Tag Archives: Biden

Jan-Feb Political Wrap Up: Biden’s Inauguration and Trump’s 2nd Impeachment

By Edmund Shryock, Political Correspondent

On January 20, 2021, the world looked to Washington D.C. as President Joe Biden was officially inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States, continuing the 232-year tradition of a peaceful transfer of power. However, this Inauguration Day looked vastly different due to the Coronavirus, as the national mall was not crowded with people but covered with American flags. Kamala Harris was also sworn in as the first woman Vice President in American history.

The tone of this inauguration was different as it was four years ago, as a theme of unity was a major bullet point in President Biden’s Inauguration Speech. “We look ahead in our uniquely American way – restless, bold, optimistic – and set our sights on the nation we know we can be and we must be,” stated Biden, as he spoke in the exact spot where weeks prior violent rioters stood trying to stop his certification as President.

Another difference in this inauguration compared to previous ones was that former President Trump did not show up to the inauguration, becoming just the fourth President in history to purposely not attend his successor’s inauguration. This showed the vast differences between Biden and Trump’s personalities and their feelings towards each other. Trump left the White House before the inauguration with Melania and his son Barron on Marine One. They landed at Andrews Air Force Base where Trump gave a farewell speech to his supporters at the same time as the inauguration. Trump’s Vice President Mike Pence did not join him, however. Pence attended the inauguration with his wife, showing the gap that was formed between the two after Pence did not stop the certifying of the 2020 electoral ballots like Trump wanted him to.

Impeachment Trial

A sampling of headlines around the country from Trump’s second impeachment on January 13, 2021.

As Biden stepped into the White House, Trump stepped into a Senate Impeachment Trial. The trial lasted from February 9-13. Ultimately, Trump was acquitted on charges of “incitement of insurrection,” as the 57-43 senate vote fell ten votes short of the necessary ⅔ majority to convict him. The seven Republican votes for conviction represented the largest bipartisan vote for an impeachment conviction of a U.S. president.

On January 13, 2021, Donald Trump became the first President in history to be impeached twice by the House of Representatives. The vote passed with 222 Democrats and 10 Republicans voting to impeach, breaking party lines. However, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnel did not push to have the senate trial start until after Trump was out of office. If the Senate had found Trump guilty in the impeachment trial he would have immediately been removed from office.

However, since Trump was already voted out by the people, he could have faced a different set of consequences. If the Senate had convicted Trump, then he would have been the first President to actually be convicted (although it would have taken another vote to have Trump barred from office, meaning he could not run for President again). Another vote from the Senate would have also stripped Trump from his post-Presidency benefits, such as a yearly salary and his own personal secret service for life.

Trump could still face a criminal prosecution or civil lawsuit arising from the Capitol assault, and The Shoemaker Bugle will update this story if anything comes up.

Editorial: U.S. Capitol Building Chaos Shameful

By The Shoemaker Bugle

Violent protests by an angry mob of President Trump supporters took place at the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, leading to a suspension of the official count of the 2020 Electoral College votes by the House and the Senate (pictured, above, protestors clash with police–Julio Cortez/AP).

In the ensuing chaos, a woman was shot and killed while at least five others were taken to the hospital, according to NBC News. The Senate recessed its Electoral College debate after the mob forced a lockdown and Vice President Mike Pence and everybody in the Capitol Building was quickly evacuated.

Lawmakers from the House and Senate were meeting in a joint session on Wednesday to certify electors in the final step ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration later this month. They did not get very far, breaking for debate when the third state’s envelope–Arizona–came up for certification and discussion.

During the session, news quickly shifted to a mob of Trump supporters, who broke through police barriers and eventually entered the Capitol building, engaging with riot police as Congress held a joint session to count the Electoral College votes which would clear the path to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration later this month.

The D.C. Chief of Police declared the event a riot, and the National Guard was brought in just before the 6:00pm EST curfew to clear the area and secure the Capitol Building. After a delay of several hours, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi planned a return to the Capitol to continue certifying the election results. They assembled again at 8:08pm EST with an opening statement by Vice President Pence, who boldly declared, “We condemn the violence that took place here in the strongest possible terms… Violence never wins. Freedom wins… Let’s get back to work.”

