Elise Stefanik appears a bit freaked out at present. The Twitter feed of the newly promoted third-ranking Republican in the House reads like the preserve of a defensive, cornered creature, thrashing and screeching to all who'll listen how she loves the police, she really loves them!
There’s a reason for Stefanik’s stink of digital flop sweat. A damn good reason.
It’s not just that, as Albany Times-Union columnist Chris Churchill gently put it, "Elise Stefanik says she supports police. Her votes suggest otherwise." This is inarguable, as he pulls back her curtain of calumny about supposed lack of Democratic support for cops to show she only backs the priorities of the National Association of Police Organizations 57% of the time. More importantly, it’s that the GOP-inspired Jan. 6th assault on the Capitol Building dynamited the facade that Republicans give a shit about police beyond photo ops and cheap talk.
As the alleged party of law and order’s true believers punched, stabbed, speared, kicked, maimed, trampled and bear-sprayed the 140 Capitol Police Officers protecting the citadel of our democracy, they also finished off what’s left of the Republican brand on these issues.
Sure, from inciting riots against the “jack-booted thugs” of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms to threatening Bureau of Land Management officers for simply trying to collect over one million dollars owed by Trumpy tax cheat Cliven Bundy, Republican demonization of law enforcement, when convenient, is nothing new. I dare you to google any state plus “right wing militia plot to kill police.”
Looking up one cop murder plot I recalled in my home state of Ohio, I stumbled across a whole other plot I didn’t know about from just two months ago. Honestly, right-wing recipes for violence perpetrated against police officers are so routine we barely hear of them unless they add in a bonus plan, like kidnapping the governor of Michigan.
Most of these acts, in the past, have fallen into a deep cerebral crevice, yet another victim of both-sides media, lack of consistent and aggressive Democratic messaging and Republicans’ endlessly and shamelessly flooding the zone with horseshit. But it was just six months ago terrorists egged on by Republican members of Congress and President Trump committed violence against democracy on live television.
Almost immediately afterwards, GOP “leaders” like Kevin McCarthy (R-Q Adjacent) and Mitch McConnell (R-Corporate Sloth) deserted, dishonored and attempted to discredit the officers who fought to defend the Capitol--and their lives!--that day. Trump, as is his way, has continued to manufacture ever more division by asking his faithful admirers “who shot Ashley Babbitt,” as though storming the capital was a ticket to martyrdom.
And as for that gelatinous rachis, McCarthy, he refused for months to meet with D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone, one of the most outspoken of his protectors there that day. Is this where I remind you again that Fanone and his fellow officers saved McCarthy’s life??
For Fanone, that came at the price of suffering a heart attack and concussion, as he’s tearfully and publicly recounted in the months since. Body cam footage shows his attackers actually celebrating after grievously injuring him. Once McCarthy finally gave in and met with Fanone—I guess McCarthy’s staff forgot to hang up on him once—the minority “leader” refused the officer’s simple request that he condemn the attack.
Yeah, go ahead and read that sentence again.
Adding even more insult to injury, House-Republican circus clown Andrew Clyde wouldn’t even shake Fanone’s hand when he encountered him. Again, Fanone would’ve given his life to save that of Clyde, who can be seen in pictures barricading the House Chamber door that day with anything not nailed to the floor. Yet, Clyde now has the gall to say this attack on democracy and intended lynching was regular old “tourism.”
I guess it was kind of like the tourism scheduled for the U.S.S. Arizona on December 7th, 1941.
There’s a reason these creeps and crazies are so desperate to change the story of January 6th so it’s about anything other than what we all saw with our own eyes. Republican leaders better known for bone spurs than risking bullet holes need to be identified with cops, who, in their telling, are the only thing standing between the suburbs and urban anarchy, if ya catch their drift.
That plan is shot to shit now. When Senate Republicans ignored pleas for a bipartisan Jan. 6 Commission by a distraught Gladys Sicknick, whose son was murdered by the seditious, violent mob, and those of Serena Liebengood, whose husband took his own life due to despair just afterwards, they sent quite the message. All the thin blue line flags and cockeyed pro-cop sermons can no longer hide that truth.
The January 6th Select Committee—appointed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi after Republicans filibustered a good-faith bipartisan effort to get to the truth—will surely uncover more video and more testimony about what happened that day, and just how disposable Republican leaders view members of law enforcement who were there to protect them.
More evidence will emerge, but the verdict is already in: For today’s GOP, cops are just props.