It Was the Best of Days, It Was the Worst of Days

From the Miracle in Georgia to the Travesty in the Capitol

Tuesday Night – Wednesday Night

Well, we certainly saw the best of America and the worst of it within 24 hours, didn’t we? It was a lot to absorb either event. Having both within about 24 hours induced political and emotional whip lash. So much to celebrate, so much to mourn. So much to learn.


What a shame. This spectacular political wizardry was quickly eclipsed by the obscenity on the Capitol. For this trulywas a spectacular act of political will, skill, and determination. Someone else said it best. This was a brilliant political strategy, carried out over years by a Black woman.

It resulted in a Black Man and a Jew being elected as US Senators from Georgia. Who would have ever imagined such a thing? Those of us who sent money, wrote letters, etc. did so thinking the odds were unimaginable. But we needed a Hail Mary play. Son of a gun – we got one.

There is a lot to absorb in the Georgia story. It felt familiar to me. Some 25 years ago, we moved to Virginia, a red state with a few islands of blue. Over two decades, we worked it hard. Demographics changes, good candidates were recruited, off year work was done between elections. The state went from red to purple. By the time we left, it was solidly blue.

The Three Musketeers

Georgia cannot be taken for granted, but it feels like it is about 50-70% of the way along that same journey. Demographics here too are changing. People at the margins have risen up and will not go away. Black voters, young voters, Asian Americans and Latinex voters now know they have a voice. White voters who in the same philosophical base are with them and also will not go back. The course is laid. A sustained change is not in the bag but is doable.

I said before this election that if both seats were won, Tracy Abrams should be recruited to be the new head of the National Democratic Party. She should be charged with building her model everywhere. If she does not want that job, she should have about any damn job she wants. I stand by that position.

Abrams understands that building a victory like this requires remarkable work at the lowest to the highest level. It is work for years on end. Just showing up at election time will not do it. You know it is working when you start getting city council and county commission wins as well. The Green Parties in Europe generally got this early on and are now real players. They started local and paid their dues. When they got into national elections, they were ready.

Warnock and Ossoff are very different fellows, but both bring a lot to the table. I suspect they will be something of a Butch and Sundance pair going forward, which bodes well. Ossoff is interesting in that he was not that great a candidate the first time out. He is now a political killing machine now. I almost (almost, I said) felt sorry for Purdue in their one debate. Ossoff is the man who wins a gun fight.

Warnock won his first ever political race. He never looked like a first-time candidate. The man will do well at this, I do believe. Now Georgia, on to the next governor’s race, other state-wide races, and the state legislature. Clean house.

The US Capitol

Where to begin? Some of us have seen this kind of thing up close overseas. None of us imagined we would ever see it here. But here it was – here it still is. Some good news out of all the terribleness.

They failed to do what they sought. In fact, they secured the opposite. Loss of life and injuries were less than might have been expected. To its credit, Congress refused to go home until they got the job done. There were some speeches for the history books throughout the day and the night.

Trump finally broke the fever. Only the rabid will follow him or even respond to him now.

But the bad news was overwhelming. Security was a complete and utter failure. Individual officers did their best, under great risk and pressure. But the leadership was either coopted or incompetent, or both. The set up and preparation was wrong on so many levels. Heads must indeed roll, and hard-nosed investigations conducted, right now. I shudder to think about an inauguration in less than two weeks with this security apparatus. I have real concerns.

Eighty arrests are a joke. Let’s take the time and effort to examine the tapes, the messaging, etc. and find these people. Serious prison time is in order for a lot of people.

For me, there is special anger for those who encouraged all this and who turned a blind eye for four years. They own this, bloodshed and all.

May a special hell await Senators Cruz and Hawley, and thier few followers. Same for Representatives Jordon and Gohmert, and their hangers-on. I will not rest easy until the Sedition Caucus is run out of office. Those who are lawyers, including Giuliani, must be disbarred. They made a mockery of the constitution and the rule of law. There is talk of not sitting some of these in Congress. Got my vote.

