The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Police form line during January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

The House of Representatives easily passed a bill on Tuesday evening to honor the Capitol Police and others who defended the Capitol during the violent assault by a Trumpist mob by awarding them Congressional gold medals. Despite passing with overwhelming bipartisan support, however, the vote was not universal: A dozen Republican members of the House actually voted against the bill.

Those 12 emerge from this vote as a rogues gallery of Congress' worst-of-the-worst. Because, though several hurried out excuses for voting against a bill that did nothing but acknowledge the contributions of police on January 6, the result of the vote was clear: These are people who place the concerns of the insurgents over those of the women and men who were killed or injured defending the nation against an unprecedented assault.

When it came down to it, these 12 Republicans sided with the murderous mob rather than the Capitol Police. So much so that they could not accept a motion of praise for the people who may have saved their lives.

The names of the 12 no-voters are familiar enough that they might as well be called the usual suspects: Andy Biggs, Michael Cloud, Andrew Clyde, Matt Gaetz, Louie Gohmert, Bob Good, Lance Gooden, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Andy Harris, Thomas Massie, John Rose, and Greg Steube.

Some of the 12 came forward with statements that "clarified" their vote. For example, Gohmert didn't like the fact that the the bill honoring the police accurately described the people smashing their way into the Capitol as "armed insurgents." Gohmert did not make it clear whether the objection is that the guns, tasers, bear spray, bats, and spears carried by those invading the Capitol building didn't have enough magazine capacity to really count as weapons, or whether seeking to hang public officials in order to overthrow the government shouldn't count as insurrection. But one way or another, Gohmert was worried that the collection of hostage-seeking jackasses might get their feelings hurt.

Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie expanded on this point. As the Cincinnati Enquirer reports, the Kentucky congressman claimed he was concerned that using the term "insurrection" gave it too much "weight," and this term "could show up in a prosecution." He did not make it clear if this meant he wanted insurgents treated with kid gloves, or if he was concerned that he might be named in such a prosecution.

Calling an insurrection an insurrection was also apparently a line too far for insurrection supporter Andy Harris. He tweeted that he could not support "partisan charged language found in this bill." Language so partisan that the bill had 333 sponsors—over three quarters of the House membership, Republicans included. But then, those others aren't as sensitive as Harris.

And of course, Marjorie Taylor Greene, the new leader of congressional Republicans, could be counted on to provide insight. First, she objected to a phrase describing the Capitol as "a temple of democracy" because … temple. "This Capitol is not a temple," wrote Greene in a Facebook post. "I will not give that a stamp of my approval." Greene will have to wrestle that one out with Thomas Jefferson, who used the phrase after suggesting the Capitol be modeled after the Pantheon in Rome. Then Greene went on to complain that the bill "calls every single person that entered the capitol on Jan. 6 an insurrectionist" (it doesn't, though it could) and fails to call "Antifa or BLM" insurrectionists simply because they didn't invade the Capitol and attempt to overthrow the government.

All of the 12 protested that they would have supported an alternate bill from Gohmert that had language more to their liking. However, as The Washington Post reports, that version did more than omit the "sacrilegious" use of temple and defend the delicate sensibility of white supremacist insurgents; it actually didn't mention the events of January 6 at all.

So these 12 Republicans are perfectly willing to praise the police … theoretically. So long as it doesn't involve the police actually doing anything to their people.

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Jacob Chansley, or the "QAnon Shaman," in face paint, furs and horned hat during the January 6 Capitol riot.

Screenshot from Justice Department complaint

Notorious Capitol rioter Jacob Chansley, better known as the "QAnon shaman," is negotiating a possible plea deal with prosecutors after psychologists found he suffers from multiple mental illnesses, his lawyer told Reuters -- while painting a rosy image of the violent insurrectionist's part during the Capitol riot.

According to Albert Watkins, Chansley's defense lawyer, he was diagnosed with transient schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety by officials at the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). The findings have not yet been made public.

Keep reading... Show less

'Audit' under way in Maricopa County, Arizona.

Screenshot from azaudit.org

This article was produced by Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

The "big lie" that President Joe Biden was not legitimately elected is not going away. One reason is Americans who care about their democracy are not learning how votes for president in 2020 were counted and verified — neither from the big lie's promoters nor from most of its fact-driven critics.

Keep reading... Show less
x

Close