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Can the 14th Amendment Save Democracy?

Updated: Jan 24, 2022


The Fourteen Amendment to the Constitution was written in the aftermath of the Civil War. This landmark addition defined what made a person a citizen, equal protection under the law and even addressed Civil War debt.


But, it is section three of this amendment that could be used as a tool to punish those who took part in the January 6th insurrection by having them removed from office and preventing them from ever holding public office in the future.


The section reads:


“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, nor elector of President or Vice President , or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an Executive or Judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid and comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.”


To put it more simply, the Fourteenth Amendment allows for anyone who takes part in an attempt to overthrow the government to be removed from office and to be barred from ever holding office again.


This could certainly explain why so many Republicans are refusing to provide testimony to the January 6th committee. To do so might result in their removal and possibly even criminal action being brought against them.


So, who exactly would be at risk if the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment were enforced?


Listen to the article:

Rep Jim Jordan (R-OH)

Jordan has been one of Donald Trump’s biggest, and loudest, defenders. He’s been deliberately evasive when asked about his contact with Trump both before and during the insurrection. When pressed for facts, his chosen tactic is to shout at whoever is questioning him and to deflect from the topic with any issue he can use to attack the opposition.


Jordan was the leader in defending Trump during both impeachments. Rather than address the issues that led to his impeachment, Jordan spent his time attacking witnesses and blaming Democrats for “cancel culture” in their alleged persecution complex against him.


In spite of his close relationship with Trump, or more likely because of it, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) sought to have Jordan seated as a member of the Select Committee Investigating the January 6th insurrection. McCarthy feigned shock when Speaker Nancy Pelosi D-CA) rejected his appointment, citing the fact he may be called as a witness (he was).


While this may have been a convenient excuse, Pelosi was well aware of Jordan’s disruptive behavior during the impeachment hearings, she did reserve the right to accept or reject any Republican choices to be on the committee. Jordan’s role would only be to disrupt the process and prevent it from moving forward.


Exactly what Jordan’s involvement with planning to overturn the election results isn’t known yet, which is why he is refusing to cooperate. Jordan admitted that he forwarded a text message that gave a blueprint for overturning the election results. If his role becomes public, it should result in his removal from Congress under the Fourteenth Amendment.


Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)

Immediately following the insurrection, McCarthy took to the House floor to assert that Donald Trump “bears responsibility” for the attack on the Capitol. Faster than you can utter Trump’s signature phrase, “You’re fired!”, McCarthy was on a plane to Mar a Lago to beg forgiveness from his Supreme Leader.


McCarthy is hoping Republicans retake the House, giving him the opportunity to be Speaker of the House. If this were to happen he has promised revenge on Democrats, who he says unfairly removed Republicans from key committee positions when he failed to take action for their threats against fellow members of the House.


Since his Florida visit, McCarthy has been Trump’s loyal lapdog, doing everything in his power to derail any efforts to hold those responsible for the insurrection accountable. When Pelosi agreed to multiple concessions, McCarthy still balked. Then he tried placing Trump loyalists on the January 6th committee and they were predictably rejected, McCarthy used the opportunity to label the committee one of Trump’s favorite phrases, a partisan Witch Hunt. This despite the fact two Republicans are on the committee.


Like Jim Jordan, McCarthy has been asked to appear before the January 6th committee. And also like Jordan, he is refusing to cooperate. This despite the fact it’s been widely reported that a shouting match between McCarthy and Trump took place as the attack on the Capitol was happening, and it has also been revealed that Trump admitted to McCarthy that he was “partially responsible” for what unfolded on that fateful day.


So, like Jordan, McCarthy had contact with Trump on January 6th. Further investigation into his role could result in his removal as well.


Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX)

Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert is actually on record for encouraging violence on January 6th. During a January 1st interview with a right wing news outlet, Gohmert urged those who would later take part in the attacks to “be as violent as Antifa or Black Lives Matter”.


As the Capitol was being infiltrated, Gohmert did call for an end to the violence, saying “it hurts our cause”. But, the damage had already been done.


Is it possible Gohmert had advanced knowledge of the insurrection? His call for violence certainly indicates that. If so, he is certainly involved in encouraging the rioters to participate in a violent attack on Congress. The fact he supposedly had a change of heart notwithstanding, Gohmert needs to be held accountable via the Fourteenth Amendment.


Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA)

Pennsylvania’s Scott Perry is a member of the House Freedom Caucus, which is populated by the most conservative members of Congress and lists Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows as one of it’s founding members. As such, Perry has maintained contact with Meadows and, according to the January 6th committee co-chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS), has information directly related to the January 6th attacks.


Like several other Republicans who have been asked to testify, Perry has balked at the request.


With this much stonewalling going on, it begs the question, What are they hiding?


Rep. Mo Brooks (R-MS)

Words can inspire. Words can motivate. Words can also incite. So it was that Mo Brooks’ comment that Trump supporters should start “kicking ass and taking names” was part of the motivation for the rioters to take part in the insurrection.


While Brooks wasn’t the only one to make inflammatory remarks on that day, it is telling that he was reportedly wearing body armor. It’s as if he was expecting what unfolded to happen long before it actually did.


After all, Brooks was one of the planners of the January 6th “Stop the Steal” rally. Did he know who would be attending? Was he aware of their intentions? Did he have contact with the more violent elements of the insurrection?


If so, he definitely needs to be held accountable under the Fourteenth Amendment.


Mark Meadows

As Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows held enormous power in the White House hierarchy. Unlike his predecessors, who sought to rein in Trump and maintain some sense of decorum, Meadows was all-in on the MAGA train.


Meadows was a founding member of the conservative Freedom Caucus, and employed the same bullying style as Trump and Jim Jordan, so he was definitely a good fit for the position.


While Meadows held a great deal of power, he was by no means in charge. That was Trump’s role and he wasn’t about to share it with anyone. That’s why it seems so unusual that, at the height of the insurrection, it was Meadows people were texting and not Trump. Even Trump’s own son, Don Jr. was sending messages to Meadows to implore his own father to do something to stop the violence.


Why Meadows and why not Trump himself? What did he know and when did he know it?Such information should certainly be a disqualifying factor in seeking political office in the future.


Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)

As the point man for the “Green Bay Sweep” that Trump adviser Peter Navarro revealed was the plan to overturn the election results, Cruz certainly took an active role in attempting to subvert the will of the voters. Even after the insurrection was over, Cruz continued with the plan as he objected to the certification of electoral college votes from Arizona. Fortunately, many Republicans had lost their desire to continue with the plan given the events of the day.


While Cruz openly condemned the insurrectionists, calling them terrorists, his participation in a plot to overturn the election results was no less nefarious. Had he been successful, who knows how the events could have played out?


If this proves to be true, Cruz needs to be removed and banned from ever holding public office again.


Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO)

If a picture is worth a thousand words, the image of Josh Hawley with his fist raised in support of the protesters, will forever represent the image of a traitor to his oath of office.


Josh Hawley was the first to raise an objection to Joe Biden’s election verification. It was supposed to be the opening salvo in the “Green Bay Sweep”. He was forced to relinquish this “honor” to Ted Cruz when the insurrection caused a temporary halt to the proceedings.


Nevertheless, Hawley’s open support of the insurrectionists is something that will never be forgotten. And while the MAGA gang has elevated Hawley to heroic status, it remains to be seen what those who elected him will think, if he’s allowed to go that far.


Hawley has been relatively quiet since then. Yet, his role in supporting the overturning of the election results will be a determining factor in if he’s going to be held accountable for his actions. For now, his fate lies with the January 6th committee, and possibly the Justice Department.


The “Gang of Four”

Democrats have The Squad; a group of four female members of Congress who have been the subject of racist attacks by Republicans. Despite these attacks, these four women are actually doing the jobs they were elected to do.


Then there are the Republicans and their collective group of rabble-rousers who seem intent on doing nothing more than creating chaos instead of fulfilling their duties. This “gang of four” consists of QAnon kook Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Second Amendment whacko Lauren Boebert (R-CO), sneering, loudmouth Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and wheelchair bound, but far from disabled darling of the religious right Madison Cawthorn (R-NC).


With suspicion that the insurrection was an inside job, meaning there was assistance from members of Congress, these four are likely candidates. With their repetition of the Big Lie, support for conspiracy theories and general distain of democratic principles, the Gang of Four could have offered assistance to the insurrectionists and then sought cover under the protection of the very Capitol police who were being attacked.


Her outrageous antics, uncivilized behavior, harassment of Congressional colleagues and spreading of misinformation has gotten Majorie Taylor Greene stripped of her committee assignments and banned from Twitter. Apparently, she is also independently wealthy because she has paid almost $90,000 in fines for flaunting House mask mandates.


