January 6th, another “day that will live in infamy”

OK, wow. Yesterday turned out to be a disastrous, historic day. In my life I’ve lived through some historic days (Nixon’s resignation, the Space Shuttle explosions, the first Moon landing (!), 911, the Kennedy assassination, the ongoing pandemic, etc.), but no single day as consequential as yesterday. It’s a weird feeling knowing that you’re watching history change in real time.

I’ll get to the democracy crisis. But first, yesterday was also consequential on the pandemic front. The US registered its all-time largest daily new cases (260,000) and daily deaths (4100). The numbers are staggering. We have the equivalent of all the deaths due to 2001’s 911 every day now, and we have for weeks. 360,000 dead US citizens so far, and no end in sight. I think most Americans are numbed to the numbers – we will only realize the full impact later, years from now when we can get some perspective.

And yesterday the Confederate flag flew in the Capitol building. The President incited violence, encouraged a mob to attack government buildings and their employees, guns were fired and four people died. The President even encouraged the mob via a Twitter video as they were ransacking the Capitol. The White House attorney advised staffers to stay away from the President lest they be included in charges for treason.

Clearly, POTUS 45 has committed treason and should be removed immediately via the 25th Amendment. If we had a functional Cabinet and Congress, that would be the expected result. But we don’t, so we have to allow a dangerous madman to occupy the most powerful office in the world for another two weeks. You really couldn’t make this stuff up.

There are silver linings, things to be thankful for. And indications that “this too shall pass”. But you can’t ignore the horrific nature of these twin crises. The worst events in my lifetime, happening in parallel right now.