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Today's Scorpions

There is a telling fable that seems relevant to the sad, shocking and distressing attack on our Capital building. The tale of the frog and the scorpion reveals how narrow-minded and mean-spirited people cannot resist hurting others, even when doing so is against their own best interests.

The scorpion asks the frog to carry it on the frog's back across a river. The frog worries that the scorpion will sting it. But the scorpion argues that doing so would cause both of them to drown. This argument make sense to the frog which agrees to the task. Half way across the river, the scorpion stings the frog and drowns them both. Dying, the frog asks the scorpion why it stung the frog. The scorpion replies, "I couldn't help it. It's in my nature."

Scorpions have been at work in the assault on our nation's most revered symbol of our democracy.

President Trump has proven to be the scorpion-in-chief. His own narrow-minded and mean-spirited nature has come back to harm the supporters whom he incited and to wreak deserved havoc on his own administration and reputation. He could not help himself. His constant lies, his unrelenting conspiracy theories and his consistent loutish behavior have resulted in the desecration of America's bastion of democracy and in the process damaged the lives of all those who illegally and recklessly violated and vandalized the People's House.

And still, Trump cannot change. He tells the violators that he loves them and that they are very special. Even after the uproar against him and even after being forced to promise a peaceful transition of power, he admits no wrongdoing; he takes no responsibility; he blames others. It's in his nature.

So, there is talk of invoking the 25th amendment to oust him, or failing that to impeach him again. Impeachment may seem impractical since the entire impeachment process may not be able to be completed in the few days that are left of his dangerous administration. And invoking the 25th amendment, some argue, would simple cause further division given that he will be out of office soon anyway.

But I think that some kind of powerful statement to the world and to history that we are appalled by Trump and outraged by his behavior is both appropriate and necessary. The effort at impeachment would make Trump the only president ever impeached twice. A notable and deserved additional stain on his sordid reputation. And the visible and vocal threat of the 25th amendment would put a final exclamation point on his toxic conduct. Even if one or both of these events happen, we should remember Trump's scorpion nature. I expect that he will continue to find ways to spew his poison. So anything our nation's legislators and the remaining cabinet members do now to secure his legacy as a lout and a seditionist will be beneficial in reigning in his future corruptive acts and rants.

Unfortunately, other scorpions have been complicit in the hostile attack on our Capital building. The hangers on, the lackeys and the self-serving yes men and women of Trump are fully aware that he has lied, dissembled and distorted to cause chaos and disruption. Yet these narrow-minded and mean-spirited enablers have knowingly and willingly repeated the same falsehoods and fomented the same divisions. Every senator, led by Cruz and Hawley, and every representative, led by the likes of McCarthy, Gohmert and Scalise, have earned the shame that will follow them for objecting to the will of the people and tying to topple a fair and free election. They do not deserve the honor of serving in our American congress.

I believe that our country will emerge stronger from this crisis. I believe that we are a good, big-hearted and caring people. We will soon inaugurate a decent man and woman to be our next president and vice-president. They will usher in a more just, open and diverse administration. We will then have the chance to reflect upon the values we hold most dear as Americans and find ways to stay true to them.

And we will have learned something important. We will have learned to be more alert to the dangers of scorpions and those who pander to them.

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