There’s No Healing From This

A major political party decided they’re done with democracy. We can’t forgive and move on.

Just two days after Republican insurrectionists took over the U.S. Capitol and numerous state capitols, and 147 Republican members of Congress voted against the official Electoral College vote certification shortly afterward, those same lawmakers are now begging the country to forgive and forget.

Respectfully, fuck that.

Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-SC, a stalwart ally of insurrectionist president Donald Trump, insisted on Friday morning that impeaching Trump now, with just two weeks left in his term, would only sow further division. (This comes from the same man who was caught on tape in mid-November asking the Georgia secretary of state to overturn the results of the state’s legally run election.) Graham is now asking that the country “heal” and move on from the violence of this week, which he had a direct hand in causing.

Several major GOP figures echoed Graham’s calls for healing, like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-CA, who voted against the Electoral College certification about 24 hours earlier.

Republican calls to move on and heal are nothing but a desperate attempt to ward off the consequences of their own actions. The GOP thought it could get what it wanted — tax cuts for the extremely wealthy and ideological control of the courts—by attaching itself to Trump. Republicans assumed they could use the man whose rallies featured abject violence from their earliest days as a mere pawn for ideological gain.

Now, having gotten what they wanted, but seeing Trump’s rally violence spread into their own hallowed grounds, they’re desperate to wash the poop stink off their own political reputations.

But healing cannot happen until those who did wrong face consequences, and the GOP has never faced any serious repercussions for their own actions in the last 50 years.

Richard Nixon was pardoned; Trump himself was let off after getting caught trying to get a foreign power to interfere in his campaign for reelection; for the last decade, Republicans got away with suppressing the vote and gerrymandering states to the point where they can maintain statehouse supermajorities without winning over a majority of voters.

One cannot simply inspire and drive an insurrection one day and expect everyone to move on literally the next day, that’s not how life works.

Republicans are often fond of simplistic family metaphors, so try this one on for size: If a brother gets his friends to break into their other brother’s home, shit on the floor, break stuff, steal things, and leave homemade bombs and gallows behind, that brother would face significant consequences, both in the legal system and within the family.

There’s no both sides-ing what happened on January 6. Followers of an outgoing president have never before breached the Capitol in a legitimate attempt to overturn that president’s election loss. Those who participated in the assault, along with those in Congress who encouraged and cheered them on, should all face significant consequences.

Lawmakers who encouraged the ransacking of their own workplace, a symbol of American democracy, should at minimum lose their seats in that sacred chamber. The president who essentially ordered people to rush the Capitol should be immediately removed.

If there are no consequences for literally rebelling against the legal democracy of the United States, then we are doomed to repeat it again.

Political journalist. The first openly trans Capitol Hill reporter in US history. Writing about more than just trans issues. Follow her on Twitter @transscribe

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