Sunday, February 28, 2021

The Big Lie lives on, updated March 2, 2021

One of the greatest puzzles of the recent presidential election is why do 65% of Republicans still believe the lie the election was stolen.At CPAC this lie is being perpetuated and is being used to change state election laws to restrict convenient voting. They are trying to fix something that "ain't broke". 60 judges, including those appointed by Trump threw out the suits brought by Trump attorneys on the basis of lack of evidence or flawed legal theories or the anecdotal evidence did not add up to enough vote changes to reverse the outcomes. At the March 2 2021 hearings in the House, FBI Director Wray stood by Trump's AG Bill Barr that also contradicted the claims of widespread voter fraud. Disputing Trump, Barr says no widespread election fraud ( Trump is still touting the Big Lie as well. In whining about the stolen election, what you hear is the evidence was not presented by the attorneys in the court hearings. Here is why: attorneys could not find evidence to present and if they lied about it, they could be disbarred. Some did try and now they are paying the price.

Trump’s CPAC 2021 speech was heavy on lies about the election - Vox

Supreme Court rejects final Trump bid to nullify 2020 election results | TheHill

CPAC is promoting Donald Trump’s big lie of election fraud | The Independent

alf of Republicans believe false narratives about the Capitol riot, poll says | Business Insider India

 Colorado’s Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney was alarmed by falsehoods about Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems (

Lawyers Who Pushed Trump's Big Lie Face Immediate Bar Suspension (

Pro-Trump Attorney Lin Wood Could Lose License As Georgia Bar Asks For Mental Health Evaluation (

Trump-Backing Lawyer May Face Discipline in Election Case - Bloomberg

Most Republicans say the election was stolen — especially the ones who hate Democrats and don’t mind White nationalists - The Washington Post

65% of GOP believe the big lie, per an AP poll: Poll finds 65% of Republicans say they don’t believe Biden’s election was legitimate - MarketWatch

Voter Fraud Map: Election Fraud Database | The Heritage Foundation

Fact check: What's true about 2020 election, vote counts, certification (

What about ism lives on in views of The Big Lie..the election was stolen, say 65% in the GOP. 60 cases were rejected by courts in 2020; 1 was upheld, but with no impact on the outcome. Here is a debunking of claims made by the lingering believers in The Big Lie.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

A $15 minimum wage will save taxpayers' up to $31 billion

 The irony of the $15 minimum wage issue is that the opposite of both professed conservative principles and proponents of more social programs. Here is the issue with the $15 minimum wage: Those who oppose it, want to government to make up the difference in the ability of low income earners to survive and those who support it will eliminate a great deal, up to $31 billion less, of taxpayer-funded subsidies.. The opposition to a $15 minimum must want government subsidies. .It flies against conservative GOP principles of self-sufficiency, personal accountability, power of work over welfare, and limited government assistance.

There are some ways to address special circumstances that make sense. For example, It should be indexed to inflation because we do not want to debate this every few years to play catchup. It can and should also take into account tip-based jobs, including tips as income, or the minimum is set lower than hourly waged employees..  Phasing it in over a limited time period is a reasonable compromise, but the downside is that business benefits from a level playing field if competitors play by the same rules.  

I can hear the whining now, but others have already made the switch to some degree:  The Chamber of Commerce is the loudest that raising minimum wages will cost consumers a bundle in higher prices. However, whatever studies are out there show the impact is a small percentage." Despite the different methodologies, data periods and data sources, most studies found that a 10% US minimum wage increase raises food prices by no more than 4% and overall prices by no more than 0.4%. This is a small effect. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on Prices - IZA - Institute of ...

Walmart gave an increaset to 425 thousand employees.  26 states have already raised minimum wages considerably (Colorado is one) or are and have been phasing it in. Changes coming for Colorado employers and workers alike starting in 2021 ( The city and county of Denver is around  $15  indexed to inflation.

