Even after tear gas, terror and disruption at their workplace, three Republicans representing Michigan chose the wrong side of history.
Reps. Jack Bergman, Tim Walberg and newcomer Lisa McClain are on the losing side of the House's 303-121 vote early Thursday to accept Electoral College votes won by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. They objected to results in Arizona and Pennsylvania.
At least two of them -- Bergman and Walberg -- were on the chamber's floor when election outcome deniers put the Capitol under seige Wednesday afternoon [Jan. 6]. Hours later, they went back to political posturing as part of what's accurately labeled "the sedition caucus."
McClain explained her objection in a six-tweet thread late Wednesday night. "I took the concerns I have heard from Michiganders into account and studied the facts," she says. "This is not a process that I take lightly."
That calculated choice, a cynical appeal to home-district fantasists sharing a "stop the steal" belief that propelled Capitol Hill insurrectionists, deserves consequences -- and not just if the trio runs again in 2022.
"This is not the time for posturing, this not the time for fundraising," one of the Michigan dissenters' party colleagues, first-term Rep. Peter Meijer of Grand Rapids, told Detroit News reporter Melissa Nann Burke in the House during Wednesday's seige.
"You have to acknowledge Biden as president-elect. End this violence. We have peaceful mechanisms to resolve disputes, but this is nothing short of an act of insurrection."
"Their disloyalty to America is clear," columnist Thomas L. Friedman writes this week in The New York Times, referring to all members who opposed certifying the Democratic ticket's 306-232 Electoral College win.
"Make sure we exact a tangible price from every lawmaker who votes with Trump and against the Constitution," he adds under the headline "Never Forget the Names of These Republicans Attempting a Coup."
A day before the every-four-years formality, delayed for hours by mayhem, Friedman suggested a few ways to "make sure we exact a tangible price from every lawmaker who votes with Trump and against the Constitution." His tactics are media needling, public shaming and fundraising pain.
If I were the editor of this newspaper, I'd print all of their pictures on a full page, under the headline: "Never Forget These Faces: These Lawmakers Had a Choice Between Loyalty to Our Constitution and to Trump, and They Chose Trump." ...
Shareholders of every major U.S. corporation should make sure that these companies' political action committees are barred from making campaign contributions to anyone who participates in Wednesday's coup attempt. ...
Make all those who have propagated this Big Lie about election fraud to justify voting with Trump and against our Constitution carry the title — "coup plotter" — forever. If you see them on the street, in a restaurant on your college campus, politely ask them: "You were one of the coup plotters, weren't you? Shame on you."
Politely? How does that even work?
In any event, the damage to our democratic republic's image is severe and the fallout for Jack Bergman, Lisa McClain, Tim Walberg and 118 other dead-enders should be real and lasting -- including on their campaign fund-raising ability.