In this historic moment, our nation’s leaders need to be clear: The mob that assaulted the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, after being incited by President Trump, was revolting and unacceptable.
Any attempt to shift blame or deflect attention is wrong.
Yet, Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, the Republican now representing our area in the U.S. House of Representatives, is doing exactly that.
In an interview with this newspaper’s Tom Barton, she said there is "plenty of blame to go around" and falsely claimed that Democrats did not demand a stop to the violence over the summer.
This is not true, of course. Some law enforcement and politicians may not have acted as quickly as some would have liked, but the differences in these two situations could not be clearer. Joe Biden, as the Democrats’ presidential nominee, called for a stop to the violence. Donald Trump, the president of the United States, after falsely complaining for two months that the election had been stolen from him, lit the match and watched Wednesday as the flames raged.
Miller-Meeks also echoed false claims that there was widespread fraud and irregularities.
To her credit, Miller-Meeks did not go along with the 139 members of the Republican House caucus, a majority, who voted hours after the riots to reject the electoral votes and the collective will of the people in either, or both, Arizona and Pennsylvania.
We are thankful Miller-Meeks did not do that, though we find ourselves a bit bewildered at giving credit for upholding a most basic function of the job – counting the votes in an election that has been examined like no other, by the states and innumerable courts, and been upheld. Yet, this is where we are.
It’s also true that Miller-Meeks has spoken out against the violence at the Capitol. That’s a good thing, but after what happened Wednesday, there now should be a reckoning – and it’s important that our nation’s leaders offer moral clarity at this moment. This was an attack on our country. It has no parallel to anything else that has gone on over the last tumultuous year in this country. Or for decades before that.
We hope, going forward, Mariannette Miller-Meeks will remember that.