Afterward, in 1862, when American citizens had taken up arms against this country, Congress adopted a new oath to help make sure no person who had supported the rebellion could hold a position of public trust. Therefore, Congresspersons and federal government employees were required for the first time to swear an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies — foreign and domestic. – Bennie Thompson, January 6th Committee Chair
I remember an image of Missouri Senator Josh Hawley raising a fist as he walked by protestors on January 6. There’s a list of 22 senators who blamed Trump for the capitol riot but voted to acquit him anyway. What do we do with moral political cowards who vocalize traditional American ideals on holidays, campaign speeches and other special occasions but who … when push comes to shove, kneel before their party’s expediency ideology based on self-interest.
My Idaho senators and representatives send me frequent updates that often include political slaps against the opposition colleagues and their party. The more I read them the more I find it hard to believe that these four self-styled “heroes” have the highest good of all concerned as their honest priority.
Over six hearings so far, Thompson, Cheney and other J6 members have made the oath in a refrain. One effect of that recurring theme is the establishing, or reestablishing, of the so-called guardrails of democracy within which partisans can argue and fight and sue and whatever, but not so much that they violate their
The inference of this recurring theme of loyalty to the Constitution and
not a man, seems clear: Once you bust through that guardrail – once you violate a vow to defend and protect the Constitution – you cease being a member of our political community in good standing.
You are now a domestic enemy.
The J6 committee’s appeals crescendoed Tuesday after testimony by Cassidy
Hutchinson. The former White House aide, who is again a conservative Republican, revealed that Trump came this close to leading an army of paramilitaries to storm the Capitol. The only thing standing in the way was a valiant security chief, Robert Engel, whom Trump tried to strangle after being told he wasn’t joining the mob.
When asked how she felt after discovering that the former president
believed Mike Pence “deserves” to be hanged, Hutchinson said: “As an American, I was disgusted. It was unpatriotic. It was un-American. We were watching the Capitol building get defaced over a lie.”
By appealing to their sense of honor and loyalty, Cheney is creating an
off-ramp, as it were, for Republican voters who have gone all the way with the criminal former president. That, I think, is shrewd.
But should the same be offered to elected Republicans?
Eight Republican senators, including two presidential hopefuls, Ted Cruz
and Josh Hawley, voted to challenge the electoral count. With them were 147
House Republicans, including six representatives who were in on the conspiracy. With them was Lindsey Graham, senator from South Carolina and Trump confidante, who called the top election official in Georgia to ask if he could toss out ballots. And they voted after the insurrection. (Graham voted to accept the count.)
These Republicans together decided to cast doubt on the legitimacy of Joe
Biden’s victory even though everyone around Donald Trump – in the states, in the Department of Justice, in the office of the vice president – knew that Joe Biden won the election fair and square.
With doubt about the president-elect’s legitimacy coming from the very
top of the party, not just Donald Trump, state-level Republicans moved swiftly to write new legislation that would permit, if political conditions are
right, actual theft of the next presidential election by overruling the will of the majority of the people in their states.
Are we supposed to believe these Republicans were duped?