Her partner in crime is Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz. With his ever present sneer and a hairstyle that resembles Nickelodeon’s Jimmy Neutron, Gaetz has been a loyal Trump acolyte. Gaetz even traveled to Wyoming to attack Liz Cheney (R-WY) in her home state for Cheney’s willingness to serve on the committee investigating the January 6th insurrection.


All the while Gaetz has been under investigation for possible sex trafficking for allegedly traveling with an underaged female with whom he may have been engaged in a sexual relationship.


Gaetz and Greene joined forces on the anniversary of the insurrection to spread their own “alternative facts”. While Democrats held solemn events to commemorate the horrors of the day, Gaetz and Greene held a press conference on the very Capitol steps where the insurrection occurred. Greene alternately referred to the insurrection as BlueAnon and compared January 6th to the Declaration of Independence. They said that they were ashamed of nothing while also stating they were very upset that the insurrection failed in the attempt to overturn the election results.


If this doesn’t scream treason, what does?


Then there is Colorado’s own Lauren Boebert. Wrapped in the Second Amendment, this whacko was somehow elected to Congress despite receiving her GED mere months before her election. She had been arrested multiple times for crimes ranging from harassment to reckless driving. She failed to show for her court dates on two occasions, giving a glimpse of her view of the justice system.


Yet, somehow she was elected to Congress.


In the days preceding the insurrection, Boebert allegedly gave tours of the Capitol to large groups of people. Was this a reconnaissance mission for the upcoming attack?


During the attack, Boebert live Tweeted that lawmakers were evacuating the Capitol. Was this a signal to the insurrectionists?


These actions are certainly worth scrutinization, if not out and out removal based upon the Fourteenth Amendment.


Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) should serve as a blueprint as to how lawmakers should be prosecuted under the Fourteenth Amendment. He is currently being sued in his home state to prevent him from seeking a second term. Those bringing the lawsuit are asserting that there is “reasonable suspicion that Representative Cawthorn aided the insurrection”. It further asserts that “he or his office coordinated with the January 6 organizers”.


Such actions, if proven, should immediately disqualify Hawthorn from ever holding elected office again.


State and Local Officials

Even before the last vote was cast, Donald Trump was demanding a recount. Some state and local officials were only too happy to comply. There also were multiple lawsuits filed by state and local officials aimed at overturning the election results, citing vague, unsubstantiated and unsupported claims of election irregularities and voter fraud.


Election officials even sent forged documents to the National Archives in a wild attempt to cast doubt on the election results.


Despite these desperate, transparent attempts to overturn the election, several of these officials are running for office in 2022. They hope to put themselves in positions where they can ignore the voters choices and only allow election results that are favorable to their chosen candidates to claim victory.


And they are getting help from Republican-led state legislatures who are initiating multiple efforts to suppress the vote of minorities by restricting mail-in ballots and early voting while limiting the number of polling places in minority communities and installing “election observers” aimed at intimidating voters.


Refusing to verify, much less accept, the results of a free and fair election should be an absolute disqualification for holding public office. Any and all of these individuals should be barred under the Fourteenth Amendment.


Donald J Trump et al

If anyone should be barred from ever holding public office again, it is Trump. From his demands for recounts to his pressuring election officials to find votes, Trump used every dirty trick in his arsenal to overturn the results. When they didn’t work, he incited an insurrection in hopes he could somehow force members of Congress to bend to his will.


Following the failure of the insurrection, he stubbornly refused to allow a hallmark of our democracy; the peaceful transfer of power. Instead, he slithered off to his Florida retreat and continued to act as if he was still in charge, even calling his Mar a Lago golf resort “the Southern White House”.


While few of those in his inner circle have expressed political ambitions of their own, their involvement in promoting the Big Lie should be reason enough to disqualify them from seeking public office. That doesn’t mean they won’t attempt to run in the future. Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and Jason Miller are potential future candidates, along with Trump’s family, including Don Jr., Ivanka Trump, Lara Trump and Jared Kushner.


They could certainly use their time in the White House to pad their résumés as a springboard to holding elected office.


The danger of another Trump in a position of power is frightening, to say the least.


As the January 6th committee digs deeper into Trump’s involvement in election meddling, one thing is becoming abundantly clear: Donald Trump should be barred from EVER holding public office again!

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