The Rolling Stone speaks of inconvenient truths

The editorial board of the Charlotte News and Observer and Raleigh’s News and Observer penned the following editorial yesterday regarding one of the state of North Carolina’s more extreme new Congressional representatives called “New, troubling questions about Madison Cawthorn and Jan. 6.” The editorial speaks to some interesting findings from an unusual political source, The Rolling Stone. I am sure when Cawthorn sings that famous song about getting his picture on the cover, he was not envisioning this. Here part of the piece with a link to the full editorial below.

“Followers of former President Donald Trump have found one conspiracy theory they don’t like: That some Republican members of Congress may have had deeper roles in plans and events that led to the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. One reason they don’t like it is that — unlike the bizarre theories of QAnon, the baseless notions of rampant voter fraud and suspicions about COVID vaccines — the concern that members of Congress may have had a hand in efforts to overturn the election appears to be backed by evidence. Rolling Stone reported on Sunday that two organizers of the Jan. 6 protests have told congressional investigators that ‘multiple members of Congress were intimately involved in planning both Trump’s efforts to overturn his election loss and the Jan. 6 events that turned violent.’

Rolling Stone said the organizers, speaking anonymously, named seven Republican members of Congress who joined, either directly or through their staffers, in the effort to overturn the election. Republican North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn was among those named. Cawthorn spokesman Luke Ball dismissed the report on Monday, saying, “These anonymous accusations are complete garbage. Neither the congressman nor his staff had advance knowledge of what transpired at the Capitol on January 6th or participated in any alleged ‘planning process.’

That Cawthorn was named is hardly a surprise. He spoke at the Jan. 6 rally near the White House where he said, ‘The Democrats, with all the fraud they have done in this election, the Republicans, hiding and not fighting, they are trying to silence your voice.’ Since then, Cawthorn has suggested that another contested election may require taking up arms. ‘When tyranny becomes law, rebellion becomes your duty,’ he told a Republican group. Cawthorn’s remarks are not the only embarrassment for North Carolina.

The Rolling Stone report also suggests deep involvement in the Jan. 6 events by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, a former Republican congressman who preceded Cawthorn in North Carolina’s 11th District. And then there is the shameless behavior of Republican members of the state’s congressional delegation, who opposed formation of the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 events. Republican links to the Capitol attack are not limited to Republicans in Washington. ProPublica reported last week that at least two Republican members of the North Carolina General Assembly are members of the Oath Keepers, a militant group whose members were among the instigators of the Jan. 6 violence….

...Elected officials like Cawthorn are not simply zealots or cranks. They are the start of what could become an anti-democratic wave that would have a white and wealthy minority preside over the nation against the popular will.

The Rolling Stone report adds new urgency to the work of the House select committee investigating who and what drove the events of Jan. 6, and what must be done to end the smoldering danger to our democracy. Even one of the organizers of the Jan. 6 rally now realizes that urgency. They told Rolling Stone: ‘The reason I’m talking to the committee and the reason it’s so important is that — despite Republicans refusing to participate … this commission’s all we got as far as being able to uncover the truth about what happened at the Capitol that day. It’s clear that a lot of bad actors set out to cause chaos.’ Now the committee must uncover who those bad actors are — and how many of them are from North Carolina.”

The Rolling Stone is not the first publication who has raised this issue. I read just following the insurrection on January 6, that several of the insurrectionists had visited the capitol building as guests of various Congressional representatives. Why? It should be noted that Cawthorn filled Mark Meadows seat when the latter became Chief of Staff for the former president, so why are those two mentioned above in the report?

I have spoken to about a couple hundred members of staff of US representatives and senators. Almost all have been civil and cordial. When I spoke with one of Cawthorn’s staff about him taking the opportunity as a younger member of Congress to help the party be more truthful and forthright with citizens following some of the rhetoric he said noted above, I was told that he came down hard on the insurrection, which I was puzzled by. If he did, it was drowned out by his other words. I will let you be the judge from reading the above.

As an independent and former Republican (and long ago Democrat) voter, we must get to the bottom of the January 6 insurrection. It was a heinous act in our history and it matters not which party did it. We cannot have citizens invading the capitol building. If the former president is as culpable as he appears with his Big Lie, invitation and instigation, then we must get to the bottom of it. The fact that one party does not want to get to the bottom of it speaks volumes.

Yet, what that party fails to realize is when someone defames the office, the party must be zealous in criticizing that person or all of them get tainted. That is a lesson the Catholic Church failed to heed.

