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Republican Patriots Stand their Ground

On July 27, two Republican members of the House of Representatives stood up to their own party and defended our Constitution and the rule of law.

And just before Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) did that during the opening of the first House select committee hearing into the January 6 attack on the Capitol, House GOP leaders tried to shift the blame for the insurrection to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), ignoring the fact that the attacking mob had been urged on by Donald Trump.

That effort was despicable, but not surprising. And it undoubtedly will continue.

(Listen to the article:)

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's (R-CA) tried to sidestep the truth by saying a "failure of leadership at the top," was responsible for the tragic event, claiming that Pelosi failed to anticipate the attack and was unprepared. That is a desperate ploy that should be embarrassing to any thinking Republican. He and other GOP insurrectionists will one day regret their actions and will go down in history as being weakling traitors fearful of a con artist who had attempted to hijack our nation.

Indeed, there was a "failure of leadership at the top." That failure was by Trump, who reportedly loved every minute of the attack by the mob, carrying his banners, wearing his hats, and shouting "Hang Mike Pence" as they beat on far-outnumbered Capitol Hill and DC Metropolitan police officers who fought valiantly to hold them back.

Tweeted Trump the evening of January 6, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”

Rep. Liz Cheney

After gripping testimony by four of those police officers who were gravely injured as they protected members of Congress, their staffs and other Capitol workers from the domestic terrorists, Cheney stood up to her party bosses and the Trumpers in her district and said the select committee must determine what happened and who was responsible.

"We must know what happened here at the Capitol," she said. "We must also know what happened every minute of that day in the White House — every phone call, every conversation, every meeting leading up to, during and after the attack. If those responsible are not held accountable, and if Congress does not act responsibly, this will remain a cancer on our Constitutional Republic, undermining the peaceful transfer of power at the heart of our democratic system."

Cheney called on the committee to enforce subpoenas "promptly" and said it must "overcome the many efforts we are already seeing to cover up and obscure the facts." Among those the panel could call, she previously said, are Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), McCarthy, and Trump.

The question that lawmakers must ask, she said, is this:

"Will we adhere to the rule of law, respect the rulings of our courts, and preserve the peaceful transition of power? Or will we be so blinded by partisanship that we throw away the miracle of America? Do we hate our political adversaries more than we love our country and revere our Constitution?"

Rep. Adam Kinzinger

Kinzinger, meanwhile, wiped away tears throughout much of his statement at the hearing.

“A democracy is not defined by our bad days,” Kinzinger said, as his strained voice cracked. “We’re defined by how we come back from bad, bad days. How we take accountability for that. And for all the overheated rhetoric surrounding this committee, our mission is very simple. It’s to find the truth and it’s to ensure accountability.”

Kinzinger continued:

“I’m frustrated that six months after a deadly insurrection breached the U.S. Capitol for several hours on live television, we still don’t know exactly what happened. Why? Because members of my party have treated this as just another partisan fight. It’s a disservice to the officers and their families, to staff and employees of the Capitol complex, to the American people who deserve the truth and to the generations who went to war before us to defend self-governance.”

Kinzinger noted that some members of his party have criticized the investigation as being simply a partisan ploy by Democrats. He said their is a big difference "between a crime", such as those committed during the urban riots that followed the police murder of George Floyd, "and a coup."

“It’s time to stop the outrage and the conspiracies that fuel the violence and division in this country,” Kinzinger said, “and, most importantly, we need to reject those that promote it.”

A 'Loving' Mob?

Cheney pointed out that Trump had said many of those who participated in the Capitol attack were loving, and that the event was peaceful.

In response, Capitol Police officer Aquilino Gonell, said,“It’s upsetting. It’s a pathetic excuse for his behavior, for something that he himself helped to create — this monstrosity, “If that was hugs and kisses, then we should all go to his house and do the same thing to him. … That’s a shame on him himself.” (He later said he didn't intend to encourage people to actually pay Trump a visit.)

“I’m still recovering from those hugs and kisses that day that he claimed,” Gonell said.

A naturalized American citizen and Iraq War veteran, Gonell described how his hands, shoulder, calf and foot were hurt in the attack, injuries that he is still dealing with. Tears welled as he said he was afraid to hug his wife after getting home late that night because he was worried the chemicals that had contaminated his clothes and still burned his skin would make her sick.

I thought, as I listened to his heart-wrenching testimony and his slight Hispanic accent, "This man is an immigrant, one of those so vilified by Trump and his people, and here he is, risking his life, suffering serious injuries, jeopardizing his future, to defend the very seat of our government. In the truest sense of the word, he is an American hero."

“To be honest, I did not recognize my fellow citizens who stormed the Capitol on January 6th or the United States that they claim to represent,” Gonell said. “Nothing in my experience in the Army or as a law enforcement officer prepared me for what we confronted.”

Gonell appeared alongside fellow Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn, and Metropolitan Police officers Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges, all obviously upset at what took place and the attempt by some GOP lawmakers to minimize the attack, which injured an estimated 140 police officers and claimed the life of another on that day, and then two others who later committed suicide.

And Now?

And what are the Republicans doing now?

The right wingers in the House are pushing McCarthy to punish both Cheney and Kinzinger for speaking out, for defending the Constitution that every Member of Congress has sworn to uphold and defend and our very democracy.

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), who leads the far-right House Freedom Caucus, during a closed-door meeting Tuesday said both should be evicted from the Republican conference. Other members of the group charged that both have forfeited their rights to membership in the GOP, including their seats on committees.

Nevertheless, Cheney and Kinzinger are standing their ground, proving who the real patriots are, even as McCarthy & Co. wallow in their lies, their falsehoods, and their weak, despicable attempts at misdirection.

History will record who the true patriots are and who should be consigned to the trash bin.

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