Remember their names. Remember what they did.

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I just wanted to share with you this “how they voted” from The Washington Post. This list neatly divides Congress between those who may arguably deserve to be there (to widely varying degrees) and those who unquestionably do not.

The ones from South Carolina who unquestionably do not include:

  1. Jeff Duncan
  2. Ralph Norman
  3. Tom Rice
  4. William Timmons
  5. My own congressman, for far too long, Joe Wilson

Lindsey Graham didn’t vote with them, but he tried to have it both ways, saying “I prayed Joe Biden would lose.” How dare he so blaspheme against God, and his country? Yeah, I get it. You’re saying that “even a guy like me” accepts the election result — at long last, after trying to involve yourself in Trump’s efforts to overthrow that result. But this was a day for showing profound remorse for all you’ve done the past four years.

Nancy Mace surprised us a bit — pleasantly, considering that she ran as a Trump ally (to the extent that I paid attention to that district). Tim Scott less so, because I think at heart he’s a pretty decent, although deluded, guy. (I think his speech was the high point of the Republican National Convention. Of course, that’s like being at the top of a molehill at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, but I’m speaking relatively. As in, you know, he wasn’t Kimberly Guilfoyle.)

But the main thing is that you remember the five. And all those from other states who put themselves on the list.

I’ll close with a thought from my Republican state representative:

14 thoughts on “Remember their names. Remember what they did.

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    By the way, in my current position, or lack of position, I always have to pause and check when I make statements such as that Nancy Mace “ran as a Trump ally.” Because I’m not in the middle of things anymore, breathing such information all day, and I really didn’t pay all that much attention to the 1st district contest. It was much easier to have confidence in such general statements when I was taking this stuff in constantly.

    So I checked, and found her op-ed from yesterday explaining why she wasn’t supporting the effort at insurrection, and in the same vein as Graham, she wrote:

    I supported President Trump in a large primary field. I worked for him. I proudly voted for him. And I’m grateful for his support in my own election.

    I supported Trump’s reelection and believe he should have won….

    So I’ll let that statement stand…

  2. bud

    Sorry but I have no respect for anyone who remains a Republican. That includes Micah Caskey, Mitt Romney, Tim Scott and other so-called moderates. To continue an affiliation with this band of thugs is inexcusable. If you can’t be a Democrat then at least become an independent. Or form a center right party. Today’s GOP is a f***ing disgrace. Time to stop pretending it’s any better than a fascist mob.

    1. James Edward Cross

      I have to agree with Bud on this. There has been no “reform” from within the party; in fact, many of the moderates have been forced out. Those who remain, with few exceptions, when not actively enabling him have done so by their silence. And there is no reason to think that “Trumpism” is going away, even without Trump. Especially with Trump being a symptom of the problem and not a cause. Not with the number of people who voted for him in the last election.

      Oh, and any bets that the “Faithless Five” are re-elected in 2022? People will either quickly forget or if the Democrats try to remind them, consider it a badge of honor for them.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Actually, maybe there’s a silver lining here.

        Before yesterday, I’d have agreed with you: Trumpism isn’t going away. The fact that almost half the country voted for the idiot tells us that.

        And I’ve been worrying about that.

        But did yesterday break the spell? I don’t mean with his core base. They’re mindslaves, or people who are never going back after the president of the United States gave them permission to be mouthy racists — which is a HUGE part of his appeal, to people who feel moved to be mouthy racists.

        But if that’s all he has, he’s not a factor. Republicans need not be terrified of him.

        And yesterday some of them even found the courage to defy him.

        Could it be the spell is broken?

        I’m not betting it is, but it’s something to ponder on…

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          I mean, some other really good things have happened lately.

          Joe’s going to be our president. McConnell’s not going to be running the Senate…

        2. James Edward Cross

          First, the majority Republican reaction to impeachment and the 25th Amendment do not fill me with hope that they’re going to change.

          Second, Trumpism without Trump scares me more than Trumpism with him. Because no matter who the heir-apparent is, there is no guarantee that the person will be an incompetent fool like Trump. And considering how close we came to losing democracy *with* Trump, well ….

        3. Ken

          Trump and “Trumpism” didn’t come out of nowhere. Once he is gone, it will remain — or, more likely, morph into something else.

          I still view Trumpism as, by and large, an expansion and further radicalization of tea partyism. The former grew out of the latter. In both, people share a widespread sense that something is being (illegitimately) taken from them. The tea party in its original iteration (ca. 2010) itself grew out of and therefore became a good fit for orthodox Republicanism of the previous quarter century, emphasizing things like small(er) government, less regulation and lower taxation. Trumpism built on that and added other elements, in particular ethno-nationalism. Both movements share a simple mantra: “take our country back.” We heard that hue and cry back in 2010 and again from many of those participating in the riot on Wednesday. But take it back from whom or what?

          Old line conservatives (of my parents’ generation and older) harbored resentments against things like foreign aid and welfare — things they saw as wasteful because it went to countries and people they viewed as in some way “undeserving” or outright hostile to their interests. Tea partyism expanded on this resentment, aiming it not just (or primarily) at the recipients but at their benefactor: government. For tea partiers, government was at the core of all our woes. And since Trump embodied the antithesis of government — someone without any government experience, ready to draw on his supposed private-sector acumen to make things work — he was the natural born heir to the (vacant) tea party throne.

          With a foundation based on these existing tea party sentiments, he then further inflamed resentments by adding a good measure of ethno-nationalism, which both turned away from the rest of the world as largely untrustworthy, out to “cheat America,” while also keeping resentment simmering against similarly untrustworthy internal elements (religious and ethnic minorities, and government itself). In doing so, he spiraled up the resentment. Whereas tea partyism focused it on what government does, Trumpism turned it into a more primal hatred of government as government. Government became nothing more than a “swamp.” (i.e. a useless morass). On Wednesday Trump unleashed that hatred in its most direct and physical form to date.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Ken, I’m not sure why your last two comments got held for moderation.

