Insurrection at the Capitol: Bernie Sanders's silence on Josh Hawley's sedition is deafening

Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley was the chief co-instigator, behind Donald Trump, of the insurrection at the Capitol on Wednesday as Congress was meeting in joint session to count the electoral votes and affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory over Trump. Hawley refused to withdraw his objection to affirming the certificate of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania even after the Capitol was held under siege by domestic terrorists backing Donald Trump.

Because of his role in inciting the Capitol Hill insurrection by with an unprecedented challenge against the electoral vote count in contravention to some 60 court rulings rebuffing Trump's claims of voter fraud, Hawley is losing support: at home, among his colleagues in Congress, and even on the conservative media. His political mentor and the Dean of Missouri Republican politics, former Sen. John Danforth, publicly repudiated his own role in Hawley's rise, saying working to get Hawley elected was the worst mistake of his life. Missouri's two main newspapers - the St. Louis Post Dispatch and the Kansas City Star - have called for Hawley's resignation or expulsion from the Senate. Major Hawley donors are asking the Senate to censure him. His position within the Senate Republican caucus is tenuous, and even Hawley's book publisher canceled his book deal in protest of his role in inciting insurrection.

Democratic Senators have been swift in their condemnation of Hawley, too. Patty Murray, the third-highest-ranking Democrat in the Senate, became the top-ranking Democrat to demand that Hawley, along with Ted Cruz, go.

Curiously, one Senator who has been notably absent from condemnation of Hawley and demanding his resignation or expulsion is the leftist firebrand Bernie Sanders, who led two presidential campaigns of his own by promoting revolution.

Sanders's silence is particularly peculiar because of his recent budding friendship with the sedition ist from Missouri. Sanders and Hawley double-teamed on $2,000 relief checks as part of the coronavirus relief package with Trump's blessing, which they failed to get through the Senate. The $2,000 checks may be coming anyway, but thanks to the new Senators-elect from Georgia, Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, for whom President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris rallied the vote while Sanders was (thankfully) nowhere to be found on the campaign trail. Warnock and Ossoff's victory, who should be seated in short order now that both of their Republican incumbent opponents have conceded, will give Democrats control of the Senate with Vice President-elect Harris's tie-breaking vote, and the new Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will be able to bring the legislation to the floor.

Sander's silent acquiescence to Hawley's Trumpism became clear when he was quiet as a Church mouse when Hawley announced his intention to perpetuate the myth of widespread voter fraud in order to stoke his own presidential ambitions. And although after the Trumpian terrorists staged a failed but bloody coup attempt on the US Capitol itself Sanders excoriated Trump on the Senate floor, he has not breathed a single word about his close friend Josh Hawley's role, on or off the Senate floor.

While Sanders has been silent on his friend's sedition, he did find time to go on CNN to trash the first two years of President Obama's term in office - which rescued the American economy from the Great Recession, revived the American auto industry, passed historic health care reform and banking reform, and reformed student loans among many crowning achievements - for "not delivering."

It behooves Sen. Sanders to break his silence specifically as it relates to Josh Hawley. It behooves him to demand Hawley's resignation and to introduce resolutions of expulsion and censure against him. The fact that he has not yet done so only strengthens the case that Bernie Sanders feels indebted to Hawley for his partnership on the COVID check and is repaying Hawley with his silence. No reasonable conclusion can be reached other than that Sanders and Hawley's partnership goes beyond a piece of legislation and carries loyalty to a point where Sanders is simply unwilling to call out his friend's incitement of violence against his own colleagues and the very core of the American republic.

Does Bernie Sanders believe sedition and insurrection against the United States deserves to be called out, condemned, held accountable even if it is committed by his new best friend? This is a moment of truth, and Bernie Sanders has not shown that he can rise to it.

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