What’s the point?
Too many of Arkansas’ representatives in Washington struggle to declare Jan. 6 as the attack on the nation that it was.
On the bright side, U.S. Sen. John Boozman joined Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in criticizing the Republican National Committee’s declaration that the Jan. 6 invasion of the U.S. Capitol was simply “legitimate public discourse.
Both Republicans also lamented the committee’s censure of U.S. Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, who are following their conscience in serving on the House committee looking into the events of that horrible day when Donald Trump tried to thwart the presidential election results.
“The idea of the Republican National Committee making that move is a bad choice,” Boozman, of Rogers, said last Tuesday. He’ll undoubtedly be beaten up about his stance on the campaign trail later this year as he seeks re-election. And yet, he stood by his perspective.
U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton declined to comment on the move by the RNC. A spokesman for Rep. Bruce Westerman of Hot Springs on Tuesday also declined to comment. The office of U.S. Rep. Steve Womack of Rogers, who has described Cheney as a “close friend,” did not respond to requests for comment on the censure. A spokesperson for U.S. Rep. French Hill of Little Rock also stayed mum. Rep. Rick Crawford of Jonesboro issued a statement babbling about how Republicans can’t lose focus on this years election.
That’s all a shame. Every one of them should have had the courage to say exactly what McConnell said. An election year can make for deafening silence where standing firm for democracy should be easy enough to shout from the rooftops.
McConnell said the events of Jan. 6 was a “violent insurrection” and repudiated the RNC’s description of it as “legitimate political discourse.”
“We saw it happen. It was a violent insurrection for the purpose of trying to prevent the peaceful transfer of power after a legitimately certified election, from one administration to the next. That’s what it was,” said the Kentucky Republican.
Plain. Simple. Truth.
Let’s credit Gov. Asa Hutchinson, too. “The censure resolution by the RNC is wrong; undermines respect for our rule of law; and divides our party unnecessarily,” the governor said. “I am grateful for those courageous dissenters in the RNC vote.”
We’re not saying it’s easy being a Republican these days, caught as the party is between forces that embrace traditional GOP values and those motivated by a man willing to sacrifice anything and everyone to keep his hold on power. But the courage to stand strong in defense of the country typically isn’t required when times are easy.
Mike Pence, Donald Trump’s vice president, also recently said his former boss was wrong in the suggestion Pence had authority to set aside some states’ electoral votes. Trump’s claim was one more grasp for power the people of the United States had denied him.
Even Democrats ought to pray that the GOP can rescue itself, for the good of the country.