A Mob and the Breach of Democracy

What happened Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol should be a moment of rupture for the American political system. Something needs to change. America needs a serious democracy reform agenda, one that gives a new and elevated role to the pro-democracy Republicans who have been fighting with their increasingly extreme anti-system party for the last few weeks.
The chaotic scenes unfolded after Republican Trump, who has refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, addressed thousands of protesters and repeated unfounded claims that the election was stolen from him.
As President Trump told a sprawling crowd outside the White House that they should never accept defeat, hundreds of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in what amounted to an attempted coup that they hoped would overturn the election he lost. With poles bearing blue Trump flags, a mob that would eventually grow into the thousands bashed through Capitol doors and windows, forcing their way past police officers unprepared for the onslaught. Lawmakers were evacuated shortly before an armed standoff at the House chamber’s entrance.
In the weeks and months ahead, the fights within the Republican Party will only intensify, with plenty of blame to go around. First, on electoral grounds as to why the White House was lost, followed up by Democrats’ flipping control of the U.S. Senate by winning both the seats in Georgia’s runoff elections Tuesday.
And second and more significantly, how much Trump and the Republicans generally are responsible for the violent mob that stormed Washington.   So this is how it ends. The presidency of Donald John Trump, rooted from the beginning in anger, division and conspiracy-mongering comes to a close with a violent mob storming the Capitol at the instigation of a defeated leader trying to hang onto power as if America were just another authoritarian nation.
There are two ways to remove a president from office: the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and impeachment followed by a Senate conviction. In either scenario, Vice President Mike Pence would take over until Biden’s inauguration.

- Prabhakar Purandare

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