A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 207th Unpresidented Week As POTUS

After amplifying Trump's election lies and radicalizing their base into violent insurrection, Republicans are calling for "unity" to avoid accountability.
Trump insurrectionists launch a terrorist attack on the Capitol building – January 6, 2021. (Tyler Merbler from USA/Creative Commons)

Trump insurrectionists launch a terrorist attack on the Capitol building – January 6, 2021. (Tyler Merbler from USA/Creative Commons)

Trump’s first major typo after winning the election was spelling Unprecedented incorrectly. He infamously tweeted “Unpresidented.” This typo is emblematic of his administration: An impulsive, frantically thrown together group of characters with virtually no oversight. After Trump was sworn in, I started writing the weekly “Unpresidented” column, analyzing every week of his presidency. This is week 207.

We’ve just lived through history. The Capitol was sieged for the first time since 1814, except this time, the enemy came from within. Decades and centuries from now, history students will read about the week the 45th President of the United States attempted to violently overthrow American democracy and install himself as a dictator.

They’ll see footage of disgraced President Trump lying to a rally of soon-to-be insurrectionists before telling them to march on the Capitol and “fight.” They’ll see footage of Trump insurrectionists easily breaching the building, killing a Capitol police officer, and breaking into congressional offices and chambers.

They’ll see the Confederate flag waving through the halls, and the Trump flag draped over the ledges, of the Capital building. They’ll hear chants of “hang Mike Pence,” as insurrectionists hunted for the head of the Vice President. They’ll see that even after all this, 147 Republicans still objected to President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral college win. Just as we thought while reading about dictators of the early 20th Century, students of the future will think, “how did this happen?” The answer is fairly simple: Republicans let it happen.

Many Republicans are deflecting blame exclusively to President Trump, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO), and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). While they do deserve much of the blame, the entire Republican Party, with the exception of Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), owns this. Every Republican who supported Trump knowing damn well he was a threat to democracy should atone for their role in this. And yes, that means lawmakers and voters.

For the past 5 years, Republicans cheered on and defended downright depraved and authoritarian behavior. From separating migrant families to Charlottesville to Ukraine to assaults on peaceful protestors to the election lies. They can’t suddenly act like they had no part in this. Their efforts to condemn the insurrection are akin to an arsonist condemning their own fire. And as I wrote in The Independent, this goes far beyond the past 5 years:

Since the Southern Strategy began in the 1960s, the Republican Party has been feeding their base a steady diet of scapegoating lies. At first, the lies were subtle. Then, as right-wing media ramped up after the Fairness Doctrine repeal, the lies morphed into overt coordinated disinformation, deeply polarizing Americans. This escalated dramatically during the Obama years and only picked up speed during Trump’s presidency. This is the culmination of the decades-long radicalization of the GOP base, and frankly, what remains of the confederacy.

The base was always there: Trump just took advantage of them. Now, the party is splintering before our eyes, creating new factions that either embrace or oppose what their own actions have sowed.

No matter what stances the Republican Party takes now, they’re totally responsible for what they’ve unleashed. It was Republicans who created Trump’s base in the first place. It was Republicans who allowed Trump to cross increasingly corrupt lines without accountability. It was Republicans who backed Trump’s lies that the election was stolen. It was Republicans who turned what is usually a ceremonial electoral certification process into an authoritarian sham.

It’s no surprise that after this, Republicans want to not only pretend they had no role in this, but are actively avoiding accountability. Republicans have done this for years. President Trump does something terrible and at first, they’re caught flat-footed, but within days, they unite behind an excuse to avoid accountability and an unrelated deflection grievance. This time, it’s their calls to “unify and move on” and their free speech outrage about Trump’s Twitter ban and Parler being taken offline.

Republicans are telling Democrats to “turn down the temperature” that they themselves raised. They demonized the left, lied about the election, and incited an insurrection and now they think it’s on Democrats to turn down the heat? That rhetoric is nonsense. It’s not on Democrats to forgive Trump, his crimes against this country, and the Republican Party’s culpability. It’s on them to atone for it. “Moving on” only ensures the GOP’s depravity continues. Accountability is a prerequisite to unity.

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If Republicans think they can use calls for “unity” as a way to talk Democrats out of impeaching President Trump and subsequently pushing for a vote to prevent him from ever running for office again, they’re mistaken. Trump looks set to become the first President in history to be impeached twice. If he’s not removed, the subsequent vote on barring him from ever holding office again needs to happen. When he’s out of office, he needs to be charged for the crimes he committed. That is the first step towards unity and reconciliation.

If Republicans want to be welcomed back into objective reality and polite society, then they need to acknowledge objective reality and not continue to coddle the delusional base of Americans that they spent decades turning into rabid, racist, authoritarian conspiracy theorists. They need to play a part in deprogramming them. They should go on right-wing media and tell the people they radicalized that they lied to them.

As we speak, House Democrats are preparing to impeach President Trump with an “incitement of insurrection” charge. This comes as some Republican Senators have spoken out against Trump in the most forceful fashion yet. Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) said he’d consider impeachment. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) called on Trump to resign. And we all know where Mitt Romney stands. We’ll see how this process plays out in the coming days and weeks.

At the end of all of this, the truly radicalized nature of the Republican Party has been laid bare for all to see. It’s been wild to watch people claim Trump critics were overreacting over the past five years, and each time he crossed a new line, they continued to claim we were exaggerating how dangerous he is. Unfortunately, everything we’ve been warning about has been proven right.

We also need to discuss how many in the media coddled Trump’s extremist base (endless diner interviews and Trump rally coverage), but that’s a topic for another day. Moving forward, let’s just call extremists what they are and not rationalize their radicalized views.

I hope pundits no longer use simplistic language like “we’re divided” and “both sides can’t agree.” No. These aren’t differences of opinion. There are those who exist in objective reality and those who exist in a delusional, hateful alternate reality. Journalists who call out this truth aren’t biased. Journalists are biased if they pretend that the delusional alternate reality has any credibility whatsoever. That’s not objectivity, that’s the false equivalency that got us here.

Let’s dive into yet another Unpresidented week.

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Trump’s Tries To Steal Georgia Election, Again

Day 1,446: Monday, January 4

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (Official Photo) and President Donald Trump (AP).

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (Official Photo) and President Donald Trump (AP).

Monday’s top stories:

The Georgia Runoffs

Day 1,447: Tuesday, January 5

Tuesday’s top stories:

The Trump Insurrection

Day 1,448: Wednesday, January 6

Trump insurrectionists laying siege to the Capitol building – January 6, 2021. (Tyler Merbler/Creative Commons)

Trump insurrectionists laying siege to the Capitol building – January 6, 2021. (Tyler Merbler/Creative Commons)

Wednesday’s top stories:

Biden’s Win Certified, And The Insurrection Aftermath

Day 1,449: Thursday, January 7

Thursday’s top stories:

Trump Finally Banned From Twitter

Day 1,450: Friday, January 8

Friday’s top stories:

Rantt Media and ZipRecruiter

Unpresidented // Capitol Building / Democratic Party / Donald Trump / Radical Right / Republican Party / Terrorism / Trump Supporters / White Supremacy