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Juan Williams: The GOP’s betrayal of America

Greg Nash

Let us now celebrate Republicans who love America — true patriots.

I begin with Rep. Paul Mitchell (Mich.), a lifelong Republican.

He walked away from the GOP last week. Why?

{mosads}He put America first after 126 members of the House Republican Conference signed an anti-American brief calling for the Supreme Court to overturn the presidential election.

“This party has to stand up for democracy first, for our Constitution first and not political considerations, not to protect a candidate, not simply for raw political power,” Mitchell told CNN’s “The Lead.”

The Supreme Court, which includes six Republican-nominated justices, seems to agree with Mitchell. It threw the suit out without comment.

More than 50 cases challenging the election have also been dismissed as baseless — in many cases, by Republican judges in state and federal courts.

But unpatriotic Republicans keep up the attack.

Leading commentators such as Rush Limbaugh have even escalated the revolt with talk of secession.

Virginia state Sen. Amanda Chase, a Republican now running for governor, called for martial law.

She spoke up after Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, incredibly propagated the idea that Trump should suspend the Constitution. Flynn also said that the military could oversee a new election.

Now the big question is how President-elect Joe Biden will deal with Republicans who favor a coup.

“It’s a position so extreme, we’ve never seen it before,” Biden said. “A position that refused to respect the will of the people, refused to respect the rule of law, and refused to honor our Constitution.”

With Biden not yet in the White House, the immediate problem is how can c ongressional Democrats do business with Republicans who put partisanship above patriotism?

How do you trust House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) when he is turning away from patriotism by attacking America’s greatest asset, its political stability?

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to refuse to seat the Republican House members who signed on to the Texas lawsuit.

“Men and women who would act to tear the United States government apart cannot serve as Members of the Congress,” Pascrell tweeted.

But those Republicans were elected — just as was Biden. It would be anti-democratic not to seat them.

The real headache belongs to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Does McConnell, the top Republican, close his eyes or does he confront the damage being done by the traitors?

Let’s be clear here.

McConnell and most Senate Republicans didn’t show much courage in the six weeks after the presidential election. Few refuted Trump’s charge that the election was “rigged.”

But once the Electoral College voted, McConnell acknowledged Biden’s clear victory.

“Our country has officially a president-elect and a vice president-elect,” McConnell said. “The Electoral College has spoken.”

McConnell was immediately scolded by the conspiracy-minded, sore loser Trump: “Mitch…too soon to give up. Republican Party must finally learn to fight,” the president tweeted.

{mossecondads}Even after the Electoral College vote, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) used the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to air more false claims of election corruption.

This daily show of contempt for democracy did not stop even when Trump’s former head of cybersecurity, Chris Krebs, testified that the election was the most secure in the nation’s history.

“Continued assaults on democracy and the outcome of this election, that only serves to undermine confidence in the [democratic] process … is ultimately corrosive,” Krebs told the committee.

That is the point.

“Millions of Republican voters may now believe that their democracy no longer functions — not because there was fraud, but because their leaders lied to them or remained silent while others did so,” said a Washington Post editorial.

A New York Times news article drew parallels between the GOP’s conspiracy theories and “anti-communist paranoia that was promoted in the 1960s by the John Birch Society.”

The difference is that an extremist group of that era did not have social media to amplify its paranoid charges.

“And the fringe never, of course, enjoyed the support of the sitting president,” reported the Times’s Jeremy W. Peters.

In his first speech after the Electoral College voted, Biden said he is optimistic. “I’m convinced we can work together,” he said in reference to Republicans, “for the good of the nation on many subjects.”

Biden is to be commended. The nation needs healing.

But a skeptic could be forgiven for doubting the honest intentions of Republicans who excuse attacking democracy by pointing to Trump voters in their home states.

I’m reminded of this line from George Orwell’s “1984.”

“Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship…The object of power is power.”

It is now dangerously clear that for Trump and fans of his authoritarian style, the object of power is power.

God help President Reagan’s vision of America as a “shining city upon a hill,” an enduring constitutional democracy, if they ever get presidential power again.

Juan Williams is an author, and a political analyst for Fox News Channel.

Tags 2020 presidential election Bill Pascrell Conservatism Coup attempt Democracy Joe Biden Kevin McCarthy Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi Paul Mitchell Republican Party Ron Johnson

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