Accountability needs to come before unity

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez talks about having to hide in a bathroom to escape terrorists who we calling for her to be killed on Jan. 6.

Reporting by the New York Times yesterday and AXIOS today makes it pretty clear that the former president was deeply involved in the conspiracy that led to the attempted violent coup of Jan. 6.

Investigations are starting to uncover involvement by Republican members of Congress, some of whom led reconnaissance tours the day before the attack, and some of whom tweeted the whereabouts of Democrats the terrorists were looking for during the attack.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s chilling Instagram video describes what happened to her during those terrifying hours hunkered down in the bathroom of Rep. Katherine Porter, believing she was going to die at the hands of the terrorists she could hear calling for her.

“Where is she? Where is she?” she heard them ask from just a few feet away. She was wearing heels and Rep. Porter helped her find a pair of sneakers she could wear in case she had to run for her life.

At least two members of Congress have tested positive for COVID since the assault because Republicans refused to wear masks, and then a majority of Republicans in the House and a handful in the Senate voted to overturn a fair and legitimate election.

Someone needs to pay for these crimes before we can talk about holding hands and singing “Kumbaya.”

We have reached levels of stupidity and corruption I wouldn’t have thought possible before Election Day 2016, and I was aware it was going to be really bad.

But 2016 wasn’t when all this began. Evangelical “Christians” have been wanting to “take over” since I was a child growing up among them in the 1950s and ’60s. And their alliance with white supremacists and fascists proves their hypocritical belief that it’s OK to do anything — steal, lie, cheat, even kill — as long as it’s for Jesus.

They voted for Reagan because he was against abortion. It didn’t matter that he was incompetent, that he and his cronies would set us on a path that was pro-military, pro-police and pro-Wall Street, anti-labor, anti-LGBTQ, anti-woman, anti-health care and anti-environment.

They voted for Bush I because he kissed up to them.

They voted for Bush II because he was a “Christian,” and they supported his illegal kidnappings, imprisonments and torture, his illegal wars and corrupt cronies.

Then they voted for the least moral, least competent, pettiest, nastiest, most ignorant and unstable man ever to run for the office, and they supported an attempted coup to keep him in office after he was defeated at the polls..

Now they want “unity.”

Well, here’s what’s required for unity:

To start, convict this former president in the Senate and ban him from holding any federal office ever again.

Then file criminal charges against him and all his co-conspirators — and that includes every last person we can find who entered the Capitol illegally on Jan. 6.

I have been arrested twice in that building. Once was for disrupting the Senate by bringing in an unframed 5×7 photo of my late son to hold up when they began debate on repealing the Affordable Care Act, as we chanted “Kill the bill!” I was convicted and did 48 hours of community service. The other time was when I tried to speak to leaders of the Senate about health care. I paid a $50 fine.

I didn’t break in. I actually went through security. I didn’t steal anything, break anything, cause any damage, smear my own excrement on the walls, threaten anyone, carry anything that could be construed as a weapon, mouth off to cops, threaten anyone, attack anyone — none of that. I chanted from the Senate Gallery and I prayed and sang in the Rotunda after being refused entry to the corridor that led to Mitch McConnell’s office, where I had hoped to deliver a letter.

I went there to try and save lives, not to take them. And I was arrested, tried and punished for trying to beg for people to have access to health care.

I broke the law by refusing to leave the Rotunda, and by chanting from the Senate Gallery. I was arrested and punished. I never complained about being arrested. I knew it was likely when I went in there, and I never, not even for a moment, considered violence.

I want to see justice dished out to everyone involved in this mess before I cozy up to anyone who supported this creature, and I refuse to cozy up to (or work with) anyone who still supports him and his lies.

Donald Trump is a common criminal. A thug. He belongs in prison for the rest of his life, as do his children, his advisors, his lieutenants and members of Congress who helped to plan or incite the insurrection.

When I see that, we can talk about unity.

Accountability first, then unity.

No justice, no peace.

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