Call out Trump's big lie

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The House of Representatives reaches the 217-vote threshold, meaning enough votes have been cast to make President Donald Trump the only President of the United States to be impeached for the second time.

Posted: Jan 14, 2021 6:20 PM
Updated: Jan 14, 2021 6:20 PM

There was a rare moment of bipartisan agreement on Wednesday's impeachment vote condemning the violence surrounding the domestic terrorist attack on our Capitol. But Republicans and Democrats didn't do enough to focus on the months that led up to the coup attempt and why it happened. They focused on blaming President Donald Trump and the appropriate way to hold him alone accountable.

Ten House Republicans voted to impeach the President, acknowledging his role in inciting violence. But many, citing the President's speech during his "Save America Rally" moments before the riot began, claimed there was no evidence of incitement and that the President was just doing his patriotic duty by encouraging his supporters to use their voices. And, as they argued against impeachment, they disingenuously claimed that it was in the interest of healing the country's divide.

But lost in the debate was the root cause -- the big lie and who was telling it -- that set off the chain of events leading to the ransacking of the Capitol and the death of five Americans: The baseless claim that Trump had the election stolen from him by a grand conspiracy led by everyone from the Democrats, George Soros and the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, remains the primary source of domestic discord and potential future violence and political chaos.

This is what should have taken center stage during the hearing. While Democrats were rightly enraged by the actions of the President at the rally just before the march on the Capitol, each speaker should have spent more of their limited time at the podium to remind their colleagues and the American public of the lie that sparked this fire.

Republicans voting against impeachment, not surprisingly, were not anxious to probe the fundamental reason of the insurrection.

While focusing on process and what was in the best interests of the country, they chose to ignore the claims made about the legitimacy of the election. That's likely because they were part of the chorus spreading the disinformation. Remember on the day of the coup attempt, 147 Republican House members voted to block the vote of the Electoral College, in an attempt to overturn the election. A small number of Senators joined this seditious effort by forcing a vote on these outrageous claims.

To this day, the vast majority of elected Republicans have not acknowledged the legitimacy of President-elect Joe Biden's victory.

Not surprisingly, the President continued with the big lie at the heart of the whole problem. In his first video reaction to the rioting, he emphasized the election was stolen from him, granting his supporters a feeling of legitimacy in their efforts to try to stop Congress by any means necessary. In repeated comments and tweets, the President then gave lip service to opposing violence but never backed down from the lie of a stolen election.

And if you think he might accept reality for the good of the country, you have not been paying attention. Even Thursday morning, his confidant, Peter Navarro, tried to justify the actions of Trump's supporters while still claiming that the election was not legitimate. He told Fox Business -- no surprise there -- that the 74 million people who voted for Trump are rightly "pissed off" because their voice was silenced on Election Day. He knows that's not true, as does the President and every Republican and conservative member of the media.

Going forward, everyone in Congress needs to be accountable for the big lie.

Democrats need to do this by focusing on the legitimacy of the election if they expect to push through Biden's agenda and avoid an epidemic of domestic terror around the country.

Accountability for the Republicans will be them understanding that they can't have it both ways: calling for unity while still maintaining the election was stolen. Until the President and the Republicans are forced to reckon with that big lie, there is very little chance that our politics can or will return to the pre-Trump era.

It is not an understatement to say our democracy rests on this. Whether Trump is convicted in the Senate is also an important symbol of accountability. And that goes for holding all of the elected officials like Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri, and Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks, accountable for their part in trying to undermine what has been proven to be a fair election. Failure to do so might lead to a repeat of the level of distrust in America's free and fair elections that led us to witness domestic terrorism on the Capitol and the first time a President has been impeached twice.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 515504

Reported Deaths: 10296
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34999558
DeSoto33360432
Hinds32743643
Jackson24906392
Rankin22565405
Lee16455245
Madison14954283
Jones14158248
Forrest13834260
Lauderdale12311323
Lowndes11357193
Lamar10693140
Pearl River9748244
Lafayette8868143
Hancock7849132
Washington7559169
Oktibbeha7229138
Monroe7068179
Pontotoc7033110
Warren6885178
Panola6791135
Neshoba6744210
Marshall6707142
Bolivar6468151
Union643598
Pike5942157
Alcorn5921107
Lincoln5540136
George510680
Prentiss508285
Tippah495683
Itawamba4884107
Scott478999
Tate4777117
Adams4776125
Leflore4749144
Copiah458195
Yazoo458092
Simpson4566117
Wayne443472
Covington434895
Sunflower4319106
Marion4295112
Coahoma4244110
Leake414191
Newton396182
Tishomingo386894
Grenada3789109
Stone366166
Jasper341266
Attala340490
Chickasaw318367
Winston318392
Clay312978
Clarke301695
Calhoun286850
Holmes272889
Smith270552
Yalobusha244947
Tallahatchie232353
Greene225149
Walthall222166
Lawrence220242
Perry214556
Amite210357
Webster206548
Noxubee188843
Montgomery182157
Carroll175441
Jefferson Davis174343
Tunica163539
Benton153139
Kemper145441
Choctaw137027
Claiborne134839
Humphreys132239
Franklin126530
Quitman107828
Wilkinson106139
Jefferson97134
Sharkey65321
Issaquena1957
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 847659

Reported Deaths: 16172
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1163752005
Mobile743371381
Madison53434738
Shelby38413371
Baldwin38171589
Tuscaloosa36131643
Montgomery34571782
Lee25664264
Calhoun22622519
Morgan22527408
Etowah20059520
Marshall18821318
Houston17769426
St. Clair16946359
Limestone16192220
Cullman16140305
Elmore15948295
Lauderdale15055307
Talladega14244302
DeKalb13061271
Walker12138380
Blount10765193
Autauga10545157
Jackson10204195
Coffee9435192
Colbert9363210
Dale9038192
Tallapoosa7283202
Russell710165
Chilton7078170
Covington6967197
Escambia6962144
Franklin6364108
Chambers5795142
Marion5435130
Dallas5302210
Pike5128109
Clarke485686
Lawrence4845130
Winston4785110
Geneva4650136
Bibb435495
Barbour370180
Butler3444101
Marengo342793
Monroe338366
Randolph337767
Pickens334790
Fayette331485
Henry321066
Cherokee319964
Hale318889
Crenshaw261678
Washington256852
Cleburne255460
Lamar253555
Clay252069
Macon245767
Conecuh193562
Coosa185847
Wilcox178338
Lowndes178268
Bullock152745
Perry141840
Sumter139741
Greene130345
Choctaw94328
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