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This Is Treason

Updated: Jan 7, 2021

I was watching the House of Representatives’ debate over the certification of Arizona’s electoral votes on CSPAN this morning when the proceedings suddenly ground to a halt. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) was speaking as the chamber began to fill with frantic noise. Gosar asked the presiding officer, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) for order, and, as McGovern tried to gavel the House to order so debate could resume, a sequence of men in suits began to stream out the door. The tumult in the chamber continued, and, after a pause, McGovern declared that the House would go into recess, without an explanation for why the proceedings were so suddenly interrupted. As we would soon learn, the reason for this disruption was that a violent mob of President Trump’s supporters had gathered outside the Capitol building, breaching the (usually secure) area on the Capitol’s steps. The Capitol was soon placed on lockdown and lawmakers were asked to shelter in place. In the following hours, the protesters would enter the chambers of both houses, lawmakers would be evacuated to undisclosed locations, and a woman would be shot and killed. Americans’ faith in our country would be violently shaken. The siege of the Capitol building was a seditious attempt to overthrow the duly-elected government of the United States. No matter how many American flags they paraded around, those who were part of this mob were not patriots — they were traitors. They sought to violently cast aside one of the most basic principles of American democracy: the idea that the American people ought to have the final say in choosing our leaders.

But the principle of popular sovereignty was also cast aside, just as brazenly as it was by the mob outside, by many within the chamber. Let us not allow the antics of the lawless thugs outside the House chamber distract us from those of the elected miscreants within.

The inevitably unsuccessful attempt by many Republican lawmakers to overturn the results of last year’s election by fiat was just as bad as the mob’s attempt to wreak havoc on the process of congressional certification. Our legislators have sworn an oath to uphold and protect the Constitution and, in many cases, have served this nation in Congress for many years. They occupy positions of great influence in American politics, supposed examples of institutional decorum. The dearth of codified rules in American government means that the norms that govern our politics are especially vulnerable to being undermined by feckless and brazen power-grabs. Not only are our institutions defenseless against actions that are prohibited only by norm, but such violations create a precedent that undermines the authority of these norms going forward.

Perhaps the most recent example of the long-term deleterious impact of reckless power-grabs such as the one perpetrated by many congressional Republicans, and supported by this mob, is one that will not be flattering to many liberal readers. The last time that there was a debate over a challenge to a state’s slate of electors was in 2005, when California Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) endorsed a bid to strike down Ohio’s electors over questionable allegations of election irregularities propagated by many Democrats seeking to overturn President Bush II’s re-election the year prior. (1) The legal provision empowering Boxer to make such a challenge was never intended to allow lawmakers to scrutinize states’ election processes; rather, it just required them to certify that the certificates of ascertainment provided to Congress were “regular in form and authentic.” The prevailing interpretation of the law has always been that lawmakers can only object on the grounds that a certificate was inauthentic (i.e. forged) or to adjudicate in cases where a state has submitted equally-legitimate competing slates of electors. With the process governed by decorum rather than strict rules, Vice President Dick Cheney was powerless to overrule Sen. Boxer’s disingenuous interpretation that Congress was in a position to overturn the election results, and her objection led to a debate in both chambers, just as the objection lodged by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) did today, shortly before the security breach. Although her quixotic initiative failed, Sen. Boxer’s challenge to the Ohioan electors exposed a loophole by which Congress could vote to overturn the will of the people, setting a precedent for future attempts to undermine the democratic process. Today, our country is reaping what she sowed; this attempt, which has garnered an unprecedented degree of support from the Republican caucus, affirms that disastrous precedent.

Although the more violent traitors were the ones who stormed the capitol building, the traitors within, owing to their positions of authority, are more dangerous. They will set a precedent very similar to the one Sen. Boxer set fifteen years ago. It is a shameless power-grab that those of us who believe in upholding the norms and laws of our republic will not soon forget.

After the electoral college voted to uphold President-elect Biden’s victory, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) urged Republican senators not to lodge objections lest there be a necessity for a recorded vote. McConnell desired to avoid a recorded vote because he did not want to force senators and representatives who supported the attempt to overthrow the Biden administration to say so on the record, an action that could potentially scar their reputations for the remainder of their careers. However, McConnell failed to prevent senators from lodging groundless objections, and there will be a recorded vote on whether to sustain them. I, for one, am glad that this occurred. The American people deserve to know which of our representatives are traitors. Below is a full list of the lawmakers who have supported this un-American coup. Remember their names and never forgive them.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville — Alabama

