AuthorConniff, Ruth

After the unprecedented crisis at the end of the Trump Administration, which devolved into chaos and violence at the U.S. Capitol, and a second impeachment, Republicans and Democrats alike are faced with stark choices.

For the Republicans, who enabled Trump for four years, right up until the very end, the choice is particularly clear: keep abetting conspiracy theories they know to be false, feeding the paranoia, division, and violence; or clearly and publicly reject Trump and his aggrieved supporters and their preposterous theories that the election, and indeed the country, has been "stolen" from them.

That means more than joining Mitch McConnell's eleventh-hour declaration that "the United States Senate has a higher calling than an endless spiral of partisan vengeance"-as if McConnell himself had not been the chief architect of partisan divisiveness in the U.S. Senate these past ten years.

The Republicans, as a group, must look at how they have been using racism, hate, white grievance, and every other means they can find to suppress the votes of people of color and hold onto power. True, Trump replaced the GOP dog whistle with a bullhorn, calling on his white supremacist, Confederate-flag-waving supporters to storm the Capitol. But racism, misogyny, and the rigging of elections have been part of the Republican playbook for decades.

Take the nationwide push to "investigate" baseless claims of voter fraud. Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, backed away from opposing Joe Biden's Electoral College victory after the insurrectionists broke in. But Johnson continues to assert that the delusions of tens of thousands of Trump supporters that the election was stolen necessitates hearings on the matter-as if Trump and his campaign had not lost nearly sixty lawsuits, many in front of Republican-appointed judges, on so-called election fraud.

The disgraced ex-President's enablers have pivoted from riling up the base with lies about a stolen election to sober proclamations about the need to investigate those lies because people believe them. State commissions are now looking at ways to eliminate opportunities for voter fraud in what was, by all official accounts, a completely secure and remarkably trouble-free election.

Representative Mike Gallagher, Republican of Wisconsin, denounced the Capitol break-in. But days earlier Gallagher, along with six Republican colleagues in Congress, expressed "outrage" at the "reckless adoption of mail-in...

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