States Where the Minimum Wage Is Going Up (

Minimum Wage By State In 2020 & 2021 | Paycor

What Walmart Raises Mean for President Biden’s $15 Minimum-Wage Plan - WSJ

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Tuesday, February 16, 2021

GOP doubles their jeopardy in 2022

 With hopes to regain control of the House and the Senate in 2022, the GOP is in danger of committing political malpractice.  With 58% of Americans believing Trump should have been convicted,(Impeachment trial solidified views on Trump conviction: POLL - ABC News ( and 68% of those polled support Biden's Covid relief legislation, this portends GOP losses in general elections in 2022. If they continue to vilify and censor those in their party who voted to convict and instead put forth Trump loyalists as candidates, I can see the political ads now. However, when it comes to impact on everyday lives, COVID relief votes will have an even greater impact, with polls showing overwhelming support registering 68% percent. If the Trumpsters in the GOP continue to play team loyalty above all as a package plan,, and support acquittal plus oppose COVID relief, that will be their doubled jeopardy in the upcoming general elections.

If I were a Democratic strategist, I would cheer on the GOP civil war. Their house divided is weakened and fractured.. However, as an American who supports truth-telling, a political system that supports the ballot box untampered by terror, fear, hate, and suppression,, to choose our leaders we want,, and a peaceful transfer of power, we can only hope the forces who support Trump are defeated in future general elections. Trump is a threat to the essence of our democratic system That is the case Democrats can and should make:.

The other case Democrats can and should make is that even after a month in office, Biden's administrative competence priorities, and results contrast with the Trump policies of downplaying the COVID 19 danger, framing it as a political instead of a scientific issue, and employing less than effective methods of combatting it. We now can see what Trump could have done better, but did not do.

What appears to be happening now, is that the pro-democracy forces in significant numbers are fleeing the GOP, post-January 6 changing their registration to independent or Democrat, leaving the Trumpists as the registered Republicans determining who will win their primaries. That is particularly true in Colorado. They will then meet the buzz saw of independents and Democrats and those remaining registered GOP but split tickets or vote Democrat in the general elections in states and districts where elections are won and lost by narrow margins.   In Colorado, 4000 after February 1 left the GOP.(. Since 2018, the GOP in Colorado lost over 63,000 registered voters, while Democrats lost on 13,000 and independents split 60 leaning Democrat to 40percent  for the GOP.).  In Arizona, 5000 left. The same phenomenon in just the past few weeks is happening in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maryland, and Florida.  The GOP organizations in their states may show an overwhelming percentage of those left in their party still support Trumpism and they censor and purge those who do not, but the percentage of their shrunken base means fewer votes in a general election.  

Registered Republicans Ditch Party After Capitol Riot : NPR

What 9 Extremely Detailed Maps Tell Us About Colorado’s 2020 Election | Colorado Public Radio (

"I don't think 2022 is going to be competitive": GOP voter registration tumbles in Colorado ('s Weekly Update (

Colorado’s Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney was alarmed by falsehoods about Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems (

Tens of thousands of voters drop Republican affiliation after Capitol riot | TheHill

Poll: Both Democrats And Republicans Want A Covid Relief Package — And Many Think Bigger Is Better (

CBO: U.S. federal debt to exceed size of economy before Biden stimulus is approved - The Washington Post

Mitch McConnell may be calling it as I see it: if the Trumpists win their primaries, they would be unelectable in key swing states and result in further GOP losses in the House and the Senate in 2022.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Grand County Covid management stumbles: an international embarrassment

At least 109 employees at a Colorado ski resort have tested positive for Covid-19 - CNN

Keep that Cimino stuff on file for future reference.  How stupid.  One thing is sure, though, county health was useless so far as our household was concerned...never got acknowledgment I wanted on the list, , lost my registration, had to start from scratch.  waited for notification to get a shot for over a month. and I was on the high-risk list...over 80.  Fortunately for us son Ted was a patient at Middle Park Health and whined and got me on their list early enough (I still have main health insurance and primary care in Denver )  Middle Park Med had plenty of vaccines but saved it for their own patients.  The answer is to better fund County health, not defund or defang or hand tie them...They were in a personnel change because the head of it resigned "with policy conflict with commissioners" right in the most critical stages.. For that the commissioners have only themselves to blame with their vax denials and GOP politics.  This needs to be added to the mix, as well.   It seems to me there was no contact tracing going on, period. We had no idea if we were a super spreader source out of control since visitors were never included in death or infection information if they contracted the virus here in the county yet did not get tested here...but in their home county in or out of state.  The coroner playing around with GOP tainted ideology  to even reduce the criteria for the cause of other than covid...was really deceptive and disgusting. 

