Sunday Nibble #46: An oddly appropriate number.

Yet again, I’m writing this post a week ahead of time, but at a point when I know from the internet that January 17, as in today, is supposed to be a day when… something happens; basically, the next salvo in the Coup de Twat(s) attempted on January 6.

With any luck, this time, saner heads will take it seriously, and there will be a massive response from the military and National Guard. Who knows — the previous president may not even be in power by this point, in which case Number 46 will serve the shortest term in history, making William Henry Harrison’s month look like FDR in comparison.

And Joe Biden will be #47. Although, realistically, he probably will be #46, because while I have no doubt that the House has impeached, the Senate will not convict, and the VP and Cabinet — no matter how much Pence feels personally betrayed by the soon-to-be-ex POTUS — is not going to invoke the 25th Amendment.

This is the one that allows the VP and a majority of the Cabinet to declare to Congress in writing that the President is unfit for duty, and places the VP in power. It was originally a response to JFK’s assassination, though, and so the originally intended definition of “Unfit” was “Dead.”

The only other times it’s been invoked were medical — i.e. after Ronald Reagan was shot and in no condition to lead, and at several points when a president has had to go under anesthesia for a medical procedure, like a colonoscopy.

It has yet to be invoked under a “The president is batshit insane” condition, but it yet might have been.

There is also the possibility that the 14th Amendment gets used. This is one of the post-Civil War Reconstruction Amendments designed to deal with the whole mess after the fact and, among other things, it allows Congress to ban any elected official who supports any insurrection or rebellion against the United States from ever holding any elected office again.

In other words, Congress could chose to invoke this Amendment to eject and permaban all of the Senators and Congress Reps who supported the January 6 domestic terrorists directly, as well as all of them who voted to object to the Electoral vote counting — although it’s a harder sell on the latter.

Imagine the effect of that one, though, if both things happen. That would be a handful of Senators and a hundred-odd Republican Reps kicked out and banned.

Here’s the thing, though. While the U.S. played hardball against the rebels at first — as they should have — a close election the next cycle screwed it all up, because the decision of who won did fall to Congress, and the compromise in order so appease the seditionists and get the votes for the candidate preferred by the Union was to back off on the 14th Amendment penalties.

Well, that, and not enforce that “All men are created equal” stuff so much in the South.

End result? A continuation of the systemic racism, Jim Crow Laws, white supremacy, and all the other bullshit that is the direct cause of what’s going on right now.

We could have fixed this if our leaders at that time had the balls to just say, “No,” and to punish the insurrectionist Confederates to the full extent of the law and remove all of them from civic participation forever, disenfranchise them like the felons they were, ban their flags and symbols, try them all for war crimes, and elevate the people they tried to oppress to positions of power in every single statehouse of the Confederacy.

Or, you know — do what Germany did to the Nazis. Prosecute, convict, execute, and erase.

But we totally fell down on that job, and we are living with the consequences more than 145 years after that little shit-show.

I’m really just hoping that events between then and now, and especially what may or may not happen today, do not make the Insurrection of January 6 look like a Sunday School Picnic.

However, I am not totally hopeful that this upcoming week is going to be even worse, and the most violent and divisive week in U.S. history of all time. Strap in, kids.

Or as Margo Channing said in All About Eve: “Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.”

Epiphany

If you’ve ever wondered why there are twelve days of Christmas, today is why. If you count starting December 25, then January 6 is the 12th day after, and this is the Feast of Epiphany.

 

Traditionally, it’s considered to be the day that the Magi arrived at the manger in Jerusalem to give their gifts to Grogu… er, Baby Jesus. The word epiphany itself means “sudden manifestation or revelation of the essential meaning or nature of something.”

Ironically, in America today, we are going to have another epiphany as Congress sets out to do its assigned job to certify the Electoral Votes that Joe Biden legitimately won, but which certain sore losers are going to try to oppose.

They’re going to fail, but it’s a toss-up as to whether many people on their side have the sudden epiphany that goes, “Oh, my god, I’ve been backing losers.”

It may also be a moment when otherwise apolitical people pay attention and realize, “Wow. Who are these idiots trying to override the will of the People and subvert everything America stands for?”

It comes the day after the Georgia run-off elections, although since they don’t start counting mail-in ballots until the morning of the same day, we may not know the results until at least the 6th, if not later, and we’re going to see the same “Red Tide, Blue Wave” phenomenon as in November, when the in-person votes break Republican, but the (legit) mail-in and absentee ballots go decidedly Democratic.

In the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church, January 6th is actually Christmas Eve, mostly because they never switched from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, so they’re a bit behind. Or, in other words, they chose to never catch up to the rest of the world, which jives with certain other parties who are still trying to ignore reality.

On the Julian calendar, today is regarded as December 24, 2019.

But here’s the good news. Once all the bullshit has been swept aside — and it will be — and the electoral votes are certified, that’s it. Two weeks from now, Joseph Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, Kamala Harris will also be sworn in as the Vice President.

The end of the current regime may be dragged out by more legal trickery, and there may even be violence in the streets, but it will at most be a short and painful coda to the disingenuous symphony we’ve been listening to for the last four years. Then, it will be over, and we’ll be hearing a new and hopeful tune.

That will be the real day of epiphany. Revel in it.

Image: Sebastiano Iervolino courtesy of Pixaby, (CC0 1.0) Creative Commons Universal Public Domain Dedication.