Budowsky: Banana Republicans push Jan. 6 crime cover-up

Budowsky: Banana Republicans push Jan. 6 crime cover-up
© Greg Nash

On a recent Sunday morning talk show columnist George Will, a leading voice for conservative integrity and American democracy, said ā€œIā€™d like to see Jan. 6 burned into the American mind as firmly as 9/11, because it was that scale of a shock to the system.ā€

Hours after the dastardly crimes of Jan. 6 occurred, they were condemned by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios House rejects GOP effort to seat McCarthy's picks for Jan. 6 panel Senators scramble to save infrastructure deal MORE (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyTrump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios GOP lawmakers request Cuba meeting with Biden House rejects GOP effort to seat McCarthy's picks for Jan. 6 panel MORE (R-Calif.).

Shortly thereafter, after receiving marching orders from former President TrumpDonald TrumpCuban embassy in Paris attacked by gasoline bombs Trump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios Trump endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race MORE, desperately hungry to protect their party in the coming midterm elections, and afraid that revelations about Jan. 6 could damage certain players on the GOP team, they reversed course and desperately oppose a nonpartisan commission to examine the crimes of Jan. 6.


Trump, McConnell and McCarthy are leaders of the Banana Republican wing of the Republican Party, which now runs the party, shows contempt for American democracy, and seeks to bring total power to Banana Republicans in the House, Senate, presidency and Supreme Court (where they may well have already achieved it, for now).

The bipartisan bill to create the nonpartisan Jan. 6 commission passed the House with support, to their historical credit, from 35 House Republicans. Hopefully they will have GOP counterparts in the Senate to pass the bill after guarantees that procedures and staff will be strictly nonpartisan, and the commission will conclude its work before the end of 2021.

I have used the term Banana Republicans in the past. Now the danger of this brand of politics has become extreme and threatening to American democracy itself. What defines Banana Republicanism?

The Banana Republicans are ruled and defined by a former president who has offered praise to dictators and enemies of democracy abroad, attacked American democracy at home, aggressively divided his party and our country, told repeated big lies claiming he won the 2020 presidential election, launched personal attacks against true Republicans and Democrats, and turned the GOP into a cult of personality dominated by him.

Banana Republicans include the majority of House Republicans who voted to overturn the Electoral College results in 2020, in one of the most shameful votes in the history of Congress.


Banana Republicans include those who came to Washington for insurrection on Jan. 6, called to Washington by Trump, inspired to action by a fire-breathing speech by Trump who sent them to the Capitol to intimidate congressional Republicans to overturn the lawful results of the presidential election. They fought their dastardly fight with criminal actions and even threats to the physical safety of prominent Republicans including former Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump Will Pence primary Trump ā€” and win? Poll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary MORE.

Banana Republicans lie about the results of the 2020 campaign, claiming Trump won. They use that lie to justify another lie, claiming election law changes are needed to protect democracy, while they pass laws in countless states to suppress voters and undermine democracy. They try to steal elections by preventing voters from voting in districts they will try to gerrymander to fix elections a second way.

Banana Republicans packed the Supreme Court with conservative justices through abusive procedures involving several Supreme Court nominations. They tried to steal the 2020 elections by declaring the loser the winner. They try to steal the 2022 midterm elections by systematically attacking the right to vote. They now try to cover up crimes that occurred on Jan. 6 and will stoop to trying to filibuster to kill the idea of an honorable nonpartisan commission.

Even Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyTrump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios House rejects GOP effort to seat McCarthy's picks for Jan. 6 panel GOP brawls over Trump on eve of first Jan. 6 hearing MORE (R-Wyo.), who showed great courage opposing Banana Republicans on the 2020 elections, appears poised to join them by refusing to oppose their anti-democratic voter suppression plans to steal the 2022 midterm elections.

My hope is that the Jan. 6 commission bill passes with support from Senate Republicans who will cast votes of high patriotism and conscience, as 35 House Republicans did.

Now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of our country and democracy, and reject Banana Republicanism.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives.