The lead story in Sunday’s New York Times sums up how far Donald Trump has usurped many Republican state legislatures, political leadership in Congress and how far the Republican party has fallen off the radar of credibility and responsibility to the country.
“At least 357 sitting Republican legislators in closely contested battleground states have used the power of their office to discredit or try to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, according to a review of legislative votes, records and official statements by The New York Times.
“The tally accounts for 44 percent of the Republican legislators in the nine states where the presidential race was most narrowly decided. In each of those states, the election was conducted without any evidence of widespread fraud, leaving election officials from both parties in agreement on the victory of Joseph R. Biden Jr.”
The House panel investigating January 6, has requested that Congressman Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) consent to an interview regarding a Capitol tour he conducted with alleged Trump supporters one day before the January 6 insurrection.
Loudermilk has yet to respond.
Earlier this month, committee Chairman Bennie Thompson subpoenaed House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Representatives Scott Perry (PA), Jim Jordan (OH), Andy Biggs (AZ), and Mo Brooks (AL) after refusing to voluntarily answer questions before the committee regarding their communications with the White House during the January 6 attack.
“These are people who participated in the rally, were on the phone with the president, who the president reportedly told to rescind the election and one of whom may have been pursuing pardons for those involved,” Committee member Adam B. Schiff (D-CA) told reporters at the Capitol.
All four have shown no signs of responding to committee subpoenas.
And this is just a small part of a long list of Republican lawmakers who continue to stonewall a congressional committee investigating an act of domestic violence against our nation’s Capitol building, and continue to publicly support the lie by Donald Trump that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.
Here are the notables:
Elise Stefanik (R-NY), third ranking Republican in the House.
Originally a moderate working in the George W. Bush administration until she became an election denier, Stefanik’s new gambit is to push the “great replacement’ theory rhetoric purportedly embraced by” Payton Gendron, the suspect in the shooting of 10 Black citizens in Stefanik’s home state. Stefanik has also “accused Democrats of conspiring with pedophiles to provide baby formula to immigrants and promoting lax border policies in order to bring about a ‘permanent election insurrection.’”
Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).
In addition to her embrace of conspiracies like QAnon and election deniers, “Greene posted on her candidate Facebook page in September 2020 an image of herself holding a gun alongside images of Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. The caption encouraged going on the “offense against these socialists” and was interpreted by observers as a threat against the politicians. The Facebook post was taken down for violating its policies,” CNN reported.
Douglas Mastriano is a former Republican Pennsylvania state senator running for governor.
“After Biden’s victory was certified in Pennsylvania in November 2020, Mastriano introduced a resolution that would have had the Republican-controlled state legislature overturn the results — Biden won there by 80,000 votes — and instead appoint electors who would declare Trump the winner.” While the the resolution failed, Mastriano continues to receive support from Trump and the state’s MAGA followers.
Even Republicans are concerned about the damage this guy could do to the party’s credibility.
However, the biggest shocker for me came when it was revealed that Virginia Thomas, wife of US Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, not only had on-going communications with former Trump chief of staff, Mark Meadows on January 6, but was in communication with Arizona officials about overturning election results.
“Just days after media organizations called the race for Biden in Arizona and nationwide, Thomas urged the lawmakers to ‘stand strong in the face of political and media pressure.’ She told the lawmakers that the responsibility to choose electors was ‘yours and yours alone’ and said they had ‘power to fight back against fraud,’” The Washington Post reports.
Justice Thomas’s public response about all this?
And no statement from Chief Justice Roberts about the issue.
There are honest, hardworking Republicans who are willing to work across the isle on behalf of the country. However, far too many remain silent about the abuses by their colleagues.
“A time comes,” Dr. King said, “when silence is betrayal.”
That time is now.
All these people have the power, privilege, and responsibility to influence public policy and decision-making. But if our democracy is torn apart by those who use lies and false conspiracies to influence; if too many remain silent – if we can’t even agree on what is or is not a lie – American democracy and our way of life will be lost.