You never know who’s going to come up big at the moment of truth.
Whoever heard of Lenny Skutnik, before January 13, 1982 when Air Florida Flight 90 plunged into the icy Potomac River and Skutnik took it upon himself to dive off the 14th street bridge into the river, and save the life of Priscilla Tirado.
Whoever thought that people named Pence and Cheney would come up big against a murderous runaway Republican President consumed with rage and self-pity. Mike Pence and Liz Cheney refused to join the insanity. They did their part and, I’ve got three more, named Pelosi, Goodwin, and Raskin who have gone above and beyond to cut the cancerous core of Trumpism from the body politic of America the Beautiful.
Nancy Pelosi is my Person of the Year. She’s been in the middle of every fight worth having since she came to Congress in 1987. She embodies the House of Representatives, The People’s House. She was at work, January 6, when Trump sent his goons into the House Chamber to murder and destroy. Nancy took care of business, asking for and getting the resignations of the Capitol Police power structure, preparing for, and getting, Trump Impeached plus appointing Jamie Raskin as the Lead Counsel to Convict Trump in the Senate Trial for High Crimes.
Jamie Raskin is in pain. His son, Tommy, a 22 year old law student committed suicide December 31, 2020. Raskin drafted the Single Article of Impeachment that was adopted by the House and was named, by Speaker Pelosi, to be the Lead Counsel in the Senate Trial to Convict Trump. When interviewed by Jake Tapper of CNN, Raskin was asked why, given his present circumstances, he would accept the massive undertaking of leading the trial team to convict Trump in the Senate. Raskin’s response, “did you ever try and say “no” to Nancy Pelosi?” The selection of Jamie Raskin, a committed liberal, was a masterstroke. The man needs righteous work, now, more than ever. Nancy put the man and the mission together.
Eugene Goodwin understood the Power of Presence. I have no idea if Officer Goodman goes to Church, Temple or Mosque. But, as Dan Rather would say, “I’d bet the Doublewide he is a deeply Spiritual man.” His power over the rioters was otherworldly. He never unholstered his weapon as he gently calmed the rioters and led them away from areas where Members of Congress and their staffs were hiding. Someone hollered out, “there are 7,000 of us and one of him.” Correct, but they just kept following him. They must have thought Goodwin was looking out for them. In a way, he was.
Liz Cheney had the call. She summed up the horror of the January 6 riot and Trump’s role as instigator and dereliction of duty in allowing it to continue, saying “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his Office and his Oath to the Constitution.” Now, if you represent the Upper West Side of New York City or Boston, Massachusetts where Trump lost big, that’s an easy statement to make. Liz Cheney is the At-Large Representative from Wyoming, meaning she represents the entire state. Trump won Wyoming by 44%. Liz Cheney had guts to call out Trump unequivocally and vote to Impeach.
Mike Pence is an easy target. I always thought he had the look of a man who was on his way to, or had just come back from, a Prayer Breakfast. But, when you come right down to it, so what? What did he do when push came to shove? He said no to Trump and came through for the USA and risked his life in the process. A whole lot more than most of us will do today. He belongs in the picture.
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