147 seditionists in Congress: What can be done?

One hundred forty-seven members of Congress voted to overturn the election (and they did so after the mob stormed the Capitol).

Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-Mo.) is introducing a bill to expel them.

A few big corporations have said they are suspending contributions to the campaigns of these congresspeople.

But in the end, these seditious congresspeople have safety in numbers. In the House alone, they make up two-thirds of the Republicans, and they still represent a wide swath of the population.

What can be done about them?

Nothing. The best we can hope for is to vote them out of office.

It would be nice if big donors stopped donating to the Republican caucus entirely until they clean house.

We need to be clear about what we mean by “sedition” here.

If their only act was to vote against certification, nothing (unfortunately) can really be done. Hopefully they suffer defeat in an upcoming election, but that’s the ceiling on what we can reasonably expect.

But if they more actively aided the insurrection by working with the invading mob, providing information or support, then they need to be jailed.

They may have already done the worst damage to themselves. In 2022, there will be TV ads running in 147 districts with a split screen of the incumbent objecting to the certification and rioters trying to murder lawmakers and cops.

Are you suggesting that they should have voted differently based on the actions of the mob?

I’m not sure who the “they” are you are referring to. If you mean the objectors, they were promulgating the same lies that incited the mob. Less direct connections have been made in political ads.

OK. According to the U.S. Code, it involves conspiring “to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States… or to … prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States…”

18 U.S. Code § 2384 - Seditious conspiracy

Sedition – unlike insurrection – is not necessarily violent.

This is the only real answer. Most, but not all, of those 147 are in ruby-red districts.
Those that are in even marginally competitive districts should face vigorous general election opponents. And even those in “safe” districts are not invulnerable – some may be redistricted this year into much more competitive districts, and it’s not entirely unheard of for the sane Republican to emerge victorious in a primary.

A lot is going to come down to how the events of last and this week end up being viewed by the general public and by Republican voters. If information comes out showing that this was premeditated, coordinated with Republican officeholders, and we get more videos and photos of officers being maimed by the insurrectionists, even Republican voters may start to feel differently come next election.

How overt do you have to be to be guilty of this?

Do nothing?

Vote against Biden getting office?

Tweeting encouragement to the insurrectionists?

Telling the insurrectionists where the Speaker is?

Taking a selfie with them?

I am willing to bet all members of Congress didn’t do enough to be guilty of sedition except, maybe, the one who Tweeted the Speaker’s location.

Mo Brooks’ and some other lawmakers’ speeches inciting violence at the rally might qualify.

Yes. They knew, or should have known, that all these objections and accusations of fraud were bullshit from beginning to end. They were engaged in political theater to try and get more votes in their district. Once they saw the result of their bullshit, they should have stopped the theater.

Maybe but that is quite a reach as a legal matter. The 1st Amendment is most protective of political speech. Quite a legal hill to climb…especially with congresscritters.

If we’re talking about merely the fact that they engaged in a great lie, I would agree, but if it is established that they coordinated with the seditionists, they should be expelled and prosecuted, optics and unity be damned.

A theoretical politician moronic enough to genuinely believe that the elections were fraudulent - against all evidence to the contrary - should not have changed their vote. Our theoretical imbecile, after all, believes that he is defending the constitution by overturning this election.

But I do not believe, not for a moment, that any of those idiots actually exist.

I do believe that a sufficiently double-thinking representative may have convinced themselves that they were engaging in harmless political theater for the sake of energizing their base. Before the riot. This is the most generous interpretation of every politician taking the line that there was something hinky with the elections.

During and after the riot, every one of these double-thinking GOP representatives should have realized that their ‘harmless’ political theater was anything but, and that a vote to overturn the election was in direct violation of their oath of office.

My personal belief is that GOP officials have spent four years happily letting Trump dismantle American democracy and political norms, considering it acceptable collateral damage in exchange for packing the courts and having a ludicrously energized base. Every single one of them knew what they were doing and knew the enormous irresponsibility of letting Trump be Trump.

Anyway, what can be done? Nothing but voting them out. Since many of them are probably in gerrymandered districts, that means getting successfully primaried. Not gonna happen unless the GOP actually excises Trumpian ‘conservatism’ from both its platform and its base.

I should have said “gerrymandered or otherwise safely Republican districts” here.

They voted. That doesn’t qualify as sedition, sorry.

If the legal system in the US is ever so compromised as to rule otherwise we are no longer living in anything resembling a representative democracy.

They voted to overturn the result of a democratic election. That very much qualifies as sedition.

Sorta. They should have realized that the only reason the mob even existed was this stupid show of being able to overturn the election. They should have realized that their actions by going along with what the mob wanted was in fact aiding said mob.

Congress has no power under the Constitution to reject the results of any State election. The whole objection process exists solely so they can authenticate that the results are legitimately from the states. The states run their elections. The objections themselves were an attempt to run around the Constitution and themselves (part of) a coup attempt.

They objected and then voted to try and do something they had no power to do–to disenfranchise the electors of states, to override each state’s certification.

The Electoral Count Act is just a law, and thus can’t be interpreted to override the Constitution, which says:

Nothing in there about being able to ignore any certificates–aka certified votes.

(I could quote the 12th Amendment, but the portion I quoted isn’t changed)

relevant portion

The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate;-The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;

Yes, the sedition definition can be further stretched to include Speaker Pelosi and anyone else who helped with the parliamentaries of the vote. This conspiracy was vast indeed.

We need some election reform (the real kind not the Republican kind) so that the sane majority doesn’t get outvoted by the crazy minority. We can’t eliminate the reality that deplorables exist but we can make sure they aren’t the ones running the country. And in the long term, if deplorables lose the potential to run the country, conservatives will lose their incentive to encourage the existence of deplorables.