Lots of people are laying blame for Wednesday's violence at the Capitol on President Trump. But the Kansas City Star editorial board points to another Republican: Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley. The 41-year-old senator elected in 2018 "deserves an impressive share of the blame for the blood that's been shed," the board writes. Indeed, "no one other than President Donald Trump himself is more responsible." More:
- Hawley was the first senator to say he would challenge the 2020 election results. "That action, motivated by ambition, set off much that followed—the rush of his fellow presidential aspirant Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and other members of the Sedition Caucus to put a show of loyalty to the president above all else," the board writes. "This revolt is the result, and if you didn't know this is where we've been headed from the start, it's because you didn't want to know."
- Apart from Hawley, Cruz was the "most ardent" Senate advocate for blocking certification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory, per the Dallas Morning News. After Cruz condemned Wednesday's violence, Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke noted "it is your self-serving attempt at sedition that has helped to inspire these terrorists and their attempted coup."
- Julián Castro, housing secretary under former President Obama, said Cruz "has embarrassed Texas and the entire nation" and "would watch democracy burn if he got to rule the ashes," just like the president. He was joined by his brother, Rep. Joaquin Castro, in calling on Cruz to resign.
- Many onlookers have accused Trump of inciting the coup, including Sen. Mitt Romney, Sen. Bob Corker, NAACP President Derrick Johnson, and Trump's first defense secretary James Mattis. In a statement, per CNBC, Mattis said the "violent assault … was fomented by Mr. Trump," who sought to "destroy trust in our election and to poison our respect for fellow citizens." He "will deservedly be left a man without a country," he added.
- The New York Times editorial board says Trump must face "impeachment proceedings or criminal prosecution" for his role. "He summoned his supporters to gather in Washington on this day, and encouraged them to march on the Capitol. He told them that the election was being stolen. He told them to fight. He told them he might join them and, even as they stormed the building, he declined for long hours to tell them to stop," the board writes.
- It also faults the GOP. "The modern Republican Party, in its systematic efforts to suppress voting, and its refusal to acknowledge the legitimacy of elections that it loses, is similarly seeking to maintain its political power on the basis of disenfranchisement. Wednesday’s insurrection is evidence of an alarming willingness to pursue that goal with violence."
- Meanwhile, the Kansas City Star editorial board puts some onus on supporters of Trump. "Those of you who have excused all of the brazen lawlessness of this administration can take a little bit of credit for these events, too," it writes. "They couldn't have done it without you."
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