Treason Day, 2023

Barry Dredze
4 min readJan 6
House Republicans, Hal Rogers of Kentucky, left, and Steve Womack of Arkansas, struggle to stay engaged in House business during the eleventh round of votes on the third day of trying to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress. (Photo by Alex Brandon, AP)

Treason Day. And the traitors are busy in their fourth day of trying to elect the 118th Congress’ Speaker of the House. The 117th Congress adjourned Tuesday morning but the newly and re-elected lawmakers remain formally unseated while the spectacle of democracy holds up their swearing-in ceremonies as well as all other House business.

On Wednesday, January 4, while the House Republican Caucus was in their second day of trying to elect a Speaker, the Associated Press reported that “dozens” of US military veterans fanned out in the Capitol hand-delivering copies of a letter urging Majority Leader and aspiring House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and others to publicly condemn political violence on the approach of the second anniversary of the January 6 MAGA riot. The letter was written by former Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone, who was beaten to an inch of his life by the rioters, testified in the first hearing of the January 6 Special Committee along with other police who battled the rioters that day, and was among the veterans at the Capitol delivering copies of his letter. The visit was an effort of two groups, Common Defense and Courage for America, to encourage Republican lawmakers to not only condemn political violence but also, Fanone wrote, “promise to hold members of your conference accountable for endorsing violence or espousing violent rhetoric towards those who disagree with them politically.” Over a thousand military veterans, active duty members, law enforcement officers and military families reportedly signed onto Fanone’s letter.

On the morning of January 6, 2023, NBC reported that Rep. Hakim Jeffries of New York led a gathering on the steps of the US Capitol, including families of the fallen officers, in a moment of silence for 140 seconds, “one second for each officer who suffered serious injuries.” The story noted that it was Jeffries’ “first official public act as minority leader,” but the 118th Congress had not yet technically been inaugurated. In his remarks, Jeffries noted the rioters “attempted to halt the peaceful transfer of power” by blocking the certification of President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. “They failed because of the bravery and valor of the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department officers who fought heroically to defend our democracy,” he said. Also worthy of note was the absence of all but one…

Barry Dredze

Just another mortal, tweaking my cognitive map on the fly.