On Sat, May 22, 2021 at 3:01 PM Deborah Thomas-Dobersen <> wrote:
I enjoyed having breakfast with you Wednesday.  I did find your article on gerrymandering and appreciated your help.

Michael and I volunteered at Middle Park HS giving vaccines.  Brene was there.  We were talking about the BOH proposal.  She said that since she has left the Public Health Department she has less headaches, jaw pain and sleepless nights.  She mentioned that prior to Covid breaking out, Rich Cimino wanted to decrease the Pub Health Dept to just a Director and no other personnel.  He wanted the pharmacy at Safeway to give all vaccines.  Luckily, he didn't get his wish.


A facebook friend wanted to know if I should call out Grand County Commissioners as Cuomo like, not Trump like. Gov. Cuomo has come under fire for downplaying nursing home deaths in New York. Here's the long answer. Anyone who hides figures needs to be called out, whether it is voting results or covid cases and the seriousness of the covid pandemic. Cuomo is not my governor; Trump was my president and of all America. The better term would be Trump-like, which I referenced.. Note my follow-up comment that I did retract the exact accusations that Commissioners were hiding figures after talking with Cimino, but I had also included their deceptive points calling the county orange when it was red. In addition, there are other issues I could have cited to attribute lax Covid policies for which in effect the Commissioners were vulnerable for playing down Covid..In calling their actions Trump-like is still justified because Trump admitted he too played down the danger of Covid. Their coroner was trying to downplay the numbers dying that were attributed to covid, (citing the case with which I personally know the details because I know well a co-worker), and that there are federal and state standards for attribution she should follow. There was the resignation of the long term county health official in December because she differed with the Commissioners. This was during the apex of the disease impact. We do not know what the differences were because it was not reported and kept hush-hush,, but the subsequent actions of the Commissioners of the red/orange could be suspect. .In my conversation with Cimino (who I basically respect and called him a straight shooter)), I brought this up, and perhaps they are happy I did not elaborate publicly further. If they thought they were doing a favor to business, they did not count on the worldwide black eye Winter Park Resort got for lax Covid practices. Incidentally, the world was watching, and we know because of comments in emails and phone from friends ranging from California to Europe concerned about our family's safety here.. One issue of concern I discussed with Cimino was if a visitor/Winter Park Resort skier got Covid, but was diagnosed when he/she returned home, then to which state or city was the patient attributed in the statistics. It was not Winter Park, it was the home of residence so that we could be a super spreader only getting the blame from a contact tracer. There is a delicate balance between business interests and private resort policies and public policy, but in this case, there was a backfire in placing business interests above safety interests.. Those who live here are now in greater jeopardy than we were before because of a greater chance of community spread at the same time COVID variations that are even more infectious are beginning to dominate. Colorado was the first state in the US that identified the UK mutation existence.

I wonder if Grand County was threatened by the State to go to code red, with the corresponding impact on our business: The County Health department contact tracer found two bars in Fraser and Winter Park were hot spots and closed them...much to the ire of the owners. The answer in return from the County Health Department was to move the level to red in the entire county or keep some areas orange.

  This letter below was emailed to me, Feb. 12 from Grand County Public Health:

Letter to Residents from GCPH Director

Fellow Residents:

I feel the need to clarify the actions taken by the Grand County Public Health Department (GCPH).

Our county has had sustained increased case counts since mid-January. Until the end of January, the cases were spread across the county. However, in the last few weeks, there has been a substantial trend of cases coming from Fraser and Winter Park residents.

