Breaking News: Mitch McConnell denounced the RNC for calling the Jan. 6 riot “legitimate political discourse” and censuring two of its own members, Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. https://t.co/ZsFBFIJkdX
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 8, 2022
When I first heard the words of RNC Chairwoman, Ronna Romney McDaniel, indicating that the necessary work of the January 6th Commission was a “Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens who engaged in legitimate political discourse,” I had multiple simultaneous reactions. My brain can multi-task like that.
My reactions included “WTF?! How low will the Republican party stoop to protect their collective tushies and that of their cult of personality leader, a.k.a. TFG (The Former Guy)” and “That key sentence would make a great grunge rock band name.”
McDaniel is the niece of a Republican senator from Utah, Mitt Romney. She intentionally stopped using her birth last name to avoid identifying with one of the few in their party who will outright declare that what happened on January 6th was not merely a tourist visit or business as usual in Washington D.C.
Her statement came before the vote to censure Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, the two admittedly Conservative Republicans on the committee. The elder Romney responded, “Shame falls on a party that would censure persons of conscience who seek truth in the face of vitriol. Honor attaches to Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for seeking truth even when doing so comes at great personal cost.”
Even the former Vice President, Mike Pence, whose evangelical, right wing beliefs fly in the face of my own, stood up for the Constitution when he declared at a meeting of the Federalist Society where he received a standing ovation after definitively declaring, “President Trump is wrong. I had no right to overturn the election.” He added, “The presidency belongs to the American people, and the American people alone. And frankly, there is almost no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president.”
I note that he didn’t acknowledge that President Biden won in a free and legitimate election process. He also didn’t describe what was certainly terror about the events of January sixth, when, if not for the protection of the Capitol police, he might have been swinging from a gallows.
He didn’t rebuke the rioters. He didn’t take a stand for what should have been a peaceful transfer of power. For all I know, he might have wished he did have the power to overturn the election results.
When I watch and listen to the news, I feel as if I have fallen into the Twilight Zone where nothing makes sense and many people seem to have fallen under a spell of confusion. Up is down and down is up. It takes all of my willpower not to dissociate since it would be so easy to tumble into ambivalence, shrugging my shoulders and wondering what I can possibly do to stop this runaway train heading down a crumbling track.
Instead, I brainstorm ideas with fellow activists, I write about my observations, and I commune with the ancestors and the God of my understanding to ask for perseverance and resilience so that I can help stop the insanity.
Rock on, fellow peace and social justice activists!