Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Two Conservative Voices of Integrity

Today we face a threat America has never seen before. A former president, who provoked a violent attack on this Capitol in an effort to steal the election, has resumed his aggressive effort to convince Americans that the election was stolen from him. He risks inciting further violence. Millions of Americans have been misled by the former president, they have heard only his words, but not the truth. As he continues to undermine our democratic process, sowing seeds of doubt about whether democracy really works at all.

I am a conservative Republican, and the most conservative of conservative principles is reverence for the rule of law.

The Electoral College has voted. More than 60 state and federal courts, including multiple judges the former president appointed, have rejected his claims. The Trump Department of Justice investigated the former president's claims of widespread fraud and found no evidence to support them. The election is over. That is the rule of law. That is our constitutional process. Those who refuse to accept the rulings of our courts are at war with the Constitution. Our duty is clear. Every one of us who has sworn the oath must act to prevent the unraveling of our democracy.

This is not about policy. This is not about partisanship. This is about our duty as Americans. Remaining silent and ignoring the lie emboldens the liar. I will not participate in that. I will not sit back and watch in silence, while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president’s crusade to undermine our democracy.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wy)
From her speech on the U.S. House floor
May 11, 2021

As a party, we [Republicans] have to have an internal look and a full accounting as to what led to January 6.

Right now, it’s basically the Titanic. In the middle of this slow sink we have a band playing on the deck and telling everybody it’s just fine. And meanwhile, Donald Trump [is] running around trying to find women’s clothes and get on the first lifeboat. And I think there are a few of us saying, Guys, this is not good – not only for the future of the party but for the future of the country.

We’re four months after Janauary 6 and the insurrection, something that was unthinkable in this country. And the message from the people who want to get rid of Liz Cheney is to say, It’s just time to focus on the future and move on, like this was 10 years ago and we’ve been obsessed about it since. It’s been four months, and we have so many people, including our leadership in the party, that has not admitted that this is what it is – which is that this was an insurrection led by the President of the United States, well-deserving of a full accounting from the Republican party.

Truth matters. Yes, 70% of the [Republican] base believes that the election was stolen . . . because they’ve been told it was. They’ve been told by the President of the United States; they’ve been told in many cases by Republican leaders and by Republican leaders who have not countered something so vastly crazy as the election was stolen. This is why we have this real battle in the party. The idea of let’s just put our differences aside and be united. You cannot unify truth with lies. The lie is that the election was stolen. The truth is that Joe Biden beat Donald Trump. . . . [We have to] tell people [this] truth and quit peddling conspiracies.

I’m a conservative. I’m going to fight for the soul of this party. And [every member of the Republican party] has to decide: are we going to exist on lies or are we going to exist on truth. And everybody who grew up on Sunday School, like me, that thinks that somehow accepting a lie is okay because maybe we can win the bigger battle, I’ve got to tell you that the Christ I follow, the Jesus I know never says anything about it being okay to lie to the people as long as the end state is the same. Truth matters and that’s what this party has to come to grips with, no matter what the cost.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Il)
From his appearance on Face the Nation
May 9, 2021

Related Off-site Links:
Liz Cheney Strikes Defiant Tone in Floor Speech on Eve of Her Expected Ousting From House GOP Leadership – Jeremy Herb and Annie Grayer (CNN Politics, May 11, 2021).
GOP Rep. Kinzinger Likens Republican Party to the Titanic – Daniel Politi (Slate, May 9, 2021).
The GOP’s Devotion to Trump Threatens to Destroy American Democracy – Stephen Collinson (CNN Politics, May 4, 2021).
The Far-Right War on History, Education, and Thinking
– Chuck Idelson (Common Dreams, May 11, 2021).
Authoritarianism Vs. Democracy – Marianne Williamson (Newsweek, May 11, 2021).

UPDATES: House Republicans Vote to Remove Liz Cheney From Leadership – Alayna Treene and Shawna Chen (Axios, May 12, 2021).
This One Line From Liz Cheney’s Speech Will Haunt Republicans – Chris Cillizza (CNN Politics, May 12, 2021).
The U.S. Is Headed Away From the Ideals of Democracy, Says Author Masha GessenNPR News (May 13, 2021).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Bernie Sanders: Quote of the Day – May 5, 2021
The Republican Party in a Nutshell
Republicans Don’t Care About American Democracy
Heather Cox Richardson on Combating the Republican Party’s “Rigging of the System”
Refuting Surface Level Comparisons Between the Insurrection at the Capitol and Black Lives Matter Protests
David Remnick: Quote of the Day – February 13, 2021
Dan Rather on America’s “Moment of Reckoning”
Michael Harriot: Quote of the Day – January 6, 2021
Insurrection at the United States Capitol

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