No leakage | Editorial
They can’t run away from it.
Even before the crowds hit the Capitol on Wednesday, Republican leaders who had spent the past four years excusing Donald Trump were finally trying to shake him up, hoping in the last gasps of his administration to reclaim their honor.
Well, forget it.
There was Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, solemnly berating Trump and others for falsely claiming the presidential election was rigged. “If this election were overturned by simple losing side allegations,” he told the Senate on Wednesday morning, “our democracy would enter a death spiral.”
Great, Mitch. Well said.
But a beautiful speech will not spare you the harsh judgment of history.
Where has McConnell been for the past two months, and even before the Nov. 3 election, when Trump unfolded his baseless lies about the validity of the election? If McConnell and his party had stood up to Trump then, there wouldn’t have been a crowd – and no one would have died.
But there was actually a crowd, some sort of unfortunate insurgency, rushing up the steps of the Capitol even as McConnell spoke. And once the mob desecrated our civic religion’s most sacred building – democracy – and the darkness at the heart of the Trump presidency could no longer be denied, dozens of other Trump facilitators attempted to flee their homes. own complicity.
They are shocked!
Longtime members of the Trump cabinet have resigned. They were shocked – shocked! – by Trump’s bad behavior. As if only now they could fully see the low character of man.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos resigned, saying there was “no confusion” about Trump’s responsibility for the violence. Elaine Chao, secretary of transport, resigned, saying she was “deeply troubled”. Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s former acting chief of staff and current special envoy to Northern Ireland, resigned, saying “I can’t do this. I can not stay. John Costello, one of the country’s top cybersecurity officials, has resigned, saying the violence on Capitol Hill was his “breaking point.”
How noble they are. How false their conscience claims. As if there was “no doubt” about Trump’s venality over the past four years. As if their “breaking point” hadn’t come far too late.
Sorry, but they can’t run away from this.
Trump will be gone in just over a week, but our nation cannot pass up those who made his worst actions and impulses possible. Let their duplicity stick to them like Velcro.
Persist in a lie
Let us remember, and vote against power at the earliest opportunity, those senators and representatives who voted to overturn the results of the presidential election even after the crowds invaded the Capitol. To persist in the lie that there were serious questions about voter fraud – the lie that caused Wednesday’s madness – was unreasonable.
The six Republican senators were Ted Cruz from Texas, Josh Hawley from Missouri, Cindy Hyde-Smith from Mississippi, Roger Marshall from Kansas, John Kennedy from Louisiana and Tommy Tuberville from Alabama.
“The president’s language and rhetoric often go too far”, deplored Cruz after the riot he had helped to provoke, trying to free himself from the shame. “I disagree with that, and I disagree with the president’s language and rhetoric for the past four years.”
It’s understood? We’re meant to forget that Cruz has spent the past four years cheering on Trump at his worst.
The 147 Republican representatives who voted to overturn the election results included two from Downstate Illinois: Mike Bost and Mary Miller.
Miller is the ignorant person, it should be mentioned, who gave a speech last week in which she quoted Adolf Hitler.
“Hitler was right about one thing,” she said. “He said, he who has youth in the future.”
At least we hope she had no idea.
Chase after those who crushed Capitol
Accountability must also continue by tracking down and laying criminal charges against every protester who crashed into the Capitol, pushing through doors, hitting cops and smashing windows. There were hundreds of them, some armed, and their faces are perfectly clear – for identification purposes – in the photos and videos.
But here too, there is already an effort to rewrite reality. To blame the left wing infiltrators. To equate a raid on Congress with a sit-in on campus. To proclaim the innocence of a tourist.
“I followed hundreds of others through a set of open doors to the Capitol building to see what was going on inside,” said one of those marauders, Bradley Rukstales, from the suburb of ‘Inverness, in a statement following his arrest. “My decision to enter the Capitol was wrong.
Regrets are kind. But what is your opinion? Should Rukstales walk freely?
Over the next few weeks, there will be a growing call for our nation to step away from it all – a new president, a new day. But Trump did not act alone in trying to overturn the results of an honest election.
To go too fast is to renounce our responsibility to our democracy.
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