Where credit is due.

A rare political post from me. And likely a “hot take” as the kids say. Meaning my thoughts might not fit your narrative or the popular narrative. Trust me when I tell you I do not care already.

Be advised I could fill the first three pages of this with disclaimers. However I’ll only give you one.

I am not a fan of Trump, McConnell, and am luker than luke warm on Pence. Didn’t vote for any of them and will never vote for any of them who remain after this cycle.

Having said that, a common theme being repeated on Inauguration Day by the crowing political pundits on the largely liberal media outlets, is rankling me a bit. I could point fingers at several and they deserve it, but Jake Tapper of CNN is the guy who has me at the keyboard waxing political. I like Jake. He’s very military friendly, he’s from Phila, and a huge Eagles fan.

But today, Jake, my IGGLES brother, you were wrong. You were wrong, so very wrong in your negative assessment of Vice President Pence and Senator Mitch McConnell.

Is it right to criticize the conduct of a lot of republicans who cowered from Trump for fear of getting a threatening tweet. Absolutely. Does Mike Pence shoulder some of the blame for what happened over the days and weeks leading up to and following the election this past November? Sure does.

However, when Trump let his hordes off the chain and set them upon the seat of our Democracy, set them upon the certifying of the free and fair election, set them upon the the next 3 people in the Presidential line of succession, set them upon his own Vice President with the intent to hang him, both Mike Pence and Mitch McConnell stood up and led.

I’m not sure people realize how close our democracy came to being dealt a fatal blow. I’m not sure people understand how dangerous a situation that coup attempt was. Coups are no less dangerous because they fail. The crowd was shouting, Hang Pence Hang Pence. A god damn gallows was built on the capitol grounds to do just that.

Let me tell you something, George Patton and Norman Schwarzkopf were son of a bitches both, but they stepped up at the moment of truth. The capitol was full of people who stepped up when Trump’s hounds got to the door of democracy.

As the traitors were storming the Capitol, military veterans who serve in the House and Senate did their thing. Shielding, helping, comforting, and at one point offering to take the weapon from a Capitol police officer, who seemed overwhelmed. The congressman from Colorado, a former special ops officer, was more than willing to engage in the battel to defend our House.

And when that dust settled it was Pence and McConnell who suggested, actually demanded that the Senate and House resume the count to certify the vote, knowing full well they would: 1. work to 4 or 5am to finish and 2. finishing meant certifying Joe Biden as President and unseating their own party member currently in the White House. Regardless of the rally cry over the last few years, republican leadership was choosing country over party.

They deserve big credit for that.

When the Senators emerged and resumed the count it was Mike Pence who set the tone. Pence’s three minute speech, bringing the Senate floor back to order, even as several senators were still scared to death as evidenced by body language and looks on their faces, not only brought calm to the floor, but sent a strong message out from that chamber.

Today was a dark day in the history of the United States Capitol. But thanks to the swift efforts of U.S. Capitol Police, federal, state and local law enforcement, the violence was quelled. The Capitol is secured, and the people’s work continues.

Leading, for the good of the Republic.

We condemn the violence that took place here in the strongest possible terms. We grieve the loss of life in these hallowed halls, as well as the injuries suffered by those who defended our Capitol today. And we will always be grateful to the men and women who stayed at their posts to defend this historic place.

To those who wreaked havoc in our Capitol today, you did not win. Violence never wins. Freedom wins. And this is still the people’s house. And as we reconvene in this chamber, the world will again witness the resilience and strength of our democracy, for even in the wake of unprecedented violence and vandalism at this Capitol, the elected representatives of the people of the United States have assembled again on the very same day to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.

So may God bless the lost, the injured and the heroes forged on this day. May God bless all who serve here and those who protect this place. And may god bless the United States of America.

Let’s get back to work.

History won’t record it, but with 14 days left in the Trump administration, for all practical purposes, Mike Pence became the President. He didn’t shrink away, he didn’t defer to his boss, who just tried to have him killed. He stood up. He took charge. His stern speech reassured not only the American public, but bucked up a lot of the senators and congressmen and women in that chamber who were clearly shocked and dismayed at what they had just witnessed.

Yeah people it can happen here. We just saw it live.

Likewise Mitch McConnell offered words of reassurance before getting back to work.

“We are going to finish exactly what we started. … And we will certify the winner of the 2020 presidential election. Criminal behavior will never dominate the United States Congress. The unhinged crowd tried to disrupt our democracy. They failed.”

That quick but determined speech was important. Important not only to America but again important and reassuring to his colleges right there on the Senate floor. It’s what leaders do.

I don’t care what people think of those dudes. I don’t care what petty political squabbles they’ve engaged in. I don’t care if he votes to convict or not in Trump’s up coming impeachment trial. Jake and the obviously giddy news outlets were and are still wrong to condemn these two men today. When America needed them, when our representative leadership needed them, when the real rubber was meeting the real road, when their own lives were in danger for the very decisions they were making that night, Pence and McConnell stepped up.

It’s not unreasonable to say we might not have had an inauguration today if not for the fortitude of these two choosing country over party.

They held the line, they chose democracy.

They finished the people’s business.