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Commentary: Jefferson's Inaugural


Dear Diary,

Tuesday, January 12: Please pardon my cynicism about the announcement by a number of corporations that they will “pause” – the verb is important – their political action committee donations to members of Congress who voted against the Electoral College certification.  They would never permanently abandon the opportunity to influence national policy.  Perhaps more importantly, they would never risk organized product boycotts by Trump’s base.  In an alternative universe they could follow IBM’s lead.  Since 1968 IBM has never given a dime to a candidate or political party.  It is interesting that Hallmark asked Hawley to send its donation back.

Police radio codes interest me.  There is the ubiquitous “10-4” that means “Affirmative.”  For example, there is 10-64, “Crime in progress.”  I looked up the number for January 6, one-oh-six,10-6.  It means: “Busy.” 

Wednesday, January 13: Sen. Majority Leader McConnell and Vice President Pence have been locked in a tense, years-long duel for the title Trump Enabler in Chief.  McConnell can spare me the current sanctimony and hypocrisy.  Now he’s supporting impeachment and wants to “purge” Trump from the Republican Party.  Sorry, Mitch – you and your fellow Establishment Republicans had your chance in 2015.  Too late for a do-over.  Bless you, Mitt Romney, for being a vertebrate creature.

The House, including ten mighty brave Republicans, impeached Trump.

Thursday, January 14: At the Senate impeachment trial will Trump be there in person to defend himself?  What does he have to lose?  And the TV ratings will be off the charts.  Huge.

Friday, January 15: Reports emerging from 1-6 are horrifying.  Did some members of Congress actually aid and abet the mob?

Sunday, January 17: I had a once-in-a-lifetime experience today.  I got a haircut from my son-in-law in my driveway – in a snow shower.

This is good: In the Washington Post Margaret Sullivan says one way to banish the Big Lie is to begin interviews with: “Who was the legitimate winner of the 2020 election?”  If the answer is “We need to investigate that” or “President Trump,” the interview is over.

Merrick Garland, Biden’s attorney general nominee, may be a prime example of revenge being a dish best served cold.  He may get more done for the progressive cause in four years as AG than he could have in a lifetime on the Supreme Court.

Monday, January 18: President Biden’s ancestors were born in County Mayo and County Londonderry, so he’ll have the luck of the Irish with him. He’ll need it.

Tuesday, January 19: After a bitter election in 1800, words from Thomas Jefferson’s first inaugural address in 1801 resonate across the years and Biden might consider saying in his speech:

·      "Let us then, fellow citizens, unite with one heart and one mind.  Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things."

Dr. Terry Smith is a Political Science Professor at Columbia College, and a regular commentator on KBIA's Talking Politics.