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UVA Hosts Democracy Dialogues After Extremists Invade the Capitol

UVA Miller Center

The University of Virginia kicked off a series of discussions last night called Democracy Dialogues, but its host had to scramble as news of chaos at the Capitol broke.  Sandy Hausman joined more than 10,000 people who listened-in. 

Political scientist Larry Sabato had hoped Senator Tim Kaine would be his first live guest, but Kaine was trapped in a safe place somewhere in the Capitol complex. Fortunately, an interview with former House Speaker Paul Ryan – recorded Wednesday morning -- proved relevant.  Ryan scolded fellow Republicans for supporting Donald Trump’s bogus claims of a stolen election.

“There are a lot of times when we have votes in Congress where it’s a minor policy preference, or you have to represent your district," he explained, "but then there are moments of clarity where  principles are on the line, and this is obviously one of those things.”

Ryan said he did not fear Trump might do something even more dangerous before leaving office.

“Whether it’s the Defense Department or the intelligence community or the Justice Department, I think there are good people there who will be good caretakers of the institution.”

But ABC White House correspondent Jonathan Karl, who joined Sabato live, wasn’t so sure.  He thought the vice president or cabinet might have to invoke the 25th amendment to remove Trump for reasons of mental illness.

“I just spoke to one of his real allies who’s still talking to him and had a very angry conversation with him today about whether or not he can actually serve out the rest of his term and the 2th amendment," he told Sabato. "These are real discussions among people who are close to him.  They say that he has lost his mind.”

And Sabato speculated that Wednesday’s invasion of Congress would so damage the Trump brand that neither he nor one of his kids could win election to the presidency in  2024.  


Sandy Hausman is Radio IQ's Charlottesville Bureau Chief