In this file:
· WSJ: Donald Trump’s Final Days
… If Mr. Trump wants to avoid a second impeachment, his best path would be to take personal responsibility and resign...
· AdAge: Support for Trump finally begins to give way, and brands speak up: Friday Wake-Up Call
Less than two weeks before the end of his four-year term, the infrastructure that has propped up Donald Trump is beginning to crumble…
Donald Trump’s Final Days
The best outcome would be for him to resign to spare the U.S. another impeachment fight.
By The Editorial Board, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ)
Jan. 7, 2021
The lodestar of these columns is the U.S. Constitution. The document is the durable foundation protecting liberty, and this week it showed its virtue again. Despite being displaced for a time by a mob, Congress returned the same day to ratify the Electoral College vote and Joe Biden’s election. Congratulations to the President-elect, who will be inaugurated as the Constitution stipulates at noon on Jan. 20.
That still leaves Wednesday’s disgrace and what to do about the 13 days left in Donald Trump’s presidential term. Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are demanding that Mr. Trump be removed from office immediately—either by the Cabinet under the 25th Amendment or new articles of impeachment. There’s partisan animus at work here, but Mr. Trump’s actions on Wednesday do raise constitutional questions that aren’t casually dismissed.
In concise summary, on Wednesday the leader of the executive branch incited a crowd to march on the legislative branch. The express goal was to demand that Congress and Vice President Mike Pence reject electors from enough states to deny Mr. Biden an Electoral College victory. When some in the crowd turned violent and occupied the Capitol, the President caviled and declined for far too long to call them off. When he did speak, he hedged his plea with election complaint.
This was an assault on the constitutional process of transferring power after an election. It was also an assault on the legislature from an executive sworn to uphold the laws of the United States. This goes beyond merely refusing to concede defeat. In our view it crosses a constitutional line that Mr. Trump hasn’t previously crossed. It is impeachable.
Mr. Trump’s many opponents are crowing in satisfaction that their predictions have been proven right, that he was never fit to be President and should have been impeached long ago. But Mr. Trump’s character flaws were apparent for all to see when he ran for President.
Sixty-three million Americans voted to elect Mr. Trump in 2016, and that constitutional process shouldn’t be easily overruled as Democrats and the press have demanded from nearly his first day in office. You don’t impeach for anticipatory offenses or for those that don’t rise to the level of constitutional violations. This week’s actions are a far greater dereliction of duty than his ham-handed Ukrainian interventions in 2019.
The related but separate question is whether impeachment or forced removal under the 25th Amendment now is in the country’s best interests. The latter seems unwise unless Mr. Trump threatens some other reckless or unconstitutional act. After Wednesday he has promised to assist an “orderly transition” of power. A Cabinet cabal ousting him would smack of a Beltway coup and give Mr. Trump more cause to play the political victim.
Impeachment has the virtue of being transparent and politically accountable. If there were enough votes to convict in the Senate, it would also seem less partisan. The best case for impeachment is not to punish Mr. Trump. It is to send a message to future Presidents that Congress will protect itself from populists of all ideological stripes willing to stir up a mob and threaten the Capitol or its Members.
But impeachment so late in the term won’t be easy or without rancor. It would further enrage Mr. Trump’s supporters in a way that won’t help Mr. Biden govern, much less heal partisan divisions. It would pour political fuel on Wednesday’s dying embers.
All the more so because Democrats aren’t likely to behave responsibly or with restraint. They are already stumping for impeachment articles that include a litany of anti-Trump grievances over four years. Mrs. Pelosi’s ultimatum Thursday that Mr. Pence trigger the 25th Amendment or she’ll impeach also won’t attract GOP votes.
Democrats would have more impeachment credibility now if they hadn’t abused the process in 2019. A parade of impeachers that includes Russian-collusion promoters Reps. Adam Schiff and Jerrold Nadler would repel more Americans than it would persuade. The mission would look like political revenge, not constitutional enforcement—and Mr. Trump would play it as such until his last breath. Mr. Biden could gain much goodwill if he called off the impeachers in the name of stepping back from annihilationist politics.
If Mr. Trump wants to avoid a second impeachment, his best path would be to take personal responsibility and resign...
Support for Trump finally begins to give way, and brands speak up: Friday Wake-Up Call
Plus, Burger King's retro rebrand
By I-Hsien Sherwood, AdAge
January 08, 2021
Sounds of silence
Less than two weeks before the end of his four-year term, the infrastructure that has propped up Donald Trump is beginning to crumble. Social media, his preferred platform and long a safe space for him, has finally started to tune him out.
Facebook extended its original 24-hour ban to at least past the inauguration, and Twitch disabled the president’s account indefinitely. While Trump’s Twitter account is active again, it’s on thin ice. “The events in Washington on Wednesday served as a stark ‘I told you so’ for the people who have continually protested social media’s role in spreading disinformation and its potential to cause violence,” writes Ad Age’s Garett Sloane. The responses to Trump’s deplatforming range from “I can’t believe it’s come to this” to “Too little, too late.”
YouTube has also enacted a stronger policy against claims of election fraud. Accounts that claim the election was stolen or rigged with receive a “strike,” with subsequent offenses leading to an outright ban. For his part, Trump tweeted a video contradicting his statements from the day before. "The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy," he says in the video. "To those who engaged in the acts of violence and destruction, you do not represent our country."
Louder than a whisper
But brands are beginning to find their voices. Coca-Cola called the riots “an offense to the ideals of American democracy.” Seventh Generation called efforts to undermine the election results “racist.” Chevron, Verizon and Bank of America shared statements on Twitter, and socially responsible stalwart Ben & Jerry’s called for impeachment.
“Yesterday was not a protest—it was a riot to uphold white supremacy,” Ben & Jerry’s tweeted. “The ice-cream brand goes on to explain how the world saw ‘two Americas’ on January 6: One with ‘record voter turnout driven by Black voters that resulted in the election of the first Black and first Jewish senators from the state of Georgia—our democracy at its best,’ and another with a ‘mostly white mob, encouraged by the president, violently invade the seat of our democracy in an attempt to overturn a free and fair election,’” writes Ad Age’s Ilyse Liffreing.
Revolving door ...
The good old days? ...
more, including links