On Wednesday, our nation saw events unfold that we are used to seeing in other countries — not here.
As a result of his role in causing those events and because of their deadly fallout, we are calling on the 5th District’s member of the U.S. House, Rep. Mo Brooks, to resign immediately.
Supporters of President Donald Trump gathered for a rally in Washington, D.C. They listened to speeches by the likes of former New York mayor and presidential lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who called for settling the 2020 presidential election through “trial by combat,” and Rep. Brooks of Huntsville, who told the crowd, “Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.”
Within hours, those “patriots” were storming the Capitol, breaking windows, looting and forcing the elected representatives of the people of the United States to take shelter. One of the most chilling images from those events showed Capitol security, their weapons drawn, guarding the main doors to the House chamber.
It was the most serious assault on the Capitol since 1954, when Puerto Rican nationalists opened fire from the House chamber’s visitors balcony, injuring five congressmen, one seriously.
President Trump’s early response to the violence carried out in his name was, at best, tepid. He released a video via Twitter in which he called on his supporters to go home — but not before first repeating a litany of the baseless claims of election fraud that had brought his supporters to the nation’s capital in the first place.
The people who stormed the Capitol were not patriots. They were insurrectionists. That they were not successful in their foolish bid to keep Trump in office does not change that. Most insurrections fail.
Later Wednesday, the U.S. House and Senate resumed the people’s business of counting the certified Electoral College votes submitted by the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Some senators, shaken by the day’s events, backed away from their plans to object to the electoral votes.
That did not prevent Rep. Brooks from bringing shame to Alabama and the 5th District. He used his time to weave a deranged fantasy in which “illegal alien” voters supported Biden and cost Trump the presidency. Not only did he fashion this conspiracy without a sliver of evidence, it was a completely different conspiracy from the one Trump has promoted for the past two months.
On a day when some Trump supporters, after months of Trump egging them on, sought to overturn a legal election, Brooks had nothing better to do than use his national platform to go on a bizarre, monomaniacal rant about his favorite boogeymen, “illegal aliens.”
We have had our differences with Brooks in the past, but he is, for better or worse, the duly elected congressman from Alabama’s 5th District. On Wednesday, however, he disgraced his office. He encouraged protesters to start “kicking ass,” and lo and behold they did. Ideas have consequences. He aided Trump’s illegitimate effort to stay in office. And he added yet another paranoid conspiracy to the pile.
Friday morning, after news broke that Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick had died of injuries sustained while he was trying to protect the Capitol, Brooks tweeted, “Officer Sicknick’s murderer deserves the death penalty....” What, then, Rep. Brooks, do those who incited the riot deserve?
In a Democratic-controlled Congress, under a Democratic president, Brooks’ desire to wage scorched-earth warfare against the majority party will result only in north Alabama not having an effective voice in Washington.
As Wednesday turned into Thursday, and Congress finally accepted each state’s electoral votes, Brooks rose to object to accepting the votes from Nevada. Yet because no senator would sign on, presiding officer Vice President Mike Pence dismissed Brooks’ challenge.
In the end, Brooks’ voice wasn’t heard even by other Republicans. By early Thursday morning, he was tweeting baseless claims that left-wing antifa activists were really responsible for the violence at the Capitol, despite all the video evidence to the contrary, taken by the rioters themselves.
Brooks should resign.