The Near Future

There is talk of taking Trump out now by the 25th Amendment. This would be in part to transmit clearly this is unacceptable, in part to ensure he never runs again. Unlikely to happen, but we can hope. It needs to be done. This guy is criminally insane and is emotionally unable to serve as president. This is what Part Four of the amendment is madeto address. Impeachment seems undoable at this point, but no harm in pushing that rock up the hill a bit.

We should be incredibly angry and stay that way. All those who voted to not convict Trump in the impeachment trial, with no witnesses and no new evidence? They own this as much as Trump. We will not forget.

The Biden era is looking like a good thing, eh? Bring it on.

Bill Clontz, Founder, Agents of Reason      Bill Clontz

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10 replies to It Was the Best of Days, It Was the Worst of Days

  1. Great summation, Bill.

    Stacey Abrams is the Woman of the Hour-Day-Year!!!

    And the debacle in Washington brings tears, then anger, every time I think of it. All of us with any reasoning skills knew something like this was coming—for years now. The Despot Trump needs punishment or at a minimum assurance he goes away and can never hold office, of anything, ever again.

    I anxiously await where Stacey Abrams goes next.

    Happy New Year to us all!!

    Rebecca Hammond

  2. It is also worth remembering that Representative (though I am not sure that title is deserved or true) Madison Cawthorne spoke and riled people up at the rally that encouraged people to go to the Capitol as well as he objected to the “fraudulent” electoral votes. He needs to be watched carefully.

    • And it turns out he carried a loaded weapon himself into the capitol.

  3. Thanks Bill. I can’t begin to imagine what you must be going through, asa career military person, watching the events of this week unfold. Jeanne and I feel like we have a bit of PTSD. Not to put ourselves in anyway what soldiers experience but I can’t think of other words to describe how we fell this week. We started out Wed elated with the wins in GA and then the day went into a huge black hole of disbelief and despair.

    I have to wonder is there anything that can be done about Madison Clawthorn before the next election? Can Roy Cooper do anything s Governor? Who can we run against this incompetent person? I thought Moe Davis really could beat him but also that was not to be and now we are stuck with this kid who has no idea what he is doing and participated in urging his supports to attack the capital even if he is backtracking from his statements before and at the wall on Wed. We have tried to call his office but when we get a real person, while they are respectful, they try and quote the Constitution (which i don’t think they have read) and explain what a true patriot Madison is.They won’t listen so what good does it do?

    Ahhhhh what a week.

    • Looks like we are stuck with this bum for awhile – I expect he would get reelected again today. One can hope that his speech before the mob and the carrying of a weapon into the capitol might come with some punishments. Could even result in the House refusing to seat him, but I doubt it. The Answer Man had a fine column on all this is the local paper today.

  4. That Trump was able to foment his base for four years to this outcome brings up an ugly social disease we need to face head-on.

    White privilege seems too tame a concept. White supremacy is more like it.

    Are we too accommodating to the culture of dominion, entitlement and violence that took precedence by force on January 6? What else explains how things went this far?

    It’s white privilege – what would you call it, Bill? — in its barest form.

    We are the ones who need to stop it.

    It means changing a system. Our job is learning how to talk together in ways that allow us to change hearts and minds for the better.

    Thank you for doing that here Bill — this is one place of many that we need to speak out in my opinion.

    • Racism for sure, and a toxic mix of other social and political cancers. I heard a politician and a commentator say today that we should not seek to remove Trump because it may encourage more violent backlash. We should be prepared for that but saying no action out of fear only validates intimidation. Time to start dealing with this part of our national problems.

  5. My newly elected Representative, who was sworn in last Sunday, voted to uphold the objections to the Arizona and Pennsylvania electoral votes. Just like she promised to do before the insurrection and she did not think better of the idea.

    • Exact same here. Our new Rep also spoke to the mob before they attacked. Hoping some of these will be booted out of Congress. There are clear provisions to do this.

    • Same here. I hope the Congress will look at not seating some of these people. There are appropriate provisions to do so.

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