Two days after Trump’s seditious mob stormed the Capitol, President-Elect Joe Biden offered a reminder that sane and competent leadership is only days away. After introducing his economic team on Friday, Biden responded to a question about unity: “We need a Republican Party. We need an opposition that’s principled and strong. I think you’re going to see them going through this idea of what constitutes the Republican Party.”
In a democracy, the idea of a political party governing without opposition is not realistic. Nevertheless, the Democrats are poised to hit the ground running and transform the country into something magnificent. As Biden pointed out, this is because the Republican opposition has become both profoundly amoral and, thankfully, weak.
After the riots were quelled, you would think Congress would reconvene to finish the ceremonial job of vote certification. Instead, Republican Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz decided to hold the legislative branch — and America’s democracy — hostage in a different way, keeping everyone up until dawn for a perverse debate over the same seditious objections that led to the violence.
In the meantime, Democratic Congressman Andy Kim was on his hands and knees clearing the Rotunda of broken flags and furniture, cigarette butts, body armor, Trump flags, and more. Despite having just endured the tragedy of burying his son the day before, Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin showed up to fulfill his role in the peaceful transition of power—only to join colleagues in fleeing for his life. As Raskin later told The Atlantic, “The president is a lethal danger to the American republic and the American people. There has been nothing like this since the Civil War.”
Before the attack began, the Republican Attorneys General Association sent robocalls urging people to join a march that was widely expected to turn violent. “At 1 p.m., we will march to the Capitol building and call on Congress to stop the steal!” the AG group encouraged, according to NBC News. As rioters stormed the Capitol with weapons and zip ties shouting “Hang Mike Pence!” while urinating and smearing their own feces around them, Hawley and Cruz shamelessly sent emails to fundraise off the lunacy.
At the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting on Friday, members went on record to insist that Trump was blameless for the attack and claimed he should continue playing a leading role in the Republican Party, according to reporting from The New York Times. Despite the humiliating Republican loss of both the presidency and the Senate, the RNC governing board unanimously reelected Ronna McDaniel as the chair.
Over the next year, Democrats will indeed have an opposition that is neither principled nor strong. As we watch the Republican Party hobble along, splinter, or dissolve, we will know that such are the consequences for a party that has embraced a fascist and spread dangerous lies about the election. Under a Biden-Harris administration and with a Democratic Congress, there is no doubt that America’s best days lie ahead.