The trouble with Rep. Carol Miller is that she’s not always capable of thinking for herself – and certainly not for her constituents – especially on complicated policy issues. She prefers to hang out on the backbench of Congress and dutifully do what she’s been told.
She lets others do the hard work, the reading, the critical analysis, the homework. She will vote however directed by Republican chieftains just as long as the legislation is positioned to the far right side of the ultra conservative ledger and wins her votes back home. Miller is a dedicated foot soldier for President Trump, as if that needs to be said. She is a rubber stamp in search of perpetual re-election.
Since Election Day, we have learned that Miller’s cynicism extends dangerously beyond her ability to control its consequences. This past week, she joined a challenge of the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential victory. It was a sneering, contemptuous effort that, in part, led to the sacking of the U.S. Capitol by a criminal mob of President Trump supporters, to the death of five people in the attack, to the disruption of yet another democratic norm and to the attempted overthrow of our government.
On Insurrection Wednesday, Miller was playing political games – without a thought, of course – and people died. For now, democracy lives, no thanks to her.
The challenge to the certification of votes was no more than a specious maneuver set in motion by two ambitious Republican senators – Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas – both thought to be considering runs for the presidency in 2024. There was no chance that their gambit would succeed. But that wasn’t the point. Challenging the votes, they figured, could win the support of the horde of white supremacists, fringe and nutty conspiracy fanatics, neo-fascists, and male chauvinists breaking through the front door.
Listen, we know how the 2020 election turned out – and we have known it for a good long while. The vote was counted and recounted in key swing states and then certified. We trust our election officials, here at home and across the many borders of our union. And we trust in those states, just like we do our own, to get it right.
There was no massive voter fraud as alleged by Trump and his band of oddly delusional lawyers. Even Trump’s own attorney general, William Barr, said the U.S. Justice Department had uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 election.
And U.S. election officials said the 2020 vote was the most secure in American history.
All of that contradicted President Trump, who made unfounded allegations of widespread voting fraud and irregularities time and again – without providing a speck of evidence. We were just supposed to believe him – a guy who, according to a Washington Post database, lied over 25,000 times in his four years in office. That is more than 17 times a day the president was telling a lie to the nation. Credibility holds no office in the Trump White House.
Nonetheless, the president used these claims to challenge the vote counts in several key states. His campaign filed dozens of lawsuits. Sidney Powell, one of the president’s attorneys, spun fictional tales of election systems flipping votes, German servers storing U.S. voting information and election software created in Venezuela “at the direction of Hugo Chavez” – the late Venezuelan president who died in 2013.
But the barrage of legal action and Trump’s false claims – often bolstered by right-wing media and some of the president’s allies in the Republican Party – have undermined overall faith in the electoral process and in the safety and security of our nation’s elections.
But here is what happened: People were lied to repeatedly and they believed it. And never once did Carol Miller stand up from that bench in the back of the room to set the record straight.
But what she did was join a losing effort to upset a norm of our democracy, to overturn the popular vote of the people and to give a key to the front door of the people’s house to an invading horde of deplorable human beings who are anything but patriots.
As such, Carol Miller will always wear the bright red label of a conspiring seditionist.