As he has so many times over the past decade and more, Barack Obama spoke directly to the chaos that enveloped Capitol Hill today and how it was an inevitable outcome of Donald Trump’s time in the White House.
“History will rightly remember today’s violence at the Capitol, incited by a sitting president who has continued to baselessly lie about the outcome of a lawful election, as a moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation,” the former President said in a statement released late Wednesday on the act of domestic terrorism. “But we’d be kidding ourselves if we treated it as a total surprise,” Obama added.
Here’s my statement on today’s violence at the Capitol. pic.twitter.com/jLCKo2D1Ya
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 7, 2021
The withering remarks were posted online by POTUS 44 just as Congress reconvened to take up the certification of the electoral college that will see Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the next President and Vice President of the United States. The junior Senator from California is actually in the upper chamber voting in the process that will catapult her into history.
“For two months now, a political party and its accompanying media ecosystem has too often been unwilling to tell their followers the truth — that this was not a particularly close election and that President-Elect Biden will be inaugurated on January 20,” Obama continued spotlighting conservative media outlets like Fox News, OAN, and NewsMax without giving them the respect of being named.
“Their fantasy narrative has spiraled further and further from reality, and it builds upon years of sown resentments,” the author of bestseller A Promised Land noted. “Now we’re seeing the consequences, whipped up into a violent crescendo.”
“Right now, Republican leaders have a choice made clear in the desecrated chambers of democracy,” Obama went on to say, echoing language used by soon-to-be majority leader Sen. Chuck Schumer and others in the latter part of the day. “They can continue down this road and keep stoking the raging fires. Or they can choose reality and take the first steps toward extinguishing the flames. They can choose America.”
With hundreds of MAGA supporters pouring past police and into the Capitol today after being spurned on explicitly by the former Celebrity Apprentice host, the House of Representatives and the Senate were overtaken by a destructive mob waving Confederate flags, stringing up homemade nooses, and wearing hoodies claiming to be “Staff” of “Camp Auschwitz”
Obama’s criticism comes after similar statements by the other living ex-Presidents, Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
“I’ve been heartened to see many members of the President’s party speak up forcefully today,” the always conciliatory Obama made a point of saying as long tine GOP allies of Trump’s finally decided the exiting incumbent had gone too far.
“Their voices add to the examples of Republican state and local election officials in states like Georgia who’ve refused to be intimidated and have discharged their duties honorably,” Obama said. “We need more leaders like these — right now and in the days, weeks, and months ahead as President-Elect Biden works to restore a common purpose to our politics. It’s up to all of us as Americans, regardless of party, to support him in that goal.”
As millions continue to be afflicted with Covid-19 and thousands die, the economy is in tatters, the dual victories of Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s runoff races will see the Senate divided 50-50. Kamala Harris will be the vital deciding vote in her role as Vice President presiding over the chamber.
Late tonight, with the guardrails having essentially fallen away, there are whispers of the 25th amendment being used to remove the desperate Trump from office in the final days. Whether of not that dramatic move actually happens is a long way off, so it seems.
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