Editorial | Time to hold Trump coup conspirators accountable

Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee hearing to discuss election security and the 2020 election process, in Washington
Meet Missouri Senator Josh Hawley — who uses debunked voter fraud claims in an effort to stop the certification of President-elect Biden’s victory because Hawley’s candidate, Donald Trump, lost.
Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS

What do you call the actions of a president who refuses to accept the outcome of his electoral defeat, and has propagated mistrust and debunked conspiracy theories for months now?

What do you call the actions of the president’s supporters who continue to aid and abet him in undermining the will of American voters with baseless lawsuits that were overwhelmingly defeated?

What do you call the actions of 126 Members of the House of Representatives who signed onto one such lawsuit, Texas v. Pennsylvania, filed with the intent of throwing out millions of votes in several states and overturning the outcome of the election? What about the actions of Senators who vow to protest the certification of electoral votes in Congress for the same purpose?

You don’t call them acting like Republicans (though they claim to be), or patriots, but you don’t write them off as ignorant morons, either. And you certainly don’t call them defenders of democracy, freedom, or the rule of law.

Only one word springs to mind when describing the actions of outgoing President Donald Trump and his most obedient followers who remain hellbent on orchestrating some half-assed coup to stop Joe Biden from taking his rightful spot as the next, duly-elected President of the United States:


The continued objections by these so-called Republicans and constitutional conservatives to try and stop Biden from becoming president are as un-American as it gets.

For all their talk about stopping big government and embracing personal freedom, they sure have a knack for trying to impose their will upon states for how they run their elections, and undermine the will of the majority of American voters — 81 million of them — who elected Biden and Kamala Harris to the White House back in November.

Their objections set a dangerous precedent for future presidential elections. Will we go through this prolonged charade of baseless court cases and fund-raising political stunts every time a Democrat is elected president? Do these Trumpists/so-called Republicans understand that Democrats could very easily do to their candidate what they are now doing to Biden in four, eight, 12, 20, 24, 100 years from now?

Make no mistake, another Republican will be elected president someday. That person may espouse the same worldview and totalitarian tendencies of Trump. But that person will also be smarter than Trump — and won’t make the same mistakes. 

That would spell the end of the republic as we know it.

Trump and his sympathizers in Congress, as well as in the right-wing media, are tearing this country apart with their blatant coup attempt. By the way, this is not a “both sides” issue. 

Though the Trumpists will likely fail this time, they (and only they) have succeeded in convincing a third of this country not to accept the results of the election. They (and only they) have severely damaged public confidence in voting. They (and only they) are undoing all the hard work generations of American soldiers fought and died to protect over the past 244 years. 

So the answer now must be for Democrats, and those law-abiding, pro-democracy Republicans still left in the halls of government, to take a stand now — and drop the hammer on all of Trump’s co-conspirators. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi must not permit any House member who signed onto Texas v. Pennsylvania to take their seat in the new Congress, until such time as each of them makes public and written statements renouncing their support of the seditious suit.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who signed onto the lawsuit, should resign. As leader of the Republican caucus, he had the responsibility to nip the sedition in the bud early on. Instead, he caved to the seditionists and to Trump. He’s unfit to be called a leader of anything.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer must seek sanctions against Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and the other dirty dozen so-called Republican Senators who vow to object to the electoral vote certification on Jan. 6.

Since Hawley and Cruz are the ringleaders in this putsch, they should be held to account the most. They should resign from office in disgrace — and, if they refuse, then law-abiding, pro-democracy Republicans in the Senate must step up and unite with Democrats to expel these craven opportunists from the Senate.

New York should also seek to disbar Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, and any other attorney with a state law license, who continues to aid and abet Trump’s undemocratic coup.

Those who seek to overturn the will of voters, without any just and proven cause, cannot be trusted with upholding the laws of this country any longer — and have no business being in the halls of Congress or the courtrooms of America.

This is not a banana republic; this is America. Here the people rule, not Trump. And any attempt, however fruitless, to deny the majority of Americans (81 million for Biden over 74 million for Trump, 306 electoral votes for Biden over 232 electoral votes for Trump) of their power to elect their president must not be tolerated.