Pa. GOP elected officials bear serious blame for the attempted coup

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times @mikemcgannpa


Our nation’s capital is an armed camp. Our state capital is an armed camp. Peaceful this Sunday morning, so far, thankfully.

Tragic, but necessary, as right-wing terrorists may be planning attacks in Washington, D.C. and in state capitals across the country because of a lie.

Donald Trump did not win the presidential election. There was no significant fraud — every election has a handful of fraudulent votes, but there were nowhere near enough to change the result — and many of the fraud claims are literally nonsensical.

Joe Biden won — despite performing less well in urban areas than Hillary Clinton did in 2016. Trump got his butt kicked in highly-educated, White suburbs like Chester County (and yes, Trump got his butt kicked here, losing by about 17 points). 

Yet, it is those urban areas, with large percentages of people of color — in Philadelphia, Atlanta, Detroit, Milwaukee, Las Vegas and Phoenix — where there are false Republican claims of fraud. In Pennsylvania, Republicans in the state legislature made sure it would appear Trump won the state on election night — refusing to allow millions of mail-in votes to be counted before election day. As those votes were counted, including mine, Biden’s win became clear, but sparked deliberate fake claims of “vote dumps.”

Similar moves were made by GOP controlled legislatures in other states, setting up the big lie, which then was amplified by GOP elected officials in Pennsylvania  — despite no proof ever being revealed and the loss of some 60 court cases; even judges appointed by Trump knew the entire premise was false. 

But the lie persisted, part of a Trump plan to steal the election — as reported this week in detail by Axios. He knew by early fall — thanks to his blundering of the COVID crisis and a tanking economy — he could not win the election fairly.

Trump had dozens of Pennsylvania elected officials who were accomplices in this attempt to steal the election. A majority of the Republicans in the state legislature, some 70 members, including Chester County’s State Rep. Tim Hennessey (R-26) who endorsed this brazen attempt to end our democracy and void the votes of his constituents. State Sen. Doug Mastriano held sham “hearings” detailing completely fake claims of fraud. Members of the state legislature signed on to a letter demanding the votes of Pennsylvania be set aside — all the while knowing their claims were fake.

Hennessey should have retired before this cycle. Now, he should resign in shame.

Trump started the lie, but it was GOP elected officials — many in Pennsylvania — who repeated it, amped up and fed the fury.

Ginned up by this lie, a bunch of extreme Right-Wing terrorists attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and sought to prevent Congress from certifying a free and fair election. It was literal sedition, a coup d’etat led and encouraged by Trump and other Republican elected officials.

Now, because of continued threats against the inauguration of Biden, our nation’s capital seems a lot more like Baghdad or Mosul, than the seat of government in what was a free and fair democracy. State capitals — also a threat target — are also buttoned up tight. Even some churches are staying shut today, worried about the potential of attack for house of worship not sufficiently right-wing.

This is what it has come down to.

This is America now.

Rest assured, I am scared for the future of America. But I am more angry.

You won’t see me engaging in violent protest, though. My anger is the cold, deep sort — a fury that requires action — to shed light on those who had so little respect for our shared democracy, our votes, that they sold themselves out to Trump’s lies, and sparked a deadly insurrection. We need to know who did what and when and were willing to overthrow the government just to further their political careers.

Polling suggests that as much as half of registered Republicans support violent insurrection. Read that again: half of Republicans support the violent overthrow of the government because they don’t like the result of an election.

Some 75%  of Republicans say they believe the lie that Biden was not fairly elected.

This needs to change.

Until Republican elected officials admit — as a tiny number have — that Trump’s claims were all lies, these numbers will not change and our democracy will be in peril. That means every Republican official in this county needs to be put on the record — from Township Supervisor to County Commissioner — about the lie.

We can assume those who refuse to comment are continuing to support the lie.

Ask that question. We will. Put them on the record. All of them.

We will fight for the truth and we will fight for our democracy. Our forefathers would expect nothing less.


For some Republicans, being put on the record is not enough.

Let us start with state Sen. Doug Mastriano. Various published reports say he spent serious money to hire buses to go to the insurrection and fired up the troops before they attacked the Capitol. He claims not to have entered the building, but it does not matter. He gave aid and comfort to insurrectionists, which violates the 14th Amendment, Section 3.

He should no longer be eligible to hold office in the United States.

Anyone who gave “aid and comfort” to those involved in the insurrection need to be relieved of their positions of public trust.

In the coming weeks, we will discover more about who did what and where they were — cell phone IDs are being used to track the participants in the Jan. 6 riot. The money trail will be followed.

The truth will come out.


Meanwhile, because democracy isn’t under enough of an attack, Republicans in the legislature are pushing through a state Constitutional amendment to change how we elect statewide judges. They would prefer to have judges elected by district — so we would get more judges from the very Republican middle portion of the state and less judges from the east and west of the commonwealth.

This is not about good government or judicial reform. It’s about Republicans getting their butts kicked in statewide races and no longer being able to cheat. They’re mad that the state Supreme Court called them on the wildly gerrymandered Congressional districts and imposed a fairer — but still GOP leaning — map. 

Republicans know — having burned themselves to the ground in the Philadelphia suburbs — they no longer can depend on winning statewide races. As it is, they will not be able to gerrymander the legislature they way they did in 2012, with Gov. Tom Wolf as part of the process.

Now, they want to gerrymander the state judiciary — because they cannot win elections fairly. 

Honestly, we should not be electing judges at all. But this proposed amendment takes a problematic system and turns it into a nightmare of political bias.

This proposal will have to pass the legislature again in 2022 — and everyone voting for it will have to answer for it, including the three Republican State Representatives who represent Chester County. Assuming it passes, it could appear on ballots for voter approval as soon as May, 2022.

Make your opinion known — reach out to your local legislators and share your thoughts.


Pin It

Share this post:

Related Posts

Leave a Comment