            Normally, it happens because of multiple links. And that’s not the case here.

            Occasionally, it happens because the comment contains a name or word that has been flagged because a troll had used it as a pseudonym. But nothing jumps out at me skimming over the content.

            Sometimes, I never know why…

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              OK, I’ve found the problem.

              On those two comments, you had changed your email address, by one character. So no commenter using that address had been previously approved.

          2. Brad Warthen Post author

            Oh, and in response to your comment… no, it didn’t come out of nowhere. Nothing comes out of nowhere.

            I don’t find the connections quite as clear as you do, though. Say, between Trump and the Tea Party movement.

            One of the problems, of course, is that these are not intellectual movements. So the “ideas,” if we want to dignify them to such extent (really, the most you can call them is “impulses”) are hard to hook up.

            All sorts of things happened along the way to bring the GOP from the party of Lincoln to what it is today.

            There was the beginning of the movement of Southern Republicans, led by Strom Thurmond, Floyd Spence, et al., in reaction to LBJ and the Civil Rights Act. And you can connect that with Nixon’s Southern Strategy. But I’m not sure how to connect Goldwater to that. Different things going on. Then you had the later years of the Vietnam War and Watergate and the rise of multifaceted Identity Politics, which caused all sorts of shifts and reactions on both ends of the political spectrum. In the 1970s, you also saw a reaction in the white electorate to the fact that Brown v. Board was finally starting to integrate schools (in 1970, in SC). Actions and reactions.

            The rise of Reaganism — an insurrection beaten back in 1976, triumphing in 1980 — brought the first elements of government-hating to the fore. Although it was a milder form of what we saw later. In the economic sense, this was just basically resentment of paying taxes. A generation later, they would hate government so much they didn’t want it to do anything, even if the money fell from the sky.

            Then, in the early ’80s, you had the arrival of negative campaigning. We remember Lee Atwater for that, but he wasn’t the only one. A dam sort of broke. That was a very important antecedent to Trumpism, because the demonization of the opposition is critical to it. To do what the insurrectionists did on Wednesday, you really have to believe the opposition is evil incarnate.

            In the early 90s, thanks to Bush administration reapportionment, we saw Republicans take over Southern statehouses. Over the next decade or so, you saw various movements arise to grab greater chunks of power on the right, from Christian conservatism in the 90s to the rise of Mark Sanford libertarianism in the early 00s.

            The Tea Party, when it arrived, was a gut reaction based in the belief that in nominating McCain in 2008, the GOP had simply failed to be crazy enough. So the Tea Party brought the crazy. It was mostly confused economic resentments (“keep your government hands off my Medicare”), but there was also some ugly nativism in there, and the immigrant-haters really reached the peak of their power.

            And then Trump came along, and told all the worst elements lurking in the American Id that they should come out to play, and everyone should be proud of being selfish, or racists, or nativists, or misogynists, or whatever. That was their right. Watch, the president will do it himself, all day long.

            And they loved him for it.

            So yeah, it’s all connected — not only in terms of developments on the right, but in terms of reactions to developments on the left. But the lines aren’t straight and clear. And you had to have a figure like Trump to kick it over the edge…

            1. Ken

              After I posted the above, a friend forwarded an article in The Economist that draws the same link between the tea party and MAGA, and Trump’s role in serving as the bridge between the two. It reads in part:

              “The Tea Party that erupted in 2010, in response to a tough economy and Barack Obama, sent 87 radical conservatives to Congress. But there they showed no interest in knuckling down. They propagated the racist ‘birtherism’ conspiracy against Mr Obama. They attacked bipartisanship, governing generally, and their party leaders (driving out the former Gingrichite House Speaker, John Boehner). The 2013 government shutdown and campaign to ‘repeal and replace’ Obamacare with thin air were their signatures. Instead of being displaced, they morphed into the MAGA crowd. Which has since propagated more radical versions of itself, such the Trump ultras of QAnon, a movement committed to sniffing out socialist paedophile rings in Washington. “Conservatism’s familiar pattern of advance, consolidation, retrenchment and renewal has vanished,” writes Mr Kabaservice. ‘In its place is something that looks like #MAGA Forever.’”


              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                I miss The Economist. The paper paid for it, and I enjoyed it, in spite of it being so, you know, libertarian. They call it being “liberal,” of course, but it’s only that in the classical sense.

                And yet I was more comfortable with their views, often, than either the left or right on this side of the pond. Even though over here, the easiest way to describe my views is that I am not libertarian.

                And I don’t disagree with it here. It supports my position that it’s complicated.

                I like that they mentioned the Freedom Caucus, which of course was a manifestation of the Tea Party. The folks who brought you the downgrading of our country’s credit rating! Who can forget them?

  3. Brad Warthen Post author

    Oh, about “how they voted” lists.

    It’s not as important at other times, but newspapers should always include such lists with their coverage. There was a time — back when I was in charge of legislative and national coverage (before 1994) — when it wasn’t practical. When we only had the paper version, there just wasn’t room. We did it sometimes, on big votes, but it wasn’t practical to do it on everything we covered.

    But now, there’s no excuse not to. There’s no space limit online, and the data already exist in electronic form. A link to the list should always be part of routine coverage. If the vote is worth covering, it’s worth including the list. And I do see it more. In fact, maybe it’s there more often than I think. I hope so. I haven’t done a study.

    As a reader and citizen, I usually won’t care. But when I do, it needs to be there…

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