Wineke: We pay a price for not convicting Trump

MADISON, Wis. — Society is paying a price for the Senate’s refusal to convict Donald Trump in the recent impeachment trial.

We saw it this week when Sen. Ron Johnson made a bizarre speech suggesting the mob that ransacked the Capitol shouting for the head of former Vice President Pence was actually just a jovial demonstration betrayed by liberal activists dressing up as Trump supporters.

We see it in the right wing web sites that are now quoting the mother of the police officer murdered in the riot as saying her son actually died of a stroke and not because he was hit on the head with a fire extinguisher.

We see it in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who, after the impeachment vote, held the former president personally responsible for the insurrection but, then, Thursday, said if Trump is re-nominated in 2024 McConnell would “of course” support him.

Really, Mitch? You would vote for a man you hold personally responsible for inciting the worst attack on the Capitol since 1814?

That statement is the worst example of putting party over country that I’ve ever seen.

The price society pays for the Senate’s refusal to hold Trump responsible for what he did is that, less than two months after the insurrection, the Republican Party is convincing itself that the insurrection never happened.

It was just sort of a demonstration that got out of hand and that, while there were some ring-leaders (possibly Antifa) who engaged in violence, most of those who attacked the building had reason to be there because the election had been rigged.

Well, I understand that facts these days seem to be a matter of personal opinion.

But the insurrection did happen. It wasn’t conducted by high-spirited, jovial Trump supporters.

The crowd did demand that the former vice president be found and hanged. Lawmakers and staff were evacuated. Five people did die. Police officers were injured, some sustaining injuries that will last for life.

That happened.

Ron Johnson says the videos we all saw were “selectively edited” to show the worst parts.

Well, yes, the news is always selectively edited. When I was a newspaper reporter everything I wrote was selectively edited. The person who did so was called an “editor.”

The insurrection happened. If we make peace with the idea that it was no big deal, we can be sure of one thing: It will happen again.