With the sustained high transmission rates for Grand County, we were in a situation where we needed to move into Level Red restrictions for at least part of the county by Saturday, February 13.  Fortunately,  thanks to our lower hospitalization rates and our population being less than 20,000 residents, we had the opportunity to be selective with how we moved to Level Red restrictions.

With 70% of the cases in the last 14 days coming from Winter Park and Fraser, my initial proposal to the State (Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, CDPHE) was to focus Level Red restrictions in those towns with the highest transmission. Upon further analysis of case investigations, there were three specific locations in Fraser and Winter Park indicated as common sources of viral spread.

I proposed to the state that we use this data to focus our increased restrictions on only those locations where transmission is occurring, and they agreed to let us use this approach. Two of the three businesses are small, locally owned businesses. In an effort to maintain working relationships with those businesses, we opted not to call them out by name. They are not a threat to community health at this point in time. Those businesses have met the additional restrictions willingly and have not been asked to close. Local support resources have been applied to help these businesses survive the reduction in business. Thank you to the Town of Fraser, the Town of Winter Park, Winter Park/Fraser Police Department, Winter Park Resort, Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, and Dr. Darcy Selenke for contributing to these conversations and working with the public health department and local businesses.

While unconventional, this approach seemed a better alternative than implementing Level Red restrictions across the entire county and/or enforcing Level Red restrictions on all restaurants in Fraser and Winter Park. If this approach does not result in lower transmission rates for Grand County, there will be expansion of higher restrictions. Yet, if our case rates decline more rapidly than expected, there is also an opportunity to lift restrictions more quickly.

Public Health has been working with Winter Park Resort since before they opened in December to try to mitigate disease spread. Until recently, their efforts had the desired effect. They provide alternate isolation locations for positive cases, testing for employees, and have a robust contact tracing program. They are willing to terminate employees that are not cooperating with isolation or quarantine orders and have followed through. They have also implemented stricter policies in their employee housing with the same consequence of termination for non-compliance. Despite the Resort Management’s best efforts to contain the spread among employees, GCPH, in consultation with the State and Winter Park Resort, decided to declare an outbreak at the Resort not only to inform the community of the situation but also to provide increased support  from the State on testing options, analysis of protocols, and containment efforts.

It is important to remember that our residents’ and visitors' response to the containment protocols affects us all. Personal behaviors have a greater impact on our ability to open than business operations. I know our community can continue to pull together to get us through to recovery. I know we can do better - follow masking and distancing guidance, limit your exposures, get tested and stay home when you are sick, and when you are able to, get the vaccine. 

I want to see us go from 2nd highest transmission in the State to one of the lowest as soon as possible. That depends on how we pull together and respond now. We can do this!

Your new Grand County Public Health Director, 

Abbie Baker-MPH, CHES



New Temporary Amendment Order Issued for Targeted Areas in Grand County

GRAND COUNTY, CO – On February 12, 2021, Grand County Public Health (GCPH) issued a new Temporary Amendment Order to the June 26, 2020, Standing Public Health Order. The new temporary amendment reflects Level Red restrictions for target areas in Grand County that have seen high disease activity and recent outbreaks. These heightened restrictions are to be in effect from Saturday, February 13, 2021, at 12:01 am until Friday, February 26, 2021, at 11:59 pm. The Temporary Amendment Order includes the following:  

  1. Temporarily amending Grand County Public Health Director’s June 26, 2020 Standing Public Health Order, and any previous amendments, from Saturday, February 13, 2021 at 12:01 am until Friday, February 26, 2021 at 11:59 pm.
  2. Activities to Be Amended and Updates to Playbook (note: these updates will be reflected in the relevant activity specific playbook and include the date of update):
  1. Playbook: Events Playbook; Activity: Update language to reflect restrictions on Indoor Events and Gatherings, not to include WorshipUpdate Indoor Event Specific Protective Measures to reflect that all indoor events, both public and private gatherings within the Town limits of Winter Park and the Town of Fraser shall cease unless operating under strict protective measures and approval through Grand County Public Health. 
  2. Playbook: Restaurant Playbook; Activity: Update language to reflect restrictions on dining inUpdate Restaurant Specific Protective Measures to reflect Level Red restrictions for The Winter Park Resort based restaurants and specific businesses identified as places where outbreak transmission had occurred in the Towns of Winter Park & Fraser. These businesses will move to take out, curbside, delivery, to go, or outdoor dining. Up to 5 members of the public are allowed inside at a time to pick up food or place an order, given specific precautions are taken by the facility to maintain a 6-foot distance. Outdoor dining is limited to one (1) household per group. Bars shall remain closed.  
  3. Playbook: Quick Reference Chart; Activity: Update capacities and restrictionsTo update capacities and restrictions for indoor events and gatherings and restaurant activities to reflect the above Activity Specific Protective Measures.

