Time to End Hyper-Partisan Arson and Restore Democracy and Decency in America

Stephanie Bloomingdale, President of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, released the following statement regarding the attacks on the Capitol in Washington D.C. today:

Time to End Hyper-Partisan Arson and Restore Democracy and Decency in America

“I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…”

That’s the oath of office Senator Ron Johnson took. And that’s the oath he has repeatedly violated. His efforts to spread universally debunked conspiracy theories about the election being stolen and his willingness to join with other Republican members of Congress in obstructing today’s formal, constitutionally mandated tally of the Electoral College vote represent a shocking breach of trust.

Whether Senator Johnson and the others who participated in this political malpractice are motivated by a delusional belief in Donald Trump’s claims of electoral fraud or simply cynical political calculation, they share responsibility for the shocking events in the U.S. Capitol today. Their complicity in this direct assault on our democratic system is as clear as if they joined the rioters smashing windows, ransacking the Capitol, and violating our nation’s most sacred civic space.   

These actions are part of a troubling and toxic loyalty to a political party rather than to the people they were elected to serve. Sadly, at both the state and federal level, too many of Wisconsin’s elected Republicans have consistently placed their personal interests and preservation of partisan power ahead of the needs of the people of our state. 

The threat to our democracy that this brand of hyper-partisanship represents was foreseen by our first president. In his farewell address in 1796, George Washington warned attachment to party over the common good, “agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, and foments occasionally riot and insurrection.”

It’s time for Senator Johnson and other Wisconsin Republicans to free themselves from the grip of the legitimately defeated 45th president and reflect on the wisdom of our first.