dispatchasked Hawley to resign. Former Missouri Senator John Danforth released a statement stating that Hawley’s support was “the worst mistake I have ever made in my life”. Danforth predicts that Hawley could become a political pariah. “How will he get along with his colleagues?” Asked Danforth. “How is he going to do something? What is its political future? ”
A key donor, David Humphreys, whose family also donated more than $ 6 million to Hawley denounced the senator. “Hawley’s irresponsible, inflammatory and dangerous tactics have led to violence and further discord across America,” Humphreys said in a statement. “And he has now revealed himself to be a political opportunist willing to undermine the constitution and the ideals of the nation he vowed to represent.” To top it off, Simon and Schuster canceled a deal to publish a book Hawley wrote on the dangers of technology monopolies.
The shunning Hawley now receives provides a solution to one of the major problems of the Trump era: the impunity enjoyed by Trump’s accomplices, pals and enablers. The legal system has proven to be an imperfect mechanism for investigating Trump’s cronies, as he was able to use his powers of the president to protect many of them from investigation – and to excuse those who broke the law, like Roger Stone and Paul Manafort.
However, the law is not the only way to punish people. Social shame is also a powerful tool. The representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez uses this weapon from in social media to argue that Cruz and Hawley should be expelled from the Senate.
As a McGill University political scientist Jacob Levy written down Last September: “Social sanctions are an important relapse once official impunity has been granted. Those who abuse their power over others and those who help them should face some consequences, if only to give a break to those tempted to do the same. Unfortunately, permanent and substantial disdain for Trump administration officials seems unlikely. ”
Levy believed that social sanctions wouldn’t work because a power-worshiping, polarized, and celebrity-obsessed culture offers the opportunity to offer salvation to even the worst offenders. There is some truth to his worries. We saw figures like former Trump Chief of Staff John Kelly and former Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen, both key figures in the child segregation program, who are trying to whitewash their reputations by posing as secret opponents of Trump who tried to go against him to fight worst politics from within.
This tactic is likely used by other Trump accomplices. It explains the spate of last-minute cabinet resignations from Attorney General William Barr (who left before Christmas), Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos (who both resigned Thursday). The familiar image of rats fleeing a sinking ship is an apt summary of these final days of the Trump administration.
Will Trump’s friends be able to improve their reputations? Levy’s concerns in this regard are well founded, as is his call for institutions such as universities and think tanks to resist whitewashing.
But there is also reason to believe that Trump’s instigation of a coup d’état will leave a lasting mark on everyone involved. There is evidence that people close to Trump are aware of indelible reputational damage. “When the US Capitol was searched on Wednesday” Politico Reports“Trump administration officials looked on in horror, not only fearing the unrest their boss had caused, but also the remaining damage that would fall on their careers.” A White House official said Politico“The people who find it hardest to do this, aside from the people in the Capitol and the police and the people who have been injured, are the people who have put their reputations and political, financial and professional assets into defending the President, and he only made it harder for us. ”
What these Trump employees fear is, in fact, what progressives should strive for: a world where Trump will leave you unemployed on your resume.
Write in Talking points memoJosh Marshall recommended that the Democratic Party should make active efforts to keep memories of the coup updated: “It will need financial resources and disciplined action over months and years to keep all who participated in this outrage as supporters of one To denote coups and attack the Constitution and the Republic itself. There should be no context in which political leaders speak the name of a Ted Cruz or a Josh Hawley and not repeat that they were men who supported President Trump’s failed coup. “It should be added that this applies not only to congressional leaders, but also to officials who continue to work with Trump.
Marshall also suggested that “a wealthy person or a well-funded group should step forward to fund disciplinary action against any attorney who participated”. We have already seen informal action in this direction. As The New York Times reported Jan 5: “A lawyer who has advised President Trump over the past few weeks has resigned from her law firm after it became known that she participated in the appeal Mr. Trump pressured Georgian officials to accept help reverse the state election results. ”
Such punishment for political behavior is not the norm. However, in attempting to overthrow an election, the Trump administration crossed a fundamental line. Those who have participated in this effort should be pariah.