LOS ANGELES - This week, the American political landscape changed forever.
On Tuesday, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff defeated incumbent Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in a pair of Georgia Senate races, in the process, handing control of the Senate to Chuck Schumer and the Democrats.
On Wednesday, as Congress met to certify the electoral results of the Presidential election, protestors breached the Capitol.
By Friday, calls to impeach President Trump, for a second time, grew louder on the left, as social media giants such as Twitter banned him from their platforms altogether.
All this, while coronavirus continued to wage a silent war across the country, infecting an additional 1.3 million people, and claiming the lives of nearly 20,000 more Americans.
To break those stories down, and more, Elex Michaelson is joined on The Issue Is by California Congresswoman Norma Torres (D), and journalist Anna Palmer.
THE ISSUE: CHAOS IN THE CAPITOL
BACKGROUND: Wednesday, as protestors stormed the Capitol building, Congresswoman Norma Torres was barricaded inside the balcony of the House Chamber, there as the debate unfolded over the certification of the 2020 Presidential election. Torres, who, as a child, fled war-torn Guatemala, recounted the "surreal moments" trapped in the Capitol.
CONGRESSWOMAN TORRES’ CENTRAL TAKE: "It was a horrific experience… There was nowhere for us to go, every door was blocked with people trying to do us harm… Most of the doors were locked, except one, which was above me, because the officer that was present did not have the keys for that door. Ultimately, he ended up barricading that door with a piece of furniture, as he did that, we heard the gunshot, he told us to hit the ground, after that he told us to put on a mask, which at that moment, there was so much going on, that I was yelling back, saying ‘I have my mask on,’ I was thinking, foolishly thinking, about my COVID mask, he was referencing the gas mask that we needed to put on, because tear gas had been deployed right outside of the chambers."
THE ISSUE: REMOVING PRESIDENT TRUMP FROM OFFICE
BACKGROUND: This week, with many placing blame for the Capitol protests at the feet of President Trump, Democrats in Congress began to discuss once again impeaching the President. On Friday, 12 days before Trump’s term is set to end, Representatives David Cicilline (D-RI), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), and Ted Lieu (D-CA), drew up the article of impeachment, accusing the President of "incitement of insurrection." Torres said she is for removing the President from office, but would prefer it take place via the invocation of the 25th Amendment by Vice President Pence.
CONGRESSWOMAN TORRES’ CENTRAL TAKE: "President Trump is a traitor, and every single one of the people who has not stood up to him, continues to be a traitor to our country… I want him out of the White House, I think the quickest way to do that, and the most orderly way to do that, is for Vice President Pence to do the right thing, and to move forward and invoke the 25th Amendment… Look at the incidents of this week, we continue to be threatened…President Trump is mentally unstable, we cannot allow him to continue as head of this nation… we need someone of sound mind to be there in the White House and to see us through the next 12 days, it cannot be President Trump, so I am pleading with the Vice President, ‘do the right thing.’"
THE ISSUE: LEADER MCCARTHY AND PRESIDENT TRUMP’S COMBATIVE PHONE CALL
BACKGROUND: In the aftermath of Wednesday’s protests, a number of Republicans, including Senators Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), have come out against President Trump. On Friday, Punchbowl News reported that longtime Trump ally, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), also expressed his dissatisfaction with the President, during a combative phone call on Wednesday with the Commander-In-Chief himself. Punchbowl News co-founder Anna Palmer explained.
PALMER’S CENTRAL TAKE: "Kevin McCarthy has been one of Donald Trump’s closest allies on Capitol Hill, and that relationship came to a friction point on Wednesday. He called the President, they got into a screaming match, we broke that news, over the fact that the Minority Leader, McCarthy, wanted the President to put out a statement, to call off his supporters, that turned into this mob, as the Capitol was under assault. The President, at first, refused, then he finally put out a Twitter statement, which was not what the leader wanted, and he finally put out a video, as we all saw, but I think there was massive frustration, not just from Kevin McCarthy, but from Republicans in general, that the President had basically fomented this rally into a charging mob of protestors onto the Capitol, you know, calling for them to go to the Capitol, and that he had really incited this violence."
THE ISSUE: A DEMOCRATIC-CONTROLLED SENATE
BACKGROUND: On Tuesday, Democrats claimed victory in a pair of runoff Senate elections in Georgia, unseating incumbent Republicans, and in the process, handing Senate control to the Democrats for the first time since 2015. As Joe Biden prepares to take office, Palmer explained what may be expected now that Democrats will control the White House, The House, and The Senate.
PALMER’S CENTRAL TAKE: "It’s a fundamental power shift in Washington, which is what we spend a lot of our time covering, because who has the power translates to everything else in terms of what actually gets done. So, all of a sudden, in an all-Democratic Washington, Joe Biden doesn’t have to worry about getting his Cabinet Secretaries approved, and the delays and the tactics that Republicans likely would have used to try to stall some of those people from getting put into place… It also means his agenda can likely be much more bold than it would have been under a divided government… still, I will note, for Democrats who think that, all of a sudden, they’re going to get every single priority passed, these are very, very tight majorities… so, expect COVID relief, stimulus talks, things like that, but I wouldn’t expect that all of a sudden you’re going to see Joe Biden take a real veer to the left…"
The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson is California's only statewide political show. For showtimes and more information, go to TheIssueIsShow.com.