A dozen House Republicans voted against a resolution to award Congressional Gold Medals, one of the nation’s highest civilian honors, to the Capitol Police, the D.C. police, and the Smithsonian Institution in recognition of their defense of the U.S. Capitol on January 6. To understand the votes of these Republicans one needs to look at the loaded language the Democrats smuggled into the resolution being voted on. It states:
On January 6, 2021, a mob of insurrectionists forced its way into the U.S. Capitol building and congressional office buildings and engaged in acts of vandalism, looting, and violently attacked Capitol Police officers.
Was this an insurrectionist mob? Did the January 6 rioting rise to the level of an insurrection? Reasonable people can disagree about this. Anyone who disagrees with the resolution’s characterization should have voted against it.
The resolution also says this:
The desecration of the U.S. Capitol, which is the temple of our American Democracy, and the violence targeting Congress are horrors that will forever stain our Nation’s history.
Is the Capitol building “the temple” of our democracy? Maybe. It’s hard to argue against a figure of speech.
But for a temple, an awful lot of unseemly stuff goes on at the Capitol. And Nancy Pelosi is one sorry excuse for a high priestess.
One of the “no” voters, Rep. Thomas Massie, found the use of the word “temple” “a little too sacrilegious for me.” Being of that view, he was right to vote against the resolution.
The stuff about the riot’s horrors forever staining our Nation’s history is a bit over the top. I doubt that the riot of January 6 will be more than a brief footnote in any half-way objective history of the U.S. Slavery, Jim Crow, and forced removals of Indians are stains. The Jan. 6 riot seems more like a blip.
Nor was the House’s rhetoric necessary in a resolution honoring those who defended the Capitol and members of Congress. The ones who actually were part of the defense deserve the gratitude reflected in the awarding of the medal regardless of whether (1) they were combatting an actual insurrection, (2) the Capitol is the temple of our democracy, and (3) the riot will forever stain America’s history.
The Senate and House passed different Jan. 6 resolutions. The Senate’s awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to Eugene Goodman, the Capitol Police officer who faced an angry mob by himself and led those people in the opposite direction of the Senate chamber, where he knew lawmakers were gathered.
The two resolutions will have to be reconciled. I hope that in the process, the over-the-top language in the House version falls by the wayside.
Then, perhaps, the 12 GOP holdouts in the House will come on board. They are: Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Thomas Massie (Ky.), Andy Harris (Md.), Lance Gooden (Tex.), Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.), Louie Gohmert (Tex.), Michael Cloud (Tex.), Andrew S. Clyde (Ga.), Greg Steube (Fla.), Bob Good (Va.) and John Rose (Tenn.).