Some Democrats are fighting back against Republican outrageousness

We have seen the spectacle of Republicans in Congress going along with efforts to overturn the elections, the latest example being the 127 members of the House of Representatives who signed on the lawsuit filed by the Texas attorney general with the US Supreme court that was summarily tossed out. Some Democrats are fed up with this behavior and have decided to fight fire with fire.

Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell on Friday charged that some of his Republican colleagues shouldn’t be sworn in for the next session of Congress, accusing them of violating the U.S. Constitution and attempting to “demolish democracy” by backing President Donald Trump’s effort to overturn the November election, which he lost to President-elect Joe Biden.

n a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), chair of the Committee on House Administration, the New Jersey congressman specifically condemned the more than 100 House Republicans who are supporting a lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that aims to block the four key battleground states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—all of which Biden won—from voting in the Electoral College.

“Stated simply, men and women who would act to tear the United States government apart cannot serve as members of the Congress,” writes the longtime Trump critic.

Pascrell urges Pelosi and Lofgren to exercise their power to figure how they can respond to these alleged constitutional violations and, if possible, refuse to seat incoming members who, in his words, are “seeking to make Donald Trump an unelected dictator.”

The congressman was far from alone in condemning the behavior of GOP officials who have rallied around Paxton’s long-shot lawsuit and other legal challenges to Biden’s decisive victory. Earlier Friday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) also slammed supporters of Trump’s attempt to sow doubt about the security of the election.

“House Republicans are spending critical time when people are starving and small businesses are shuttering trying to overturn the results of our election,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “but please tell us more about how ‘both sides are just as bad.'”

Fellow Squad member Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) said Thursday that “they are attempting a coup in broad daylight and it should not be treated as anything less.”

Republicans have got used to doing the most outrageous things while still clinging on to legitimacy. In the senate, Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell has not hesitated to use his majority to violate all manner of norms, while Democrats in the House of Representatives where they have the majority have hesitated to pursue similar tactics. This effort by Pascrell is likely just meant to show that two can play at this game of using the constitution and the law in futile ways just to make a political point. It is long overdue for people to call out Republicans for their obscenely anti-democratic behavior.


  1. johnson catman says

    Fuck “calling them out on it”. ACT on it. Moscow Mitch has used his position to abuse the power. It is time that republicans reap what they have sown. Shut them out because they have supported an attempted coup on the legitimate elected administration.

  2. says

    The US system is a badly-designed mess. A representative can be impeached and unseated from the house by a 2/3 majority. Not that I expect Pelosi would play hardball but it seems that the Speaker of the House could refuse to seat a sufficient number of the seditious reps to have a 2/3 majority, then run down the list, impeaching the remainder. Since a simple majority is all you need for a quorum in the house, it appears that it’d be possible to unseat all the reps who supported the coup.

    It’d be worth it, just to see the republicans suddenly rediscover their love of proper procedure and good sport, which would last for, oh, maybe 10 minutes.I actually do feel it would be appropriate to refuse to seat any representative who participated in the coup -- they have already shown they are not taking their oath of office seriously and are willing to deny the people they represent their constitutional rights.

    The republicans would get violent, of course. That’s their hole card.

  3. billseymour says

    My U.S. Rep. is among the uglies.  (I didn’t vote for her, I promise.)

    I sent my lawyer an e-mail the other day wondering whether, as a registered voter in Missouri’s Second Congressional District, I’d have standing to accuse Wagner of sedition.  He hasn’t gotten back to me yet.  (It was over the weekend, so that’s not surprising.)  I don’t actually expect anything to come of it, but I’ll post another comment here if anything happens.

  4. brucegee1962 says

    Terrible idea. Please remember: no majority lasts forever, and any legal or political maneuver that we use against them today will be used against us tomorrow.

    Congressional majorities don’t get to choose legislators. The people choose legislators. If the people are dumbasses, we get dumbass legislators, but the people are still the ultimate bosses, even the dumbass ones. If that stops being true, then we are no longer a democracy for reals.

  5. brucegee1962 says

    Now, trying to get Giuliani and all the rest of these phony lawyers disbarred — that’s something that could be done.

  6. Frederic Bourgault-Christie says

    @Brucegee: You make a fatally wrong assumption: that they need the weight of precedent to do something to us. They already will do every novel thing to us. You don’t abandon kicking someone in the nuts in a street fight when they have a knife. They are fighting to win. Progressives need to start doing the same.

  7. says

    Meanwhile (unrelated) it turns out that the people who made the Covid-19 outbreak in the US immeasurably worse are getting first in line for the vaccine. Trump, Pence, Congress, the Supreme Court -- the craven bastards whose incompetence killed 300,000+ citizens. You can’t make this shit up.

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