Democrats Need To Start Treating Republicans Like Gangsters They Are
Last week, 126 House Republicans, including members of GOP leadership, signed their names to an antidemocratic attempt to toss out the votes of 20 million Americans in four states that cemented Joe Biden's victory over Donald Trump. Michael Steele, the former chair of the Republican National Committee, called this act "an offense to the Constitution and it leaves an indelible stain that will be hard for these 126 members to wipe off their political skin for a long time to come."
Oh no! Not an indelible stain! Those are the worst.
Let's get real: The modern Republican party is a bunch of thugs who push boundaries and shred norms because they're confident they'll never face any accountability. After all, no Republican lost their seat after helping Trump skate on impeachment charges less than a year ago. Voters just plumb forgot about it, and instead they chose to punish Democrats for positions, such as “defund the police," that they literally don't support. Republicans who weren't Trump, however, thrived at the ballot box and picked up at least 10 seats, whittling away at the Democratic majority.
So, what's a little attempted coup between Republicans and voters who are easily misled?
The 126 Republican Members that signed onto this unlawful & undemocratic GOP lawsuit have brought dishonor to the H… https://t.co/n91KZ0JQ5r— Nancy Pelosi (@Nancy Pelosi) 1607739517.0
Friday, after the Supreme Court told Trump to go climb his thumb, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared that the 126 Republicans — 60 percent of their caucus — who "signed onto this unlawful and undemocratic GOP lawsuit have brought dishonor to the House." But Republicans aren't Klingons.They don't give a shit about honor. Pelosi demanded that Republicans must "once and for all end their election subversion — immediately." Or what? Are we going to talk some more about "honor" and "indelible stains"?
Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell from New Jersey suggested leadership actually sanction the Republican Grinches who tried to steal democracy for Christmas. Pascrell threw down the gauntlet in a letter he sent Pelosi last week.
The courageous Reconstruction Congress implanted into our governing document safeguards to cleanse from our government ranks any traitors and others who would seek to destroy the Union. To that end, Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment stipulates that:
"No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof…"
Stated simply, men and women who would act to tear the United States government apart cannot serve as Members of the Congress. These lawsuits seeking to obliterate public confidence in our democratic system by invalidating the clear results of the 2020 presidential election attack the text and spirit of the Constitution, which each Member swears to support and defend, as well as violate the Rules of our House of Representatives, which explicitly forbid Members from committing unbecoming acts that reflect poorly on our chamber.
Josh Barro, columnist for Business Insider, claims Pascrell is just “pulling a stunt" to match the GOP's “stunt," but this isn't like that episode of “Friends" where Joey and Chandler childishly argue over who gets to sit in a chair, resulting in escalating acts of stupidity. Republicans openly tried to overturn an election because they didn't like the results. People who flirt with fascism shouldn't hold elected office, and Trump's stooges have advanced to heavy petting.
If Democrats do nothing, this supposed “indelible stain" will fade from public memory like the weird spot on your sofa that you hid with a throw pillow. But it's still there. There's this push from the media and self-serving conservatives for Democrats to always play fair and observe norms, but that just grants Republican gangsters a veneer of respectability. Democrats need to stop acting like goddamn throw pillows on a gross, moldy GOP sofa.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."