“We will not be intimidated. We not be kept out of this chamber by thugs, mobs, or threats… We will certify the winner of the 2020 Presidential Election. Criminal behavior will never dominate the United States Congress. The American people deserve nothing less.”

Senator Mitch McConnell, in his opening statement after Congress finally re-convened

Senator Charles Schumer (who is soon to be the Majority Leader in the Senate) closed his remarks by adding, “Democracy will triumph as it has for centuries.”

World leaders also reacted in shock to today’s events. America, a beacon of hope and a shining example of democracy around the world, has stunned our allies with today’s actions. In a historic week that also saw Georgia elect two new Democratic Senators, violence and chaos stole the headlines.

The Shoemaker Bugle condemns the violence, chaos, and unprecedented interruption to America’s democratic process. We feel that today’s events are shameful and shocking, and this will be seen as an embarrassing day in American history.

Striking photographs illustrate the extent of the chaos and violence (photos courtesy Getty Images, unless otherwise indicated):

Never before in the United States of America has a Confederate flag appeared in the halls of the U.S. Capitol Building… until Wednesday.

Biden Statement (photo: New York Times)

Former President Barack Obama’s Statement

Statement from former President George W. Bush

In a video that was later removed from YouTube and Twitter, President Trump addressed a mob of his supporters in a new video, calling for ‘peace’ and telling them to ‘go home’ but continued to tout the false narrative that the election was ‘stolen.’ The video is unable to be shared as it has been deleted. Shortly after 7:00pm EST, it was announced that the President’s Twitter account has been locked for at least 12 hours.

note: This editorial represents the sole opinions of the Shoemaker Bugle student staff & editors

Post-Election Update: Transfer of Power

By Edmund Shryock

As the closely viewed 2020 Election comes to a close, Joe Biden was projected as the President Elect. Now all eyes are focused on President Trump and what he does in these final months of his Presidency. Here are 5 key events in the typical Presidential transition of power:

  1. Conceding the Race- The first steps in the Presidential transition of power would take place on or around election night. This would be when the losing opponent in the election would concede the election to the winner. However, Donald Trump has not officially conceded in the 2020 election and is holding recounts and lawsuits within the major swing states. One of the many things Trump tweeted came on November 23, when he wrote, “Will never concede to fake ballots.” Even though conceding an election has been a tradition, it is not required by law. However, maybe Trump will change his mind and drop the recounts before election day on January 20, 2021.
  2. The Dispute Deadline- December 8th, 2020. All state recounts and court cases over the presidential election results must be completed by this date. This will be crucial due to President Trump having multiple court cases and disputes in several swing states. Perhaps this will be the end to the Trump Administrations fight on the 2020 election results.
  3. The Gathering of the Electors- On December 14 2020, electors in each state meet and formally cast their ballots for the President and the Vice President. They will send copies of each ballot to the President of the Senate (who is the Vice-President). This will be a formal way of giving the electoral votes to each candidate and one of the final steps in the transition of power.
  4. Intelligence Reports and a New Cabinet- In the past when a winner is projected, they will start to get de-briefed on national security and pandemic responses. This will allow the President Elect and Vice President Elect to be ready when taking office on January 20th. However, President-Elect Biden is tasked with appointing new people to fill in national jobs such as Secretary of State and Attorney General. This will replace the numerous spots that are currently held by Trump appointed officials. This is one of the main reasons why there is a huge gap in between Election Day and Inauguration Day. However, Biden has just recently started to get briefed and pick his cabinet which puts him behind the average President-Elect’s progress.
  5. Inauguration Day- The current situation in Washington may leave numerous people divided and unsure about the results of the 2020 election. However, one thing that is for sure is that somebody is going to be sworn in on January 20, 2021. If Joe Biden is sworn in, it is tradition that the loser of the election will attend the inauguration. However, Americans are still unsure if Trump will attend the ceremony. On this day, this will draw the end to the transition of power and the beginning of a new Presidency. 

