I think an interesting response to what occurred on Capitol Hill on January 6th would be to see the changes in disposition from Senator Kelly Loeffler.
Earlier that day, she stood next to former president Donald Trump, discussing her plans to vote against the electoral results granting Joe Biden the presidency. That morning Donald Trump held yet another rally, urging unrest and irascibility, and though the purpose of the rally should have been to encourage voting for the Senator runoff race in Georgia, it eventually turned, as it always had, to questioning the results of the election.
But we still need to figure out what exactly the goal was for these Senators who sided with Trump on massive voter fraud, despite the judges and the courts constantly rejecting the claims due to lack of evidence.
- Did Loeffler legitimately believe that widespread voter fraud occurred, and did she have compelling evidence that proved her case?
- Did she not believe that there was a case at all, and she was following Donald Trump’s lead in order to tow the party line?
Because the video above of Kelly Loeffler after Capitol Hill went on lockdown, after rioters stormed into the building and began taking things, bringing in Confederate flags, and generally embarrassing the status of our democracy worldwide, is of a very different (supposedly) Kelly Loeffler.
“However, the events that have transpired today have forced me to reconsider,” she said, “And I cannot now in good conscience object to the certification of these electors.”
Keep in mind that the event in Congress that occurred on January 6th, the decision to “certify” these electors, did not have to occur at all, and was done so only to soothe the ruffled feathers of a president who refused to concede in an election. Voters decide a president, not Congress.
So from the bottom up, from the foundation, the events that occurred were exacerbated by Donald Trump and the Republican Senators who sided with him.
Loeffler’s change in her decision-making highlights some major ambiguities in the Republican thought process. What, exactly, were they expecting when they decided to go along with this? And now, what is their plan?
- Did Kelly Loeffler change her mind because she felt as though the truth (in her eyes) was no longer worth fighting for?
- Did Kelly Loeffler realize that every Republican was burning their connection to Donald Trump, and it was wise for her to do the same?
- If no one had stormed the castle of Capitol Hill, was Kelly Loeffler really going to stand for the rejection of democracy in order to gain status?
There really is no situation where these Senators come out looking good. Senator Lindsey Graham even cut ties with the president. It is a shame that real, actual violence has had to force these Republicans into realizing how close we came to ending democracy. And whether or not this lesson will carry moving forward, the story of rioters ransacking the Capitol will be in history textbooks. There is no question that we will be forced to remember this time.
The politics of saving face. If those like Loeffler believed that democracy was compromised during the voting process, then the riots of that day would have been a revolution to reclaim it, hence there is no need to about face. For we (in her eyes) no longer live in a democracy. If democracy still reined in America, and she was about to go and vote against it, this turn could only have happened (it appears) with violence. Which means that in order for democracy to work for these Republicans, rioters had to intimidate them. That is not a message I want to live in the eyes of our children.
It is like waking up from a horrific college party and realizing someone overdosed.
“It went too far.” “It should never have gotten this crazy.” All across the media space, you’re hearing phrases like this. Which of course could be extrapolated to all sorts of American problems. Climate change should not have gotten this bad. Wealth inequality should not have been this stratified. Our healthcare system should not be this predatory.
It is a disaster that part of our elected representatives are only willing to proceed in democratic norms when they are assaulted. What does that suggest for the future of our republic?
We have a problem with success getting in the way of being truthful in this country. As long as the money comes in, it does not mattered how. This lack of understanding of process rather than product, of success versus the truth, is corroding our democratic norms. Donald Trump functions as a businessman on product. He routinely does not pay those he hires. As long as the product appears, who cares what came before. And he generally does not care about the process of speech, the words he says, as long as he gets what he wants at the end. And for some reason our country has not only agreed with that but voted for it and respected it, as if we are admitting that he is the soul of America. Now that there is no more slack in the line for Republicans to follow in this thesis, the cut has to be made, and the party must continue on without him out of a need to survive. It is disgusting that this was where it led to, and I have no idea what the health of our information space is going to be as we make our way through this next presidency.
So much for 2021 being a slow news year.