GCPH has determined that recent high disease activity and outbreaks can be attributed to community spread among individuals who are considered primary residents. Illness among visitors is not reflected in Grand County’s case counts. The goal of implementing these additional measures is to reduce Grand County’s rising case rates by targeting the areas where disease spread and recent outbreaks have been identified. We are focusing on where the greatest amounts of transmission are taking place in an effort to avoid further impacts on the county as a whole. During week two, transmission rate trends will be reassessed. If there is a notable downward trend and Level Orange rates have been achieved, Level Red restrictions will be lifted.

“I know that our community can do better and I want to challenge everyone to do whatever is necessary to move us to Level Blue because right now we are moving in the wrong direction. Only then can we be on the right path toward recovery.”, stated Abbie Baker, Grand County Public Health Director. 

Winter Park Resort and other restaurants in the area have been proactive in implementing these measures in order to address the recent case trends and this Temporary Amendment Order serves to support their ongoing response.  The businesses that will enact the pivot to curbside or outdoor service will not be specifically identified as the transmission occurred among local patrons. These businesses are working collaboratively with GCPH, taking extra measures to mitigate the transmission of disease and are committed to bringing down the case rates in the county. Businesses not targeted in this Amendment Order will continue their operations in accordance with all Level Orange restrictions, keeping public health and safety in mind.  It will take the commitment of every sector of our community in order to get our case rates down. 


Text of my facebook posting edited to reflect my conversation with Rich Cimino, County Commissioner, February 9:

It appears the spike in COVID cases in Grand County is due to WPR employees. It will be sad to see if they also then infected Grand County resident inhabitants in the community elsewhere and if nonresidence skiers in Texas and the Front Range turn up with COVID traced to Winter Park Resort. If so, all of the efforts of the County Commissioners to try to bury COVID statistics of Grand County will backfire on them. Note: in a conversation with Commissioner Rich Cimino, he denied that the commissioners were burying data, though the other points I made were correct. They were reporting statistics as they get them. He also clarified that those who tested positive were added to the statistics of their home state, county, city and in Grand County, the only statistics that counted were those who gave Grand County as their residence. He agreed with me that visitors and second homers were not counted in Grand County covid statistics and that was the policy nationwide, meaning that Grand County could be a super spreader and we did not know it, particularly given the spike in the ski area personnel with whom visitors were coming into contact.. Cimino is, in my experience, a straight shooter. I also mentioned that treating Grand County as being on an orange alert status than the red status was irritating. Eventually, such actions to help local businesses will come home to haunt them as Winter Park becomes a ski area to avoid..Other ski area towns have managed to control their outbreaks better than ours...per recent county by county maps published in the Wall Street Journal. Remember, too, we who live here will be encountering WPR ski area employees as they go to grocery stores, post offices, and restaurants endangering both visitors and locals. I am redoubling my efforts to shelter in place and fear even more for the health of those who dare to go to the post office and grocery stores on my behalf. We will seek more door delivery options and limit my helpers' exposure to the minimum. I am an at-risk senior, a permanent resident of the County, and a voter.
Most Recent Update | Grand County, CO - Official Website
Most Recent Update | Grand County, CO - Official Website
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Thursday, February 11, 2021

But fors and what abouts: the essences of the Trump impeachment trial updated March 2,, 2021