The transition of power is a key in upholding our nation’s democracy that Americans have upheld since 1776. Even though the 2020 election consisted of vigorous attacks from both sides of the political spectrum, leaving the country divided, January 20 will be a day that Americans will hopefully come together and unite behind their President, especially during the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Biden Wins 2020 Election

By Edmund Shryock–Political Correspondent

On Saturday, November 6, 2020, after several tense days of counting votes, Joe Biden was elected to be the 46th President of the United States, with Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes enough to push him over the 270 electoral votes needed to secure victory.

At 8:00pm EST, President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris took the stage and addressed the nation (photo by Andrew Harnik | Reuters). Biden went on to say, “I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide but unify, who doesn’t see red states and blue states, only sees the United States,” which offered great hope to the nation. Kamala Harris went on to say in her speech that, “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last; because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities,” shattering that “glass ceiling” that Hillary Clinton came so close to breaking in 2016.

As Biden and Harris prepare for these upcoming four years, President Trump may close out his 4-year term in a legal battle over the election results. The Trump Campaign has lawsuits in five states on the basis of voter fraud. The states include Pennsylvania, Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, and Georgia. If Trump would have won these states, he would have had enough votes to win a re-election.

However, due to the large number of mail-in ballots that usually lean Democrat, President Trump’s election day lead in these battleground states diminished as the vote count continued. This is part of a theory known as the “Blue Shift,” which occurs when largely democratic mail-in and absentee ballots are known to shift the vote totals as they are being counted. These “blue shift” ballots were especially plentiful this year because so many people stayed away from voting locations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Trump campaign is going to find it hard to gather proper evidence of actual voter fraud. However, it is in President Trump’s rights to ask for a recount in these states, which is especially important because the results were fairly close in many states. However, Americans still look to President Trump to guide the peaceful transfer of power to President-Elect Biden, which will take place on Inauguration Day on January 20, 2021.

Election Recap:

As November 3rd, 2020 was drawing near, Americans had to decide between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, making this election one of the most influential elections in American history.

This election became confusing, with different opinions and facts dominating five important issues that decided the 2020 election for voters:

  1. Coronavirus Response- Donald Trump and the Republicans are strong supporters of reopening the country to get Americans back to where they were in January of this year. However, Joe Biden and the Democrats are keen on making sure that Americans take this virus seriously by wearing masks and distancing to lower the amount of Coronavirus Cases in America.
  2. The China Issue- Donald Trump and his relations with China is a rough one. He put tariffs on steel and goods being exported from China. If he had won a second term for President, there was a good chance that relations between China and the U.S. would have worsened. However, Joe Biden is a supporter of China, and when he was Vice-President under Obama they signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This increased trade with China and other countries. Trump removed America from this agreement in 2017.
  3. The Supreme Court Debacle- On September 18, 2020, Justice Ruth Bader Guinsburg died of pancreatic cancer. This left a vacancy on the Supreme Court, which is a repeat of what happened in 2016 when Justice Anthony Scalia died during an election year, too. In 2016, President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. However, the Republican senate never gave him a confirmation hearing. This year, with a Republican President and Senate in control, conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett was nominated, and she was confirmed just a week before the election on October 26. This is important because Supreme Court Justices don’t serve terms, they serve on the Supreme court for life, which can affect the next 30-40 years and multiple generations.
  4. The Senate Shift- The Senate has been a Republican majority since 2015 and have passed votes as a majority, even stopping Trump from getting removed from office after he was impeached. This year there were 23 Republican seats up for grabs and 12 Democrat seats. As of this writing, the Senate is currently tied with 48 Democrats and 48 Republicans. A run-off election in Georgia coming up on January 5, 2021 could lead to the Republicans losing the majority. If Democrats win the Senate, the Democrats would control both houses of Congress.
  5. Important Swing States and the Electoral College- The important number that both candidates needed to get on election night was 270 electoral college votes. The electoral college is different for each state. The population of a state determines how many electoral votes they get. For example, California has the largest population and counts for 55 electoral votes. The so-called “swing states,” which were undetermined until late into and even after election night, made all the difference: even though Florida, Ohio, and North Carolina went to Trump, Biden’s victories in Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Georgia swung the votes in his favor.
Electoral College results as of 11/12/20; source: NPR.org