Askia MuhammadColumnistsOp-EdOpinion

MUHAMMAD: Joe Biden Should Thank Mike Pence

I realize that he may have already done so in private, but on behalf of at least 81 million voters in the 2020 election, Joe Biden should thank former Vice President Mike Pence and his “Better Angels” for saving the American republic itself.

After three years, 11 months, and two weeks of obedient subservience to Donald J. Trump, Pence took a stand for principles and saved the nation from a coup d’état which was attempted by the Twice Impeached Private Citizen (TWIMPRIC) who now resides in Florida instead of at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Not many people want to recognize how close they came to witnessing the Birth of the Fourth Reich, on Jan 6. “Oh, we’re a nation of laws, not men,” they are quick to say, insisting that Pence had no constitutional authority to dismiss the certified votes of the Electoral College and permit the TWIMPRIC to declare himself “president for life.”

Such actions would have been patently illegal. Patently illegal. But The Donald has never been bound by the law, or by international treaties, or by decency. A coup is illegal, but that didn’t stop him from trying to pull one off on Jan. 6.

Here’s a man who told 30,573 lies or misleading statements — half of them during his last year in office. Here’s a man who said even before he was elected (despite receiving 3 million fewer votes than his opponent in 2016) that he could “shoot someone in the middle of New York’s Fifth Avenue and not lose a single vote.” Surely shooting someone in cold blood is illegal.

He filed 80 frivolous, lawsuits claiming election fraud, and every single one of them was laughed out of court, even by judges he’d appointed. What law?

He even boasted once, after he took office, that no one could enforce a law that he didn’t like against him. All he needed was for Pence to go along with his scheme and reject the certified Electoral College votes which declared Biden the new president, and TWIMPRIC and the mob he sent to storm the Capitol building in his behalf on Jan. 6 would seize the levers of power and install himself in power — the law, the Constitution, be damned.

After the frenzied mob — with the obvious collusion of more than 130 members of the House of Representatives, a dozen or so Senators, and the acquiescence of the Capitol Police force — took over the seat of government, Trump would have invoked the Insurrection Act, sent in federal troops to restore order, and taken all power for himself. The legislators who escaped being captured and put to death by the mob, would hardly be unable to convene, and in the bedlam, he would remain in power.

Now many people insist that couldn’t have happened here. Ha!

Just three days before the insurrection he spawned, he called the Republican Georgia secretary of state and tried to coerce him into stealing the 11,800 votes he needed to win that state. He even plotted to gut the top leadership of the Department of Justice and replace the acting attorney general with his own sycophant who would then challenge the election results in four battleground states in the Supreme Court, but a threatened mass resignation of senior DOJ lawyers stalled that scheme. There is no depth to which he would not have stooped to stay in power. And, he says he’s coming back. That’s why he must be convicted in his impeachment trial, and prohibited from being elected again.

Let me be clear. All he needed to pull off his nefarious scheme was a simple dirty word from Mike Pence, then it would have been “game on.” Trump trumps the Constitution. Trump trumps the rule of law.

Never mind the will of the majority of the voters. Biden won 81 million to The Donald’s 74 million. Those who did not vote for him would be rendered null and void. The only voters who matter, in his view, are the 75% of his 74 million who agree with him that the election was stolen.

But, alas. “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!” Trump tweeted just as his supporters were breaking down the Capitol’s doors.

A “corrected set of facts,” is what he had in mind, along with a corrected Constitution and everything else folks in this country hold sacred. It didn’t happen, thanks to the Better Angels of Mike Pence.

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Askia Muhammad

WPFW News Director Askia Muhammad is also a poet, and a photojournalist. He is Senior Editor for The Final Call newspaper and he writes a weekly column in The Washington Informer.

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