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10 thoughts on “The Rolling Stone speaks of inconvenient truths

    • VJ, you speak the truth. Accountability is a word foreign to those who instigated this effort. From what I witnessed, read, seen reported and watched testified to, the folks like Cawthorn, Meadows, Gosar, et al have acted seditiously in support of the seditious actions of the former president, sadly all because an egotistical person cannot act like a man and admit he lost. That is what I think. Keith

  1. I’m also an Independent no party affiliated voter, who believes the two-party system is destroying America – the First President warned us of such shenanigans. Many of us, including myself, have said the 2-party system is ‘broken’ but in fact it’s doing what it’s meant to, divide our country.
    I hated to see our Capitol attacked! That any American would choose to do that, and to abuse the police as they did, is beyond despicable and awful. And then to ‘claim they were invited’. I’ve been invited lots of places and have never trashed anyone’s house like that, broke doors and windows, stole their stuff, threatened to kill people, or built structures to hang anyone.
    People should be held accountable for their wrongdoing. However, I’m unsure we’re ever going to get to the ‘bottom’ of this disaster. There will be continuous blame, falsely created information, cover-ups, missing records… we may never know the real truth. Our best hope right now is to get Responsible Americans to think about what kind of future government they want. Do they want to continue the endless political fighting, while accomplishing nothing else? Do they want our country to deteriorate into the constant chaos, or convert into a dictatorship, as so many other countries have? Do they want another Civil War? Can we expect some decency, honor, truth, and kindness from our politicians, and ourselves? Can this country be run without divisive hatred? How can we pursue and ensure Equality and Freedom? What’s the best way to maintain a Free Enterprise system and take care of our most vulnerable people? Can we keep our noses out of other country’s business, yet not turn our backs on atrocities? Can we be Neighborly to all other nations, yet be prepared if we need to defend ourselves? … There are so many dire, important questions we should be asking ourselves (and answering) – instead of am I a Republican or Democrat? Because one party cannot answer any of those above questions sufficiently.
    Apologies for length of comment – this is why I should avoid politics – there’s far too much to discuss, and too few solutions.

    • Rose, no need to apologize. This is very well said. In short, neither part has ownership of all the good ideas and both parties have some bad ideas. We need civil discourse with facts leading to compromise. Right now, both parties are too busy trying to keep their job than doing their job. And, one party is vilifying elected officials in their own party who dare speak the truth and celebrating those who don’t. That does not bode well for good governance, in my view.

      Thanks for your terrific thoughts. Keith

  2. Note to Readers: A couple of interesting sidebars to the above: Apparently The Wall Street Journal is getting flak from other newspapers and even some of its own journalists for printing the former president’s op-ed including numerous claims that have been disproven, a few of which disproven by its own reporters. Apparently, newspapers are supposed to have standards against just citing faulty assertions.

    The other sidebar is 60% of Republicans think the election of 2020 should be overturned. Really? This is why the absence of consistent criticism by GOP leadership of the lies spouted by the former president matters. Not only that, but the vilification of GOP leaders who actually did tell the truth and condemn the former president speaks volumes. The likes of Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, et al, knew they would receive death threats and did it anyway. Why would they do that?

    What saddens me is the silent elected officials know what the former president is and still remain silent. This person will throw them under the bus like he did with Mike Pence and others who did not sufficiently genuflect. And, yet they remain silent. This is why I go out of my way to call Republican elected officials who do show political courage and do the right thing. Sadly, it is a short list.

  3. Even if all those accused of collaboration are found to be innocent, the fact remains they did not speak out against the January 6th outraged, a crime against the USA’s constitution in itself.
    The least worst thing (is that good English. I get to angry to think straight on this subject) I can say about the majority of the Republican Senators and Congress members is that they are unaware of the allegory that they are playing with matches in a room full of petrol fumes (Any firefighter will tell you it’s the fumes which are the danger).
    They may feel they have the backing of the majority of republican voters, and they may feel they can grasp the wheelhouse of government again. The fact remains they do not hold the majority of the adult population. If they keep on pushing in this irresponsible manner as if they are immune from a reaction there will be one. And it has to be said Keith, the reaction will not be in the editorials or columns, nor will it be in protest matches. You will only 760 very angry people, 1/100,000 of the democrat voters to have that match struck by these Republican antics. And of course there will be a reaction to the reaction.
    Although a rather chilling and depressing scenario at this stage it needs to be discussed and maybe shake some sense into these rather foolish folk.

    • Roger, the word that leapt out at me is the word “irresponsible.” To engage these MAGA voters, these elected officials must rationalize the lies of the former president and condemn those who call him out for lying. There is an interesting parallel here relating to Senator Joseph McCarthy of communist witch hunt fame in the early 1950s. McCarthy had enough of a following who believed the stuff he just made up (sound familiar) that even President Dwight Eisenhower would not be too vocal to call McCarthy on the carpet. Eisenhower is reported by historian Jon Meacham to have disdain for McCarthy and McCarhyism, but even Ike would not openly condemn this person because of his following. Even then lies were more saleable than the truth. Keith

      • McCarthy’s downfall started when he tried his luck on the Army in 1953; still raw with the Korean War. It was a step too far and those sensing his weakness moved in on him,
        It is a grim judgement of these times that Trump should have suffered the same fate on several occasions. January should have been the last straw.

      • Agreed on all counts. The one key difference is Edward R. Murrow had credibility for his news reporting. So, when he questioned a sweating and evasive McCarthy it was the nail in the coffin. Today, we do not have the same universal gravitas in the news anchors with some folks only getting their “information” from pseudo news, conspiracy news or social media sources. Today, when a Chris Wallace shows clearly that Trump is lying several times in an interview, it is dismissed because Wallace just does not like Trump in the eyes of MAGA fans. Keith

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