There is no way to overstate the crisis that our nation continues to face, and will face, at least through January 20, the day that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are inaugurated -- and probably long thereafter.
Donald Trump is so unstable that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has asked the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark A. Milley, to prevent him from accessing the nuclear codes.
To think that we are living in a time when such a request would be necessary is beyond belief, but we do. Yes, Trump's presidency ends in less than two weeks, but every minute of that time poses a danger to America, which is why discussions are underway on Capitol Hill about how to get him out of office even before Jan. 20.
The House of Representatives probably will impeach Trump next week, but it is unlikely that the Republican-controlled Senate will convict, despite the absolutely clear fact that he incited yesterday's mob attack on the Capitol -- a crime for which he should be charged. It will be another first for Trump, as he will be the first president to have been impeached twice.
Likewise, efforts to invoke the 25th amendment to have Trump removed by the Vice President and the Cabinet are unlikely to succeed, as are repeated calls for Trump's voluntary resignation, including from some leading Republicans.
All of that is unfolding in the aftermath of an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6 that resulted in five deaths, including one of the domestic terrorists who was shot by police and a Capitol Hill police officer who was trying to protect the Capitol and members of the House and Senate as they were engaged in certifying Biden's and Harris' elections.
During that riot, the Trump-incited mob was screaming for the execution of Vice President Mike Pence who had refused Trump's request to simply declare him the winner of the election. They even brought a gallows to the Capitol grounds for that purpose.
"Hang Mike Pence, hang Mike Pence," the crowd chanted as alarms sounded after the mob broke into the Capitol, reported RawStory, which quoted Reuters photographer Jim Bourg as saying that he heard at least three different rioters say they wanted to find Pence and execute him by hanging him from a Capitol Hill tree as a traitor.
"It was a common line being repeated. Many more were just talking about how the VP should be executed," said Bourg.
The plan to execute Pence is simply one example of the harm and danger that Trump has wrought with his constant lies about election fraud and the credence given to those lies by lawmakers like Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley and others by misleading their supporters into believing Trump could be restored to the presidency.
There is no reason to expect any of this will subside, especially given Trump's refusal to acknowledge defeat and his rhetoric branding as "patriots" these rioters, the same people who continue to promise even more violence, likely on Inauguration Day.
Here's one example from the social media site, Parler:
And here are similar threats from social media:
These people are dangerously gullible and stupid. They've been misled and lied to by Trump, but as Biden said today, those people who attacked the Capitol "are a bunch of thugs, domestic terrorists, and should be prosecuted."
In the meantime, much stronger steps had better be taken to protect the inauguration, Biden, Harris, and others involved.
Today, Biden pointed out that inauguration security will be managed by the Secret Service, not the Capitol Police, and that he has the utmost confidence in their ability to provide for a safe inauguration.
Let's hope he's right, but it is clear that the threat from the insurrectionists is not over and must be heeded. They are deadly serious. They say they are patriots. In truth, they are traitors to America. Gullible, yes. But traitors, nonetheless.