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January 6, 2021: A day that will live in infamy

We are interrupting our regular Op-Ed to bring you the voices of Senators and Representatives who were in the capitol on the day it was overrun by a mob, threatening violence to our democracy. Despite the breach which ended with five dead and a country shaken, Congress did reconvene that night to certify the results of the 2020 election. 

From Senator Pat Toomey (Rep)  Senior Senator from Pennsylvania 

1: “Does Congress have the constitutional authority to decide which states’ Electoral College votes should be counted and which should not, based on how well we think they ran their elections? This is what the objectors are really asking us to do – to federalize elections by rejecting Electoral College votes from states whose processes they say they disapprove of. And thereby having Congress select the president of the U.S. instead of the American people.

“If Congress gets to decide which states get to vote in the Electoral College, then clearly Congress is selecting the president, not the people. Whichever party controls both houses of Congress would control the presidency. The public would never tolerate Congress picking the president instead of themselves, so they’d abolish the Electoral College….

“And the end of the Electoral College, of course, means the nation will be governed by a handful of big blue states and regions that can drum up very large numbers.”

Toomey noted that he had supported Trump in his re-election last year, had campaigned for the GOP ticket, and “did not want Joe Biden to win this election.” 

“But there’s something more important to me than having my preferred candidate sworn in as the next president. And that’s to have the American people’s chosen candidate sworn in as the next president.

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2: Senator Pat Toomey (Rep)  Senior Senator from Pennsylvania

“We put the rule of law ahead of our own political power or our party. Our democracy comes first.”    

 

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3: “[Trump’s] use of the Presidency to destroy trust in our election and to poison our respect for fellow citizens has been enabled by pseudo political leaders whose names will live in infamy as profiles in cowardice.”  Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis

 

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4: From Senator Ben Sasse (Republican) Junior Senator from Nebraska

“Our kids need to know that this isn’t what America is. … I don’t think we want to tell the Americans that come after us that this republic is broken, that this is just a banana republic, that our institutions can’t be trusted. I don’t think we want that. We don’t want that in this body, we don’t want that in our home towns.

“Lies have consequences. This violence was the inevitable and ugly outcome of the president’s addiction to constantly stoking division.”

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5: From The National Association of Manufacturers

“This is not the vision of America that manufacturers believe in and work so hard to defend. Across America today, millions of manufacturing workers are helping our nation fight the deadly pandemic that has already taken hundreds of thousands of lives. We are trying to rebuild an economy and save and rebuild lives. But none of that will matter if our leaders refuse to fend off this attack on America and our democracy – because our very system of government, which underpins our very way of life, will crumble.”

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6: Representative Marcia Fudge (Democrat)  Ohio

“This is a day that will live in infamy. The very people who believe they are protecting our democracy have succeeded in destroying it.” 

 

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7: From Senior Senator from Kentucky, Senate Majority Leader (Republican)

“Nothing before us proves illegality anywhere near the massive scale that would have tipped the election. When the doubt itself was promoted without any facts.

“The voters, the courts and the states have all spoken. If we overrule them, we would damage our republic forever. This election was not unusually close. 1976, 2000, and 2004 were all closer than this one. The Electoral College margin is almost identical to what it was in 2016.

“If this election was overturned by mere allegation from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral. We would never see the whole nation accept an election again. Every four years, there would be a scramble for power at any cost. The Electoral College, which most of us on this side have been defending for years, would cease to exist, leaving many of our states with no real say at all in choosing a president. The effects would go beyond the election itself. 

“Self-government, my colleagues, requires a shared commitment to the truth and a shared respect for the ground rules of our system…. We cannot keep drifting apart into two separate tribes, with a separate set of facts and separate realities, with nothing in common except our hostilities for each other and the few national institutions we still share…. Congress will either override the voters, overrule them – the voters, the states, and the courts – for the first time ever, or honor the people’s decision… I will vote to respect the people’s decision and defend our system of government as we know it.”

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8: From  Representative Dan Kildee of Michigan (Democrat) 

“I am in the House Chambers. We have been instructed to lie down on the floor and put on our gas masks. Chamber security and Capitol Police have their guns drawn as protesters bang on the front door of the chamber.

This is not a protest.

This is an attack on America.” 

 

 

 

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