Monday, August 15, 2022
Aug. 15, 2022

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Estrich: What more do they need to hear?

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He knew they were armed.

He knew they meant harm.

He sent them to the Capitol.

He wanted to go with them.

He had to be restrained.

What more do we need to hear?

We’ve already heard that he knew it was a Big Lie and lied anyway.

We’ve already heard about the fake electors that he knew were fake.

We’ve already heard about the pressure and threats and the violence he unleashed against election officials who were trying to do their jobs. Fulfill their oaths.

We’ve already heard him approve of the unspeakable.

What more do we need to hear?

Next up we will hear more about what was happening at the White House while we sat at home.

Transfixed.

Terrified.

Traumatized.

I had not gotten a call like that since 9/11. Turn on your television. The world is going to hell.

And he refused to call them off.

We’ll find out the names of everyone who tried to get to him and failed, and of everybody who should have tried to get to him but didn’t.

This is a story lacking in redemption, except that which comes when a public servant speaks the truth, as she did Tuesday. Small redemptive moments among hours of sheer horror and brutality.

The Tuesday hearing of the January 6 committee was hastily added to fill some gaps in the timing of that terrible day. The testimony did that.

It is getting to the point where we are beyond being capable of being shocked. The president was open to destroying our democracy and sacrificing the vice president on the altar of his ambition.

This is, this was, the president of the United States. And he was not there alone. The list of those who sought pardons is a list of those who knew better and did worse. They should be held accountable.

The list of those who aided and abetted in what was an attempt to subvert our democracy is a list of those who ought to be held accountable.

And then what?

The list that counts for the most right now is a very short one. It is the list of Republicans with the courage to stand up to a man who still commands a fervent minority. Who will say that he was wrong and that he is wrong, that he is dangerous, that he proved that and that he should never be in a position to do us such harm again?

Which Republicans will stand up and say that? What more do they need to hear before they do?

The country needs patriots. Where are they?

I remember watching the Saturday Night Massacre — the night President Richard Nixon ordered the firing of Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox — on television with my father. My dad was a Massachusetts Republican, and he had voted for Nixon. That night, he lost his faith, and I found mine. The attorney general refused to carry out the order and resigned. The deputy attorney general followed suit. Cox was fired, but Nixon was forced to accept a replacement and ultimately to comply with the rule of law. My heroes were the lawyers who stood up for the Constitution.

I am looking for them now.

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