Commentary: Dear Diary | KBIA

Commentary: Dear Diary

Jan 12, 2021

If I kept a daily tab of the past week or so, it might read like this:

Dear Diary,

New Year’s Day: Our own Sen. Hawley plans to formally contest the election and jump to the front of the line to inherit Trump’s Base.  In Julius Caesar Shakespeare wrote: “Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look.”

January 2: Misinformation, confusion, lack of coordination, lack of leadership, malfeasance, criminal behavior in the vaccination rollout.  In other words, business as usual in Trump’s bureaucracy.

January 3: Last Saturday Trump told the Georgia Secretary of State to “find” enough votes for him to win that state.  If I violated Title 52, section 20511 of the U.S. Code like that, I’d spend five years in a federal prison. 

January 6: Today was uneventful.  Cloudy and cool.  This afternoon I watched a very realistic movie about an armed mob attacking and occupying the U.S. Capitol building.

January 7: There’s a song: “What a Difference a Day Makes.”  Trump may be finished politically.  It remains to be seen if Trump-ism is finished.  Sen. Hawley doesn’t seem to think so.  He just lost a big book deal with a major publisher.  Many calls for his resignation.

January 8: A fitting quote from Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri: “[Trump’s] presidency has been a harrowing survey of the things that are possible if nobody stops you.” 

Twitter permanently suspended Trump’s account.  Back to Julius Caesar: “The most unkindest cut of all.”

January 9: Trump will surely do something outrageous before he leaves office.  Maybe a counter-inauguration event co-hosted by the Republican National Committee and the Proud Boys? 

Also . . . How is Missouri so lucky to have had two recent national political embarrassments: Eric Greitens in 2018 and now Hawley?

January 10: Trump is no longer a realistic candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.  But even if he’s impeached and convicted – which is highly unlikely – he could still run for the U.S. Senate in Florida in 2022, either against Marco Rubio in the Republican primary or as an independent.  He might see himself as a latter-day Huey Long, using the Senate as a national megaphone.  This assumes he’s heard of Huey Long, the 1930s populist demagogue from Louisiana who challenged Franklin Roosevelt.

Speaking of the Senate, I will be surprised but not shocked if one or more Republican Senators either switches parties or goes independent.  At the top of my list are Murkowski of Alaska and Collins of Maine.

January 11: In today’s New York Times columnist Charles Blow said: “I fear that I’m going to lose my capacity to be shocked.”  Me too, Charles.  I wonder what the mob has in mind for the Inauguration?  Maybe the authorities will be ready this time.

An impeachment vote in the House on Wednesday?  Definitely to be continued.

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