On Jan. 6, officers from the Capitol Police and the D.C. Metropolitan Police put their safety—and even their lives—on the line to defend the U.S. Capitol and the Congress against insurrection. On June 15, 21 House Republicans voted against awarding those officers the Congressional Gold Medal.
As many people have observed, the Republican commitment to police goes only so far.
Back in March, just 12 Republicans voted against an earlier version of the legislation, which was bad enough. But now, apparently, the need to cover up what happened on Jan. 6 has spread. The votes against the bill came from:
- Lauren Boebert of Colorado
- John Rose of Tennessee
- Andy Harris of Maryland
- Thomas Massie of Kentucky
- Bob Good of Virginia
- Louie Gohmert of Texas
- Barry Moore of Alabama
- Ralph Norman of South Carolina
- Matt Rosendale of Montana
- Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia
- Chip Roy of Texas
- Paul Gosar of Arizona
- Andy Biggs of Arizona
- Warren Davidson of Ohio
- Scott Perry of Pennsylvania
- Matt Gaetz of Florida
- Greg Steube of Florida
- Andrew Clyde of Georgia
- Jody Hice of Georgia
- Mary Miller of Illinois
- Michael Cloud of Texas
Rep. Lance Gooden voted against the March bill but for the June bill, he was the only vote to flip in that direction.
Some of the Republicans voting against honoring the officers who defended them said they did so because of language in the bill. Greene and Massie both cited the use of “insurrection” to describe the events and the description of the Capitol as the “temple of our democracy.” (Presumably they’d rather the title of “temple of our democracy” go to Mar-a-Lago.)
“If they just wanted to give the police recognition, they could have done it without trying to make it partisan,” Massie said. So simply calling an insurrection an insurrection is now partisan. Again: Republicans are engaging in a slow-rolling cover-up.
”They were protesting and I don't approve of the way they protested, but it wasn't an insurrection. My goodness. Can you imagine what a real insurrection would look like?” Massie responded when pressed by reporters.
Well, I think it might look something like bombs planted outside the offices of political parties, people arriving in the nation’s capitol in trucks stocked with Molotov cocktails, police barricades being tossed aside and police assaulted, windows and doors being smashed in, a gallows erected outside the Capitol, men in tactical gear roaming the halls carrying flex cuffs, and hundreds of people massed outside a door chanting “heave ho” as they try to overwhelm the officers defending the door.
Others who voted against the bill were even more glib. “It’s all politics. It’s all garbage,” said Perry.
The bill honors all of the officers who defended the Capitol, and specifically mentions “Capitol Police Officers Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood, Metropolitan Police Department Officer Jeffrey Smith, and those who sustained injuries, and the courage of Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, exemplify the patriotism and the commitment of Capitol Police officers, and those of other law enforcement agencies, to risk their lives in service of our country.”
A large majority of House Republicans did vote for it, of course. But the fact that the number who voted against it increased substantially is a warning sign, and one that follows the other screaming, flashing warning sign of Senate Republicans having filibustered the legislation that would have established a bipartisan independent commission to investigate the insurrection. Just 35 House Republicans voted for that legislation, which means that nearly as many Republicans oppose honoring the police who defended them as support investigating to find out what happened. This is the Republican Party telling us about its direction.