 Thanks to the impeachment trial, the English language has a new phrase in common usage to take the place of a three-syllable word: responsibility.  It cuts through the fog of semantics and lies to assign fault, guilt, and accountability.  The most powerful argument that rose from the impeachment trial, was "but for", as in, "but for Trump, the mob would not have erupted into a violent insurgency.on January 6."  The test of "but for" is to remove Trump's lies and his role in organizing the rally, including inviting known violent groups and refocusing the date of a right-wing women's march to disrupting Congress' election certification, and his failure to head off violence once it began..But for him, the event would not have played out as it did. "But for" had been the staple of argumentation in courtrooms because it is so thought clarifying. The impact on the majority of voters who already supported a guilty verdict will only be fortified and the fallout in general elections will be felt for years because of the common-sense argument of "but for, " regardless of how the Senators vote on acquittal.

The counter contentions are that there are other issues to consider: So the event happened and it was bad, "What about..such and such legal arguments about jurisdictions, free speech, or that others who committed similar acts are equivalents and therefore are precedents already belittled and tolerated by society.  The President was just an innocent advocate and only made a speech at a political rally that turned into something he did not intend.  Update March 2, 2021, fake Trump supporters and Antifa were not among the rioters, per FBI Director:. On Jan. 6 attack, FBI's Wray tells GOP what it doesn't want to hear (

Watch FBI director debunk conspiracy theories pushed by Trump supporters | National |

FBI Director Christopher Wray says Capitol attack was "domestic terrorism" - CBS News

The 5 biggest takeaways from FBI Director Christopher Wray's testimony about the Capitol insurrection | Business Insider India

The "but for"  is a stark exercise in logic and to common sense to assign responsibility for  January 6.  to Donald Trump and to make the case that he should be found guilty as charged by the impeachment managers inciting the violent insurrection. It is a way to determine responsibility when the perpetrator hides under the semantics of  "What about he did not tell them in his rally speech to be violent, just to fight like hell.  He just wanted them to convince legislators and the vice president to decertify the election.;" The case the impeachment managers made so effectively was that Trump's beating the drum before the election "the only way I will lose would be if election fraud" and after the election "the election was stolen; I won". " Stop the steal"  became the slogan that drove the mob to a frenzy as they thought gave them the legitimacy to act as they did and to excuse Trump's loss. But for Trump's strategy to create the big lie that he won and his repeated summoning known violent actors he himself had called patriots and fine people before to the January 6 rally leading to the attack on the Capitol the mob had fuel to act out in the name of patriotism.. The evidence was the slogans and the shouts of the attackers themselves who repeated his words and tweets.. Ignored were Trump's cohorts losing 60 suits that were dismissed by judges of all stripes and appointment sources. the one case Trump won had no bearing on the outcome. Ignored were Trump's threats and attempts to get GOP state officials and legislatures and his own Vice President to lie about the vote outcome and to violate their oath and laws that defined their power. Ignored were Trump's constant tweets and calls to summon the domestic terrorists to assemble in January 6.and their parroting back his rhetoric as they took his words literally  "to fight". with violence and seek to murder the Vice President and the Speaker of the House.  If it had not been quick-acting and bravery of capitol police in the face of death and close calls, the second and third in line and any number of legislatures would have been killed. The damning evidence of what Trump did intend was his tweets and lack of action once it was clear the mob he unleashed turned violent.  If Trump did not want or intend for the violent attack, he did nothing to stop it until the deed had been done and completed. But for his inaction and words of love for the attackers, the violence could have been stopped. To ignore that takes an enormous effort by his apologists of self-deception. Even if his apologists do not accept his failure to stop the violence as evidence of his state of mind and intent, his dereliction of duty and irresponsible lack of action to stop the violence is cause for voting guilty for that reason alone.

