Sunday, January 10, 2021

Bomb-throwers from the start

            While authorities investigate the presence of suspected incendiary devices at our riot-ravaged Capitol, we can confirm two.

            Ted Cruz.

            Josh Hawley.

            Add the sulfuric smolder of Louie Gohmert, John Carter, Pete Sessions and more. Not big-time explosive elements like U.S. senators, in July 4 nomenclature they are known as "sparklers" and "snakes," each saluting a bright, shining lie.

            All have refused to accept the people's verdict in the 2020 presidential election. All pumped up Donald Trump's "Stop the Steal" volume.

            All thereby bequeathed wooden nickel tokens to terrorists who literally drove them and their colleagues from their desks the morning of the vote.

            Hence in succession, competing portraits (1) representative government, (2) governing under Donald Trump and his enablers.

            First, an excruciatingly orderly process of civility. Next: windows knocked out, police swarmed, a face-painted man wearing buffalo horns in the presiding officer's seat

            Let us now award Ted Cruz with his own set of horns. On the Senate floor that day, he was the first insurrectionist to enunciate, to consecrate, the horrific logic behind a ploy that led to these horrors and will lead to more.

            Simply put, said Cruz: A lot of people believe this president's lies. Those lies must be given currency.

            For a few syllables, Ted Cruz must have thought he'd pulled off something grand. He got applause from fellow members of the Sedition Caucus.

            Moments later, the mob got involved and Cruz's grand act became one of the most ignominious in American history.

            Good job, Ted. This is what you and Donald Trump came to Washington to do.

            You came to throw bombs.

            Cruz came to Washington to do the bidding of tea party patrons who, like Trump's rioters, wanted to shut that mother down. The government did exactly that at his frantic insistence in 2013.

            Trump arrived with every intention to knock and mock every convention honored by every predecessor to the office he disgraced.

            Even before gaining office with 3 million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton, he said that if he lost it would be because the election was rigged. Even after he was elevated by the racist construct that is the Electoral College, he spewed lie after lie about illegal votes. He couldn't leave well enough alone. And he didn't stop there.

            To lie is Donald Trump's very nature, his means of success. So he lied daily, even about things that can even be disproved on video and audio.

            Sedition? Ted Cruz rationalizes his act as a harmless symbolic gesture, a nod to Trump and his supporters. Oh, but amplifying those lies caused great harm, and not just to the nation to whom these so-called leaders pledged allegiance.

            It also hurt them. Cruz, Hawley and his co-conspirators lost control of the Senate because the Trump-beat about a "stolen election" caused some granite-brained Georgians to stay away from the polls.

            More problematic for them, their party is now forever more to be identified by the portrait of people scaling the walls of the Capitol, "Trump" banners held aloft.

            And I mean forever.

            Cruz and Hawley forever will be remembered as the floor leaders of the insurrection.

            Again, they will say that all they did was make a symbolic statement on behalf of noble patriotic supporters.

            Symbolic lies. They patronized the lies and the liar. As Mitt Romney said, if they wanted to respect those voters who believed the election was stolen, they owed those voters the truth.

            George Will is right. Along with our disgraceful president, Cruz and Hawley, and Gohmert and Carter and Sessions, get to wear the scarlet letter of "S" for sedition.

            It would seem that everyone, even Republicans, would emerge from this presidency understanding that words have consequences.

            Ted, you smell of gunpowder.

            Resign already.

            Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email:

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