Last week's deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol spurred a flood of condemnation from enablers of President Donald Trump who would like for us to believe that after years of giving him everything he wanted, they actually had nothing to do with this would-be tyrant.
Former Rep. John Faso, R-Kinderhook, told CNHI that he was shocked by the "absolute disgrace" at the Capitol, adding: “Can you imagine what the Chinese and the Russians and our adversaries are going to do with the images from today?”
Russia and China using Trump for their own nefarious ends? You don't say. Or at least, Faso didn't when he was in office and special counsel Robert Mueller was investigating the Kremlin's influence over Trump. Faso in March 2018 said of Mueller's probe: “The basic political charge here was there was some effort to collude or conspire with Russian intelligence in order to affect the outcome of the election. There’s not been a single shred of evidence that anything that was done affected the outcome of the election. That is clear. No one has even alleged it now.” The following spring, Mueller's report found that "the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts."
After Trump attempted to extort the president of Ukraine in his infamous July 2019 phone call, Faso dismissed calls for impeachment, saying that voters instead should decide Trump's fate (as if Trump ever had any intention of abiding by election results). Despite all this, in August 2020, Faso told the Albany Times Union: "I definitely would not vote for Vice President Joe Biden and I most likely will vote for President Donald Trump."
New York Republican Party Chairman Nick Langworthy would also like to just let bygones be bygones. Sure, the goons who stormed the Capitol did so with heads full of poisonous lies about election integrity, and perhaps Langworthy had been bellowing and braying for weeks about imaginary fraud without providing a shred of evidence, but let's not put two and two together. And pay no attention to the Albany County GOP's "Support Trump" bus excursion, which transported people to the insurrection last week. Langworthy even had the nerve to condemn his Democratic Party counterpart for not "offering gratitude" that the attack wasn't even bloodier.
Langworthy insists that Rep. Anthony Brindisi, D-Utica, is attempting to steal reelection over former Rep. Claudia Tenney, whom Brindisi ousted in 2018. Tenney, too, has been lying to her followers about the election, but it shouldn't come as a surprise from a person who once called for Hillary Clinton and former FBI director James Comey to be jailed in a fundraising email.
Perhaps the worst offender is Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, who in 2019 used Trump's impeachment trial as a springboard to lie her way into national prominence. At least some are growing tired of her act; Harvard University on Tuesday booted Stefanik from her advisory role with the Kennedy School of Government, citing her serial dishonesty about election integrity.
One of the casualties of last week's attack was Ashli Babbit, a 35-year-old conspiracy theorist from California who was shot dead while storming the Capitol. When asked about her motives, her brother Roger Witthoeft told the New York Times: "If you feel like you gave the majority of your life to your country and you're not being listened to, that is a hard pill to swallow."
But what did she have to say that was being ignored? Babbit was a hardcore adherent of the deranged, bloodthirsty QAnon movement, which insists that Satan-worshiping Democrats are running global child sex trafficking ring. When Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in December tweeted about plans "to ensure Americans mask up, distribute 100M shots, and get students safely back to school," Babbit responded: “No the f**k you will not! No masks, no you, no Biden the kid raper, no vaccines...sit your fraudulent a** down…we the ppl b***h!”
Perhaps the crisis we face is not one of people being ignored, but rather a crisis of liars not knowing when to shut up.