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Don’t credit Republicans with enlightenment post Trump | READER COMMENTARY

In this image from video, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., speaks as the Senate reconvenes after protesters stormed into the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., speaks as the Senate reconvenes after protesters stormed into the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (Senate Television via AP) (AP)

As detailed in the article “Congress certifies Joe Biden’s Electoral College win hours after violent pro-Trump mob storms US Capitol,” (Jan. 7), several Republican leaders, including Vice President Mike Pence and Senators McConnell and Graham, delivered condemnatory speeches disavowing President Donald Trump’s ongoing attempts to subvert the 2020 election, which had led to violence at the Capitol hours before. There is no question that such direct repudiation of the president’s behavior is a noteworthy change, and is particularly welcome when compared against the likes of Senators Cruz and Hawley, for whom the bar can seemingly never be lowered enough that they cannot manage to slither underneath it. But I think that we should hesitate before congratulating these defenders of the Republic on their newfound spine.

I cannot discount the possibility that seeing the seat of American government defiled and occupied by insurrectionist Trump supporters with his implicit encouragement awakened Republican leaders to the depravity and moral bankruptcy of Donald Trump with 14 days remaining in his term. I will note that in the preceding 1,400 or so days, they failed to be enlightened to this reality as he ripped infants from their mothers’ arms and then lost them, among other proud displays of inhumanity.

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I suspect that the sudden change in Republican tone comes not from Wednesday’s tragedy, but rather the day before, when they lost both of Georgia’s Senate runoff elections, and thereby their majority. Over the past two months, the American people have summarily rejected Trumpism and denied its disciples the presidency, the Senate and the House of Representatives. Republican leaders made a Faustian bargain with Donald Trump. Perhaps the sale of their souls seems less appealing now that the power for which they traded them has been taken away.

Scott Butler, Baltimore

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