January 6, 2021, will surely live in infamy—the day the United States Capitol was stormed by a mob, forcing legislators to evacuate in a rush and leaving five dead, including a police officer.
The most dangerous part of that day for the country as a whole, however, was not what happened when the insurrectionists fought their way into the Capitol in the afternoon, but what happened just a few hours later on the floor. After all that mayhem, the legislators were escorted back to the chamber under heavily armed escort, and a stunning 139 representatives—66 percent of the House GOP caucus—along with eight GOP senators, promptly voted to overturn the election, just as the mob and the president had demanded.
Unlike the insurrectionists, they were polite and proper about it. But the danger they pose to our democracy is much greater than that posed by the members of the mob, who can be identified and caught, and who will face serious legal consequences for their acts. Donald Trump’s ignominious departure from office—whether he is impeached and removed, resigns, or simply sulks away in disrepute—will leave us to solve the problem of the politicians who worked hard to convince millions that the election had been stolen, and then voted to steal it themselves. [Continue reading…]