In the past few days, explanations about why 2/3 of the Republican Caucus voted against certifying the election have included fear of violent reprisals. One eyewitness account from Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer:
[…] Hours later, after the Capitol was cleared of insurrectionists, with windows shattered and the smell of tear gas lingering, the consequences of his dangerous lies became clear. As we moved to accept Arizona’s electors, a fellow freshman lingered near a voting terminal, voting card in hand.
My colleague told me that efforts to overturn the election were wrong, and that voting to certify was a constitutional duty. But my colleague feared for family members, and the danger the vote would put them in. Profoundly shaken, my colleague voted to overturn.
An angry mob succeeded in threatening at least one member of Congress from performing what that member understood was a constitutional responsibility.
Meijer, a Republican, voted to certify the election, by the way.
You know who’s faced death threats since day one of their tenure in Congress? Let’s start with Ilhan Omar. She would have been first to the gallows erected behind the Capitol, if they hadn’t shot her first. If you follow AOC on Twitter, you see that she’s often obliquely referring to ways that she sneaks around to avoid crowds, and if the mob had found her, she’d have been killed or worse. Of course, the list includes Nancy Pelosi, though she has really good security and can travel on government aircraft, and it goes on and on. Plus, the hate aimed against these women didn’t start last Wednesday.
Another angry mob of Republicans, who happen to be Members of Congress for now, refused to wear masks while they were sheltering with Democrats. Now, Democratic Reps Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) and Pramila Jaypal (D-WA) have tested positive for COVID. Coleman is a 75 year-old cancer survivor. Just serving in Congress with these traitors is a fucking health risk.
The obvious difference between Omar, AOC, Pelosi, Coleman and Jaypal and the members who voted against certification is that the Democrats didn’t betray their country out of cowardice. It’s no excuse (though Meijer clearly isn’t trying to excuse, just explain), and they deserve very little sympathy.