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Joe Henderson: Kathy Castor got it right by saying Donald Trump defiled the Capitol

After what Trump did to incite a riot, impeachment is the only option.

Many words have been used to describe President Donald Trump‘s actions lately, but I thought U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, a Tampa Democrat, came up with the best one.


It means to make something filthy or polluted.

“Donald Trump’s defilement of this Capitol will not stand! It demands impeachment now,” Castor said on the floor of the U.S. House where lawmakers prepared for the second (!!) impeachment of Trump.

That’s exactly what it was, you know.

The reckless, truth-challenged, and dangerously unhinged President’s lie about a stolen election culminated in a horrific spectacle we’re still trying to process. It was a defilement of everything that is supposed to bind our nation together. Even though less than a week remains before the Oval Office’s fumigation can commence, it can not go unpunished.

I’ve known Castor for a while now, and she is not typically a flame-thrower. She is thoughtful, inclusive, and smart as hell. Castor has a deep sense of what’s right and wrong, and what she saw last week during the siege at the U.S. Capitol obliterated a line no President should cross.

In an op-ed for the Tampa Bay Times, Castor noted, “It was the single most depraved betrayal of the U.S. Constitution ever committed by a President, and it demands impeachment and removal from office immediately.”

Of course, many – but not all – of Trump’s congressional enablers say, oh no, don’t go there.

As Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cole noted in a tweet, “Instead of moving forward as a unifying force, a majority in the House is choosing to divide us further.”

Oh? That’s rich.

Trump ran and governed on division. He spent the last four years mocking “blue states” and energizing dangerous conspiracies about them. He divided families at the U.S.-Mexico border and didn’t reunite them.

His opponents were socialists and dangerous radicals. They were coming for your guns. Black people wanted to burn your suburbs. Muslims wanted to blow up your cities.

It all led to his atrocious attempt to sell the lie that faceless conspirators from the deep state stole an election he lost by more than 7 million votes.

Yet, some Republicans – not all – still perpetuate that myth. Looking at you, Florida U.S. Rep. and frat boy Matt Gaetz.

“And here we have the 2020 presidential election, where the President correctly pointed out unconstitutional behavior, voting irregularities, concerns over tabulations, dead people voting, and now impeachment again,” Gaetz said during debate on the House floor.


Peter Schorsch, the publisher of this site, noted in a tweet, @MattGaetz isn’t going down with The Titanic. He’s pushing Captain Smith out of the way, grabbing the ship’s wheel and screaming, “See that iceberg? I want you to slam this son of a bitch right into it!”

Well, when leaders use their megaphones to spread that falsehood the way Trump has, many people will listen. You can tell them about the multiple investigations that disproved it, but they don’t believe it.

And as Trump continued to stir the toxic goo, the lunatic fringe of his supporters believed they had to act.

So they did.

So now, Washington is shoulder deep in security before next week’s inauguration of Joe Biden. Barricades surround the Capitol, and enough troops will be on hand to make one believe the scene is happening in a foreign country.

The horror of the Capitol attack left many with the kind of feeling we only have on days of national tragedies.

Given the rhetoric of the last four years, Trump creating a day like that was inevitable. He stoked the worst instincts of those who believed him, and you saw what happened.

Kathy Castor got it right.

When you defile a nation, impeachment is the only acceptable response.

Written By

I have a 45-year career in newspapers, including nearly 42 years at The Tampa Tribune. Florida is wacky, wonderful, unpredictable and a national force. It's a treat to have a front-row seat for it all.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Tom

    January 15, 2021 at 5:19 pm

    Trump defiled the White House first, let’s not forget that. And like a little piggy he was content to wallow in that filth for just nearly four years… Until those elected representatives and senators looked like they were about to certify Joe Biden’s win. That’s when he chose to defile yet another branch of government. And let’s also not forget all the institutions he crapped in along the way: EPA, CDC, State Department, Justice Department, etc. He tried to crap on the U.S. Military, too, with political intrusion, but largely failed. (He got Mike Flynn as a consolation prize, a former general who now commands a large following of Q-anon solders.)

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Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

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