House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, has already pledged to remove three prominent Democrats – Eric Swalwell, Adam Schiff and Ilhan Omar – from important committee duties, simply – it seems – out of revenge.
“The Democrats have created a new thing where they pick and choose who might be on the committee. Never in history has the majority told the minority who might be on the committee,” McCarthy said. Recount
the Breitbart News on the right.
It would be a drastic move under almost any circumstance, but it comes at a critical time, when America’s democracy is the most fragile in generations. A party seeks to maintain our system of democratic governance and the institutions and standards that allow it. Another constantly sought to undermine them.
This latest threat is yet another warning sign: the GOP is on its way to becoming an undemocratic party. We miss this fact at the peril of our nation.
McCarthy’s threat comes in retaliation to Democrats who removed from their committees two Republican members of Congress, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona, after Greene and Gosar made a series of inflammatory and disturbing comments that have demonstrated their general inability to perform their duties.
Gosar posted an anime video online that showed him attacking President Joe Biden with a sword and appearing to murder his colleague, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York City. Greene’s forays into violent, conspiratorial rhetoric are too numerous to list in their entirety, but they include the QAnon conspiracy claim that promulgates the theory that Democrats are linked to a sex ring involving children (she turned to from away from QAnon); making several anti-Semitic comments, including comparing the Covid-19 vaccination requirements to Nazism (for which she later apologized) and blaming the California wildfires on Jewish space lasers; and indicating his support for the execution of several prominent Democrats even before running for Congress (in a tweet, Greene said: “Over the years I have had teams of people running my Pages… Some didn’t represent not my point of view, that CNN is about to spill over the Internet. ”).
In a healthier democracy, comments like Gosar’s and Greene’s would make them personas non grata within their party. Instead, the GOP leadership for the most part made weak condemnations of their comments and then continued to embrace them. McCarthy, for example, said Greene’s comments “do not represent the values or beliefs of the House Republican Conference” and said “condemn these comments unequivocally.” But while he was happy to pretend to support the concept of condemnation, he refused to do anything about Greene or Gosar and objected to the bipartisan decision to strip them of their committee duties. .
And now, instead of just dropping those tokens, he’s looking to take revenge on Democrats who haven’t done anything like Greene or Gosar – and certainly haven’t suggested they support violence against their colleagues.
It’s not just McCarthy and his threats of retaliation to seize power that signal the GOP’s fall into undemocratic darkness. Many Republican elected officials have addressed the Big Lie that former President Donald Trump won the 2020 election; 147 of them voted to overturn the results of a free and fair election just because their guy lost.
Some Republican members of Congress have justified or downplayed the events of January 6. They suffered no consequences from their party, and some are now running for office, despite the fact that the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution states that no one “who, having ever been sworn in, as a member of Congress … to support the constitution of the United States, will have engaged in an insurrection or a rebellion against them. ”
Some Democrats and voters are finally saying “enough is enough”. In North Carolina, a group of voters demand that Rep. Madison Cawthorn be disqualified from running for his connection to the insurgency. Cawthorn addressed the crowd gathered in Washington, DC on January 6, saying Trump really won the election, after tweeting “it’s time to fight” the days before. Later that day, Trump supporters stormed the Capitol complex, where five people were killed.
Cawthorn has not learned his lesson and appears to have no remorse for his actions. “When tyranny becomes law, rebellion becomes your duty,” he said in September, as he also warned of “bloodshed” because Trump did not win. The people arrested for their acts of insurgency on January 6, he said, were “political prisoners” and there should be plans to “try to get them out”. A spokesperson for the representative said this week that “more than 245,000 patriots in western North Carolina elected Congressman Cawthorn to serve them in Washington.”
Republican members of Congress openly encourage violence and attempt to overthrow American democracy. Republicans could clean up and declare that anyone who tries to undermine a free and fair election – let alone the U.S. Democratic system itself – shouldn’t sit in Congress with an R next to their name. But instead, party leaders will take revenge on Democrats by threatening to remove them from committees.
It is not a question of partisan division. It is a fundamental question of what America should be. And the behavior of many Republicans, including several of its leaders, suggests that the GOP’s response is something other than “a free democratic nation.”
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