The "what about" defense is likely to be cloaked. with legalese and false equivalencies as a counter to a strong case by the House managers. Concede the event happened, but other considerations are more important.   Laid to rest was one "what about" a conspiracy theory by the words and video records e of the rioters themselves.. A note to those who believe the QAnon line that this was a false flag operation for Black Lives Matter, BLM arrestees tallied zip. No surprise since the Capitol invaders were overwhelmingly white per the videos and pictures of the event. In addition not one of the rioters identified or arrested was affiliated with "Antifa",

The other "what about" defense argument is to point to other incidents that purport to show a double standard. For example, Black Lives Matter demonstrations sometimes turned violent as well, so, therefore, it is equivalent, Trump supporters advocate,  and somehow that makes the attack by white nationalist terrorists OK as well.  .Sometimes we call that a false equivalency; they were not the same and they were not equal.  Other ""what about" are those false equivalences for which Trump is most famous in his calling both sides of the neo-Nazi infiltrated marchers were some "fine people" just as the demonstrators against them in Charlottesville were fine people, too...  The dry runs for occupying a capitols building were the twice attacks and occupation of the Michigan capitol in 2020. by so-called militias. Trump called the armed attackers "patriots". 

 The answers to such "what about" depend on the circumstances and extent of obvious differences.   The one Joe Biden took as a candidate was to condemn what 2020 violence had in common: violence and violence is not protected by free speech and should be condemned equally.  This is a "plague on both the houses" approach.  Similar to that is a response that two wrongs do not make it right. 

If the equivalent is so outrageously wrong, the response should be outrage that the leader of the movement or the one who considers them "their cavalry", using threatening and violent forces, are considered justified by partisans.  This second approach, then, to support of "what about", then, it was not that big a deal and Trump had nothing to do with inciting violence, ignoring evidence to the contrary.. On January 6, Trump invited, encouraged, turned loose known domestic white nationalist terrorists to make a last-ditch attempt to overturn the election by mob violence, attacking the US Capitol to keep him in power through a second term.

 The third approach to a "what about" is to use it to hide behind some legalese argument such as the first amendment protecting freedom of speech, or that they do have not have the right to sit in judgment when the accused is no longer in office.. The violating of the oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution is just ignored even though that oath is also in the Constitution.

 The Senators who vote to acquit Trump in the impeachment trial have allied themselves with those who say Trump was not that leader who used the terrorists for his own political benefit. Some may actually believe that the violent insurgency was justified because they swallowed the lie that the election was stolen, even though 60 judges, even those Trump appointed, ruled otherwise.. Others may twist themselves into pretzels to rationalize a vote for acquittal because they fear their political futures are in danger.  The vote becomes a loyalty test of whether they are supporters of Trump in the 2022 midterms and can keep the Trump base voters..  How public opinion digests this trial, opinions polled already in favor of the guilty verdict, will determine what self-serving political preservation is at stake: 2020 midterms.

 What should be at stake in the future of democracy in an infinite long term as we have known it for 250 years....whether the country could become a dictatorship with a violent takeover or by a more subtle, clever, insidious,  process engineered by some wannabe dictator. . An acquittal vote will  give a green light to such attempts in the future because the message is there that there are no repercussions for such attempted attacks and that they could actually succeed...

Update February 14, the morning after: I am waiting a bit to see public opinion polls give time for the public to digest this. That McConnell validated the Manager's fact case was important. However, he gave a transparent fig leaf to his fellow party members based on a legal theory of jurisdiction that so many conservative constitutional scholars say was bunk. It was easy to see through his words as a way to give cover to the Senators in his caucus to keep from having to have on public record any judgment on Trump himself. and suffer the consequences of his vindictive ire. That a significant bipartisan majority voted Trump guilty as charged was important. What the trial did do was shine light on the danger of domestic terrorism and winning the argument that the "steal the vote" slogan was Trump's fabrication to give a rationale for overturning an election so he could stay in power.

Mitch McConnell blames Trump but voted not guilty anyway - CNNPolitics

Fact check: What's true about 2020 election, vote counts, certification (

What about ism lives on in views of The Big Lie..the election was stolen, say many in the GOP. 60 cases were rejected by courts in 2020; 1 was upheld, but with no impact on the outcome. Here is a debunking of claims made by the lingering believers in The Big Lie.