This is what should have taken center stage during the hearing. While Democrats were rightly enraged by the actions of the President at the rally just before the march on the Capitol, each speaker should have spent more of their limited time at the podium to remind their colleagues and the American public of the lie that sparked this fire.
Republicans voting against impeachment, not surprisingly, were not anxious to probe the fundamental reason of the insurrection.
To this day, the vast majority of elected Republicans have not acknowledged the legitimacy of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Going forward, everyone in Congress needs to be accountable for the big lie.
Democrats need to do this by focusing on the legitimacy of the election if they expect to push through Biden’s agenda and avoid an epidemic of domestic terror around the country.
Accountability for the Republicans will be them understanding that they can’t have it both ways: calling for unity while still maintaining the election was stolen. Until the President and the Republicans are forced to reckon with that big lie, there is very little chance that our politics can or will return to the pre-Trump era.
It is not an understatement to say our democracy rests on this. Whether Trump is convicted in the Senate is also an important symbol of accountability. And that goes for holding all of the elected officials like Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri, and Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks, accountable for their part in trying to undermine what has been proven to be a fair election. Failure to do so might lead to a repeat of the level of distrust in America’s free and fair elections that led us to witness domestic terrorism on the Capitol and the first time a President has been impeached twice.