Rep. Mo Brooks — Alabama

Rep. Jerry Carl — Alabama

Rep. Mike Rogers — Alabama

Rep. Barry Moore — Alabama

Rep. Robert Aderholt — Alabama

Rep. Andy Biggs — Arizona

Rep. Paul Gosar — Arizona

Rep. David Schweikert -- Arizona

Rep. Debbie Lesko -- Arizona

Rep. Rick Crawford -- Arkansas

Rep. Mike Garcia — California

Rep. Kevin McCarthy — California

Rep. Ken Calvert — California

Rep. Darrell Issa — California

Rep. Doug LaMalfa — California

Rep. Devin Nunes — California

Rep. Jay Obernolte — California

Rep. Lauren Boebert — Colorado

Rep. Doug Lamborn — Colorado

Rep. Matt Gaetz — Florida

Rep. Kat Cammack — Florida

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart — Florida

Rep. Byron Donalds — Florida

Rep. Neal Dunn — Florida

Rep. John Rutherford — Florida

Rep. Carlos Gimenez — Florida

Rep. Bill Posey — Florida

Rep. Brian Mast — Florida

Rep. Scott Franklin — Florida

Rep. Greg Steube — Florida

Rep. Daniel Webster — Florida

Sen. Kelly Loeffler — Georgia

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene — Georgia

Rep. Jody Hice — Georgia

Rep. Andrew Clyde — Georgia

Rep. Rick Allen — Georgia

Rep. Barry Loudermilk — Georgia

Rep. Earl Carter — Georgia

Rep. Russ Fulcher — Idaho

Rep. Mike Bost -- Illinois

Rep. Mary Miller -- Illinois

Sen. Mike Braun — Indiana

Rep. Jim Banks — Indiana

Rep. Greg Pence -- Indiana

Rep. Jim Baird -- Indiana

Rep. Jackie Walorski — Indiana

Sen. Roger Marshall — Kansas

Rep. Ron Estes — Kansas

Rep. Tracey Mann — Kansas

Rep. Jake LaTurner — Kansas

Rep. Hal Rogers -- Kentucky

Sen. John Kennedy — Louisiana

Rep. Clay Higgins — Louisiana

Rep. Garrett Graves — Louisiana

Rep. Mike Johnson — Louisiana

Rep. Steve Scalise — Louisiana

Rep. Andy Harris — Maryland

Rep. Lisa McClain — Michigan

Rep. Jack Bergman — Michigan

Rep. Michelle Fischbach -- Minnesota

Rep. Jim Hagedorn -- Minnesota

Rep. Tim Walberg— Michigan

Rep. Steven Palazzo — Mississippi

Rep. Trent Kelly — Mississippi

Rep. Michael Guest — Mississippi

Sen. Josh Hawley — Missouri

Rep. Sam Graves — Missouri

Rep. Vicky Hartzler — Missouri

Rep. Billy Long — Missouri

Rep. Jason Smith — Missouri

Rep. Blaine Letkemeyer — Missouri

Rep. Matt Rosendale — Montana

Sen. Steve Daines — Montana

Rep. Adrian Smith — Nebraska

Rep. Jeff Van Drew — New Jersey

Rep. Yvette Herrell — New Mexico

Rep. Elise Stefanik — New York

Rep. Lee Zeldin — New York

Rep. Nicole Malliotakis — New York

Rep. Chris Jacobs — New York

Rep. Madison Cawthorn — North Carolina

Rep. Ted Budd— North Carolina

Rep. David Rouzer— North Carolina

Rep. Richard Hudson— North Carolina

Rep. Greg Murphy— North Carolina

Rep. Virginia Foxx— North Carolina

Rep. Adrian Smith -- Nebraska

Rep. Jim Jordan — Ohio

Rep. Bob Gibbs — Ohio

Rep. Warren Davidson — Ohio

Rep. Bill Johnson — Ohio

Rep. Steve Chabot -- Ohio

Sen. James Lankford — Oklahoma

Rep. Markwayne Mullin — Oklahoma

Rep. Stephanie Bice — Oklahoma

Rep. Kevin Hern — Oklahoma

Rep. Mike Lucas — Oklahoma

Rep. Tom Cole — Oklahoma

Rep. Cliff Bentz — Oregon

Rep. John Joyce — Pennsylvania

Rep. Dan Meuser — Pennsylvania

Rep. Glenn "GT" Thompson — Pennsylvania

Rep. Mike Kelly — Pennsylvania

Rep. Lloyd Smucker — Pennsylvania

Rep. Guy Reschenthaler — Pennsylvania

Rep. Fred Keller — Pennsylvania

Rep. Scott Perry — Pennsylvania

Rep. Jeff Duncan — South Carolina

Rep. Ralph Norman — South Carolina

Rep. Joe Wilson — South Carolina

Rep. William Timmons — South Carolina

Rep. Tom Rice — South Carolina

Sen. Marsha Blackburn — Tennessee

Sen. Bill Hagerty — Tennessee

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann — Tennessee

Rep. Tim Burchett — Tennessee

Rep. Mark Green — Tennessee

Rep. Diana Harshbarger — Tennessee

Rep. Scott DesJarlais — Tennessee

Rep. David Kustoff — Tennessee

Sen. Ted Cruz — Texas

Rep. Lance Gooden — Texas

Rep. Ronny Jackson — Texas

Rep. Louie Gohmert — Texas

Rep. John Carter — Texas

Rep. Michael Cloud — Texas

Rep. Pat Fallon — Texas

Rep. Randy Weber — Texas

Rep. Brian Babin — Texas

Rep. Troy Nehls — Texas

Rep. Beth Van Duyne — Texas

Rep. Randy Weber — Texas

Rep. Roger Williams — Texas

Rep. Ron Wright — Texas

Rep. John Rose — Texas

Rep. Pete Sessions — Texas

Rep. August Pfluger — Texas

Rep. Jodey Arrington — Texas

Rep. Burgess Owens — Utah

Rep. Chris Stewart — Utah

Rep. Bob Good — Virginia

Rep. Morgan Griffith — Virginia

Rep. Ben Cline — Virginia

Rep. Rob Wittman — Virginia

Carol Miller -- West Virginia

Alexander Mooney -- West Virginia

Sen. Ron Johnson — Wisconsin

Rep. Scott Fitzgerald -- Wisconsin

Rep. Tom Tiffany -- Wisconsin

Sen. Cynthia Lummis — Wyoming

NB: Several senators have withdrawn their objections since the rioters stormed the capitol. I have kept them on this list because I believe they still have done irreparable harm to the integrity of the democratic process.

List updated at 6:30 PM on 1/7 to reflect the recorded vote


1) There have since (mostly in 2017) been challenges by representatives to slates of electors, but none with a senator’s signature affixed. In the absence of cosponsors from both houses, challenges are immediately dismissed without debate.

Image Credit: CSPAN

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