We don’t usually weigh in on politics in Washington, D.C. Generally, we’re content with our own more parochial problems. But it’s not every day that a mob bent on upending our democratic tradition forces its way into the U.S. Capitol and puts its jack-booted heels up on the desk belonging to the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

So, please stand up, Reps. Ken Calvert, Mike Garcia, Darrell Issa, Doug LaMalfa, Kevin McCarthy, Devin Nunes and Jay Obernolte. These men are the California Republican members of the House of Representatives who continued to support baseless conspiracy theories and to challenge the legally certified November election even after their invading horde of supporters overwhelmed police and vandalized their own offices.

And why, pray tell, would representatives of an otherwise blue state see red over their mere duty to count electoral college votes?

Here’s what Garcia, who represents northern Los Angeles County, said in an opinion piece published in the Antelope Valley Times two days before the violence. “I have examined all available evidence in several states currently being disputed, and I have digested the constitutional arguments from both sides of this discussion. We are clearly in the midst of a constitutional collision …” he writes. “I serve and fight for the Constitution.”

He must have an extremely strong constitution to digest that malarkey. He, of course, cited no evidence in his piece because there is none.

For his part, LaMalfa — fresh from an embarrassing performance on CNN in which he mentioned the 1969 moon landing when asked about the election (you can look it up) — valiantly told his hometown newspaper, the Appeal Democrat, that he “can’t be cowed” by the mob he helped incite. Such courage!

Then there is the House minority leader. Six months ago, McCarthy appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox television show to air his concerns about the destruction of public property during protests in places like Portland, Ore. He was introducing legislation that would withhold federal funds from state and local governments that didn’t protect statues to his satisfaction.

“Why,” he asked Hannity with furrowed brow, “don’t they have greater regard for the rule of law instead of encouraging the mob to tear it down?”

Well, now the shoe is on the right foot instead of the left.

McCarthy and friends continue to appease the president and the rabble he inspires with vague references to something sinister in those big, blue cities. They are not worthy of their titles. They take their tenuous position on this slippery mountain of manure because they are afraid. They fear their place in a browner America that won’t convey them status at birth. They worry that a true American meritocracy will not favor people who still think the moon landing might have been faked. And they know it’s about to be more difficult for con artists, grifters and rubes to wield influence both in the District of Columbia and the districts they represent at home.

Of course, Calvert, Garcia, Issa, LaMalfa, McCarthy, Nunes and Obernolte merely represent the tip of the spear held by some nut wearing animal skins as he plunders his way through the U.S. Capitol. Voting them out of office won’t fix what is broken in our democracy. But it’s a start.

— Clay Lambert

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