Newly elected Republican Congressman Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina has already distinguished himself as a cowardly bigot who is very much at ease with peddling easily verifiable lies to the public. Whether it’s saying the COVID-19 pandemic is “overblown” or lying about the results of a national election, Cawthorn is everything the Republican Party stands for these days. It was no surprise that Cawthorn joined other dirtbags like Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley and Rep. Mo Brooks, all of whom voted against confirming Biden’s electoral victory over Trump on Jan. 6.
Cawthorn was named by Democratic officials in a letter sent to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, asking for him to be “held accountable for his seditious behavior and for the consequences resulting from said behavior.” When voting against Biden’s victory, Cawthorn compared the insurgency attack on our nation’s Capitol with this past summer’s Black Lives Matter protests. Now Henderson County Sheriff George Erwin of North Carolina is telling the public that while he endorsed Cawthorn in the run-up to election, he now realizes he made a terrible mistake. According to Blue Ridge Public Radio, Erwin was slated to be Cawthorn’s district director, but now Erwin wants nothing more to do with him. “Once a word leaves your mouth you can’t take it back in. And you can either incite or you can calm with the words you use. And I have seen no calming words.”
It’s important to explain here that the issue with Cawthorn is not simply that in the face of all the terribly seditious results he promoted—including attacking the integrity of our elections armed with zero evidence—he still decided to vote against the election of Biden. The problem here is that Cawthorn said all kinds of inflammatory things, and even told the Jan 6. MAGA-mob at the “Save America Rally” that the elections had been stolen.
According to HuffPost Cawthorn has attempted to play both sides here, saying: “I think when the president said we’re going to march down to the Capitol and I’m going to march with you, that was a major mistake. He never should’ve directed that crowd toward the Capitol. The bad outcome was destined at that point.” Classic: Throw the other guy under the bus for supporting the thing he was supporting literally about five hours earlier when he was telling the crowd: “My friends, the Democrats with all of the fraud they have done in this election, the Republicans hiding and not fighting, they are trying to silence your voice.”
This is the guy who told the crowd that there were too many Republicans saying “we should sit idly by and sit on our hands.” This is also the guy who a couple of weeks earlier said at a Turning Point USA event: “Call your congressman and feel free, you can lightly threaten them and say, you know what, if you don’t start supporting election integrity, I’m coming after you, Madison Cawthorn is coming after you, everybody’s coming after you.”
The Citizen Times reports that Change.org says its fastest-growing petition right now is one that calls for Cawthorn to be held accountable for his actions and to leave office. For his part, Cawthorn is all over the place. He’s an unsophisticated mind, but an angry one. In an interview with the Smoky Mountain News the day after the insurrection, Cawthorn boasted that as distressing as the siege on the Capitol building was, when he and a few other legislators were separated from their Capitol police escort during evacuation—something, according to Cawthorn, that happened because he needed to take a different route due to his wheelchair—“Fortunately, I was armed, so we would have been able to protect ourselves.”
Whether or not this means that Cawthorn was and has been potentially carrying a loaded and concealed weapon on the floor of the House (which is not permitted) remains to be seen. Cawthorn is technically allowed to have a firearm in his office and is allowed to carry that weapon around Capitol Hill—but not on the floor. How Cawthorn would have been able to access his firearm from his office during the events on Jan. 6 is murky.
Here’s Cawthorn telling the the MAGA crowd in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, hours before insurrection, that the county clerk controlled our democracy—not the millions of votes cast for Joe Biden over Donald Trump. He told the crowd the “Constitution was violated” by the 2020 election. He must be expelled.
You can watch his whole stupid speech starting around 1:16:05.