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The nee­dle has shift­ed; Trump could be charged

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With rare exceptions, speeches, like opinion columns, are ephemeral: they may or may not be potent enough to attract attention for more than a moment. Still, even if these spiels briefly seize an audience’s interest, they soon disappear from consciousness like mist drifting out to sea.

I was reminded of this fact in the days since President Joe Biden made a short, blunt speech on the first anniversary of the January 6, 2021 storming of Capitol Hill by an army of deplorable insurrectionists provoked by a deplorable president.

Watching Biden deliver his address last week, I was impressed by his apparent understanding of the profundity of the occasion and his preference for plain, rather than lofty language, to reflect seriously upon the lasting residue of that cacophonous day.

I was also struck by Biden’s demeanour, which conveyed to me, at least, a palpable impatience, verging on irritability, that he was obliged, as president, to list and repudiate Donald Trump’s litany of crude lies about the 2020 election that have taken evangelical root among millions of daft Americans.

Biden seemed, as well, to adopt the guise of a prosecutor who was compelled by history and circumstance – in what amounted to a jury summation – not only to rebut the absurdity inherent to that litany of crude lies, but to make a persuasive case against Trump as the prime architect of a plot to subvert a constitution he once swore to preserve, protect and........

© Al Jazeera

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