Many Americans were repulsed by the spectacle of Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley questioning Christopher Wray about the FBI’s investigation of the Capitol Insurrection they helped instigate. It was especially repugnant coming on the heels of CPAC’s Celebration of Trump – as if he hadn’t played a lead role in launching a violent assault on American democracy.
Republicans act like nothing is amiss, just let them carry on, business as usual. But what if the roles were different. Would they view the instigators of a riot with such equanimity?
Suppose, for instance, that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez went to Palm Beach and held a massive rally down the street from Mar-a-Lago, where Trump happened to be huddling with fellow conspirators, Cruz, Hawley, Gaetz, Jordan, Brooks, and others, plotting his next moves. What if she riled the crowd up and screamed that, right down the road is the group that tried to demolish democracy by overturning the will of the people.
Suppose she said they’ve got to fight to take the country back, or it will be taken from them forever. They have to be strong, because they’ll never succeed if they are weak. Suppose her fellow Squad members Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley also gave fiery speeches that whipped the crowd into a frenzy.
How about if they said we are going down to Mar-a-Lago right now to show Trump and his crooked gang that we’re not going to take it anymore – and we’ll be marching right there with you (although they did not actually go).
And what if their mob stormed the gates of Mar-a-Lago and attacked security personnel, wounding many and leaving others for dead, then broke down windows and doors and burst into the building, looking for Trump and his henchmen, chanting, “String Up Trump!” and “Where’s Cruz?” What if they roamed the halls of the ornate mansion, terrorizing staff, security, and guests for several hours?
Would Republicans be unperturbed by those who had stoked the mob into action? Would they say only punish those who broke into Mar-a-Lago, not those who egged them on? Would they welcome The Squad back into the halls of Congress and let them participate in hearings to investigate the riot? Not likely.